Best Theater Dallas 2007 - Contemporary Theatre of Dallas
When the curtain first went up at this church-turned-playhouse off Lower Greenville six years ago, some were quick to sneer that it was merely a vanity project for owner, founder and resident leading lady Sue Loncar. But it didn't take long for audiences and critics to start appreciating CTD for doing something other Dallas theaters don't: Making sure everybody, onstage and off, has a good time. Loncar still loses money on most of her shows, which rival WaterTower and Dallas Theater Center for dollars spent on talent, sets and costumes. But then she comes up with a mass appeal hit like Best Little Whorehouse or Last Night of Ballyhoo and proves once again that giving theatergoers what they want (including booze at intermish) isn't a bad way to do showbiz. Along the way, Loncar's also become a strong actress in her own right, earning her best notices for the title role in this season's poignant Preston Jones comedy, Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander. CTD's rep as an important regional theater is growing too, and for all of Loncar's devotion to soft-sell plays, she's not entirely immune to art. Along with an annual revival of Ballyhoo (one of Loncar's all-time favorites to star in), the 2007-'08 season will feature A Streetcar Named Desire.