If summer is giving you a case of Holly Golightly's mean reds, join the club. You can't have the blues in Dallas summers because you can't gaze out your window longingly at the rain, because the water is drying up in the soul-sucking summer sun. Instead, the dash from one air-conditioned place to another becomes maddening, filling you with this overwhelming, sometimes terrifying ennui. You spend far too much time on the couch, in front of a fan, because it's too damn hot. As the cabin fever sets in, you begin to question your sanity. You can see the sun shining, but your skin shrivels the minute you step into it. You're low on Vitamin D and low on life. How do we know all of this? Because we're right there with you, and since there isn't a convenient Tiffany's location where you can eat your breakfast, we have another suggestion that might just make you name your cat Cat. Have you tried a night at the theater? It's not a flawless cure, but if a play's the thing, we've picked a few shows that will make you run into yourself.
One of Shakespeare's great plays, Othello, tells an ever-relevant story of fear, hatred and betrayal. The title character, played in Second Thought Theatre's production by Tyrees Allen, is a Moorish general in the Venetian army (he's black), who navigates thorny relationships with his wife, Desdemona, and his not-so-trustworthy junior officer, Iago. See the show in Bryant Hall through August 8. More at 2tt.co.
Cy Coleman is one of musical theater's under-performed geniuses. Andy Propst, author of the new biography of the composer, You Fascinate Me So, speculates that it's because he doesn't have a signature sound. When you hear Rodgers & Hammerstein, you know it's Rodgers & Hammerstein; the same is true of Andrew Lloyd Webber. But Coleman's songs run a gamut from sweet flowing melodies to big, brassy numbers, like Sweet Charity's "Big Spender." When you see a Coleman musical on the menu, you should order your tickets. WaterTower Theatre mounts the show from July 24 - August 16. More at watertowertheatre.org.
The Tribe Presents: Summer Cab
Want something a little bit offbeat? Some of the talented young actors on the Dallas scene are performing an experimental cabaret. With numerous acts from members of House Party Theatre, to the folks behind Shakespeare in the Bar, to fight choreographer Jeffrey Colangelo to solo performing artist Brigham Mosley, this is the most fun you can have for free in town. Stay up late and head to The Balcony Club at 11 p.m. Tuesday, July 28.
Catch Me If You Can
Based on the popular movie that starred Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale, Jr., the free-wheeling, real-life con man who at various times in his life passed himself off as a doctor, a lawyer and a jet pilot, the musical version is an upbeat, catchy show filled with showy dance numbers and a whirlwind romance. Uptown Players mounts the show in the Kalita Humphreys Theatre July 24 to August 9. Tickets are $30-50. More at uptownplayers.org.
A Midsummer Night's Dream by Junior Players
No one has more fun with Shakespeare than the teenagers at Junior Players. The annual summer camp that spawns numerous talented actors and actresses always puts a lively spin on the Bard in their big show at Shakespeare in the Park. This year they've turned Midsummer into a Bollywood extravaganza. See it from July 28 - August 2 for $10. More at juniorplayers.org.
Festival of Independent Theatres
An annual festival of small Dallas-based companies presents a broad swath of shows this year and the variety is well worth the price of admission. After the first weekend, our critic gave a few thumbs up, with Shoe Confessions and The Show About Men being the two standout shows, in her opinion. See those shows and more through August 1.
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History meets philosophy in this new play about the IRA penned by 17-year-old Chris Rodenbaugh. One of the standout actors at Fun House Theatre and Film, his first full-length play, The Wraith, hits the stage July 29- August 2. Interested in the history of violence in Ireland, he has written a story about five members of the Irish Republican Army whose problems turn inward after a kidnapping brings conflicts to the surface. Tickets are $5.