| Theater |

Overture! Light the Lights! Curtains Rise On Lots of Big Musicals

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For musical theater queens, it's high season. Over the next couple of weeks, stages all over DFW will be jammed with big musicals, including fresh-from-Broadway road tours and revivals of great shows at local companies. Here's a quick look at the opening night schedule:

June 3: Alice Wonder, Jubilee Theatre, Fort Worth (Through June 26) Knockout singer Sheran Goodspeed-Keyton stars in the title role of the revival of the musical hit from Jubilee's 2002 season. Rudy Eastman and Joe Rogers adapted the Lewis Carroll stories into a comic romp featuring "Cat Daddy" (Robert Rouse), "Rasta Blue" and "notorious Hump D." Recommended for mature audiences.

June 6: Pippin, Theatre Three (Through July 2) Max Swarner (Equus) stars in the Stephen Schwartz musical that tells a fanciful story about the son of Charlemagne. Memorable songs include "Magic to Do," "Corner of the Sky" and "Spread a Little Sunshine."

June 7: Stomp, Dallas Summer Musicals at the Music Hall at Fair Park (Through June 12) The raucous, wordless dance show celebrates movement, percussive improvisation and the well-defined muscles on a cast of sexy young hoofers.

June 8: Billy Elliot the Musical, Lexus Broadway Series at Winspear Opera House (Through July 3) Tony-winning musical based on the hit film about a "Geordie" boy who defies his working-class dad by skipping boxing practice for ballet classes. The touring cast features Tony Award-winner Faith Prince starring as ballet mistress Mrs. Wilkinson, along with Ethan Fuller, Kylend Hetherington, Lex Ishimoto, Daniel Russell and J.P. Viernes alternating in the role of Billy. Music by Elton John.

June 10: Oliver! at Lyric Stage, Irving (Through June 19) With a 30-piece pit orchestra (five more than the original Broadway production) and a cast of 48 actors, singers and dancers, this is the biggest musical of the summer so far. Cheryl Denson directs and Jay Dias conducts the much-loved, tuneful version of the Dickens classic as adapted for stage (and composed) by Lionel Bart. Cast includes Jonathan Beck Reed as Fagin and Jack Vangorden (the adorable kid from Lyric's Night of the Hunter) as Oliver. Catherine Carpenter Cox, a Lyric fave, plays Nancy. Radio talk host Mike Gallagher plays Mr. Bumble, with Clayton Slee as the Artful Dodger.

June 10: Next to Normal, Uptown Players at Kalita Humphreys Theater (Through July 3) A triple Tony winner in 2009, this musical by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey stars Uptown's favorite leading lady, Patty Breckenridge, as a grieving parent coping with mental illness. Local singer-composer Gary Floyd co-stars as her husband. With Jonathan Bragg, Anthony Carrillo, Jonathan Gilliland and Erica Harte. This is the first regional production to get the rights to the musical following its two-year Broadway run.

June 14: Monty Python's Spamalot, Dallas Summer Musicals at the Music Hall at Fair Park (Through June 26) Incredibly silly but loads of fun, this musical comedy is loosely based on the Monty Python movie about inept knights in medieval England. It's the second time around for the road tour, so if you missed it last time, now's your chance to see it.

June 17: The Music Man, Granville Arts Center, Garland (Through June 26) The Garland Summer Musicals opens its summer season with this Meredith Willson classic about a flim-flam man who tries to con River City, Iowa, into buying musical instruments for a boys' band. Stan Graner plays the title role in a production choreographed by the phenomenal Dallas dance-man Jeremy Dumont.

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