THE JUNGLE QUEEN: For his current show at Hip Pocket Theatre, Johnny Simons returns to one of his frequent inspirations – comic books. Sheena, Queen of the Jungle stars Kristen Walker as the title character, comedically saving everyone from all manner of evildoers. “Simons is out to prove that not only are strong female characters represented in comic world, but that they also have an equal right to appear corny to the rest of the world, which will never ‘get’ the attraction of comic books,” Mark Lowry writes on dfw.com. “Sheena doesn’t really explore the mythic undercurrents in its stories, which might have profited from all that rural majesty,” Lawson Taitte writes on dallasnews.com. “Rather, the new show is played mostly for laughs.” Catch it through Sept. 2.
THE WAY TO SANTA FE: Over the last week, Olin Chism has been reporting for us from the Santa Fe Opera Festival – one of the premier events in the country. Dallas Opera CEO Keith Cerny has also been taking in the action out West, and he writes in his latest Off the Cuff column for theaterjones.com that the festival does a number of things right. “It is possible to see all five productions, attend two sets of auditions from the apprentices, and attend a celebratory annual dinner with many of the nation’s artistic leaders—in less than a week.”
HOUSTON DESIGNER DIES: Houston lighting designer Jeremy Choate died Sunday following a fatal hit-and-run accident. In addition to his lighting work with theater and dance companies, his installations were also featured in art galleries across the country. He was 33.