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Tuesday Roundup

by Jerome Weeks 28 Aug 2012 7:40 AM

An unusual piece of public art work, a national ranking as an ‘Art City’ and the Uptown Players’ unusual new season — it’s the Tuesday Roundup!


BENDING SPACE (and sheet metal) IN WEST DALLAS: Remember my thoughtful (translation: long-winded) gripes about public art in Dallas? (Course you do.) Well, a fairly cool addition to our public art stock happened last week when Erik Glissman and Nicole Cullum Horn’s Mobius Bench was installed at Pittman and Fort Worth Avenue; it was officially christened yesterday. The arch-that-provides-shade-and-seating is made partly of reclaimed cedar and recycled sheet metal, and the DMN has a terrific photo gallery by Erica Felicella about how it was built — fittingly, the gallery is not behind the pay wall.

THAT MANY? announced its list of the ‘Top Ten U.S. Art Cities” and — ta-dah — Dallas is #5. But then, you might wonder about a list that gets the name of the city museum wrong (“Dallas Museum of Fine Arts”) and includes three other Texas cities — Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio — which means Texas cities make up almost half the entire total. And neither Los Angeles nor Philadelphia is on the list. I’m just saying.

IT’S GETTING TO BE ALL MATT, ALL WEEK: As we mentioned yesterday, UTD professor Matt Bondurant was profiled Sunday in the DMN, he’ll be chatted with in our upcoming Big Screen podcast, but now he’s interviewed in The New Yorker‘s Talk of the Town section (pay wall) — all because he wrote The Wettest County in the World, which has been made into the Shia LaBoeuf-Tom Hardy, moonshiner picture, Lawless.

SAY WHAT? The Uptown Players announced their 12th season yesterday, and it’s one of the company’s more unusual assortments of offerings, including more or less typical productions (the Broadway musical, Kiss of the Spider Woman, plus the area premiere of Yellow, a new comedy by Del Shores), and the group’s traditional fundraiser, Broadway Our Way. But after that, things get different, with a concert version of Ragtime with the Turtle Creek Chorale at the new City Performance Hall, the world premiere of Re-Designing Women, a parody of the TV sitcom, and the area premiere of Songs for a New World by Jason Robert Brown. Songs played off-Broadway in 1995, and it’s neither a full musical nor a revue. Brown has called it a ‘theatrical song cycle.”

The full press release is below:


DALLAS, August 24, 2012 – Uptown Players, a professional theater group located in the Uptown area of Dallas, has announced its 2013 season, which will feature the regional premiere of Yellow, plus two summer musicals, Songs For A New World, and Kiss Of The Spider Woman, and its first holiday show, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told at the Kalita Humphreys Theater. Uptown Players will also present its annual fundraising performance – Broadway Our Way, which will be held in January 2013. In addition, Uptown Players will join forces with the Turtle Creek Chorale for a Concert version of Ragtime at the new City Performance Hall and will present the world premiere of Re-Designing Women, in April at the Rose Room Theater inside the Station 4 nightclub on Cedar Springs.

Broadway Our Way: January 18-27, 2013

Now in its 11th year, Uptown Players’ fundraiser, Broadway Our Way, light-heartedly pits the men against the women to determine who the true Divas of the Dallas stage really are. The evening features selections from your favorite Broadway shows both past and present, done with an Uptown Players twist! It is sure to be a hot ticket for its six performances in January 2013. The show’s dates are January 18-27, 2013.

Ragtime: Concert Version: February 7-9, 2013

Uptown Players and the Turtle Creek Chorale join forces for a concert version of the powerful Broadway hit and Tony Award winner, Ragtime.  This snapshot of American history is told through the stories of a Harlem musician, a wealthy matriarch, and a Jewish immigrant. The musical intertwines the stories of these three extraordinary families, as they confront history’s timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair, and what it means to live in America. Ragtime is not only a powerful portrait of life in turn-of-the-century America, but a relevant tale for today. It will be a “must see” as Uptown Players and the Turtle Creek Chorale join forces in the new City Performance Hall downtown for four performances only from February 7-9, 2013.

Yellow: February 22 – March 10, 2013

Uptown Players will kick off its main stage season with the Southwest Premiere of Yellow, Del Shores latest smash hit which made its world premiere in West Hollywood in 2010.  In Yellow, the usual unusual characters lifted from Southern Gothic lore are dropped in our laps, in this case the Westmoreland family of Vicksburg Mississippi.  A modern interpretation of the Old South family with all the attendant baggage thereof, we follow them through a tumultuous year in the life where everything is in flux, fraught with crises of religion, relationships, sexuality, and adolescence. Yellow is a baudy, hellacious, rousing, and finally, thoughtful and poignant drama which will run February 22 through March 10, 2013.

Re-Designing Women: April 5 – May 19, 2013

Uptown Players will present the world premiere of Re-Designing Women, a parody of the popular 80s sitcom, its fourth production by playwright Jamie Morris (Mommie Queerest, The Facts of Life: The Lost Episode, The Silence of the Clams). Plagued by the faltering economy, Atlanta-based Sugarbaker Design Firm is on the brink of collapse when Suzanne, the vapid ex-beauty queen, has an outrageous idea to save the family business by pitching a reality show to Bravo TV. Soon camera crews are following the zany day-to-day antics of the four Southern Belles, their ex-con delivery man Anthony, and their daffy family friend Bernice. The producers get more than they bargain for and plenty of zany footage of Julia’s infamous, highly-charged tirades and long, long over-the-top monologues; Mary Jo’s tell-all testimonials after a few cocktails; and Charlene’s down-home, hillbilly there’s-got-to-be-point-to-this-story stories. Even Suzanne’s pet pig Noel gets into the action. Running April 5 – May 19 at the Rose Room Theater at S4, Re-Designing Women has enough snappy dialogue, big hair and huge shoulder pad 1980s fashion to fill a dozen sitcoms.

Songs For A New World: June 21 – July 7, 2013

In June, Uptown Players returns to the Kalita Humphreys Theater and presents its version of the musical, Songs For a New World, a musical exploration of life’s emotions: risk, fear, hope, dreams, love. As composer Jason Robert Brown said, “It’s about one moment. It’s about hitting the wall and having to make a choice, or take a stand, or turn around and go back.” It’s about those life-defining moments we reach and must make those important decisions. The show’s concept is more about a collection of songs that tell a series of stories, rather than a continual and developing plot running throughout. Each song transports us through our American identity, our community, and our desires. They sweep us away into the moments we stand our ground, break our silence, make a bargain, or find our way home.  The show runs June 21 through July 7, 2013.

Kiss of the Spider Woman: July 26 – August 11, 2013

From July 26 through August 11, 2013, Uptown Players presents the Tony-Award winning musical Kiss of the Spider Woman. With book by Terrence McNally and music by John Kander and Fred EbbKiss of the Spider Woman revamps a harrowing tale of persecution into a dazzling spectacle that juxtaposes gritty realities with liberating fantasies. Cellmates in a Latin American prison, Valentin is a tough revolutionary undergoing torture and Molina is an unabashed homosexual serving eight years for deviant behavior. Molina shares his fantasies about an actress, Aurora (Linda Leonard will reprise her Leon Rabin Award winning role) with Valentin. One of her roles is a Spider Woman who kills with a kiss.

The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told: December 5 – 15, 2013

To close its twelfth season, Uptown Players presents its first holiday show ever, Paul Rudnick’s The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, running December 5-15, 2013. Revamping the traditional stories of the creation of the world, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told asks the question, “What the world would be like had God made Adam and Steve, not Adam and Eve?” The play opens with the Stage Manager, who may or may not be God, cueing the creation of the world, and follows the “first” couples-Adam and Steve, and Jane and Mabel-from the Garden of Eden to modern-day Manhattan. This show is Rated R for adult language, situations and nudity.

Ticket prices for all shows, except Re-Designing Women range from $25 to $50. Performances at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd at Blackburn, will run at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings and 2 p.m. on Sundays with added Thursday performances at 8 p.m. during the run of each show. Tickets for Re-Designing Women at the Rose Room Theater at S4, located at 3911 Cedar Springs Road, are $20-25 with performances on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. Four, five, six or seven show season ticket flex packages are also available and include great discounts on premium seating. Individual and season tickets can be purchased online at or by phone at 214-219-2718.