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Uptown Players Get Area Premiere of ‘Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike’

by Jerome Weeks 2 Aug 2013 12:26 PM

Christopher Durang's Tony Award-winning spoof of Chekhov is coming to Dallas, courtesy of the Uptown Players, as well as Nicky Silver's <em>The Lyons</em> and the musical, <em>The Boy from Oz.</em>


has announced its 2014 season, its 13th — and it has some real coups in it. The schedule features several regional premieres, notably the Tony Award-winning comedy by Christopher Durang, Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike, currently on Broadway. The company will also present the regional premiere of Nicky Silvers” fractured-family comedy, The Lyons, and the Tony Award-winning musical, The Boy From Oz, the story of the Australian composer-entertainer, Peter Allen — it”ll be the first regional production of the show announced in the U. S.

As a bonus, the Players will present the American premiere of the London musical comedy,  Soho Cinders, about a mayoral candidate, a sex scandal and a rags-to-riches story. There”s also the concert version of Sweeney Todd, a return of the very popular Pageant and, of course, Broadway Our Way, the company”s annual fundraiser.

The full press release follows:


DALLAS, August 2, 2013 – Uptown Players, a professional theater group located in the Uptown area of Dallas, has announced its 2014 season at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, which will feature the regional premieres of the 2013 Tony Award winning play, Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike, the 2012 Tony nominated play The Lyons, the 2004 Tony award winning musical, The Boy From Oz, plus the return of an audience favorite, Pageant. Uptown Players will also present its annual fundraising performance – Broadway Our Way, which will be held in January 2014. In April, Uptown Players will join forces with the Turtle Creek Chorale for a concert version of Sweeney Todd at the City Performance Hall. As its summer bonus show, Uptown Players will present the U.S. premiere of the West End hit musical Soho Cinders.


Broadway Our Way: January 17 – 26, 2014
Now in its 12th 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 all new 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 from January 17-26, 2014.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike: February 14 – March 9, 2014
Uptown Players will kick off its main stage season with the regional premiere of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, the 2013 Tony Award winner for best play written by Christopher Durang. In Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, step-siblings Vanya and Sonia have never left the confines of their childhood home – a rambling Bucks County farmhouse. A surprise visit from their glamorous sister, Masha, and her 20-something boy toy, Spike, throws the normally quiet household into utter upheaval. The result is an absurd, hilarious romp. The show runs February 14 through March 9, 2014.

Pageant: March 28 – April 13, 2014
Uptown Players will present an audience favorite, Pageant, written by Albert EvansBill RussellFrank Kelly, and Robert LongbottomPageant is a pageant. Judges selected from the audience actually vote and determine the winner who, therefore, may be different at each performance. The show takes its shots not by mocking the pageant from the outside, but by being one. The six contestants, Miss Deep South, Miss West Coast, Miss Great Plains, Miss Bible Belt, Miss Industrial Northeast, and Miss Texas (all played by men) compete in evening gowns, talent, swim-wear and spokesmodel, plus the finalists answer calls from the Beauty Crisis Hotline. Running March 28 – April 13, 2014, you won’t want to miss the hilarity as a new Miss Glamouresse is selected at each performance.  

Sweeney Todd: Concert Version: April 24 – 26, 2014
Uptown Players and the Turtle Creek Chorale join forces again this year for a concert version of the powerful Broadway hit and Tony Award winner, Sweeney Todd. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, this musical thriller tells the story of Benjamin Barker, aka Sweeney Todd, who returns to London after 15 years of false imprisonment. Aided and abetted by the pie-shop owner, Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney sets out to avenge the wrong doings done to him and his family. This thrilling and heart pounding concert version will be presented in the City Performance Hall downtown for three performances from April 24-26, 2014.

The Lyons: May 2 – May 18, 2014
In May, Uptown Players returns to the Kalita Humphreys Theater for the regional premiere of The Lyons, a dysfunctional-family comedy by Nicky Silver which recently completed its New York run. The Lyons is about a family grappling with the impending death of its patriarch. The indomitable matriarch of the family is at a major crossroads: her husband is dying, her son”s in a dubious relationship, her daughter”s struggling to stay sober and on top of it all, she can”t settle on a new design for the living room. When they gather to say goodbye, they learn that despite being a family, each of them is utterly isolated. Afraid of closeness and afraid of solitude, they are propelled into foreign territory—human connection. The show runs May 2 through May 18, 2014.

Soho Cinders: June 13 – June 22, 2014
As a summer bonus show, Uptown players will present the US Premiere of the 2012 London hit musical comedy, Soho Cinders, with music by George Stiles, lyrics and a book by Anthony Drewe with Elliot Davis as co-author. When impoverished student Robbie becomes romantically involved with engaged Mayoral candidate James Prince, his lap-dancing step-sisters become the least of his problems! James and Robbie’s worlds collide forcing them to fight for their own fairy-tale ending in this hilarious, satirical twist on the classic Cinderella story. The potent mix of politics, sex-scandals and true love come together in this contemporary musical with an infectious score that you’ll be humming long past the stroke of midnight. This edgy, fun, and deliciously naughty musical will run June 13-22, 2014.

The Boy From Oz: July 25 – August 10, 2014
To close its thirteenth season, Uptown Players presents the regional premiere of the 2003 Tony Award winning musical, The Boy from Oz, created to celebrate the life and work of the legendary Peter Allen. This is the dazzling, funny and touching story of the great Australian entertainer Peter Allen, from his humble beginnings in Australia to his meteoric rise to fame as an international star. Singing in country pubs from age 11, Peter Allen survived family tragedy to become a local TV star at age 16. Discovered by Judy Garland, he married her daughter Liza Minnelli and went on to become a beloved performer and an Oscar-winning songwriter. The Boy from Oz includes many of his best loved hits: Everything Old is New Again, I Honestly Love You, Don’t Cry Out Loud and the show stopping I Go to Rio. The Uptown Players production, the first regional theater production announced in the United States, will run from July 25 through August 10, 2014.

Ticket prices for all shows 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. Four, five, six or seven show season ticket flex packages are also available and include great discounts on both premium and regular seating. Individual and season tickets can be purchased online at  or by phone at 214-219-2718.

# # #

Now concluding its twelfth season, Uptown Players has gathered a dedicated following with an annual audience base of over 15,000 patrons, including nearly 850 season subscribers. The response from the community and critics has been remarkable, including over 25 Leon Rabin Awards from the Dallas Theatre League, several hundred “The Column” Awards and 23 Theater Critics Forum Awards in its first ten seasons. Uptown Players has also been named the best theatre company by the Dallas Voice Readers and by the Dallas Observer and was also featured in D Magazine and on the WFAA A-list of theaters.

Uptown Players is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, presenting plays and musicals that challenge audiences artistically, build cultural bridges, and strive to create greater positive public awareness and acceptance through the performing arts. There is no other theater group with this unique mission in the Dallas area.

  • nmlhats

    It is a real coup that UP will have the regional premiere of V&S&M&S. We saw it in New York in January (original cast intact) and it was pretty swell. I almost would have expected to see it at Dallas Theater Center.

  • nmlhats

    It is a real coup that UP will have the regional premiere of V&S&M&S. We saw it in New York in January (original cast intact) and it was pretty swell. I almost would have expected to see it at Dallas Theater Center.