From stand-up comedy to vintage Neil Simon, from revivals of classics to a bevy of world premieres, this summer’s theater stages will come to life with all manner of productions.
As part of their Comedy Development Series, Amphibian Stage Productions kicks off June with yet another talented comedienne. From Jun 4 to 8, Phoebe Robinson – who does a bit of everything, from stand-up comedy to best-selling writing – will offer her take on gender, pop culture, and race. Amphibian’s summer slate also includes Gutenberg! The Musical! (Jul 12-Aug 18), encompassing a story of dreams and some dodgy research techniques.
Circle Theatre has big plans for the summer, starting with the always bloody fine entertainment, Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Jun 6-Jul 13). This thrilling creation is set in gritty 19th-century London and marches to the incomparable Tony Award-winning music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim.
Also, from Aug 15 to Sep 14, Circle presents A 3D Adventure, a world premiere comedic look at a small-town theater group’s best attempts to stage a production, which goes wildly awry.
Hip Pocket Theater launches its 43rd performance season (from Jun 7 to Oct 27) with Seven Sinatra Veronicas (Jun 7-30), a world premiere of a part-pantomime morality vehicle in which Sinatra croons “My Way” but soon discovers that it is more about “Her Way.” Arcadia Darling (Jul 12-Aug 4) – another world premiere – takes its cue from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. Love Letters to a Raven (Aug 9-11) is a workshop performance centering on such disparate features as hips, feet, hands, head, and breath. And the summer series concludes with Baby Snooks and Daddy (Aug 23-Sep 15), as Baby Snooks (she of the Ziegfeld Follies) performs an array of scripts culled from radio’s golden age.
Jubilee Theatre’s Split Second (May 24-Jun 23) is a tightly woven drama involving an African-American policeman who after arresting a white man on a car theft charge eventually guns down his violently resistant suspect. A slew of ethics and morals-challenging quandaries ensue. And in Sistas, the Musical (Jul 26-Aug 25), the death of a family’s grand matriarch sets in motion a voyage of nostalgic discovery for one family – all to the music charting black women’s history – from the turbulent ’30s through the ’60s girl groups.
Stage West Theatre delves into a reliably involving tale with Holmes and Watson (May 30-Jun 30). This play begins three years following the confounding death of Sherlock Holmes, which compels Dr. John H. Watson to visit a faraway island-based asylum where three inmates believe they are the late detective. As for Lungs (Jul 25-Aug 18), patrons will be thrust into a world getting hotter, with roiling seas and political unrest all around. And amid it all, we descend on a generic IKEA where a man proposes to his partner that they have child.
Stolen Shakespeare Guild presents Northanger Abbey (Jul 12-28 at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center). Inspired by Jane Austen’s first novel, which many have labeled a satirical Gothic romance, it’s the story of Catherine Morland, who travels to Bath with her aunt only to be ensnared in that town’s inbred social set.
Theatre Arlington’s They’re Playing Our Song (thru May 26) faithfully captures the magic of vintage Neil Simon’s book and Marvin Hamlisch’s fun score. This well-known rom-com centers on a composer and his relationship with a lyricist. As for Brighton Beach Memoirs (Aug 9-31), baseball and girls unite in Eugene’s Brooklyn-based life overseen by a domineering mother, an overworked father, and a know-it-all brother, Stanley, a mere few of Eugene’s indelible family members.
Local museums and galleries aren’t taking any downtime this summer, either, starting with the Kimbell Art Museum. When in doubt, satisfy the public with the ever-pleasing aesthetic reliability of the Impressionists. And can there be a more visually seductive Impressionist than Monet? Consider Monet, the Late Years (Jun 16-Sep 15), the Kimbell’s first show in more than two decades devoted to the great French artist’s final oeuvre. On 52 works, this summer blockbuster exhibition will trace the origins of the great master’s singular painting style.
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art envisages an abbreviated summer season (lasting ’til Jun 2), as it will be closed to the public for major renovations from Jun 3 ’til reopening on Sep 14 –– marked by a free 12-hour Party on the Porch blowout. But until then, Amon Carter fans can avail themselves to From Remington to O’Keeffe: The Carter’s Greatest Hits (thru Jun 2). Simultaneously running with the exhibition is With the Help of Friends (thru Jun 2), highlighting 15 striking photographs. Dating from the 1930s through today, each one was chosen and bought thanks to several loyal Carter photo collection supporters, the “friends” in the title. Completing the Carter’s triptych of shows is Gabriel Dawe: Plexus No. 34, a special commission of a site-specific work involving 80 miles of thread in a rainbow of hues, all assembled by the Mexican-born Dawe.
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth has an ambitious slate of summer shows lined up. Disappearing California, c. 1970 (thru Aug 11) treats the act of “disappearance” through the lens of works by Chris Burden and fellow Southern Californians Jack Goldstein and Bas Jan Ader. From Jun 2 to Sep 22 is David Park: A Retrospective, which represents the first important museum-quality show in more than three decades celebrating the work of this 1930s-era melder of avant-garde and Cubist-influenced abstract expressionism.
The Sid Richardson Museum’s latest granular examination of the work of Frederic Remington focuses on his travels back East (where he grew up) and how he immortalized what he saw on canvas. Another Frontier: Frederic Remington’s East (thru Sep 8) jolts the viewer away from Remington’s familiar Western subject matter to his less-known Eastern U.S. subjects.
Thru Jun 15, Artspace 111 presents Desertscapes: Kristin Kirkley, centering around Kirkley’s large-scale color photos with their twin use of detail and minimalism, and Water Works: Madeline Irvine, Carol Ivey, Deborah Mersky, a group show of works on paper in which each artist explores the challenging notion of water as a medium. Rounding out the summer roster is Artspace’s sixth annual juried show (Jun 22-Jul 20). The lone juror is Hilde Nelson, curatorial assistant for contemporary art at the Dallas Museum of Art.
Thru Aug 31, Fort Works Art showcases Kate Simon’s mesmerizing and intimate portrait photos of dozens of iconic stars from the 1960s and ’70s. Chaos and Cosmos is a comprehensive retrospective of Simon’s decades-long catalogue with a pantheon of iconic figures, including Led Zeppelin, Andy Warhol, David Bowie, Bob Marley, William S. Burroughs, The Clash, and Debbie Harry, to name just a few.
At William Campbell Contemporary Art, Judy Youngblood –– Unsettled Conditions (thru Jun 22) is an assemblage of the artist’s latest output of prints and paintings that employ weather as a metaphor for the human condition and how we traverse its often-tumultuous patches.
In the gallery spaces of the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, the fundraising effort Celebration of the Arts 2019 (Jun 1-26) will feature a cavalcade of artists, including Jeremy Joel, Adam Palmer, Tatara Siegel, and Millie Watters. Glitter Dotted (Jun 7-26) comprises two artists –– Mindy Sue Wittock and Lael Burns –– who have been inspired by the simple joys of daily family life, especially motherhood. Line ecologies by Wayne Madsen (Jun 7-26) reflects the artist’s sincere desire to create objects long on aesthetic appeal, yet he is an avowed process person, calling on influences as diverse as Brian Eno, John Cage, and Sol LeWitt. As for Sarah Nguyen’s Furious Beauty (Jun 7-26), her latest works are meant to bring abstract and representational forms into a kind of balance, in which shape and meaning are all but completely separated. Andy Mattern’s Average Subject/Medium Distance (Jun 7-26) is a photographic show where exposure and image settings are altered to serve the artist’s needs and where the artist adopts techniques from mid-century photography.