Tag: Music Hall at Fair Park

Twisted Up Over Dancing

Maksim Chmerkovsiy will dance in Dallas in July. Will he or won't he take his shirt off?

Maksim Chmerkovsiy will dance in Dallas in July. Will he or won’t he take his shirt off?

There are not many shows I watch faithfully. “Modern Family” is one, and “The Today Show” is another, although Savannah Guthrie is on my last nerve.

There’s one more: “Dancing With the Stars.”

So now I’m all kinds of excited that those masters of twinkling toes and dazzling costumes are coming to north Texas! Yes, two shows of “Ballroom with a Twist” are planned July 19 at the Music Hall at Fair Park. At both 2 and 7:30 p.m., you can expect to see professional dancers Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Karina Smirnoff, Tony Dovolani and Cheryl Burke.

Tickets are on sale at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, in Dallas; 1-800-982-2787 or ticketmaster.com.

Fox trot or waltz? Cha cha or jive?


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REVIEW: Brother, This is Some Act (or Two)

Sisters receive some divine inspiration in the current musical offered by Dallas Summer Musicals.

Sisters receive some divine inspiration in the current musical offered by Dallas Summer Musicals.

Sometimes it just takes a while to get things rolling. Maybe with divine inspiration, something normal becomes a religious experience.

Take “Sister Act,” the touring production currently staged at the Music Hall at Fair Park. The first act is certainly pleasant enough, but like a gospel preacher who gets worked up the longer he goes, this musical has the audience shouting hallelujahs by the end of the second act.

The upbeat musical stars Ta’Rea Campbell as Deloris Van Cartier, a diva of a singer who just happens to witness a murder. Where better to put someone whose taste runs to short skirts and high boots than a convent? She is met by Mother Superior, played by Hollis Resnik, and a sad little choir comprised of screechy nuns. As their music improves, so do their outfits, making the second act worth waiting for. The black and white habits give way to dazzling costumes fit for a religious Liberace, and the songs get a dose of Motown mixed with disco.

The show truly features the music, and it’s a singer’s show. With dancing taking a back seat, the focus is on the vocals and they are heavenly. Presented by Dallas Summer Musicals, “Sister Act” features an original score by Alan Menken, even though it’s based on the Whoopi Goldberg movie by the same name. In 2011, the Broadway production received five Tony Award nominations including one for best score. The performers voices are outstanding, and their comic timing helps get the show plenty of laughs.

“Sister Act” (www.sisteractontour.com) continues through June 16 in Dallas before moving to Fort Worth’s Bass Hall. It’s a religious experience.

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REVIEW: Who Says Disco's Dead?

Disco, afro wigs and a road trip mix it up in the latest Dallas Summer Musical presentation.

Disco, afro wigs and a road trip mix it up in the latest Dallas Summer Musical presentation.

Love the night life? Want to boogie?

Then you’ll love “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” now playing at the Music Hall at Fair Park.

The fab production spotlights one fun disco song after another. Beginning with “It’s Raining Men” sung by three high-strung divas and rolling on with such tunes as “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” “Go West” and “Boogie Wonderland,” this show is a bell-bottomed romp down memory lane, musically speaking. The thin plot focuses on a road trip through the Australian outback, but the story line is just a backdrop for the fun. It’s not Shakespeare because it doesn’t take itself nearly that seriously.

The musical numbers don’t so much steal the show as they are the show. The eye-catching co-stars are the costumes, which won a 2011 Tony Award, and they’re wild, colorful and silly.

Gender-bending performers take the stage, and they proved they could dance, they could sing and when the microphones messed up, they could ad lib a funny line or two. “Priscilla” offers plenty of comedy–some of it fairly raunchy–and the actors drop a few F-bombs so even if it’s a light comedy, it’s really not family fare.

But with “I Will Survive,” “Hot Stuff” and “I Love the Nightlife” mixed with “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and a few other choice hits, the show’s perfect for girls’ night out, disco dancers, platform shoe freaks and afro-loving guys. Be there before this happy Dallas Summer Musical presentation closes May 26, so you can shake your groove thing. Yeah, yeah.

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REVIEW: Musical Treats in Time for Halloween

'The Addams Family' musical haunts the Music Hall at Fair Park in time for Halloween. Photo courtesy Jeremy Daniel.

How many users have made right decision? ? Sixty-three percent, 74%, and 82% of the patients on 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg of our medications, respectively, reported an improvement in their health.

Talk about perfect timing-”The Addams Family” musical makes it to Dallas in time for the holiday–Halloween, of course. That would have to be the high holy days for this show based on the bizarre, twisted family first created by cartoonist Charles Addams in the 1930s.

Yes, the creepy, cartoonish Morticia, Gomez, Uncle Fester, Wenesday and Pugsley have hit the stage at the Music Hall at Fair Park for the north Texas premier of the national tour. The musical comedy with a look on the dark side of life gives those in the mood to celebrate this month of spookiness a festive alternative to haunted houses.

This musical features the Addams Family, once the subject of numerous cartoons and a 1960s TV show, in a bit of a family dilemna. Daughter Wednesday has fallen in love with a boy who is–gasp–rather normal. He’s from middle America, and his mother dares to wear yellow, shocking to the Addams, a family entrenched in black.

The show is clever with its sometimes dark, sometimes PG-rated humor. Cortney Wolfson is adorably kooky as Wednesday with a great voice. Douglas Sills as Gomez, who remains smitten with his shapely wife, and Blake Hammond as the moon-obsessed Uncle Fester are terrific in their roles. The ghostly-spirits of the ensemble are great dancers who add a lot to the show. Sara Gettelfinger’s turn as Morticia is remarkable mostly for her ability to refrain from a wardrobe malfunction in a dress that is cut distractingly, scarily low.

“The Addams Family” opened on Broadway in March of 2010 and closed in December 2011. It was a popular show with audiences, but one without much critical acclaim. No Tony Award for this show, and neither does it boast a real toe-tapping musical number. So it’s fun like candy corn or popcorn balls–nothing too meaty but something that leaves you happy.

Dallas Summer Musicals (www.dallassummermusicals.org) presents this spirited musical through Oct. 21. Bring your fingers to snap along with the overture, and you’ll open the door to more treats that creeps.

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REVIEW: Tommy Tune Taps to a Deserved Ovation

True talent. Tommy Tune has it.

Tap dancing his way through his life story, master entertainer Tommy Tune brings as much charm as his legs are long to the Music Hall at Fair Park. In his recent show, Tommy Tune: Steps in Time, the Texas native put on the kind of show that just made me smile from beginning to end.

Even though he shares the stage with the talented Manhattan Rhythm Kings, the spotlight was shining brightly on the red-shoed Tommy Tune during the entire no-intermission, 90-minute show. In this production presented by the Dallas Summer Musicals (www.dallassummermusicals.org), he starts with a demo of a time step–a basic for any tap dancer–and proceeds to weave together his autobiography through singing and dancing.

A delicious amount of name dropping was thrown in, he recounts his memories of Broadway, movies and even the Music Hall at Fair Park. It was a terrific show, made even more amazing by the fact Tommy Tune is a boyish 72 years old, a fact that just doesn’t compute when you see him in action.

I am often very annoyed at Dallas audiences that give just any old performance a standing ovation. For this show? I was the first one on my feet.

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REVIEW: No Need for a ‘Wicked’ Trip to NYC

Wicked, the Tony Award-winning musical, returns for its third stop at The Music Hall at Fair Park.

Forget the trip to Broadway. The current national tour of “Wicked,” being staged at The Music Hall at Fair Park, is every bit as good as the red-hot musical staged on the Great White Way.

The show, which runs in Dallas through  June 27, saves Broadway fans the time, trouble and expense of a New York trip.  The Dallas Summer Musicals presentation (www.DallasSummerMusicals.org) dazzles with its musical tale of what happened before Dorothy and Toto ever were blown into the Wizard’s turf.

The original show, which opened in 2003, broke Broadway boxoffice records with Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth in the two leading roles. For audiences wanting to hear Stephen Schwartz’s music at its best, this current tour, the third at The Music Hall at Fair Park, will not disappoint. Not only does the orchestra deliver a full sound, the leads are first rate.

As Elphaba, Donna Vivino showcases powerhouse pipes, exploding in her musical moments. Her “Defying Gravity” turn closes out the first act with a wow-factor because of her rock-star qualities. Chandra Lee Schwartz brings both the wide vocal range and terminal cuteness necessary for Glinda the Good.

The sets, the lighting, the costumes combine for a top-rate production. The production is staged at a level unusual for a touring show, from the enormous red-eyed dragon atop the stage to the whimsical green costumes and imaginative lighting design.

The show, which won three Tony Awards and still packs the New York theater after nearly eight years, is strongest in the first act. “Popular,” “The Wizard and I,” “I’m Not That Girl” and, of course, “Defying Gravity” all are power house songs wowing the audience before intermission.

Still the musical’s songs and humorous references to “The Wizard of Oz”  supply enough to make other shows green with envy. Dallas’ current “Wicked”  casts a spell with its wickedly good entertainment.

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REVIEW: You’re a Fool on the Hill If You Don’t Get a Ticket for This Ride


Rain will perform through Sunday in Dallas.

Rain will perform through Sunday in Dallas.

If you close your eyes, you could be transported to another decade. But if you do, you’ll miss a good part of the fun of “Rain–A Tribute to the Beayles,” now on stage at the Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas.

The multi-media journey, presented by Dallas Summer Musicals, begins with news reels of fainting teens and Ed Sullivan and continues tripping right through to the Beatles’ psychedelic hippie days. All the while the audience is treated to a live musical performance transporting the lucky listeners to a time when The Beatles were a huge part of the American experience.

Musicians Steve Landes, Joey Curatolo, Joe Bithorn and Ralph Castelli take on the parts of the Fab Four, delivering such musical landmarks as “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and ”Twist and Shout” in the signature skinny-legged suits and mop tops made famous in the ’60s. Then, with help from back-up musician Mark Lewis, they re-create such chart-toppers as “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in the military-inspired get-ups.

The music’s all Beatles, much to the opening-night crowd’s delight, even if the performers’ faces aren’t quite exact clones. But just squint, and you’ll think you’ve landed in a time machine.

Beatle tunes are crammed into two hours of fun, and aging hippies should be forewarned. Choose your seat carefully; the aging hippies in front of you just might decided to twist, shout or flash a peace sign.

“Rain–A Tribute to the Beatles” continues through Sunday at the Music Hall at Fair Park.

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