Day Five: Broadway League/ATPAM Diversity Initiative

October 20th, 2013

Well, this is it! I finished my last day on the internship and am so grateful for everything I’ve learned. It’s been a busy week, but so worth it.

Thanks to all who helped make this internship possible, especially The Broadway League and ATPAM.

-DSM Erika


Day Four: Broadway League/ATPAM Diversity Initiative

October 19th, 2013

Tonight I worked with the Company Manager, Fred, again. Emily was out of the office, so Fred had double the work load. He’s a great multi-tasker and was able to answer all of my questions while he worked.

The show is leaving Texas tomorrow and heading to Tempe, Arizona. This meant a lot of visits from people wanting to double check on housing, transportation, and other information. I met so many cast and crew members, I can’t remember their names!

He talked me through some of the paper work he was doing and I added a few words to my vocabulary.

It was all routine for Fred, and all new to me.

FUN FACT: This month THE LION KING will reach $1 billion in gross sales. This makes it not only Broadway’s #1 musical now showing; it makes it Broadway’s #1 musical ever!

-DSM Erika


Day Three: Broadway League/ATPAM Diversity Initiative

October 18th, 2013

Another loooong but rewarding day!

It all started with the annual Road Market Forum with The Broadway League. As an intern for the League, I was invited to attend.

It was a day filled with power points and new faces. I learned about geo fencing, the correct way to email advertise, and heard several big ideas brainstormed. Who knows. Maybe one day, I’ll be back at this Forum not as an intern but as an employee and contributor.

After the Forum closed, I rushed back stage to meet with Production Stage Manager, Ken Davis, and his crew. I shadowed them backstage as they performed their cues for moving set pieces, overseeing quick changes, and all other technical sides to the show. There is always something going on backstage and it takes a lot of stage hands and dressers to make sure that the show runs smoothly. You definitely need to be quick on your toes as a stage hand and always alert or you might get run over by Pride Rock.

FUN FACT: THE LION KING always has six South Africans cast in the show. This ensures that the dialect used by the character Rafiki as well as several musical numbers are authentic.

-DSM Erika


Day Two: Broadway League/ATPAM Diversity Initiative

October 18th, 2013

This was a day FULL of interviews. I shadowed Gregory Hanoian who is the publicist for this tour of Disney’s THE LION KING. He had flown out a TV personality to shoot some material for THE LION KING’S upcoming shows in Arizona.

With my background in Communications, the job of a publicist is very appealing to me. I love well planned schedules that are full of excitement, and that describes how the day went…full and exciting. Gregory said that with a show as diverse as THE LION KING there were a number of interviews he could have set up. There are so many angles to this show, that even when it returns to a city (like Dallas) for the second or third time it can still create a buzz.

Thanks to Destry Jetton of Channel 12 News in Arizona for letting me watch all of her interviews take place.

FUN FACT: Nia Holloway, who plays Nala, is only 18! As a senior in high school, Nia travels with a private tutor so she can complete her studies.

-DSM Erika


Day One: Broadway League/ATPAM Diversity Initiative

October 16th, 2013

Yesterday I had my first day on the “job” while shadowing the company manager and assistant manager of Disney’s THE LION KING. Fred Hemminger, the company manager of the show, said his job is very similar to HR. He takes care of things outside the performances including, housing for cast and crew, flight plans, payroll, and worker’s compensation. He also reports ticket sales to New York, and works with venues on contract agreements. Basically, it’s a lot of paper work to juggle while traveling across the country.

Watch the video to learn about why Fred decided to become a company manager.

FUN FACT: One of the terms of agreement when contracting a venue is that THE LION KING must have access to three on-site washer and dryers. All of them are used daily!

-DSM Erika


Broadway League/ATPAM Diversity Initiative

October 16th, 2013

-DSM Erika


Dallas Loves THE LION KING!

October 11th, 2013

Well, it’s not shocking, but Dallas is in love with Disney’s THE LION KING! Be it nostalgia, the costumes, or even the Hamlet-like story, THE LION KING has proven to be a hit in what ever city they visit! And I’ll be honest, I’m right there with all of you – I love this show. Plain and simple.

I wanted to share with you a few of the reviews we’ve received from DFW locals, an interview between an adorable puppet, Bleeckie Streetie, and the 4 young kids in the cast and our Red Carpet Interviews video from Opening Night, 10/4! Check out the links/video below. I’ll be adding more as they come in, so check back for updates!

REVIEWS

Click here for the review by Lawson Taitte with The Dallas Morning News.

Click here for the review by John Garcia with The Column Online.

Click here for the review by Lindsey Wilson with D Magazine.

INTERVIEWS

Bleeckie Streetie interviews the 2 Young Simbas and the 2 Young Nalas

Fun with Fiona – Special Feature on Fox 4 News

Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Colleen Coyle looks behind the scenes at ‘The Lion King’

Click here to see the video.

Teresa Frosini with CBS 11 features The Lion King

Click here to see the video.

RED CARPET INTERVIEW

I hope you have a great weekend!

-DSM Amanda


Behind the Scenes at THE LION KING!

October 5th, 2013

LionKing_Blog

THE LION KING was one of my first real musical theater experiences. I think that this show connects to everyone on a very personal level, and it’s one that you will never forget. From the costumes to the set pieces to the music, this show is truly and unforgettable and breathtaking experience. Because of the meaning this show has to me and the memory I hold from seeing it for the first time, you can imagine that I was thrilled to be able to go backstage and learn more about some behind the scenes info!

Last week, I had the opportunity to chat with Billy Kimbley, the Head Carpenter for THE LION KING North American tour, and he gave me an inside look into the props, puppets, and costumes for the show. I can’t wait for you to read below what he shared with me!

First off, for this show to travel, it takes 18 trailers, all 53’ long! The show has 2 different sets in rotation, so they are able to load-in the show several days in advance. Because THE LION KING has been to Dallas before, the previous modifications to our theater did not have to be redone. Take a look when you come see the show – there are stairs over the orchestra pit and leading up to the stage. This is not normally there for any other show.

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Also, previously, they built 2 balconies, 1 on each side of the audience, but due to some slight modifications, they will not be used for this run of the show. Mr. Kimbley explained that they have to make certain modifications to theaters (“remodeling a theater near you!”) all over the country to enable our audiences to have the same theatrical experience no matter where they are in the world. His words were “you’re part of an event” when you see this show, and they want to keep you as involved as possible.

When I walked into the theater, laid out on the first 10 rows were several different puppets and costume pieces from the show. I got to see the wildebeest heads, the Grassland Headdresses, the giraffe heads (18 feet tall and 10 pounds heavy!), and the bird pole puppets.

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I got to pick up the wildebeest heads, which are only 1 1/2 pounds (though they look much heavier), and I learned that while the grassland headdresses stay the same on top, there are custom headpieces that attach to the main headdress and are customized per person in the cast. There are over 85 puppets in the show representing 32 different species. Each actor in the show has to go through extensive training to use these puppets, and 3 talented puppeteers travel with the show to maintain and continue training the actors with these detailed and intricate puppets.

After our quick chat about the show, a group of us got to walk up the stairs and stand on the magnificently detailed custom stage to see the biggest and most essential set piece in the show, Pride Rock.

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This monstrous set piece is mechanically operated (from mechanical operators who sit 35 feet up in the wings!) and can move and turn in several different directions on the stage. This set piece is also collapsible within itself, so even though it looks very tall and lengthy, it is only 8 feet long when it collapses (a lot like bleachers). He even joked about how “she has a special parking pass for the Fair”! Haha! (An even more random and super behind the scenes fact, THE LION KING set pieces are female, or referred to as “shes”.)

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The musical theatre nerd in me was very giddy and ecstatic to be able to stand on the iconic stage and see the set and costumes up close and personally. Needless to say, my job certainly does come with its perks, but I couldn’t have this experience and not share it with you, the DSM fans! I do hope this post helps give you a more behind the scenes look and helps enhance your experience if you’re coming to see the show.

The 70+ person crew has worked incredibly hard to get this show up and running as if it has been here for years. The show officially opened yesterday, with previews on Wednesday and Thursday, and the cast has gotten wonderful reviews! I’m thrilled that this show has returned to Dallas and hope you are able to see it while it’s here through October 20th!

Have a great and safe Saturday!

-DSM Amanda


THE LION KING Opens in Dallas TONIGHT!

October 4th, 2013

LionKing_Blog

DISNEY’S THE LION KING OPENS TONIGHT
AT THE MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK IN DALLAS

Dallas, TX  October 4, 2013The Dallas return of Disney’s THE LION KING opens tonight, Friday, October 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Music Hall at Fair Park for a limited engagement of three weeks, through October 20.  In Dallas, THE LION KING plays Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 1:30 p.m.  There will be a 1:30 p.m. matinee performance on Friday, October 18.  The award-winning musical returns to Dallas following a six-week sold-out premiere engagement in 2002 and a successful five-week engagement in 2007 at the Music Hall.

“While sales have exceeded our expectations, tickets can still be purchased and patrons are encouraged to contact Dallas Summer Musicals to inquire about the best availability,” said Michael A. Jenkins, President and Managing Director of Dallas Summer Musicals.

Tickets to THE LION KING are available at the DSM Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, #5642 Preston Royal Shopping Center, and all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, or via the Internet at www.ticketmaster.com.  Premium Ticket Packages, which include prime seat locations, a commemorative souvenir program and an exclusive merchandise item, are also available.

THE LION KING began as a 1994 animated feature-length film developed and produced by the Walt Disney Company.  The story, a coming of age parable set among animals indigenous to its setting, the African savanna, tells the tale of Simba, the lion cub who rises to be the King of the jungle.

The production features Patrick R. Brown as “Scar”, L. Steven Taylor as “Mufasa”, Brown Lindiwe Mkhize as “Rafiki”, Andrew Gorell as “Zazu”, Ben Lipitz as “Pumbaa”, Nick Cordileone as “Timon”, Dashaun Young as “Simba”, Nia Holloway as “Nala”, Keith Bennett as “Banzai”, Rashada Dawan as “Shenzi” and Robbie Swift as “Ed.”

The role of “Young Simba” is alternated between Jordan Hall and Nathaniel McIntyre and the role of “Young Nala” is alternated between Nya Carter and Zyasia Page.

The North American touring productions of THE LION KING have been seen by more than 15 million theatergoers and grossed over $1 billion to date.  Having already played more than 70 cities across North America, THE LION KING now proudly makes its Dallas return at the Music Hall at Fair Park.  The current schedule is listed below.

ABOUT THE LION KING

In its 16th year, THE LION KING remains ascendant; it is the highest-grossing Broadway show in New York history and one of the most popular stage musicals in the world.  Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 21 global productions have been seen by more than 70 million people and, cumulatively, run a staggering 104 years.  Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING is only the second show in history to generate five productions worldwide running 10 or more years.  Translated into eight different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway and on tour across North America, in Tokyo and on tour in Japan, in London’s West End and on tour throughout the UK, and in Hamburg, Madrid and Sao Paolo.  To date, THE LION KING has played 98 cities in 17 countries on every continent except Antarctica.

Among the most successful titles in entertainment history, with a cumulative gross in excess of $5 billion, the stage production of THE LION KING has already earned more than the biggest hit films in movie history: more than the Lord of the Rings trilogy combined, more than the six Star Wars films combined, and more than Avatar and Titanic, the two highest-grossing films in movie history, combined.

The award-winning musical will celebrate a new milestone in December 2013 when it returns to Australia, making it the tenth concurrent worldwide production of THE LION KING, the highest number of productions running at any one time in the show’s history.

THE LION KING won six 1998 Tony® Awards:  Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical.  THE LION KING has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.

The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success.  The first woman to win a Tony® Award for Direction of a Musical, Taymor has in recent years supervised new productions of the show in Las Vegas, Madrid and the UK tour and just completed casting the Brazilian production in Sao Paolo.

The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s music from The Lion King animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from “Rhythm of the Pride Lands,” an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer.  The resulting sound of THE LION KING is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award®-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” to the haunting ballad “Shadowland.”

The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed The Lion King animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay.  Other members of the creative team include:  Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor) and Doc Zorthian (production supervisor). Anne Quart serves as associate producer.

For more information worldwide, visit LionKing.com.

The Dallas engagement of Disney’s THE LION KING is presented by arrangement with Dallas Summer Musicals as a subscription offering of the DSM 2013 series, and is the State Fair of Texas musical for 2013.

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR SCHEDULE THROUGH AUGUST 2014:

Dallas – Music Hall at Fair Park

October 2 – 20, 2013

Tempe – ASU Gammage Auditorium

October 22 – November 17, 2013

Los Angeles – Pantages Theatre

November 20, 2013 – January 12, 2014

Honolulu – Blaisdell Concert Hall

January 14 – March 9, 2014

Seattle – Paramount Theatre

March 11 – April 6, 2014

Atlanta – The Fox Theatre

April 10 – 27, 2014

Toronto – Princess of Wales Theatre

April 30 – June 15, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Kennedy Center Opera House

June 17 – August 17, 2014

# # #

Local Press Representative:  Jo Ann Holt, 469-353-7371 or joannholt@gmail.com


DSM Events This Weekend!

October 3rd, 2013

DSM will be all around Dallas this weekend at a few events! Check it out below! (And be sure to stop and say hi to us!)

DallasComicCon

DSM at Dallas Comic Con
Irving Convention Center
Friday, October 4 – 2pm-8pm
Saturday, October 5 – 11am-7pm
Sunday, October 6 – 11am-5pm

Stop by our table at Comic Con to get an exclusive discount on your tickets to THE LORD OF THE RINGS IN CONCERT with The Dallas POPS!

For more information about this event, click here.

____________________________________________

FallForTheArts
For more information about this event, click here.

______________________________________________

KidsClub_Enote

We hope to see you this weekend!


The Lion King Returns to Dallas October 2-20!

August 22nd, 2013

LionKing_BlogCasting Announced for
Disney’s THE LION KING
Broadway’s Award-Winning Best Musical

Dallas’ Limited Return Engagement Plays
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2 To SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2013
at THE MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK

(Dallas, TX)—Casting has been announced for the Dallas engagement of Disney’s THE LION KING.  Dallas’ most eagerly awaited stage production ever will leap onto the Music Hall at Fair Park stage from Wednesday, October 2 to Sunday, October 20.  The press opening night is Friday, October 4 at 7:30 p.m.  The show’s previous two engagement in 2002 and 2007 played sold-out runs at the Music Hall.

The production features Patrick R. Brown as “Scar”, L. Steven Taylor as “Mufasa”, Tshidi Manye as “Rafiki”, Andrew Gorell as “Zazu”, Ben Lipitz as “Pumbaa”, Nick Cordileone as “Timon”, Jelani Remy as “Simba”, Nia Holloway as “Nala”, Keith Bennett as “Banzai”, Rashada Dawan as “Shenzi” and Robbie Swift as “Ed.”

The role of “Young Simba” is alternated between Jordan Hall and Nathaniel McIntyre and the role of “Young Nala” is alternated between Nya Carter and Zyasia Page.

In Dallas, THE LION KING will play Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and weekend and select Thursday matinees at 1:30 p.m.  Premium Ticket Packages, which include prime seat locations, a commemorative souvenir program and an exclusive merchandise item, are also available. Tickets are available at the DSM Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, #5642 Preston Royal Shopping Center, and all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, or via the Internet at www.ticketmaster.com.  Orders for groups of fifteen (15) or more may be placed by calling 214-426-GROUP (4768).

The North American touring productions of THE LION KING have been seen by more than 15 million theatergoers and grossed over $1 billion to date.  Having already played more than 70 cities across North America, THE LION KING now proudly makes its Dallas and North Texas return at the Music Hall at Fair Park.  The current schedule is listed below.

Wednesday, October 2, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 3, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Friday, October 4, 7:30 p.m. Press Opening

Saturday, October 5, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 6, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Monday, October 7, Dark

Tuesday, October 8, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 9, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 10, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, October 11, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 12, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 13, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Monday, October 14, Dark

Tuesday, October 15, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 16, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 17, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, October 18, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 19, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 20, 1:30 p.m. last performance

 

ABOUT THE LION KING

In its 16th year, THE LION KING remains ascendant; it is the highest-grossing show in New York history and one of the most popular stage musicals in the world.  Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 21 global productions have been seen by more than 70 million people and, cumulatively, run a staggering 104 years.  Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING is only the second show in history to generate five productions worldwide running 10 or more years.  Translated into eight different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway and on tour across North America, in Tokyo and on tour in Japan, in London’s West End and on tour throughout the UK, and in Hamburg, Madrid and Sao Paolo.  To date, THE LION KING has played 98 cities in 17 countries on every continent except Antarctica.

Among the most successful titles in entertainment history, with a cumulative gross in excess of $5 billion, the stage production of THE LION KING has already earned more than the biggest hit films in movie history: more than the Lord of the Rings trilogy combined, more than the six Star Wars films combined, and more than Avatar and Titanic, the two highest-grossing films in movie history, combined.

The award-winning musical will celebrate a new milestone in December 2013 when it returns to Australia, making it the tenth concurrent worldwide production of THE LION KING, the highest number of productions running at any one time in the show’s history.

THE LION KING won six 1998 Tony® Awards:  Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical.  THE LION KING has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.

The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success.  The first woman to win a Tony® Award for Direction of a Musical, Taymor has in recent years supervised new productions of the show in Las Vegas, Madrid and the UK tour and just completed casting the Brazilian production in Sao Paolo.

The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s music from The Lion King animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from “Rhythm of the Pride Lands,” an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer.  The resulting sound of THE LION KING is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award®-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” to the haunting ballad “Shadowland.”

The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed The Lion King animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay.  Other members of the creative team include:  Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor) and Doc Zorthian (production supervisor). Anne Quart serves as associate producer.

For more information worldwide, visit LionKing.com.

The Dallas engagement of Disney’s THE LION KING is presented by arrangement with Dallas Summer Musicals,and is a subscription offering of the DSM 2013 season.

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR SCHEDULE THROUGH AUGUST 2014:

Charlotte – Belk Theater

August 6 – September 1, 2013

Pittsburgh – Benedum Center

September 3 – 29, 2013

Dallas – Music Hall at Fair Park

October 2 – 20, 2013

Tempe – ASU Gammage Auditorium

October 22 – November 17, 2013

Los Angeles – Pantages Theatre

November 20, 2013 – January 12, 2014

Honolulu – Blaisdell Concert Hall

January 14 – March 9, 2014

Seattle – Paramount Theatre

March 11 – April 6, 2014

Atlanta – The Fox Theatre

April 10 – 27, 2014

Toronto – Princess of Wales Theatre

April 30 – June 15, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Kennedy Center Opera House

June 17 – August 17, 2014

# # #

Local Press Representative:
Jo Ann Holt, 
joannholt@gmail.com or 469-363-7371

 


Dallas Loves Flashdance!

July 4th, 2013

Hey DSM and FLASHDANCE fans!

Dallas is showing the love for FLASHDANCE! Check out all of these great interviews, reviews, and videos below! More to come, so check back soon!

VIDEOS/INTERVIEWS/PHOTOS

Ron chats with the stars of Flashdance: Click here for the video.

Teresa Frosini from CBS 11 stopped by the Music Hall! Click here for the video.

Colleen Coyle goes all out for Flashdance: Click here for the preview photos. Video coming soon!

DeQuina, Kelly, and Haley from the Flashdance cast cat with D The Broadcast: Click here for the video.

Fox 4 Performance: Click here for the video.

REVIEWS

The Flash List: Click here for review.

John Garcia’s The Column: Click here for review.

EDGEDallas: Click here for review.

Oh So Cynthia: Click here for review.

TheaterJones: Click here for review.

The Dallas Morning News: Click here for review.

The Herald Democrat: Click here for review.

White Rock Weekly: Click here for review.

More interviews and videos to come!

Saw something that we didn’t mention? Let us know!

Hope you can make it to see FLASHDANCE – now on stage through Sunday evening!

-DSM Amanda


Flashdance US National Tour comes to Dallas!

June 18th, 2013

Flashdance_300x250US National Tour Makes its North Texas premiere presented by
DALLAS SUMMER MUSICALS
at MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK JUNE 25-JULY 7

FLASHDANCE – THE MUSICAL, the stage adaptation of the 1983 hit film that defined a generation, will be presented by Dallas Summer Musicals June 25-July 7 at the Music Hall at Fair Park.  Tickets, priced from $15-$85, are on sale now at The Box Office, 5959 Preston Royal Shopping Center, online at www.ticketmaster.com, and at all Ticketmaster locations. For groups of 10 or more, call 214-426-GROUP (4768).

With electrifying dance at its core, FLASHDANCE-THE MUSICAL tells the inspiring and unforgettable story of Alex Owens, a Pittsburgh steel mill welder by day and a bar dancer by night with dreams of one day becoming a professional performer. When romance with her steel mill boss threatens to complicate her ambitions, Alex learns the meaning of love and its power to fuel the pursuit of her dream.

Joining Jillian Mueller as Alex and Matthew Hydzik as Nick are Katie Webber as Tess, Kelly Felthous as Gloria, DeQuina Moore as Kiki, Jo Ann Cunningham as Hannah, David R. Gordon as Jimmy, Matthew Henerson as Harry and Christian Whelan in the role of C.C.

Also joining the company are Claire Camp, Derek Carley, Ryan Carlson, Natalie Caruncho, Lynorris Evans, Thursday Farrar, Haley Hannah, Charlene Hoffman, Holly Laurent, Jakob Karr, Dan Kohler, Nick McGough, Ariela Morgenstern, Shane Ohmer, Rebecca Riker, Andrea Spiridonakos, and Lawrence Street.

Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, the original Paramount Pictures film was a worldwide smash hit that became a pop culture phenomenon, grossing over $150 million and featuring a Grammy Award-winning soundtrack. FLASHDANCE – THE MUSICAL features a score including the hit songs from the movie, all of which became Top Ten hits on the radio around the world  including the Academy Award-winning title song “Flashdance – What a Feeling,” “Maniac,” “Gloria,” “Manhunt,” “I Love Rock & Roll.” In addition to these hits, 16 brand new songs have been written for the stage with music by Robbie Roth and lyrics by Robert Cary and Robbie Roth.

Directed and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Addams Family), FLASHDANCE features a book by Robert Cary and Tom Hedley (co-writer of the original screenplay with Joe Eszterhas),

In addition to the US touring company, a second company will be assembled for the creatively reworked production of FLASHDANCE on Broadway for an open-ended engagement.

Creative Bios:

TOM HEDLEY (Book, original screenplay for the Flashdance movie). As editor-in-chief of Toronto Life, Tom Hedley turned it into the “magazine of the year” and published, among others, Margaret Atwood,Leonard Cohen, Robertson Davies and won national magazine award for fiction by Alice Munro. He was the youngest ever editor of Esquire Magazine during the magazine’s golden age, working for thelegendary Harold Hayes in New York. During his four-year tenure, he worked with important writersand artists of the time including Tom Wolfe, Michael Herr, Diane Arbus, Jean Genet, William Burroughs, Gay Talese and Robert Coover. He produced a number of celebrated cover-sections including: “The Decline and Fall of the American Avant Garde” in which he commissioned a play by Sam Shepard that was eventually performed at Lincoln Center, Claes Oldenburg’s last happening and a photographic essay on The New Theater by Andy Warhol. He commissioned and published essays by Fedrico Fellini, Francois Truffaut, Michelangelo Antonioni among others, and asked the great directors to direct their own self-portraits. He produced and directed four documentaries for the CBC’s flagship current affairs program and wrote a number of produced screenplays including, among others: Circle of Two, directed by Jules Dassin, starring Richard Burton and Tatum O’Neil, Mr. Patman, starring Kate Nelligan and James Colburn, Double Negative, starring Michael Sarrazin, Tony Perkins and John Candy, Fighting Back, starring Patti Lupone and Tom Skerrit and Flashdance, an international hit which won an Academy Award for best-song and has since become a film classic. He has written screenplays for Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, David Geffen, Jean-Paul Goude, Sean Penn, among others. In 2001 he completed a three-year period in London as an editor and publisher of Duckworth, the venerable publishers of Virginia Woolfe and D.H. Lawrence. His titles were generally well received and garnered both awards and books-of-the-year status in leading British journals and newspapers. He also created a new imprint called Duck Editions. Tom Hedley received the Humanitas Prize 2002 award as executive producer of the movie Iris, directed by Richard Eyre, starring Judi Dench, Jim Broadbent and Kate Winslet. The film won any number of international awards, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award. He is currently President of The Hedley Media Group LLC in New York City. He will both write and direct The Last Laugh, an independent film centered around the 1980’s comedy scene in Los Angeles.

ROBERT CARY (Book and Lyrics) is the director of the feature films Ira and Abby, Save Me, and Anything But Love. Ira and Abby received the Audience Favorite award following its premiere at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival and was released by Magnolia Pictures in 2007; Save Me, which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and was released in the US 2008. Robert is also the director and co-writer of Anything But Love, starring Andrew McCarthy, Isabel Rose and Eartha Kitt, released by Samuel Goldwyn in 2003. Anything But Love appeared in over a dozen film festivals internationally, and received numerous audience and jury awards. In addition to his film work, Robert is co-book writer with ZZ Top of the musical Sharp Dressed Man, directed by Andy Fickman and the lyricist and co-librettist of Palm Beach, produced in 2005 by the La Jolla Playhouse and directed by Des McAnuff, and he is also the co-author and lyricist of musical adaptations of The Thomas Crown Affair and Heartbreakers, both commissioned by MGM On Stage.

ROBBIE ROTH (Music and Lyrics). Robbie Roth’s music has been heard on stage, screen, and radio all around the world. His songs have graced the Billboard charts in America, and appeared on record alongside Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, and many others. His work has been featured on “Good Morning America,” NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” and in a number of films and documentaries. Robbie is most often hired to write and produce for established and upcoming recording artists. In the theatre world, Robbie has been hired as composer on a number of new musicals, and has written and produced records for Tony Award® nominee, Gavin Creel.

SERGIO TRUJILLO (Director and Choreographer) Broadway: Choreographed the 2010 Tony Award® winning Best Musical Memphis (OCC Award, Astaire and Drama Desk Award Nominations); 2006 Tony® and Olivier Award winning Best Musical Jersey Boys (Olivier, Drama Desk, Dora, OCC Award nominations.); The Addams Family; 2010 Pulitzer Prize winning Next to Normal; All Shook Up, Guys and Dolls (Astaire Award nomination) and Leap of Faith. Off Broadway: Saved (Playwrights Horizon, Lucille Lortel Nomination); The Capeman, Romeo & Juliet (Public); A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Kismet (Encores!); Salome (NYC Opera). Regional: The Wiz, Zhivago (La Jolla); Mambo Kings; The Marriage of Figaro (L.A. Opera); Chita and All That Jazz. International: Disney’s Tarzan (World Theatre Award Nomination); West Side Story, The Sound of Music (Stratford); Peggy Sue Got Married (West End); Kiss Me, Kate (Japan). TV: Judging and choreographing on “So You Think You Can Dance: Canada” (CTV), “Broadway: The American Musical” (PBS), “The 14th American Comedy Awards” (ABC), “Triple Sensation” (CBC). Ovation Award for Empire: A New American Musical and four Dora Award nominations in Canada. Upcoming: Director/Choreographer: Havana; First National Tours: Memphis, Next to Normal and The Addams Family.

JILLIAN MUELLER (Alex Owens). What a dream come true this is! Last seen in the first national tours of Memphis and American Idiot. Broadway: Bye Bye Birdie, two holiday seasons of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. TV: “A Gifted Man” (CBS). Much gratitude to Sergio, Kaitlin and the whole Flashdance team for trusting and believing in me! Love to Erin and everyone at CESD, Liz and Aimee for being the best. And of course my wonderful, supportive parents and brother. Twitter: @ jillimueller

MATTHEW HYDZIK (Nick Hurley), a Pittsburgh native, Matthew feels that it’s perfectly fitting to launch Flashdance’s US tour amongst friends and famly in the hometown that he loves dearly. Matthew was last seen on Broadway starring as Tony in the revival of West Side Story, as well as Kenickie in Grease. Off-Bway: John in Tomorrow Morning. National tours of Rent, Fame and Grease. Go Steelers!

KELLY FELTHOUS (Gloria). National Tours/Off-Broadway: Grease (Marty), Seussical (Mayzie), Max and Ruby (Ruby), The Sound of Music. New York/Regional: Legally Blonde (Elle), Bring It On (Eva), A Chorus Line (Val), Boeing Boeing (Gloria). Singing in the Rain (Kathy), Jane Eyre (American Premiere), Gypsy (June), Urinetown (Little Sally), West Side Story (Anybodys), Dames at Sea (Ruby). International: Fame (Serena), Trip of Love (Caroline). NYU/CAP21. Thanks to Mom, Charns, Henderson Hogan and the entire Flashdance family!

DEQUINA MOORE (Kiki) Broadway: Legally Blonde (Pilar), Little Shop of Horrors (Chiffon), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Ens., u/s Sylvia), Happy Days (Joyce/Lola), Hair (Actor’s Fund Concert). Film: Joyful Noise (Devonne), Madea’s Big Happy Family (Singer), Ghost Town (Chontelle), Rachel Getting Married (Rachel’s stylist), Camp (D.Q.). TV: Law & Order: SVU (Sapphire), Racing For Time (Tonya), Third Watch (Tania Monroe: recurring), All Falls Down (Nycole). B.F.A. NYU/CAP21. Thanks be to God! Love to Mom, Dad, Eron, family/friends, KMG/BridgeDaGap, Sarah Ministries & my Flashdance fam!

KATIE WEBBER (Tess) Katie is absolutely grateful to be performing in Flashdance! Broadway: Rock of Ages, Catch Me If You Can, Memphis, and Wicked. Other favorites: Jerry Mitchell’s “Peepshow,” NBC’s “Smash,” and The Onion News Network (K’Ronikka). This summer Katie can be seen as Britney/Charlotte in Kristen Wiig’s “Girl Most Likely,” July 19th 2013. Thanks to Sergio, The Mine, and my glorious Family! Special thanks to my dance teacher, Elaine McCarthy!

JO ANN CUNNINGHAM (Hannah). Broadway: The King and I, Anna Karenina. Off-Broadway: The Show Goes On, Night Seasons, Ladies of the Corridor, Edward the King, Swan Song. Tours: Into the Woods, Meet Me in St. Louis, Carousel, A Little Night Music. Regional: Full Gallop, The Dining Room, Follies, Chemin De Fer, Hello Dolly, Kismet, How the Other Half Loves and lots more.

DAVID GORDON (Jimmy), is beyond excited to be a part of his 1st National Tour and the 1st touring company of this iconic show! Favorite roles include: Roger (Int’l Tour of Grease), Abraham (Altar Boyz), and Bobby Strong (Urinetown). Special thanks to The Roster, Sergio and the entire creative team, Tara Rubin and this awesome cast! This one’s for my support team Ali, Momma, my bog ol’ family and friends. We did it!! www.DavidRossGordon.com

MATTHEW HENERSON (Harry). Theatre: Ahmanson, Romeo and Juliet; ACT, Indian Ink; La Jolla Playhouse, Good Person of Szechwan; Marin Shakespeare, King Lear (Fool), Northern Stage, Guys and Dolls (Nathan Detroit), San Diego Repertory, Romance, Brooklyn Boy; South Coast Repertory, Hamlet; Utah Shakespeare, Fiddler on the Roof (Teyve); Film/Television: Hung, Bernie Mac Show, Christmas Carol, Mars Needs Moms.

CHRISTIAN WHELAN (C.C.). Broadway Tours: Mamma Mia! (Sam), Little House on the Prairie (Brewster), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Lawrence), Aida (Zoser), Ragtime (Conklin), Camelot (Arthur). Off-B’way/Regional: Ministry of Progress (Poole), Portofino [Cast CD], Little Mermaid (Triton), 110 in the Shade (Starbuck). TV/Film: General Hospital, Guiding Light, All My Children, Dellaventura, Skindeep, Outlaws, Angel Town, Tomcats, Celebrity.”www.christianwheelan.com  

CLAIRE CAMP (Ensemble, Chorus Understudy, Ballerina). Gradauted May 2011 with a BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase. Credits include: CATS (Cassandra). Gateway Playhouse; Victoria Secret Fashion Show 2012 (Dancer); Broadway Workshop Super Fly (Ensemble). Claire is thrilled to have the opportunity to be on tour with Flashdance, and  would like to thank her loved ones and educations for her successes.

DEREK CARLY (Swing, u/s Nick, u/s Jimmy, u/s C.C., u/s Joe, u/s Andy), is so happy to be a part of this production! Regional credits include Titanic (Charles Clarke) at the MUNY and Gay Bride of Frankenstein (Thad) at Seacoast Rep. Proud graduate of the University of Michigan’s Musical Theatre Program; Go Blue! Huge thanks to everyone at Harden-Curtis and Tara Rubin Casting. For Jenna.

RYAN CARLSON (Ensemble) Douglas Anderson School of The Arts, Rasta Thomas’s “Bad Boys of Dance”, Lightwire Theatre, Americas Got Talent, Jacobs pillow, BET’s “Best Dance Crew.

NATALIE CARUNCHO (Swing, u/s Alex, Kiki, Louise, Miss Wilde, Ballet Dancer), is so excited to be joining the company of Flashdance!  Favorite credits include: 1st National Tour In the Heights (Ensemble, u/s Nina, Vanessa, Carla), A Chorus Line (Diana),  Romeo and Juliet (Juliet), The Bluest Water (Young Lizzy).

LYNORRIS EVANS (Ensemble; u/s Joe; u/s Andy). A graduate of Fordham University, he was last seen on the 1st National Tour of Memphis, the Musical. Other credits include Leap of Faith on Broadway, Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis, Santa Fe Opera and BalletMet.

THURSDAY FARRAR (Louise; u/s Hannah). Broadway: Aida, Parade, Once Upon a Mattress. Off-B’way: The Man Who Came to Dinner, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Golden Boy. Nat’l tours: Les Miserable (Fantine), Carousel. Regional: First Wives Club (Old Globe), Merrily We Roll Along (Kennedy Center), Harmony (LaJolla). TV: “Ugly Betty,” “30Rock.” Film: “Brother,” “Only Time Will Tell.” Recordings: “You Oughta Be On Broadway.

HALEY HANNAH (Ensemble; u/s Alex; u/s Tess; u/s Gloria) is thrilled to join the National Tour of Flashdance! Broadway: Bring It On The Musical. Tours: Bring It On The Musical. Regional: Cutman – A Boxing Musical (Goodspeed). TV: “Good Morning America” (Back up singer for Demi Lovato, Jonas Brothers), “American Comedy Awards” (Comedy Central). BFA: University of Michigan. Much love to Mom, Dad, and friends.

CHARLENE HOFFMAN (Ensemble; u/s Ballet Dancer) has performed in numerous stage shows including the 50th Anniversary International Tour of West Side Story (Marguerita). Along with appearances on “Glee” (Cheerio), she has recently shared the stage with Kanye West, Chris Brown and P!nk. When she isn’t cutting a rug you can find this self-proclaimed tomboy cheering on her favorite NFL teams or cruising in her 1970 Ford Mustang.

JAKOB KARR (Ensemble). “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 6 Runner Up. Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis at the Aria in Las Vegas. Rasta Thomas’ Rock the Ballet in Australia, Germany, France, Spain, India, Russia, Portugal, Monaco and Japan. Education: The Ailey School at Fordham University. Love to my family.

DAN KOHLER (Andy; u/s Nick; u/s Harry; u/s Jimmy). Theatre: Blue Man Group (New York, Berlin, Las Vegas), Godspell (Jesus), Legally Blonde (Emmett), Les Enfants de Paris (Claude Frollo). Television: Law and Order: SVU” (S12E05). Chef/Host of RenegadeKitchen.com, online cooking show. Follow along! @RenegadeKitchen. Thanks to Poppy for teaching me to sing on the staircase.

HOLLY LAURENT (Swing, u/s Alex, u/s Gloria) is beyond excited to jump back into the 80’s again! National tours include Rock of Ages (1st Nat’l starring Constantine Maroulis), The Wedding Singer (1st Nat’l) and Hairspray. Love and gratitude to my amazing and supportive family and friends, Michael Rodriguez, Tara Rubin Casting, the creative team and cast! For JPN.

NICK MCGOUGH (Swing). Credits: Off-B’way – Silence! (Dream Hannibal). Tours – Movin’ Out (Eddie, u/s James), CATS (Tumblebrutus, Misto). Regional – Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – Encores! (Ensemble), Tarzan (Aerialist), HMS Pinafore (D/C, Swing), Crazy For You (Wyatt), Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Ensemble). Thanks to friends, family and Grandma and Grandpa for everything!

ARIELA MORGENSTERN (Miss Wilde; u/s Hannah; u/s Louise). Off-Broadway credits: Adding Machine, The Threepenny Opera, I Married Wyatt Earp. Regional highlights include The Light In the Piazza (Arena Stage & Theatreworks), The King & I (Theater of the Stars), Man of La Mancha (Flat Rock Playhouse), and the title role in Carmen (SF Lyric Opera). Ariela is also a member of Studio 42, a company dedicated to “unproducible” NY theatre. Much love to her new husband! www.arielamorgenstern.com

SHANE OHMER (Ballet Dancer; Ensemble). Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Shane has performed as the Lead in Rasta Thomas’ Rock the Ballet for two years around the world, Les Grand Ballet Canadiens, River North Chicago Dance Company, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and has been a guest artist/teacher for companies around the world. Thrilled to be part of Flashdance. Special thanks to my family! @ ShaneOhmer

REBECCA RIKER (Ensemble; u/s Alex; u/s Tess; u/s Kiki; u/s Miss Wilde), is stoked to be a part of Flashdance! Tours: The Addams Family (u/s Morticia), A Chorus Line (Cassie & Diana), The Wedding Singer (u/s Linda). New York: The Sphinx Winx, The Tenth Floor & Autumn Moon. Thanks to The Mine, Dennis and NCT. Love to friends, family & troops overseas. I heart Duce.

ANDREA SPIRIDONAKOS (Ballet Dancer, Firebird). So excited to be a part of Flashdance! Native of Winsted, CT. Trained at the School of American Ballet full-scholarship & Nutmeg Conservatory. Danced as a soloist with the Miami City Ballet & Morphoses/The Wheeldon Co. Thanks to Sergio, everyone at Tara Rubin, DDO, and my amazing family. www.itsandrea.com

LAWRENCE E. STREET (Joe; u/s Harry; u/s C.C.). Broadway: Urinetown (Billy Boy Bill). Off-Broadway: Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe (Cleante); Urinetown (Billy Boy Bill). Actor’s Fund of America: Chess in Concert (Ensemble). Carnegie Hall, NYC: South Pacific in Concert (Starring Reba McEntire) also filmed for PBS Great Performances. Member of Actor’s Equity Association. Special thanks to Avalon Artists and Tara Rubin.

For more information, please visit www.flashdancethemusical.com Or Follow us at: http://facebook.com/FlashdanceMusical or  Instagram User: flashdancemusical

Dallas Summer Musicals continues with State Fair of Texas musical, Disney presents THE LION KING, October 2-20,  Experience the phenomenon of Disney’s  THE LION KING, Broadway’s Landmark Musical.  Marvel at the breathtaking spectacle of animals brought to life by award-winning director Julie Taymor, whose visual images for this show you’ll remember forever. Thrill to the pulsating rhythms of the African Pridelands and an unforgettable score, including Elton John and Tim Rice’s Oscar-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and “Circle of Life.”

DSM will continue its 73-year tradition of setting the standard in musical theatre entertainment as their 2014 season begins in December, 2013, with Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS at the Music Hall.

Season sponsors and partners for Dallas Summer Musicals are The Dallas Morning News,  WFAA TV Channel 8, American Airlines, The Original Cupcakery, the Frontiers of Flight Museum and Texas Instruments.

Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. (DSM) is the preeminent non-profit presenter of Broadway theatre in North Texas.  DSM produces, presents and promotes excellence in live musical theatre with year-round performances for diverse audiences of all ages, impacting the lives of children and families through community outreach and education, and enriching the cultural landscape of Dallas/Fort Worth, North Texas and the Southwest Region.

DSM is the largest producer and presenter of live theatrical entertainment in the Southwest, the second oldest summer theatre organization in the United States, and the fourth largest non-profit theatre company.  In addition to presenting national Broadway tours, DSM also produces shows on Broadway, presents and tours productions, and is involved in developing new works.  Dallas Summer Musicals’ affiliates include DSM Management Group, Inc. (DSMMGI), which manages the Music Hall at Fair Park.

For more information about Dallas Summer Musicals, please call (214) 421-5678 or visit the website at www.dallassummermusicals.org.

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For media information about any of the individual shows or the Dallas Summer Musicals, and for videotape, photos, or reviewer’s passes, please call Jo Ann Holt at 214-413-3977, or email joannholt@gmail.com.


Win Sister Act Tickets by Watching the Tonys!

June 7th, 2013

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Well, it’s Tony Awards time! This Sunday at 7pm our time, we get to see the awards show us Broadway fans wait for all year long! AND we want to reward you for watching too!

On Twitter during one of the commercial breaks, use our hash tag #SisterActDSM and let us know you saw the Sister Act TV commercial during the Tony Awards! By doing so, you register to win 2 tickets to see Sister Act on Tuesday, June 11th at 7:30pm at the Music Hall at Fair Park! I’ll announce the winner about 15-20 minutes afterwards, so be sure you let me know right away so you can get your name in the hat.

Can’t watch it this Sunday? No problem! I’ll be live tweeting through the entire awards show! Just check us out @dsmusicals on Twitter!

Now it’s time to get ready for the Tonys! Check out the video below highlighting all of the shows nominated this year!

So, don’t forget to watch the Tonys on Sunday at 7pm and look out for our SISTER ACT TV spot for your chance to win 2 tickets to see SISTER ACT on Tuesday!

Have a great weekend! –DSM Amanda


"How Whoopi Got the Habit" By Matt Wolf

June 4th, 2013

How Whoopi Got the Habit
by Matt Wolf

One simple gesture said it all: there it was, August, 2010, and Whoopi Goldberg had walked on stage for the press performance of her limited run as the Mother Superior in Sister Act, as a capacity crowd at the London Palladium cheered and hollered in a most gratifyingly un‐ English way. Taking in the applause, the star put a finger to her lips in order to silence the crowd. The show, as they say, must go on, and it was time to do so.

That outpouring of affection wasn’t lost on a woman who has been wowing audiences in all art forms since the legendary New York director Mike Nichols first brought Whoopi to attention, presenting the then little‐known performer’s Broadway debut in 1984 at the Lyceum Theatre. Since that time, she was nominated for an Academy Award® for her screen debut in The Color Purple; went on to win an Oscar® five years later for her
indelible supporting turn in Ghost; fronted various awards shows (including the Oscars, where one will never forget the sight of Whoopi abseiling down on to the stage like some madcap Mary Poppins only to announce herself as “the African Queen”); and has become a daytime TV personality in America courtesy her co‐hosting duties on The View.

But Sister Act occupies a special place in the Whoopi canon, and not just because the source films that inspired the stage musical made a lot of money – more than $230 million in the case of the first one – and were also lots of fun. As that Palladium vignette served to indicate, here was a screen phenomenon returning to her theatre roots in front of an adoring crowd: Whoopi’s connection to the material remains undeniable and strong. Let’s
just say that even when not in the production Whoopi hovers over the stage musical as more than a coproducer: a sort of beneficent, and inspirational, patron saint.

Sister Act, of course, tells the story of Deloris van Cartier, the nightclub singer‐turned‐nun who has become one of those characters that audiences know without needing to be reminded of the title of the film itself; Celie from The Color Purple is another. But when talk turned to fashioning the movie anew for the stage, Whoopi had no intention of ever appearing in it; instead, she was there to preside over something, in her view, “brand new,
fresh and exciting,” that could mint a young leading lady‐turned‐star ‐ just as Whoopi had herself been catapulted to attention thanks to her theatre work a quarter‐century or more before.

Her intuition must have worked, given that Sister Act in London played more than 600 performances over 18 months, breaking box office records twice at the Palladium, and on Broadway was nominated for five Tony® Awards including Best Musical. In fact, the show has now been seen by over 3 million audience members across the globe, including productions in Hamburg, Vienna, Milan, and on tour throughout the UK, with upcoming
productions scheduled to begin in Paris, Stuttgart, Scheveningen, Moscow, Madrid, Prague, Sao Paolo, Korea, and Japan. Expect a stage convention of Deloris‐es someday soon.

The films, of course, are drenched in the music of the times, and Sister Act on stage could have gone the jukebox musical route. Instead, Alan Menken, a composer who has himself won more Oscars than most of us have had cups of coffee, offers up an original score in the best pastiche tradition, which is to say that an entire era of disco, gospel, and blues pours forth from the stage, contributing to a score that, says Whoopi, “works just as
well as the film, if not better.” Whoopi in any case knows first‐hand the virtues of music‐making when it comes to musical theatre: she was the unexpected choice to take over for Nathan Lane in the hit Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, directed by Jerry Zaks, and it is Zaks who directed Sister Act on Broadway – a vivid example of the sort of small‐world department on which
Broadway thrives. An African‐American woman as the male roman slave, Pseudolus? We told you there wasn’t much this singular talent couldn’t do.

And it’s surely not coincidental that Sondheim’s peerless lyrics for Forum’s uproarious opening number include the immortal line, “tragedy tomorrow/ comedy tonight.” That mantra could well apply equally to the hapless Deloris, a singer seeking refuge from the gun‐toting Curtis, who finds both a safe home and the chance to send
some women’s voices soaring within a convent that clearly didn’t realize all it needed was this feisty, winning outsider to wake them up. Sister Act may take its opening cues from the cries of a chanteuse in danger, but it builds toward a celebration not just of the sisterhood but of the power of soul, both musical and otherwise. In retrospect, small wonder Whoopi was keen to still her appreciative public in order to get the show on the road. You came to cheer, she seemed to be telling the sold‐out house. Now stay to listen.

Matt Wolf is the London theatre critic for The International Herald Tribune and theatre editor at www.theartsdesk.com.

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SISTER ACT singing praises in Dallas NOW thru June 16 at the Music Hall at Fair Park and to Fort Worth June 18-23 at Bass Performance Hall.

Single tickets for the Dallas run, priced from $15-$85, are on sale now at The Box Office, 5959 Preston Royal Shopping Center in Dallas, or any Ticketmaster location; or online at www.ticketmaster.com.  For groups of 10 or more, call 214-426-GROUP (4768). For full press release, click here.

Single tickets for the Fort Worth run are on sale now! Visit www.basshall.com.


"Bless Thy (Philly) Soul" by Douglas Carter Beane

May 29th, 2013

Bless Thy (Philly) Soul

By Douglas Carter Beane

So I am at a very la‐di‐da cocktail party and the topic of conversation finds itself landing on Machiavelli commissioning both Leonardo Di Vinci and Michelangelo to do paintings on a wall. The “oohing” and “aahing” soon gives way to the “can you imagine being on earth in that golden era?” Well, I try not to be too smug about it, but I tell them “Yes I can because was lucky enough to be in Philadelphia in the Seventies.” That was the harmonic convergent time when the funky bass, the overproduced strings that glockenspiel all blended together to create the sound that is now lovingly referred to as “Philly Soul.” It was a shiny snappy “Diamond in the Back” disco ball of a time when the world was shaking its collective bootie to the music that was coming out of our little Lebanon Bologna and scrapple town. We really didn’t know how magical it was at the time; frankly we were too busy dancing. But it someone how seemed just common place to go out and see Phyllis Hyman, Patti LaBelle, Teddy Pendergrass, the Ojays, out dancing to their own music in clubs. A girl would come into some disco at midnight sing a new song, the next thing you knew it was a song called “Hot Shot” and climbing the dance charts. And wow, I held her Mylar fan when she introduced it at the Club “Equus”.

But let’s start at the beginning of the musical “Sister Act” and how it came to inhabit this luscious world. First there was a movie. Man was it great. The germ of the idea was the creation of great American Humorist Paul Rudnick and super genius producer Scott Rudin. According to Paul’s hilarious essay on the topic for the New Yorker, just about everyone in the Los Angeles phone book did a draft of the screenplay. Casting excelled with Maggie Smith, Kathy Najimy and Mary Wickes, and Whoopi Goldberg simply cemented her reputation as one of the screen’s great comedic actresses. Catch it again and watch how that smile just melts your heart. A sequel was made, the DVD’s of both found themselves on the floor of a nation’s minivan. It was just a part of American culture now. A friend to turn to when things are not going well or you want to celebrate someone’s graduation or you’re stuck with nothing to do on a rainy afternoon.

But it somehow just seemed to want to continue to happen. A group of visionaries decided to dream big and turn this iconic piece into a living breathing theater piece. To do so, it certainly could not be a re‐creation of what was on the film. Creativity wouldn’t let that happen. It had to be something that was worthy of a live theater event. Our group? Multi‐Emmy winning TV writers Bill and Cheri Steinkellner, multi Oscar winning composer Alan Menken and Broadway rising star Glen Slater. Pretty classy outfit.

The first choice made by our group was the story of Deloris’s life. Whoopi was so convincing and heartbreaking as a singer whose life has chosen not to shower her with love. It happens to performers. You just sensed that her world of Reno and her Motown medleys in the lounge were about as good as she was ever going to get. But for the musical, what if the Deloris could sing – I mean REALLY let go and, as we used to say back in the seventies, just pee. And what if she was on the brink of a career, not looking back on one that didn’t happen?

The second choice was the music. The film used Deloris’s versions of old Motown and Brill building tunes. For this idea there was one immediate conflict for composer Alan Menken – he had already done the 60’s music to a fare‐thee‐well with his tremendous “Little Shop of Horrors.” Whoever came up with the idea of setting it in Philadelphia in the seventies and take advantage of the Philly soul sound deserves a complimentary cheesesteak. With onions. The music is up there with the most joyful and optimistic tunes ever created. (I know I can’t go to a birthday party for one of the kids in my daughter’s kindergarten class without hearing “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now.”)

Lyricist Glen Slater knew this world inside and out. The gangster boyfriend is doing songs that a witty Lou Rawls would have done in the wink of an eye. And when the bad guys sing about breaking into the convent, it’s pure Stylistics.

The third choice was the addition of the love story. What if Eddie the cop and Deloris had the hint of a little romance going?

When I was called on board by director Jerry Zaks I re‐watched the movie and then was sent the recording of the score. It hit me hard. Here was a show with a big Philly soul. That great sound of funky bases, symphonic strings and lyrics so optimistic they make you smile. How well I remembered those those happy times with the city of Philly coming into a new life. Discos and eateries and cabarets suddenly appeared, made from old buildings finding new life. In the show you’ll see the fretting of Mother Superior that her church is becoming a disco. This was more than imaginary. The number one club in Philly at the time was called Second Story and was actually a converted church, complete with light and sound systems and popcorn in the baptismal font.

There was also a remarkable success to be had, which would energize and frustrate Deloris even more. Evelyn Champagne King, was cleaning out the ladies room at Philadelphia International records, when she was overheard singing. They put her on the album “Shame” and it was number nine on the US charts. Karen Young (she of the “Hot Shot” and the Mylar fan) was working at a McDonalds. It was a remarkable time. I hope you enjoy the show and its story of people who have no business liking one another just giving way and doing so. A little comedy about the inevitability of acceptance.

As I sat there on opening night, I looked across the aisle and there was Patti LaBelle. The first time I had seen her in person was dancing at the Second Story ‐the disco made from a church. The minute Deloris gave way with Raise you voice, Miss Patti shook it like she shook it in the seventies. I felt like I was home.

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SISTER ACT is singing its way to Dallas June 4-16 at the Music Hall at Fair Park and to Fort Worth June 18-23 at Bass Performance Hall.

Single tickets for the Dallas run, priced from $15-$85, are on sale now at The Box Office, 5959 Preston Royal Shopping Center in Dallas, or any Ticketmaster location; or online at www.ticketmaster.com.  For groups of 10 or more, call 214-426-GROUP (4768). For full press release, click here.

Single tickets for the Fort Worth run are on sale now! Visit www.basshall.com.


Sister Act is coming to Dallas!

May 23rd, 2013

For immediate release
Press Contact:  Jo Ann Holt
joannholt@gmail.com/469.363.7371

ANNOUNCING THE CAST OF THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR OFSisterAct_LogoPRESENTED BY DALLAS SUMMER MUSICALS AT THE MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK JUNE 4-16

 

Dallas, TX…The North American Tour of SISTER ACT will star Ta’Rea Campbell (Book of Mormon, The Lion King) as Deloris Van Cartier, Hollis Resnik (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Les Miserables) as Mother Superior, Kingsley Leggs (Sister Act, The Color Purple) as Curtis Jackson, E. Clayton Cornelious (Wonderland, The Scottsboro Boys) as Eddie Souther, Lael Van Keuren (Sister Act) as Mary Robert, Florrie Bagel as Mary Patrick, Diane J. Findlay (42nd Street, Promises, Promises) as Mary Lazarus, Todd A. Horman (Priscilla Queen of the Desert) as Joey, Ernie Pruneda (Sister Act) as Pablo, Charles Barksdale (Fat Camp) as TJ, and Richard Pruitt (42nd Street, White Christmas) as Monsignor O’Hara.

The company will also include Melvin Abston, Brian Calì, Alysha Deslorieux, Karen Elliott, Danny George, Blair Goldberg, Erin Henry, Wendy James, Trisha Jeffrey, Mary Jo McConnell, Ashley Moniz, Michelle Rombola, Jason Simon, Angie Marie Smith, Tricia Tanguy, Kelly E. Waters, and Dashaun Young.

Single tickets, priced from $15-$85, are on sale now at The Box Office, 5959 Preston Royal Shopping Center in Dallas, or any Ticketmaster location; or online at www.ticketmaster.com.  For groups of 10 or more, call 214-426-GROUP (4768).

“To hear people laugh and cheer the way they do at SISTER ACT — a show people think they know but are pleasantly surprised to discover is not what they were expecting — is a magical experience for a producer,” says Producer Whoopi Goldberg.  “Happily, audiences across the country will be able to get in on the fun when Deloris and her fabulous sisters start spreading the love nationwide.”

SISTER ACT received five 2011 Tony® Award nominations: BEST MUSICAL, BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (Alan Menken (music)/ Glenn Slater (lyrics), BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL (Cheri & Bill Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane), BEST ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL (Patina Miller) and BEST FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL (Victoria Clark).

SISTER ACT features an original score with music by multi-Academy, Grammy, Tony and Golden Globe Award-winning composer Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Enchanted), lyrics by Tony and Academy Award-nominee Glenn Slater (The Little Mermaid), and a book by multi-Emmy Award winners Cheri and Bill Steinkellner (“Cheers”) with additional book material by Tony and Olivier Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane (Xanadu, The Little Dog Laughed). Directed on Broadway by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks (Guys and Dolls, A Funny Thing…Forum, Smokey Joe’s Café), the production features choreography by Tony and Olivier Award nominee Anthony Van Laast (Mamma Mia, Bombay Dreams) and is based on the Touchstone Pictures motion picture Sister Act written by Joseph Howard.

SISTER ACT opened on April 20, 2011 at the Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway) to rave reviews.  Elisabeth Vincentelli of The New York Post calls SISTER ACT, “One of the season’s happiest surprises! Off the charts and packed with goodies, to which we say: Amen!” Joe Dziemianowicz of The New York Daily News raves “A blessed event has landed on Broadway. Sister Act is a feel-good crowd pleaser worth celebrating. It keeps on purring from one happy moment to the next.”  Charles Isherwood of The New York Times says, “When the wimples start quivering and the nuns start rocking to raise the Gothic rafters, all’s right in the kingdom of musical comedy!” and Mark Kennedy of The Associated Press calls SISTER ACT, “In a word, divine. This is a musical that hits all the right spots, achieving something close to Broadway grace. It will convert you.”

When disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in the one place cops are sure she won’t be found – a convent!  Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and an uptight Mother Superior.  Using her fabulous disco-ness and killer voice to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church, but in doing so blows her cover.  Soon it’s nun-on-the-run time but she finds salvation in the heavenly power of her newly found sisterhood.  Based on the mega-hit feature film, SISTER ACT features an original Alan Menken/Glenn Slater score with a vast inspiration of musical styles from Motown, soul and funk to great big disco anthems and Barry White inspired musical comedy.

SISTER ACT features scenery by Klara Zieglerova, costumes by Lez Brotherston, lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Ken Travis and hair/wig designs by David Brian Brown.  The music department includes Musical Supervisor Michael Kosarin, Music Director Brent-Alan Huffman, and orchestrations by Doug Besterman. Casting is by Telsey + Company, Craig Burns CSA.  For more information, visit www.sisteractontour.com.

Next up for Dallas Summer Musicals: FLASHDANCE, THE MUSICAL, opens June 25-July 7. The pop-culture phenomenon and runaway international success is now live on stage.  It all started with a dream.  To be bigger.  To burn brighter. To dance harder.  Directed and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Addams Family), this new musical features a score of smash hits including The Academy Award® winning title track “Flashdance – What a Feeling,” “Maniac,” “I Love Rock & Roll,” and 16 new original songs.

Disney presents THE LION KING, October 2-20, 2013. Experience the phenomenon of Disney’s THE LION KING, Broadway’s Landmark Musical.  Marvel at the breathtaking spectacle of animals brought to life by award-winning director Julie Taymor, whose visual images for this show you’ll remember forever. Thrill to the pulsating rhythms of the African Pridelands and an unforgettable score, including Elton John and Tim Rice’s Oscar-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and “Circle of Life.”

DSM will continue its 73-year tradition of setting the standard in musical theatre entertainment as their 2014 season begins in December, 2013, with Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS at the Music Hall.

Season sponsors and partners for Dallas Summer Musicals are The Dallas Morning News, WFAA TV Channel 8, American Airlines, The Original Cupcakery, the Frontiers of Flight Museum and Texas Instruments.

Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. (DSM) is the preeminent non-profit presenter of Broadway theatre in North Texas.  DSM produces, presents and promotes excellence in live musical theatre with year-round performances for diverse audiences of all ages, impacting the lives of children and families through community outreach and education, and enriching the cultural landscape of Dallas/Fort Worth, North Texas and the Southwest Region.

DSM is the largest producer and presenter of live theatrical entertainment in the Southwest, the second oldest summer theatre organization in the United States, and the fourth largest non-profit theatre company.  In addition to presenting national Broadway tours, DSM also produces shows on Broadway, presents and tours productions, and is involved in developing new works.  Dallas Summer Musicals’ affiliates include DSM Management Group, Inc. (DSMMGI), which manages the Music Hall at Fair Park. For more information about Dallas Summer Musicals, please call (214) 421-5678 or visit the website at www.dallassummermusicals.org.

# # #

For media information about any of the individual shows or the Dallas Summer Musicals, and for videotape, photos, or reviewer’s passes, please call Jo Ann Holt at 214-413-3977 or 469-363-7371, or email joannholt@gmail.com.


Luxx Night Club hosting a party for the cast and crew of Priscilla!

May 22nd, 2013

printed flyer

Luxx Night Club is hosting a party for the cast and crew of ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ on Friday May 24th, 2013.

The Broadway tour of ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ is a Tony Award winning musical, performing at the Music Hall at Fair Park from May 14th through May 26th.

Downtown Dallas, TX / May 24th, 2013 – – – Join the cast, and crew of the Tony Award winning musical, ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’, for a glittering good time at Luxx Night Club on May 24th, 2013 from 10pm to 2am. Luxx Night Club is located at: 723 N. Pearl Street, Dallas TX 75201.

Festivities will include a modern interpretation of Disco beats to create a truly novel dance floor experience under glittering lights, along with specialty cocktails and a live mannequin show featuring Dallas’ hottest models. Admission is open to all over 21, at no cost. For patrons of the show, who bring their ticket stub, and those who RSVP in advance, Luxx will provide: free valet, a complementary cocktail and VIP passes.
“This is going to be so much fun!” boasted Tony Joy, marketing & promotions coordinator for ‘Dallas Summer Musicals’.

For more information, to reserve a table, or, to RSVP, contact: Luxx Nightclub Director of Public Relations, Michelle Espinal at (310)895-0136 / michelle@iegnation.com

Further details available at: www.facebook.com/LUXXDALLAS

Ticket purchases for shows playing in Dallas, visit: www.dallassummermusicals.org

Official website for the Broadway Tour of ‘Priscilla Queen of the desert’ is: www.priscillaontour.com

www.LuxxDallas.com / 723 N. Pearl Street, Dallas, TX 75201

luxx

National Tour of Priscilla Queen of the Desert Comes To Dallas

April 26th, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jo Ann Holt 469-363-7371
joannholt@gmail.com

 

THE FIRST NATIONAL TOUR OF THE BROADWAY SENSATION
PDQ205x115 COMES TO DALLAS SUMMER MUSICALS
AT THE MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK IN DALLAS MAY 14-26

 

April 26, 2013- The first national tour of Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical is coming to the Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas from Tuesday, May 14 through Sunday, May 26, presented by Dallas Summer Musicals.

Single tickets, priced from $15-$85, are on sale now at The Box Office, 5959 Preston Royal Shopping Center in Dallas, or any Ticketmaster location; or online at www.ticketmaster.com.  For groups of 10 or more, call 214-426-GROUP (4768).

The show will star Wade McCollum (“Tick/Mitzi”), Scott Willis (“Bernadette”) and Bryan West (“Adam/Felicia”) as the trio of friends, on a road trip of a lifetime, who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship in the middle of the Australian outback and end up finding more than they could ever have dreamed.  Joe Hart stars as “Bob.”

With over 500 dazzling 2011 Tony® Award-winning costumes, Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical features a hit parade of over 20 dance-floor favorites including “It’s Raining Men,” “Finally” and “I Will Survive.”

The new musical opened on Broadway to critical acclaim on March 20, 2011 at the Palace Theatre. The Hollywood Reporter called Priscilla “funny and fabulous! Joyous entertainment with eye-popping visuals and unexpected heart!”  NY-1 News raved “Beneath all that glitz beats a great big sequined heart!” WOR Radio sang “All the songs you’ve loved for years will blow you out of your seat!”

Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical won a 2011 Tony Award® for Best Costume Design for Academy Award® winners Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner’s designs. The new hit musical received three Best Musical award nominations from the Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Award organizations. Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner were also honored with 2011 Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Costume Design.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical, the most successful Australian musical of all time, had its world premiere in Sydney in 2006.  Adapted from the 1994 Academy Award® winning film

The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical is written by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott.  Direction: Simon Phillips, choreography: Ross Coleman, musical supervision and arrangements: Stephen ‘Spud’ Murphy, set design: Brian Thomson, costume design: Tim Chappel & Lizzy Gardiner, lighting design: Nick Schlieper, sound design: Jonathan Deans & Peter Fitzgerald, make up design: Cassie Hanlon.

Cast bios are attached to this release.  For more information, please visit: www.priscillaontour.com.  Follow Priscilla on Twitter or on Facebook.

Next up for Dallas Summer Musicals will be SISTER ACT, A DIVINE MUSICAL COMEDY, June 4-16. Broadway’s feel-amazing musical comedy smash, called by The New York Post “Ridiculously Fun,” has audiences jumping to their feet in total agreement.  Featuring original music by 8-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors), SISTER ACT tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and the cops hide her in the last place anyone would think to look—a convent.

FLASHDANCE, THE MUSICAL, opens June 25-July 7. The pop-culture phenomenon and runaway international success is now live on stage.  It all started with a dream.  To be bigger.  To burn brighter. To dance harder.  Directed and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Addams Family), this new musical features a score of smash hits including The Academy Award® winning title track “Flashdance – What a Feeling,” “Maniac,” “I Love Rock & Roll,” and 16 new original songs.

Disney presents THE LION KING, October 2-20, 2013. Experience the phenomenon of Disney’s THE LION KING, Broadway’s Landmark Musical.  Marvel at the breathtaking spectacle of animals brought to life by award-winning director Julie Taymor, whose visual images for this show you’ll remember forever. Thrill to the pulsating rhythms of the African Pridelands and an unforgettable score, including Elton John and Tim Rice’s Oscar-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and “Circle of Life.”

DSM will continue its 73-year tradition of setting the standard in musical theatre entertainment as their 2014 season begins in December, 2013, with Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS at the Music Hall.

Season sponsors and partners for Dallas Summer Musicals are The Dallas Morning News,  WFAA TV Channel 8, American Airlines, The Original Cupcakery, the Frontiers of Flight Museum and Texas Instruments.

Dallas Summer Musicals, Inc. (DSM) is the preeminent non-profit presenter of Broadway theatre in North Texas.  DSM produces, presents and promotes excellence in live musical theatre with year-round performances for diverse audiences of all ages, impacting the lives of children and families through community outreach and education, and enriching the cultural landscape of Dallas/Fort Worth, North Texas and the Southwest Region.

DSM is the largest producer and presenter of live theatrical entertainment in the Southwest, the second oldest summer theatre organization in the United States, and the fourth largest non-profit theatre company.  In addition to presenting national Broadway tours, DSM also produces shows on Broadway, presents and tours productions, and is involved in developing new works.  Dallas Summer Musicals’ affiliates include DSM Management Group, Inc. (DSMMGI), which manages the Music Hall at Fair Park. For more information about Dallas Summer Musicals, please call (214) 421-5678 or visit the website at www.dallassummermusicals.org.

# # #

For media information about any of the individual shows or the Dallas Summer Musicals, and for videotape, photos, or reviewer’s passes, please call Jo Ann Holt at 214-413-3977 or 469-363-7371, or email joannholt@gmail.com.

 


Article – Bullybust partners with ‘Wicked’ to teach kids to be upstanders

April 12th, 2013

“Bullybust partners with ‘Wicked’ to teach kids to be up-standers”
by Nancy Churnin from The Dallas Morning News

The moment in Wicked that makes Darlene Faster’s arms tingle is not “Defying Gravity,” when Elphaba, the green-faced witch, rises up in the air to fulfill her destiny. It’s an earlier, quieter one when Glinda, suddenly ashamed of ridiculing Elphaba at school, starts dancing with her, which leads everyone to quiet down and dance, too.

Faster, the chief operating officer of the National School Climate Center and the force behind its Bullybust program, says this scene shows kids how a bully can become an “upstander,” someone who stands up when people are treated badly.

“It’s powerful from a youth perspective,” Faster says. “It’s the kind of moment where anyone who has ever been bullied has said, ‘I wish I had a moment where someone had been there for me and been by my side.’ It’s the moment where everything starts to turn.”

Dallas Summer Musicals is presenting the show at Fair Park Music Hall through May 5. Many have wondered about the enduring, passionate following for this musical about the seemingly “bad” and “good” witches of Oz. To Faster, it seems clear that it’s because the questions it raises still resonate: Should we pick on those whom others mock to maintain our spot in the “cool” crowd, or should we find the courage to defend and befriend the “misfits” even at the cost of our own popularity?

With kids suffering from bullying around the country, these ideas have made Wicked a wickedly good fit for her program, which draws on the U.S. Department of Education’s guidelines for effective bully-prevention practices.

Partnering since 2009 with the show’s producers, Faster has helped develop study guides for adults to use with kids. Wicked has also sponsored essay contests with the winners posted on the bullybust.org website. There’ll be another in the fall.

Bullybust has grown rapidly across the country, supporting more than 2,400 partner schools, but only a handful — fewer than 10 — Dallas-Fort Worth schools are currently enrolled. Faster hopes the show’s presence in Dallas will encourage adults to engage kids in conversation and download her nonprofit company’s free materials to take the next step.

She hopes, ultimately, that it will inspire people to reach out to the bullies as well as the victims.

“The kids who are doing bullying behavior are not bad people, they are just doing bad, incorrect things. They need support to learn how to transform from a bully to being an upstander.”

Wicked continues through May 5 at Fair Park Music Hall, 909 First Ave., Dallas. $40-$170. 214-691-7200. dallassummermusicals.org or ticketmaster.com/wicked. Learn more about Bullybust at bullybust.org.

Follow Nancy Churnin on Twitter @nchurnin.

Originally posted in The Dallas Morning News on Friday, April 12, 2013.