Tag Archives: Dallas Theater

A Journey INTO THE WOODS

Into the Woods opened this weekend at the ArtCentre Theatre in Plano, running through August 28th.  Brad Stephens performs as the Wolf and Cinderella’s Prince.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, the musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales and follows them further to explore the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests.  The main characters are taken from the stories of Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, and Cinderella, tied together by a more original story involving a baker and his wife and their quest to begin a family, most likely taken from the original story of Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm.

The ArtCentre Theatre is located at 5220 Village Creek Drive in Plano, TX.  Tickets may be purchased at the door for $15 each.  Wednesday and Thursday performances are half price.  Tickets for select performances may be purchased online for $12 each.  Alternatively, theater-goers may e-mail Brad to arrange for discounted tickets.  For a complete schedule of performances, visit Brad’s Upcoming Events calendar.  Contact the theater at 214-810-3228 for more information.

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PROOF Opens at MCT

Proof, the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play by David Auburn, opens this weekend at the Mesquite Arts Center, running through June 25, 2011.

Directed by Doug Luke, the Mesquite Community Theatre production boasts a wonderful cast including Jeni Rall (Catherine), Cory Wornell (Claire), Gary Anderson (Robert) and Brad Stephens (Hal).  This is the third production Stephens has mounted at MCT, previously performing as Chris Keller in All My Sons (2008) and directing To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday (2009).

On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Catherine, a troubled young woman, has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, following his death, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks that her father left behind. Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draw Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father’s madness – or genius – will she inherit?

PERFORMANCES:

  • Friday June 10 – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday June 11 – 8:00 PM
  • Sunday June 12- 2:30 PM ($12.00)
  • Friday June 17 – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday June 18 – 8:00 PM
  • Sunday June 19 – 2:30 PM ($12.00)
  • Thursday June 23 – 8:00 PM ($12.00)
  • Friday June 24 – 8:00 PM
  • Saturday June 25 – 8:00 PM

BOX OFFICE OPENS ONE HOUR BEFORE SHOW TIME
(House opens thirty minutes before show time.)

**********ADMISSION**********

  • $15.00-Adults
  • $12.00- Students, Seniors Over 55 and S.T.A.G.E. Members (with ID card)*
  • $8.00- Children 2-6 years old

Adult admission for Thursday evening and Sunday matinee performances are $12.00.

CASH OR CHECK ONLY NO CARDS! You may purchase your tickets using your CREDIT CARD by visiting http://www.mctweb.org/ and clicking the “Tickets On-Line” tab.

Though not required, RESERVATIONS are recommended to assure your seat for this performance. For Reservations call (972) 216-8126 or E-mail: Reservations@mctweb.org

Be sure to include your FULL NAME, PHONE NUMBER and the number of $15.00, $12.00 and $8.00 tickets you wish to reserve and the PERFORMANCE DATE & TIME

Cut off time for reservations for evening performances is 5:00 PM on the date of the performance and 12:30 PM for Sunday matinee performances on the date of the performance.

Reservations will be honored until 15 minutes before show-time. After that time, the reserved seats will be offered to our walk-in patrons.

NO ONE WILL BE SEATED AFTER THE PERFORMANCE BEGINS.

*Society for Theatrical Artists’ Guidance & Enhancement

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Opening Knight, New Year’s Eve

The sword is drawn from the stone tonight as Artisan Center Theater presents a special performance of Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot during their New Year’s Eve gala, ringing out the old year and officially opening their 2011 season.  

Established as a nonprofit community theater in 2003, Artisan Center Theater is home to a 150-seat theater in the round, producing up to ten shows per year.  Camelot will run through January 29, 2011 at 418 East Pipeline Road in Hurst, Texas.  Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, and 3:00 p.m. on Saturday matinees.  Tickets may be purchased online at www.artisanct.com or by calling the box-office at 817-284-1200. 

Directed by Dennis Canright and produced by DeeAnn Blair, Camelot utilizes two highly talented casts performing six shows a week.  Sharing duties as King Arthur are Neil Rogers and award-winning actor Brad Stephens in his fourth Artisan appearance.  Meredith Browning and Amanda Gupton perform as Queen Guenevere with Joel Lagrone and Kyle Holt in the role of Lancelot.  Both casts are amazing so come see the show twice! 

Click here, print these out and give them to your friends for ticket discounts!

Named one of John Garcia’s breakthrough performances of 2010, Brad Stephens will perform Monday and Friday evenings and Saturday Matinees.  Casts are subject to change so be sure to check his upcoming events calendar for updated performances.  You may recieve a discount on tickets by printing out a sheet of Feature Actor Cards and presenting one upon arrival at the theater.  Please feel free to give the rest to your friends! 

A classic of American musical theater, Camelot is based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the T. H. White tetralogy novel The Once and Future King.  The original 1960 production ran on Broadway for 873 performances, winning four Tony Awards and spawning several revivals, foreign productions and a 1967 film version. The original cast album was America’s top-selling LP for 60 weeks.

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JEKYLL & HYDE Among DFW’s Best!

The Column Online released its annual Best In Dallas/Fort Worth Theater list today and Greater Lewisville’s Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical was among those listed by Senior Chief Theater Critic John Garcia as one of the best productions of 2010.  Jekyll/Hyde lead and Column Award-winning actor Brad Stephens was also listed among Garcia’s list of Breakthrough Performers of the Year. 

“My staff of Associate Theater Critics and myself has been working on our picks for what we considered was the best in theater within the DFW area since October,” wrote Garcia.  “In making my decisions for what were the best in musicals and plays, I seriously thought of a long list of rules, factors, and theories within my mind in picking what I considered to be listed as the ‘best’.  After all, I saw so many shows both as a critic and as a simple theatergoer.” 

Of Jekyll & Hyde, Garcia exclaimed, “I was completely blown away by how Director Sharon Veselic and her highly talented cast actually created a fantastic, thrilling, and visually exciting production.  The trio of leads tore into the score with vocal finesse with a hard working ensemble cresting right along with them in commitment and talent.” 

In addition, all three Jekyll & Hyde leads – Brad Stephens (Jekyll/Hyde), Courtney Sikora (Lucy) and Michelle Foard (Emma) – were listed in Garcia’s 2010 Breakthrough Performances of the Year.  “For me a ‘breakthrough’ performance is one in which I do not see whatsoever the common tics or the ‘usual’ acting craft or tools that an actor has used before in previous performances,” stated Garcia.  “I sit in the dark watching an actor go so out of the box and create a performance that I have not see them do before that it leaves me speechless.  That’s a break-through performance in my book.”

In his Special Achievement/Recognition category, Garcia named Foard and Sikora as Best Female Vocal Duet for their performance of In His Eyes and praised Sikora as Best Female Vocal Performance with A New Life.  “Sikora belted, soared, and glided with extra-ordinary vocal beauty within this solo,” he said.  The Frank Wildhorn musical also garnered a nod for Best Scenic & Lighting Design.

Jekyll & Hyde shares honors with six other productions: Flaming Guns of the Purple Sage (Theatre Too at Theatre Three); Give It Up (Dallas Theater Center); Into the Woods (Plaza Theatre Company); Lend Me A Tenor (ICT MainStage); The Dixie Swim Club (Pocket Sandwich Theatre); and Reckless (Sideman Productions). 

Read by nearly 19,000 subscribers worldwide, The Column is the only organization recognizing excellence in the Dallas/Fort Worth theater community.  The Column engages the contributions of fifteen critics and distributes reviews via e-mail to over 18,450 subscribers worldwide.  The Column Awards annually honors excellence in local theatre productions.  Additionally, The organization strives to raise funds for the fight against AIDS by primarily contributing to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and dedicates itself to developing a love of theatre in local youth.

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It’s Good To Be The King

I am pleased to announce I have accepted the role of King Arthur in the upcoming Artisan Center Theater production of Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot

This will be my fourth production with Artisan after performances as Nanki-Poo in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado; Jeff Douglass in Lerner & Loewe’s Brigadoon; and Curly McClain in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!  It will also be my second collaboration with director Dennis Canright who directed me in Oklahoma! 

Based on The Once and Future King by T.H. White, Camelot is one of theater’s most beloved musicals. Relive the legend of King Arthur in an enchanting fable of chivalry and honor. Dazzling with romance, history and glorious music, it is a tale to be relived for all time. 

Camelot will open on December 31, 2010 and run through January 29, 2011.  The show is double-cast so check back soon for details on when I will be performing.  For more information, visit www.artisanct.com.

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This Is the Moment

Courtney Sikora as "Lucy"

Why does a wise man take leave of his senses?  Where is that fine line where sanity melts?  When does intelligence give way to madness?  These questions and more are explored in Greater Lewisville CT’s production of Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical, now playing weekends through Hallowe’en.    

The production sees Brad Stephens in the dual role of Dr. Henry Jekyll, a brilliant scientist whose experiments unwittingly unleash his own dark side, wreaking havoc in the streets of late 19-century London as the savage, maniacal Edward Hyde.  Stephens co-stars with a talented cast including Courtney Sikora as Lucy, Michelle Foard as Emma, Damon Wadyko as Utterson and E. Scott Arnold as Danvers.    

Michelle Foard as "Emma"

Directed by Sharon Veselic with musical direction by John Norine and choreography by Joshua Scott Hancock, the show performs Friday and Saturday nights at 8 PM with Sunday matinees at 3 PM through October 31st.  Greater Lewisville Community Theatre is located at 160 W. Main Street in Lewisville, TX.  Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for seniors (65+) and juniors (18 and under).  All shows have reserved seating.  Visit www.glct.org to make reservations.    

Based on the novel Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, the musical was conceived by Steve Cuden and Frank Wildhorn.  The music is by Wildhorn and the lyrics and book are by Leslie Bricusse.  The show ran on Broadway for 1,543 performances in 1997 through 2001.  

Special thanks to Michelle Mokry of Michi’s Hair Design for donating her time and considerable skills to the design of Jekyll/Hyde’s hair and make-up.  Visit her at www.michishair.com

 

make reservationsother Jekyll & Hyde posts about Brad

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Destiny Beckoned

I am very pleased to announce, rather unexpectedly, that I have accepted the lead role in Greater Lewisville Community Theatre’s upcoming production of Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical, running October 15 – 31, 2010. 

This recent change in my plans came clear out of the blue.  As most of you may know,  I had my eye on the role of Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird ever since Artisan Center Theater announced it last year as part of their 2010 season.  However, my involvement next month in The Sound of Music at Casa Mañana proved to create a huge conflict in the former’s rehearsal schedule. 

Then director Sharon Veselic contacted me about a couple of open roles for Jekyll & Hyde.  During our correspondence, I dropped the hint that I wouldn’t mind auditioning for the lead should her Jekyll/Hyde fall through.  Apparently that happened because I suddenly found myself singing “This Is the Moment” for the director and production team last evening, winning the role.  Now I am thrilled to sink my teeth into this coveted part. 

Jekyll & Hyde is a musical based on the novel, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.  Convinced the cure for his father’s mental illness lies in the separation of Man’s evil nature from his good, Dr. Henry Jekyll unwittingly unleashes his own dark side, wreaking havoc in the streets of late 19-century London as the savage, maniacal Edward Hyde.  The original stage conception was by Steve Cuden and Frank Wildhorn. The music is by Wildhorn and the lyrics and book are by Leslie Bricusse.  The show ran on Broadway for 1,543 performances in 1997 through 2001.

My thanks to Sharon Veselic, Donna Cates, Dennis Canright and the folks at Artisan Center Theater for this opportunity and encouragement.  This will be a lot of fun.  Hope everyone can come out to see it!

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Day Gettin’ Older for OK! at Artisan

Brad Stephens (Curly) and Amanda Gupton (Laurey)Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! begins the final week of performances today at Artisan Center Theater in Hurst, Texas.  Claimed to be the highest grossing production in the theater’s history by an Artisan representative, the show has enjoyed sold-out crowds for most of its seven-week run.  Laurey and Curly wave good-bye for the last time this Saturday evening, June 26, 2010.

I will be performing the role of Curly McLain this Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening. Performances are subject to change so keep an eye on my event calendar for my up-to-the-minute schedule. However, both casts are wonderful so come out and see the show when you can! In fact, why not see it twice?

Showtimes are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday evenings at 7:30 PM with Saturday matinees at 3:00 PM. Click here for a map to the theater as Mapquest and Google Maps may mislead you. Tickets are available at the box-office or by calling (817) 284-1200. You may also buy tickets online at the Artisan Center Theater website – www.artisanct.com. Coupons for discounts on tickets can be acquired by clicking the Feature Actor Card below. Print them out and distribute them to your friends!

Get discounts on tickets!

Click here, print these out and give them to your friends for ticket discounts!

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Column Review: OKLAHOMA!

Here is the review published today by John Garcia’s The Column.  Congratulations to my amazing cast.  This is a testament of your outstanding work.  Thanks for an incredible show.  ~Brad   

Theater review: Oklahoma! at Artisan Center Theater in Hurst

by Lyle Huchton of John Garcia’s The Column  

The energy and spirit of this cast of ACT’s Oklahoma! produced an end result that was miraculous. 

Editor’s note: The press photos provided have Amanda Gupton and Zeke Branim as Laurey and Curly, respectively. However, in the reviewed performance, Brad Stephens played Curly.

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In the early spring of 1943 opened a new musical that would make its mark on theater history. Based on the play “Green Grow the Lilacs” by Lynn Riggs, this American “Folk Opera” pushed realism and reality to the forefront. It refused using the popular stage tactics of sight gags and scantily clad dancers. It instead focused on ballet by employing one of the leading choreographers of the time, Agnes De Mille. Producers held their breath on opening night almost positive that they had a flop on their hands. But the inspired music by Richard Rodgers and the fresh words of Oscar Hammerstein II won over audiences and critics alike. Lucky for us here in the metroplex we have Artisan Center Theater in Hurst to take aim at the target and mostly hit the mark with their version of Oklahoma! (playing through June 19). 

Director Dennis Canright did exactly what he should have with this script. He let it speak for itself. And judging from the response it got from an almost-packed house on Saturday night, he did the right thing. I am convinced this Oklahoma would ring a pure note if compared to that first premiere over 60 years ago. 

Aunt Eller (Linda Much) is on the porch of her homestead churning butter when we overhear someone singing, “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.” It is no other than Curly McLain (Brad Stephens) happening by to invite Laurey (Amanda Gupton) to be his date to the picnic box gathering. I have to be honest that I am no fan of a music track for a musical. I understand the practicality of one, especially this form of “canned music” in a theater as small as Artisan’s. There is no place to put an orchestra. But a music track always presents a problem with timing and that is exactly what happened here.   

In that first number and the one to follow, “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top,” I was tapping my foot in hopes that it would somehow help increase the tempo. Not only was it too slow but the track was so loud that it overpowered the singer. Not a very good way to start. 

However … all that was about to change. Bursting onto the stage like a pack of wild broncos is Will Parker (Drew Davis) and the rest of the male dance ensemble which included Nathan Smith, Tevin Cates, and Edward Ciaran Masen. 

Whoopin’ and hollarin’ and doing more hitch-kicks than The Kilgore Rangerettes, these boys with the help of Eddie Floresca’s lively choreography, pumped up the life back into this production with an energetic performance in the number, “Kansas City.”   

Drew Davis is excellent here in his role as Will. With controlled abandonment, he throws himself into the part and brings to light what I feel is Will’s message: Finding out the difference between a man’s worth and his value. 

Delivering one of the musicals most well known songs is Lacy Lambert as Ado Annie Carnes with “I Can’t Say No.” Lamenting over her inability to deny a man anything he asks for. She can’t seem to make up her mind over Will or her present suitor the peddler Ali Hakim (Jason Leyva). Miss Lambert brings such an innocence to Ado Annie you can’t help but fall in love with her.   

Mr. Leyva’s Ali Hakim is an example of the supporting cast’s commitment and talent. His characterization is completely fleshed out and believable. 

Now it is the girls’ dance and voice ensemble to take their turn at bat. Lead here by Miss Gupton (Laurey) the ladies hit a home run with a lovely rendition of “Many a New Day.”   

Curly and Laurey now decide that maybe they should go to the social together but need to be discreet as to not cause others to talk. They express their sentiments clearly in “People Will Say We’re in Love.” This upbeat and flirtatious song ended on a sad note that left me perplexed. 

Curly has to go inform Jud Fry (David Plybon) that he has lost his date to the gathering. Mr. Plybon plays against type and delivers a nicely understated, misunderstood Jud. Plybon and Stephens produce some of the best vocals of the evening with “Poor Jud” and “Lonely Room.”   

Closing out the end of the first act is a dance sequence famously known as “The Dream Ballet,” in which Laurie falls sleep and dreams of what her future would be like if she married Curly. 

Most productions use a dancer or “Dream Laurey” to perform this ballet. Miss Gupton was cast to dance this role. This decision helped clear up what is actually going on in this number. However I felt that this was one of the few places in this production that either needs to be tightened up or shaved down. There was no real focus and it played way too long.   

Act two starts off with another spirited song and dance number “The Farmer and the Cowmen” that also kicks off the auction of the food boxes for the picnic. The ensemble pulls out all the stops and shows once again that they are the driving force behind this production. Not before mentioned, there are other outstanding performances within this cast that include Linda Much as Aunt Eller, Gale McCray as Andrew Carnes, Meredith Stowe as Gertie Cummings, and Oliva Lamke for her dancing in “The Dream Ballet.” 

And of course, to top off the this well known R&H classic was the rousing title song “Oklahoma!” which was sung with full gusto by the full company.   

When I first sat down and got a good look at the set I was astounded. I was surrounded by a large expanse of blue sky with gold and green pastures all around me. It was like as if some one plopped me down in the middle of a field, next to a farmhouse, by a water tower. Scenic designers Dennis Canright and Jason Leyva smartly placed the larger pieces of the set in the corners. This allowed the center of the playing area to remain open for the action and the dancing. The design was enhanced by the beautiful scenic painting of Lilly Strapp and Michelle McElree. 

The daunting task of having to costume not only one cast but two (Artisan tends to double cast their productions) fell upon costume designer Nita Cadenhead. Just to let some of you know who do not pay attention to costumes as I do exactly what she was facing.   

*Editor’s full disclosure: Mr. Huchton is an award-winning costume designer who has designed for many companies, such as for the Dallas Opera and the Dallas Children’s Theater. For television he has earned two Emmy Award nominations for costume design for the TV series Barney

Take a cast of 30 times two — that would make 60 costumes to create. Then add two other changes for Laurey (including a bustle wedding dress) another change for Curly and Aunt Eller and about six or more for the ballet number and the total would be around 70 plus any added accessories. That’s quite a lot, huh?   

I am getting on my soap box a bit here because I can not help as to wonder why the costumes in this musical production looked like an afterthought in compassion to the other design elements (i.e. scenic, lighting, sound, etc.). Just something to think about… 

The second cast of ACT’s Oklahoma! may produce an altogether different experience. But if the same energy and spirit are brought to the table as the cast I observed Saturday night, then the end result will be as miraculous as the one I watched. 

Brad Stephens performs Tuesday, Thrusday and Saturday evenings.

I will be performing every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evening of the run through June 26, 2010.  Performances are subject to change so keep an eye on my event calendar for my up-to-the-minute schedule.  However, both casts are wonderful so come out and see the show when you can!  In fact, why not see it twice? 

Showtimes are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday evenings at 7:30 PM with Saturday matinees at 3:00 PM (see calendar at right).  Click here for a map to the theater as Mapquest and Google Maps may mislead you.  Tickets are available at the box-office or by calling (817) 284-1200.  You may also buy tickets online at the Artisan Center Theater website – www.artisanct.com.  Coupons for discounts on tickets can be acquired by clicking the Feature Actor Card below.  Print them out and distribute them to your friends!

Get discounts on tickets!

Click here, print these out and give them to your friends for ticket discounts!

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Brad Turns Curly in OKLAHOMA!

I have gladly accepted the role of Curly in Artisan Center Theater’s upcoming production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!  Directed by Dennis Canright with choreography by Eddie Floresca, this musical will run May 14 – June 26, 2010.  Oklahoma! is presented through special arrangement with R & H Theatricals

Based on the 1931 play Green Grow the Lilacs by Lynn Riggs, Oklahoma! set the standard for the classic American musical.  Set in Oklahoma Territory outside the town of Claremore in 1906, it tells the story of cowboy Curly McLain and his romance with farm girl Laurey Williams. A secondary romance concerns flirtatious Ado Annie and her long-suffering fiancé Will Parker. 

The original Broadway production opened on March 31, 1943. It was a box-office smash and ran for an unprecedented 2,212 performances, later enjoying award-winning revivals, national tours, foreign productions and an Academy Award-winning 1955 film adaptation. It has long been a popular choice for school and community productions. 

My thanks go out to Dennis Canright, DeeAnn Blair and Richard Blair for the honor they have bestowed upon me in offering the role. 

Rehearsals begin Monday.  The show will be double-cast.  Check my event calendar for my performances if so inclined but feel free to see either cast as Oklahoma! promises to be a spectacular event!

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