Carnival had a profitable two year run on Broadway back in 1961, but the whimsical story of a young French girl's coming-of-age in the midst of a carnival is a rare bird on American stages. That may be changing. Jan. 29, 2001, no less than Disney held a reading of the Bob Merrill-Michael Stewart musical with Broadway's Sarah Uriarte Berry, Lewis J. Stadlen, Peter Gallagher, Billy Zane, B. D. Wong and Michelle Pawk in the lead roles.
Nothing much came of that, but Dallas Theatre Center is now staging their own revival of Carnival, April 10-May 5, 2002 in the company's Arts District Theatre. Artistic director Richard Hamburger helms the tale of orphan Lili, who grows up among the puppets and players in a traveling carnival, learning to love from an angry, disabled puppeteer and a philandering performer named Marco the Magnificent. "Love Makes the World Go 'Round" was the big hit from the score.
A world premiere drama is being decided on for the Jan. 16-Feb. 10, 2002 slot in the Kalita Humphreys Theater. The new play is chosen in honor of Dallas theatre legend Margo Jones and joins such DTC works as Dark Rapture, Santos & Santos and Thunder Knocking on the Door, which got their starts in Dallas.
Dallas Theatre Center will also host a co-production of Sheldon Epps' Blues in the Night, running Feb. 20-March 17, 2002 in the Kalita Humphreys Theater. Staged with Washington DC's Arena Stage, the 1930's musical takes place in the blues clubs of Chicago and features such jazz and blues standards as "Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be)," "Wild Women Don't Have The Blues" and "Stompin' at the Savoy." Kenny Leon, artistic director of Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, heads the production.
Kicking off the season will be yet another regional Hedda Gabler, playing Sept. 5-30 at the Kalita Humphreys Theater. The Dallas Theatre Center will also produce a revival of The Front Page, directed by Richard Hamburger (Oct. 17-Nov. 11, 2001) and the annual A Christmas Carol, adapted by Preston Lane and Jonathan Moscone and directed by Moscone (Nov. 23-Dec. 24, 2001). The Kalita Humphreys Theater is located at 3636 Turtle Creek Boulevard between Blackburn and Lemmon Avenues. For reservations, call (214) 522-8499. The Dallas Theatre Center is on the web at http://www.dallastheatercenter.org.
— By Christine Ehren