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The Dallas Center for the Performing Arts announced its first-ever Lexus Broadway Series for the Winspear Opera House. The series will present the musicals Spring Awakening, Avenue Q and the Lincoln Center revival of South Pacific. The DCPA is also bringing in author Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, August: Osage County. It’s unusual for a stage drama to tour these days, and August will be the first drama to test the waters of the 2,300-seat Winspear, which, as its name implies, is primarily designed for musical productions. It may prove intimate enough for Letts’ dysfunctional-family epic; on the other hand, will such a bitter comedy about a drug-popping mother at a family reunion, a reunion filled with tirades and accusations about pedophilia and alcoholism, draw enough to fill the Winspear?
The DCPA’s new president Mark Nerenhausen spoke to an invited crowd at the center’s next-door neighbor in the Arts District, the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. In addition to the shows and ticket sales, Nerenhausen announced a new partnership with the Arts Magnet.
NERENHAUSEN: “Just as a beginning, we’re creating a master class series, where the working theater professionals, including actors, technicians, writers and composers, will interact with Booker T students. These classes will range from songwriting seminars to makeup seminars, and all will be geared to provide creative training and career guidance to these students.”
With the exception of Avenue Q, which played Bass Hall in Fort Worth last year, all of the Broadway series shows will be North Texas premieres. The series begins in December with with South Pacific. This means that the DCPA’s brand-new touring series, which provides the first real competition with the Dallas Summer Musicals, will actually only overlap briefly with the 47-year-old DSM. The DSM’s 101 Dalmations may run opposite South Pacific (specific dates aren’t available yet for the Dalmations, only the month of December) while the DCPA’s Avenue Q, running May 25-June 6, will almost certainly play against a DSM offering in its next season, which usually begins in April or May.
But that tiny overlap may be temporary. For now, the DCPA is a “winter-spring” series with only four offerings. If it expands, it will undoubtedly start providing North Texans with a more frequent choice of touring productions on any given week.
Season ticket prices for the Lexus Broadway Series vary from $100 to $368. In a move borrowed from Broadway theaters, which have begun offering premium tickets, the DCPA will also sell a special subscription package for $1000. Series tickets have gone on sale today.