Performing Arts Fort Worth’s eclectic new season

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Performing Arts Fort Worth

2013-14 season

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Posted 10:59pm on Thursday, Jul. 11, 2013

Musicals about a ghost in love, a Christmas-stealing grump and punk rockers. An evening featuring one of America’s greatest composers performing one of his own film scores. A return to the set of one of the 1950s’ most beloved sitcoms and a night with one of television’s greatest sitcom stars.

Bass Hall will host all that and more in its 2013-14 performance season.

Performing Arts Fort Worth, the in-house production company that presents most of the shows at Bass Hall and neighboring McDavid Studio, announced the eclectic lineup Thursday evening.

The long list of musicals, concerts, dance performances and standup comedy nights includes two particularly eye-catching events: the touring production of Ghost: The Musicaland composer Philip Glass and his ensemble performing his soundtrack to the original Dracula (1931) as the film is screened.

Ghost, based on the 1990 film featuring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, will be presented in time for Valentine’s date nights, Feb. 11-16. The show, with music by Dave Stewart (The Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard (producer and songwriter who produced Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill and wrote Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror), ran on Broadway for only four months, which is typically not long enough to lead to a national tour. But because of the buzz created by the show, and the popularity of the movie, it is likely to be among the shows most anticipated by local musical fans.

On Oct. 29, Glass, probably the most significant American classical music composer since Aaron Copland, will bring a classy chill to Halloween with Dracula: The Music & Film. Glass, whose works are performed by orchestras worldwide, has composed film scores for new movies ( The Hours, The Illusionist) and vintage films ( Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast). His live soundtrack presentations with his ensemble are always electrifying, and the music that he created for this film is among his best work of any type.

Among the other musicals to be offered at Bass Hall are two directly linked to major American rock bands, albeit from different eras.

The wildly popular Jersey Boys, chronicling the early days and meteoric rise of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, makes its Fort Worth debut June 3-15. A related show, The Midtown Men, has visited before.

At the other end of the pop music spectrum is American Idiot, the stage work created by the neo-punk band Green Day. The show ran a full year on Broadway in 2010-11 and has been on the road ever since. It will play here for one night only, March 19.

Rounding out the list of musicals, presented mostly under the umbrella of Performing Arts Fort Worth’s “Broadway at the Bass” series, are Menopause: The Musical (Sept. 27-28), with songs set to familiar hit tunes from the past; the mean, green holiday treat Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical (Nov. 19-24); Nice Work If You Can Get It (Sept. 16-21), a new show set in the roaring ’20s, with George and Ira Gershwin songs from that era, which closed a 14-month Broadway run just weeks ago; the garbage-can-banging, urban dance extravaganza Stomp! (April 8-13); and, finally, the brilliantly satiric Forbidden Broadway, which will offer wicked sendups of Broadway shows of the past and present (March 27).

Television’s past will be celebrated in two shows.

I Love Lucy” Live on Stage (March 11-16) promises to show patrons what it was like to sit in the studio audience of this classic sitcom during the filming of two episodes from 1952, right down to recreating the commercials.

And Dec. 7, legendary comedian and sitcom star Bob Newhart will return to Bass Hall for a night of standup.

The concerts list has a slightly international tilt. Cuba’s Buena Vista Social Club performs Oct. 2. The Hungarian State Folk Ensemble follows Oct. 10. And South Africa’s Johnny Clegg Band and Ladysmith Black Mambazo perform March 18.

Clegg, known in his homeland as “the white Zulu,” has been a major influence on the music of that part of the world for decades, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo is well known to American audiences for its work on Paul Simon’s landmark Graceland album.

A few shows in the season do not fit easy categorization. Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody (May 21-25, at McDavid Studio) offers a different view of those naughty bestsellers.

And Elvis Lives! (Jan. 16) gathers finalists from an Elvis tribute artist contest to present the King at various stages of his career.

A number of artists and shows are coming back for encores. They include:

Aug. 16-17: Beatles cover band 1964 The Tribute

Sept. 29: Comedian Lewis Black, “The Rant Is Due!”

Oct. 23-27: Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding (at McDavid Studio)

Nov. 6: The Doobie Brothers

Dec. 16: Michael Martin Murphey’s Cowboy Christmas

Dec. 17: pianist Jim Brickman, “On a Winter’s Night”

Dec. 28: Robert Earl Keen

Jan. 17-19: Blue Man Group

March 5-9: Sister’s Easter Catechism: Will My Bunny Go to Heaven? (at McDavid Studio), which is not a repeat performance, but is the next installment in the “Catechism” series that has been presented at McDavid previously.

For younger patrons, Performing Arts’ family series will present:

Sept. 22: Mark Nizer 4D

Nov. 10: Frogz!

March 30: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

And in the miscellaneous category are these shows. More may be added as the season progresses:

Nov. 9: An Evening with David Sedaris

Jan. 26: Dance Theatre of Harlem

March 4: Jon Batiste & Stay Human

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