Uptown Players ready to take 2018 BOW

By Shari Goldstein Stern

Some people are just meant to take the stage. Such is the case with Dallas’ Mikey Abrams, who returns this year for the 17th annual production of “Broadway our Way” (BOW) at Uptown Players (UP) Thursday, June 14 through Sunday, June 17. Abrams has performed in BOW the past four years and is thrilled to be back with the show.

East Dallas theatergoers may recognize Abrams from Garland Summer Musicals, where he has appeared in, “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Crazy for You,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Kiss me Kate,” and others throughout the years.

This year’s BOW is promised to be even better than 2017, which upstaged 2016. The show is different every year, so BOW veteran patrons find it fresh. As iconic performers like Liza and Streisand, many of the traditional cast, including Abrams, will perform again while there are a few new additions. Abrams quipped, “I think there are more young divas in the cast this year, but maybe that’s because I’m old.”

A few of the other returning divas are Linda Leonard, Coy Covington, Amy Stevenson and Peter DiCesare. It wouldn’t be BOW without David Lugo, Janelle Lutz and Kelly McCain. Among more cast members, both returning and new are Chapman Blake, Aaron Green, Jonathan Hardin, Lindsay Hayward and Lexee Leach.

The annual show is written and directed by B.J. Cleveland, who also transforms himself into some of Broadway’s most recognizable divas. Abrams makes transformations that render himself unrecognizable.

He won’t spill the beans on who he plays or who other stars represent or songs that will be included. Music direction is by Kevin Gunter and choreography by Trevor Wright.

Abrams has held roles in New York’s “Re-Designing Women,” “Don’t Tell Mamas,” and others both on and off-Broadway. Locally he has worked at Theatre Three, Garland Summer Musicals, Runway Theatre, Lyric Stage, and many other area theaters, and he sings with the Turtle Creek Chorale.

For a while in the ’90s Abrams performed at the Granbury Opera house, “… because I wanted to buy groceries.” He says, “But I call UP ‘home.’”

For Abrams’s “day job,” he has been a residential real estate agent with Texas Pride Realty for the past 15 years, after being a theater teacher at North Garland High School for 15 years. “I was doing so well at real estate, I decided to do it full time,” he said. He sells residential all throughout DFW. “I’m doing very well. I can’t complain,” Abrams added. He lives in Carrollton with his husband, Scott Taylor.

“In BOW, I have the most wonderful roles. “We [UP] like bucking stereotypes, and being one of old geezers in the company, I get to say, ‘Let those chorus line people do the work.’”

Cleveland has heard members of the LGBT community claim they had never been represented on stage for many decades and this evening is about fun and providing a previously unheard voice and seeing the world as they always wish it could be.

“What I love about BOW is it’s like summer camp. You do what you love. Everyone does something that makes them shine. It’s great to see old friends and meet new ones.”

“Broadway our Way” runs at the Kalita Humphreys Theatre, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. (at Blackburn), Dallas, 75219, Thursday, June 14 through Sunday, June 17. There will be a post-performance reception, and tickets can be purchased online at uptownplayers.org or by phone at 214-219-2718.

The entire cast of Uptown Players’ 7th annual “Broadway our Way,” which runs at the Kalita Humphreys Theatre Thursday, June 14 through Sunday, June 17. Photos by Mike Morgan