Michael Federico in <em>Decline of Ballooning</em>&nbsp;from the In-Laws at the Festival of Independent Theatres

Places! July 16-22, 2015

It's our weekly list of performing arts events opening on local stages. Plus, the rundown of last-chance shows.

published Thursday, July 16, 2015


Welcome to our weekly mega-list of performing arts happenings on TheaterJones! It covers a Thursday-to-Wednesday cycle and rounds up our picks for the best theater, classical music, opera, dance, comedy, spoken word/poetry and performing arts on film that are opening on North Texas stages and in movie theaters. Of all the local print and/or digital publications out there, it's the only weekly list of best bets that covers the range of performing arts—and only performing arts.

This week: The Festival of Independent Theatres introduces five new shows in its second week, Tyrees Allen plays Othello at Second Thought, the daring Ohlook Performing Arts in Grapevine gives us the regional premiere of the filthy and brilliant Jerry Springer: The Opera, and a "life-sized whale surrealist puppetry" show hits North Texas for one night.

Also, there's the Asian Film Festival of Dallas at the Angelika Film Center Dallas, presented by Well Go USA/Home Entertainment, which is a sponsor of TheaterJones' Places! Above is a video trailer for the festival, and below in the list, you'll find more about AFFD.

This list doesn't have everything happening in this week's cycle, but we've hit the highlights. For more listings, click the red calendar button at the top right of the page, and then you'll see a search function where you can search for events by presenting company, venue, title, description, date range and more options.

Note: Theater productions that have opened in a previous cycle and are in the middle of the run are not in the list below, but you can find them in the listings (see paragraph above). When a show is in its final weekend, we'll mention it in the "Last Chance" section of Places!

Get out and support the arts!



Thursday, July 16 through Wednesday, July 22 


Photo: Upstart Productions
Joey Folsom in Sick Fuck from Upstart Productions at the Festival of Independent Theatres

1. Festival of Independent Theatres (FIT): Week 2

Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas

The 17th annual FIT opened last weekend with four shows (look for our reviews of those coming soon on TheaterJones), and this weekend four more open, plus a late-night cabaret about millennial dating. How it works: Each show is less than an hour, and there are two shows in one performance block. Blocks are 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 2, 5 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 2 and 5 p.m. Sundays. There's also FIT Underground and late-night shows on Fridays and Saturdays. And don't miss the gallery exhibition irrational.City, curated by Dwayne Carter. Click the link on each show listed to go to its individual listing. | Through Aug. 1

  • Playthings, presented by Circus Freaks (Opens in the 8 p.m. block on Friday, July 17)
  • Sick Fuck, presented by Upstart Productions and starring Joey Folsom (Opens in the 8 p.m. block on Friday, July 17)
  • This is not officially one of the FIT 8, but Kathryn Taylor Rose's one-woman cabaret Love Me Tinder opens at 10 p.m. Friday, July 17 in FIT Underground, and plays the following two Fridays
  • Gorilla Theatre debuts with David M. Graham's And the Stones Will Cry Out (Opens in the 8 p.m. block on Saturday, July 18)
  • The In-Laws presents Brian Torrey Scott's Decline of Ballooning, starring Michael Federico (Opens in the 8 p.m. block on Saturday, July 18)

» Click here to go to our special section devoted to the Festival of Independent Theatres. You'll find a schedule, interviews, reviews and more to be added soon.

» Danielle Georgiou writes about her creative process for The Show About Men in her June Sixth Position Column on TheaterJones

» Our FIT listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


2. Othello

Second Thought Theatre | Bryant Hall, Dallas

Second Thought Theatre's season closes with Othello, in what looks like a modern take, starring the great Tyrees Allen, his fourth time in the role. Joel Ferrell directs, and the production also features Jenny Ledel, Morgan Lauré, Max Hartman, Danielle Pickard and Alex Organ, at Bryant Hall on the Kalita Humphreys Theater campus. See video preview above. | Previews July 16, opens Friday, July 17 and runs through Aug. 8

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


Photo: Alex Heika
Stephanie Felton in Jerry Springer: The Opera

3. Jerry Springer: The Opera

Ohlook Performing Arts, Grapevine

Ohlook Performing Arts in Grapevine is the first area theater to take on the astoundingly filthy and utterly brilliant musical/opera hybrid by Richard Thomas and Stewart Lee. You might remember that 10 years ago, as the hit award-winning London run (it won the Olivier Award for Best Musical in 2004) was wrapping up, there was a national TV broadcast of it in Great Britain, which caused much controversy and boycott threats. Here's the lowdown: In the first act, it's Jerry Springer's audacious talk show, and his guests are a range of eccentrics with freaky-deaky secrets to be revealed. At the end of act one, Jerry is killed and descends into hell. In Act Two, it's his show in hell and the guests are Jesus and Satan, and he's mediating the forces of good and evil. The religion stuff is what caused most of the outcry, with accusations of blasphemy. And did we mention it's filthy? Seriously, if you can find a dirtier musical, we wanna hear about it. The production, performed in the late-night series, is directed by Alex Heika and features local opera and musical theater performers, and a three-person reduced orchestra. Go early and catch Ohlook's other current production, Green Day's American Idiot. | 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, July 17-Aug. 1

» Read Mark Lowry's feature story about Jerry Springer: The Opera in the Star-Telegram

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


4. Crazy for You

Garland Summer Musicals | Granville Arts Center, Garland

Garland Summer Musicals presents the delightful Gershwin piece, Crazy for You, starring Stephanie Riggs Kirkham and Stan Graner, and featuring a full orchestra, at the Granville Arts Center | July 17-26

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


5. Exchange Street

8&1 Dance Company | Courtyard Theatre, Plano

8&1 Dance Company presents an original dance-theater piece that takes place in a boxing ring, and is inspired by choreographer Jill Rucci's grandfather, who was a boxing trainer. The work is "all about sacrifice and dedication for the love of boxing." The story is told through dance and narration and is set in the 1960's and 70's, and features the music of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and others. It's at the Courtyard Theatre, Plano | 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 18

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


Photo: Sarah Beal Photography
From left: Khalid Beard and Brian Lacy in Exchange Street from 8&1 Dance Company


6. Asian Film Festival of Dallas

Angelika Film Center Dallas

The 14th Annual Asian Film Festival of Dallas, presented by Well Go USA/Home Entertainment, is at the Angelika Film Center Dallas. There are a number of Asian action films, art films, shorts and documentaries, and there are two films that we particularly want to point out, as they fit in with TheaterJones' mission of promoting performing arts: One is Shiren & Ragi, an inoue-kabuki story filmed from a live Japanese stage production about two assassins who fall in love (6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 18, see video trailer below); and the other is Ballerino, a story about a friendship between a North Korean defector and a South Korean ballet dancer (1:15 p.m. Sunday, July 19). | July 16-23

» Look for a story about Well Go USA Entertainment coming soon on TheaterJones

» More info here



7. The Beulaville Baptist Book Club Presents: Macbeth

MBS Productions | Stone Cottage, Addison

MBS Productions brings one of its most popular shows, its holiday happening The Beulaville Baptist Church Book Club Presents: A Bur-Less-Q Nutcracker to a non-Christmas event. After all, the folks at the church would want to engage in the performing arts other times of the year. This time, they're taking on Shakespeare's Scottish Play at the Stone Cottage Theatre, Addison | July 16-Aug. 9

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


8. Modern Dance Festival at the Modern: Weekend 2

Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth | The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth continues its 12th Annual Modern Dance Festival at the Modern, with a second weekend of "Dance Unplugged," in which local and regional dancers will perform work in the Grand Lobby of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth without recorded music or any electronic doohickeys. There are also some short dance films this weekend, and the festival culminates July 23-24 with a CD/FW Dance Exchange. | The entire event runs through July 24, but below is what's happening this weekend. In our listing, you can view a complete schedule.

Dance Unplugged, Grand Lobby

  • Friday July 17, 6-7:45 pm
  • Saturday July 18, 1-4 pm
  • Sunday July 19, 1-4 pm

Dance On Camera: Dance Shorts - Program A, Modern Auditorium

12 p.m. Saturday, July 18

  • Well Contested Sites (Amie Dowling, USA, 2012): Developed and shot on Alcatraz Island, this film explores the issue of mass incarceration and the complex experience faced by the incarcerated.
  • A Juice Box Afternoon (Lily Baldwin, USA, 2014): Through her writing, Anne Morrow Lindbergh comes of age, meets Charles Lindbergh, and experiences flight in more ways than one. The first in a new series entitled, "The Paperback Movie Project."
  • Washed (Daphna Mero, Israel, 2012): A female laundry worker desperately attempts to abort the fruit of a violent encounter. When the consequences of her action are revealed, her repressed memories emerge.
  • Stella & Tom (John Resner, USA, 2014): Featuring Stella Abrera and Tom Forster (two of American Ballet Theatre's finest dancers) in a specially choreographed dance for film.

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


Photo: Richard Hubert-Smith
Everyman (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Goods (Amy Griffiths, Clemmie Sveaas, Joshua Lacey, Nicholas Karimi) in Everyman, screened in the NT Live series


9. Everyman

NT Live | Angelika Film Center Dallas and Plano

The National Theatre of London's production of one of the English language's oldest plays, Everyman, starring Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, Kinky Boots), screens in the NT Live series at both Angelika Film Centers | 7 p.m. Thursday, July 16 and 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 22

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


Photo: Courtesy
Chris Franjola

10. Chris Franjola

Hyena's Comedy Night Club Dallas

Writer/comedian Franjola was a writer and a regular performer on E!’s Chelsea Lately for 8 years. During his time on the show Chris created some of its most memorable characters like Gay Caveman, Bieber Man, Johnny Depp, Seventeen Magazine Players and many more, and he does five shows at Hyena's Dallas this weekend. | July 16-18

» More info


11. Pandora's Box Poetry Showcase, July Edition

Pandora's Box | The Margo Jones Theatre, Dallas

This month at Pandora's Box Poetry Showcase: Amos Hunt, Tamitha Curiel and the Et Al. Players (Christopher Soden, Paul Koniecki, Dan Collins, Gayle Reaves, Mark Nobles and Logen Cure) performing BreadCrumbs! (think "Hansel and (re)Gretel," a cycle of successively inspired poems. | 8 p.m. Monday, July 20

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


12. Ballenarca!

Ash Studios, Dallas

Ballenarca (in Spanish: ballena = ­whale and arca =­ ark) is a giant whale, touring as both a puppet performance and immersive, interactive sculpture. Created by an international collective of puppeteers, musicians, dancers and performers. Together they have forged a portable, surrealist puppet experience. The magical world of Ballenarca showcases bicycle creations, handmade instruments, dance and an assortment of transformational puppets housed within a traveling stage. Ballenarca stops in North Texas en route to the Wicker Park Festival in Chicago, Canada and the Northeast coast!

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more







Come Blow Your Horn

Rover Dramawerks in Plano does Neil Simon's early work Come Blow Your Horn | July 16-Aug. 8

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


Jamie Lissow

Hyena's Comedy Night Club Fort Worth | July 16-18

» More info



The Firehouse Theatre in Farmer's Branch presents Oklahoma! | July 16-Aug. 2

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


John Witherspoon

Addison Improv | July 16-19

» More info





Bill Bellamy 

Is at the Arlington Improv | July 17-19

» More info


The Drowsy Chaperone

The Granbury Theatre Company does The Drowsy Chaperone at the Granbury Opera House | July 17-Aug. 16

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


Dial M for Murder

Presented by Frisco Community Theatre, directed by Sue Birch. | July 17-Aug. 2

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


The Humor Games

The city’s best improvisers will offer themselves as tribute and will face each other center stage to perform games and scenes chosen by the audience, at Pocket Sandwich Theatre, Dallas | 11:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 17 and 18

» More info here

Photo: Mark Kitaoka
Cellist Yuri Anshelevich plays in the Basically Beethoven Festival


Little Women, the Musical

Theatre Coppell closes its season with Little Women, the Musical | July 17-Aug. 2

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


Once Upon a Mattress

Presented by Rockwall Community Playhouse | July 17-Aug. 2

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Runway Theatre in Grapevine presents The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee | July 17-Aug. 9

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more





MADE (Music Arts Drinks Eats)

Stage West in Fort Worth has a community open house featuring locally made art, food and music, with performances by locals Jacob Furr, Jacob Johnson and The Matthew Show Acoustic Duo. It's free. | 2-4 p.m. Saturday, July 18

» More info here


Vitruvian Salsa Festival

The Dance Council of North Texas presents this music/dance festival every Saturday at 6pm at Vitruvian Park in Addison. On July 18, the musical guest is Carabeli | Through July 25

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more




Basically Beethoven Festival

Fine Arts Chamber Players continues its annual festival, through July 26 at Dallas City Performance Hall. This week, Dallas Symphony Orchestra cellist Yuri Anshelevich perfoms the music of Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann with Steven Harlos, pianist. | 3 p.m. July 19

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more




Photo: Terry Shapiro
The tour of Pippin comes to Bass Hall


Menopause the Musical

Menopause, the Musical runs at the Music Hall at Fair Park, in a benefit for Susan G. Komen Foundation | July 21-26

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more



The tour of the recent Tony-winning, circus-themed revival moves to Bass Performance Hall, presented by Performing Arts Fort Worth | July 21-26

» Our review of the tour stop at Dallas Summer Musicals, where it closes Sunday, July 19

» Our interview with John Rubinstein, who played Pippin in the original Broadway production and now plays Charlemagne on the tour

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more




The Merry Widow

Opera superstar Renee Fleming stars in the Franz Lehar opera, screened in the Live at the Met HD Summer Encore series at area movie theaters | 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 22

» Find a location near you here





The Open Stage

Circus Freaks does a weekly open showcase of circus feats and other category-defying acts, from stand-up in costume to hula hooping opera singers to stripping poets at Celebration Event Center and Ballroom in Plano | 7 p.m. Mondays 

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


Open Classical

Bring an instrument (including your voice) and participate in this weekly classical music open mic, in locations in Dallas, Frisco and Fort Worth | See schedule below:

  • 8 p.m. every Tuesday at Buzzbrews Kitchen on Lemmon Avenue in Dallas
  • 8 p.m. first Monday of the month at Cedars Woodfire Grill, Frisco
  • 8 p.m. second and fourth Thursday at Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge, Fort Worth 

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more



Each week we'll highlight at least one performance in a city outside of Dallas-Fort Worth that's still reasonably drivable. Because this is Texas, that means five hours or less, one way. So, look for recommendations in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, etc.


The Trojan Women

The Baron's Men in Austin presents the Euripides tragedy. | Through July 24

» More info here



These productions will close this weekend

Photo: Leah Layman
Mass Appeal at Circle Theatre



Presented by McKinney Summer Musicals | Closes Sunday

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


The Kountry Girls

Presented by Theatre Three | Closes Sunday

» Our review


Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly Away Home

Presented by Contemporary Theatre of Dallas | Closes Sunday

» Our review


The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Presented by Theatre Arlington | Closes Sunday

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


Mass Appeal

Presented by Circle Theatre | Closes Saturday

» Our review


Portal to the Keep

Presented by the Core Theatre, Richardson | Closes Saturday

» Our listing, with times, ticket info, map and more


Six Characters in Search of an Author

Presented by DragStrip Courage at Arts Fifth Avenue, Fort Worth | Closes Sunday

» Our review



Here are some must-see upcoming performances and events


  1. Garland Civic Theatre's season opens with Into the Woods at the Granville Arts Center | July 23-Aug. 2
  2. Uptown Players presents the musical Catch Me If You Can at the Kalita Humphreys Theater | July 24-Aug. 9
  3. Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas presents Curtains at the Irving Arts Center | July 24-Aug. 8
  4. Jubilee Theatre's season closes with The Color Purple | July 24-Aug. 23
  5. WaterTower Theatre does Sweet Charity | July 24-Aug. 16
  6. Uppermost Entertainment debuts with the one-man show I'm Always On My Mind at Theatre 166 in Carrollton | July 24-Aug. 22
  7. Luckenbooth Theatre Collective presents A Piece of My Heart at Arts Fifth Avenue, Fort Worth | July 24-26
  8. Too Old, Too Fat, Too Black: Songs I'll Never Sing on Broadway, a cabaret by Denise Lee, closes the Cabaret in Fair Park series at the Women's Museum, Fair Park | 7:30 p.m. July 28
  9. Junior Players does A Midsummer Night's Dream at Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre, Dallas | July 28-Aug. 2
  10. The tour of Motown the Musical comes to AT&T Performing Arts Center's Winspear Opera House | July 28-Aug. 16
  11. Fun House Theatre and Film presents Chris Rodenbaugh's The Wraith at Plano Children's Theatre | July 29-Aug. 2
  12. Theatre Three's new season opens with The Glass Menagerie | July 30-Aug. 23
  13. Denton Community Theatre presents Take Ten: Ten-Minute Play Festival at the PointBank Black Box Theatre, Denton | July 31-Aug. 2
  14. SceneShop celebrates 20 years with a showcase at Arts Fifth Avenue, Fort Worth | Aug. 1-8
  15. Stage West does the play Mr. Burns, a post-electric play | Aug. 6-Sept. 13



  1. CD/FW Dance Exchange: A Choreographer's Showcase closes the Modern Dance Festival at the Modern | July 23-24
  2. The Dallas Hip-Hop Dance Fest Competition and Showcase is at the Majestic Theatre | July 24-25
  3. imPULSE dance project presents The Four Seasons: Recomposed at the Addison Theatre Centre, Studio Thetre | July 25
  4. The Indian Cultural Heritage Foundation presents Arathi Dance Fest 2015 at Dallas City Performance Hall | Aug. 7-8
  5. The Second Annual Dallas DanceFest is at Dallas City Performance Hall | Sept. 4-6
  6. Texas Ballet Theater's season opens with Ben Stevenson's Dracula at the AT&T Performing Arts Center's Winspear Opera House, featuring Dallas Symphony Orchestra | Sept. 4-6
  7. Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernandez comes to Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie | Sept. 16
  8. Twyla Tharp's 50th Anniversary Tour opens TITAS' season at Winspear Opera House | Sept. 18-19
  9. The Russian Grand Ballet presents Swan Lake at the Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts, Richardson | Sept 24
  10. The Dark Circles Contemporary Dance season opens with Fall Series at TCU's Erma Lowe Hall Studio | Oct. 9-11
  11. Texas Ballet Theater does Ben Stevenson's Dracula at Bass Performance Hall, featuring the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra | Oct. 16-18
  12. TITAS presents Kyle Abraham at Dallas City Performance Hall | Oct. 29-30



  1. The Festival of American Song, featuring musical theater composer Jason Robert Brown, returns to Texas Christian University | July 25-26
  2. Orchestra of New Spain presents "Music for Portrait of Infanta Margarita in Blue Dress" at the Meadows Museum at SMU | July 30
  3. The Fort Worth Symphony season opens with the Classical Masters Festival at Bass Performance Hall | Aug. 28-30
  4. The Dallas Symphony's Pops season opens with The Sinatra Century at the Meyerson Symphony Center | Sept. 4-6
  5. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra does Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and other works at Dallas City Performance Hall | Sept. 11-12



  1. Bryan Callen comes to the Addison Improv | July 31-Aug. 2
  2. Serial's Sarah Koenig appears in the AT&T Performing Arts Center's #Thinkspeak Series at the Winspear Opera House | Aug. 2
  3. Wendy Williams comes to Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie | Aug. 7
  4. Kevin Hart is at American Airlines Center | Aug. 14
  5. "Weird" Al Yankovic: The Mandatory World Tour visits Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie | Aug. 21
  6. Comic Patton Oswalt comes to Majestic Theatre, Dallas | Sept. 12
  7. Nerdist guru Chris Hardwick comes to Majestic Theatre, Dallas | Sept. 18 


» For complete listings of what's happening on North Texas stages, click on the calendar icon at the top right of the page. Once there, you can click the red "Search the Calendar" box, and search for listings by dates, performance type, the presenting company, titles or descriptions. For instance, type "Shakespeare" into the description field, click SEARCH and you'll find a host of performances (theater, dance, music, etc.) by, adapted from or about the Bard. Thanks For Reading

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Places! July 16-22, 2015
It's our weekly list of performing arts events opening on local stages. Plus, the rundown of last-chance shows.
by Mark Lowry

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