<em>The Book of Mormon</em>&nbsp;comes to Bass Hall

Places! Nov. 27-Dec. 2, 2015

It's our weekly list of performing arts events opening on local stages. And you guessed it, aside from those Mormons, it's all about Scrooges and Sugar Plum Fairies.

published Friday, November 27, 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 we left out the Thursday since it was Turkey Day and all.)

This week: Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time for the onslaught of holiday-themed shows, notably in theater and dance. With the latter, that means Nutcrackers galore. For theater, it's all about various takes on A Christmas Carol. But if you want to avoid shows with Scrooges, reindeer and Sugar Plum Fairies, take note that the tour of the popular musical The Book of Mormon hits Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall for the first time.

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. There are currently more than 600 listings in our database!

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!




Friday, Nov. 27 through Wednesday, Dec. 2

Photo: Karen Almond
Hassan El-Amin as Scrooge at Dallas Theater Center
Photo: Buddy Myers
Emily Scott Banks in Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol at Stage West
Photo: Pocket Sandwich Theatre
David Lambert as Ebenezer Scrooge at Pocket Sandwich Theatre



1. A Christmas Carol

Dallas Theater Center | Wyly Theatre

It's the third year for Kevin Moriarty's adaptation of the Dickens classic, and its third year in the Wyly Theatre. And there are two great reasons to catch this round. One, it's directed by Christie Vela, marking her DTC directing debut. And second, it's the first year that Scrooge is played by Hassan El-Amin. A Latina directing and a black man starring in a role that has been traditionally cast with white men—gotta love that DTC is increasingly embracing diversity, which is something artistic director Kevin Moriarty has been doing since he arrived on the scene. | Previews continue through Nov. 29; opens Dec. 1 and runs through Dec. 26

» More info in our listing


2. The Book of Mormon

Performing Arts Fort Worth | Bass Performance Hall

The tour of this Tony-winning musical comes to Fort Worth for the first time. It's the creation of Matt Stone and Trey Parker of South Park fame, and Robert Lopez of Avenue Q. So you know it's both filthy and snort-beer-out-your-nose funny. Then again, Lopez is the co-writer of the mammoth hit song "Let It Go" from Frozen, so there's some hearthwarmth going on, too. Oh, and if you don't have tickets yet, know that it's close to sold out but there will be lottery for $25 tickets at each performance. | Dec. 1-6

» Read Mark Lowry's guide for Mormon virgins in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

» How to sign up for the lottery

» More info in our listing


3. Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol

Stage West, Fort Worth

Continuing the trend of non-traditional casting, Stage West opens its first full Studio Season at its Vickery theater with Tom Mula's one-person play in which Jacob Marley tells his version of the famous Dickens story, and it stars Emily Scott Banks as Marley. Garret Storms directs. | Previews Nov. 27; opens Nov. 28 and runs through Dec. 20

» More info in our listing


Photo: Karen Almond
Not a Creature Was Stirring at Dallas Children\'s Theater


4. Not a Creature Was Stirring

Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts/Dallas Children's Theater | Rosewood Center for Family Arts

Kathy Burks Theatre of Puppetry Arts also gives us a delightful holiday show in the Black Theatre style of puppetry from Eastern Europe, as well as other puppetry techniques. Expect no less from this year's show, which looks at the night before Christmas from the POV of a family of mice. | Nov. 27-Dec. 23

» More info in our listing

Photo: Mark Trew
Theatre Britain's annual panto is King Arthur


5. King Arthur

Theatre Britain | Cox Building Playhouse, Plano

One of our favorite holiday traditions is Theatre Britain's annual panto, which takes a familiar tale and adds songs, corny jokes and of course the famous Dame character, of a man dressed as a woman. This year's panto is based on the King Arthur legend. | Nov. 28-Dec. 27

» More info in our listing


6. The Winter's Tale

The Kenneth Branagh Theatre via Fathom Events | Various Movie Theaters

Whoa. First of all, the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company: We want to go to there. Next, this production features Branagh as Leontes and Judi Dench as Paulina. Rob Asford co-directs, along with Branagh. You can see the production screened at eight local movie theaters: Cinemark 14 Denton, Cinemark Allen 16, Cinemark 24 (The Legacy), Cinemark 17 with IMAX (Dallas), Movies 16 in Grand Prairie, Cinemark Tinseltown Movies 17 (Grapevine), Parks at Arlington 18 with IMAX and Ridgmar 13 in Fort Worth. | 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30

» More info in our listing


7. The Nutcracker Suite

Dallas Symphony Orchestra | Meyerson Symphony Center

The Dallas Symphony plays Tchaikovsky's full Nutcracker Suite at the Meyerson Symphony Center. We're not sure how this will work without dancers, but we're intrigued. It's conducted by Andrew Grams and features the Children's Chorus of Collin County, directed by Janie Oliver. | Nov. 27-29

» More info in our listing

» See our 2015 round-up of Nutcrackers

Photo: Nancy Loch
The Nutcracker at LakeCities Ballet Theatre


8. The Nutcracker

LakeCities Ballet Theater | Marcus High School, Larry Sigler Auditorium, Flower Mound

LakeCities Ballet Theatre does its 25th anniversary production of The Nut, and it stars Sarah Lane of American Ballet Theatre and Daniel Ulbricht of New York City Ballet as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Chevalier. | 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29

» More info in our listing

» See our 2015 round-up of Nutcrackers


9. The Nutcracker

Chamberlain Performing Arts | Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts, Richardson

And the annual Nut from Chamberlain Performing Arts features New York City Ballet principals Tiler Peck and Tyler Angle. | 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27; and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 28 and 29

» More info in our listing

» See our 2015 round-up of Nutcrackers


10. Ebenezer Scrooge

Pocket Sandwich Theatre, Dallas

Pocket Sandwich Theatre brings back its original musical Ebenezer Scrooge for the 34th year, with David H.M. Lambert reprising the role of Scrooge. | Nov. 27-Dec. 23

» More info in our listing


11. The Beulaville Baptist Book Club Presents: A Bur-Less-Q Nutcracker

MBS Productions | Addison Theatre Center, Studio Theatre

And here's another popular annual version of The Nutcracker, this one theater and dance, in which a small-town church production of The Nutcracker loses its main dancers and has to sub in a troupe of burlesque dancers who are traveling through town. It's so popular that it has moved from the tiny Stone Cottage to the Addison Theatre Center's Studio Theatre. | Nov. 27-Dec. 27

» More info in our listing


12. Romance in D

One Thirty Productions | Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas

One Thirty Productions closes its eighth season with James Sherman's Romance in D, which deals with two families celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas. What's interesting about this theater company is that all performances are 1:30 p.m. matinees, Wednesdays through Saturday. | Dec. 2-19

» More info in our listing






Photo: Courtesy
Comic Owen Benjamin


Tone Bell

Tone Bell is at the Arlington Improv | Nov. 27-28

» More info in our listing


Owen Benjamin

The piano-playing comedian is at the Addison Improv. | Nov. 27-29

» More info in our listing


Clue the Musical

Garland Civic Theatre does Clue: The Musical at the Granville Arts Center | Nov. 27-Dec. 19

» More info in our listing


A Christmas Carol

Presented by McKinney Repertory Theatre at the McKinney Performing Arts Center. | Nov. 27-Dec. 19

» More info in our listing


The Christmas Express

Runway Theatre in Grapevine does Pat Cook's The Christmas Express | Nov. 27-Dec. 13

» More info in our listing


Do You Hear What I Hear! A Jubilee Christmas

Jubilee Theatre begins previews of Akin Babatunde and Geno Young's original holiday show Do You Hear What I Hear! A Jubilee Christmas. Because the show is in previews and opens in next week's cycle, look for more in the Dec. 2 edition of Places! | Previews Nov. 27-Dec. 3; opens Dec. 4 and runs through Dec. 27

» More info in our listing


Frisco Improv Players

The group does a family-friendly improv night at the Frisco Discovery Center, Frisco. | 8 p.m. Nov. 27

» More info in our listing


Frosty the Snowman

Casa Mañana Children's Theatre presents Frosty the Snowman | Nov. 27-Dec. 23

» More info in our listing


Mary Poppins

Granbury Theatre Company does Mary Poppins at the Granbury Opera House | Nov. 27-Dec. 23

» More info in our listing


Mother, Middle America and Men

The Core Theatre in Richardson presents James Hansen Princes's new holiday play about shenanigans with a Middle American family. | Nov. 27-Dec. 19

» More info in our listing


The Nutcracker

Momentum Dance Company presents The Nutcracker at Irving Arts Center | Nov. 27-29

» More info in our listing


Jason Russell

The comedian is at Hyena's Comedy Night Club Plano | Nov. 27-28

» More info in our listing


Raj Sharma

The comedian is at Hyena's Comedy Night Club Dallas | Nov. 27-28

» More info in our listing





Home for the Holidays

Fort Worth Symphony Pops presents its annual holiday pops concert. | 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Saturday

» More info in our listing


Twas the Night Before Christmas

Presented by JointSouls Theatrical Group at the Irving Arts Center. | 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29

» More info in our listing





Bob Birdnow's Remarkable Tale of Human Survival and the Transcendence of Self

Remember back in 2011 when Second Thought Theatre debuted this one-man play by Eric Steele, with a remarkable performance by Barry Nash? First it was at the Festival of Independent Theatres, then as part of The Midwest Trilogy in STT's 2012 season. Now, it's a film, directed by Steele and featuring Nash. Look for it to have other screenings, but the first local one is Sunday at the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff. | 6:45 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29

» More info here


Robert Hawkins

The comedian is at the Arlington Improv. | 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29

» More info in our listing




Photo: Parker Gray
Joel Ferrell directs A Flea in Her Ear for SMU


A Flea in Her Ear

Joel Ferrell directs the Georges Feydeau classic for Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts, in the Greer Garson Theatre in the Owen Fine Arts Center. | Dec. 2-6

» More info in our listing




New to Places! Because Mark Lowry doesn't review a number of shows for either TheaterJones or the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, each week he'll mention something that he has seen (and possibly reviewed) that he highly recommends.


Blood Wedding

Cara Mía Theatre Company's production of Federico García Lorca's play is visual poetry, and stunningly performed. Do yourself a favor and get there before it closes on Dec. 11.

» Our TheaterJones review by Janice Franklin






Backdoor Comedy Open Mike

The Backdoor Comedy Club at the Doubletree Hotel in Dallas has weekly open mike stand-up. | 8:30 p.m. Thursdays

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


Fort Worth Poetry Slams Open Mike

Host Michael Guinn leads this weekly open mike; participants earn points to see who makes it to Cowtown's award-winning national slam team. You can also just go to watch and listen. | 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Dec. 22

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


Glitterbomb Denton

A weekly queer variety show that offers the "very best drag, burlesque, queerlesque, sideshow, magic and musical talent Denton has to offer," at Mable Peabody's Beauty Parlor and Chainsaw Repair, Denton | 9:30 p.m. Thursdays

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


Mama's Party

Amy Stevenson hosts a sometimes-weekly musical theater open-mike event at the Uptown Theater in Grand Prairie

» More info


Liz Mikel's Entertainer's Showcase

Dallas Theater Center company member Liz Mikel leads a jazz, R&B and show tune open mike every Monday at the Balcony Club, above the Lakewood Theater in East Dallas. | 9:30 p.m. Mondays

» More info


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 Dallas. (The Fort Worth and Frisco events are on hiatus.) | See schedule below:

  • 8 p.m. every Tuesday at Buzzbrews Kitchen on Lemmon Avenue in Dallas

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


Open Mic Nite at Central

The Dallas Public Library Central Branch presents an open mic for musicians, poets and other performers. At the J. Erik Jonsson Library in downtown Dallas. | 5:30-7:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of the month.

» More info



Here are some must-see upcoming performances and events



  1. B.J. Cleveland stars in the one-man A Christmas Carol: The Radio Show at Theatre Too in the Theatre Three basement | Dec. 3-20
  2. Dallas Theater Center presents the world premiere of Samuel D. Hunter's Clarkston in the Studio Theatre of the Wyly Theatre | Previews begin Dec. 3; opens Dec. 11 and runs through Jan. 31
  3. Theatre Three revives The Fantasticks | Dec. 3-27
  4. Collin Theatre Center does Jeff Swearingen's Stiff at the Jon Anthony Theater, Plano | Dec. 3-13
  5. Creative Arts Theatre & School presents What Andy Warhol Never Told Me at the Arlington Museum of Art | Dec. 3-20
  6. Onstage in Bedford presents Linda Daugherty's The Daughter of St. Nicholas | Dec. 4-20
  7. Theatre Arlington does Irving Berlin's White Christmas | Dec. 4-20
  8. Greater Lewisville Community Theatre presents the musical She Loves Me | Dec. 4-20
  9. Stolen Shakespeare Guild presents the musical She Loves Me at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center's Sanders Theatre | Dec. 4-20
  10. SceneShop presents its annual A Fifth of Christmas at Arts Fifth Avenue in Fort Worth | Dec. 5
  11. Amphibian Stage Productions does a staged reading of David Davalos' Daedalus | Dec. 6-7
  12. Shakespeare in the Bar is back with Richard III at the Wild Detectives (Dec. 7) and Small Brew Pub (Dec. 14), both in Oak Cliff | Dec. 7 & 14
  13. Dallas Summer Musicals brings the tour of Elf the Musical at the Music Hall at Fair Park | Dec. 8-20
  14. Camp Death Productions presents A Trailer Trash Christmas Carol at the Margo Jones Theatre, Dallas | Dec. 8-22
  15. TeCo Theatrical Productions presents Black Nativity at the Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Oak Cliff | Dec. 10-20
  16. Nouveau 47 Theatre presents its annual showcase of original 10-minute plays, A Very Nouveau Holiday | Dec. 10-20
  17. Amphibian Stage Productions in Fort Worth presents the original musical Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins | Dec. 11-20
  18. Shakespeare Dallas presents The Narrative Poems as part of its Complete Works Series, in the Sixth Floor Studio of the Wyly Theatre | Dec. 13-14
  19. The tour of Jersey Boys returns to AT&T Performing Arts Center's Winspear Opera House | Dec. 16-27
  20. Pegasus Theatre presents an original Living Black and White production, Death is a Bad Habit! at the Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts, Richardson | Dec. 31-Jan. 24



  1. The Dallas Ballet Company presents The Nutcracker at the Granville Arts Center in Garland | Dec. 4-6
  2. Park Cities Studios/The Dallas Conservatory presents Rockefeller Christmas Spectacular at Dallas City Performance Hall | Dec. 6
  3. Avant Chamber Ballet presents "Holiday Celebration" at Dallas City Performance Hall | Dec. 10
  4. Texas Ballet Theater presents The Nutcracker at Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth | Dec. 11-27
  5. Dallas Repertoire Ballet presents The Nutcracker at Eisemann Center, Richardson | Dec. 11-13
  6. Denton City Contemporary Ballet presents A Gift for Emma at Texas Woman's University | Dec. 19-20
  7. Collin County Ballet Theatre presents The Nutcracker at the Eisemann Center, Richardson | Dec. 19-23
  8. The Chinese touring spectacle Shen Yun returns to AT&T Performing Arts Center's Winspear Opera House | Jan. 1-10
  9. The second annual Rhythm in Fusion Festival, featuring tap dance workshops and performances, comes to the Wyly Theatre | Jan. 15-18
  10. Ballet Frontier of Texas does a program called Director's Choice, featuring Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, at the Scott Theatre at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center | 8 p.m. Jan. 16



  1. The Dallas Opera presents the world premiere of Mark Adamo's Becoming Santa Claus at the Winspear Opera House | Dec. 4-12
  2. Catch the Austin Piazzolla Quintet at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth | Dec. 4
  3. Chamber Music International's third concert of the season is at Dallas City Performance Hall | Dec. 4
  4. The Dallas Symphony Christmas Pops is at the Meyerson Symphony Center | Dec. 4-20
  5. Richardson Symphony Orchestra presents Holiday Classics at the Eisemann Center, Richardson | Dec. 5
  6. The Dallas Opera Family Series presents Mozart's Bastien and Bastienne at the Winspear Opera House | Dec. 5, repeats March 5
  7. Catch Christmas with the Plano Civic Chorus at St. Andrews United Methodist Church, Plano | Dec. 5
  8. The Richardson Symphony does Holiday Classics at the Eisemann Center | Dec. 5
  9. The Fort Worth Symphony does Handel's Messiah | Dec. 7
  10. The Arts District Chorale does its holiday show at Dallas City Performance Hall | Dec. 8



  1. Dustin "Screech" Diamond is at Hyena's Comedy Night Club Plano | Dec. 3-5
  2. Cocoa Brown comes to Black Academy of Arts & Letters | Dec. 11-12
  3. Lavell Crawford comes to Majestic Theatre | Jan. 9
  4. Damon Williams comes to Black Academy of Arts & Letters | Jan. 15-16
  5. Kathleen Madigan comes to the Majestic Theatre4 | Jan. 23


» 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! Nov. 27-Dec. 2, 2015
It's our weekly list of performing arts events opening on local stages. And you guessed it, aside from those Mormons, it's all about Scrooges and Sugar Plum Fairies.
by Mark Lowry

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