Pianist Kirill Gerstein performs with Dallas Symphony

Places! Jan. 7-13, 2016

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

published Tuesday, January 5, 2016

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're getting back in the swing of things now that the holidaze are behind us. You'll see the theater and dance groups starting or restarting their seasons, but as you'll notice in the list below, the music groups are already on that. We have major guest stars and composers old and new at both Dallas and Fort Worth symphonies, and on the east side of the Trinity, the first Dallas Choral Festival is a go, with a performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis.

Also this week: Julie Johnson revisits Patsy Cline, two of Dallas youth theaters have big shows, actor and comedian Lavell Crawford is at the Majestic Theatre, and there's a cool poetry/jazz event at the Black Academy of Arts & Letters.

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 500 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!




 THU JAN 7  thru  WED JAN 13 


Photo: Joan Marcus
Motown the Musical comes to Bass Hall


 1  Kirill Gerstein

Dallas Symphony Orchestra | Meyerson Symphony Center

With shelf-loads of awards, Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein has become known for his impeccable sense of musicianship. He'll show those skills with Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Dallas Symphony this weekend. In a 2010 review of him playing another Rachmaninoff work, we wrote "[Gerstein] was not lost in his own world, but related constantly to both the conductor and the orchestra itself." That performance happens after intermission. Before the break, the DSO ventures into the world of Chinese-French composer Qigang Chen, playing his The Five Elements (Wu Xi); and then does the Ravel transcription of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. Gerstein is pictured on the cover. | 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 7-9; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10

» More info in our listing


 2  Motown the Musical

Performing Arts Fort Worth | Bass Performance Hall

Motown the Musical fits a lot of history into the jukebox formula as it tells the story of how Berry Gordy created one of the signature brands and styles in 20th century popular music, and that means the storytelling suffers a bit, because it crams so much in. But, when you hear the music and those songs by Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, the Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and many others, you won't care. That's what it's all about it. The show was in Dallas last year, and arrives in Fort Worth this week. Many performers from the Dallas stop will also be seen in Cowtown. | Jan. 13-17

» More info in our listing

» Read our interview with Nathaniel Cullors, one of the actors playing young Michael Jackson, from July when the show was in Dallas


 3  Dallas Choral Festival

Dallas Choral Festival | Meyerson Symphony Center

Greg Hobbs, Artistic Director of the Highland Park Chorale, has created the first Dallas Choral Festival, and this first year features just one performance, but featuring more than 100 voices from DFW, many of whom are in other professional choirs. And the work they're doing is a biggie: Beethoven's massive Missa Solemnis. | 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10

Photo: Hayley Young
Cellist Joshua Roman plays with the Fort Worth Symphony

» More info in our listing


 4  Eroica

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra | Bass Performance Hall

The Fort Worth Symphony's year begins with Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, Op. 55 "Eroica," and before the intermission you'll hear the FWSO doing two works by composer-in-residence Mason Bates: Mothership and the regional premiere of Cello Concerto, featuring guest cellist Joshua Roman. | 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8 and 9, 2 p.m. Jan. 10

» More info in our listing


 5  Lavell Crawford

AEG Live | Majestic Theatre, Dallas

If you're a Breaking Bad fan, you'll remember Lavell Crawford for his recurring role as Huell. The dude is also a comedian who's been doing the circuit for years, and has done a bunch of TV and film work. Catch him this week as he does stand-up at the Majestic Theatre. | 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9

» More info in our listing


 6  Just a Closer Walk with Patsy Cline

Granbury Theatre Company | Granbury Opera House

Local favorite Julie Johnson has a big twang and she's not afraid to use it. Certainly comes in handy when she's playing Patsy Cline, one of the great song interpreters in popular music. Johnson has played Cline in both of the musical works about her, and next stars in A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline at the Granbury Opera House. In February, the show will also play at Lyric Stage in Irving, and is reportedly going on a small national tour after that. | Jan. 8-31

» More info in our listing


 7  Fame the Musical

Junior Players | Dallas City Performance Hall

For the second year, Junior Players does a musical at Dallas City Performance Hall, co-directed by Bruce R. Coleman and Valerie Hauss-Smith, with John Norine Jr. as musical director. This year it's Fame the Musical, and who better to play a bunch of high school kids at a performing arts high school than actors who are actually at that age and with the same experience? We like this much more than, say, when you see guys with bald spots starring in a production of Grease. | 8 p.m. Jan 7-9, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10

» More info in our listing


Photo: DiAnn L'Roy
Junior Players presents Fame the Musical



 8  Shut Up and Listen

Cry Havoc Theatre Company | Margo Jones Theatre, Fair Park

Cry Havoc Theatre Company presents its second show after debuting last year with The (out)Siders Project. To know more about the experiential/devised work Shut Up and Listen at the Margo Jones Theatre, check out assistant director Shelby-Allison Hibbs' December Teacher/Artist column about it in the link below. | Preview performance Jan. 7, opens Jan. 8 and runs through Jan. 16

» More info in our listing

» Read Shelby-Allison Hibbs' December Teacher/Artist column about this project


 9  Linda and Larry Petty: The Song Remembers When

Fair Park Cabaret Series | The Women's Museum, Fair Park

Denise Lee's Fair Park Cabaret Series kicks back up for the winter/spring season, and this year, there will be two shows every month. They're on Tuesdays, and they're free. To kick it off, longtime cabaret greats Linda and Larry Petty perform favorites from their career. | 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12

» More info in our listing


 10  Poets and Jazz: Four Brothers

The Black Academy of Arts & Letters | TBAAL's Clarence Muse Cafe Theatre

The third Poets and Jazz event of the season for the Black Academy of Arts and Letters features spoken word artists and musicians GF Soldier, Awaji Johnson, Obbie West and Da Bear in a poetic tribute to Countee Cullen, Ishmael Reed, Askia M. Toure and Gil Scott-Heron. | 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 8-9

» More info in our listing


 11  Forever Plaid

Artisan Center Theater, Hurst

Last week in Places!, we wrote about The Tumbleweed Roundup, the first show in the new Second Stage series at Hurst's Artisan Center Theater, which has become the largest community theater—in budget size and in space for its facilitiesin North Texas. That show, which had a New Year's Eve performance, officially opens this weekend; as does the perennial favorite Forever Plaid, about a foursome of male singers who offer up tunes in the style of 1950s boy bands that you loved, or can learn to love. | Jan. 8-20 

» More info in our listing

Photo: Carol M. Rice
Four Weddings and an Elvis at Rover Dramawerks


 12  Four Weddings and an Elvis

Rover Dramawerks, Plano

Rover Dramawerks in Plano continues its 16th season with Nancy Frick's comedy Four Weddings and an Elvis, which, not surprisingly, takes place in a Las Vegas wedding chapel. | Jan. 7-30

» More info in our listing







J.R. Brow

The comedian is at Hyena's Comedy Night Club, Plano. | Jan. 7-9

» More info


Carl LaBove

The comedian is at Hyena's Comedy Night Club, Dallas. | Jan. 7-9

» More info

Photo: Adam Newman
Comedian Adam Newman is at Hyena's Fort Worth


Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

Frisco Youth Theater at MCL Grand Theater | Jan. 7-10

» More info in our listing


Clayton English

The comedian is at the Arlington Improv. | Jan. 7-10

» More info


Carlos Mencia

The comedian is at the Addison Improv. | Jan. 7-10

» More info


Adam Newman

The comedian is at Hyena's Comedy Night Club, Fort Worth | Jan. 7-9

» More info





Grey's Secretary

The ArtCentre Theatre of Plano presents an original spoof, inspired by the film Secretary (with Maggie Gyllenhaal) and judging by the title, we're guessing a little bit of a certain McPrimetime TV drama set in hospital with an impossibly beautiful staff. | Jan. 8-15

» More info in our listing



Circus Freaks presents its monthly dinner/circus event, at the Plaza Arts Center in Carrollton. | 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 8

» More info here





Arts & Letters Live

The Dallas Museum of Arts annual literary series kicks off with a program featuring memoirist and poet Mary Karr and award-winning stage, film and TV actress Mary-Louise Parker, who will play Karr in the upcoming Showtime series Lit, and has written her own memoir, Dear Mr. You. This event is at Horchow Auditorium in the DMA. | 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11

» See the full Arts & Letters Live schedule here





Band Geek Pride

I say "band" you say "geek!" The Dallas Winds, along with band geeks, er, students, from 37 area high schools, will perform the following program: Richard Strauss, Festival Fanfare; John Mackey, Sheltering Sky; Leonard Bernstein, Three Dances Episodes from On the Town; Jay Bocook, Headrush; Ryan George, The Wild Goose; and Michael Shapiro, Widorama! | 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12

» More info in our listing






An encore showing of Tom Hiddleston as the title character in Shakespeare's tragedy, screened in the National Theatre of London's NT Live series, presented by Amphibian Stage Productions at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. | 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13 and 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16

» More info in our listing



Second Thought Theatre opens its season with Maja Zade's translation of Marius von Mayenburg's drama about a student whose obsession with the Old Testament becomes aggressive. Blake Hackler directs. Previews begin Jan. 13, and it opens Jan. 15, so look for more on this in next week's Places! | Previews Jan. 13-14, opens Jan. 15 and runs through Feb. 6

» More info in our listing






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. | 8 p.m. certain Mondays

» 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. | 8 p.m. every Tuesday at Buzzbrews Kitchen on Lemmon Avenue, 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






Shen Yun

The touring spectacle from Shen Yun Performing Arts, presented at AT&T Performing Arts Center's Winspear Opera House. | Closes Sunday, Jan. 10

» More info in our listing







  1. Second Thought Theatre's 2016 season opens with Martyr in Bryant Hall on the Kalita Humphreys Theater campus | Previews Jan. 13-14, runs Jan. 15-Feb. 6
  2. Uptown Players and the Turtle Creek Chorale presents a concert version of Elton John's Aida at Dallas City Performance Hall | Jan. 15-17
  3. Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas presents 33 Variations at Irving Arts Center | Jan. 15-30
  4. Theatre Arlington does Light Up the Sky | Jan. 15-31
  5. Denton Community Theatre presents The Lion in Winter at the Campus Theatre, Denton | Jan. 15-24
  6. Garland Civic Theatre presents The Man with Bogart's Face at the Granville Arts Center | Jan. 21-Feb. 13
  7. Lyric Stage presents a concert reading of The New Moon at Irving Arts Center | Jan. 21-24
  8. Theatre Three presents Neil Tucker's Oil! | Jan. 21-Feb. 14
  9. Audacity Theatre Lab presents The Night of the Tarantubears at the Margo Jones Theatre, Fair Park | Jan. 21-31
  10. The Black Academy of Arts & Letters presents the Al Green bio-musical Saturday Nights, Sunday Mornings at the Clarence Muse Cafe Theatre in the TBAAL complex in downtown Dallas | Jan. 22-23
  11. WaterTower Theatre in Addison presents Lord of the Flies | Jan. 22-Feb. 14
  12. Runway Theatre in Grapevine presents Nevermore | Jan. 22-Feb. 7
  13. The tour of the musical If/Then opens at AT&T Performing Arts Center's Winspear Opera House | Jan. 27-31
  14. Dallas Theater Center does Romeo and Juliet at the Kalita Humphreys Theater | Jan. 27-Feb. 28
  15. The Ochre House presents A Brother's Harvest | Jan. 27-Feb. 20
  16. Circle Theatre's 2016 opens with Clever Little Lies | Jan. 28-March 5
  17. Proper Hijinx Productions presents Eric Coble's The Dead Guy at the Addison Centre Theatre's Studio Theatre | Jan. 28-Feb. 7
  18. MBS Productions presents Slave Letters at the Stone Cottage in Addison | Jan. 28-Feb. 14
  19. The Firehouse Theatre season opens with Steel Magnolias | Jan. 28-Feb. 7
  20. Jubilee Theatre in Fort Worth does August Wilson's Seven Guitars | Jan. 29-Feb. 28
  21. Dallas Children's Theater presents A Year With Frog and Toad | Jan. 29-Feb. 28
  22. Sou Rep Theatre Company presents Her Stories at South Dallas Cultural Center | Feb. 1-7
  23. The tour of The Bridges of Madison County is presented by Dallas Summer Musicals at the Music Hall at Fair Park | Feb. 2-14
  24. Teatro Dallas presents the 17th International Theater Festival at Rosewood Center for the Performing Arts | Feb. 4-6
  25. Brick Road Theatre presents Company at Courtyard Theatre, Plano | Feb. 4-6



  1. The second annual Rhythm in Fusion Festival, featuring tap dance workshops and performances, comes to the Wyly Theatre | Jan. 15-18
  2. 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
  3. TITAS presents BodyTraffic at the Winspear Opera House | Jan. 22
  4. Performing Arts Fort Worth presents Shaping Sound: Dance Reimagined at Bass Performance Hall | Jan. 27
  5. TITAS presents Cloudgate Dance Theater of Taiwan at the Winspear Opera House | Feb. 5
  6. Sossy Mechanics' Trick Boxing: Swingin' in the Ring is at the Eisemann Center in Richardson | Feb. 11-14
  7. TITAS presents BalletBoyz at the Winspear Opera House | Feb. 13
  8. Dallas Black Dance Theatre presents Cultural Awareness 2016 at the Wyly Theatre | Feb. 19-21
  9. Riverdance: The 20th Anniversary Tour comes to the Allen Event Center | Feb. 19-21
  10. Texas Ballet Theater presents Classic Combinations at Bass Performance Hall | Feb. 26-28



  1. The Dallas Symphony presents Vaughan Williams' Fantasia at the Meyerson Symphony Center | Jan. 14-16
  2. The Arlington, Garland and Las Colinas symphonies present clarinetist Bren Buemi | Jan. 14-16
  3. The Plano Symphony presents "Made in America" at the Eisemann Center in Richardson | Jan. 16
  4. The Cliburn presents pianist Yefim Bronfman at Bass Hall | Jan. 19
  5. The Dallas Symphony presents Gershwin's Greatest Hits at the Meyerson Symphony Center | Jan. 22-24
  6. The Fort Worth Symphony presents "A Night at the Oscars" at Bass Performance Hall | Jan. 22-24
  7. Fine Arts Chamber Players presents works by Vaughn Williams, Debussy at Dallas Museum of Art, Horchow Auditorium | Jan. 23
  8. Voices of Change presents Street Antiphons at SMU's Caruth Auditorium, Dallas | Jan. 24
  9. The Dallas Symphony presents Mozart No. 39 and The Magic Flute overture | Jan. 29-31
  10. The Dallas Opera's Titus Art Song Series presents Jake Heggie and Frederica von Stade at the Winspear Opera House | Jan 31



  1. Affion Crockett is at the Addison Improv | Jan. 14-17
  2. Damon Williams comes to Black Academy of Arts & Letters | Jan. 15-16
  3. Rodney Carrington comes to the Majestic Theatre | Jan. 16
  4. Special K is at the Arlington Improv | Jan. 21-24
  5. Patton Oswalt comes to the Majestic Theatre | Jan. 22
  6. Kathleen Madigan comes to the Majestic Theatre | Jan. 23
  7. Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy come to Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie | Jan. 23
  8. Royal Comedy Tour: Sommore, Earthquake, Gary Owen, Tony Rock and Tommy Davidson is at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie | Feb. 13


» 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! Jan. 7-13, 2016
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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