<em>The Bridges of Madison County</em>&nbsp;at Dallas Summer Musicals

Places! Jan. 28-Feb. 3, 2016

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

published Friday, January 29, 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: The Bridges of Madison County comes to Dallas, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade tells her life in song, Jaap van Zweden conducts his first Dallas Symphony concert since this week's big announcement, and on theater stages there's a bro harvest, amphibians, lies, dead guys and historical letters. Lots of good classical music options, too.

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 about 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 28  thru  WED FEB 3 

Photo: Karlo X. Ramos
A Brother's Harvest at the Ochre House



 1  The Bridges of Madison County

Dallas Summer Musicals | Music Hall at Fair Park

The music is by Jason Robert Brown, the book is by Marsha Norman, and it's of course based on the novel by Robert James Waller. But don't go expecting a musical of the 1995 movie with Meryl and Clint; this one is creatively adapted from the novel. It didn't last long on Broadway, but has anyone figured out the formula for these things? The tour stars Elizabeth Stanley as Francesca and Andrew Samonsky as Robert, and former Dallasite John Campione plays Michael, Francesca's son. Jason Robert Brown won Tonys for the score and orchestrations. | Feb. 2-14

» More info in our listing

» Look for an interview with book writer Marsha Norman coming on TheaterJones

Photo: Robert Millard
Frederica von Stade


 2  A Life in Song: Frederica von Stade and Jake Heggie

Dallas Opera/Titus Art Song Series | Dallas City Performance Hall

The Dallas Opera's Titus Art Song Series presents the great mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade performing songs from her career, and ones that she just loves, with composer and pianist Jake Heggie, who has written roles for von Stade in Dead Man Walking, Three Decembers and Great Scott. | 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31

» More info in our listing

» Our interview with von Stade


 3  A Brother's Harvest

The Ochre House, Dallas

The Ochre House opens the year with the newest dark musical comedy by Matthew Posey. Here's the description: Indigo Sue, a small town, middle-aged hair stylist, is desperate to leave the small town of Rising Star and find love and adventure. Every Friday night is the same—a tailgate party in the parking lot of a Walmart. Each year, the Combiners, an elite group of cowboys, come across the sweeping Permian Basin to Harvest the year’s crops. Considered “Gods,” these rugged brothers of the wheat might be Indigo Sue’s ticket out of the sleepy, dead town of Rising Star. The live music at Ochre musicals always rock; we can't wait. | Jan. 30-Feb. 20

» More info in our listing


 4  A Year with Frog and Toad

Dallas Children's Theater | Rosewood Center for Family Arts

The Tony-nominated A Year With Frog and Toad, with music by Robert Reale and book and lyrics by Willie Reale, based on Arnold Lobel's books, is a terrific show that should get no less than a stellar production from Dallas Children's Theater, directed by Cheryl Denson and starring Christopher Curtis and Brian Hathaway in the title amphibians. | Jan. 29-Feb. 28

» More info in our listing


 5  Clever Little Lies

Circle Theatre, Fort Worth

For its 35th season, Circle Theatre is celebrating with shows by playwrights the Fort Worth theater has championed over the years, starting with this new play by Joe DiPietro, best known as part of the team behind I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change! A play about family secrets and lies revealed over the course of an evening, Clever Little Lies just finished a run off-Broadway, starring Marlo Thomas. Circle's production is directed by Steven Pounders and stars Bill Jenkins, Linda Leonard, Jake Buchanan and Kelsey Milbourn. | Previews through the 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Jan. 30, and opens 8 p.m. Jan. 30, running through March 5

» More info in our listing


Photo: Umberto Nicoletti
Katia and Marielle Labèque, pianists, will perform with the Dallas Symphony


 6  Overture to The Magic Flute

Dallas Symphony Orchestra | Meyerson Symphony Center

Considering the jaw-dropping news this week that Dallas Symphony Music Director Jaap van Zweden has been poached by no less than the New York Philharmonic, this concert should be interesting. He conducts, and Katia and Marielle Labèque are featured on piano, while the DSO's Erin Hannigan has an oboe feature. The lineup: Mozart's Overture to The Magic Flute, Poulenc's Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, the world premiere of Jeremy Gill's Serenada Concertante for Oboe and Orchestra, and Mozart's Symphony No. 39. | 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 29-30; 2:30 p.m. Jan. 31.

» More info in our listing


 7  Maz Jobrani

Addison Improv

The Iranian comedian and frequent panelist on NPR's Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me, and author of the book I'm Not a Terrorist But I've Played One on TV, performs at the Addison Improv this weekend. | 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29; and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30

» More info


Photo: Mark-Brian Sonna
Slave Letters at MBS Productions


 8  Slave Letters

MBS Productions | The Stone Cottage, Addison

Mark-Brian Sonna adapted and directs this piece that comes from letters of slaves who secretly learned to read and write. While many detail the terrible conditions of slavery, others express intense humanity. These letters of love, longing, hope, and the quest for freedom are at times uplifting, horrifying, and even humorous, giving a voice to those who were oppressed. The reading of these letters is interspersed with Negro spirituals and slave songs from the era. | Jan. 28-Feb. 14

» More info in our listing


 9  The Dead Guy

Proper Hijinx | Addison Theatre Center, Studio Theatre

Proper Hijinx Productions has its second production, and the first of its 2016 season, with Eric Coble's comedy that riffs on the fascination with reality television. Directed by Stefany Cambra, the cast includes Jeff Burleson, Catherine DuBord, Jeff Swearingen, Shane Strawbridge, Juliette Talley and Nicole Denson. | Jan. 28-Feb. 7

» More info in our listing


 10  Viva Italia

Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra | Bass Performance Hall

Guest conductor Marcelo Lehninger and guest violinist Caroline Goulding take the lead on Rossini's Overture to The Italian Girl in Algiers, Paganini's Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 6, and Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4, "Italian." | 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 29-30, 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31

» More info in our listing


Photo: Opus 3 Artists
The Montrose Trio


 11  Montrose Trio

Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth | The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

The Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth presents the Montrose Trio on the theme of "A Study in Contrasts," featuring Turina's Trio in B minor, Op. 76, Haydn's Piano Trio in E Major, Hob. XV: 28, and Tchaikovsky Trio in A minor, Op. 50.  | 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30

» More info in our listing


 12  Partner in Crime

Oral Fixation: An Obsession with True Life Tales | Dallas City Performance Hall

Oral Fixation, which features local people reading true stories on a theme, features Jeffry Farrell (who was a fixture at Fort Worth's Hip Pocket Theatre and had early involvement with Cara Mía Theatre Company), Darius Frasure, Haven Abedin, Lyndol Woodruff, Brooke Lancaster, Dana Proux-Willis, Nicole Fillion-Robina and Paul Yanez. | 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2

» More info in our listing







Benji Brown

The comedian is at the Arlington Improv. | Jan. 28-31

» More info


An Evening with Garrison Keillor

The host of Prairie Home Companion is at the Eisemann Center in Richardson. | 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28

» More info in our listing


Steve Hirst

The comedian is at Hyena's Comedy Night Club Dallas. | Jan. 28-30

» More info in our listing


Chris Reid

The comedian, formerly of the hip-hop group Kid 'n Play, is at Hyena's Comedy Night Club Plano. | Jan. 28-30

» More info


Tom Rhodes

The comedian is at Hyena's Comedy Night Club Fort Worth. | Jan. 28-30

» More info


Romeo and Juliet

Dallas Theater Center has begun previews for a contemporary Romeo and Juliet at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, and because it officially opens Feb. 5, look for more on it in next week's Places! | Previews through Thursday, Feb. 4; opens Feb. 5 and runs through Feb. 28

» More info in our listing


Steel Magnolias

Firehouse Theatre in Farmer's Branch opens its season with the popular Robert Harling comedy. | Jan. 28-Feb. 7

» More info in our listing



Photo: Buddy Myers
Seven Guitars at Jubilee Theatre




Crimes of the Heart

Allen's Community Theatre presents the Beth Henley comedy. | Jan. 29-Feb. 14

» More info in our listing


Seven Guitars

Jubilee Theatre in Fort Worth does August Wilson's Seven Guitars, directed by William Earl Ray. Because the show previews this week and opens on Feb. 5, look for more in next week's Places! | Previews Jan. 29-Feb. 4; opens Feb. 4 and runs through Feb. 28

» More info in our listing


Brent Wissick and Eric Smith

The Dallas Bach Society presents a house concert featuring viola da gamba. The Friday performance is in a house in Flower Mound; and the Saturday is in Dallas. You'll get the address when you purchase a ticket. | 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 29-30

» More info in our listing





At the Ballet

The North Texas Symphony Orchestra presents ballet music at Latino Cultural Center, Dallas. | 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30

» More info in our listing



The Metropolitan Opera's production of the Puccini work is screened at local movie theaters in the Met: Live in HD series. | 11:55 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 30 and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3

» More info in our listing





Music, Mind, Body and Soul

The Lone Star Wind Orchestra presents at the Eisemann Center in Richardson | 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31

» More info in our listing




Each week we'll highlight at least one performance in a city outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth area that's still a reasonable drive. 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.


Alley All New Festival

The Alley Theatre in Houston presents its first new play festival, which is two weeks of readings and workshops of new plays by Karen Hartman, Boo Killebrew, Zak Berkman, NSangou Njikam and Lawrence Wright, and a musical by Michael Moricz and Jack Murphy. Directors include Chay Yew and Bob Balaban. | Jan. 29-Feb. 6

» More info





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. | 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







The world premiere of Samuel D. Hunter's play, presented by Dallas Theater Center at the Sixth Floor Studio Theatre in the Wyly Theatre. | Closes Sunday

» Our review

» Our interview with Samuel D. Hunter


A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline

Julie Johnson takes on the role of legendary country singer Patsy Cline, at the Granbury Opera House; the show will also play Lyric Stage in February. | Closes Sunday in Granbury

» Our interview with Julie Johnson



The national tour of the musical, presented in the AT&T Performing Arts Center Broadway Series at the Winspear Opera House. | Closes Sunday

» Our review

» Our interview with Jackie Burns, who plays the lead role


Light Up the Sky

The Moss Hart comedy presented by Theatre Arlington. | Closes Sunday

» Our review


Night of the Tarantubears

A new play by Brad McEntire and Jeff Hernandez, presented by Audacity Theatre Lab at the Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park. | Closes Sunday

» Our review


Sexy Laundry

The co-production between WaterTower Theatre and Stage West wraps up its run at Stage West. | Closes Sunday

» Our review of the first WaterTower production in early 2015

» More info in our listing


33 Variations

Moisés Kaufman's play presented by Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas at the Dupree Theater in the Irving Arts Center. | Closes Sunday

» Our review


The Tumbleweed Roundup

The first show of Artisan Center Theater's new Second Stage Series. | Closes Saturday

» More info in our listing







  1. Teatro Dallas presents the 17th International Theater Festival at Rosewood Center for the Performing Arts | Feb. 4-6
  2. Brick Road Theatre presents Company at Courtyard Theatre, Plano | Feb. 4-6
  3. Soul Rep Theatre Company presents Her Stories at South Dallas Cultural Center | Feb. 4-6
  4. Sherman Community Players presents Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof | Feb. 5-21
  5. The Black Academy of Arts & Letters presents a play about Jackie Robinson, The Eve of Jackie | Feb. 5-6
  6. Casa Mañana Children's Theatre presents School House Rock Live, Jr. | Feb. 5-21
  7. Onstage in Bedford presents Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...Boom! | Feb. 5-28
  8. Echo Theatre revives Her Song at the Bath House Cultural Center | Feb. 10-27
  9. Undermain Theatre does O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night | Feb. 10-March 6
  10. Eric Bogosian performs Bitter Honey: The Best of 100 (Monologues) at the Wyly Theatre | Feb. 11-13
  11. Amphibian Stage Productions presents Isaac's Eye | Feb. 11-March 6
  12. Kitchen Dog Theater does Halley Feiffer's I'm Gonna Pray for You So Hard at the Green Zone, Dallas | Feb. 11-March 12
  13. Theatre Britain presents N.J. Crisp's Dangerous Obsession at the Cox Building Playhouse | Feb. 12-28
  14. Dallas Children's Theater presents Linda Daugherty's don't u luv me? | Feb. 12-21
  15. Contemporary Theatre of Dallas does Nora and Delia Ephron's Love, Loss & What I Wore | Feb. 12-March 6



  1. Contemporary Ballet Dallas presents Apollo's Flight at Latino Cultural Center | Feb. 4-5
  2. TITAS presents Cloudgate Dance Theater of Taiwan at the Winspear Opera House | Feb. 5
  3. Muscle Memory Dance Theatre presents Heavy Rotation: A Rebirth of Song and Movement at LIFE in Deep Ellum | Feb. 6-7
  4. Sossy Mechanics' Trick Boxing: Swingin' in the Ring is at the Eisemann Center in Richardson | Feb. 11-14
  5. TITAS presents BalletBoyz at the Winspear Opera House | Feb. 13
  6. Dallas Black Dance Theatre presents Cultural Awareness 2016 at the Wyly Theatre | Feb. 19-21
  7. Riverdance: The 20th Anniversary Tour comes to the Allen Event Center | Feb. 19-21
  8. Texas Ballet Theater presents Classic Combinations at Bass Performance Hall | Feb. 26-28



  1. Cellist Joshua Roman and pianist Andrius Žlabys perform for The Cliburn at the Kimbell Art Museum | Feb. 4
  2. The Dallas Symphony performs Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7 with pianist David Fray at the Meyerson Symphony Center | Feb. 4-7
  3. The Richardson Symphony performs a pops concert of Elton John and Billy Joel music at the Eisemann Center in Richardson | Feb. 6
  4. The Fort Worth Symphony Gala features violinist Joshual Bell at Bass Performance Hall | Feb. 6
  5. Dallas Chamber Music Society presents the Faure Quartet at SMU's Caruth Auditorium | Feb. 8



  1. Mo'Nique is at the Addison Improv | Feb. 5-6
  2. The 8th Annual Dallas Burlesque Festival is at House of Blues, Dallas | Feb. 12-13
  3. Royal Comedy Tour: Sommore, Earthquake, Gary Owen, Tony Rock and Tommy Davidson is at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie | Feb. 13
  4. Deon Cole comes to the Addison Improv | Feb. 26-28
  5. The Sklar Brothers come to all three area Hyena's Comedy Night Clubs | March 10-12


» 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. 28-Feb. 3, 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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