<em>Deferred Action</em>&nbsp;at Dallas Theater Center

Places! April 28-May 4, 2016

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

published Thursday, April 28, 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: Dallas Theater Center and Cara Mía Theatre Company collaborate for one of the most anticipated new works of the year; the Fort Worth Opera Festival continues; Dark Circles Contemporary Dance and Contemporary Ballet Dallas have premieres; there are regional premieres at Circle Theatre and Contemporary Theatre of Dallas; and at the Nasher, see a musical reaction to Allen Ginsburg's Howl.

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!




 THU APRIL 28  thru  WED MAY 4 

Photo: Karen Almond
Deferred Action at Dallas Theater Center


 1  Deferred Action

Dallas Theater Center and Cara Mía Theatre Company | AT&T Performing Arts Center, Wyly Theatre

There are so many reasons to be excited about this new play from David Lozano and Lee Trull. First, it tackles the so-so-timely issue of immigration. Second, it marks Dallas Theater Center's first collaboration with another Dallas theater since Kevin Moriarty came on board (yes, we know they've collaborated with Casa Mañana, but that's Fort Worth; and also with Dallas Opera and Dallas Black Dance Theatre, but those are opera and dance), and it's a terrific Chicano group: Cara Mía Theatre Company. Thirdly, it's the first new play in the Moriarty era written by local playwrights on the mainstage (yes, there was Will Power's Stagger Lee last year, but until about four years ago, he wasn't local). Lozano directs this second play in his trilogy about immigration. The first was the harrowing A Bloodline, performed at the Latino Cultural Center in 2013. The cast, thankfully, includes several staples of the Cara Mía company, including Ivan Jasso, Frida Espimosa-Muller, Stephanie Cleghorn Jasso and Rodney Garza; plus DTC Brierley Resident Acting Company members Christie Vela, Chamblee Ferguson and others. | Previews through April 28, opens April 29 and runs through May 14

Photo: Nine Photography
Andrew Stenson stars in The Barber of Seville at Fort Worth Opera

» More info in our listing

» Shelby-Allison Hibbs' Work in Progress interview with David Lozano and Lee Trull on TheaterJones

» Mark Lowry's Star-Telegram feature

» Our review of the first part of of the trilogy, Dreamers: A Bloodline, in 2013


 2  Fort Worth Opera Festival: The Barber of Seville | Frontiers

Fort Worth Opera | Bass Performance Hall and Kimbell Art Museum

The Fort Worth Opera continues its 2016 Festival, which has already opened with the world premiere of JFK and the pairing of one-acts Buried Alive and Embedded, with its warhorse of the season, Rossini's The Barber of Seville. Directed by David Gately and conducted by Joe Illick, it features Andrew Stenson, Megan Marino and Joo Won Kang. The first performance of Barber is 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30. Then, mark the calendar for the two performances of Frontiers, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 4 and Thursday, May 5, at the Kimbell Art Museum. This important event, now in its fourth year, features up-to-20-minute snippets of new works. This year's opera selections are:

  • Alice Invents a Little Game and Alice Always Wins by Guy Barash and Nick Flynn
  • The Rat Land by Gordon Beeferman and Charlotte Jackson
  • Steal a Pencil for Me by Gerald Cohen and Deborah Brevoort
  • The Beach by Andrew Gerle and Royce Vavrek
  • Diana Vreeland by Mikael Karlsson and Royce Vavrek
  • Killing the Goat by Andrew McManuss
  • Empty the House by Rene Orth and Mark Campbell

» More info in our listing for Barber of Seville

» More info about the works in this year's Frontiers

» Our review of JFK

» Our review of Buried Alive | Embedded (coming)


 3  Howl & The Palace of Wind

Soundings: New Music at the Nasher | Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas

The Nasher Sculpture Center's Soundings series closes its season with Allen Ginsberg’s Howl in Lee Hyla’s setting for string quartet and narrator with baritone William Sharp and the Brentano String Quartet. In the program’s companion work, Travis Laplante’s Palace of Wind, Battle Trance (the tenor saxophone quartet created specifically for Palace of Wind) brings us a work that defies genre, existing in the cracks between contemporary classical, avant-garde jazz, black metal, ambient, and world music. | 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 29

» More info in our listing


Photo: Karen Almond
Joshua L. Peugh's The Rite of Spring 


 4  Spring Series

Dark Circles Contemporary Dance | Texas Christian University, Erma Lowe Hall Studio Theatre, Fort Worth

Dark Circles Contemporary Dance gives the Fort Worth premiere of Joshua L. Peugh's prom-themed version of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, which debuted in Dallas a few months ago. It's paired with the premiere of Italian choreographer Fabio Liberti's Here Is Not Here. | 8 p.m. Friday, April 29; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, April 30; and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 1

» More info in our listing

» Our interview with Fabio Liberti

» Our interview with Peugh about Rite of Spring


Photo: Leah Layman
Under the Skin at Circle Theatre


 5  Under the Skin

Circle Theatre, Fort Worth

For its 35th season, Circle Theatre is revisiting playwrights they've championed over the years, and so here we have this 2014 play from Michael Hollinger (Incorruptible, Opus, Ghost-Writer) that comically deals with organ donation. Circle’s production is directed by Alan Shorter and features Stormi Demerson, Mark Fickert, Sam Henderson and Alexandra Lawrence. | Previews April 28, 29 and the matinee of April 30; opens April 30 evening and runs through May 21

» More info in our listing


Photo: Ken Smith
The Red Angel is one of the new works presented by Contemporary Ballet Dallas


 6  Springtime in Paris

Contemporary Ballet Dallas | Latino Cultural Center, Dallas

Contemporary Ballet Dallas presents the premieres of several new ballets. Lisa Hess Jones, formerly of NYCB, will premiere excerpts of a new ballet currently in development. There will also be new work by choreographers Jaime Thompson and Brian Stevens. The main work,Springtime in Paris by Addison Holmes, opens Act I with romance, comedy and live violin played by Mark Landson of Open Classical. | 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 29-30

» More info in our listing


Photo: George Wada
The Road to Appomattox at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas


 7  The Road to Appomattox

Contemporary Theatre of Dallas

Contemporary Theatre of Dallas presents the regional premiere of Catherine Bush's 2011 Civil War play The Road to Appomattox, set in Richmond, Virginia, with characters 150 years apart. Susan Sargeant directs, and the cast includes Robert Banks, Kevin Moore, Matt Holmes, Catherine DuBord and Jeff Swearingen. | April 29-May 22

» More info in our listing


 8  Memphis

Theatre Three, Dallas

Theatre Three presents the first locally produced production of the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis, from the team of David Bryan and Joe DiPietro, set in Memphis in the 1950s as rock 'n' roll was in its infancy and it was a scandal to play black music on the white radio station. Directed by Bruce R. Coleman, the cast stars Kyle Igneczi and Ebony Marshall-Oliver. | April 28-May 22

» More info in our listing


Photo: Michael McCray
Memphis at Theatre Three


 9  Carmina Burana

Dallas Symphony Orchestra | Meyerson Symphony Center

The Dallas Symphony presents the Orff masterwork, conducted by Nicholas Carter and featuring the Dallas Symphony Chorus and the Children's Chorus of Greater Dallas. Also on the program: Jennifer Higdon's blue cathedral and Brahms' Song of Destiny. | April 28-May 1

» More info in our listing


 10  Morphing

The Ochre House, Dallas

The Ochre House revives Matthew Posey's clever gender-bending remix of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night. | April 30-May 21

» More info in our listing

» The cast will be slightly different, but here's our review from the 2011 production


 11  The BFG: Big Friendly Giant

Dallas Children's Theater | Rosewood Center for Family Arts

Dallas Children's Theater brings its national touring production of Roald Dahl's The BFG: Big Friendly Giant home. Expect massive puppets. | April 29-May 15

» More info in our listing


 12  Dallas Opera Vocal Guild Competition

The Dallas Opera | AT&T Performing Arts Center, Winspear Opera House

These competitions often find the up-and-coming opera stars, so it's always great to get an early look at someone you might see in a major role at the Dallas Opera, or elsewhere, in the coming years. The semi-finals are 11 a.m. Friday, April 29; and the finals are 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30.

» More info







Bob Biggerstaff

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

» More info


The Dead Guy

The Eric Coble comedy presented by Collin College. | April 28-May 8

» More info in our listing


Diana Sheehan Sings: The Jerome Kern Songbook

Diane Sheehan revives her terrific cabaret of songs from Jerome Kern musicals. | 8 p.m. Thursday, April 28

» More info in our listing

Photo: Courtesy
Damien Lemon


Every Princess Tale

Our Productions Theatre Company presents an original musical by Stephanie Riggs, with musical direction by Mark Mullino, performed by a youth cast at the MCL Grand Theater, Lewisville. | April 28-30

» More info in our listing


Red Grant

The comedian is at the Addison Improv. | April 28, 29 and May 1

» More info


Ricky Gutierrez

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

» More info


Damien Lemon

The comedian is at the Arlington Improv.  | April 28-May 1

» More info


Jose Sarduy

The comedian is at Hyena's Comedy Night Club Plano. | April 28-30

» More info





Blithe Spirit

Presented by Allen's Community Theatre. | April 29-May 15

» More info in our listing


The Book Club Play

The Karen Zacarias comedy, presented by Greater Lewisville Community Theatre. | April 29-May 15

» More info in our listing


Heaven Can Wait

The Harry Segall comedy presented by Plaza Theatre Company, Cleburne. | April 29-May 21

» More info in our listing


Honest Jon

The comedian performs at the Black Academy of Arts & Letters, Dallas. | 8 p.m. April 29 and 30

» More info in our listing





Black Violin

This concert is sold out, but we wanted to mention it. The acclaimed violin duo of Will Baptiste and Kev Marcus, who play a mix of classical, hip-hop, R&B and bluegrass, is in town. | 8 p.m. Saturday, April 30

» More info



The Metropolitan Opera's production of the Richard Strauss opera is screened in movie theaters in the Met: Live in HD series. | 11:55 a.m. Saturday, April 30 and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 4

» More info in our listing


Henry V

The final film in the Alamo Drafthouse's Shakespeare 400 Film Series is Kenneth Branagh's 1989 film, co-presented with TheaterJones, Shakespeare Dallas and AT&T Performing Arts Center. At the Alamo in Dallas. | 4 p.m. Saturday, April 30

» More info


Robert Powell

The comedian is at the Addison Improv. | April 28, 29 and May 1

» More info


Rachmaninoff's Vespers

Presented by Plano Civic Chorus, at three locations: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Andrew United Methodist Church, Plano; 4 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church, Richardson; and 7:30 p.m. Monday at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Dallas | 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 4 p.m. Sunday; 7:30 p.m. Monday

» More info in our listing


The Scores Awaken

Metropolitan Winds presents movie music with guest conductor Randol A. Bass. | 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30

» More info in our listing


Verse & Rhythm

The monthly spoken word showcase, led by Brenda Randall, at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center. | 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30

» More info in our listing





Hopped Up on Goofballs Cabaret

The NY Goofs present their circus and variety showcase event at Pocket Sandwich Theatre. This month's event features New York clown Barry Lubin. | 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3

» More info in our listing





Stephen Dubner and Faith Salie

This duo opens AT&T Performing Arts Center's #hearhere series at the Winspear Opera House with the Freakonomics author and podcast host, Dubner, along with super funny NPR and CBS Sunday Morning commentator, Salie. | 8 p.m. May 4

» More info




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 to you.


The Big Meal

Look for a review coming on TheaterJones, but Mark Lowry would be quite favorable in a Yelp review. Dan LeFranc's play uses eight actors and spans five generations, with the actors playing different ages of the same characters, all set at the same restaurant. Directed by Emily Scott Banks. | Through May 8

» 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





Photo: Karen Almond
Show Boat at Dallas Opera



Presented by Dallas Children's Theater. | Closes Sunday

» Our review


The Empress and the Pearl

Theatre Three presents diannetucker's play that imagines Bess Smith and Janis Joplin in a hotel room together, starring Denise Lee and Marisa Diotalevi, performed in the Theatre Too basement space. | Closes Sunday

» Our review


Feather and the Tempest

A play by Argentinean playwright Artistides Vargas, performed by Teatro Dallas. | Closes Sunday

» Our review


I'll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers

Amphibian Stage Productions in Fort Worth performs John Logan's play about the legendary Hollywood superagent Sue Mengers. | Closes Sunday

» Our review


Jacob Monroe Hates Clowns

Sundown Collaborative Theatre presents Corey Vogel's play about a teen who follows the girl he likes to her college town, and enrolls in clown college. | Closes Sunday

» Our review (coming)

» Our interview with director Mandy Rausch


Las Heridas del Viento

Cambalache Teatro en Español presents Juan Carlos Rubio's play, performed in Spanish, at the Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas. | Closes Saturday

» Our review


The Miracle Worker

Presented by Artisan Center Theater, Hurst. | Closes Saturday

» More info in our listing


Perfect Wedding

Theatre Britain presents Robin Hawdon's farce at the Cox Building Playhouse. | Closes Sunday

» Our review


School of Rock the Musical

The new musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Glenn Slater and Julian Fellowes, which has only been on Broadway for a few months, gets its area premiere in a youth production at Ohlook Performing Arts in Grapevine. | Closes Sunday

» Mark Lowry's review in the Star-Telegram

» More info in our listing


The Secret Garden

Presented by Repertory Company Theatre, Richardson. | Closes Sunday

» More info in our listing


Show Boat

Dallas Opera's production of the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II masterpiece at Winspear Opera House. | Closes Sunday

» Our review


[title of show]

Firehouse Theatre in Farmer's Branch presents the meta musical by Jeff Bowden and Hunter Bell. | Closes Sunday

» Our review


The Wonder Bread Years

Former Seinfeld writer Pat Hazell stars in his one-man show that looks back at an era we can all relate to: Being a kid. | Closes Sunday

» Mark Lowry's review in the Star-Telegram

» More info in our listing







  1. Uptown Players presents Broadway Our Way | May 5-8
  2. Rover Dramawerks in Plano presents 365 Women a Year Festival | May 5-14
  3. Theatre Arlington presents My Way: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra | May 6-29
  4. AT&T Performing Arts Center's Off-Broadway on Flora series presents The Intergalactic Nemesis at Dallas City Performance Hall | May 12-14
  5. The Tribe presents Ophelia Underwater at Yellow Rose Art House, Dallas. | May 13-23
  6. Pegasus Theatre presents The Coarse Actor Rises! at Bath House Cultural Center | May 13-29
  7. Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas presents The Great Gatsby at Irving Arts Center | May 13-28
  8. MBS Productions presents Kiss the Boys at the Stone Cottage, Addison | May 19-June 11
  9. Kitchen Dog Theater's New Works Festival features two new plays by Steve Yockey, Blackberry Winter and The Thrush and the Woodpecker at Undermain Theatre | May 20-June 25
  10. Artes de la Rosa in Fort Worth presents Welcome to Arroyo's at the Rose Marine Theater, Fort Worth | May 21-June 5



  1. Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklórico presents "China, Santa y Petenera!" at Winspear Opera House | May 5
  2. Texas Ballet Theater presents First Looks at Dallas City Performance Hall | May 6-8
  3. TITAS presents the Command Performance Gala at Winspear Opera House, Dallas | May 7
  4. Avant Chamber Ballet presents Women's Choreography Concert at the Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts, Richardson | May 7-8
  5. Pedestrian Dance Movement presents "A Voice" at Bishop Lynch High School Auditorium | May 7-8
  6. Dallas Black Dance Theatre presents Spring Celebration at the Wyly Theatre | May 20-22
  7. Texas Ballet Theater presents First Looks at Bass Performance Hall | May 27-29
  8. Bruce Wood Dance Project presents SIX at Dallas City Performance Hall | June 17-18
  9. Ballet Concerto presents its Summer Dance Concert at Trinity Park Pavilion, Fort Worth | June 23-26



  1. The Dallas Symphony presents the second Soluna International Arts & Music Festival: Myth and Legend at various locations | May 16-June 5
  2. Itzhak Perlman and Emanuel Ax play at the Winspear Opera House | May 19
  3. Opera in Concert performs "Bravo Rossini!" at the Latino Cultural Center | May 21
  4. The PianoTexas International Academy and Festival is at Texas Christian University | June 2-26
  5. The Lev Aronson Legacy Cello Festival is at Southern Methodist University | June 9-14
  6. The Seventh Van Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition is at Cliburn Hall, next to Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth | June 19-25
  7. The Mimir Chamber Music Festival is at Texas Christian University | June 27-July 8



  1. Festival of Laughs with Mike Epps is at Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie | May 7
  2. Marlin Hill performs at the Black Academy of Arts & letters, Dallas | May 13-14
  3. Bobcat Goldthwait comes to Hyena's Comedy Night Club, Fort Worth | March 19-20
  4. Ryan Singer performs at Amphibian Stage Productions, Fort Worth | May 20-21
  5. Emily Maya Mills performs at Amphibian Stage Productions, Fort Worth | June 2-3
  6. Bill Bellamy comes to the Arlington Improv | June 9-11
  7. Jackie Kashian performs at Amphibian Stage Productions, Fort Worth | June 10-11
  8. Matt Groening and Lynda Barry appear in AT&T Performing Arts Center's #hearhere series at the Winspear Opera House | June 29
  9. Miranda July's Lost Child is at AT&T Performing Arts Center's #hearhere series at the Winspear Opera House | July 8
  10. "Weird Al" Yankovic comes to Winspear Opera House | July 16


» 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! April 28-May 4, 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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