WingSpan Theatre Company presents <em>Play</em>&nbsp;at the Festival of Independent Theatres

Places! July 7-13, 2016

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

published Thursday, July 7, 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 18th Festival of Independent Theatres kicks off and the first weekend has some interesting-looking work; Johnny Simons makes a rare appearance on the stage at Hip Pocket Theatre; Fine Arts Chamber Players does its annual Basically Beethoven Festival; and there's a lot of comedy, improv and stand-up, to highlight this week.

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 JULY 7  thru  WED JULY 13 


Photo: The Laugh Supper
The Laugh Supper presents One Time at Band Camp



 1  Festival of Independent Theatres: Weekend 1

Festival of Independent Theatres | Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas

Always a big deal, but this year's FIT (the 18th one!) has a really interesting-looking lineup, and six of the eight companies are brand new to FIT. One of them, Frieda Dunkelberg and Company, is new to Dallas. This first weekend you'll see the first four shows: Charlie Varon's Rush Limbaugh in Night School from Fun House Theatre and Film and FDC's devised piece Hospit(al)able, both premiere in the 8pm block on Friday. Then, in the 8pm block on Saturday, the premieres are WingSpan Theatre Company's production of Samuel Beckett's Play and Cry Havoc Theatre Company's look at rape culture with Naomi Iizuka's Good Kids. The way FIT works: shows are all an hour or less, and there are two shows in each performance block. Performance block times are 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 2, 5 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 2 and 5 p.m. Sundays. There will also be late night "FIT Underground" happenings on Fridays and Saturdays. Plus a visual art show in the gallery. | July 8-30

Photo: Robert Bourdage
The Distant Echo of Ancient Youth at Hip Pocket Theatre

» More info in our listing

» Our special section

» How to download our FIT app, developed by TheaterJones

» Our Q&A with Alex Duva and Jeff Swearingen of Fun House Theatre and Film

» Our Q&A with Frieda Dunkelberg of Frieda Dunkelberg and Friends

» Our Q&A with Susan Sargeant of WingSpan Theatre Company

» Our Q&A with Mara Richards Bim of Cry Havoc Theatre Company


 2  The Distant Echo of Ancient Youth

Hip Pocket Theatre | Silver Creek Amphitheatre, Fort Worth

We don't know much about this new play by Johnny Simons, described as "a dramatic, spiritual journey through music and narration," except that it's inspired by The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche (1994). Most significantly, not only is it directed and written by Simons, but his longstanding persona, Jimmy Molemo, performs in it. This is a rarity these days—Simons is in his mid-70s and you may not see him do this again. In other words, if you want to catch the area master of mime and physical performance, put this on the calendar. | July 8-31

» More info in our listing


 3  Basically Beethoven Festival

Fine Arts Chamber Players | Dallas City Performance Hall

Fine Arts Chamber Players presents its annual Basically Beethoven Festival at Dallas City Performance Hall, featuring some of the area's best musicians. It happens every Sunday from July 10 to 31 at 2 p.m., and it's free! On July 10, the lineup and program is below. | July 10-31

  • A Wind Quintet with musicians from the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performs Beethoven, Francaix, and Ligeti.

» More info in our listing


 4  Big Sexy Weekend of Improv

Alternative Comedy Theater | Stone Cottage, Addison

Plano-based Alternative Comedy Theatre brings its annual Big Sexy Weekend of Improv to Addison, with three shows on Friday and Saturday nights. Look for performances from Butter, Clarissa Explained Nothing, Trajectory Adjacent, Victims, QuizProv, Unicorn Clearance, Red Dirt, and more. And the event caps off with the Humor Games at 11 p.m. Saturday. | July 8-9

» More info in our listing


Photo: NBC
Craig Robinson


 5  Craig Robinson

Addison Improv

You know him from The Office and his movie career, but if you haven't seen Craig Robinson do stand-up, well, get ready. Because there's usually a keyboard involved. He's playing it. He was a music teacher before he was a comic, after all. | July 8-10

» More info


 6  Miranda July's Lost Child

Photo: Todd Cole
Miranda July

AT&T Performing Arts Center #hearhere Series | Winspear Opera House, Dallas

Writer, filmmaker and artist Miranda July talks about her career and inspirations in an "autobiographical presentation" called Lost Child. It's part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center's #hearhere series at the Winspear Opera House. | 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 8

» More info in our listing

» Our interview with Miranda July

 7  Truth Stands

LoveJoy Productions | K.D. Studio Theatre, Dallas

Playwright Cynthia Hardeman brings her hip-hop drama about siblings JD and Junebug, who must find the courage to stand in their own individual truth. Worlds collide, secrets are revealed and everything is turned upside down in a matter of weeks when the two become part of each other’s lives after having grown up in separate households with vastly different lifestyles. | 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 8; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 9

» More info in our listing


 8  One Time at Band Camp

The Laugh Supper | Contemporary Theatre of Dallas

Local improv outfit The Laugh Supper returns with an evening devoted to the stories and horrors of, yes, band camp. | 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 8

» More info in our listing

Photo: Walter Betts
State Fair at Stolen Shakespeare Guild


 9  State Fair

Stolen Shakespeare Guild | Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Sanders Theatre

This is one of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals that was a film before it was adapted for the stage (also see: Cinderella, which was written for TV). The stage version debuted on Broadway in 1996, but who can forget that 1945 film with those rollercoaster scenes? Lauren and Jason Morgan direct. | July 8-24

» More info in our listing


 10  Violet

Greater Lewisville Community Theatre

This musical about a girl on a bus trip to have a preacher heal her scarred face and hands was the show that put Jeanine Tesori on the map (Brian Crawley wrote the book, based on Doris Betts' The Ugliest Pilgrim), and it's a genius work with gorgeous songs. Liz J. Millea directs this production at Greater Lewisville Community Theatre. | July 8-31

» More info in our listing


 11  Jim Gaffigan: Fully Dressed Tour

Live Nation | Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas

Jim Gaffigan is one of the funniest "clean" comics you'll see. And you don't have to have a whole bunch of kids, as he does and frequently jokes about, to get it. | 8 p.m. Thursday, July 7

» More info

» Read our 2013 interview with him


 12  M.A.D.E.

Stage West, Fort Worth

The acronym stands for "music, art, drinks, eats," which sums up this now-annual celebration of local food and talent. Look for food from local restaurants, beer from local breweries, local visual artists in the gallery, and performances by The Matthew Show, Breaking Light, Ed Rogers, Zimma Rimba, and storyteller Shayne Larango. | 1-4 p.m. Sunday, July 10

» More info






Photo: Kenneth Branagh Theatre
Romeo and Juliet screens in movie theaters

Mike Baldwin

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

» More info


Jesus "Midnite" Castillo

The comedian is at the Arlington Improv. | July 7

» More info


Quinn Dahle

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

» More info


Romeo and Juliet

Fathom Events screens the production from the Kenneth Branagh Theatre in London. Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford direct, with Richard Madden and Lily James as Romeo and Juliet, Derek Jacobi as Mercutio and Meera Syal as The Nurse. Screens at Cinemark Allen 16, Cinemark 24 The Legacy (Plano), Cinemark 17 Dallas, Cinemark Movies 17 Grapevine, AMC Parks at Arlington and Ridgmar 13 in Fort Worth. | 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 7

» More info


Jenny Zigrino

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

» More info





Adele Givens

The comedian is at the Arlington Improv. | July 8-10

» More info


American Idiot the Musical

Ohlook Performing Arts Center does a late-night run of the Tony-winning Green Day musical, at 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. | July 8-23

» More info in our listing

Greater Tuna

Presented by Richardson Theatre Centre. | July 8-24

» More info in our listing



Ohlook Performing Arts Center does the seminal rock musical. | July 8-24

» More info in our listing


Jekyll & Hyde

Onstage in Bedford presents the Frank Wildhorn musical of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel. | July 8-31

» More info in our listing


Mimir Chamber Music Festival Concert 5

Here's the program/lineup for the final concert of this year's Mimir. Go. | 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 8

  • Trio in G minor, Op. 3 by Ernest Chausson (1855-1899) / Jun Iwasaki, violin / Brant Taylor, cello / John Novacek, piano
  • Suite for Two Violins and Piano, Op. 71 by Moritz Mozskowski (1854-1925) / Jun Iwasaki and Curt Thompson, violins / John Novacek, piano
  • Quartet in F Major, Op. 96 by Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) / Jun Iwasaki and Curt Thompson, violins / Carol Cook, viola Brant Taylor, cello

» More info in our listing


Poets and Jazz

The Black Academy of Arts and Letters closes its Poets and Jazz season with the sixth concert, featuring local poets, musicians and actors. | 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 8 and 9

» More info in our listing


Superhero Ultraferno

Allen's Community Theatre's description for this show: "Join two nerds and a crack team of actors as they race hilariously through the world of tights-wearing crimefighters, from the 1960s TV Batman to the soap opera insanity of the Fantastic Four to a bizarre, German opera of Spider-man." Intrigued. | July 8-17

» More info in our listing





Free Range

The Aviary is back with this bi-monthly workshop for Dallas-based creatives to develop new drafts of work. The Aviary provides space and invites a range of actors and directors to come be a part of the early development process and become a part of the new play development community in Dallas. Each writer is with Free Range for a two-month period. It's at the Margo Jones Theater in Fair Park. | 6-8 p.m. Sunday, July 10

» More info


Queer Queens of Comedy

The comedians are at Hyena's Comedy Night Club Dallas. | 7 p.m. Sunday, July 10

» More info





42nd Street

The national touring production jumps from Dallas to Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall. | July 12-17

» More info in our listing





Matt Bellassai

The comedian is at the Addison Improv. | 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 13

» 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.

Photo: Karen Almond
Marisha Wallace in Dreamgirls at Dallas Theater Center



With this Henry Krieger/Tom Eyen/Michael Bennett musical about a girl singing group that goes through shake-ups in the 1960s and '70s, Dallas Theater Center has its finest production of a musical since 2011's Cabaret. Both were directed by Joel Ferrell. He makes a lot of really smart choices in Dreamgirls, not least of which was hiring Marisha Wallace to play Effie. It might be impossible to imagine anyone else in the role after this. In the iconic song "(And I'm Telling You) I'm Not Going," which is brilliantly staged by Ferrell and choreographer Rickey Tripp, Wallace proves that a stellar performance of that powerful, aching song is enough to win an award, say a Tony (Jennifer Holliday) or an Oscar (Jennifer Hudson). There's more to the role, of course, but Wallace's performance with that song will go down as one of the unforgettable theater moments not just of the year, but of the decade. Probably century. Do not miss it. | Through July 24

» Our review by Jessica Fritsche

» Our interview with music director Michael Mitchell



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.


Scenes from an Execution

Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park presents Howard Barker's play of sexual politics in 16th century Venice. | July 7-17

» 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 musical theater open mike event at the Uptown Theater in Grand Prairie. | 7:30 p.m. on select 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





Photo: Adolfo Cantú-Villarreal - TZOM Films
Stacy Has a Thing for Black Guys from The Tribe


42nd Street

Presented by Dallas Summer Musicals at the Music Hall at Fair Park. | Closes Sunday

» Our review


Psycho Beach Party

Charles Busch's parody, presented by Theatre Three. | Closes Sunday

» Our review


The Scenic Route

An original play, presented by the Core Theatre in Richardson. | Closes Sunday

» More info in our listing


Stacy Has a Thing for Black Guys

The Tribe presents Ruben Carrazana's funny and smart new play at the Latino Cultural Center. | Closes Sunday

» Our review (coming soon on TheaterJones)

» More info in our listing


Ten Minute Play Festival

Presented by Rover Dramawerks in Plano. | Closes Saturday

» More info in our listing







  1. Amphibian Stage Productions presents Kieran Lynn's Crossing the Line | July 14-Aug. 7
  2. Pegasus Theatre presents It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder! at the Eisemann Center in Richardson | July 14-31
  3. MBS Productions presents Querolus, or Missed Fortune at the Stone Cottage in Addison | July 14-Aug. 7
  4. Uptown Players presents It's Only a Play at Kalita Humphreys Theater | July 15-31
  5. Outcry Youth Theatre presents Love/Sick at Margo Jones Theatre | July 15-24
  6. Shakespeare in the Bar presents Romeo and Juliet at 8 Bells Alehouse and Wild Detectives | July 18 & 25
  7. Rover Dramawerks in Plano presents Heels Over Head | July 21-Aug. 13
  8. Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas presents The Matchmaker at the Irving Arts Center | July 22-Aug. 6
  9. Garland Summer Musicals presents Nice Work If You Can Get It at the Granville Center | July 22-31
  10. Artes de la Rosa presents Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown at the Rose Marine Theater, Fort Worth | July 23-Aug. 7
  11. Robert Dubac's The Book of Moron plays McDavid Studio next to Bass Hall, Fort Worth | July 26-31
  12. Junior Players presents The Taming of the Shrew at Samuell-Grand Amphitheater in Tenison Park, Dallas | July 26-31
  13. Denise Lee Onstage's first Dallas Cabaret Festival, featuring Jim Caruso and Billy Stritch, is at the Women's Museum in Fair Park | July 28-30
  14. The Firehouse Theatre in Farmer's Branch presents Billy Elliott the Musical | July 28-Aug. 14
  15. DVA Productions presents The Campaign Trail at the Sanders Theatre at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center | July 29-Aug. 7
  16. Brick Road Theatre presents Nunsense at Courtyard Theatre, Plano | July 29-Aug. 7
  17. Jubilee Theatre in Fort Worth presents Smokey Joe's Cafe | July 29-Aug. 21
  18. Our Productions Theatre presents I Love You Because at MCL Grand Theater, Lewisville (Aug. 4-7) and at the Studio Theatre at the Addison Theatre Center (Aug. 11-Sept. 3) | Aug. 4-Sept. 3
  19. Theatre Three presents The Novelist | Aug. 4-28
  20. L.I.P. Service presents Trainspotting at the Rudy Seppy Rehearsal Studio, Irving | Aug. 4-20
  21. Soul Rep Theatre Company presents The Colored Museum at South Dallas Cultural Center | Aug. 5-14
  22. WaterTower Theatre presents One Man, Two Guvnors | Aug. 5-28
  23. Theatre Arlington presents Calendar Girls | Aug. 5-21
  24. Stage West presents Bootycandy | Aug. 11-Sept. 11
  25. Hip Pocket Theatre presents Lake Simons' Don Quixote | Aug. 12-Sept. 4
  26. AT&T Performing Arts Center's 2016-17 Broadway Series opens with A Gentlemen's Guide to Love and Murder at Winspear Opera House | Aug. 16-28
  27. Circle Theatre presents The Taming | Aug. 18-Sept. 17
  28. Dallas Theater Center presents Constellations at the Wyly Theatre Studio Theatre | Aug. 24-Oct. 9
  29. Stage West presents An Iliad in the Studio Theatre | Aug. 25-Sept. 18
  30. Uptown Players presents The Toxic Avenger at Kalita Humphreys Theater | Aug. 26-Sept. 11



  1. Impulse Dance Company presents My Beating Heart at Addison Theatre Center's Studio Theatre | July 16-17
  2. Muscle Memory Dance Theatre presents Made in a Day at LIFE in Deep Ellum | July 22-23
  3. House Party Theatre presents its first showcase of contemporary dance called Sack Lunch, at Community Beer Company and the Wild Detectives | July 22-23
  4. Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth has its 13th Annual Modern Dance Festival at the Modern | July 23-31
  5. Wanderlust Dance Project comes to the Majestic Theatre in Dallas | July 23
  6. Evolution Tango Company presents "Evolution of Tango" at the Latino Cultural Center | July 29-30
  7. The Dallas Hip Hop Dance Fest is at the Majestic Theatre | July 30
  8. The Dance Council of North Texas presents the third annual Dallas DanceFest at Dallas City Performance Hall | Sept 2-3
  9. TITAS presents Aspen Santa Fe Ballet at Dallas City Performance Hall | Sept. 16-17
  10. Texas Ballet Theater presents Carmen and Danse à Grande Vitesse at Winspear Opera House, Dallas | Sept 16-18
  11. Texas Ballet Theater presents Carmen and Danse à Grande Vitesse at Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth | Oct. 7-9
  12. TITAS presents Estampas Porteñas Tango at Dallas City Performance Hall | Oct. 28-29
  13. Dark Circles Contemporary Dance presents its Fall Series at Southern Methodist University, Bob Hope Theatre | Nov. 18-20



  1. The Fort Worth Symphony's Classical Masters concert features the music of Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart at Bass Performance Hall | Aug. 26-28
  2. The Dallas Symphony presents Music from Final Fantasy at the Meyerson Symphony Center | Sept. 2-3
  3. The Fort Worth Symphony presents E.T. The Extra Terrestrial with live accompaniment at Bass Performance Hall | Sept. 2-4
  4. The Dallas Symphony presents An Evening with Megan Hilty at the Meyerson Symphony Center | Sept. 9-11
  5. The Dallas Symphony presents its annual Gala with Lang Lang at the Meyerson Symphony Center | Sept. 16



  1. "Weird Al" Yankovic comes to Winspear Opera House | July 16
  2. Robert Dubac plays Hyena's Comedy Night Club Fort Worth | July 21-23
  3. Chris Tucker comes to Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie | July 23
  4. Mo'Nique comes to the Arlington Improv | July 29-30
  5. Upright Citizens Brigade comes to Dallas City Performance Hall | July 30
  6. Jerry Seinfeld comes to the Winspear Opera House | Sept. 10
  7. Chingo Bling comes to Arlington Improv | Sept. 16-19


» 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.

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Places! July 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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