<em>The Taming</em>&nbsp;at Circle Theatre

Places! Aug. 18-24, 2016

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

published Thursday, August 18, 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: Gunderson tames Shakespeare, the Ochre House goes Dreamless, the Terrance M. Johnson Dance Project debuts, Amphibian plays a part in the development of a country musical by established hit-makers, and Obama and Trump are the subjects of new shows. There's also poetry, piano, Indian music, a comedy film classic and more.

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. Keep looking at the calendar over the next few weeks as we'll be entering all the new seasons for the arts organizations, so it will grow again!

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 AUG 18  thru  WED AUG 24 


Photo: Tim Long
The Taming at Circle Theatre


 1  The Taming

Circle Theatre, Fort Worth

The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, and let's be honest, one of his most problematic, what with that sexist ending. Playwright Lauren Gunderson has been taking a look at Willy Shakes' works in a series of plays inspired by them, including Exit, Pursued by a Bear, a riff on The Winter's Tale that Circle Theatre produced years ago to great acclaim. Now they take on her look at Shrew, with an all-female cast and directed by one of the area's great comedy directors, Robin Armstrong. The cast features Lisa Fairchild as Patricia, Lauren Ferebee as Bianca and Liz J. Millea as Katherine. Gunderson's other Shakes-inspired plays include Toil & Trouble (Macbeth) and We Are Denmark (Hamlet). | Previews Aug. 18, 19 and the 3 p.m. matinee on Aug. 20; opens 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 and runs through Sept. 17

» More info in our listing

» Our interview with director Robin Armstrong

» Our obituary of Rose Pearson

» Mark Lowry's obituary of Rose Pearson in the Star-Telegram


Photo: Karlo X. Ramos
Dreamless at Ochre House


 2  Dreamless

Ochre House, Dallas

It's been many years since the Ochre House presented a work by longtime company member Justin Locklear. In this new musical, about "a waking insomnia where you’re trying to ignore your dreams until you no longer need them.” Read more about it in our Work in Progress feature; the link is below. | Aug. 20-Sept. 10

» More info in our listing

» Shelby-Allison Hibbs' Work in Progress feature


Photo: Terrance M. Johnson Dance Project
Terrance M. Johnson Dance Project


 3  Lynched

Terrance M. Johnson Dance Project | South Dallas Cultural Center

Terrance M. Johnson has danced with Dallas Black Dance Theatre and a number of dance groups, and now goes out on his own, debuting his dance group with a program that deals with racial issues. | 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 19-20; 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21

» More info in our listing

» Our interview with Terrance M. Johnson


Photo: Chuck Marcelo
Old McDonald's Farm from Fun House Theatre and Film

 4  Music City, USA

Amphibian Stage Productions, Fort Worth

Amphibian Stage Productions' developmental reading series has been proving invaluable, and next they try out this country musical with music and lyrics by JT Harding and book by Peter Zinn, about two young songwriters with big dreams that their music will pave the way to better lives. The authors have written songs that became hits for Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urband and others. It's described as Romeo and Juliet meets Cabaret, with a country twist. The reading is directed by Mary Catherine Burke and features Alex Ross, Kelsey Lake, Braden Socia, Will Adams, Brandon Murphy, Kelsey Milbourn, Cara Serber, Jacob Nice, and Greg Dulcie. | 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21 and 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22

» More info in our listing


 5  Old McDonald's Farm: A Children's Fable about the Obama Presidency

Fun House Theatre & Film | Plano Children's Theatre

Jeff Swearingen's latest new work in Fun House Theatre & Film's season of political works is a barnyard fable that looks at the Obama presidency. Featuring Blake Martin, the son of Terry Martin and Chris Miller, as Obama. Read more about the production in our Work in Progress feature; the link is below. | Aug. 19-27

» More info in our listing

» Shelby-Allison Hibbs' Work in Progress feature


 6  Trump'd: The Musical + Mortified

Dallas Comedy House

The GOP presidential nominee is providing plenty of fodder for comedy and theater writers and parodists. Locally, Ohlook Performing Arts has presented and will restage the musical Citizen Drumpf, and nationally, monologist Mike Daisey is selling out audiences with his The Trump Card, the script for which he'll soon release for open license to be performed by anyone—for free. Expect even more comedy from this latest sketch comedy revue musical from the Dallas Comedy House, directed by Kyle Austin. Also at the DCH this weekend is a new installment of the national podcast sensation Mortified, in which people read from their childhood diaries. | Trump'd runs Friday and Saturday nights, Aug. 19-Sept. 17; and Mortified is Aug. 19 and 20.

» More info in our listing for Trump'd

» More info in our listing for Mortified

» Our story about Trump'd


A Wrinkle in Time from Outcry Youth Theatre


 7  A Wrinkle in Time

Outcry Youth Theatre | GG's Theatre Etc.

Outcry Youth Theatre, the newly formed outgrowth of Outcry Theatre, does James Sie's stage adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's young adult sci-fi classic, directed by Becca Johnson-Spinos. GG's Theatre Etc. is in Valley View Center. | Aug. 19-28

» More info in our listing


Photo: B. Hatton
Pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine

 8  Alexandre Moutouzkine

Chamber Music International | Private home in North Dallas

Chamber Music International offers a special pre-season event with the Russian pianist and former Cliburn contestant, performing works by Bach, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, Schubert, Bizet, Mendelssohn and more in a private house concert. | 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20

» More info in our listing


 9  Survival Poetry

Pandora's Box Poetry Showcase | Contemporary Theatre of Dallas

 FREE  Pandora's Box Poetry Showcase does a show at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, featuring poets Darryl Ratcliff, James (Bear) Rodehaver and Vic Victory. The subject is the power of the human spirit and its ability to overcome tragedy and hardship of the highest order. | 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19

» More info in our listing


 10  The JIM Experiment on Tour

The JIM Experiment | Rover Dramawerks, Plano

This traveling improv experience like no other features original improv games and tried-and-true favorites...with a twist! The players include Billy Betsill, Ben Bryant, Sherry Etzel, Valerie Horna, Laura Jennings, Jenny Stoneking and Mary Tiner.  | 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20

» More info in our listing


 11  Enchanting Raagas: An Evening of Sarod, Sitar and Tabla

Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas

It's an Indian classical music performance by young musicians, the United States. Featuring Arnab Chakrabarty on sarod, Roopa Panesar on sitar, and Sanju Sahai on tabla. | 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19

» More info



 12  Clue

AT&T Performing Arts Center Brunch on Broadway Series | Alamo Drafthouse Cedars

ATTPAC and the Alamo Drafthouse team-up for a Brunch on Broadway series, which will screen movies related to shows at ATTPAC. For the current tour of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, they've wisely selected the 1980 movie Clue (based on the board game about murder among civilized types). That film, if you ask any current comedy writer, is one of the best movies of all time. It's seriously great. Starring Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Eileen Brennan, Michael McKean, Lesley Ann Warren and more really funny people. (We're worried that they're remaking it.) This screening includes a special brunch, giveaways and possible appearances by cast members. | 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20

» More info







Quinn Dahle

The comedian is at Hyena's Comedy Night Club Fort Worth. | Aug. 18-20

» More info

Photo: Gage Skidmore
Jackass comedian Steve-O


Dustin Diamond

The comedian is at Hyena's Comedy Night Club Dallas. | Aug. 18-20

» More info


Robert Dubac

The comedian is at Hyena's Comedy Night Club Plano. | Aug. 18-20

» More info



The comedian is at the Arlington Improv. | Aug. 18-21

» More info



The comedian, known for Jackass, is at the Addison Improv. | Aug. 18-21

» More info





Bye, Bye Birdie

Presented by Repertory Company Theatre, Richardson. | Aug. 19-28

» More info in our listing



Theatre Coppell presents the Terrence McNally play. | Aug. 19-Sept. 4

» More info in our listing





Vitruvian Salsa Festival

The Vitruvian Salsa Festival, presented by the Dance Council of North Texas, is at Vitruvian Park in Addison. It's on Saturday nights in August. | Through Aug. 27

» More info


Little Ashes

 FREE  Artes de la Rosa screens this film about three of the Spain's most creative young talents in the 1920s and 30s: filmmaker Luis Buñuel, surrealist painter Salvador Dalí and poet/playwright Federico García Lorca. See trailer below. | 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20

» More info






The Aviary

 FREE  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 Bishop Arts Theater Center in Oak Cliff. | 6-8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21

» More info





Cabaret Tuesday

 FREE  Denise Lee on Stage's event at Two Corks and a Bottle in Uptown features vocalist Jodi Wright and pianist Jeff Lankov. | 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23

» More info in our listing


A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder Industry Night

Kicking off the second week of the touring production at the Winspear Opera House, TheaterJones co-presents an Industry Night. There are discounted tickets, and you'll get a VIP lanyard, which gets you into a special area during intermission and an after party with members of the cast. There'll be specialty cocktails, and a chance to have your photo taken with the actual Tony won by the show. | 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23

» More info on Industry Night

» Our review

» Our interview with the show's creators




Photo: Karen Almond
Constellations at Dallas Theater Center



The Dallas Theater Center season opens with the area premiere of Nick Payne's play about a theoretical physicist and a beekeeper. The Broadway production featured Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson. DTC's production stars Dallas actors Alex Organ and Allison Pistorius. Directed by Wendy Dann. Because it opens in the next cycle, look for more on it in next week's Places! | Previews being Aug. 24; opens Wednesday, Aug. 31 and runs through Oct. 9

» More info in our listing




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: Urban Photography
Trainspotting from L.I.P. Service



L.I.P. Service does an immersive, intimate production of Harry Gibson's adaptation of Irvine Welsh's novel about Scottish youths in the 1980s spiraling downward in drug culture. This staging, directed by Ryan Matthieu Smith, puts the audience in the action in the small Rudy Seppy Rehearsal Studio in Irving, and it's the company's most wholly successful production to date. Fantastic performance by Jason Robert Villarreal as Johnny "Mother Superior" Swan. | Closes Aug. 20

» More info in our listing; review coming on TheaterJones






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. Events are in various locations in North Texas:

  • 8 p.m. every Tuesday at Buzzbrews Kitchen on Lemmon Avenue, Dallas
  • 8 p.m. first and third Mondays at Turkish Cafe, Plano
  • 8 p.m. second and fourth Mondays at Button's in Fort Worth

» 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: Eric Younkin
Calendar Girls at Theatre Arlington


Beauty and the Beast

Presented by ArtCentre of Plano. | Closes Sunday

» More info in our listing


Calendar Girls

Presented by Theatre Arlington. | Closes Sunday

» Our review


Cheaper by the Dozen

Presented by Artisan Center Theater, Hurst. | Closes Saturday

» More info in our listing


Driving Miss Daisy

Presented by Frisco Community Theatre. | Closes Sunday

» More info in our listing


Herbbits, Wizards and Borks, Oh My!

Presented by Pocket Sandwich Theatre. | Closes Sunday

» More info in our listing


Mary Poppins

Presented by Rockwall Summer Musicals. | Closes Sunday

» More info in our listing


The Sound of Music

National touring production, directed by Jack O'Brien, presented by Performing Arts Fort Worth at Bass Performance Hall. | Closes Sunday

» Mark Lowry's review in the Star-Telegram

» Our interview with choreographer Danny Mefford from 2015


St. Trinian's

Presented by ArtCentre of Plano. | Closes Sunday

» More info in our listing



Presented by L.I.P. Service at the Rudy Seppy Rehearsal Studio, Irving. | Closes Saturday

» More info in our listing; review coming on TheaterJones


West Side Story

Presented by Denton Community Theatre at Campus Theatre. | Closes Sunday

» More info in our listing







  1. Dallas Theater Center presents Constellations at the Wyly Theatre Studio Theatre | Aug. 24-Oct. 9
  2. Stage West presents An Iliad in the Studio Theatre | Aug. 25-Sept. 18
  3. Robert Dubac's The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron? comes to the Eisemann Center in Richardson | Aug. 26-27
  4. Pocket Sandwich Theatre presents Death the Musical II: Death Takes a Harmony | Aug. 26-Sept. 24
  5. Uptown Players presents The Toxic Avenger at Kalita Humphreys Theater | Aug. 26-Sept. 11
  6. House Party Theatre presents Brilliant Traces | Aug. 26-29
  7. Garland Civic Theatre presents Legends at the Granville Arts Center | Sept. 1-24
  8. Theatre Three presents The Sum of Us in Theatre Too! | Sept. 1-25
  9. Theatre Britain presents The Hollow at Cox Building Playhouse | Sept. 2-25
  10. Onstage in Bedford presents Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? | Sept. 2-18
  11. The Firehouse Theatre in Farmer's Branch presents To Kill a Mockingbird | Sept. 8-25
  12. Echo Theatre presents 'night, Mother at the Bath House Cultural Center | Sept. 8-24
  13. Rover Dramawerks in Plano presents Kong's Night Out | Sept. 8-Oct. 1
  14. Lyric Stage presents Camelot with full orchestra at Irving Arts Center | Sept. 9-18
  15. Contemporary Theatre of Dallas presents Dancing at Lughnasa | Sept. 9-Oct. 2
  16. Tarrant Actors Regional Theater presents The Lion in Winter at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Sanders Theatre | Sept. 9-25
  17. Casa Mañana's season opens with Jesus Christ Superstar | Sept. 10-18
  18. Undermain Theatre presents so go the ghosts of méxico, part one: a brave woman in méxico | Sept. 14-Oct. 18
  19. Hip Pocket Theatre presents The Lake Worth Monster - A Musical Odyssey | Sept. 16-Oct. 16
  20. Uptown Players presents the Pride Performing Arts Festival at Kalita Humphreys Theater | Sept. 16-24
  21. The tour of Rent comes to AT&T Performing Arts Center's Winspear Opera House | Sept. 20-Oct. 2
  22. Shakespeare Dallas presents The Tempest at Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre, Dallas (Sept. 21-Oct. 1) and Addison Circle Park (Oct. 6-16) | Sept. 21-Oct. 16
  23. Dallas Theater Center presents the world premiere of Bella: An American Tall Tale at the Wyly Theatre | Sept. 22-Oct. 22
  24. Theatre Three presents The Wedding Singer | Sept. 22-Oct. 16
  25. The Bishop Arts Theatre Centre presents the third annual PlayPride LGBTQ Festival | Sept. 23-25



  1. The Dance Council of North Texas presents the third annual Dallas DanceFest at Dallas City Performance Hall | Sept 2-3
  2. TITAS presents Aspen Santa Fe Ballet at Dallas City Performance Hall | Sept. 16-17
  3. Texas Ballet Theater presents Carmen and Danse à Grande Vitesse at Winspear Opera House, Dallas | Sept 16-18
  4. Out on a Limb Dance Company presents {254} DANCE-FEST 2016 in Waco | Oct. 1-2
  5. SMU Meadows School of the Arts presents Brown Bag Dance Series | Oct. 3-7
  6. The Russian Grand Ballet presents The Sleeping Beauty at the Eisemann Center in Richardson | Oct. 6
  7. Dallas Black Dance Theatre presents DanceAfrica! at Annette Strauss Artist Square | Oct. 7-8
  8. Texas Ballet Theater presents Carmen and Danse à Grande Vitesse at Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth | Oct. 7-9
  9. Dallas Bach Society presents New York Baroque Dance Company at SMU, Caruth Auditorium | Oct. 8
  10. LakeCities Ballet presents Le Ballet du Dracula at MCL Grand Theater, Lewisville | Oct. 14-15
  11. Angels of Dance presents "Dancing for the Cure" at Dallas City Performance Hall | Oct. 23
  12. TITAS presents Estampas Porteñas Tango at Dallas City Performance Hall | Oct. 28-29
  13. Dallas Black Dance Theatre presents Director's Choice at the Wyly Theatre, Dallas | Nov. 4-6
  14. Bruce Wood Dance Project presents Six at Dallas City Performance Hall | Nov. 11-12
  15. 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. Baron Vaughn performs at Amphibian Stage Productions | Aug. 29-Sept. 3
  2. Jerry Seinfeld comes to the Winspear Opera House | Sept. 10
  3. Chingo Bling comes to Arlington Improv | Sept. 16-19
  4. The Funny or Die Presents Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival, with Dane Cook, Sebastian Maniscalco, Tom Segura, Iliza Shlesinger, Bobby Lee, Ali Wong, Jermaine Fowler, Big Jay Oakerson is at Gexa Energy Pavilion | Sept. 23
  5. Arsenio Hall comes to the Arlington Improv | Oct. 7-8
  6. Chris D'Elia comes to the Majestic Theatre, Dallas | Oct. 8
  7. Bobcat Goldthwait comes to Hyena's Fort Worth (Oct. 20-21) and Hyena's Plano (Oct. 22)
  8. Flight of the Conchords comes to Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie | Oct. 26
  9. Adam Carolla comes to the Majestic Theatre, Dallas | Nov. 4
  10. Leslie Jordan comes to the Majestic Theatre, Dallas | Nov. 11
  11. John Cleese and Eric Idle come to the Majestic Theatre, Dallas | Dec. 1
  12. Jim Jefferies comes to the Majestic Theatre, Dallas | Dec. 9


» 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! Aug. 18-24, 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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