Sally Nystuen Vahle as Scrooge at Dallas Theater Center

Places! Nov. 24-30, 2016

It's our weekly list of performing arts events opening on local stages. Plus, the rundown of last-chance shows. Also, we mention shows that would have gone in last week's absent Places!

published Thursday, November 24, 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: Christmastime is here, and you know what that means: Scrooges and toy soldiers battling rodents all over local stages. While the major local productions of those shows—A Christmas Carol at Dallas Theater Center with Sally Nystuen Vahle as Scrooge, and Texas Ballet Theater's The Nutcracker—open this weekend, there's a lot more to take in across the worlds of music, theater, dance and comedy. Be on the lookout for the one-of-a-kind experience All is Calm at the Eisemann Center, the great Tig Notaro at Texas Theater, and takes on classic fairy tales Cinderella and The Sleeping Beauty. Oh, and yes, we know we missed last week's Places! There's a catch-up from last week's cycle below, 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. 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!


Photo: Sergio Garcia

Sally Nystuen Vahle as Scrooge at Dallas Theater Center



 THU NOV 24  thru  WED NOV 30 


 1  A Christmas Carol

Dallas Theater Center | AT&T Performing Arts Center, Wyly Theatre, Dallas

There are many adaptations of and take-offs on Charles Dickens' novella A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas out there in North Texas, but Kevin Moriarty's adaptation is one of the sharpest. To make this year even more special, Scrooge will be played by DTC Hal and Diane Brierley Resident Acting Ensemble member Sally Nystuen Vahle—the first time the lead has been played by a woman. If you saw Vahle play Macbeth in A Macbeth at DTC in 2008, or if you've ever seen her work at all, you know she's got this. And talk about timely: a woman doing it her way in a man's world. Lydia Mackay plays Marley, and Gabrielle Reyes plays Young Scrooge. There are a few changes for this version, such as Belle, Scrooge's former lover, is now Beau. The scenes with nephew Fred are now led by niece Lucy. And characters from her past refer to Scrooge as "Ebby." Steven Micheal Walters directs. | Previews through Nov. 29; opens Wednesday, Nov. 30 and runs through Dec. 28

» More info in our listing

» Mark Lowry's feature story in the Star-Telegram



 2  All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914

Eisemann Center Presents | Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts, Richardson

You've probably heard this story before, maybe through the 2005 French film Joyeux Noël or the 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell (seen at the Fort Worth Opera in 2014). It's about the spontaneous World War I truce between Allied and German forces in No Man's Land over Christmas 1914, in which American, French and German troupe brief celebrated the holiday. This version was created by Theater Latté Da’s acclaimed artistic director Peter Rothstein and features Cantus, one of America’s finest vocal ensembles, with musical arrangements by Erick Lichte and Timothy C. Takach. | 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29

» More info in our listing


Photo: Steven Visneau
Texas Ballet Theater's The Nutcracker


 3  The Nutcracker

Texas Ballet Theater | AT&T Performing Arts Center, Winspear Opera House, Dallas

There are a ton of The Nutcracker productions to catch all around North Texas (you can see our full list here), but if you the one that's inarguably the best-danced because it's from our big professional ballet company, this is the one to see. Ben Stevenson's production is still a hoot, but sadly, it's the one TBT production that doesn't feature live music because of the cost of the length of the run. It starts out for two weeks in Dallas, and has another three weeks at Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall. Don't forget the annual The Nutty Nutcracker, which is Dec. 16 at Bass Hall. | Nov. 25-Dec. 4 in Dallas; Dec. 8-24 in Fort Worth.

» More info in our listing for Dallas

» More info in our listing for Fort Worth

» Our list of North Texas Nutcrackers


Photo: Courtesy
Tig Notaro


 4  Tig Notaro

The Texas Theatre, Oak Cliff

Her comedy routine about her own cancer is now legendary; and she's made quite the splash on the award-winning series Transparent and her own show One Mississippi. The comic comes to North Texas on our 2016 tour, with Seth Cowles opening. | 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26

» More info in our listing


Photo: Courtesy
Tenor Carl Tanner


 5  Verdi and Puccini

Dallas Symphony Orchestra | Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas

Roberto Abbado conducts this program of opera music, from such works as Aida, Il Trovatore, The Girl of the Golden West and Turandot, featuring tenor Carl Tanner. There's also some Resphighi thrown in for fun. | 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25-27

» More info in our listing


Photo: Courtesy
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer


 6  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical

Dallas Summer Musicals | Music Hall at Fair Park, Dallas

The beloved TV special comes to life in this vibrant stage reproduction, with really terrific puppets and costumes that recreate the original with flair. Wait until you see the Bumble puppet. | 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25; 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26; and 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27

» More info in our listing


Photo: Mark Trew
The Sleeping Beauty from Theatre Britain


 7  The Sleeping Beauty

Theatre Britain | Cox Building Playhouse, Plano

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Theatre Britain brings back its first panto, The Sleeping Beauty, originally presented in 1996. Adapted by Jackie Mellor-Guin, this British holiday tradition takes a well-known fairy tale, throws in a man-in-drag character (the Dame), some more gender-bending, corny jokes and songs, and harmless audience participation. Probably the most fun at any holiday show. | Nov. 26-Dec. 30

» More info in our listing


 8  Cinderella

Garland Civic Theatre | Granville Arts Center, Garland

Here's a different version of a story you know well: A musical of Cinderella by Joseph McDonough, music by Fitz Patton, and lyrics by David Kisor. In this version, the girl gets her groove on thanks to a Well-Wisher, and instead of a glass slipper, it's a red sneaker. Directed by Kyle McClaran. | Nov. 25-Dec. 17

» More info in our listing


 9  Funniest Comic in Texas Finals

Arlington Improv

There have been weeks of preliminary and semifinal rounds, and it all comes down to the final few competing for the above title, Wednesday at the Improvisation Comedy Club in Arlington. | 8 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 30

» More info in our listing


 10  An Evening of Storytelling with Two Friends: Randy and Jim

Contemporary Theatre of Dallas

The big news of the week was the closing of Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, after 14 successful years. But not before a few more events to close out the year, including this storytelling night with Randy Bonifay and Jim Pfitzer. | 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30

» More info in our listing


 11  Uh-Oh, Here Comes Christmas

One Thirty Productions | Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas

One Thirty Productions closes its season with holiday stories from Robert Fulgham, the international best-selling author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Adapted by Ernest Zulla and David Caldwell, with music and lyrics by Caldwell, it makes for collection of storytelling and song. | Nov. 30-Dec. 17

» More info in our listing


 12  Santa Claus: A New Musical

Casa Mañana Children's Theatre | Casa Mañana Theatre, Fort Worth

It's a new musical about the Great Polar Red One, written by Casa Mañana’s Director of Education, Noah Putterman, with music and lyrics by David Christensen and Luke Holloway. Greg Dulcie and Deborah Brown play Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and Putterman directs. | Nov. 25-Dec. 23

» More info in our listing




You probably noticed that last week's Places was MIA. Aliens, or something like that. So, with apologies to those dance and music events that were only one weekend, here are five theater productions that opened in last week's cycle, and are still running, with links to our reviews and previews.

  1. Day Light, a new play by Bruce R. Coleman at Theatre Three, Dallas  OUR PREVIEW
  2. Feathers and Teeth, a dark comedy by Charise Castro Smith at Kitchen Dog Theater, Dallas  OUR REVIEW
  3. Murder for Two, a two-actor musical comedy, presented by Stage West, Fort Worth  OUR REVIEW
  4. A Charlie Brown Christmas, a stage version of the TV classic presented by Dallas Children's Theater  OUR REVIEW
  5. Nuestra Pastorela, a twist on the Mexican Christmas tradition, presented by Cara Mía Theatre Company, Dallas OUR REVIEW







Photo: Joan Marcus
An image from Stephan Karam's The Humans, in which a Thanksgiving dinner turns currently on Broadway. No, it's not playing here. Just a reminder that holiday family dinners can be AWK. WARD.




Tone Bell

The comedian is at the Addison Improv. | Nov. 25-26

» More info


The Beulaville Baptist Church Presents: A Bur-Less-Q Nutcracker

MBS Productions brings back its hit show about a smalltown production of The Nutcracker that has to find new dancers at the last minute, and is saved when a burlesque troupe is stuck in town. At the Addison Theatre Center, Studio Theatre. | Nov. 25-Dec. 26

» More info in our listing


Butch Lord's Thanksgiving Hollywood Showcase

The comedian hosts an evening that includes Anthony Perez, James Ponce and Dustin Ybarra, at Hyena's Comedy Night Club Fort Worth. | Nov. 25-26

» More info

Photo: Shanon Dickinson
Ebenezer Scrooge at Pocket Sandwich Theatre


Ebenezer Scrooge

The beloved musical version of Dickens' story at Pocket Sandwich Theatre, Dallas. | Nov. 25-Dec. 23

» More info in our listing


The Gifts of the Magi

Jubilee Theatre presents the musical version of the O. Henry story by Randy Courts and Mark St. Germain. It begins previews this week, and opens Dec. 2, so look for more on it in next week's Places! | Previews Nov. 25-Dec. 1; opens Dec. 2 and runs through Dec. 24

» More info in our listing


Matt Golightly

The comedian is at Hyena's Comedy Night Club Plano. | Nov. 25-26

» More info


The Great American Trailer Park Musical

Presented by Runway Theatre in Grapevine. | Nov. 25-Dec. 18

» More info in our listing


How Santa Got His Groove Back

An original holiday sketch show at the Dallas Comedy House. | Nov. 25-Dec. 23

» More info in our listing


The Nutcracker

Presented by Chamberlain Ballet at the Eisemann Center, with stars from New York City Ballet. | Nov. 25-27

» More info in our listing


The Nutcracker

Presented by Momentum Dance Company at the Irving Arts Center, with Bruce Coleman playing Herr Drosselmeyer. | Nov. 25-27

» More info in our listing


Raj Sharma

The comedian is at Hyena's Comedy Night Club Dallas. | Nov. 25-26

» More info


Keir "Junior" Spates

The comedian is at the Arlington Improv.  | Nov. 25-26

» More info


The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge

The Mark Brown take on A Christmas Carol, presented by the Core Theatre in Richardson. | Nov. 25-Dec. 18

» More info in our listing





A Christmas Carol: The Radio Show

B.J. Cleveland is back in the one-man radio version of the Dickens story, presented by Theatre Three in its basement space, Theatre Too! | Nov. 26-Dec. 11

» More info in our listing


The Nutcracker

Presented by LakeCities Ballet Theatre at Marcus High School in Flower Mound. | Nov. 26-27

» More info in our listing





A Fort Worth Family Christmas Concert

This performance will be fun for the whole family, and will feature the Symphony Musicians of Fort Worth, Ron Spigelman, conductor, and Breggett Rideau, vocalist. Featuring the Fort Worth premiere of Nathan Wang's The Night Before ChristmasPlease bring an unwrapped toy to support WFAA’s Santa’s Helpers. Toys will be collected in the lobby prior to the concert.

» More info in our listing

» More about the Save Our Symphony campaign


Island of Misfit Toys: A Night of Fun Holiday Reading

An evening of readings of short holiday works by Carol M. Rice, Ben Schroth, Jared Seman, Stephen White, Robby Dullnig, Daniel Guyton, Seth McNeill and Scott Mullen, at the Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park. | 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27

» More info in our listing





The Hot L Baltimore

SMU Meadows School of the Arts presents the Lanford Wilson play. | Nov. 30-Dec. 4

» More info in our listing






Arlington Improv Open Mike

Free comedy open mike on Wednesdays at the Arlington Improv.  | 7 p.m. Wednesdays

» 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


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






The 39 Steps

Presented on the second stage at Artisan Center Theater, Hurst. | Closes Saturday

» Our review







  1. Theatre Arlington presents A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley | Dec. 2-18
  2. Stolen Shakespeare Guild presents A Christmas Carol at the Sanders Theatre in the Fort Worth Community Arts Center | Dec. 2-18
  3. Phatthedd Productions presents Somewhere Between Hello and Goodbye at Teatro Dallas | Dec. 2-10
  4. Theatre Coppell presents Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol | Dec. 2-18
  5. Greater Lewisville Community Theatre presents The Last Night of Ballyhoo | Dec. 2-18
  6. Onstage in Bedford presents Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge | Dec. 2-18
  7. WaterTower Theatre presents Sister's Christmas Catechism | Dec. 2-23
  8. Fun House Theatre and Film presents The Ultimate Holiday Experience | Dec. 2-23
  9. Bare Bones Shakespeare presents The Winter's Tale at Rover Dramawerks in Plano | Dec. 2-10
  10. Dallas Summer Musicals presents Broadway Christmas Wonderland at the Music Hall at Fair Park | Dec. 6-18
  11. Dallas Theater Center presents the regional premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Gloria | Dec. 7-Jan. 22
  12. The Bishop Arts Theatre Center presents Black Nativity | Dec. 8-18
  13. Camp Death Productions presents Santa Claus vs. the Martians at the Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park | Dec. 8-22
  14. House Party Theatre presents Frosty: Songs of Redemption-The Musical! at the Margo Jones Theatre, Fair Park | Dec. 9-16
  15. Proper Hijinx Productions presents In a Dark Dark House at Amphibian Stage Productions in Fort Worth | Dec. 9-17
  16. Soul Rep Theatre Company presents Naughty but Nice at the South Dallas Cultural Center | Dec. 9-18
  17. Nouveau 47 Theatre presents A Very Nouveau Holiday at the Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park | Dec. 9-23
  18. The AT&T Performing Arts Center presents The Book of Mormon at the Winspear Opera House | Dec. 20-Dec. 31
  19. Pegasus Theatre presents Death on Delivery! at the Eisemann Center, Richardson | Dec. 29-Jan. 22
  20. Pocket Sandwich Theatre presents Tomorrow is Forever: The Spy Melodrama | Dec. 30-Feb. 18



  1. The University of North Texas presents its New Choreographers Concert | Dec. 2-4
  2. The Dallas Ballet Company presents The Nutcracker at the Granville Arts Center, Garland | Dec. 2-11
  3. The Ballet Ensemble of Texas presents The Nutcracker at the Irving Arts Center | Dec. 3-4
  4. The University of Texas at Arlington's Maverick Dance Company performs | Dec. 9-11
  5. Dallas Black Dance Theatre presents Black on Black at the DBDT Studios | Dec. 9-10
  6. Texas Ballet Theater presents The Nutcracker at Bass Performance Hall, Fort Worth | Dec. 9-24
  7. TITAS presents Jessica Lang Dance at the Winspear Opera House, Dallas | Dec. 9
  8. Avant Chamber Ballet presents A Ballet Christmas Carol at Dallas City Performance Hall | Dec. 15-16
  9. Texas Ballet Theater presents The Nutty Nutcracker at Bass Performance Hall | Dec. 16
  10. Broads and Panties Burlesque presents The Nearly Naked Nutcracker at Viva's Lounge, Dallas | Dec. 16-17
  11. Tuzer Ballet presents The Nutcracker at the Eisemann Center, Richardson | Dec. 17-18
  12. Bruce Wood Dance Project presents Mistletoe Magic with Hugh Panaro, Liz Callaway and Joseph Thalken at Dallas City Performance Hall | Dec. 20
  13. Collin County Ballet Theatre presents The Nutcracker at Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts | Dec. 20-22
  14. The national tour of The Hip-Hop Nutcracker comes to the Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts, Richardson | Dec. 23
  15. TITAS presents Pilobolus at Dallas City Performance Hall, Dallas | Jan. 13-14



  1. Chamber Music International performs at Dallas City Performance Hall | Dec. 2
  2. The Dallas Symphony presents Christmas Pops at the Meyerson Symphony Center | Dec. 2-18
  3. Opera in Concert presents Mozart and Salieri - The Mystery Continues at Sammons Center for the Performing Arts | Dec. 3
  4. The Dallas Bach Society presents Haydns symphonies 6, 7 and 8 at Church of the Incarnation, Dallas | Dec. 3
  5. Richardson Symphony presents Holiday Classics at the Eisemann Center, Richardson | Dec. 3
  6. The Dallas Symphony presents a Big Brassy Christmas and Organ Extravaganza at the Meyerson Symphony Center | Dec. 5
  7. Voices of Change presents a Latin American Concert at the Latino Cultural Center | Dec. 7
  8. The Turtle Creek Chorale presents A Not So Silent Night at Dallas City Performance Hall | Dec. 8-11
  9. The Arlington Master Chorale presents Gloria! at Trinity United Methodist Church, Arlington | Dec. 8-9
  10. The Allegro Guitar Society presents Ben Verdery at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth; and Montgomery Arts Theater, Dallas | Dec. 8-9
  11. The Orchestra of New Spain presents Christmas at Christ the King at Christ the King Catholic Church, Dallas | Dec. 11
  12. The Arts District Chorale presents Sing We Now of Christmas at Dallas City Performance Hall | Dec. 13
  13. Orpheus Chamber Singers presents A Celebration of Carols at Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Dallas | Dec. 17-20
  14. The Dallas Opera presents Madame Butterfly at the Winspear Opera House | March 10-26
  15. The Dallas Opera presents The Turn of the Screw at the Winspear Opera House | March 17-25



  1. John Cleese and Eric Idle come to the Majestic Theatre, Dallas | Dec. 1-2
  2. April Macie comes to Hyena's Comedy Night Club, Dallas | Dec. 1-3
  3. Jay Leno comes to the Winspear Opera House | Dec. 6
  4. Nene Leakes comes to the Arlington Improv | Dec. 7
  5. Mike Birbiglia's Thank God for Jokes comes to the Winspear Opera House | Dec. 8
  6. Damon Williams comes to the Black Academy of Arts & Letters | Dec. 9-10
  7. Jim Jefferies comes to the Majestic Theatre, Dallas | Dec. 9
  8. The Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff presents A John Waters Christmas | Dec. 14
  9. Brian Regan comes to the Music Hall at Fair Park | Dec. 31
  10. Bill Maher comes to the Music Hall at Fair Park | Jan. 22
  11. Craig Ferguson comes to the Winspear Opera House | Feb. 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! Nov. 24-30, 2016
It's our weekly list of performing arts events opening on local stages. Plus, the rundown of last-chance shows. Also, we mention shows that would have gone in last week's absent Places!
by Mark Lowry

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