Does anyone ever realize life when they live it? Classics, new work and more flood local stages

Feb. 1-7 in Dallas and Fort Worth theater

(from l-r) Jim Jorgensen, Lana K. Hoover, Gigi Cervantes, Hayley Lenamon, J.R. Bradford, Jacob Oderberg, Javier Casanova, Kelsey Milbourn, Sam McCalla, Thomas Aiden Baughman, Tim D'Auteuil, Dennis Maher, Steven Pounders, Tia Laulusa, Julienne Greer. Photo by Tim Long.

(from l-r) Jim Jorgensen, Lana K. Hoover, Gigi Cervantes, Hayley Lenamon, J.R. Bradford, Jacob Oderberg, Javier Casanova, Kelsey Milbourn, Sam McCalla, Thomas Aiden Baughman, Tim D'Auteuil, Dennis Maher, Steven Pounders, Tia Laulusa, Julienne Greer. Photo by Tim Long.


“Does anyone ever realize life when they live it…every, every minute?” That’s the question that haunts Our Town and, let’s face it, our lives which race by in a flash of a flash in this nanosecond of our life on earth.

Circle Theatre in Fort Worth starts a new chapter in its history with a season under new artistic director, Matthew Gray, who is directing Thornton Wilder’s 1938 classic. The tender, plain-spoken play offers a look at turn of the century America in a timeless, uncluttered manner that allows you to focus on the timeless circle of relationships: parents and children, young love, neighbors, friends, life and death.

For North Texas audiences, it’s also an opportunity to take measure of what Gray, a highly regarded actor, director and artistic leader, will bring to a company that had focused on contemporary fare under the direction of late co-founder, Rose Pearson, who died in 2016.

A show about death and life and realizing life every, every minute seems on target for this new chapter, with an ambitious season that will feature two world premieres by Dallas playwrights Blake Hackler and Matt Lyle, a regional premiere by Julia Cho and Stephen Sondheim’s dark and dangerous Sweeney Todd, under the direction of Dallas Theater Center associate artistic director Joel Ferrell.

Our Town runs Jan. 31-March 9, March 1 for ASL performance (use ASL code for tickets in interpreted section). Circle Theatre, 230 West Fourth St., Fort Worth. $25-$38 (starting at $15 for previews). circletheatre.com

(from l-r Theresa Kellar and Quinn Moran in ‘Spring Awakening,’ presented by Uptown Players Jan. 31-Feb. 3 at Moody Performance Hall.

(from l-r Theresa Kellar and Quinn Moran in ‘Spring Awakening,’ presented by Uptown Players Jan. 31-Feb. 3 at Moody Performance Hall.

You only have this weekend to catch Uptown Players production of Spring Awakening, the 2006 Tony Award-winning musical by Duncan Sheik and Steven Starr at Moody Performance Hall. Based on the 1891 play by Frank Wedekind it’s a dark tale of teenage love, lies, repression, fear and tragedy — yes, we know, a lot like today. Jeremy Dumont directs, which means you can expect precision and passion. It’s rated R for brief nudity, sexual situations and adult themes. No one under 18 permitted without adult supervision and approval.

Spring Awakening runs Jan. 31-Feb. 3. Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St., Dallas. uptownplayers.org

(from l-r) Sam Swenson, Madison Calhoun, Lauren LeBlanc in the world premiere, ‘The Manufactured Myth of Eveline Flynn,’ presented by Theatre Three Feb. 4-24. Photo by Jeffrey Schmidt.

(from l-r) Sam Swenson, Madison Calhoun, Lauren LeBlanc in the world premiere, ‘The Manufactured Myth of Eveline Flynn,’ presented by Theatre Three Feb. 4-24. Photo by Jeffrey Schmidt.

.One of the elements that makes Dallas-Fort Worth such a thrilling theater town are all the creative forces cooking up new concepts. Circle Theatre has two new plays by local talents on the boards for this season. Theatre Three is unveiling an ambitious new musical, The Manufactured Myth of Eveline Flynn, by playwright Michael Federico, who has been responsible for some of the edgiest, funniest, provoking books behind original musicals, from On the Eve to Pompeii!!, and musician Ian Ferguson, who wowed audiences with his soulful performance in Theatre Three’s runaway hit, Once, last year.

It’s a challenge to describe a new show that you haven’t seen, but here’s what I’ve gleaned. Eveline Flynn is an eccentric, charming, dramatic young woman on a musical journey of self-discovery in a story that involves love, loss and an intergalactic all-girl punk band defending the universe. Which, let’s face it, needs defending.

The Manufactured Myth of Eveline Flynn runs Jan. 31-Feb. 24 at Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St., Dallas. $10-$50. Theatre3Dallas.com

Drew Wall in ‘Incognito,’ presented by Second Thought Theatre at Bryant Hall on the Kalita Humphreys campus Jan. 30-Feb. 23. Photo by Evan Michael Woods.

Drew Wall in ‘Incognito,’ presented by Second Thought Theatre at Bryant Hall on the Kalita Humphreys campus Jan. 30-Feb. 23. Photo by Evan Michael Woods.

The idea behind Second Thought Theatre is to get you to think twice. Dallas’ smallest professional theater company does that with an oomph, shaking up preconceptions of how you think the world works. And given how shaky the world seems to be these days, they may be ever more disturbingly on target.

Their latest salvo is Incognito, the area premiere of a complex play by Nick Payne that interweaves three tales about the brain in a story of love, murder, memory and Albert Einstein’s brain in a story that spans 60 years. The company’s artistic director, Alex Organ, who co-starred in Payne’s riveting Constellations for Dallas Theatre Center, directs.

Incognito runs Jan. 30-Feb. 23 at Bryant Hall on the Kalita Humphreys Campus, 3400 Blackburn St., Dallas. $25, Pay What You Can Feb. 4, 11 and 18. secondthoughttheatre.com


(from l-r) Jamal Sterling and Denise Lee in ‘Lonely Planet,’ presented by Amphibian Stage Productions in Fort Worth Dec. 30-Feb. 24. Photo by Evan Michael Woods.

(from l-r) Jamal Sterling and Denise Lee in ‘Lonely Planet,’ presented by Amphibian Stage Productions in Fort Worth Dec. 30-Feb. 24. Photo by Evan Michael Woods.

When two actors as compelling as Jamal Sterling and Denise Lee share a stage, do yourself a favor and go see the sparks fly. Sterling and Lee co-star in Lonely Planet, a quirky story about a friendship that takes a surprisingly deep, moving twist. Written by prolific UT Austin playwriting professor Steven Dietz, the show kicks off Amphibian’s 20th season, continuing its mission to showcase contemporary work. The play was written at the height of the AIDS crisis and Amphibian, which has long found innovative ways of keeping the conversation going after patrons have left the stage, have partnered with the Health Education Learning Project (HELP), Aids Outreach Center (AOC), AOC MPACT, Samaritan House, and Texas Black Women’s Initiative to encourage HIV prevention, testing and the importance of early detection.

Lonely Planet runs Feb. 1-24 at Amphibian Stage Productions, 120 South Main St., Fort Worth. $20-$34. amphibianstage.com

IN BRIEF

Jubilee Theatre presents Aurin Squire’s Obama-ology, the story of a recent black college graduate who learns unexpected things about himself after he joins the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. Jan. 25-Feb. 24. Jubilee Theatre, 506 Main Street, Fort Worth. $26-$30. jubileetheatre.org

Runway Theatre presents ‘Fly By Night’ through Feb. 17 in Grapevine.

Runway Theatre presents ‘Fly By Night’ through Feb. 17 in Grapevine.

Runway Theatre presents Fly By Night, the Kim Rosenstock, Michael Mitnick and Will Connolly musical that interweaves star-crossed stories of love that unfold during the northeast blackout of 1965. Jan. 25-Feb. 17. Runway Theatre, 215 N. Dooley St., Grapevine.$20-$25. runwaytheatre.com

Richardson Theatre Centre presents The Cemetery Club, Ivan Menchell’s play about a widow and how her friends react when a man tries to woo her. Feb. 1-17. Richardson Theatre Centre, 518 W. Arapaho Rd., Richardson. $20-$22. Richardsontheatrecentre.net

Outcry Youth Theatre presents The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Simon Stephens’ Tony Award-winning adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel about a teenage boy with learning differences who is trying to figure out who killed a neighbor’s dog. Feb. 1-10. Outcry Youth Theatre at Addison Theatre Centre’s Studio Theatre, 15650 Addison Rd., Addison. $10-$20. Outcrytheatre.com

Pocket Sandwich Theatre presents The Roof, a late-night, popcorn-throwing R-rated parody of the film, The Room, which you evidently don’t have to know to have fun at the show. Feb. 1-16. Pocket Sandwich Theatre. 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas.  $15. https://www.pocketsandwich.com/late-lineup

Granbury Theatre Company presents Driving Miss Daisy, Alfred Uhry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play about an elderly Jewish widow and her growing friendship with her chauffeur over a period of 25 years. Jan. 11-Feb. 10. Granbury Theatre Company at the Granbury Opera House, 133 E. Pearl St., Granbury. $30-$35. granburytheatrecompany.org

AND STILL RUNNING: Sweat by Dallas Theater Center at Kalita Humphries Theater through Feb. 10. dallastheatercenter.org ; Ella Enchanted by Dallas Children’s Theater through Feb. 24. dct.org ; The Book of Mormon, presented by Dallas Summer Musicals and Broadway Across America through Feb. 3. dallassummermusicals.org ; The Buddy Holly Story, presented by Garland Civic Theatre through Feb. 10. garlandcivic.org

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