This Week’s 5 Must See Shows on Local DFW Stages

It's the first big theater weekend of 2014, with anticipated shows opening at Dallas Theater Center, Theatre 3, and Undermain, as well as a visit from dance troupe Pilobolus.

Broadway Our Way (January 17-26 at Kalita Humphreys Theater) Tickets. Uptown Players’ annual fundraiser plays out like a theatrical battle of the sexes. The men and women reverse roles in an attempt to out-sing—and out-diva—each other during this special performance. It’s a mix of past and present Broadway classics, done in true Uptown Players fashion.

Pilobolus (January 17-18 at the Winspear Opera House) TicketsSome people can touch their toes without bending their knees. Others can do a pretty impressive backbend. And then there’s Pilobolus, the modern dance company exclusively made up of people with rubber bones (at least, that’s our theory). The troupe pairs unparalleled flexibility with eye-popping choreography, where members fold themselves into an array of words, figures, and scenes.

Oedipus el Rey (January 16-February 26 at the Wyly Theatre) Tickets. Aristotle called Sophocles’ drama about a royal child, born in Thebes and fated to kill his father and marry his mother, the perfect tragedy. It inspires pity and fear, and ends in such a way that we are swept clean. The playwright Luis Alfaro takes the ancient story and transplants it from Greece to South Central Los Angeles, where Oedipus is a gang leader rather than a king.

Abraham Zobell’s Home Movie: Final Reel . . . (January 16 – February 1 at Dallas City Performance Hall) Tickets. Undermain Theatre favorite Len Jenkin’s new play concerns the elderly Abraham Zobell who escapes his caregivers for one last grand adventure. His journey just happens to take him backward through the pivotal moments and characters of his long, colorful life.

On The Eve (January 16 – February 9 at Theatre Three) Tickets. Theatre Three revives this successful collaboration between local band Home by Hovercraft, actor and Kitchen Dog Theater company member Michael Federico, and Theatre Three’s associate artist Jeffrey Schmidt. Federico wrote an expansive, funny, and somewhat absurdist book that recalls Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of An Author to accompany Seth and Shawn Magill’s heart-pounding score. Schmidt was the director and the designer, using every possible inch in the tiny Magnolia Lounge theater in Fair Park. The plot is a doozy, and too precise an outline might spoil some of the fun. We begin in pre-Revolutionary France, amid the first gasps impending rebellion, with the frothy Marie Antoinette and her husband, Louis XVI, doing what they do best: hoarding money, looking pretty, and not having royal sex. The Talking Man tells us their story, interwoven with a peasant couple, dutiful wife Simone and inventor Joseph, who has forgotten about his duties as husband and father in order to work on a time machine. He has been largely unsuccessful. Their daily lives are interrupted by the crash-landing of Chase Spacegrove, self-styled as a good-looking hero. He knows how to fix Joseph’s time machine, a device which, much like Chekhov’s metaphorical pistol, must take off.