It’s week three of this year’s Free Night of Theater program. Tickets can be reserved online for shows this weekend beginning at noon today. Next Monday, there will be a new round of shows and ticket opportunities. Here’s a list of this week’s shows:
Theater: African-American Repertory Theatre
Free night: Oct. 14, 7:30 p.m.
No word yet on how the forced stopping of the opening-night (due to an actor’s illness) may affect this Thursday’s performance.
Jitney, a drama that includes the natural comedy of real life, takes place in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, the setting of August Wilson’s cycle of plays on the Black American experience in the 20th century. The action happens in the early 1970’s in a worn-down “gypsy cab” station, where men hustle to make a living as unofficial, unlicensed taxi drivers. The ongoing, underlying tension comes from two principal sources: the threat that the makeshift taxi company may be shut down by the city and the explosive relationship between Becker, who runs the cab company, and his son, Booster, who has just returned from serving a 20-year prison sentence. The talk among the characters forms a rich urban symphony that swirls around the cab company. One’s personal business is always on public parade, as the men kibbitz, criticize and retell local dramas revolving around two seemingly eternal themes of economic anxiety and the armed truce between men and women.
Show: Noises Off!
Theater: Garland Civic Theatre
Free night: Oct. 16, 8 p.m.
The story: This madly funny romp, considered to be the funniest farce ever written, shows the hilarious pitfalls, downfalls and comic terrors of a theater company trying to perform a comedy play, spilling all the personal and backstage dirt of everyone involved. Don’t miss this laugh per minute roller coaster of fun.
Show: Backstage Acting Workshops, Ages 13-19
Theater: Junior Players
Free night: Oct. 16, 1 p.m.
The story: Junior Players is teaming up with Dallas Public Library’s Teen Centers to offer free acting workshops for youth 13-19 years old. You are encouraged to attend the workshops in each of the month’s they are being offered, but it is not required to participate. Workshops take place at Mountain Creek Library, Dallas West Library, Paul Laurence Dunbar Lancaster-Kiest Library and Skyline Library.
Show: Dracula – The Melodrama
Theater: Pocket Sandwich Theatre
Free night: Oct. 14, 7 p.m.
The story: The old bloodsucker faces garlic, stakes and popcorn in one of our most popular melodramas.
Show: 33 Variations
Theater: Theatre Three
Free night: Oct. 15, 8 p.m.
The story: This recent Broadway sensation is a stunning inquiry into the creative mind and its mysteries. Katherine Brant, a brilliant musicologist is driven – even at the expense of her adult daughter’s happiness – to unlock the puzzle of why Beethoven spent the last years of his life writing thirty-three variations on a simple waltz by an insignificant musical hack. This inspiring drama shows both Katherine Brant and Beethoven in a titanic struggle against time and task; each divinely tortured but divinely triumphant.
Show: The Dog Problem
Theater: Undermain Theatre
Free night: Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m.
The story: This mystical comedy examines the misunderstandings of some shady inhabitants of New York’s lower east side. Propelled by ominous humor, The Dog Problem explores the mesh of existence among mobsters with eerie glimpses of immortality. David Rabe mixes bewitching characters and beastly circumstances in a production with masterfully vivid dialogue. The design team responsible for the intriguing creations of last seasons’ The Black Monk and Port Twilight, will bring the world of The Dog Problem to life.
Theater: Jubilee Theatre
Free night: Oct. 14-15, 8 p.m.; Oct. 16, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Oct. 17, 3 p.m.
The story: This brilliantly inventive, lyrically expressive play deals with the coming of age of a young man from rural South Carolina. Originally produced by the Negro Ensemble Company and then transferred to Broadway, Home will be the third Samm-Art Williams play produced at Jubilee Theatre. Its poignant story of the African- American experience in the United States will remind you that it’s always good to be home.
Show: Melancholy Play
Theater: Meadows School of the Arts at SMU
Free night: Oct. 19, 8 p.m.
The story: Tilly’s melancholy is bold, outward, sassy, sexy and unashamed. Every stranger she meets falls in love with her. When she inexplicably becomes happy, it sends her paramours into a tizzy. One turns into an almond! A quizzical comedy from the award-winning author of Eurydice.
Show: In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings
Theater: Meadows School of the Arts at SMU
Free night: Oct. 20, 8 p.m.
The story: Described by The New York Times as “an old-fashioned slice-of-life play that takes place around Times Square before Walt Disney replaced Damon Runyon as resident folklorist,” this drama captures the absurdity, tears and laughter in the gulf between the dreams and reality of lost souls.
Show: Lucifer Descending
Theater: MBS Productions
Free night: Oct. 14-16, 8 p.m.
The story: After Lucifer’s conflict with God he creates Hell in response. He descends to earth shortly thereafter to abduct Seth, the third child of Adam and Eve, and takes him through the depths of the underworld to see the future of what has become the fate of humanity’s worst sinners. Lucifer Descending is one of the “Choreographed Plays” that has become a signature style for MBS Productions: There is only a back drop; it is through the use of the actor’s bodies, movements, and fabric that all the sets and locations the play is created.
Show: Melodias Clasicas: Music from Mexico, Spain and Argentina
Theater: Latino Cultural Center
Free night: Oct. 17, 3 p.m.
The story: Violinist Manuel Ramos and pianist Vera Parkin will delight audiences with a program of classical music arrangements of music from Mexico, Spain and Argentina. Among the pieces that will be played are the waltz “Sobre las Olas” by 19th Century Mexican composer Juventino Rosas, “Las Bodas de Luis Alonso” by Spanish composer Geronimo Gimenez Ramos, and the tango “El Choclo” by Argentinean composer Angel Villoldo.