Stage
A play with music (rather than a musical), Jubliee’s Black Pearl Sings demands nuanced performances.

Black Pearl Shines

Jubliee’s latest production skillfully handles some delicate race matters.
JIMMY FOWLER
“You are an authentic doorway to the past,” Susannah (Lana K. Hoover), an Anglo song collector for the Library of Congress, tells Pearl (Liz Mikel), an African-American prisoner in a Texas jail in the 1920s. The white lady ...


Lisa Fairchild and Mark Fickert (left) face off against Leah Layman and Brad Stephens in Circle’s latest.

Undercooked Carnage

A faulty script full of obviousness undermines a valiant effort by Circle Theatre.
JIMMY FOWLER
Civilization, basically, is a set of rules to which people frequently don’t adhere. That short, rather obvious statement sums up the plot, themes, and performances of Circle Theatre’s lively but insubstantial staging of the...



Cindee Mayfield (right), Brandi Andrade, and Elias Taylorson make not-so-strange bedfellows in Theatre Arlington’s current production.

Existential Excellence

Theatre Arlington’s cast shines in The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.
JIMMY FOWLER
“I have ambiguities that you have yet to fathom!” angrily shouts overeducated, understimulated Marjorie to her husband, Ira, a retired ear-nose-and-throat doctor. By all rights, many audiences should find Marjorie supremely...


Dana Schultes and Michael Corolla star in Stage West’s new production, about a young man who washes up on shore in a Nazi-occupied island in 1943.

Gabriel Ascends

On a Nazi-occupied island, strong women and children take wing.
JIMMY FOWLER
Theatergoers tired of plays with overly introspective characters and navel-gazing actor monologues, take heart: Stage West’s production of Moira Buffini’s WWII drama Gabriel, which opens this weekend, is full of women of ac...



Jubilee kicks up its heels — too far? Buddy Myers

Black Spurs Jingle

Though critical reception has been cold, Jubliee’s latest is a statement.
JIMMY FOWLER
Tre Garrett has been artistic director of Jubilee Theatre for almost two and a half years now. He replaced Ed Smith, who served briefly as the first new artistic director since much-loved founder Rudy Eastman died unexpectedly ...


There’s only one way to settle this issue: dance-fight!

Mistletoes

Texas Ballet Theater’s new Nutcracker rocks.
LEONARD EUREKA
The holidays took on a warm, fuzzy glow with the opening of Texas Ballet Theater’s glorious new production of The Nutcracker in Bass Performance Hall last weekend. A gift from the now-defunct Ballet Florida of West Palm Beach...



dingdongs

Home Sweet Home, ‘Phibs-Style

JIMMY FOWLER
Even after the mortgage meltdown that helped trigger the Great Recession, home ownership is considered an integral part of the so-called American Dream. But what kind of class divisions, character distinctions, and chance circu...


Bob Hess, Mary Lang, Brandon J. Murphy, and Jessica Vera star in Amphibian’s production of The True History of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana, The Ugliest Woman in the World. Photo by Daylon Walton

Darkness Descends

Amphibian Productions’ Julia Pastrana is solid if light.
JIMMY FOWLER
Amphibian Stage Productions has just opened a sparkling new theater space on the Near Southside at Main Street and Vickery Boulevard, and what better way to show it off than with a play staged in total darkness? Leave it to the...



Trentham (foreground) and Camp have created quite the little stand-up scene.

Standing Up for Laughs

Part of the Q Cinema family, It Only Makes Me Laugh is a riot.
JIMMY FOWLER
Fort Worth actor Kyle Trentham has a resume that includes theater, film, and TV, most notably shows like Barney, Wishbone, and Walker Texas Ranger. Onstage he recently appeared in the drama The Fifth Sun at Rose Marine Theatre....


Lois Sonnier Hart and John S. Davies star alongside Emily Scott Banks (seated) in Circle Theatre’s creepy new production.

Hand from the Grave

Circle Theatre’s Ghost-Writer is a tense, taut, and perfectly seasonal treat.
JIMMY FOWLER
About midway through Circle Theatre’s tense psychological drama Ghost-Writer, Myra Babbage (Emily Scott Banks), secretary to a renowned novelist, describes her boss’ methods: “Only by changing the facts could he make some...