Two years ago on Bravo's reality series The Fire Within, Cirque du Soleil selected and trained 50-plus artists and musicians from 13 countries for the group's most recent creation. Varekai--"wherever" in gypsy speak--captures the nomadic spirit of kindred tribes with enchanting costumes, elegant staging and fusions of drama and acrobatics that engage the imagination and emotion, featuring Aerial Straps, Icarinan Games, The Triple Trapeze, Body Skating, Russian Swings, Acrobatics Pas de deux and more. Cirque is not just a circus; it is an art form evolved from its 1984 Canadian roots as a small group of traveling performers into a company that employs more than 2,100 worldwide. In the whimsical tradition of the striped "big top," Cirque provides patrons with the intimacy of a traveling circus as well as with the comforts and amenities of a theater. Varekai runs November 4 through December 5 in the Smirnoff Music Centre parking lot at Fair Park. Shows are Tuesdays through Thursdays at 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets are $50 to $70 for adults and $35 to $49 for children (2 to 12). On weekdays at 4 p.m., tickets for students (13 to 17) and seniors (65+) are $45 to $63. Call 1-800-450-1480 or visit www.cirquedusoleil.com. --Danna Berger
Lions, Witches, Etc.
We'll head to Garland Civic Theatre's Children on Stage on November 6 and November 7 because--who knows?--maybe this time The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe will have, say, Buddhist overtones. The last time we read it, as teenagers, Aslan's Christ-like characteristics had us slapping our forehead. How could we have missed this stuff on the first read? We're taking notes this go-around. The theater's in the Granville Arts Center, 108 N. Sixth St. in Garland. Tickets start at $7. Call 972-205-2790. --Paul Kix
He's pint-sized. He's hilarious. And he's as Southern as any belle from below the Mason-Dixon Line. Leslie Jordan, who has had a recurring role on Will & Grace (in episodes such as "Fagmalion Part Three: Bye, Bye, Beardy") and starred as a man who thinks he's Tammy Wynette (in the 2000 film Sordid Lives), now has a one-man show and he's bringing it to Fort Worth. When You Swish Upon a Star is an autobiographical play that recounts Jordan's roots in Tennessee as well as his various exploits in places such as Los Angeles and New York City. Jordan will perform Swish at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Casa Mañana, 3101 W. Lancaster Ave. Tickets are $15 to $30. Call 1-800-494-TIXS. --Rhonda Reinhart
In the Game
There's this phantasmagoric production at University of Texas at Dallas called Kartasi, right? It's based in a world without past memory, divided by castes; where the lowly are controlled by the upper class using precious Memory and The Serum. The upper class (Overlords) control The Machine (omnipotent mechanical middleman) through the use of "Tubers" that dispense the Memories and Serum, keeping their inferiors subjugated...until a mutant named Kartasi (Swahili for "blank page") comes from the Outlands and turns the world on its edge. Nerd's wet dream: Big O meets The Matrix. Giant projections on screens around the theater will accompany the live action using lasers, animation, video games and digital imaging. Check out this impressive display of new theatrical expression at UTD in the University Theatre from November 5 through November 14. Tickets are $5 for students, $15 for general admission and free to UTD students with valid ID. Visit www.utdallas.edu or call 972-883-2787. --Jonathan Freeman