Have you ever read any of the original German, pre-Disney-fied versions of classic Brothers Grimm fairy tales? The story of Cinderella, for example, in which the ugly stepsisters cut off their toes to try to fit their feet in the glass slipper, only to be exposed by birds singing "blood on the snow" as the sisters walk? Yeah, Germans are a curious people, though perhaps not as strange as their animated film successors, who took the original tales of hardship, murder, infanticide and brutality and decided to cut the blood and add the singing mice. Playwright Martin McDonagh heads back to the old school with The Pillowman, his dark comedy of child murder, censorship, fratricide and the enduring power of literature to illuminate the grimmer corners of the human psyche. Don't expect any dancing teapots or smiling bluebirds in this story of a writer whose violent short stories come to life in a series of child murders, but Kitchen Dog Theater's production of The Pillowman might just give you something to think about--and lose sleep over. Kitchen Dog kicks off its 18th season with the widely performed play's Dallas premiere. Jonathan Taylor and Christine Vela direct. The Pillowman opens 8 p.m. Friday at McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave., and runs through October 11. Call 214-953-1055 or visit kitchendogtheater.org.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Wed., Sept. 24, 8 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 8, 8 p.m. Starts: Sept. 12. Continues through Oct. 5, 2008