I've learned a lot from books. From Sarah, Plain and Tall, I learned the words "squall" and "ayuh" and that storybook stepmothers aren't always evil. The Newbery Medal-winning novel tells the story of Jacob Witting, a widowed Kansas farmer who places a classified ad seeking a wife and a mother for his young children. The woman who answers is the titular Sarah, who travels far from her home in Maine to meet Jacob, Anna and Caleb. Sarah's homesickness and the harshness of life in the 19th-century Midwest threaten the happiness of the new family and tempt Sarah to return to the East. Sarah, Plain and Tall is a charming slice-of-life story, but does it have the right blend of turmoil, budding romance and period costuming to become a family-friendly musical? I guess we'll see at the world premiere of the musical adaptation with music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin at Dallas Theater Center, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd., opening Monday and running through May 24. Ticket prices start at $16. Call 214-522-8499 or visit dallastheatercenter.org.
Mon., April 27, 7:30 p.m.; Wednesdays, Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., May 3, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Tue., May 5, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., May 10, 2 p.m.; Tue., May 12, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., May 17, 2 p.m.; Tue., May 19, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., May 24, 2 & 7:30 p.m. Starts: April 27. Continues through May 24, 2009