Happily ever afters make us itchy, though we like when bad 'uns get their comeuppance--like how Cinderella's stepsisters cut off toes and heels to fit into the tiny slipper, but the prince notices blood spilling from the shoe and then pigeons peck out the sisters' eyes. Nice. Maybe it was our unfulfilled childhood that makes us detest stories with pat endings. That probably explains why our favorite movie, Dr. Strangelove, is one in which the world blows up in the end. It also explains why we love--no, love--the work of author Jon Scieszka. So into schadenfreude, we thrived on things going awry in Storybookland, and Jon Scieszka was more than happy to tell us the villain's side of the story or the saga of an ex-frog and a princess whose interspecies marriage is on the rocks. So, of course, we cackled in fiendish joy to hear that Dallas Children's Theater is presenting a stage version of Scieszka's The Stinky Cheeseman and Other Fair(l)y (stoopid) Tales, a book in which familiar characters become slightly skewed. "Smart-alecs of all ages" will enjoy "Cinderumplestiltskin," "The Really Ugly Duckling" and, of course, "The Stinky Cheese Man," an antipasto-filled retelling of "The Gingerbread Man." Performances begin January 23 at El Centro College Performance Hall, 801 N. Main St. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for children. Call 214-740-0051. --Michelle Martinez
Warts n All
Hop on over to Plano
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In this week's "most likely to appear in High Times magazine" category, we offer up the mimes-on-crack production of Frogz playing Sunday at Plano's Classics Theatre, 3030 W. 15th St. The theater's descriptions, which used phrases such as "vaudevillian orbs mischievously infiltrate the audience," were enough to tie-dye our spirits, but when we found sample video of the show, we knew we'd found the insane combination of Cirque Du Soleil and H.R. Pufnstuf we'd been seeking all these years. Oversized frogs, penguins, Slinkies and babies dancing around the stage? It was our favorite Björk video to date, but a second glance proved that this crazy production was comedic gold that kids are bound to gobble up, and parents can rest assured that the show is trippy enough without having to take the bad acid being passed around the audience. Tickets are $6 and up by calling 972-744-4650. --Sam Machkovech