Family secrets aren't exactly undisclosed. With any given secret, almost all relatives over the age of 10 are in the know, as well as family friends, in-laws and the lawn guy. The stint Aunt JoJo spent at Timberlawn? Everyone knows. Nana's late-night whiskey binges? Known. Cousin Tiffany is a lesbian? Hey, chances are the family figures it out well before she does. The very scandalous ones no one is tellin' without a fight. Sam Shepard knows about the shock and sheer drama that can lie just below the surface in even the most normal families. The lies, the deaths and the surprises are perfect dramatic fodder, so Shepard dredged rivers of family myths and secrets and wove them deftly into his Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child. During Kitchen Dog Theater's production of the play, a Midwestern family explores territories--some seriously disturbing, some seriously funny. And this time all the sordid dishing and our admitted eavesdropping are pure entertainment...unlike that Thanksgiving incident with Uncle Burton and Gramps' shiv. That was just bizarre. Buried Child runs March 25 through April 30 at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. Tickets are $8 to $20. Call 214-953-1055. --Merritt Martin
St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Dallas are more Mardi Gras than Irish. Penny whistles and mandolins are replaced with decibels upon decibels of U2, and the parties aren't so much about drinking a friendly pint of Guinness or sharing a nip of Jameson, but just drinking. Fine. Down the swill and throw beads for no apparent reason. Then, after all that's over, try a party that actually celebrates Irish culture as the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., plays host to The Irish Rovers. The prolific performers take a break from their 40th anniversary recordings to bring their traditional ballads and rousing pub songs to Big D. Don't get us wrong: We love the U2 and the Jameson, but we're relieved the Rovers arrive a week after all those "Irish" bottles, beads and questionable litter got scooted away by a street sweeper. Now they just might think we're a mite respectful of Irish culture in addition to being seriously into their toe-tapping, clapping and jig-inducing music. The Rovers play at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday with performances by the Emerald School of Irish Dance and a beer-tasting event at 7 p.m. Tickets are $19 to $95. Call 214-692-0203. --Merritt Martin
Requiem, Mozart's revered last creation, is received with a certain somberness. But for us there remains a particular passage (the "Confutatis" portion) that makes our brain replay the scene of three sopranos from the top row of our high school choir teetering like dominos before careening off the back of the risers during our annual and very "impressive" spring Requiem concert. For a steadier performance, try the Highland Park Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir and members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's noon performance observing Good Friday at 3821 University Blvd. Call 214-526-7457. --Merritt Martin
If you own a television, you know the witty commentary of Kathleen Madigan. The Best Female Stand-Up (according to the American Comedy Awards) has put her spin on shows you should really just admit that you watch because we know you do--shows like Last Comic Standing, I Love the '90s, E! Entertainment's 100 Greatest Celebrity Oops! and many others. But here's a thought: Turn off the tube for once and head to the Addison Improv, 4980 N. Belt Line Road, where Madigan will be headlining from March 30 to April 3. Call 972-404-8501. --Merritt Martin
Under the Sea
If I were 6 years old instead of, well, much older, Disney on Ice's Finding Nemo could really mess with my mind. After all, the fish are supposed to be in the water--not on top of it. I suspect I might watch with a terrible sense of dread: Forget about finding Nemo--how about saving the poor sucker from flopping around and gasping on the floor? If it came to this, could we melt the rink? This is how my 6-year-old mind operated, thanks to an active (and slightly paranoid) imagination, not to mention a dozen Disney films that convinced me, utterly, that animals not only had feelings but they also expressed those feelings in song and dance. You can imagine how disappointed I was with our family cat. She was so...private and still. Nonetheless, I would no doubt be captivated by the Disney on Ice spectacle. Like many young girls (and wannabe-girls), I was enchanted with ice-skating--the elegant swoosh of it, the spinning and the dipping and the, um, lutzing. Although I possessed far less talent than sheer delusion, I imagined that one day I might be a champion figure skater, too. (Alt-weekly writer is a clear second choice.) And so, after a few panic attacks regarding the skating fish and their fate, I would probably settle in and let the players work their magic. Afterward, I could return home, happy and entertained, and wonder why the colorful fish my mom bought for our tank don't, you know, speak more often. Disney on Ice is at the American Airlines Center, March 30 through April 3, and at the Fort Worth Convention Center from April 6 through April 10. Call 214-373-8000 or 972-647-5700 for tickets. Or visit www.disneyonice.com. --Sarah Hepola
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