A while back we realized that the four years of French we studied in college were kind of pointless. Living in Texas and all, we didn't get much use out of it. So we decided to learn Spanish. The classes were expensive, though, and they wanted us to give up our nights and an occasional weekend. What is that about? Then we discovered Dora the Explorer. The animated bilingual Latina girl taught us everything we needed to know--well, everything we needed to know if we were in preschool. Small point. Now the 7-year-old (trapped in a woman's body) is coming to Dallas, so we won't have to wait till Saturday morning to get our Dora on. Dallas Summer Musicals is bringing Dora the Explorer Live! to the Music Hall at Fair Park. The show runs May 14 through May 18, and according to the press release, it's "the first-ever family stage show starring a Latina heroine." Wow. That J.Lo has been opening doors all over the place. Prices range from $18 to $28. Call 214-631-ARTS. --Rhonda Reinhart
Hansel & Gretel dig in
Like good revisionist fairy talers, we think the witch in Hansel and Gretel got a bad rap. There she was, just minding her own business when two marauding, opportunistic children came along like termites and ate her home. Under the circumstances, anyone would be a little pissed. Never meaning any real harm, the homeowner set out to teach the siblings an object lesson about greed and satiety, but sadly, the self-serving children killed the woman rather than admit they were wrong. The moral: Kids look cute but can be gluttonous backstabbers. If you'd prefer a child-centric retelling, the Starlight Performing Arts Theatre and School presents Hansel and Gretel, a musical comedy. Let's hope they don't chew scenery. The play runs May 9 through May 12 at 201 S. Ector Drive, Euless. Tickets are $5 to $10. Call 817-508-9101. --Michelle Martinez
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It's comforting to know that Barney-haters worldwide have devised 200-plus ways to kill the insipid purple dinosaur. Dastardly schemes include a simple death from a nitroglycerin suppository or more creatively cynical solutions like dipping him in tar, covering him with hundred-dollar bills and throwing him into a pit full of lawyers. (Or there's always the old standby, a blunt instrument.) If you are one of the fortunate few who, in childlike naïveté, still love Barney, you should be delighted by Barney's Colorful World, the dino's latest stage offering in which he and his snack-sized friends travel to the park, the rainforest, the Arctic and the beach. The show runs May 9 through May 11 at Reunion Arena. Tickets are $10 to $30. Call 214-373-8000. --Michelle Martinez