As much as we're sure she'd like to distance herself from the sitcom Grace Under Fire, it was our first exposure to Julie White, who played supporting character Nadine. We like to think of her as "the cute one," in our weird habit of comparing everything to the boy band formula. White, equally known for her recurring role on HBO's Six Feet Under as Mitzi Dalton Huntley, will be coming to Dallas to perform a one-woman show titled Bad Dates. White's character is single-mother-fashion-slave-restaurateur Haley Walker, a woman awash with tales of dates gone awry, men in all their glorious inadequacies and the acquisition of fabulous shoes that give her solace--because NYC life is just like Sex and the City. (No, seriously, we have a woman on the inside--the ninjette, we call her.) Bad Dates will be a homecoming for native Texans Julie White (from Austin) and director John Benjamin Hickey (from Plano). "We're both from Texas, first and foremost, and this feels very much like a homecoming," Hickey says. "Both Julie and I have a deep, abiding connection to our home state." Well, that makes two of you. After an award-winning and critically acclaimed run in Boston, preceded by a run in New York where it premiered, we can hardly wait to check out the hype. Previews are January 5 through January 9 and regular performances are January 11 through January 30 with shows at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, plus 7:30 p.m. January 9 and January 16, at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, Dallas Theater Center, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Visit www.dtcinfo.org or call 214-522-8499. --Jonathan Freeman
Ha-Ha-Happy New Year
Celebrate New Year's Eve by taking it in the Backdoor. Of course, by "it," we mean stand-up comedy, and by "Backdoor," we mean Backdoor Comedy, 2613 Ross Ave., where four comedians will dish it out all night. Addison Improv fave Dave Little will give it to you the most as headliner, and joining him are Linda Stogner (who's been giving it out for free on PBS shows such as Life 360), plus local comedians Jan Norton and Tony Ybarra and Paul Varghese of Last Comic Standing 2. You can get it twice that night with shows at 8 p.m. ($20 per person) and 10:30 p.m. ($40 per person, which includes a pass to a 2005 show, party favors, black eyed peas and a champagne toast after a midnight countdown). Call 214-328-4444. --Sam Machkovech
Forty-six times a man has proposed to a woman at a performance of the off-Broadway musical I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change!, the four-person musical revue about relationships and love. That poses an interesting question: What are other musical productions not telling us? How many times have people stormed the Bastille during Les Miserables? Baked a pie during State Fair? If we knew, on any given night, that a man in the audience may try to get us to join a cult during Jesus Christ Superstar, we'd want to be there, just to see who the suckers are. Think about it. This could be a new revenue stream: The ticket-buyer more interested in the strange stuff happening off stage then on it. I Love You... has a head start. It'll appear at Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St., December 30 through January 30. Go, if only to see a woman crush a man's heart--offstage. Call 214-871-3300. --Paul Kix
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Oklahoma! is OK
Oklahoma! It takes three to four hours to drive across. Oklahoma! There's a Braum's at every highway exit. Oklahoma! Every truck stop has Native American souvenirs. So, our lines don't have the imagery and rhyming of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma! Where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain" or "And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet." But at least ours are true. Sure, it once rained so hard we had to wait in a Motel 6 parking lot. And, yes, there's a smell, but it's cow and it sure ain't sweet. But those don't make good musical material. Oklahoma! isn't so much about a state as it is a love triangle between the sweet Laurey, the kind-hearted Curly and the devious Jud Fry. True love prevails when Dallas Summer Musicals Broadway Contemporary Series presents Oklahoma! from January 4 through January 9 at 8 p.m. daily, plus 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. Tickets are $17 to $70 from Ticketmaster, 214-373-8000. --Shannon Sutlief
Cooking at the Café
In the 1950s, the rock and roll sounds of new music icons such as Elvis, The Drifters and Peggy Lee drew legions of raucous, chain-smoking teenagers onto dance floors across the country. Now Smokey Joe's Café--Broadway's longest-running music revue--will draw legions of mellowed, Nicorette-chomping baby boomers into the seats of Richardson's Eisemann Center. The musical features some classics of this golden age of American culture written by Leiber and Stoller, including "Jail House Rock" and "Stand by Me." Rock in the new year with Smokey Joe's Café at 2351 Performance Drive at 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $36.50 and $50.50. Call 972-744-4650 or visit www.theaterleague.org. --Danna Berger