Capsule Reviews

Festival of Independent Theatres Small theater companies present one-hour plays in rotating repertory at this seventh annual showcase of local talent. Try to catch Caryl Churchill's haunting Far Away, an allegory set in the near future. Theatre Quorum's Amanda Wright, Rhonda Boutte and Joey Oglesby play characters related by ominous circumstances never clearly explained. An undercurrent of fascism and unseen violence makes this tight little drama a highlight of the festival. It plays again at 8 p.m. July 23 and July 29 and 2 p.m. July 24. The festival continues through August 6, with performances by Audacity Theatre Productions, Bootstraps Comedy Theater, Cara Mia Theatre, Echo Theatre, Second Thought, WingSpan and others. At the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive at Northcliff. 214-528-5576. Reviewed this week. (Elaine Liner)

Metamorphoses Mary Zimmerman's witty, episodic script revisits Ovid's ancient myths about Orpheus, King Midas, Halcyon, Pandora's box and many more. The stories are millennia old, but the production is as sexy and bold as an HBO series. The theater's in-the-round acting space has been covered with a triple-depth swimming pool into which actors, clothed and un, wade, swim, fight, float and flail. The staggeringly attractive cast tell the mythical tales with a lyrical touch. Through August 13 at Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St., Suite 168. 214-871-3300. Reviewed this week. (E.L.)

Movin' Out The jukebox shows just keep on coming. This one pounds out a few dozen Billy Joel songs, loosely interpreted with the frenetically slouchy choreography of Twyla Tharp. The volume's so loud most lyrics are lost, and without any real plot or clearly defined characters to follow, there just seems to be no point to the whole shebang. Gorgeous dancers, obvious implants heaving out of their skintight costumes, are forced to wiggle like cheap shake-dancers when they're not shuffling on and off stage with Tharp's intentionally uncoordinated steps. One hour was all we could take of this nostalgic nonsense before slouching our way up the aisle. Through July 24 at the Music Hall at Fair Park. 214-631-2787. Reviewed this week. (E.L.)

Songs of the Redhead: The Music of Danny Kaye Don Alan Croll, who looks enough like Kaye to be a believable portrayer (he doesn't try imitation), wrote and stars in this gentle, amiable and thoroughly engaging one-man show featuring tunes made famous by the red-haired actor-comedian on Broadway, in films and on television. The audience in the intimate theater is invited to sing along on "Inch Worm," "Minnie the Moocher" and "Ballin' the Jack." Segments from the Broadway musical Two by Two (in which Kaye played Noah) go on a bit long, but gems like Meredith Willson's "The Peony Bush" and Cole Porter's "Let's Not Talk About Love" are worth the wait. Through July 24 at Theatre Too, 2800 Routh St., Suite 168. 214-871-3300. Reviewed this week. (E.L.)No

Misery Annie Wilkes loves the company of Paul Sheldon, the author of her favorite romance novels. Loves it a little too much. After nursing Paul's car wreck injuries in her remote mountain home, Annie holds him hostage until he types a new novel tying up loose ends for her beloved characters. Stephen King's killer-diller thriller made a dandy movie (and won Kathy Bates an Oscar as Annie), but writer Simon Moore has stripped the plot to the bone for the two-act stage adaptation. Director Regan Adair, who's also a good actor, keeps his leads--yummily handsome David Brown and un-self-consciously frumpy Rachael Lindley--from overacting by making much of the action static instead of hysterical. Through July 23 at Richardson Theatre Centre, 718 Canyon Creek Square, Richardson, 972-699-1130. Reviewed June 23. (E.L.)

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