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When Jeffery Stanley writes a play, he tells it from the heart. As George Clooney says in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, "It is a fool who looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart." So don't expect Stanley's characters or plot to always follow logic. In Medicine, Man, his 2003 dark comedy that Theatre Three gives its Southwest premiere, Stanley assembles characters such as a blue-collar die-hard NASCAR fan, his fraternal twin sister who's a movie producer wannabe, his chewed-up girlfriend and his mother's preacher. Then he puts his main character's mother in a coma and throws in a Cherokee medicine man to counter an overly career-oriented physician. While this sounds like a cast of caricatures, Stanley does well to let dialogue and actions represent who the individuals are, as opposed to taking pot shots at stereotypes. Though Stanley lives in the place that everyone we write about here seems to reside--New York City--he's based this play on the community where he grew up, Roanoke, Virginia, where everyone swears they're part Cherokee and, for some, "white trash" is little more than a metaphor for life. Medicine, Man previews March 17 through March 20 and runs March 21 through April 23 at Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St. in the Quadrangle. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, plus 7:30 p.m. March 20 and April 17 and 2 p.m. April 21. There's no Saturday matinee during previews. Tickets are $10 to $35. Call 214-871-3300. --Jonathan Freeman


Dude, there's no way you'll ever catch us at the freakin' ballet. We wouldn't walk within 500 yards of a building if we knew something that resembled ballet was going on there. Not now, not ever and certainly not on Friday or Saturday. We don't care that Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal's two-part show will draw on Canadian and Brazilian dance influences. Despite the attempt to broaden the dance horizons, the stuff is still ballet. We'll stay at home while our girlfriend goes to Southern Methodist University's McFarlin Auditorium, 6400 Hillcrest Ave., at 8 o'clock both nights. If you see her with some guy who looks exactly like us, she must be cheating. It's not us. We swear. Tickets are $12 and up at 214-528-5576. --Sam Machkovech

Ab Work

Half of my childhood snapshots feature my bare belly. If the 1970s tank tops and hot pants outfits Mom put together for me didn't do it, I'd improvise, flashing the camera with my tum. These days I play the game of "How many layers can I wear so it looks like clothing is puffy, not my body?" Hey, it's easier than sucking it in all day. Or exercise. Virginia Grise and Irma Mayorga can relate, and found many others who could, too, hence their comedy play The Panza Monologues, which explores many women's obsession with their bellies. Cara Mía Theatre Company presents Grise and Mayorga in The Panza Monologues at 8:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St. Tickets are $10 to $15. Call 214-946-9499. --Shannon Sutlief

Story Time

In conjunction with D magazine's 30th anniversary, the rather ambitious editors decided to take on a massive project: compiling 30 of Dallas' best stories into one book. That was a big task, and y'all done good. But we have one quibble with D Magazine's Dallas: The 30 Greatest Stories Ever Told, and that's the omission of a certain tale about a gorilla named Jabari. This little guy had ambition, too. But his life was snatched before the world could know his full potential. Where's that story, huh? Somewhere the earth is shaking as the J-man rolls over in his grave. To hear excerpts from D's version of the city's greatest stories, head over to the Dallas Museum of Art on Friday at 7 p.m. as senior editor Adam McGill hosts a celebration of the commemorative book as part of the Literary Café program. The readings are free with admission to the museum, 1717 N. Harwood St. Call 214-922-1219. --Rhonda Reinhart

Guy Talk

The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron? is not a women's studies thesis proposal; it's Robert Dubac's one-man hit play that asks, "What do women want?" Hmm, let's see. How about no more plays, books or movies that try to figure out what women want? Or some nice heels. Black. No, red. With an ankle strap. But we digress. In The Male Intellect, Dubac plays Bobby, a man dumped when he asks his dream girl to marry him. Dubac also plays Bobby's five mentors, each with a different idea of what women want, including passion, sensitivity, a sense of humor, honesty--or a good lie told with a sexy accent. Finally, Bobby's feminine side shows up to help him out. The Male Intellect runs through March 19 at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson, with performances at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $26 to $34. Call 972-744-4650. --Shannon Sutlief

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