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Holy War Horse There's a Lot of Great Theater Opening in Dallas in the Next Week

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See also: Dallas' Seven Best Post-Theater Hangs

Dallas doesn't really have a theater "season." With more than 50 professional and semi-professional companies crowding the stages, there's hardly a weekend when there aren't new shows popping up. But the weekend starting September 6 presents a crazy-busy blitz of plays and musicals.

Uptown Players hosts its annual Pride Festival at Kalita Humphreys Theater through September 15. The first night of the fest, September 6, features a staged reading of 8, Dustin Lance Black's play based on transcripts from the California court fight over Proposition 8 and marriage equality. Other performances over the 10-day celebration of gay-themed dramas and comedies: Stephen Karam's Speech & Debate, about teenage misfits linked by a sex scandal; Lanford Wilson's The Madness of Lady Bright, a revival of the fine one-act from the 2011 Festival of Independent Theatres, starring Larry Randolph; comic actress Marisa Diotalevi in her one-woman musical, Still Consummate; comedian Paul J. Williams in his solo autobiographical show, Triple Crown Queen; John-Michael Colgin in his monologue The A-Gays: Stillwater, Oklahoma, about his days as a college student coming out; and I Google Myself, Jason Schafer's play about a man who discovers a porn star with his same name. 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd., 214-219-7418. For the complete schedule with show times, go to uptownplayers.org.

Lyric Stage opens its 20th season with Frank Loesser's rarely revived 1950s musical comedy The Most Happy Fella, directed by Cheryl Denson. The original Broadway score has been restored for a 38-piece orchestra. Broadway veteran Bill Nolte stars, with out-of-towner Doug Carpenter and Dallas actors Catherine Carpenter Cox, Alex Organ and Max Swarner. September 7-16 at Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving, 972-252-2787.

Dallas Theater Center breaks its pattern of opening the season with Shakespeare to present The Second City Does Dallas, a revue of comedy sketches featuring members of the legendary Chicago troupe (plus DTC company member Liz Mikel) cracking wise about all things Big D. There are jokes about Jerry Jones, the city council and Southwest Airlines (so we hear). The Wyly Theatre's been fitted out with comfy couches and cabaret tables, and there are bartenders selling cocktails -- just like a comedy club. And at last, the Wyly's side curtains are raised for the outside cityscape view. September 7-30 at the Wyly Theatre, 2403 Flora St., 214-880-0202.

Echo Theatre has the regional premiere of Or, a new comedy by Liz Duffy Adams about 17th century writer Aphra Behn and the birth of feminism. Directed by Terry Ferguson; starring John Venable and Jessica Cavanagh. September 7-22 at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive at White Rock Lake, 214-904-0500.

Ochre House director and playwright Matthew Posey doesn't reveal much about his shows in advance, but we do know there's a character named Andy Warhol in Party Mouth. Andy will be played by Trenton Stephenson, one of the "Ochre House Boys" acting company. Also starring Elizabeth Evans, Natalie Young, Kevin Grammer, Mitchell Parrack and Justin Locklear (who made the puppets). September 7-29, 825 Exposition Avenue, 214-826-6273.

Kitchen Dog Theater opens its fall lineup with Becky Shaw, the regional debut of a dark comedy by Gina Gionfriddo about two newlywed couples who try to fix up their love-challenged friends. September 7-October 6 at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave., 214-953-1055. 

Artes de La Rosa tells the story of assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador in Nicholas A. Patricca's drama The Fifth Sun. Director Adam Adolfo stages the play as a "cirque" full of Mayan imagery. This production runs first in Fort Worth and then moves to the Latino Cultural Center of Dallas. September 7-21, Rose Marine Theater, 1440 N. Main St., Fort Worth, 817-624-8333.

Theatre Arlington opens its 40th season with the rock musical Rent, Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning adaptation of La Boheme. Directed by Andy Baldwin with an all-local cast. September 7-30, 305 W. Main St., Arlington, 817-275-7661.

Lexus Broadway Series at the AT&T Performing Arts Center brings in the national tour of the much-lauded play War Horse, which uses life-size puppet steeds in a story of World War I told from one horse's perspective on the battlefields of France. Based on the 1982 children's book by Michael Morpurgo, the Tony-winning play (still running in London) was conceived and produced by the National Theatre of London and South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company. September 12-23, Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 214-880-0202.

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