Theater Scene

Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical: Artists Theatre Project launches its fifth season with a reprise of the company's popular 2004 staging of this campy tuner about a whorish teen with her eyes on the big prize. This adaptation of the classic 1978 skin flick was already old news when @Pro (as this thespian collective likes to be called) dusted it off a few years ago, but its production was a hot commodity for weeks on end and got loads of press attention — so why not do it again? The company performs out of Soul Invictus Gallery at 1022 Grand Avenue in downtown Phoenix. Tickets to see Debbie strut her stuff through November 25 are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For more information, call 602-441-4598.

The Dining Room: Performing for three weeks in the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts' cozy McMillan Black Box Theater, A.R. Gurney's The Dining Room is a series of vignettes that span the 20th century and take meaningful peeks into vagaries of American life. The Dining Room plays through November 18 with Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances beginning at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinee performances at 2:30 p.m. The cast of locals, directed by Richard Hardt, includes actors Rob Evans, B.J. Garrett, Toni Jourdan, Jenn Rooks, and Samantha Brannoch. The Peoria Center is located at 8355 W. Peoria Ave. in downtown Peoria. Call 602-799-5221 for more information.

In My Humble Opinion: This one-night-only performance of playwright Terry Earp's popular play about Jack Durant, former Phoenix kingpin and founder of Durant's restaurant, is a benefit for Earp, who was seriously injured in an automobile accident last fall. Her play recounts Durant's colorful history — gun molls! movie stars! big ugly bulldogs! — and usually contains a surprise celebrity guest whose unglamorous job is to sit slumped across the bar in a drunken stupor throughout Act Two. The Monday, November 19 performance at Phoenix Theatre will help pay Earp's medical debts. Directed by Robert X. Planet, the benefit will include a wine reception at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $30 and $50 and can be obtained through Phoenix Theatre's box office by calling 602-254-2151. Phoenix Theatre is located at 100 E. McDowell Rd.

Dracula: The Musical?: The question mark in this Scottsdale Desert Stages production's title screams "Careful! Hyper-clever campiness awaits you!" But who can resist any show that includes a song called "The Tippy, Tippy Tap of Love"? Playwright Rick Abbot is taking pokes at Bram Stoker's classic monster story in this family-friendly tune-fest; look for wisecracks about hemoglobin and songs about being buried alive. Dracula: The Musical? plays Fridays and Saturdays at Desert Stages' Actor's Café through December 15. For some reason, the curtain goes up at 7:30 pm rather than the more customary 8. The theater is located at 4720 N. Scottsdale Rd., and tickets are $22 in advance and $25 day of show. Reservations are recommended; call 480-483-1664.

Forever Plaid: They're dead and they like to sing close harmonies, so what's not to love about The Plaids, a fictional guy group that's become a fixture of sorts in local theater? This time, they're brought to you courtesy of Copperstate Dinner Theater, where they'll cover the Four Aces and the Four Freshmen while you eat surf and turf. Songs include "Three Coins in the Fountain," "Sixteen Tons," "Perfidia," "Cry," and "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing," sung here by Stephen Goodfriend and Matt Bauer, among others. As usual, Copperstate's producing director Peter J. Hill is directing, with choreography by Noel Irick and musical direction by Bill Moore. Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings, with dinner at 6:30 and curtain at 8, and on Sundays at 5:30 with a 7 p.m. curtain. Show and dinner price is $39.95; reservations can be made at 602-279-3129. Through November 11 at Phoenix Greyhound Park, 3801 E. Washington St.

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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela