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Varekai. Photo via Cirquedu soleil.com.

Top Five Shows On Dallas Stages This Week

Four theater and one bendy-person picks to get you in a show-going mood.

1. The Secret Origin of Dr. Frankenstein. (Feb. 20-23, Fun House Theatre in Plano)

Before there was a monster, there was Dr. Frankenstein; before there was Dr. Frankenstein, there was just Victor. Utilizing its 16-member cast, The Secret Origin of Dr. Frankenstein fuses historical figures and imagined events to create an epic backstory of what possibly could have led to the events of Mary Shelley’s classic. (This one is perfect for kiddos.)

2. Cirque du Soleil: Varekai. (Feb. 19-23, Dr Pepper Arena)

The circus is coming, but this show is somewhat fancier than your average big top. Cirque du Soleil brings its signature blend of live music, drama and acrobatics to the Dr Pepper Arena with the first ever arena performance of Varekai. The title means “wherever” in the Romani language, but it’s sure to speak to the wanderlust in all of us.

3. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. (Through Mar. 9, Uptown Players @ Kalita Humphreys Theater)

If we won as many awards as Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike did this past awards season, we would run out of room on our trophy shelf. After nabbing the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play (among many, many others), this laugh-out-loud show comes to the Kalita Humphreys Theater to tell the story of a movie star whose return home interrupts her family’s feelings of ennui.

4. The Whipping Man. (Through Feb. 23, AART @ KD Studio Theatre)

The African American Repertory Theater, usually based in DeSoto, produces a play in Dallas for the first time since its inception in 2007. The Whipping Man, a gripping drama by Matthew Lopez, follows three men in the wake of the Civil War’s conclusion: a Confederate soldier returned from battle to find a ruined home and missing family, and his two former slaves. The trio celebrate Passover as they wait for the family—and a semblance of normalcy—to return, only to realize that their lives are forever changed by slavery, war, and religion.

5. The Motherf**ker with the Hat. (Through Mar. 15, Kitchen Dog Theater)

The grungey world of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ foul-mouthed funny-serious play is inhabited by talkative characters with plenty to say (and plenty of deeds to do, which include lying, cheating, drinking, and snorting crack cocaine). Recovering alcoholic Jackie and his far-from-sober girlfriend Veronica live in a seedy single room occupancy in Times Square, more or less happily. However, happiness goes out the window fast when Jackie discovers another man’s chapeau in his humble abode. Emotions run high and anger burns white-hot. Read a full review here.