Low-Fiber

Entertainment that's flammable

 8/16
This year marks the 50th anniversary of commercial polyester fiber production, according to its maker, DuPont. "From 1995 to 2005, consumption of polyester around the world is expected to more than double--from 17.7 million metric tons to almost 40 million metric tons," the company says in a news release. That, my friend, is a who-o-o-ole lotta Sansabelt slacks, leisure suits and wrinkle-free, comfort-free double-knit. You'd think the fiber that gave us John Travolta's white suit and helped fuel the Age of Disco would be worth a parade--a big, tacky, sweaty parade--to celebrate its 50th. Instead, we have Exploring Polyester coming to the Dallas Theater Center, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. The show bills itself as a musical variety show with "no rhyme or reason to it," à la Laugh In and The Carol Burnett Show. If you're old enough to remember those shows, then you're old enough to understand why few--outside DuPont--would seriously celebrate polyester. Still the show benefits the John Philp Thompson Foundation for Brain Cancer Research. Performances are 8 p.m. August 16 through August 17 and August 21 through August 24. Tickets are $25 through Texas Tickets, 214-696-8001. --Patrick Williams

8/16
Aural Infection

Antiseptic, non-confrontational easy-listening music is headed this way. The man who can incorporate the words "obligato," "captiva" and the name Rhett Butler into his super-mellow music is coming to the Majestic Theatre and will no doubt be performing hits like "Popsicle Toes," "Barefoot on the Beach" and "Baseball" for the metroplex's smooth-jazz audience. Michael Franks, master of the shopper-friendly love song, gives Dallas a live version of what infiltrates elevators and boutiques across the land. Are we fans? Not necessarily, but we give Franks credit for penning some of the most infectious melodies ever and fashioning songs that are accessible even to the most modest Plano soccer mom. We admittedly aren't big on music that sounds like it should soundtrack a rich plastic surgeon's day off, but Franks must have the knack, since we can't seem to shake "When You Smile at Me" from our mind's radio. It's been three days since we heard it, and we have actually started to consider donning a pashmina, getting our hair coiffed into a helmet and grabbing a glass of wine for the smooth, syrupy song stylings of Mr. Franks. Join us at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. Tickets are $42.50 to $51.50. Call Ticketmaster at 214-373-8000. --Merritt Martin

8/19
Caught in a Trapp

She's a little bit ex-nun; he's a little bit ex-military. Such is the age-old tale of Maria and Baron Von Trapp. Casa Mañana magically transports the Austrian hills and a family's fight for freedom--not to mention a good governess--all the way to Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall. The Sound of Music begins its run Tuesday and continues through August 24 with tickets ranging from $30 to $75. The hall is located at 525 Commerce St. in Fort Worth. Call 817-332-2272. --Merritt Martin

Barry Mckinley
The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music

8/15
Goin' Down

The Uptown Players are set to perform Doug Field's outrageous comedy Down South, which celebrates the bizarre, paranoid behavior of the '60s. It is scheduled to run from August 15 through August 31, and folks at the Trinity River Arts Center, 2600 Stemmons Freeway, Suite 180, want you to be aware that the Andi Allen-directed play is filled with "adult humor." You know what that means: S-E-X. So get a baby sitter. The curtain goes up on Thursday-through-Saturday performances at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22. --Carlton Stowers

8/16
Idol Worship
Even the ones you voted off are back

In the past few days, we have been confronted with a truly heinous Catch-22. The hypothetical question of doom is as follows. Which is preferable: Seeing the American Idol tour this weekend, or having someone put an ice cube in his hand, clench it into a fist, run clear across the room with the fist outstretched until the acceleration eventually drives that hand into our posterior? Really, we've had long, hard and awkward discussions about the pros and cons of each possibility, but we still can't choose. We hate American Idol that much. At any rate, Simon Cowell's ragtag assemblage of bottom-feeding, attention-hungry, tone-deaf, Vaseline-coated Brady Bunch Variety Hour wannabes will fall upon the American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., on Saturday to break hearts, shatter eardrums and destroy careers. We're assuming the "idols" will spend most of the concert one-upping each other's number of notes attempted per millisecond, which should render such set-list treats as "This Is the Night" and "Turn the Beat Around" even more unbearable. We considered sneaking our own set lists into the American Airlines Center in the hopes that Ruben and Clay would perform a battle-duet version of Nine Inch Nails' "Closer," but we've settled on penciling "killer Kool-Aid" onto the cast's food and drink rider. Surely they could, er, squeeze it in. Tickets are $25 and up and available from Ticketmaster by calling 214-373-8000. --Sam Machkovech

 
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