Star-crossed lovers. Feuding families. It's obvious: Romeo and Juliet. But what if it weren't presented in the tired format we always see, with a longhaired waif, attractive punk and over-the-top rivalries (and settings) that aren't ever really founded or explained. The Plano Repertory Theatre said "nay" to the traditional tear-jerking play and went with Joe Calarco's adaptation--a sparse stage, two props and four actors who play boarding-school brats "reinvent[ing] themselves by acting out all the roles in Romeo and Juliet." The theater says Shakespeare's R&J is athletic, explosive, fierce, passionate and vital. A nice shake-up from Zeffirelli, Luhrmann or really any high school rendition would be energizing, so Thursday's opening-night performance at 7:30 p.m. is a nice opportunity to rethink the Bard a bit. Tickets are $24 to $42. Call 972-422-7460.
Friday, April 9
The wait is over. We can all stop watching recorded games from last season and gear up to gain a fresh perspective watching the Rangers from our sacred armchair. Or maybe we can venture out to The Ballpark in Arlington, have a dog, some nachos, pizza, beer and a funnel cake and gain a fresh 20 pounds as well. Wherever the game finds us, the Rangers take on Anaheim with the first home pitch. We may not have A-Rod or Raffy, but we do have Alfonso Soriano, via the Yanks, on second base. The Rangers haven't had a good base-stealer, well, ever, or someone to rip out a few doubles, and Alfonso can do both. So maybe fresh is what we need. They may have lost by 15 last week, but this time the Rangers get to play at home. At home or at the park, cheer a little louder for the newbies. The game starts at 1:05 p.m. (with additional games on Saturday and Sunday). Tickets are $5 to $55. Call 817-273-5100.
Saturday, April 10
Remember when at age 5 or so, a kid could "draw" a picture featuring a "person" with an enormous head, block feet, one stick arm with three fingers and one huge puffy arm with a circle for a hand and adults would be so impressed? You could just draw a figure to the best of your ability (the setting rife with personal meaning and symbolism, of course) and, even if it sucked, it generally went on display somewhere in the kitchen. Don't get us wrong. Benjamin Jones' Figure exhibit doesn't suck, and he's definitely not 5, but his simple and seemingly naíve works on paper do recall that time of creativity when oral communication didn't satisfy nearly as much as grinding that black crayon into the paper to show some upset. In a similar way, Jones' work is full of emotion. It's drawing that appears to be from the same unadulterated source of inspiration as a troubled tyke's. Funny and horrific, depending on the work, Jones' pieces run the gamut of intents as they reside on the walls of Gray Matters Gallery, 113 N. Haskell Ave., through April 24. Call 214-824-7108.
Sunday, April 11
This Sunday will begin calmly enough. The first flutter of the eyes will reveal the soft light from the window and perhaps, if the weather's right, a flutter of the curtain. Then come the shrieks of "Mine!" from the knee-high egg-hunters outside. Before resorting to screaming yourself, remember there are other ways to seek peace. Bend Yoga is offering a class called Benefits and Results of Meditation featuring the instruction of the Venerable Lama Dudjom Dorjee, a refugee of the Chinese invasion of Tibet and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism. His classes are known for being clear and motivational passages for Westerners to the art of relaxing meditation...just what is needed to rid the mind of wanting to pelt neighborhood children with their own dyed and smelly eggs. The class is $15, and payment in advance is available at www.bendstudio.com. Or call 214-841-9642 to reserve space.
Monday, April 12
As Dallas director Clay Liford says, "It's hard to push the merits of a cannibal movie." But that's not going to stop him from trying. Over the course of two years and journeys to Russia, Prague and various regions of the United States, Liford has created A Four Course Meal, an anthology horror feature he says is similar in format to Creep Show. The film is a cannibal-themed story time for a group of scientists trapped in a research center and in desperate need of distraction. Local musicians Max Hartman of Mur and Ricki Derek star, with a cameo by Mojo Nixon, who also composed the film's score. Liford is soon to hit the film-festival circuit but says he doubts those trips will include a visit to Sundance. After all, "It'll never get to Sundance since I don't have Eric Stoltz or Ben Affleck in my movie." The Video Association of Dallas hosts a screening of A Four Course Meal with Liford present at 7 p.m. Monday (and again April 26) at Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station. Tickets are $8 or $5.50 for students with ID. Call 214-841-4700.
Tuesday, April 13
"If the first butterfly you see in the year is white, you will have good luck all year. Three butterflies together mean good luck." Or so says the Trivial Trivia Web site under "Scary Superstitions." Chances are, the Take Flight Butterfly Photography Exhibit has you covered in both senses. The exhibit features 20 shots of the fragile creatures taken during the State Fair of Texas from the native, outdoor exhibit and the exotic, tropical exhibit at Texas Discovery Gardens. We'll keep our fingers crossed that there'll be a shot of a white butterfly that we see first off or maybe a photo of three of the winged insects flying in tandem. Knock on wood. The gardens are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free on Tuesday. Call 214-428-7476.
Wednesday, April 14
Honestly, when we got the image for Robert Peterson's Interior Light exhibit, we thought it was a photograph. Some paintings are so accurate that they appear to have a photographic quality. But pastels? That stuff we could never get a grasp on? That messy crap that never gave us a definite line? We immediately felt stupid and simultaneously amazed. Hell, we work in photography, so how could we not know? The Valley House Gallery credits him with the "heightened visual perception of being deaf." That may be part of it. Remaining senses are supposed to grow stronger when one is lost, but we don't recall artistic talent being one of the major senses. Peterson's work often features eggs, oranges and pears, but the subjects of Interior Light show none of the tediousness of the basic still life. They gleam and hover and verge on rolling away. And all with pastels. The gallery is located at 6616 Spring Valley Road. Call 972-239-2441.