Labor of Love

Romeo and Juliet brings out the dead--dances with them

Is there anything better in the world than men in tights? How about a man in tights, dancing with a dead girl in a crypt? This is not the necrophilia that it sounds like. But it is the most striking pas de deux of Romeo and Juliet, Texas Ballet Theater's season opener, which features choreography by Ben Stevenson and music by Sergei Prokofiev. Ben Stevenson is still relatively new to our sweltry hamlet and to TBT, but he's no new kid in the international ballet scene. Like shagadelic Austin, this Brit-born man of mystery's still got his mojo--after choreographing nearly four decades' worth of ballets for the likes of English National Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Paris Opera Ballet, La Scala in Milan and others. Before taking the helm of TBT, Stevenson spent 27 years transforming the Houston Ballet from a tiny troupe into a world-renowned pirouette powerhouse. His latest challenge is Romeo and Juliet. You can't go wrong with the tragic love story most everyone was forced to read in lit class, and if you were smart, rented the Leo DiCaprio skinfest version. And for ballet snobs: This stage will be the one to watch, as it's the North Texas premiere of Ben Stevenson's Romeo and Juliet. Those of you who think ballet is for sissies will appreciate the precarious accomplishment of vicious swordplay in ballet shoes. The lead roles on opening night will be filled by principals Julie Gumbinner and Lucas Priolo, the pair of real-life lovers who were married this past summer. The ballet will be performed at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $18 to $95. Call 1-877-212-4280 or visit www.texasballettheater.org. --Emily Jacobs

Matches Game

Our Endeavors Theater Collective has collectively endeavored once again to present a new production, (The) Book of Matches. Inspired by the works of Marcel "art as anti-art" Duchamp, Robert Rauschenberg, Joseph Cornell and Jasper Johns, this performance boasts multiple realities, humor and the exploitation of the subconscious. (The) Book of Matches premieres at the Dallas Museum of Art's October Late Night event on Friday with two performances in the Chilton Gallery at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. It continues with shows at 3 p.m. October 22, 8 p.m. October 28, 3 p.m. November 20, 3 p.m. December 10, 3 p.m. December 17 and 3 p.m. December 18. All performances of (The) Book of Matches are free with paid admission into the DMA, 1717 N. Harwood St. Call 214-327-4001. For perspective, visit the DMA's exhibit Dialogues: Duchamp, Cornell, Johns, Rauschenberg while you're there. --Jonathan Freeman

Windmill Warrior

When 20-year-old Devin Moore claimed the video game Grand Theft Auto made him murder three people in an Alabama police station, the judge wasn't impressed. But what if Moore had been as eloquent as Miguel de Cervantes? Jailed in Spain, the 15th-century merchant concocted a similar story of a man who thought he was a knight after too many chivalric epics. But instead of telling it to the judge, Cervantes wrote it as the first modern novel. Moore may not be familiar with Don Quijote, but he'll have plenty of time to read on Death Row. See dramatic readings from Cervantes' masterpiece during Spinning Tales of Don Quijote at the Meadows Museum, 5900 Bishop Blvd., at 12:15 p.m. Friday, as part of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of its publication. Admission is $8. Call 214-768-2516. --Rick Kennedy

Tap Bang Boom

Hell hath no furry like a riled drummer. For example, when Led Zeppelin's John Bonham learned Karen Carpenter bested him in a Playboy drummer poll, he vowed to bury her in an avalanche of pounding rhythms, giving rise to "Moby Dick," a 20-minute-plus drum solo that provided guitarist Jimmy Page with some quality time in the band's dressing room with groupies. These days, marathon drumming comes not from Zeppelin, but from Yamato, an intense ensemble of Japanese Taiko drummers that serves up everything from the delicate tapping of falling rain to explosions of rhythmic exhilaration. The show is 8 p.m. Wednesday at Bass Hall, 525 Commerce St. in Fort Worth, and costs $32.50 to $47.50. Call 1-877-212-4280. --Mark Stuertz

 
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