Traffic is lighter on the roads, the sun is hotter, and the words "back to school" are popping up on advertisements throughout the city. It must be August. An easier way to learn this might've been looking at a calendar, which would also point out that the weekend is arriving today. There's plenty to do around Dallas for those of us not on vacation. We've sorted through the art openings, performance art festivals, theater and more to round up the best stuff just for you.
Thursday, August 14
Yaa Halla, Y'all: Belly Dancing Festival Belly dancers make the stomach rolls, jiggles and shakes look easy. But trust us, it's better that we watch and don't participate. This weekend, the Grapevine Convention Center will be filled with belly dancers and Middle Eastern musicians, as part of the Isis Foundation's Yaa Halla, Y'all event. See the shows at 6 p.m. Thursday - Saturday and 5:45 p.m. Sunday.
None of the Above High school romance meets standardized tests in the newest play from Pegasus Theatre. None of the Above is a story about making choices. See it at 8 p.m. Thursday and runs through Saturday, August 30 at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive. Tickets are $20. Visit pegasustheatre.org
Autotune Karaoke Good Luck Karoake's new home at Twilite Lounge has pros and cons. Pro? Easy access to the rest of Deep Ellum's nightlife. Con? Your out-of-tune singing can be heard from the street. Maybe that's why the crazy DJs decided to bring back Autotune Karaoke. Thursday night, you can blame your singing on technology. 10 p.m. - 2 a.m. Thursday. Free. 21+up.
Friday, August 15
Strangers: The Art of Maryanne Meltzer This commemorative exhibition of Maryanne Meltzer's work features the artist's unconventional eye that focused on the ideas of alienation and outsider culture. The opening reception takes place at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center from 5- 8 p.m. Friday. See the work through the end of this month.
Wait Until Dark The idea of losing any of your senses can be terrifying. In Wait Until Dark at the Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, the audience can see what the protagonist cannot, as she struggles to fend off con men. Sharon Benge directs this play that was once turned into a movie starring Audrey Hepburn. See it at 8 p.m. Friday or through September 7. Tickets are $22-$32. Visit contemporarytheatreofdallas.com.
Brad Williams He's a little man who delivers big laughs and he's bringing them to Dallas this weekend. Brad Williams takes over Hyena's Comedy Club Friday and Saturday night with shows starting at 8 p.m. More info at hyenascomedynightclub.com. Saturday, August 16 Inside)(Outside Plenty of art doesn't belong inside the halls of a museum. There are sculptures too large for the ceilings; paintings better suited for the outdoors; and performances for the streets. (Wo)manorial's latest exhibition breaks the tradition of white-walled encasement in more ways than one. Inside)(Outside started online earlier this month, exploring the classifications and stumbling blocks associated with femininity. This weekend it takes to the streets in a performance art festival throughout Oak Cliff. Inside)(Outside - Live Performance Showcase kicks off at 6 p.m. at Oil & Cotton (837 W. 7th St.), featuring nearly 20 performances spread across Tyler St. and Jefferson Blvd. Grab a map and see them all through midnight. More information at womanorial.com.
Ctrl+V Before computers gave us the ability to copy paste, it was happening in real life. This is how most technology comes to exist: expediting the human experience. But some artists resist the shortcuts, instead using their hands to copy paste things into collages. Kirk Hopper Fine Art is letting these artists take over the gallery for the next month. See the collage work of gallery artists Alejandro Diaz-Ayala, Bryan Florentine, Carlos Donjuan, Chubirka, and Luke Harnden, alongside the work of Jay Riggio in Ctrl+V. And forgo the instinct to wait for your friends to Instagram the exhibition and show up at the opening reception from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday. The exhibition remains on display through September 13. More information at kirkhopperfineart.com.
Spirited Away The Modern has joined forces with the Lone Star Film Society to pay tribute to the work of Hayao Miyazaki, one of Japan's greatest filmmakers. This weekend, they're screening Spirited Away, the tale of a young girl who must grow up and face a few monsters. See it at 2 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are between $4 and $8 and are available at prekindle.com/events/lonestar.
Grub Street Grackle Poetry Reading What do the poems in a post-post-ironic literary magazine sound like? Find out at 3 p.m. Saturday when The Wild Detectives hosts a poetry reading from the writers of the Grub Street Grackle, a publication based in Irving, Texas that publishes fiction, poetry, essays and reviews, "specializing in high snark."
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Private Practice by HOMECOMING! Committee Art collectives are a funny thing. They seem to strip away any competitive streak in the art, instead encouraging artists to collaborate, or at least show their art together, which is what is happening with HOMECOMING! Committee's exhibition this weekend. They're deconstructing the individual work within the group and presenting it as a whole. The opening reception is from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, and the work remains on display through August 30 at Artspace 111 in Fort Worth.
One Minute Play Festival How much can happen in one minute? That is 60 seconds of narrative, or conversation, or monologue. It's short, short, short. What if you string one minutes plays by local playwrights together? Will a story emerge? You'll have to buy your ticket to the One Minute Play Festival happening at Kitchen Dog Theater this weekend to find out. Tickets are available online, but seating is limited so grab 'em while you can.
Women for Hire at WAAS Gallery Shattered glass ceiling aside, it remains true that women tend to be bypassed for men in many arenas, including the arts. Rather than bitch about it, WAAS Gallery is hosting an all-woman exhibition/ party this Saturday. Nearly 20 artists, several performances and DJs, the night will be a raucous celebration of the female perspective. The party starts at 5:30 p.m. and lasts until 1 a.m. Tickets are $7 pre-sale and $15 at the door. Alcohol is $3 for a cup, $1 for a refill.
Sunday, August 17 Stars of American Ballet What's so great about ballet? If you're not swept away by the tutus, the pink-ribboned shoes, or the graceful athleticism of the dancers, it might be difficult to convince you of the art form's merit. But by god, you are missing out. We recommend opening your mind for just one performance at the Eisemann Center (2351 Performance Drive, Richardson) this weekend and let the Stars of American Ballet pirouette away your misconceptions. Names like Megan Fairchild or Daniel Ulbricht probably don't mean anything to you, but just know you'll be seeing some of the best performing classics like George Balanchine's Tarantella and Tchaikovsky's pas de deux. If you walk away unmoved, well, you probably won't. But hey, you'll have to see for yourself. Performance starts in the Hill Performance Hall at 3 p.m. Sunday. Grab tickets for as cheap as $25 at eisemanncenter.com