14 Awesome Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend, Oct. 1- 4

DanceAfrica takes over the City Performance Hall.
DanceAfrica takes over the City Performance Hall.
DBDT

Thursday, Oct. 1
Deep Vellum's Tram 83 Reading
In Tram 83, Fiston Mwazna Mujilla, with the help of translator Roland Glasser, conveys all the grit and even the occasional glamour of an unnamed African city with a distinctly musical voice, something the two plan to replicate when they stop in Dallas for a reading in support of the book’s recent release by Dallas’ Deep Vellum Publishing. Expect a “performative” reading with the two reading in both French and English, in an unintentional and fortunately much cleaner evocation of Tram 83, the chaotic hub where the locals and tourists come together to act out their chaotic theater of the absurd in Mujilla’s fictional city-state. The reading starts at 7 p.m. Thursday at The Wild Detectives (314 W. 8th St.). The jazz band plays at 8 p.m. More at deepvellum.org. -Jennifer Smart

BYOB Art History
Arts educator Justin Clumpner has the right idea — pairing anything with booze, especially art history, makes it infinitely better. Round up those stray cans of beer in the fridge or scrape together quarters for a sixer of something cheap, and bring it to Kettle Art on Thursday for BYOB Art History. Clumpner will present a lightning-fast, “speed-reading” version of art history, from cave drawings to 2015, after which the gallery will screen award-winning short films from Salvador Dali and Marcel Duchamp in keeping with Kettle’s current surrealist exhibition. More at kettleart.com. -Amy McCarthy

State Fair of Texas
Oh, Texas. It’s been a rough few weeks for you, PR-wise. Misunderstanding the fundamental differences between bombs and science projects got more than a few derisive “only in Texas” memes lobbed at you. Ted Cruz continues to lurk behind Donald Trump like a latter-day Grandpa Munster, and our state-level elected officials ... exist ... and we can’t make them stop talking. It’s bad news all around. But there is one thing that we can unapologetically love about our great state, even in this most irksome phase: the State Fair of Texas. And it’s here, thank the Lord, in all its butter sculpting, pig racing, deep-fried glory. When the clock strikes 10 Friday morning, Fair Park will become the unofficial state capital for a blissful 23 days of carnival rides, pork chops on sticks, powdered sugar and live music. This year features live performances from the Beach Boys, Craig Wayne Boyd, MercyMe and Trio Grande, plus fried creations like chicken-fried lobster and beer-battered buffalo. So, take this opportunity to guzzle a bacon margarita, hoist a corny dog high into the air and reclaim your state pride in the name of Big Tex. Check bigtex.com for schedules, discounts and more information. The State Fair is open daily until October 18. Hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; and 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. General admission is $18; $14 for seniors and kids under 48 inches; and free for the under-2 set. - Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Friday, Oct. 2
Elevator to the Gallows

Many tend to associate the beginning of French New Wave with François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Goddard. But before Jules and Jim or Breathless there was Elevator to the Gallows, the first film from Louis Malle starring actress Jeanne Moreau, who would later become a French superstar and an integral part of this new modern cinema. The unusual editing techniques, visual styles and narrative are all on display here. But even with the basics of French New Wave in place, Elevator to the Gallows is fundamentally film noir with incredibly atmospheric cinematography and an improvised score from Miles Davis that was recorded right around the time he was releasing some of his most classic albums with Prestige Records. A live jazz performance from Freddie Jones will start at 9 p.m. Friday before a screening of the 35mm print of this film at the Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd. The acting is superb and foreshadows the raw emotion Moreau would become known for in her later films. That famous phone call (“Je t'aime!”) will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up no matter how many times you see it. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at thetexastheatre.com. -Jeremy Hallock

Upcoming Events

DanceAfrica
When you think African dance, you might think hip-hop, jazz or that episode of The Cosby Show where they roll back the rug and have a dance-off in the living room — it’s a lot more than that. The vast continent’s array of cultures, rituals and dance styles is just as vast, stretching across many centuries. DanceAfrica by the Dallas Black Dance Theatre transports you to the birthplace of humanity with ancient and contemporary rhythms, beats and dances performed by all five of DBDT’s performance companies at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. These high-energy and explosive performances will turn Dallas City Performance Hall (2520 Flora St.) into the site of an unforgettable evening of dance. Tickets start at $27. To purchase and for more information, head over to dbdt.com.-Lucas Buckels

Hollywood Nocturne Burlesque
It’s getting darker, Dallas — in all the best ways. Earlier sunsets herald cozy fall nights, lush blankets and decadent treats. The longer nights also call for a little bit of indulgence: drinks in front of a fire pit, or perhaps a sizzling tribute to old Hollywood glamour by the lovely ladies of La Divina Burlesque. These mistresses of the dark vamp it up for Hollywood Nocturne Burlesque at 9 p.m. Friday in the Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St. Join Michelle L’Amour, Ruby Joule, La Divina, Marilyn Mayhem, Charlotte Treuse and more as they don and doff classic cinema’s most dramatic looks for a shadowy, atmospheric and bombastic production. Tickets are $25 to $33 and tables can be reserved for $180 to $300 at prekindle.com. -JDL

God, A Comedy In One Act
One of Woody Allen's first plays hits the Fun House stage this weekend under the direction of local funnyman Matt Lyle. See this cast of 20 young actors tackle the words of one of comedy's greats in this zany comedy that mashes up time periods, comedic devices and characters. It will be paired nightly with a performance from Unicorn Clearance, the all-youth improv troupe led by Jeff Swearingen. See it at 7:30 p.m. Friday or through October 10. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. More at funhousetheatreandfilm.com. -LS

Creep
How well do you know the story of Jack the Ripper? Who was the serial killer who terrorized London at the end of the 19th century? The world may never know, but a new musical revisits the point in history that has inspired numerous stories and myths. Creep is more psychological thriller than history play, asking the question: Who could’ve been responsible for these ghastly deeds? In a world premiere at WaterTower Theatre (15650 Addison Road, Addison), this musical by local writer and actor Donald Fowler promises a bone-chilling story and some delightfully fresh music. See it in preview this weekend at 8 p.m. Saturday; on opening night at 7:30 p.m. Monday; or through October 25. Tickets start at $20. More at watertowertheatre.org.. -LS

Porn & Chicken
America is home to many inventions, but we’ve produced two things that make us the envy of the world: pornography and fried chicken. And thankfully, there won’t be a shortage of either any time soon. Purdue University says we consume 8 billion chickens annually and Adult Video News estimates that 11,000 hardcore porn films are made in this country every year. We’ve got to do something to burn off all that protein, so why not combine those passions with a raucous party celebrating the greatest exports in American history (if you don’t count diabetes and carpal tunnel syndrome)? Chicago’s legendary Porn and Chicken Party does just that and it’s coming to Dallas’ Lizard Lounge (2424 Swiss Ave.) at 9 p.m. Friday. The evening will feature live performances by a string of DJs including the record-spinning duo Milo & Otis, plus enough pornography and chicken to sate a dozen frat houses. Tickets are $10 for early admission, $15 for general admission, $20 for VIP guests and $300 for VIP guests with added bottle service. Purchase yours at eventbrite.com. -Danny Gallagher

#basic
Do you ever worry about being #basic? In a world where we’re subjected to one another’s personal lives on a never-ending basis, it’s easy to spend too much time comparing ourselves to others. Often this leads to total, overwhelming disappointment. Social anxieties like these are the subject of playwright Brigham Mosley’s new play, #basic. The play stars three female actors, Claire Carson, Kristen Kelso and Afomia Hailemeskel, as young people battling their own egos and issues in a world riddled with social media. See the production by House Party Theatre at 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Monday, or again the following week. The play will take place at 2203 Obenchain St. Tickets are $10 and available at housepartytheatre.com. -LS

Burton Burlesque
Viva Dallas Burlesque says their show this weekend is so big they needed the biggest venue in town. Burton Burlesque, for which the performers base their routines on a Tim Burton movie, hits the Bomb Factory at 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $22. 

Saturday, Oct. 3
In Verse/Looped

Think of a poetry reading. Some of us automatically picture climbing on stage during an awkward open mic night, or sitting on sofas and tuffets in a gallery, suddenly aware of our posture and our listening face when we should be focused on words. WordSpace has removed that pressure and put the focus back on the, well, words and the space, with In/Verse: Looped from 7-10 p.m. Saturday at Common Desk Oak Cliff, 633 W. Davis St. Using recorded poetry and prose readings on loops, works of art will ring out in various places — from whole rooms to hallways to headphones — allowing audiences to take in the works in unique settings, enhanced by visual installations also created by each writer. Those writers, including Courtney Marie, Lauren Belmore, Fatima-Ayan Malika Hirsi, Zach VandeZande, Kyle Vaughn, Caitlin Pryor, Tamitha Curiel and others, may be the audience members next to you or the people ordering wine at the donation bar. Looped might be the best set-up for a poetry reading yet, and definitely the best opportunity for mingling conversation. So much so the suggested $5 admission seems like a serious bargain. Learn more, ask questions or RSVP to the event on Facebook. Learn more about Wordspace at wordspace.com. -Merritt Martin

Smoked Dallas
Once you hit September in Dallas it begins: Food Social Season. It’s like award season on TV, but with food festivals and seasonal dinners and barbecue. There are the backyard parties, themed weekends and big blowouts. Smoked falls into the big blowout category with its visiting TV chefs like Aarón Sánchez and Jonathan Waxman, 3-hour barbecue tasting window (after 5 p.m. it’s while-it-lasts), and eight hours of entertainment. Smoked kicks out its jams — and it does have jams since Smoked is not only a barbecue festival but also a “deliciously curated” music festival featuring the likes of Pleasant Grove, Dean Fearing’s Lost Coyote, Bobby Patterson and Asleep at the Wheel — right in downtown Dallas’ Main Street Garden Park (1902 Main St.) from 1-10 p.m. Saturday. As the name would suggest, it brings in the big smoking guns of Texas barbecue: Black’s, Heim, Lockhart, Louis Mueller, Opie’s, Schmidt Family and more. For $90, be the first VIPs in the gate and to the plates; for $45, get the 2-5 p.m. tasting and the concert; and for $22, get the concert only, which is awesome, but c’mon ... barbecue. Start your salad-only prep and buy tickets now at smokeddallas.com. -MM

Sunday, Oct. 4
Dallas

Dallas has a lot of best kept secrets. Here’s one, and when you find out about it you’ll be so excited you just might crap your pants. 508 Amphitheater is located at Encore Park in downtown Dallas, at the corner of Young Street and Park Avenue. It was designed to hold 300 people and at 7 p.m. Sunday, you’re invited there to attend a screening of the 1950 western film Dallas, starring Gary Cooper. Before the feature you’ll also get to watch Bunny Hugged, a 1951 short, and then hear a talk by UNT American West history professor Dr. Michael Wise. The talk is basically a lecture, but since it’s not taking place on a college campus and it doesn’t require all-night cramming or multiple shots of 5-hour Energy, we’ll call it a talk. The event is co-sponsored by Texas Theatre and it’s free, but RSVPs are suggested at encoreparkdallas.org. -Nikki Lott


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