16 Awesome Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend: Fan Expo, Queso Fountains, Ballet West

Ballet West leaps into Dallas this weekend.EXPAND
Ballet West leaps into Dallas this weekend.
Photo by Luke Isley, courtesy of AT&T Performing Arts Center

Thursday, May 27
Stop Hitting Yourself
Charity has always been something that the fortunate pride themselves on giving.
However, rarely is charity given at the cost of competition. Fortunately enough for you, Rude Mechanical's production of Stop Hitting Yourself provides that sort of satirical insight. Think of it as some sort of Dinner For Schmucks. You'll see fine dining, dancing, charity and a little bit of the missionary position all under the guise of helping those in need. The AT& T Performing Arts Center presents this satirical brilliance in its Off Broadway On Flora Series at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Wyly Theatre (2400 Flora St.) with performances through Saturday. Go to attpac.org for more information about the production and tickets ($44-$49). - Lucas Buckels

Speed the Plow/True West
Two plays that tackle the complex world of Hollywood—looking at the sometimes sordid business behind the business—have come together on one stage for all the dysfunction, ulterior motivation, and showbiz ugliness you can handle. Fun House Theatre and Film have corralled productions of True West and Speed the Plow for back-to-back productions that each take a critical view of the ways that potential fame and fortune can manipulate relationships and intentions. True West explores how a quest for renown as screenwriters causes utter destruction to the connection between two brothers, while Speed the Plow faces down manipulation and conniving at its very worst. Both productions feature a cast of talented 14 to 17 year olds, performing on a rotating schedule at Plano Children’s Theatre, 1301 Custer Road. True West will show at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, May 28 and June 4, and at 2:30 Saturdays, May 30 and June 6. Speed the Plow can be seen at 7:30 p.m. Fridays, May 29 and June 5, as well as at 7:30 Saturdays, May 30 and June 6. Tickets to individual performances are $8; tickets for both productions purchased together are $5. Visit funhousetheatreandfilm.com to purchase. - Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Anatomy of a Museum
Museums have the very best behind-the scenes stories: that time someone in Austria dropped a 3 million dollar borrowed Koons piece; or when a late sculptor's husband threw a very public hissy fit about the placement of one of his pieces; and just the general blood, sweat and tears that go into the collection, curation and cultivation of materials, be it art or natural specimens. Anatomy of a Museum: Everything You Wanted to Know About the Icelandic Phallological Museum But Were Afraid to Ask is one of those fascinating museum stories—and then some: it explores the operation of a museum in Iceland wholly dedicated to the collection and preservation of mammalian phalluses. Its author, A. Kendra Greene, has composed a lyrical and delightful long form essay extolling the virtues of this oddball little museum—a place where a passion naturalism crashes headlong into tourists with a passion for getting their photos taken with…well, penises. Greene, who currently serves as a writer in residence at a museum with a slightly different mission—the DMA—will read selections from her fascinating look at the world’s only dedicated phallus museum at The Wild Detectives, 314 W 8th, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Admission is free; visit wilddetectives.com. -JDL

Tap That! Deep Ellum Scavenger Hunt
Want to search your way through Deep Ellum with the possibility of winning some prizes? Of course you do. This month's scavenger hunt through the popular neighborhood will have an after party at Deep Ellum Brewing Company. To participate, head to 2650-B Main St. at 6:30 p.m. with your photo id (21+ up only) and $10 to enter. It will wrap up at 8:30 p.m.

Friday, May 28
Brian Posehn

Brian Posehn is more than just a great comedian. He’s also got more nerd and metal red than any fan could hope to achieve and he just both to unleash a torrent of bracing and original comedy that could melt the face off whatever the hell that thing was riding the amp car in “Mad Max: Fury Road.” He helped start the alternative comedy movement with people like Patton Oswalt, Bob Odenkirk, David Cross and Maria Bamford and as one of the writers on HBO’s “Mr. Show.” He’s also produced two highly acclaimed comedy albums and one of Netflix’s most watched stand-up comedy specials “The Fartist,” and writes comic books and graphic novels such as the insane Marvel series “Deadpool” and his own holiday terror tale “The Last Christmas.” If that wasn’t cool enough, he’s also producing a comedy heavy metal album with Anthrax’s Scott Ian. Check him out at Hyena’s Comedy Nightclub (5321 E. Mockingbird Ln.) at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are between $13.50 and $18.50 plus a fee for each show depending on available seating; more at hyenascomedynightclub.com. - Danny Gallagher

Ballet West
A few years ago we thought all the gossip and drama of the CW had either gone the way of a nearly whispered “XOXO” or holed up in a mansion in everyone’s favorite zip code. Not true. There were some dancers who had something to prove when it came to prime time trials. On and off stage, the companies of Ballet West had romantic, professional, and physical trials to rival any nighttime drama. Sure, Breaking Pointe was reality TV, but bleeding feet and hearts happen across the world when dancers are struggling to make (and keep) positions like first soloist…or just enough money to dance and only dance for a living. Ballet West was a great choice for opening TV audiences to ballet: The Salt Lake City company performs works by choreographers from America’s dance idols George Balanchine and Twyla Tharp to classical French master Marius Petipa. Now see leaps live as the company’s debut performance for TITAS Presents 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday features Balanchine’s “Divertimento #15,” William Forsythe’s “In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated,” and Jodie Gates’ “Mercurial Landscapes.” The Winspear Opera House is located at 2403 Flora St. Tickets are $12-$135. Call 214-880-0202 or visit attpac.org. - Merritt Martin

Texas Ballet Theater
It’s like Texas Ballet Theater knew some people were unbearably sad about missing their performances of George Balanchine’s “Rubies” and Jiri Kylian’s “Petite Mort” this season. They sensed we needed more jazzy, “plotless,” jewel-toned ballet and definitely another sexy, sensual dialogue on death set to Mozart. Wishes granted with TBT’s Artistic Director’s Choice performances this weekend. But there’s an added bonus: TBT is also giving us the world premier of a ballet by Jonathan Watkins, formerly of the Royal Ballet. A ballet commissioned just for Texas Ballet Theater. It’s like we’ve been rewarded two-fold: a repeat performance and a bold new piece to get excited about. Performances are 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce St. in Fort Worth. Tickets are $15-$125. Call 877-828-9200 or visit texasballettheater.org. - MM

Bad Education
Usually, when someone tells you that they are really into a particular director, you can glean some clues about their personality from that statement alone. David Lynch fans? Artsy, a little dark, probably into some weird sex stuff. Judd Apatow? Potentially a bro, likes toilet humor, considers themselves a feminist but still likes their comedy mired in traditional gender roles. Scorcese? Serious Film Connoisseur, into video games, likely gun collector. But if someone professes their cinematic devotion to Pedro Almodovar, they’re a little harder to pin down. The Spanish director is a prolific artist, having helmed 20 films that can’t be distilled into a few words. He’s run the gamut from elements of female exploitation to feminism, from supernatural to ultra-realism, from stark psychological pieces to warm, fuzzy works. To see one Almodovar is to only get a small fragment of his artistic statement—though if you have to start with Bad Education, that’s certainly a fine glimpse into the man’s oeuvre. His 2004 film noir piece tackles child sexual abuse and questions notions of identity, layering a murder mystery over a piece that messes with perceptions of gender, guilt, and beauty. It’s a stunner, to be sure—and will screen at the Texas Theatre, 231 West Jefferson, at 9:30 p.m. Friday. The event is hosted by CineWilde, whose pre- and post-parties are always on-point thematically; things get started at 8:30 p.m. and conclude with an after-party at 11:30. Tickets are $10 at thetexastheatre.com. - JDL

Out of Here Please: Cassie Phan
Midway Gallery continues to dazzle visitors to the Expo Park neighborhood by projecting video art into their street-facing windows. Currently you can see the work of Cassie Phan on a late night jaunt to Pizza Lounge. At 8:30 -11:30 p.m. Friday, the gallery hosts an artist reception. Use it as an excuse to get to know the artist, gallery, or the lovely owners musician Lily Taylor and artist Sean Miller. 

Fan Expo Dallas
Imagine if all of your geek fantasies came together in one grand gathering just so you could express your love and admiration for them all at once. Such a place doesn’t just exist in your dreams or your creepiest, erotic fan fiction. It exists in a real plain of existence and not in some far off galaxy or one of those dimensions that Carl Sagan described in “Cosmos.” It’s happening at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center (650 S. Griffin St.) from Friday to Sunday. The Fan Expo will pack the place with just about anything your geeky heart desires from encounters with famous celebrities like “Star Wars’” Carrie Fisher, “Firefly’s” Nathan Fillion and Stan Freakin’ Lee, a warehouse full of collectibles from your favorite movies, TV shows and comics and even a huge Saturday night party featuring live music, games and a live revival of the MTV game show classic “Remote Control” with a unique geek twist. Tickets are $25 for Friday, $50 for Saturday and $40 for Sunday. A deluxe, three-day access pass is available for $89. Tickets are available at fanexpodallas.com or at the Fan Expo box office at the Convention Center. - Danny Gallagher

Upcoming Events

Saturday, May 30
Visual Speedbump Art Tour
Every year, the artmaking duo, Chuck and George, organize one of the city's most insightful art tours. The trek through West Dallas happens from noon- 6 p.m. Saturday with stops on the tour including studio visits with the Sour Grapes crew, a visit to the beloved art shop/classroom Oil & Cotton, a performance piece by Erica Felicella, gallery shows at Mighty Fine Arts and the super exhibition of Kent Dorn at The Safe Room, and more. Start the tour at Chuck & George's pad (516 S. Marlborough Ave.) and pick up a map. Happy arting! -LS

Art Collecting 101
You see the gallery listings every week and don't know where to start? What makes a painting good? And if you're into the little green devil known as money, what painting is a good investment? Which galleries should we trust? What services should the gallerist provide? All of these questions and more will be the centerpiece of a discussion led by Aja Martin, director of Zhulong Gallery, and Hanh Ho, director of Cydonia Gallery during their conversation, Art Collecting 101, at 11 a.m. Saturday at Zhulong (1302 Dragon St.). While you're there check out the photography exhibit, myshoes, my stove my life, by Luke Dowd. Admission is free. Bloody Marys and coffee will be served. More at zhulonggallery.com. - LS

Phyllida Barlow: Tryst
If the Nasher Sculpture Center has taught Dallas one thing (and surely the number is vastly larger), it's that sculpture transforms its environment, and vice versa. Fill a white walled room with golden balloons and entering it becomes an adventure; fill the same room with technicolor dirt and the room becomes a multi-dimensional trek. And these are the biggest examples. Nothing weighs down a room like a dozen small sculptures of steel lining a wall, or sparks conversation like tiny models of big buildings. This weekend, in-demand British sculptor Phyllida Barlow, known for creating large-scale tangles of material, takes over the Nasher with six installations in the galleries, meant to be, dare we say it, transformative. See the work from 11 a.m. - 5p.m. Saturday. The work remains on display through August 30. Admission is $10. More at the nashersculpturecenter.org. -LS

Reunion Lawn Party
What if your next backyard party wasn't in your backyard at all? But in the heart of downtown? From 5 -10 p.m. Saturday, the first-ever Reunion Lawn Party (777 Sports St.) will include local artists, food trucks, lawn games, and a beer garden. Admission is free. 

Sunday, May 31
Tango in the Park

If everything you know about ballroom dancing begins with over-eager proclamations from Erin Andrews and ends with Rumer Willis being crowned the latest “Dancing with the Stars” victor, then it’s time to switch off the TV and hit the dance floor. There’s a joy in dancing that can’t be gained from texting a vote for a washed-up reality star—an energy and lightness that’s so much bigger than a mirror ball trophy. Strap on your dancing shoes and see for yourself at Tango in the Park from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 31 at Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers. The evening begins with a free lesson in Argentine tango from area dance masters—learn basic counts and promenades that’ll have you burning up the dance floor in no time. At 6:15, see a free performance that will inspire you to keep moving throughout the night—which will be easy during the open dance from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m., where a DJ will throw down a mix of traditional and alternative tango-ready tunes. Admission is free; food trucks will be onsite to fuel your dance fire, and more details can be found at klydewarrenpark.org. -JDL

The Maltese Falcon
Every Spring the AT&T Performing Arts Center opens it’s lawn to your picnic blankets, wine boxes and love cuddles for a classic movie series. This year they’re dabbling in famous directors of the 1940s in an effort to counteract whatever tragedy the Mad Max reboot has done to your brain. On May 31st we’ll be two deep in the series and the movie is John Huston’s “Maltese Falcon.” The gasp-inducing tale of private eye Sam Spade hot on the tail of…well, the man he was hired to tail. Suddenly, his partner dies! The police flip the script and follow Spade! And the lady who started it all? Not who she says she is at all! In fact, she’s just an dame involved with a gigantic gold statute of a falcon! Pack up your DEET and head Annette Strauss Square, 2403 Flora Street, on Sunday, May 31st at 8:30 p.m. Admission is free, but save your seat at attpac.org. -Nikki Lott


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