17 Awesome Things to Do This Weekend, April 11 to 14

Remember, in the world of indie films, this trailer about breast cancer is considered highly uplifting. Next week we'll return to our regularly scheduled fart jokes. DIFF continues through this weekend. So if you haven't seen your movies, it's time to see your movies.

Now is also the time to step through Artapalooza's glowing door of opportunity and free drinks. Or, as the city would prefer it be known, #DallasArtsWeek. What this means for you: So. Many. Parties. Also, if you're good at crashing fancy events, you can guzzle a year's worth of free champagne in about 3 days' time. (Some window squeezing-through will be required.) From visual art to opera, galas to DIFF, it is ALL GOING DOWN through Sunday.

Now, let's dig in, shall we? Share this list with your party gang, and click on the events' titles for more information. I'll see you out there. (I'll be the one doing champagne keg stands.)

Thursday 4.11 Dreams of Slaughtered Sheep at Ochre House -- A typical Ochre House show is still the least conventional activity that you could do on any given night. Take their newest, for example: It's the story of "Spencerville, a man tormented by nightmares of the slaughterhouse in which he works." Now imagine that tale told through puppets, live music and eccentric fringe actors. Perfect. (Pro tip: Always, always, always get a reservation. These shows sell out before the doors open.)

By the one and only Justin Terveen
By the one and only Justin Terveen

Art Talk with Justin Terveen -- If you haven't made it to Kettle Art to see Terveen's Dallas-centric show "The Urban Fabric," it's time you hopped to that. It's a stunning collection of his electric representations of our city, and when I walked the thing I developed one BIG question, "HOW DOES HE DO IT?" He'll answer that, and others, this evening.

Matthew Koons at TractorBeam -- If you missed Koons' MAC/Ro2 show in late 2012, I'm sorry. I went, and now both my mind and third eye are permanently reconfigured. Tonight you'll get another chance to turn your subconscious into goo as you examine Koons' kaleidoscopic world, where canvases become topographical foundations, accented by psychedelic harmony. Plus it's at TractorBeam, which equals MEGA PARTY.

Tim Laman and Ed Scholes -- Adding an adventurous element to #DallasArtsWeek is the work of wildlife photography tag team, Tim Laman and Ed Scholes. These bird enthusiast stars of National Geographic are going to fill your brain with images and stories from the rain forest's most remote corners. You know, places you'll never visit because they don't have bars.

Motor Transgression at Texas Theatre -- I'm not sure what to expect from this show, but I'm way into Cusick's flow. Whether he's showing his portraits that give a paint-by-number color gradient with the aid of inlaid maps, or his reductive series of school text book defacement, I assure you that it will be grand.

  Friday 4.12 stutter slip stack at Re gallery -- I can't tell you what to expect from this one, but artist Kristen Cochran won me over with a site-specific installation involving a vacuumed floor. Yes, I want to see what else she has up her tidy, Fabreezed sleeve. Of course I do, and you should as well. (Bonus: This house gallery is next door to Lee Harvey's.)

Rite of Spring at SMU -- I was surprised to hear that SMU had hired a Dutch choreographer to recreate Rite of Spring, the famous performance that started near-riots 100 years ago. I was shocked to find that they made it even more shocking. There's a sexually aggressive robot puppet. I suggest you see this.

Dallas Art Fair -- Yep, it's started. Three days of fancy art from the globe's best galleries, packed into f.i.g. (Pro Tip: Bring sustenance.) Walking this gallery labyrinth feels like being lost in an IKEA of art. Now, there's a lot of offshoot events, like the openings at Goss-Michael and the Dallas Contemporary that happen this weekend and are aligned with the Art Fair, but you need a fancy pass for those. You know if you have one. And if you have one, you already know where the party's at. Moving on.

Wax Addicts at Circuit 12 -- True, Wax Addicts is more musically-inclined than we usually dip into on this list, but it's also a great new monthly vinyl party at one of our favorite Dragon Street spaces. Drop your needle here.

Aspern Papers -- This opera, commissioned by TDO in '88, has a familiar name. That's because it's based on the work of Henry James, albeit loosely. The Dallas Opera dusts off this newbie to complete its spring season, and opening night is.. you guessed it: Friday.

Penn and Teller -- Nothing like a team of debunking magician comedians to break up all of this artful stuffiness. Go hear Penn drop buckets of swears. Saturday 4.13

Fallas Dart Air -- You don't need no candy pants badges for this one. Nope. You just need to bring a longing for shredded pork, and possibly some wetnaps. Going down at a Deep Ellum barbeque joint is this group show-and-tell, which features work by the weirdos of Centraltrak, Dick Higgins Gallery, Fort Worth Drawing Center, Mai Koetjecacov Editions Wichita Falls, Oliver Francis Gallery, The Public Trust, Secret Fun, semigloss. Magazine, Shamrock Hotel Studios and Studio DTFU in a show organized by Ludwig Schwarz, Peter Ligon and an assist by Michael Mazurek.

TINAY/IDNCTBH (SRTAMHMWF), or THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU/I DID NOT CHOOSE TO BE HERE (Schopenhauer recalls the abrupt moment his mother was fertilized) at Oliver Francis Gallery -- Well, that title took up all of our room. If there was more space I'd discuss the subversive hilarity of this show; the way it genteelly shoots the bird in the direction of the Arts District and its devious intentions to set rejected art aflame. But like I said, we're out of space, so we won't mention those things.

Turandot Simulcast at Dallas Cowboys Stadium -- They're doing it again, but this time you get the chilling, and tough-to-believe (whatever, it's opera) tale of a man on a quest. He's fallen in love with a real tough ass of a princess, and he's putting his life on the line to win her heart. They're running the simulcast for free, so grab a ticket and check it out.

Ghost Sonata at Undermain -- It's easy to forget about theater during this artful smorgasbord, but Undermain Theater deserves your gaze. A fever dream starring apparitions, you've got a few, quick weekends to take in August Strindberg's modernist chamber play.

Sunday 4.14 Opening Weekend at Lone Star Park -- Events for Lone Star's opening weekend kick off on Thursday and wrap on Sunday, but we all know that Sundays are the best days to hang out at the race track. That's what dad always told me, anyways.

Final Day of DIFF -- Can you give a laminate a viking funeral? Because after spending the last 11 days partying with mine, I'd really like to. Honor your fest by saying farewell through one, final day of movies. [Breaks into salty tears.]

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