If you've ever considered yourself a "theater person" or the type of human who enjoys a good performance, then run don't walk to the Eisemann Center this weekend. Mandy Patinkin (you know, Evita... or Princess Bride... or "Homeland"...) is joined onstage by the endlessly likable Taylor Mac in The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville. The basic premise of the show is that the world has reached its final days, and its remaining two humans take on an Adam and Eve relationship, learning to communicate through song and dance. There are show tunes you'll recognize, and a few new ditties. In anyone else's hands this show would be a drag, but these two performers are unstoppable musically and they are physical comedy pros. Grab your tickets before they sell out. Tickets are $65-72 and available at eisemanncenter.com.
Thursday, Feb. 19
Mississippi Goddamn Almost two years ago, playwright Jonathan Norton invited me to sit at a table read of a play he was working on. A talented group of actors read lines that oozed poetry as the story of Medgar Evers played out. It was by far the best thing I've ever heard from Norton. Afterwards, I soaked up the amount of feedback directors, actors and writers like me were offering. Not only was the process interesting to engage in, but you could tell the work was going to be good when completed. It's hard to believe that play, Mississippi Goddamn, opens this weekend at the South Dallas Cultural Center. Grab your tickets ($5-15) and see the work come to life. More at dallasculture.org/sdculturalcenter.
Mary Helen Specht, author talk Mary Helen Specht's debut novel, Migratory Animals, is a story of friendships that stretch into adulthood. She writes elegantly of the heartbreak of drifting away from the people you care about, and about fear and loss. She builds recognizable characters and sends them on separate journeys, all the while weaving the stories together. Wordspace brings Specht to Dallas at 7 p.m. Thursday as part of its First Hearings series. She'll be at The Wild Detectives (314 W. 8th St.) to read from and sign her book. More information at wordspacedallas.com
Medea I've always been a big fan of seeing theater in preview performances. They're usually cheaper and the performances are fresh, which gives the show the kind of riskiness I've come to love in live theater -- there's always the risk the actor could totally screw it up because it's happening in front of you. If you're into that kind of risk, there may be no better show to see in preview than the ancient story of Medea. This week, the Dallas Theater Center starts its repertory series, which means they'll show Medea some nights and Moliere's School for Wives others. At 7:30 p.m. Thursday you can catch the first preview of Medea. Tickets start at $18. More at dallastheatercenter.org.
The Blood of Jesus Sometimes it's hard to believe there was a time in our country when there was a genre of film called, "Race Films." Up until about 1950, films were made with all-black casts expecting all-black audiences. One of these films, The Blood of Jesus, was made in Dallas. Before they screen Spike Lee's new film, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, the Texas Theatre will screen the 1941 film by Spencer Williams at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Friday, Feb. 20 References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot Cara Mia Theatre's new play tells a story of dissatisfaction. Gabriela's husband returns home after a tour of the Persian Gulf and nothing measures up to what it should. There's a lot of longing, and warped realities in the play. See it at the Latino Cultural Center (2600 Live Oak St.) from Friday through March 8. Shows are at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. on Sundays; buy tickets for $10 to $25 at caramiatheatre.org.
Da Sweet Blood of Jesus + After party See Spike Lee's film at the Texas Theatre and then stick around afterward for a behind the screen party with THRWD. Film starts at 8 p.m.; party at 10 p.m. $14 for both.
The School for Wives As outdated as the title may sound, you'll find some truths in Moliere's farce from 1662. See it in its first preview at 8 p.m. Friday night at the Kalita Humphreys Theatre. More at dallastheatercenter.org.
TeCo Theatrical Productions' New Play Competition For the past 13 years, Teco has been giving playwrights the opportunity to compete for a few clams. Why break tradition? Through March 1, audience members can cast votes for their favorite play of the night. Contestants include Lather, Rinse, Repeat, or The Dating Game by Antay Bilgutay, Hikers by Victor Bravo, 7-10 Split by Ruth Cantrell, Perchance To Dream by Paul William Engle, Can I Call You Daddy? by Sam Green and Nappily Ever After by Buster Spiller. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays and 3:30 p.m. Saturdays; tickets are $15 to $20 and can be purchased at tecotheater.org or at the door.
Saturday, Feb. 21 Chinese New Year We're leaving the horse and headed into the year of the sheep. So, it's completely apropos that the Crow Collection of Asian Art would host a celebration this weekend. Stop by the street festival for everything from poetry workshops to sheep headbands. Starts at 11 a.m. More at crowcollection.org.
Stephen Lapthisophon, Jeff Gibbons, Vincent Ramos Conduit Gallery presents exhibitions by three artists who couldn't be more different. Stephen Lapthisophon is one of Dallas' veteran artists, who incorporates surprising materials into his work on canvas, including spices, coffee grounds, or pigmented animal fats. Concurrently there will be an exhibition by intermedia artist Jeff Gibbons, who has had an incredible start to 2015, as he is part of a two person exhibition at Goss-Michael Foundation. Gibbons creates work that is often hard to describe, seemingly interested as much in philosophy as the act of creation. The third artist on display is Vincent Ramos, who has created two series of drawings and collages that explore the current immigration debate, class and race issues in America. Promises to be an engaging night of art. See it from 6-8 p.m. Saturday.
Kevin Todora: New Photographic Work Often in a photograph there is more than meets the eye. What's just out of view? What happened the second before? Or the second after? Dallas-based artist Kevin Todora takes questions like these and raises them further. In his recent photographic works, he challenges the medium itself, manipulating images and the display of them in order to question the value of the image in today's media-saturated life. Todora's newest work will be on display at Erin Cluley Gallery, 414 Fabrication St. See it in an opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Saturday or through March 28. More information at erincluley.com.
Kristina Paabus: In for ItThe Safe Room at the Texas Theatre mixes things up this month with an exhibition curated by Lauren Fulton, a different Lauren than Miss Gray who curates kickass show after kickass show. Fulton lives and works in Chicago, and for this show at the Safe Room she sends us the work of Kristina Paabus, an artist interested in the way "systems create or falsify order." Her work for in for it will be 2 and 3-dimensional. See it in opening exhibition from 6-9 p.m. Saturday.
Private Eyes | Grey Sunsets Circuit 12 Contemporary pulls together a group show that might seem a little calm in the aftershocks of the recent exhibitions, Sundowner and PRTY PPL, but no less relevant. In Private Eyes | Grey Sunsets, artists from outside Dallas borders are brought together in a group show that seems heavy on mixed media and painting, with artists like Cameron Welch who incorporates influences like Hip Hop and graffiti into his work, alongside Los Angeles-based Mandy Lyn Perez, whose paintings are heavily textured objects. See the work in stunning array from 6-10 p.m. Saturday.
Frank Bowling's Map Paintings Recently the Dallas Museum of Art acquired "Marcia H Travels," its first painting by Frank Bowling, an abstract artist who made numerous contributions to the field, not the least of which was his advocacy for black artists worldwide. His series of Map Paintings from the 1970's are a stunning exploration of color, which use world maps in the background. See the DMA's new piece along with a few curated from personal collections when this small show opens Sunday. Admission is free.
Hooch & Pooch When Kitchen Dog Theater hosts its annual fundraiser they do it up big. There's a silent auction for things like Charlie Day leaving you a voicemail and they're throwing a big 90's rave at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary at 8 p.m. Saturday. Throw a few bones to a howl-worthy theater company and party your tail off. It's $60-75 for the good times. More info at kitchendogtheater.org.
Logan's Run If you know Logan's Run, then you know why you'll want to be at the Texas Theatre at 8 p.m. Saturday. If you don't know Logan's Run, then you will NEED to be at the Texas Theatre at 8 p.m. Saturday. How's that for logic? Tickets are $10, after party brought to you by George Quartz behind the screen.
Postcommodity Artist Talk A couple weeks ago we told you about a crazy little thing called "Gallup Motel Butchering." You might remember it -- the video installation about a Native American woman who used a motel to carry out the traditional ritual of butchering a sheep for a family feast. It shakes up the ideas you might have about tradition and ritual when placed in this contemporary context. Now, Kade Twist and Nathan Young, members of the artist collective Postcommodity, are in town to discuss their work. Hear them talk at 3 p.m. Saturday and then stick around and explore the wonderful world of Chuck & George.
The Pin Show Presents: SCENE If you've never been to the PIN Show, Dallas' independent fashion show, make this your year to attend. It's not until April, but it's going to be a blow out event just weeks after its venue, the Bomb Factory, opens. In the meantime, attend SCENE, the Pin Show's mini event at Trees this weekend. They're calling it a fashion concert because French 75 and Diamond Age will play while designers, Nha Khanh, Nine Muses, Emmanuel Tobias, and Lucy Dang unveil their latest designs. Tickets at thepinshow.com.
Sunday, Feb. 22
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Paul Varghese You don't look like the kind of person who skip the Oscars, but if you are, it's probably because you're going to see Paul Varghese at the Addison Improv. Local funny man takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Play It By Ear If you were wondering who those tap dancing fiends were at Artopia, or why on earth we'd be so blown away by a tap dance choreographer that we'd give her a Mastermind award, you can find out for yourself this weekend at Play It By Ear. They'll shuffle ball change their way into the Pocket Sandwich Theatre at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $16.
LeAnn Howe at Wild Detectives Here's another acceptable reason for missing the red carpet: Poet and author LeAnn Howe will read from her latest book, Choctalking on Other Realities, at 7 p.m. Sunday Wild Detectives.
Oscar Watching Party at Texas Theatre Look, at this rate you could basically spend your whole weekend at the Texas Theatre. Chris Vognar, culture critic for the DMN, hosts a free screening party. Starts at 6 p.m. and you won't want to miss a minute.