Awesome Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend, Aug. 13-16
Hop on A School Bus Named Desire.
Thursday, Aug. 13
God of Carnage
After their grade-school sons fight in a public park, two pairs of parents have what is intended to be a quick, friendly meeting to discuss the matter. But the conversation is drawn out and the parents start behaving childishly, fighting among themselves and with each other about who is responsible for the incident.God of Carnage opens at 8 p.m. Thursday and runs through August 23 at Addison Conference Centre, 15650 Addison Rd. This French black comedy-drama was adapted into a Roman Polanski film back in 2011 after theater productions appeared in several different countries. Throughout the play, cell phones keep ringing, drawing the fathers out of the conversation, and creating much frustration. After drinks, the meeting continues to devolve into rants and personal attacks; a character even vomits. One of the fathers is accused of murdering a hamster and the other has his cellphone tossed into a vase full of water. God of Carnage takes the audience from civilization to chaos. Tickets from $30 to $35 at ourdallasproductions.org. - Jeremy Hallock
French Riviera Fete: Jazz, Art, Cocktails and Literary Lives
The fantasy of 1920s Paris is an enduring one—an idealistic artistic paradise where everyone talked about important things and drank champagne and danced the nights away, oblivious to the fact that the entire world was about to go to hell in a handbasket in just a matter of years. There’s something to be said for that level of naiveté and accompanying façade of gleefulness…which is why F. Scott Fitzgerald’s cast of characters continue to fascinate us so. It’s escapism at its finest, and if you are looking for a getaway that puts you square in a 1920s-era French Riviera party atmosphere, then you’ve come to the right place: the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 North Harwood, harkens back to that gilded age for French Riviera Fete: Jazz, Art, Cocktails and Literary Lives, giving a smorgasbord of options for a time-travelling retreat. Take in a discussion by “Villa America” author Liza Klaussmann, as she shares insight about Sara and Gerald Murphy—the real-life F. Scott Fitzgerald muses. Don your best flapper apparel and sip era-appropriate cocktails while 1920s jazz plays in the background. Tour the DMA and look at Gerald Murphy’s works, and hear more about his inspirations. It’s a fully immersive experience from 6 until 10 p.m. Thursday; admission to the museum is free, though the author lecture by Liza Klaussmann will run $15 to $35. See dma.org/programs/event/liza-klaussmann for more. -Jennifer Davis-Lamm
Jameson, Dude! A Chocolate and Whiskey Tasting
Chocolate has long been associated with indulgence—marketed to evoke images of consumption surrounded with silk sheets, roaring fireplaces, and baller interior design. The reality is more about shoveling mass-produced, half-melted chunks of candy in your mouth as a means to satisfy sad emotionally-charged cravings. It’s indulgence, but not, like, sexy indulgence. But, just once, you really should experience chocolate in a slightly more classy setting—as a product of a social engagement rather than as one of hormonal imbalance. Enter Jameson, Dude! A Whiskey and Chocolate Tasting— from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Dude, Sweet Chocolate, 1925 Greenville Avenue—which eschews your drugstore chocolate and desperation for a decadent and even elegant tasting event. Sample five scrumptious confections from Dude, Sweet Chocolate’s Katherine Clapner paired with powerfully complimentary varieties of Jameson whiskey. Go ahead, treat yourself. You deserve it. Tickets are a hardly sinful $25, available at savordallas.com
Friday, August 14
A Schoolbus Named Desire
We’ve all seen, time and time again, a kiddo lapse into histrionics that are on par with Blanche DeBois from A Streetcar Named Desire. Actually, if you think about it, Blanche DeBois does have the emotional intelligence of a grade schooler—Tennessee Williams certainly wrote her like that, and more than one actress has portrayed her that way. So it’s not too much of a stretch to see some elements of Streetcar adapted as a children’s production….and in fact, it’s both fitting and hilarious. Enter A School Bus Named Desire, Fun House Theatre and Film’s reimagining of the theatrical touchstone, conceived by Ben Rapp and written by Jeff Swearingen. The exploits of Blanche, Stella and Stanley in this production unfold in a Kindergarten classroom where (thankfully) some of the darker aspects of the play are made way more benign, though the level of drama is well maintained. It’s a treat to see pint-sized actors take on these outsized roles—and you can get a glimpse beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Plano Children’s Theater, 1301 Custer Road. The show—which is recommended for ages 10 and up—will run at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (with 2:30 matinees on Saturdays and Sundays) through August 22. Tickets are $8; see funhousetheatreandfilm.com for more. -JDL
Do I Sound Gay?
One of the biggest challenges to being alive is being comfortable with who you actually are. The first time that you hear what you sound like to other people can rock any solid foundation that you may have built. But for some, how they sound to others is all it takes for your life to be made into a living hell. IFC Films takes the whole idea of "soundinggay" and shines a spotlight through a magnifying glass on it. This harrowingly humble and frank documentary, aptly titled Do I Sound Gay?, investigates this taboo topic to discover its origins. Texas Theatre will take you on this journey at 7 p.m. Friday or at 6:30 p.m. Saturday with candid interviews featuring David Sedaris, Margaret Cho, George Takei and others as well as consultations with speech therapists to maybe give you more insight or question what you think you know about someone just by their voice. Tickets are $10 at thetexastheatre.com. - Lucas Buckels
It may now be more accurate to call comedian Kevin Hart a comic actor since he’s been in so many movies. Looks like the official total is 2.3 gazillion, plus a cameo. It’s not like Think Like a Man Too broke the box office, but the dude was in Ride Along (and the upcoming Ride Along 2) with Ice Cube, and the 2010 remake of Death at a Funeral with Peter Dinklage. Probably best if we don’t discuss Get Hard with Will Ferrell, but we have to give a nod for a little series called Undeclared. Hart’s stand-up tackles topics a little more real-life than his farce-y films: raccoon issues, difficulties preparing for a child’s birthday party, divorce, that thing when your bodyguard picks you up like a little kid. OK, maybe it’s more real life for him than for us. Our bodyguard is much less hands-on. At 7 p.m. Friday, Hart brings his “What Now” tour to American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., and we’re hoping he delivers to that gigantic arena with his hyperactive brand of everyman. Of course, we’re also hoping he’s let go of his Cosby Fan Club card… Tickets are $70-$150 (plus fees), available at ticketmaster.com. - Merritt Martin
Saturday, August 15
Gina Garza: Hyper Cord
There's something so aesthetically pleasing about Gina Garza's works, they're easy to let you brain drift into them. Her use of pattern, line, and subtly harmonious materials, like thread on a birch panel, challenge your eyes with a sort of tranquil minimalism. It's clear the work, which will be on display in Hyper Cord at Circuit 12 Contemporary (1811 E. Levee St.), comes from a sharp, clear mind interested in engaging the viewer with visual statements that are heady because they are precise. See the work in opening reception from 6-10 p.m. Saturday. More at circuit12.com. -LS
The Laugh Supper
You look hungry for a good laugh. Starved, even. Well, lucky for you, the Laugh Supper is serving up in delicious Improv form this weekend. This troupe of funny people posts up at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas at 8 p.m. Saturday. The show's theme is Saved By the Bell, and there will be themed drinks for sale called The Hall Pass and The Class Clown. Tickets are $10.
Oral Fixation: Best of Season Four
Nicole Stewart’s Oral Fixation series has become something of a local cultural juggernaut, frequently selling out and inspiring a cultish devotion to her well-curated and beautifully edited selections of real-life storytelling. If you’ve seen an Oral Fixation installment before, you know that the tales range from cringe-inducing to side-splitting, but regardless—they’re transfixing. If you haven’t caught a production yet, you are overdue—and here’s a perfect opportunity to see what you’ve been missing: Stewart has compiled the best of the best from this past season, with vignettes that include a powerful redemption story, a hilarious tales of teen awkwardness, an unsavory tale of strip-club obsession, and a heart wrenching story that looks at the loss of a young girl’s mother—felt acutely when her first period arrives. Get on the emotional roller coaster and appreciate the power of the spoken word during Oral Fixation: Best of Season Four at 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 15 in the Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 North Harwood. Tickets are $25 at prekindle.com. -JDL
Annual Texas Artists Showcase
Remember that scene in Billy Madison when he yelled “Knibb High Football Rules?” and totally pandered to the crowd? Let’s do that, you guys. Texas Artists Rock!! and LuminArte Gallery in Design District (1727 E. Levee St.) is going to feature the hell out of them at the Annual Texas Artists Showcase. We’re talking painters, sculptors, designers and what about photographers? Um, HELL YES PHOTOGRAPHERS. That’s how hard Texas arts. Most of the work skews contemporary with sharp angles, bold colors and other art words. If that’s not your thing, maybe meeting real Texas artists? If so, just linger under the doorframe from 7 until 10 p.m. Saturday for the artist reception and maybe one of them will talk to you. Start working on your “approachable” face and casual “come-talk-to-me” pose and it’s pretty much a guarantee. The reception and exhibition are both free and open to the public. One last time for posterity – DALLAS ARTISTS ROCK YOU GUYS LIKE FOR REAL. More at luminarte.com. -Nikki Lott
Chalk Art Festival
Starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, creative types of all kinds will descend on Fort Worth’s new hipster district for a one-of-a-kind arts festival that can’t be missed. Chalk art is probably one of the more under-respected forms of art, especially when you consider that these intricate works are washed away not long after the artist pored over them for hours. At the Chalk Art Festival, you can watch professional artists and amateurs alike create impressive chalk works on the street, and even participate yourself if you think you’ve got skills. Prizes will be handed out for the best entries, so steal the sidewalk chalk from your kids and plan an idea. - Amy McCarthy
Sunday, August 16
Shakespeare at Windale Comes to Dallas
While we’re not sure the heat will be much better here in Dallas, the Shakespeare at Winedale performers get to temporarily swap their usual digs in the partially open-air Winedale Theatre Barn near Round Top for an air-conditioned venue very near a popsicle stand. The Summer 2015 program makes the annual jaunt up to Big D 7 p.m.Sunday, for a performance of Bard’s comedy Twelfth Night at the Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, 5601 Sears St. It’s packed full of mistaken identities, requited, possibly requited and flat-out unrequited love, not to mention the incredible efforts of the students of the University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts, who have been participating in a summer intensive, learning Shakespeare by performing his works six times a week in the aforementioned barn. Applause and frozen treats well-deserved. Tickets are $10-$20. Call 512-471-4726 or visit shakespeare-winedale.org. -MM
Return to Oz
Even if the only encounter you’ve ever had with L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz fantasies is the 1939 film, you know that there’s some seriously dark shit going on underneath all that Technicolor. For all the talk of rainbows and Emerald Cities, there’s an undercurrent of discord and despair…and if you’ve read the books, then you know that things can get occasionally get pretty grim in the Land of Oz. Baum’s The Marvelous Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz grapple with themes of alienation, rebellion, mental illness, and other not-so-sunny subjects that don’t lend themselves to lighthearted film adaptations. Which is probably why Return to Oz, the 1985 film by Walter Murch, didn’t fare too well upon its release. Murch went way bleaker than the already vaguely ominous source material, putting Dorothy (played by Fairuza Balk) in a mental institution after she spirals into depression related to her first foray to Oz. Ultimately, the film was mismarketed—billed as a follow-up to the beloved cultural touchstone, but in reality, it was a surreal and very grown-up exploration of a seriously lost little girl. It’s still an entertaining and beautifully shot movie that you should definitely revisit. You’ll have that opportunity (but should maybe leave the littler kids and anyone expecting uncomplicated happy endings at home?) thanks to a 35mm showing at Texas Theatre, 231 West Jefferson, at 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are free; see thetexastheatre.com for more. -JDL
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