Blind Lemon remembered
Chances are if you strolled through Deep Ellum past the corner of Elm Street and Central Avenue in 1912, you would have noticed a blind man singing country blues and heard the clink of coins people dropped into a tin cup tied to his guitar. In the 1920s, if you had an ear for that sort of music, you might also have known that Dallas was it in the eyes of many, the axis of a new era of American popular music. Riding the musical wave was the blind singer who was discovered on that same corner by a Paramount Records scout. Nowadays, few people remember Blind Lemon Jefferson, but at the time of his mysterious death in a Chicago snowstorm, he was a legend. Alan Govenar and Akin Babatunde have created in Blind Lemon Blues a musical biography and a contemporary Greek tragedy of sorts. The myth of Blind Lemon is set against a mod and foreboding backdrop--an enlarged 1920s photo of a railroad created with seven strips of perforated vinyl--and a Greek chorus serves as the memory, conscience and community of Blind Lemon (played by Babatunde). Govenar says of the whole experience, "It's like getting on a train at the beginning, and you don't get off until it's done." The Dallas premiere of Blind Lemon Blues takes place in the Hall of State at Fair Park, 7:30 p.m. November 8 and November 9, 8 p.m. November 10 and 5 p.m. November 12--a brief stop before the show heads to France for the Blues Sur Seine Festival. Tickets are $20 and $50 for reserved seating. Call 214-823-8955. --Emily Jacobs
Blind Lemon Blues
Live, In Grayscale
Everything is vintage these days, from T-shirts to Chryslers to, well, local theater. On Friday, ICT MainStage debuts Death/Take: 1!, a murder mystery-comedy staged in the classic style of old-school detective movies. The theater will use a trademarked lighting technique that captures the look and feel of a Hollywood noir. We're not exactly sure how this works, but the American Theater Web described the black-and-white effect as "mesmerizing." Written by Kurt Kleinmann, who also developed the black-and-white thing, Death/Take: 1! centers on a wannabe actor turned amateur sleuth (played by Rudy Seppy), his judicious assistant and a police lieutenant. (All that's missing is the Pizza Place.) The Irving Arts Center is located at 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd. Tickets are $13 to $18. Call 972-252-2787 or visit www.irvingtheatre.org. --Matt Pulle
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It's been awhile since we last tried out our soothsaying powers--our prediction that the Strong Mayor initiative would pass in May booted us out of the fortune-telling biz--but allow us a chance to win our guesswork reputation back. Here goes: The person who will win the Dallas' Funniest Person Amateur Stand-up Competition will be...a man! Easy guess, maybe, since all of the finalists at Saturday's 9:30 p.m. show at the West End Comedy Theatre, 603 Munger Ave., are male. But we also predict that the winner that night will be damn funny, too--especially if he's made it through two rounds of competition already. Tickets are $15. Call 214-880-9990. --Sam Machkovech
Giant dinosaur puppets. That's probably enough to draw most people to see the Hudson Vagabond Puppets in Mammoth Follies. Of course, that phrase could put megalophobics and pupaphobics into a fit and send them straight under the nearest desk for a few hours. In addition to being enormous, these puppets also sing, tell jokes and dance. Now, aside from those with the aforementioned phobias (and those who fear singing, dancing and jokes), who wouldn't want to see the story of dinosaurs presented in a vaudeville-esque show? Wait. Now we gotta add fear of vaudeville to the list. It's a little bit fiction, a little bit scientific fact...and a powder keg of phobias. See Mammoth Follies at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson, at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $6 to $20. Call 972-774-4650. --Kelsey Guy