Tracy Turnblad is fat. She has big hair. She wants to spend her life dancing. But in one of those things that happen only in movies, she lands a spot on a local TV dance-off, wows the cameras and becomes, of all things--given not just her weight but, more accurately, her outdated, poofy bob--an overnight teen celebrity. Such is the premise of John Waters' 1987 film Hairspray, which in 2002 was adapted to the stage and in 2003 won eight Tonys, including one for Best Musical. On its surface, Hairspray is a spoof of 1962 Baltimore. The New York Times says it feels like an old-fashioned musical comedy, but accomplishes that without the old-timey antics. The audience instead gets meaty issues, because what Hairspray really is, is an exegesis on race relations set to 1960s pop. Its popularity on Broadway led to a nationwide tour that, on March 15, stops in Dallas and stays till March 27 at the Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 First Ave., opening the Dallas Summer Musicals' season. The show will also debut the hall's new sound system. Performances are 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, plus 8 p.m. March 20 and 2 p.m. March 24. Tickets are $27 to $74. Call 214-631-ARTS or visit www.ticketmaster.com. --Paul Kix
It's been awhile since we saw the shining heyday of D.L. Hughley. His UPN show was canceled in 2002, and The Original Kings of Comedy tour-and-movie craze has come and gone (and been spoofed by rednecks, then female comics, and let's not even talk about Soul Plane). Now he's ready to mount a new attack. But before the wave of his newest projects crests, Hughley will headline at the Addison Improv from March 11 through March 13. And with merits that include voice work on the new animated film Robots, an autobiographical indie flick titled Shackels and a deal for a talk show on Comedy Central, Hughley's poster will be back on your wall, right next to the post-September 11 Dennis Miller placard. Performances are 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday; 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets to see D.L. Hughley at the Improv, 4980 Belt Line Road, are $27. Call 972-404-8501 or visit www.improv.com. --Jonathan Freeman
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Boys are made of snips, snails and puppy dog tails. But what about clowns? Whoopee cushions, balloon animals and cream pies, perhaps. Find out when NY Goofs--two of which formed Dallas' Slappy's Playhouse last year--perform Clown Brain, called "funny and sometimes dark," at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday on the Festival Main Stage during the Out of the Loop Festival in Addison at 15650 Addison Road. Tickets are $15. Call 972-450-6232. --Shannon Sutlief
Around here George Carlin's seven dirty words are not censored. (Fuck no, they aren't; see?) But he--and we--long ago realized cussing for what it is: a tool that, if overused, impedes the expression of ideas. Sure, Carlin's no Mother Teresa. His acts will never be Cosby-clean. But he is among the best comics working today--just as he was 10, 15 or 20 years ago. That's because he has an incisive take on nearly all social or political issues, regardless of era. He returns to North Texas on Saturday at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce St., in Fort Worth. Tickets are $45 to $65. Call 1-877-212-4280. --Paul Kix