Diet Riot

Even ballet goes Lo-Carb

Somewhere in Dallas, this very minute, a tall, exquisitely thin, muscular dancer ritualistically measures five tablespoons of peanut butter, snaps the lid on the Rubbermaid container and acknowledges her day's worth of food. Another, in a darkened kitchen, mini-blinds drawn, whirls a salmon fillet and tomato juice in a blender, not unlike Dan Aykroyd's "Bass-o-Matic." Yet another dancer whips up a liver-and-whey shake, inspired by Warren Beatty in Heaven Can Wait. If you're a dancer, or if you've ever tried to eat a meal with a dancer, you know we're not exaggerating. So, the irony of Contemporary Ballet Dallas' upcoming all-you-can-eat buffet of performances called The Lo-Carb Ballet: Entertainment in Five Courses isn't lost on you. What's to eat at each 8 p.m. performance October 8 and October 9 at the Eisemann Center in Richardson? A reprise of CBD trouper Erica Blumenthal's "Blue," with music by Philip Glass, mixes gymnastic moves with modern dance. "Feast of Friends," scored by Hi-Fidelity, takes off en pointe on Edgar Allan Poe's "Masque of the Red Death," featuring "The Plague" as an uninvited dinner guest. Premieres in Lo-Carb include Erica Santiago's "The Porch," a comedy wherein intricate music drives impossible footwork; CBD artistic director's Kelley Calhoon's "Somebody Different," choreographed to a composition by local musician Alan Pollard, formerly of Johnny Reno and the Rockets. For dessert, "Finale of Feathers & Fun" is a classical ballet satire on fad-diet fanaticism. "We had a lot of fun with this topic," Valerie Tabor, attorney-by-day/CBD director-by-night, says. "Our exuberance shows in all 12 dancers featured in this performance." Tickets ($12 to $20) are available through the Eisemann Box Office at 972-744-4650. --Annabelle Massey Helber

Sister Act

As long as there are tattoos and thongs in the world, there will be someone around to wag a finger at the wearers. And once that finger starts, it doesn't balk at wagging down everything from tank tops to Internet porn to eating wings at Hooters. Sister, played by Maripat Donovan, is back--and wagging wildly--in the interactive play Late Nite Catechism 2. Armed with her Sunday-school tools--felt banners, an overhead projector and sharp satire--Sister's here to remind students (aka audience members) that "sometimes we feel guilty because we are guilty." If there's a lesson more Catholic than that, we don't know what it is. Catechism "classes" run October 12 through October 17 at the Eisemann Center Theatre, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson. Tickets are $26 to $34. Call 972-744-4650. --Michelle Martinez

Blues Clues

It Ain't Nothing but the Blues is more concert than musical, more presentation than narration. Before a sparse stage and through a dozen songs, actors show the genre's rise from the jungles of Africa through the oppressive South and into the desegregated North, where the blues becomes modern on the South Side of Chicago. Then malleable as it breaks from its past and gives birth to rock and roll. WaterTower Theatre opens its season with It Ain't Nothing but the Blues on October 7 at the Addison Theatre Centre, 15650 Addison Road. The show runs through October 31. Performance times are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $30. Call 972-450-6232. --Paul Kix

Madame in the Moon

When Laurie Anderson, that brainy, vibrant, eerie and pixie-ish performance artist, showed up at NASA in 2003 to begin her stint as the agency's first artist in residence, some NASA scientists knew exactly who she was. Anderson is probably best known for her haunting early-'80s song "O Superman" and for being Lou Reed's partner. There are also plenty of people who don't know her at all--one of the NASA researchers who was told that she would be hanging around said, "What's she going to do, write a poem?" But the notion of a daydreamy performance artist learning about NASA robots and the landscape of Mars isn't nearly as discordant an arrangement as it might first seem. Anderson is a self-described "techno-geek," after all, and her new solo work is titled The End of the Moon. TITAS brings Anderson to Southern Methodist University's McFarlin Auditorium on October 7 at 8 p.m.; call 214-528-5576. --Claiborne Smith

Funny Business

Now that Cheers is ancient history and Frasier has had its last hurrah, Kelsey Grammer just can't stay away from television. But this time he's not the star. You are. Well, you could be. World Cup Comedy, a new PAX series for which Grammer is an executive producer, promises to "combine the unpredictable world of improv with the magic of traditional American television," and on October 7, you'll have a chance to be part of the hilarity. The first round of Dallas-area auditions will be held Thursday at Hyena's Comedy Night Club in Fort Worth. The host of the event will issue "comedic challenges" to participants, and based on their performance, they could be asked to return for the finals. Show up at 7:30 p.m. to sign up. Auditions will go from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Hyena's is located at 605 Houston St. Call 817-877-5233. --Rhonda Reinhart


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