Porn for Puritans is a play. And it's not. It's sketch comedy, stand-up, songs, monologues, dialogues and tangos. "It's Defending the Caveman meets The Vagina Monologues as done by Nickels and May," says Tim Wardell, who co-wrote and stars in the, well, whatever it is. Leigh Tomlinson, his business partner, simply calls it "the show." No matter what it's called, it started four years ago, when the two were part of a Dallas improv troupe, The Cuff. During a rehearsal, the two started riffing on how men and women see the world differently. They talked about it after rehearsal. They talked about it the next day. And the next week. And the next month, until Wardell said, "We've got to write this down." After six weeks of writing and two years of editing, it debuted in March at the WaterTower Theatre in Addison and played to sold-out crowds. "There's a universality to this," Wardell says. And, no, they're not dating. "We're just really good friends," says Tomlinson. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays through July 16 at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. Tickets are $12. Call 214-953-1622. --Paul Kix
If you don't know of Pablo Neruda, or his works, you're an idiot. Not because Neruda, a Chilean poet, won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 two years before his death. Not because Neruda was cited by the Nobel committee for "poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams." Not because he was an ambassador, not because he was a senator, not because he won the World Peace Prize. You should know Neruda because when Bart Simpson feared he had truly lost his soul (after selling it to Millhouse for $5), he confided in his sister Lisa that even when he watched an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon, "I know that's funny, but I'm not laughing." To which Lisa replied, "Pablo Neruda said, 'Laughter is the language of the soul.'" Bart: "I am familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda." If even Bart Simpson knows of his genius, shouldn't you? You can begin by attending the opening of the Tribute to Pablo Neruda, part of a yearlong festival celebrating his life and work at the Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St. It begins at 7 p.m. and is free to the public. Call 214-340-7093. --Eric Celeste
If your third-grader needs some serious discipline, we suggest striking absolute fear into his little heart with Miss Nelson Is Missing, an all-ages musical comedy about abusive elementary school students and their teacher who exacts revenge. Based on the books by Harry Allard, the show teaches students that cruelty to pedagogues is met with unmitigated poetic justice. The show will run July 14 through July 24 at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays at Plano Rep's ArtCentre Theatre, 1028 15th Place. Individual tickets are $10. Call 972-422-7460. --Mary Monigold
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!
The hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant down the street has great tamales. But you, the sad, monolingual gringo, can buy none. Why? Porque usted no habla español, estpido. It doesn't have to be this way for your progeny if they go see Dora the Explorer Live! Search for the City of Lost Toys. This live-action adventure, adapted from the Nick Jr. television show, features Dora, a clever 7-year-old Latina who teaches her preschool audience math, verbal skills and basic Spanish vocabulary. The 90-minute show runs July 13 through July 15 at Nokia Live in Grand Prairie, 1001 NextStage Drive. Call 972-854-5111. --Mary Monigold
Contemporary dance for contemporary art
It's not about fluff or prima ballerinas with egos bigger than their tutus. It's bare feet, edgy and democratic. Kerry Kreiman, executive/artistic director for Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth, says it's where women may lift up men, men lift other men or women may lift other women...and all of them fall down easy (on purpose). Unlike ballet, modern dance--"a very American art form based on a sense of individualism and self-expression"--focuses on the work itself, Kreiman says. The choreographers working in the field utilize traditions, mix ideas and improvise. From July 9 through July 25, laymen unfamiliar with modern dance can discover it while choreographers get the freedom to create (minus the expense and fuss of production) when a new festival debuts at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Unlike a painter, choreographers have to reinvent their art every time it's onstage. Their creations are "not just sitting on a shelf ready to go," Kreiman says. Far from collecting dust, Mary Cochran and composer Kevin Garcia will present "Concrete Jungle's Hawaiian Shirt," a new work that delves into New York City living through the mathematical method of induction. Cochran is a New York-based artist and native Texan. Shows begin at 8 p.m. on July 9 and July 10 in the Grand Lobby of the Modern. Cochran will also speak about her years as a member of The Paul Taylor Company at 2 p.m. July 10 in the museum auditorium. She is just one of several artists in varying stages of their careers who will show off their talents. A year in the making, the festival resurrects the Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth choreographers showcase series from a three-year hiatus. Visit www.cdfw.org. --Jenice Johnson