Cleopatra was not the dainty, beautiful woman movies and art make her out to be. The real Cleopatra didn't look a thing like Elizabeth Taylor, Vivien Leigh, Claudette Colbert or any other thin, porcelain-skinned Hollywood actress who's played one of the most infamous rulers of Egypt. But it's not just pop culture that got it wrong. If you trust the Egyptian art from her reign, she looked like all the other almond-eyed, braided-haired women portrayed in hieroglyphics and statues. If you believe the idealistic Roman art of her time, she had a long, wide nose; small, almost heart-shaped lips; and thin, long brows over wide-set eyes, all framed with a pile of curled hair--like most other Roman women. So Texas Ballet Theater artistic director Ben Stevenson had plenty of muses but no definite standard when producing Cleopatra, a ballet that makes its North Texas premiere this weekend. Stevenson led three ballet companies in creating this work five years ago using music by Rimsky-Korsakov. Texas Ballet Theater performs Cleopatra at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce St. Tickets are $16 to $95. Call 1-877-212-4280. --Shannon Sutlief
Such a Joy
OK, let's talk. Take a seat, kick off those heels, pour yourself some hot tea. (Love the sweater, by the by. Brings out those beautiful peepers.) So here's the deal: You love The View, but will you love Joy Behar when she appears at the Majestic Theatre this Sunday? Well, sweetheart, let's look at the facts--Behar is the irrepressible redhead spurred into comedy by a midlife crisis. She's a comic, an author, a talk-show host. She has battled a doomed marriage, problem thighs, Barbara Walters--she's like the Everywoman of mouthy middle-aged suburbanites, all the brass of Roseanne without all the crotch-grabbing. And she'll be joined in this evening by a couple of other career comics--Bob Smith, the first openly gay comedian to appear on The Tonight Show, and Judy Gold, host of HBO's At the Multiplex With Judy Gold. But Behar is the marquee name here, with her quirky takes on politics, society and pop culture beloved by so many avid View-ers. With the show starting at 7 p.m., it'll be an early night anyway. You can wake up fresh-faced and sunny, just in time for your favorite all-women gabfest. Tickets are $28 to $125. Call Ticketmaster at 214-373-8000. --Sarah Hepola
Not Rotten in Denmark
You know Hamlet: went crazy when his uncle killed his dad and married his mom. And you know Hamlet: lots of talking, play within a play, everybody dies. And that includes Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, seemingly insignificant characters given starring roles in Tom Stoppard's adaptation of Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, a smart, funny and plot-twisting take on Shakespeare's murderfest. Risk Theater Initiative performs it, October 27 through November 14, at Sons of Hermann Hall, 3414 Elm St. in Deep Ellum. Tickets are $15. Call 972-943-8915. --Shannon Sutlief
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Jimmie Walker, better known to most syndicated television viewers as "JJ" on the '70s series Good Times, has enjoyed a surprisingly long career. The man is 57, for Christ's sake, and he's still kickin' it. But it's hard to forget ol' Jimmie: that rubber face, the impossibly lean body, the catchphrase (altogether now: DY-NO-MITE!). Does he still have it? Find out when Walker brings his standup to Hyena's Comedy Club in Fort Worth this Saturday and Sunday. Call 817-877-5233. --Sarah Hepola
Have a Blast
I'm usually not much of a fan of the theater. Or, since the play and playwright in question--Blasted, Sarah Kane--are unmistakably British, let me rephrase: I'm usually not much of a fan of the theatre. (Pronounced "thee-ah-tuh.") See, it's not that the plays are bad or anything like that. Especially the ones staged at the Undermain Theatre, which has been kicking ass and clearing house--in a metaphorical sense, of course--for 20 seasons now. The problem lies, as it did with most of my relationships in my 20s and a goodly amount of my endeavors in team sports, with me. What can I say? I'm a product of the modern age. I read more magazine articles than books. (And by "magazine articles," I mean "comics.") I'd rather flip around than stay on one channel. I don't really have much of an attention spa--hey, look at that! Shiny! Also, I have a bladder smaller than my six-month-old son's (gratuitous shout-out). Getting up to go during a movie is fine. Doing that during a play just seems, I don't know, rude, I guess. But here are two things about Sarah Kane's Blasted--a three-character study set against a backdrop of civil unrest then plunged uncomfortably into it--that will put me into a seat and keep me there. One, this quote from the London Observer: "Pure theatre. Or rather, impure theatre: dirty, alarming, dangerous." Yes, I like it. The other is this warning: "Please note, this play contains explicit material and may not be suitable for some audience members." Blasted runs October 23 through November 20 at 3200 Main St. in Deep Ellum. Call 214-747-5515. --Zac Crain