Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is, perhaps, the best musical ever conceived. If it's not the best, well, it certainly ranks pretty high up there. Definitely in the top five. Maybe six. This fact--which we will not dispute, not for a second--doesn't have much to do with the singing and acting and whatnot. It's fine enough, but off the top of our head, we can think of dozens of musicals with more memorable songs and more interesting characters. At the moment, we can't remember a single song from Joseph and can name only one character (um, Joseph, played in the Dallas Summer Musicals version by Jon Secada). But Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat outshines all others: It made Donny Osmond a star again. (This has to count for something, or else our value system is a complete sham.) And it inspired one of the funniest Seinfeld episodes ever, which culminated in Kramer walking down the street wearing the technicolor dreamcoat and being mistaken for a pimp. It opens August 31 and runs through September 12 with shows 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, plus 8 p.m. September 5 and 2 p.m. September 9. Tickets are $11 to $75. Call 214-631-ARTS. --Zac Crain
Sleep on It
Flip Orley is somewhat of a Renaissance man. Not only is he a hypnotist, but he's also a self-help guru and a comedian--which, in itself, is kinda funny. Known as "Hypnoman," Orley brings together his comic and hypnotic skills for live shows in which he has audience members volunteer to be put under his spell. With heavy eyelids and a relaxed subconscious, his subjects are instructed to perform various hilarious tasks. Maybe they forget their own names. Or maybe they become convinced they're a trailer-park family from Arkansas. Either way, Orley plants the seed, and the volunteers provide the laughs. Did we mention Orley is somewhat of a genius, too? How else do you explain a stand-up comedian who doesn't have to provide his own punch lines? In any case, Orley's approach ensures that every performance is unique. To see what Dallas audiences have to offer, check out one of Orley's performances at the Addison Improv. Shows are September 1 through September 12 with performances at 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Fridays; 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturdays; and 8 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $15 to $18. Call the Improv, 4980 Belt Line Road, at 972-404-8501. --Rhonda Reinhart
There are two types of people: those who know Bach does rock and stupid people. Tough love, kids. The former will enjoy the taping of the syndicated radio show From the Top, which airs on WRR-FM 101.1 at 9 a.m. Saturdays. The show highlights pre-college-aged classical musicians, and the taping will include performances by local musicians and host Christopher O'Reilly. The taping is at 8 p.m. Saturday at Brookhaven College's Performance Hall, 3939 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch. For tickets, call 972-860-4118. --Shannon Sutlief
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Wild at Heart
On its surface, Tale of the Allergist's Wife seems like a wonderfully enjoyable contemporary comedy. Marjorie, the aforementioned allergist's wife, worries about such things as which chandelier looks best in the home. She is rich and satisfied--until her childhood (male) friend reappears and fills her head with wild ideas and her heart with inspiration. I say "seems" because my wife has an old boyfriend who likes to stop by and do the same thing. And trust me, that ain't funny. It runs through October 2 at Theatre Three. Call 214-871-3300. --Eric Celeste
Rock Em, Amadeus
Kids get a class in classical
Playing the pocket piccolo, buffing the bassoon, wetting your reed, getting your first tromboner. Child psychologists agree that music, like masturbation, is a normal, healthy, happy part of childhood. Music soothes the savage baby, tames a tired toddler, encourages logical thinking, enhances memory, promotes physical activity and keeps brain synapses firing. In short, it's all good. The folks at TACA, Dallas' largest philanthropic organization for the arts, agree. "We're trying to expose kids to music at a younger age," Juliette Coulter, TACA spokeswoman, says. "It helps them learn better, and it's a joyous pursuit." TACA is holding its second annual Family Festival at the Meyerson Symphony Center at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Many of its beneficiaries, such as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera, Texas Ballet Theater, Dallas Children's Theater and Ollimpaxqui Ballet, will present performances and interact with children on a level that 5- to 12-year-olds can appreciate. The "musical petting zoo" is a unique attraction, giving children the opportunity to hold and play instruments under the guidance of Dallas Wind Symphony and Fine Arts Chamber Players musicians. Coulter says kids can also watch and then dance with Dallas Black Dance Theater dancers. The DSO kicks off the evening with a kid-friendly classical concert before the festival events in the lobby begin. Headliners for this year's concert are Radio Disney alums Stevie Brock and Skye Sweetham, who are almost kids themselves. "With Stevie and Skye, children will see teens who have taken their love of music and now perform for others," Coulter says. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. with concessions available; get tickets, from $10 to $100, by calling 214-692-0203. --Annabelle Massey Helber