Echo Theatre's inaugural production, Dream of a Common Language, may be set in 1874, but its theme is entirely modern. The play, written by Heather McDonald, explores the delicate balance between a woman's career, her family, and society's expectations. Women have been allowed--and encouraged--to work for quite some time now, but society still imposes constraints on women in the workplace, just not as openly as it did in the 19th century. On Thursday, McDonald will conduct a post-show discussion designed to encourage audience members to talk over some of the issues addressed in the play with her, each other, and the cast. The play starts at 7:30 p.m., and the symposium will begin immediately afterward. Dream of a Common Language continues through August 29 at The Basement Space, located at 3200 Main St. Performances happen Thursday at 7:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10-$15. Call (214) 824-7169.
Any sport that involves wrapping tape around your ears so they won't get torn off is not exactly what we'd classify as a good time. That's why we've never been that interested in playing rugby. But we're as bloodthirsty as the next guy, so we'd love to watch other people play it. That's why we will definitely be at Reunion Arena to watch the Dallas Outlaws take on the Los Angeles Warriors in a Professional Arena Rugby contest. We can't imagine what the game will be like; rugby is a tough enough sport outdoors. But that hardly matters to us. As long as we leave Reunion Arena with our ears intact, we'll be happy. As an added bonus, Buck Jones will perform at halftime. It's not often you get to see a local band play at Reunion Arena, so enjoy it while you can. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. Call Ticketmaster at (214) 373-8000 for ticket information.
For several years, The Argo in Denton provided some of the best underground bands in the country a place to play when they came through the metroplex. Since The Argo closed earlier this year, Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios has tried to fill the gaping hole left by its absence. Unfortunately, Rubber Gloves was a cramped, stuffy little room without a decent sound system. Lately, the club has stepped up its efforts, acquiring a new sound system and expanding the space. Saturday's Rubber Gloves Chili Cook-Off is sort of a celebration of the club's recent efforts. The daylong event will feature some of Denton's best bands, including Stumptone, Light Bright Highway, Lift to Experience, Sub Oslo, and many more. The bands start at 2 p.m. Call (940) 387-7781 for last-minute chili entries, and for more information.
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Legendary conductor Skitch Henderson returns to Dallas this weekend to take part in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's Broadway salute. While Henderson is the founder and music director of the New York Pops, he made his name as the conductor on NBC's Tonight Show. Henderson was recently honored in a PBS special, Skitch Henderson: A Man and His Music--80 Years. His all-new program includes such Broadway standards as "Mack the Knife," "Some Enchanted Evening," and "Phantom of the Opera." He will be joined by soprano Lorna Dallas and baritone Kenneth Buterbaugh. Henderson will conduct the DSO Thursday through Sunday at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Tickets are $16-$60. Call (214) 692-0203.
The Playwright's Project continues its marvelous New Plays series with a public reading of two new one-act dramas, Persephone's Descent and The Game. Both plays were written by project associate Kenneth Elliot and are directed by Elizabeth Ware. The series gives playwrights a great chance to get feedback on works in progress and to knock out the kinks before the curtain opens. The plays will be presented on Monday at 7 p.m. at Swiss Avenue Theatre Center, 2700 Swiss Ave. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Call (214) 520-0127.
For Valley House Gallery's latest exhibition, The Figure: An Invitational Exhibition, 16 artists--including Jack Barnett, Lu Ann Barrow, Barnaby Fitzgerald, and Miguel Zapata--have been invited to show how they use the human form in their works. Some artists use the human form as a means to convey psychological drama, while others use it as a comedic device. This exhibit explores the full range, especially Vera Barnett's nearly life-size painting of the expulsion of Adam and Eve using blow-up dolls. Trust us, it's brilliant. The Figure opens on August 28 and continues through October 3 at Valley House Gallery, located at 6616 Spring Valley Road. Call (972) 239-2441.
The Sammons Center for the Arts showcases the talent of the Dallas Arts Magnet High School on Wednesday with Magnet Magic, an evening of live jazz entertainment. The performance--the first of the 1998 Fall Sammons Jazz series--features the Keith Anderson Quartet and the Jack Boyce Quartet. Anderson is a graduate of the Dallas Arts Magnet High School, and Boyce's quartet is made up of Arts Magnet students. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Sammons Center, located at 3630 Harry Hines Blvd. Tickets are $16-$20. Call (800) 494-8497.