Robert Dorfman as the Maniac
Robert Dorfman as the Maniac


Ideally, anarchy is more than a sloppy scarlet-letter logo of teenage rebellion. For those seriously searching for societal or political change--Tolstoy to Rotten--it's a malleable and figurative call to arms. It's also a chaotic extreme that (at its most effective) only incites the very situation that it rails against in the first place. The ironfisted reaction to the concept does more to prove the concept's point than the concept itself could on its own. But the fact remains that the beliefs and methods of the devout anarchist are a hard sell to the masses. Maybe laughter is the best medicine for this diagnosis of differing ideals. Italian Nobel laureate Dario Fo's best-known work, a political farce called The Accidental Death of an Anarchist, caused quite a stir upon its debut in 1970. Not only does it dare to laugh at stereotypes of wacky anarchists who sometimes meet the fatal consequences of passion and the law enforcement officers who help them on their way, but the play's events mimic the "inadvertent" demise of railway worker and alleged anarchist Guiseppi Pinelli, who "falls" out of a window while in police custody during questioning about a series of bombings. Despite the ridiculous portrayals and humor, its themes resonate today. Perhaps most attractively of all, The Accidental Death... bristles with irreverence in the face of crooked civic weightiness. The Dallas Theater Center is sponsoring a limited run that begins with a preview Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The Kalita Humphreys Theater is at 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Tickets range from $14 to $59, so call 214-522-8499. --Matt Hursh

Chance to Dance
Toe to toe, cheek to cheek

Giddy, giddy girls makin' dancey, dancey. Gotta do it. Master's degrees. In fine arts. At Texas Woman's University. Free show for you. Required credit for them. All fired up in Denton with new, multidisciplinary art school. Edgy, edgy. Wacky, wacky. On their toes, so to speak, and male-bashin' to boot. Get this: Amy L. Sleigh and Lesley Snelson-Figueroa choreograph and perform "Male in Refund," exploiting "the woman behind the man"; "Reptilian Dreams" on female relationships; and "Impatient Shadows," a roller-coaster ride of ill-fated love. Add on dance pals Jose Zamora and Genevieve Durham for "Robinhood" in praise of men in tights. Plus "Sortie's Damage" with four girls on swings dangling to squawk about hopelessness and the strength of victims. Got it? Free. Wear shoes. January 9 and January 10, 8 p.m., and January 11, 4 p.m. TWU's Redbud Theater. Go. Go. See. See. Laugh. Cry. Call 940-898-2085. --Annabelle Massey Helber

Power Princess

If you don't have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews and are not familiar with teen queen (and Houston native) Hilary Duff, then you can consider yourself extremely lucky. But one thing you should know is that Little Miss Duff will one day ship former teen queen Britney Spears off into retirement faster than Madonna can retract her tongue. Where Spears was one of five Mouseketeers launched off the Disney Channel into a pop-music career and has yet to find Hollywood success, Duff rocketed from Disney as the unstoppable Lizzie McGuire into television and film and now seems to be dabbling in a singing career just because she can. She performs Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at NextStage in Grand Prairie. Tickets are $33.50 and $42.50. Call Ticketmaster at 214-373-8000. --Jay Webb

Mop-tops at the Meyerson
Classical Mystery Tour lets it be

Beatlemania hits Dallas once again. Conductor Richard Kaufman leads the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in the Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to the Beatles featuring the Fab Four cover band with members Jim Owen, Tony Kishman, Tom Teeley and Chris Camilleri performing Beatles classics alongside the world-famous DSO. The subculture of Beatlemania influenced the style of dress, vocabulary and perspective of pop culture and music, becoming the voice of a generation. Arguably the most popular band of our time, the Beatles topped the charts and sold more albums than any other group. The popularity of their music has endured over time. Rekindle your love for mop-tops and relive this pop sensation in a unique classical setting. We wouldn't imagine it appropriate to scream hysterically during the performance of this British invasion. Performances run January 9 and January 10 at 8 p.m. and January 11 at 2:30 p.m. at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas' Arts District. Tickets begin at $15. Visit or call 214-692-0203. --Danna Berger


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