American Girl

Bennett miller

MON 3/8

Sarah Vowell may see herself as just a recluse who gets to sit at home, read all day and write stories when inspiration (or a deadline) strikes and is sometimes forced to be brave, do book readings and talk to strangers. But to us, she's a superhero. She can't leap over buildings or outrun trains. But she has single-handedly made being a geeky girl a cool thing. Well, at least, a less ridiculed thing. She's Supergirl to her fellow bobbed-hair, painfully shy, obsessively reading, dorked-out loners. We laugh, nod and seethe along with her stories of childhood torments, family and adult fixations on music, politics or the discovery du jour. We've heard her on Public Radio International's This American Life; read Radio On, Take the Cannoli and Partly Cloudy Patriot; and seen her stories in Salon, Rolling Stone and countless other publications. And we each claim her as our own. Which will be hard to believe when she performs to a sold-out auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., as part of Arts and Letters Live. Rush tickets may be available before the program for $25. Call 214-922-1220. --Shannon Sutlief

Immortal Mystery
Beethoven's love letters come alive

THU 3/4

Before Lord Byron was even a gleam in his father's eye, Ludwig van Beethoven was wooing the ladies with some fanciful words of his own. One lady in particular has been shrouded in mystery for centuries, and to her he wrote such things as "Oh God, look out into the beauties of nature and comfort your heart with that which must be. Love demands everything and that very justly. Thus it is to me with you, and you with me." To be an enigmatic woman eternally linked to a creative genius. At the time of Beethoven's death, significant documents were found in a secret compartment of his writing desk--The Heiligenstadt Testament addressed to his brothers Carl and Johann Beethoven and three letters meant for an unnamed woman famously known as the "Immortal Beloved." In 1977, scholar Maynard Solomon claimed her identity to be that of Antonie Brentano, and one of Beethoven's letters apparently ended the passionate relationship (but even the breakup note sounds romantic). Come see the age-old soap opera come to life when the group Black Box Operations of Dallas performs Antonie, a play by A.S. Hascall. The play is part of the WaterTower Theatre's third annual Out of the Loop Festival, which runs March 4 through March 14 and will be held at the Addison Theatre Centre. Expect plenty of dance, art and musical performances spiced up with some campy humor and tongue-in-cheek approach, especially from the world premiere of Porn for Puritans, a cabaret that explores everything from dating to mating. Festival passes are $40. Tickets to individual events range from $5 to $15. Call 972-450-6232 and visit for event schedule. --Jenice Johnson

Marry, Marry Quite Contrary
TUE 3/9

Marriage is great, sure, but weddings are stupid. The stress, the cost, the lot of it. Yet Rosie O'Donnell pays last-minute fares to fly to San Fran to take a wife. Why? Sure, I have no problem spending tens of thousands of dollars on something that has only a 50 percent chance of paying off, but only if there is a blackjack dealer involved. Most people, alas, don't feel this way, which is why weddings are often hilariously disastrous. For proof, watch Trista and Ryan's Wedding. Or the last 20 minutes of Arthur. ("I want to marry you...although I'm supposed to marry Susan in 20 minutes.") Or go see My Cousin's Wedding (Tuesday and March 11-13 at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson), a two-person play that shows just how stressful the nuptials are for the guests. Second City comedy performers Kirk Hanley and Maribeth Monroe wrote and star in this romantic comedy as an unmarried couple nearly torn apart by the societal expectations placed upon them. From forgetting the wedding gift to being banished to the "living in sin" table at the wedding itself, Wedding offers the comedy of its namesake at 1/1000th the price. Call 972-744-4650.--Eric Celeste

Comedy, Straight-up
SAT 3/6

Nothing ensures a night of raucous comedy more than a good bottle of whiskey. Unless, of course, you're a mean drunk. Or die in a flaming wreck of twisted metal. Um...OK, forget what we said about whiskey and head out to The Crown Royal Comedy Fest at 7:30 p.m. at Nokia Live, 1001 NextStage Drive in Grand Prairie. Drunk or sober, expect to score laughs from comics D.L. Hughley and Rick Smiley. Unless, of course, you don't have a sense of humor. Or die in a flaming wreck of twisted met...never mind. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster. Call 214-373-8000.--Patrick Williams

Scared Silly
FRI 3/5

Cleverness, thy name is the Irving Community Theatre's Children's Theatre. The members could have used names like Biff and Jimmy in The Phantom Tollbooth. Instead, the play features characters named Princess Sweet Rhyme and Pure Reason bopping about in the Land of Ignorance. No moral ambiguity there. Check out The Phantom Tollbooth at the Irving Arts Center's Dupree Theatre, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for kids. Call 972-252-2787. --John Gonzalez

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