The reindeer call out Kringle
If irreverence is a hallmark of the avant-garde in art, then a play about Santa Claus sexually harassing one of his reindeer might as well be experimental theater. Or it could just be another production by CrimeScene Company, a group that performs plays like CSI: North Pole (involving elfin murder) and Pirates of the Yuletide. Nothing is sacred--but everything is funny--in The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, a theatrical production that calls St. Nick "a walking, talking, holly-jolly sex-crime-waiting-to-happen." Yes, Father Christmas is a dirty old man and can't seem to keep his hands off a certain doe in his team of sleigh pullers. A tale of corruption and perversion unwinds in this deer confessional, a comedy called tasteless, wickedly funny and brilliant by reviewers who, like us, find the premise both slightly disturbing and oddly humorous. It raises more than a few questions: what's the real reason for Rudolph's meteoric rise to celebrity? And is Mrs. Claus having one cup too many from the eggnog bowl? You'll never feel the same about Santa's lap again. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday at Arts Fifth Avenue, 1628 Fifth Ave. in Allen. Tickets are $12 and reservations are required. Children are not allowed. Call 817-9239500 or visit www.crimescenecompany.com. --Leah Shafer
We're all looking for ways to get brainier, whether it's taking ginkgo biloba "smart pills" or listening to classical music. For example, Kinky Friedman must have been rocking out to Mozart when he came up with the genius idea of hiring the guy who got Jesse Ventura elected governor of Minnesota. Some painters also listen to music while they work, and John Harbison, one of America's most distinguished composers, wondered if the IQ boost worked the other way, too. While viewing works by George Caleb Bingham, Thomas Eakins, Martin Johnson Heade, Winslow Homer, Hans Hoffman and Richard Diebenkorn, Harbison wrote Six American Painters, a musical portrait he hoped would evoke "an act of seeing." The experiment worked--but you can judge for yourselves 3 p.m. Saturday at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., when the Fine Arts Chamber Players perform Harbison's piece while works of the painters are shown. Children are welcome and admission is free. Call 214-520-2219 or visit www.fineartschamberplayers.org. --Emily Jacobs
Here's what one critic said about comedian Cowboy Bill Martin: "He's apt to remind you of Gary Busey with an edge." Since the star of I'm With Busey has always seemed scarily edgy anyway, what does Martin do in his act, we wonder? Take hostages? Spontaneously combust? See for yourself when Martin brings his down-home blue-collar style of comedy to Hyena's Comedy Nightclub, 2525 E. Arkansas Lane in Arlington, on Friday and Saturday. Call 817-226-5233 for show times and ticket info. --Patrick Williams
Sometimes a beanstalk is just a beanstalk, and sometimes it takes center stage...literally. In the classic children's tale Jack and the Beanstalk, it's the means to a higher plane where there are giants to defeat and maidens to rescue. Theatre Britain takes the story to yet another level by adding audience participation, song-and-dance routines and comedy. The curtain comes up on Jack and the Beanstalk at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from Saturday through December 18 at the Trinity River Arts Center, 2600 N. Stemmons Freeway. An additional performance is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. December 18. Admission is $6 to $15. Call 972-490-4202 or visit www.theatre-britain.com. --S. Anne Durham
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