Tumble 4 Ya
On every urban street corner, huddled outside office buildings like knots of Afghan women under the Taliban, today's smokers are a dying breed. They fight extinction by adapting to a hostile environment. They're socially shunned outcasts, driven to maintain a pack-a-day habit outside, fighting human nature, braving the elements. Addicted and fiercely independent, these adaptable creatures seem to take any new affront to personal liberty in stride. The same sort of spirit and amazing adaptability can be found in professional dancers and dance companies that struggle to appeal to dwindling audiences in order to survive. Some people will do anything for what they love, be it smoke breaks or smokin' beats. Classical ballet is waning in America, and loosey-goosey modern dance is going mainstream. Without big movie musicals, dance divas and groundbreaking choreographers like Twyla Tharp head to Broadway with strenuous dance moves, ever more athletic dancers and pop music scores to attract new audiences. Part of the new breed of crowd-pleasing dance is an international company called Momix, which mixes gymnastics, illusion, ballet, contemporary dance and theater for a unique performance experience. TITAS presents Momix for the Dallas debut of the ensemble's full-length Opus Cactus at Southern Methodist University's McFarlin Auditorium at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Moses Pendleton, who directs Momix, has created a surrealist theatrical experience and "visually stunning" evening using dancers as illusionists with finely tuned bodies, plus inventive props, lighting and humor. Opus Cactus pokes prickly fun at images and scenes in the desert Southwest. Dancers mimic saguaro cactuses, tumbleweeds and lizards with reckless abandon. Tickets ($10 to $55) are available by phone (214-528-5576) or online at www.titas.org. --Annabelle Massey Helber
There couldn't be a better time of year than the life-affirming spring season for Turtle Creek Chorale to debut Serenade of Life, a new piece by J. Granville Eakin III, which celebrates the role of music in the circle of life, from lullabies to dirges and everything in between. Further proving that beautiful things bloom in the spring, the chorale's newest ensemble, One Achord, will debut at the show, performing works by Joseph Martin, Morten Lauridsen and Rob Landes. Serenade of Life is at 8 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. Tickets are $15 to $48. Call 214-526-3214 or visit www.turtlecreek.org.--Stephanie Durham
With spring comes theater companies popping up all over town like mountain cedar pollen. And some are just as irritating as that sneeze-inducing tree. But here's one with a sense of humor about its situation. Bootstraps Comedy Theater makes its debut with the troupe members singing the show-opening musical prayer, "Please Don't Let Us Suck." This number opens the neo-vaudeville review called Ricardo Ricardo and the Green Card Gang. Keeping with the twisted comedy theme is Steve Martin's play WASP about a perfect 1950s family whose four members get a chance to show their dysfunctions. It runs through March 28 at the Rosewood Center for Family Arts, 5938 Skillman St., at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Call 214-236-4838. --Shannon Sutlief
Lets Talk About Sex
Theatre Britain explores life, love and the lack thereof
Despite the manly men of Monty Python with their gallivanting about in women's clothes and gratuitous use of scantily clad babes between bits and those tabloid-worthy exploits of the Princes William and Harry, the British are stereotyped to be a rather sexless people armed with stiff-upper-lipped prudishness. Theatre Britain embraces this emasculating cultural staple and lays it bare for all to see in its production of the British farce No Sex, Please--We're British at the Trinity River Arts Center, 2600 N. Stemmons Freeway. The show revolves around Peter and Frances, two newlyweds haunted by other members of the human race who meander about their small flat causing trouble and drama and such. The show runs March 18 through April 4 with performances Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. Call 972-490-4202 or visit www.theatre-britain.com. --Mary Monigold
Short & Sweet
What makes a story great?
Dallas' literary event calendar has become quite extensive thanks to the Dallas Museum of Art's series Arts & Letters Live. Over the course of A&LL's existence, more than 250 writers have been featured, and, with its Texas Bound program, Texas actors read Texas writers in Big D and on tour. The latest concoction is Second Story, devoted to the art of the short story. Author Laura Furman, editor of O. Henry Prize Stories 2003, discusses her selection process for said anthology at Second Story's debut event at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Dallas actress Lisa Schmidt will then read Marjorie Kemper's "God's Goddess," which is found in Furman's O. Henry collection. The discussion takes place in Seventeen Seventeen Restaurant at the DMA, 1717 N. Harwood St. Tickets are $10 to $15. Call 214-922-1220. --Merritt Martin
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