12 Awesome Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend, August 7 -10

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Meet, Candy Barr. One of the mid-20th century's most infamous strippers, known for teaching movie stars how to tease, all the while teasing some notorious men herself. She's the subject of the sexy, funny new play by Ronnie Claire Edwards, Candy Barr's Last Dance, which previews at Theatre Three this weekend. It takes place at her 2005 funeral where three of her fellow strippers reflect on her long tumultuous life. See it Thursday, August 7 at 7:30 p.m., or Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 and 7:30 p.m. through August 31. Tickets for this weekend start at $10.

Thursday, August 7

Phantom of the Opera One of the world's most popular musicals -and certainly Andrew Llyod Webber's tour de force - Phantom of the Opera received a reboot that is sure to please old and new fans alike. It stops in at the Winspear Opera House from August 6-24, so there will be plenty of time to get your fix of classic songs like "All I Ask of You," "Think of Me" and "Music of the Night." Grab your tickets at attpac.org.

Summer Cut You'll have to venture a bit north for this group exhibition at Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden. One of the Northernmost of the reputable Dallas galleries, Valley House hosts a show with work by artists including Sedrick Huckaby, Trish Nickell, Mary Vernon and 10s of others. Stop by the opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Thursday.

Big Thought, Big Night, Big Impact What's that screwy motto for the City of Dallas? "Live Large, Think Big" or did they change it to "Big Things Happen Here?" It seems we're hellbent on letting the outside world know that Dallas is a big city that does, well, big things. But big is such a broad word. It can mean large, powerful, older, or significant. An organization that falls under the latter definition is Big Thought, a not-for-profit company that provides educational and artistic programs for children to supplement the school system. At 7 p.m. on Thursday, it's your opportunity to make a sizable contribution to an ambitious cause when Dear Clark Hair Studio (3317 McKinney Ave) hosts an exhibition of the artwork of at-risk teens that are part of Big Thought's Creative Solutions program. Buy a piece of art, or select hair products, and have a enormous - er, big - impact. More information is available at bigthought.org.

Friday, August 8

Attach/Detach Like a fine wine and a good cheese, no one complains about pairing art and music. What could be better than wiling the hot summer hours away in an artist's studio, listening to some jams, and sipping on a cold beer you picked up from the corner store. Sound like your kind of Friday night? Ash Studios thought so. They've teamed up with Kaila Rose Parrish to present Attach/Detach. Spend a revelrous August evening with rowdy artists and musicians for just $5. Stretch the evening from 8 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday morning at Ash Studios (3203 Ash Ln.).

From Slovenia, Florida and Dallas With Love It's all shapes and colors from the outside and even though you've been told not to judge a book by its cover, in the case of The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art, your assumptions will be fulfilled within. The art on display almost always feels like a psychedelic trip, complete with shapes that defy geometric principles and eye-poppingly vivid colors. The current exhibition, From Slovenia, Florida and Dallas with Love: Beti Bricelj, Israel Guevara, Jeff Robinson, features the work of three vibrant artists who experiment with color and dimension. See the work from 11 a.m. -5 p.m. Friday or anytime through October. Admission to the MADI Museum (3109 Carlisle St.) is free. More information at geometricmadimuseum.org. Saturday, August 9

Oak Cliff Cultural Center's 4th Anniversary Party It's time to celebrate four years of the Oak Cliff Cultural Center enriching its neighborhood. Located next door to the Texas Theatre, this storefront offers art classes, exhibitions, and events throughout the year. And they're throwing a party on Saturday to celebrate a birthday. Expect live music from the Cultural Center's guitar program, performances by resident dance companies, face painting, art booths, vendor booths, workshops, food and more.The event kicks off at 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Linescapes For the final show of the summer at Circuit 12 Contemporary, the gallery has invited artist James M. Rizzi to paint a mural on the walls, as part of his exhibition, Linescapes. From 6-10 p.m. Saturday stop by the opening night party, which includes a barbecue, with a DJ and a game of S.K.A.T.E. (on some chuddy concrete outside the gallery.) Bring your skateboard, or just use your legs and enjoy an evening at the gallery.

Lifetime Personal Fantasies Sure, Dallas might be at a disadvantage without easy access to the coasts, but it's smack dab between Los Angeles and New York, which for this weekend proves lucky. A two-part exhibition, Lifetime Personal Fantasies, LLC, features the work of LA-based artist Keith J. Varadi and NY-based Michael Kennedy Costa. The artists collaborate in original ways to extract deeper meaning from the work of each other's paintings and poetry. Watch the coasts collide in a two-night event. See the work in gallery form at the opening reception from 7-10 p.m. Saturday at Beefhaus (885 Exposition Ave,). At 7 p.m. Sunday, see the second phase with the performance piece, Contract, at OFG.XXX (209 S. Peak St.). Both events are free and open to the public. For more information visit artbeef.blogspot.com.

Summer Mockbusters: Armageddon You probably already jokes about the Michael Bay blockbuster Armageddon. Let's start with the rather obvious title and move into the dramatic countdown scenes. Saturday night is your chance to whip out the punchlines at the Granada Theater's Mockbusters. This free, 18+up event gives you a chance to Tweet your jokes at the screen, so your friends won't have to listen to them for the umpteenth time. The theater's invited comedians from the Dallas Comedy House to be ringers for the night. Plus, the original Asteroids arcade game will be in the lobby and the player with the highest score will win Granada tickets.

Sunday, August 10 The Fashion Opera's Fashion Arena The word arena might usually conjure images of tall men in brightly colored uniforms, dribbling an orange ball down a court. Trade the men for women, the uniforms for outfits, and just ditch the balls entirely, and you've got a pretty good idea of The Fashion Opera's next event, Fashion Arena. The newest designs from Texan designer, Antonio Wingfield take to the runway in the Rosine Hall at the Dallas Aboretum (8525 Garland Rd.) at 2 p.m. Sunday. This seasonal showcase will also feature vendors such as Mary Kay, Park Lane Jewelry, and more. And while it's far more likely you'll be sipping chilled champagne than tepid beer, the fashions are sure to give you style to cheer for. Tickets start at $15 and are available at thefashionopera.com.

Contract After catching the exhibition half of Personal Life Fantasies, LLC at Beefhaus on Saturday, head to OFG.XXX (209 S. Peak St.) at 7 p.m. Sunday to see the performance piece, Contract. Both events are free and open to the public. For more information visit artbeef.blogspot.com.

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