Thursday, Nov. 12
Noir at the Bar
Noir at the Bar is more than just a bunch of people reading dark stories in a semi-dark room: It’s something of a movement. The series first popped up in New York City as a way for crime and whodunit writers to connect with each other and their readers in a world where bookstores are increasingly fewer and further between. The idea was a hit, luring audiences around the country to taverns and speakeasies to hear twisted tales of violence, murder and intrigue and to share ideas and tricks of the trade. Dallas gets its chance to turn to the dark side starting at 7 p.m. Thursday at The Wild Detectives, 314 W. 8th St., when Noir at the Bar showcases eight authors, most of whom have Texas ties. Let writers Harry Hunsicker, Rod Davis, Eryk Pruitt, Opalina Salas, Max Booth III, Scott Montgomery, Jedidiah Ayres and Joe Lansdale regale you with their particular brand of menace and mystery. Admission is free. Visit thewilddetectives.com for more information. - Jennifer Davis-Lamm
What happens when you take the North Pole, mix in a little Epcot, and then place it all in Texas, in a climate-controlled environment? You get Gaylord Texan's annual ICE! celebration, this year featuring "Christmas Around The World." Even though California is still struggling with that whole "water crisis" thing, there will be over two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures and displays representing Christmas traditions from all over the world. The best part? You don't need to wait until after Thanksgiving to step into the Christmas spirit. ICE! opens on the 12th of this month and will run until the year's end. Tickets are $12.99-$39.99, and even allow you to see a frozen, translucent and life-size baby Jesus surrounded by the usual suspects. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit marriott.com. -Lucas Buckels
Elm Street Tattoo and Music Festival
Nightmare on Elm Street? More like dream come true on Elm Street (and Main Street, and Canton...) Thanks to Oliver Peck of Elm Street Tattoo, once the clock strikes midnight on Thursday, a full 24 hours’ worth of tattooing will commence, including a tattoo convention at The Bomb Factory and “Lucky 13” tattoos being given at Elm Street Tattoo. How many times can you say tattoo in one sentence? You can see more than 30 different bands Thursday through Sunday at The Bomb Factory, Trees and Three Links, including one of the co-hosts of the event, Reverend Horton Heat, on Friday night. We hear Jim Heath, aka the Reverend himself, will be playing a rare solo set on Sunday night, as well. There will be more than 50 different tattoo artists and plenty of opportunities to get that tattoo you’ve been thinking about for so long ... so just do it! It’s Friday the 13th, dammit! Don’t ask questions, just go. What better way is there to spend your weekend (and money) in Deep Ellum? - Sara Button
Chit Chat: Jason Willaford at the Dallas Contemporary
Dallas-based artist Jason Willaford's latest body of work, which he aptly calls "apps," are currently filling the hall gallery space at the Dallas Contemporary, creating a fascinating visual language. At 7 p.m. Thursday he will discuss this series of work, as well as his recent residency in East Hampton. The talk is free at the Dallas Contemporary, 161 Glass St.
Three artists who integrate pattern into their work will participate in what promises to be an intricate exhibition at Mountain View College. Terry Hays, Deborah Kruger and Kathy Robinson-Hays each use pattern in various ways, and their methods will relate to each other, creating a larger pattern. The reception for the exhibition in Mountain View's Cliff Gallery will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
Friday, November 13
CentralTrak is always an excellent place to find experimental art, and on Friday night, things are going to get pretty musical. Composer Christian Wolff will present Sticks, a “concert of improvisations by two small ensembles,” featuring an amplified bassoon, percussion instruments, guitar and radio. Wolff describes his show as “any number of musicians making sounds with sticks of various kinds,” which could be great for folks interested in noise-pop and improvisational music. Either way, it will be unlike any other concert you’ve ever seen before. - Amy McCarthy
Picasso's Desire Caught by the Tail
Some would say that anyone attempting to stage a production of Pablo Picasso’s Desire Caught by the Tail has awfully big shoes to fill: After all, the first reading of the play was directed by Albert Camus and featured Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Others, however, would say there are no shoes to speak of — because there’s basically no plot in this play. There’s a narrative, but it makes no sense. There are characters, but they have incongruous names and no direction in relation to the narrative. In true Picasso fashion, the overall effect of the play is surreal, bizarre and pretty much inscrutable. But that’s all just part of the charm. House Party Theatre takes on Picasso’s weirdly transcendent and farcical work, directed by Chris McCreary at Ash Studio (3203 Ash Lane). Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays through November 23. Tickets are $10 at housepartytheatre.ticketleap.com/desirecaughtbythetail. - Jennifer Davis-Lamm
Bruce Wood Dance Project
Since 2011, the Bruce Wood Dance Project has transformed Dallas-Fort Worth's dance scene with moving choreography. To celebrate and honor its tremendous success the past few years, the BWDP is presenting 5 Years, a production that began in June and continues this month. BWDP commissioned freelance choreographer Albert Drake to premiere his new work for the celebration. The show is at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Dallas City Performance Hall (2520 Flora St.). Tickets are $15 to $100. For more information, call 214-428-2263 - Paige Skinner
Death of a Salesman
You’ve probably seen Death of a Salesman before. If you’re a drama person at all, the Arthur Miller classic has probably figured prominently into your theater-going experience at some point. But this Fun House Theatre production of the seminal play is unique: The majority of the cast of this fully adult dramatic classic are, in fact, not fully adults. Jeff Swearingen, a bona fide grown up and acclaimed actor, takes on the iconic Willy Loman role, but the bulk of the performers have been selected as part of an “age blind” casting process. It’s a fairly revolutionary approach to community theatre that blends 14- to 18-year-olds with professional and experienced stage actors. And what some Fun House performers lack in ... well, maturity, they more than make up for with their timing, precision and range. So while the actors may buck expectations and cue a little bias when that curtain rises, audience members will quickly be convinced that age ain’t nothing but a number. Death of a Salesman will be staged at Plano Children’s Theater, 1301 Custer Road, at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Additional performances are 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday; 7:30 p.m. Friday, November 20; and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 21. Tickets are $8 at funhousetheatreandfilm.com. Jennifer Davis-Lamm
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Stolen Birthdays: In Support of Mothers Against Police Brutality
This concert for a cause is the first event as part of the month-long residency of Detroit's Complex Movements, which will perform their immersive, interactive show Beware of the Dandelions later this month. They are brought to Dallas by SMU's new Ignite Arts Dallas program, which hopes to bring community and collaboration to the city with support from an academic institution. But all those connections and official titles aside, this concert from 6-9 p.m. Friday features a number of familiar and under-the-radar acts at Sandaga 813 (813 Exposition Ave.), including Dezi 5, Rafael Tamayo and so many more. The suggested donation is $5-25, but they're promising no one will be turned away.
Saturday, November 14
The Great Seed Bomb
Helping the environment, drinking beer and riding bikes? There really isn’t a more hipster — or excellent — combination. You’ll have to drive to Fort Worth, but strap your beach cruiser on top of the Subaru and get ready to make the planet a little friendlier for bees. On your ride through Fort Worth's Clearfork Food Park, you’ll toss out little seed bombs that will grow plants to feed hungry pollinators. There will also be plenty of beer and the Food Park’s bevy of food trucks to sate any post-ride munchies. - Amy McCarthy
Art Con is a live auction for the benefit of Make Art with Purpose, an organization and resource center for producing engaging public and conceptual art projects that create environmental and social change. Over 150 local artists spent a day creating collectible art on 18 x 18-inch plywood boards. Bidding starts at $20 at 7 p.m. Saturday in a large brick building in the Cedars located at 1450 Browder St. There will also be live music and DJs, most notably sets from DJ Christy Ray and Blue, the Misfit. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at artconspiracy.org. This is the 11th installment of Art Con, the signature annual event from Art Conspiracy, the nonprofit that brings artists and musicians together to raise funds and awareness for regional creative programs and causes. This event showcases a vast array of regional talent and provides an opportunity to buy art at reasonable prices for the direct benefit of the local arts scene. - Jeremy Hallock
Sunday, November 15
Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art
In collaboration with the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Texas Theatre is hosting the Texas premiere of Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art. Admission is free to the critically acclaimed film that explores the bizarre world of land art in the American southwest. The film premiered just one month ago at the New York Film Festival, and features a “veritable who’s-who of American art in the 20th century” according to IMDB. If that’s not enough to persuade you, director James Crump will discuss the film via Skype and answer questions after the screening.