Want to know the most awesome thing you can do this weekend? Call your mother. Sunday is the annual celebration of all the ways she didn't mess you up; it's your chance to practice gratitude, like your therapist keeps suggesting. After you've sent flowers and before you pick up the check at Sunday brunch, the music blog has the best concerts to catch and this here arts blog compiled a list of 14 other awesome things you can do this weekend. Speaking of mothers...
This weekend, Jubilee Theatre opens the classic August Wilson play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Based in 1920s Chicago, this play explores the exploitation of black musicians by white producers in a story about one of the greatest blues crooners of the 20th century. And if anyone in this town should direct it, it's the masterful Tre Garret, Jubilee's sharp, young artistic director.
When Garrett was a college student, he found a recording of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom in his school library and it was the first time he heard voices he recognized. For years, he wrote Wilson seeking advice with no answer. Years later, Garrett was directing Ma Rainey in Pittsburgh and Wilson walked into the theater and said, "I got all your letters." They were friends until Wilson's death. See the play that inspired Garrett and many other thespians around the world at 8 p.m. Friday or in another performance through June 8. Tickets start at $15. More information at jubileetheatre.org.
Thursday, 5/8 Celebrator When a gallery like Circuit 12 Contemporary hosts a two-night only show of paintings, you should get off your ever-widening ass and get there. Celebrator is a pop-up solo exhibition of Sean McGee Phetsarath's vivid futuristic paintings. Stop by Circuit 12 (1130 Dragon St. #150) from 6-10 p.m. Thursday or Friday. On Friday, there will be a live set from local band Vulgar Fashion. More info at circuit12.com.
Rated [R]awlins Unfortunately, if you don't already have tickets you won't be able to do this awesome thing, because it sold out in mere days. Local poet and NPR commentator put together his first-ever solo show, with storytelling, poetry and jazz. If you're one of the lucky ticket holders, we'll see you at Sons of Hermann Hall at 7 p.m. Thursday. For more info, visit rawlinsgilliland.com.
White People A theatrical think piece about racism, J.T. Rogers' White People takes the stage at the Bath House Cultural Center at 8 p.m. Thursday. Local unorthodox company, Churchmouse Productions, presents the show through May 25 with performances Thursdays through Sundays. More information at pegasustheatre.org/churchmouse.
Science Fiction Double Feature Lakewood Theater (1825 Abrams Road) lives in a time warp. This historic theater with its iconic neon tower and huge interior murals seems to exist outside of time. Perhaps this explains why its schedule seems stuck on a loop of never-ending Polyphonic Spree concerts and screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Both performances sell out in nearly every iteration. Maybe we're all in one big time warp. The beloved cult classic starring a Transylvanian transvestite is back Saturday, in a double feature with REPO! The Genetic Opera, which is billed as a "Rocky-Horror meets Blade Runner rock opera/movie musical." See them both for just $13. Doors open at 9 p.m., REPO! starts at 10 p.m., followed by the main event. More information is at lakewoodtheater.com.
Michelle Brandley Solo Exhibition Artist Michelle Brandley explores the engrained societal standards for female beauty in her latest exhibit, Upright and Do Right Make Alright at Artspace 111 (111 Hampton St., Fort Worth). Examine your perceptions of beauty with her juxtapositions of the sexy and the animalistic. Elephant trunks aligned with long, "perfect" legs. Stop by the opening reception 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday or another time through June 17. Admission is free. Visit artspace111.com for more information.
Kevin Parmer's Sirens If you're looking to track down Dallas ghosts, Two Bronze Doors claims to have six currently in residence (do ghosts reside?). These phantoms inspired Kevin Parmer's latest series of artwork, which he hopes will beckon the spirits into attendance. Stop by the - hopefully- haunted art show at Two Bronze Doors (5732 Richmond Ave) during the opening reception 7-11 p.m. Friday. More info at twobronzedoors.org.
Deep Ellum Windows If you're walking down Main Street in Deep Ellum Saturday night and you see people wandering into otherwise deserted buildings, follow them. Trust me. You'll either witness a drug deal or some wicked cool art. Either way, you'll have a great story. Deep Ellum Windows presents five new pop-up galleries by several artistic provocateurs. For these shows we've heard rumors of disco club replicas and hell house installations. Of course, what will actually come of the shows remains to be seen. Catch a performance by Kate Helmes at 9 p.m. at 2626 Main St. Then from 8 to 11 p.m. you can see exhibitions by Randall Garrett (2604 Main St.), Art Beef (2625 Main St.), Art Peña (2642 Main St.), and Lee Escobedo's curated hell house takes over 2810 Main St. More information is available at deepellumwindows.tumblr.com.
Ayahuasca at W.A.A.S. Gallery Ayahuasca made the news when its consumption killed a gap-year student from England during a shamanic ritual ceremony in Colombia. It is a drug used by South America's indigenous tribes to heal, but the recent upswing of drug tourism has revealed a more sinister side. This drug serves as the inspiration for Christian Millet's latest body of work, which mounts at WAAS Gallery (2722 Logan St.) this weekend. In Ayahuasca, his mixed media pieces depict his two dimensional evocations of the darkness and enlightenment involved in these shamanic traditions, as well as the self-discovery invoked by these drug trips. The opening reception for the exhibition takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday and entry is free. See the work through May 31. More information is at waasgallery.com.
The MAC @ 20 Turning 20 might be the last time you feel truly young. At 21, it's easy to convince yourself of some newfound adulthood, when you are finally able to use your real driver's license at the bars (just ignore the look of confusion on your regular bartender's face). In museum years, though, turning 20 is a much larger milestone. It means you've survived the first-decade slump, you've ironed out your mission statements, developed strong curatorial practices and gained footing in the local community. For the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, it's a reason to go back to its roots. For the Mac@20 Part 1, the museum invites artists who exhibited at the space in its first 10 years of existence, including David Bates, Linnea Glatt, James Magee and Ludwig Schwarz, among others. See the show during the opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at The MAC, 3120 McKinney Ave. More info at the-mac.org.
Yosemite at 150: A Photographic Celebration One of America's most photogenic landmarks, Yosemite has been photographed by millions of visitors during its 150 years as a national park. See "the most diverse and deep exhibition of Yosemite prints by well-known contemporary photographers" at Sun to Moon Gallery, 1515 E. Levee St., in the Design District from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday for the opening reception of Yosemite at 150: A Photographic Celebration. Mike Tollefson, president of Yosemite Conservancy, will be in attendance as well as photographers Scot Miller and R.P. Washburne. All events are free of charge and the exhibition will run through June 14.
Mark Morris Dance Group It's been four years since Dallas got a taste of Mark Morris Dance Group, so it's fair to say that dance lovers are craving the troupe's jaw-dropping combinations of modern dance and contemporary ballet. Our dance writer Danielle Georgiou gives you the lowdown on MMDG. Catch the 8 p.m. show Saturday at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. It features works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann N. Hummel and even Ivor Cutler; a traditional Indian composition; and performances ranging from 12 dancers to pas de deux. Tickets are $12 to $135. Visit attpac.org
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Taste Dance: Addison Style If you have the appetite for much of anything, Addison is the place to visit. This little Dallas suburb boasts more restaurants per capita than any other city west of the Mississippi. Of course, this counts Macaroni Grill and about five Chipotles, but we'll concede the victory. If your stomach is grumbling, you're sure to find sustenance. And if city officials have anything to do with it, your cravings for the arts will be satisfied in the town of Addison as well. For the past 12 years, Taste Dance: Addison Style shakes up the Addison Theatre Center (15650 Addison Road) with a full day of dance with local fare and international samplings. After Mother's Day brunch settles in, spend the day learning traditional Aztec dances and take in contemporary ballet. More information about this free event is available at thedancecouncil.org.
Backdoor Comedy Mother's Day Show If you've got a mother with a sense of humor, well, lucky you. Take her to the Backdoor Comedy showcase at 5:30 or 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Doubletree Hotel (8250 N. Central Expressway). Comedian Dean Lewis hosts both shows.
Now, go tell your mom you love her.