At Undermain Theatre, a new play puts a kickass spin on folklore. In Los Angeles-based playwright Meg Miroshnik's The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls an American woman returns to her home country, Russia, to study abroad. Upon arrival, the story takes an absurdist twist and the young girl quickly realizes that she'll have to be the heroine in this story. See the play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday or 8:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets start at $10. More information at undermaintheatre.org.
Thursday, November 13 NICE Ladies, be nice. Be cordial when some jerk tells you need to smile more, ok? And be polite when some cretin catcalls you as you're walking down the street. Just smile, acknowledge it, and enjoy the "compliment". The cat-calling, patronizing, unevolved dudes of the world NEED you to just be a sweetheart, k? You're expected to just be nice in all situations, regardless of your feelings. And in a timely bit of programming, the Danielle Georgiou Dance Group takes a look at exactly why that is in their upcoming performance NICE. Using edgy, evocative and aggressive choreography, the dance troupe examines the social expectations and constructs behind "niceness". The music is intense, the performance is delightfully weird and the takeaway will have you questioning the façade of niceness you exhibit even when you shouldn't have to. This fall premiere from DGDG will be staged at the Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora, beginning 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, November 23. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. and Monday at 8 p.m. Tickets are priced, well--nicely at $15 and may be purchased at ticketdfw.com. - Jennifer Davis-Lamm
Tête-à-Tête: "A Conversation with Draftsmen of the Apocalypse: Thor Johnson and Joachim West" To know a bit more about Thor Johnson's history is to better understand his art, which often contains excessive mess and violence. If you've had it on your calendar to see the latest exhibition at CentralTrak, seize the opportunity to see the work and hear from two of the artists at 7 p.m. Thursday when both Johnson and Joachim West will discuss their work in the show. More information at centraltrak.net.
Aventures & Nouvelles Aventures Take notice Dallas avant-garde fans, we don't get chances like this very often. Aventures and its slightly more structured "sequel" Nouvelles Aventures are amongst Gyorgy Ligeti's most fascinating works. Composed for three singers and instrumental septet, these miniature anti-operas (what the composer termed "mimodramas") are equal parts haunting, hilarious, and otherworldly. Complete with an imagined, almost animalistic language, these pieces present a non-sequitur drama concerning five emotions (ranging from desire to terror), each personified at different times by the three singers. Absurd, even deliciously grotesque, this is one modern masterstroke for which the term abstract isn't nearly strong enough. Guest Patrick Dupré Quigley conducts a program that also includes works by Mason Bates, Mayke Nas and Igor Santos. To top it off: the event, held at Caruth Auditorium (6101 Bishop Blvd.), is free. Be there at 8 p.m. Thursday. More info at smu.edu/meadows. - Jonathan Patrick
An Evening of Dance See the future stars of dance when the talented students at Booker T. Washington perform at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. School ensembles, their performing companies, Repertory Dance Company I, Repertory Dance Company II, and World Dance Ensemble, will each perform. Tickets are $15.
Friday, November 14 "The View Through the Lens: Capturing Cultural Shifts within the Latino Barrios of Dallas" The Latino Cultural Center commissioned Dallas based Latino photographers Sheryl Anaya, Sal Barron, Dean Dominguez, Angelita Rodriguez and Orlando Sanchez Lugo to capture the life in Dallas' Latino-centric neighborhoods. The photography documents the lives of the city's residents and the swift changes in the neighborhood demographics. Swing by the opening reception from 6 - 9 p.m. Friday or through Saturday, January 3, 2015.
Ed Blackburn's Ancient History I find myself pointing to shows at Mountain View College's Cliff Gallery quite a bit recently. I'm not sure if it's just a string of good shows, recently acquired awareness of the space, or if the programming has seen an uptick. Regardless, this weekend the space opens another interesting show. Fort Worth-based artist Ed Blackburn demonstrates interest in using his painting to tell stories. His pieces in Ancient History tell the stories of a man man unwilling to accept a repressive program who gets thrown into a lion's den and a woman who uncovers a genocide plot. See it in the opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Friday. Artist remarks at 6:30 p.m. More information.
Julieta Aguinaco: The Depth of Now When I was a little girl, I had a fantasy about wearing my mother's wedding dress. Hers was the first white gown that represented marriage and happiness to me. As humans we learn traditions from our parents. We learn where in life to place value, and daughters learn from their mothers how to dress. This idea that an outfit can serve as a symbol of motherhood and family is a piece of Mexican artist Julieta Aguinaco's exhibition, The Depth of Now, that opens at Cydonia Gallery this weekend. For To My Daughter, she arranges a clothes rack with dresses from her grandmother, her mother and herself, while 101 photographs of the artist in the dresses line the walls. For Aguinaco, it's not just about the mother daughter dynamic, but about the complex history of her Mexican ancestry. See the exhibition at is opening recpetion from 6 -8 p.m. Friday at Cydonia (167 Payne St.), or thorugh December 27. Admission is free. The gallery is open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Wednesday - Sundays. More information at cydoniagallery.com.
Wanda Sykes Wanda Sykes is a funny lady. Her particular brand of DGAF comedy is smart, irreverent and well-informed, and by the way, she's pretty much the only working comedian today that can boast a tenure with the NSA. That's right--while many of her counterparts only have vocations in douchebaggery and idiocy (what's up Artie Lang!) to fall back on, Ms. Sykes has a bonafide career with the super secret spy agency on her resume. Not that she'd ever need to go back to that; Sykes has weathered three decades of showbiz successes, including an Emmy and a slew of other nominations for her television and film. These days, she's a mom, a GLBT activist, and an enduring entertainer who still packs 'em in for her on-point comedy shows. Dallas gets its chance to see this multi-faceted entertainer during her performance at the Majestic Theater, 1925 Elm Street, at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $49.50 to $59.50 at ticketmaster.com. - JDL
Saturday, November 15 Art Con X Last year, Art Con broke my heart. Dallas' most dynamic charity arts event put a stunning painting up for auction that I coveted hard; it was right there at my fingertips and I lost it when the bids started to spiral past my mortgage payment. I took solace in the fact that I helped drive up the price to the point where the person who ended up with it probably had to refinance their student loans or something, and then I pouted with a beer in my hand the rest of the night. But this year, I won't be denied. And neither should you. Come ready for the exhilarating bidding and high stakes art wars at Art Con X, as pieces made gratis by local do-gooding artists are auctioned off for the benefit of Anita N. Martinez' Ballet Folklorico. Scores of pieces stay in the affordable range, and there's something for everyone--photography, collages multi-media works, sketches, celebrity likenesses--all created onsite at the venue in a 24-hour burst of creativity. There's also music from the likes of DJ CeePee, Happy Bullets, Booty Fade, and Son of Stan, plus interactive art-making, and drinks to steel your nerves for the spirited auctioneering ahead. Go all in for the arts starting at 7 p.m. Saturday at 500 Singleton Boulevard; tickets are $10 to $125. Visit artconspiracy.org for tickets and more information. - JDL
Ryan Goolsby's Semantic Field In addition to language, humans have also developed symbols to communicate. From numbers to scientific data, these modern hieroglyphs inspire the work of Dallas-based artist Ryan Goolsby. In his exhibition at Liliana Bloch Gallery, Semantic Field, his reference to these symbols subtly questions the trustworthiness of the systems we use to organize human life. Much of his work comes in mock scientific diagrams sculptural pieces that hint at data structures. See the work in its opening exhibition at 6 p.m. Saturday at Liliana Bloch Gallery (2919 Commerce St.), or through December 6. The gallery is open from 12 - 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. More information at lilianablochgallery.com.
2014 Etsy Jingle Bash Remember that time last year when you tried to go to the mall for your Christmas shopping? Actually, you probably don't. Rage clouds memory. Let me refresh--you spent an hour circling the parking lot in an automotive version of "The Hunger Games", except with higher stakes. Once you secured a parking spot, you squeezed inside amongst the masses, greeted by hundreds of children lined up to see a fancy Santa Claus with a wait time of 8 hours, their helpless screams echoing off the cavernous ceilings of a giant holiday hellscape. And after all that, your sister already had the boots you bought her while you were there. You shouldn't do that again. Any of it. What you should do is get a leg up on the helpless retail-bound masses by getting everything done early at the 2014 Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash frin 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday. Tucked into the South Side Events Center at Gilley's, 1135 South Lamar, the vendors of Jingle Bash will be plying their handmade wares--including one-of-a-kind clothing, accessories, jewelry, housewares, décor, and bath and body goods. All the quality gifts you pick up there will elicit oohs and aahs from recipients, and the ample parking, fun décor, live music and availability of adult beverages and yummy food will make it a joy to do your shopping this year. Admission is free--get there early to claim one of the "Bash Bags" given to the first 50 shippers. Visit handmadebash.com for more.
Deep Ellum Outdoor Market If you want the very best in local goods, the Deep Ellum Outdoor Market will be back this weekend. Bundle up and head just east of downtown to pick up anything and everything your heart desires. It takes place at 2636 Main St. from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday.
Sunday, November 16 Black Radical Imagination On the same weekend that the city hosts the Dallas Faces Race conference, the Dallas Museum of Art presents Black Radical Imagination, "a touring program of seven short filmsthat delve into the worlds of new media, video art, and experimental narrative. Focusing on new stories within the diaspora, each artist contributes his or her own vision of postmodern society through the state of current black culture." The screening at the Dallas Museum of Art is free and open to the public.
CADD Fund Dinner You'll need to buy your ticket ahead of time for this Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas dinner. It's a fun way to support the projects of a local artist and attend a soup dinner with an array of local artists and dealers. Tickets are $40 and available at caddallas.net, grab 'em now and support local art.
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