15 Awesome Things to Do this Weekend, July 17- 20

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This week just won't end. It's been one fire after another that needed putting out. But we're finally rounding the corner to see the glorious week's end off in the distance. It didn't come quickly enough but now that it's arriving, the Monday doldrums begin to slip away. Now, it's time to make plans about how to spend the next few days and fortunately, there's a lot of awesome headed this way.

Thursday, July 17

Witching and Bitching Catch a gory Spanish comedy at the Texas Theatre tonight. Director Alex de la Iglasia's story about a coven of cannibal witches screens at 7 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $10 and available thetexastheatre.com.

QuakeCon Dallas is an industry changing city in the world of gaming and every year we host a weekend of LAN parties and game previews called QuakeCon. This year's special plans include the unveiling of Doom 4. The convention kicks off at the Hilton Anatole Hotel Thursday and continues all weekend. More information and weekend passes can be found at quakecon.org.

Cool Cats in a Blender The folks at Kettle Art Gallery are throwing an artist mixer Thursday to bring together North Texas visual artists, musicians, and creatives. Meet other artistically inclined folks and bring your portfolio if you're interested in showing with Kettle, or just showing off. The event starts at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. BYOB.

Mania/Gift Over at the Festival of Independent Theatres, one of the plays getting the most buzz is Shelby-Allison Hibbs' mania/gift, a two-woman show that delves into the relationship between Bipolar disorder and creativity. We chatted with the playwright last week on Mixmaster about the show's inspiration and Hibbs' young career in Dallas. See it at the Bath House Cultural Center at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Good Luck Karaoke When our favorite karaoke stooges moved from Doublewide to Twilite Lounge, we have to admit we were skeptical. If only because at the new spot in Deep Ellum you can hear the foolhardy singing from the street. But they've kept our love with their antics and dedication to their -often ridiculous- themed nights. The boys are back in action at 10 p.m. Thursday with their soccer-themed "Two Worlds, One Cup" night.

Friday, July 18

'Til Midnight at the Nasher This monthly outdoor art party is back. We're crossing our fingers that the rain will have stopped, leaving us with cooler temperatures to enjoy music from Foxtrot Uniform at 7 p.m. Friday, followed by a 9 p.m. screening of one of the best film's ever made Bringing Up Baby. Oh, plus there is some great sculpture to be seen. Doors open at 6 p.m. Friday; admission is free.

Cirque du Burlesque Splits on silks; tits on tightropes; pasties on platforms. Burlesque and cirque are a match made in sexytime heaven. The circus arts already have sexy women on swings, so why not add a little strip tease? If you're into that sort of thing, Viva Dallas Burlesque hosts its mind-numbingly frequent Cirque du Burlesque night at Lakewood Theater (1825 Abrams Pkwy) at 8 p.m. Friday. Emcee Violet O' Hara sports her shock pink hair and introduces women as they perform sideshow stunts while shaking their cha-chas. Tickets start at $20 and can be found, along with more information and boudoir photos at vivadallasburlesque.com.

Saturday, July 19

Moon Day The Super Moon may have been last weekend, but there's no reason not celebrate the giant reflective orb in the sky that affects both the ocean tide and your mother-in-law's mood. Moon Day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at Frontiers of Flight Museum is a family-oriented event, with lots of kid-focused activities (building and launching model rockets, lunar activity bags, and more). And the day isn't randomly selected. Moon Day celebrates the 45th anniversary of the first manned moon landing (July 20, 1969).

Slavs and Tartars Slavs and Tatars, founded in 2006, is an art collective whose installations, lecture-performances, sculptures and publications contemplate the lesser-known similarities found in the mix of belief systems and rituals among peoples of the Caucasus, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. See a performance lecture at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Meadows Museum and see Concentrations 57: Slavs and Tatars, an exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art from July 18-December 14.

Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style We're not exactly sure what to expect from the Presidential Center on SMU's campus; we certainly wouldn't have predicted an exhibition of de la Renta. But here we are, telling you about the fashion display that opens to the public Saturday. I suppose it makes sense because he designed quite a few Laura Bush dresses when she was the FLOTUS. View some of de la Renta's finest pieces starting at 9 a.m. Saturday and running through October 5; the museum is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $16; visit bushcenter.org.

The Estate Sale At the corner of Ross and Peak Avenues there is a furniture store with a permanent sign reading, "Everything Must Go." The fervor-raising, marketing scheme, no-holds-barred sale is not a novel approach to getting things off the shelves. Shrewd businessmen have been doing it for centuries. The new version of it is declaring bankruptcy, only to magically reinvent your company a year later. It's little wonder this curious human phenomenon caught the attention of artists, who are putting a spin on an Estate Sale at Two Bronze Doors (5732 Richmond Ave.) this Saturday. Stop by the off-the-beaten path house from 6 - 10 p.m. and bring your cash-o-la. Artists including Kyle Confehr, Darcy Neal, Luke Sanchez, and many others, have priced their work to sell. Pieces include textiles, small furniture, paintings, sculpture, and books. For more information visit twobronzedoors.com.

Summer School Summer shows at galleries are hit or miss. Most of the time, it's a series of group shows that look like a last ditch effort to get all of the gallery's represented artists on the walls. But across the city, the summer shows are proving anything but lazy. Perhaps this is why we have high expectations for Liliana Bloch Gallery's new show. This Saturday, the gallery opens a showing of international artists that explores the current state of the American education system, by placing it in an international context. Stop by the opening reception from 6-9 p.m. Saturday at Liliana Bloch Gallery, 2919 Commerce Street, Suite C, Dallas. The exhibition runs through September 6. More information is available at lilianablochgallery.com.

The Changing Nature of Dallas See Dallas like you've never seen it before. If you're looking for the outdoorsy side of the city, this photography exhibition at Sun to Moon Gallery is sure to prove enlightening. "In some of the photos, you'll see endless wildflowers and then downtown Dallas buildings poking up in the distance," Scot Miller, a featured photographer, told Mixmaster. "These are not secret places we're photographing, although you have to be a little adventurous to get to some of them." The opening reception for The Changing Nature of Dallas takes place from 5- 8 p.m. Saturday, July 19 and the work will remain on display through August 16.

Sunday, July 20

Some Like it Hot Replace brunch with a classic film this week. Alamo Drafthouse screens this classic Marilyn Monroe flick at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. It's one of the black and whites that holds up decades later with Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis hiding out in an all-female band. Plus, it was the inspiration for White Chicks.

Basically Beethoven Festival Another week of free music is upon us with another installment of the Basically Beethoven Festival. This Sunday, the 3 p.m. concert features the Orchard Ensemble performing works by Beethoven (Serenade for flute, violin and viola) and Mendelssohn (String Quartet No. 6, Op. 80). At 2:30 p.m., this week's "Rising Star," Andrew Eldridge, will perform a half-hour pre-concert recital on his marimba. No RSVP necessary - you'll be handed a free ticket when you enter the doors of Dallas City Performance Hall (2520 Flora St.). For more information, visit fineartschamberplayers.org.

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