Thursday, October 8
You’re fat, America. Particularly you, Texas. If the statistics weren’t constantly reminding us of this, you’d simply have to look at the other people on the streets. Not walking, but driving in the car next to you. That obesity is a problem in a country so obsessed with body image likely isn’t a coincidence. But how often do we sit face to face with obesity and acknowledge its effects on the human psyche, not to mention health? That’s precisely what Samuel D. Hunter’s play, The Whale, forces us to confront. Charlie, a 500-pound online writing professor, sits on the couch like a beached whale for much of the sharp comedy, which opens at The Firehouse Theatre (2535 Valley View Lane) this weekend. The play revolves around him as he makes a last-ditch effort to reconnect with his family. See this L.I.P. Service production at 8 p.m. Friday or through October 24. Tickets are $15. More at lipserviceproductions.info.
This weekend, Kettle Art will be overtaken with the seven colors of visible light: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Curated by sculptor George Fowler, this exhibit of eye-popping colors from some of Kettle Art's popular exhibiting artists will contain hundreds of pieces, with the hope of creating an enormous color wheel mural on the gallery walls.
Name an artist from the Pop Art movement. The first names that come to mind are likely Warhol or Lichtenstein. Most of the artists who retained cultural prominence in Pop Art are from New York or London, but the movement, which challenged the strictures of fine art and embraced images of advertising and representations of everyday life, was far more global. This fine exhibit, which I saw in its genesis at the Walker Art Center, explores Pop Art globally, examining Nouveau Réalisme (France), Concretism and Neo-Concretism (Brazil), The Art of Things (Argentina), Anti-Art (Japan), Capitalist Realism (Germany), Happenings and Neo-Dada. See it at the Dallas Museum of Art starting at 11 a.m. Thursday through Jan. 17, 2016. Tickets are $16.
Those of us who live in the city might be used to the sounds of helicopters flying overhead, ever-present police and ambulance sirens, and playing the ever-so-slightly morbid game of “backfire or gunshots” (we’ve always heard the rule is that less than three equals backfire). But living in the city doesn’t automatically mean navigating and raising a family in a complex world surrounded by gangs. Cara Mia Theatre Company exposes that misconception in its staging of Virginia Grise’s blu at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through October 18 at the Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St. For this dramatic performance, which is heavy on adult content and language, Grise uses a blend of spoken word and hip-hop to tell the story of a Xicana couple attempting to break the cycle of violence in their barrio, if only for their family. Tickets are $12-$17. Call 214-516-0706 or visit caramiatheatre.org. -Merritt Martin
How well do you know the story of Jack the Ripper? Who was the serial killer who terrorized London at the end of the 19th century? The world may never know, but a new musical revisits the point in history that has inspired numerous stories and myths. Creep is more psychological thriller than history play, asking the question: Who could’ve been responsible for these ghastly deeds? In a world premiere at WaterTower Theatre (15650 Addison Road, Addison), this musical by local writer and actor Donald Fowler promises a bone-chilling story and some delightfully fresh music. See it in preview this weekend at 8 p.m. Saturday; on opening night at 7:30 p.m. Monday; or through October 25. Tickets start at $20. More at watertowertheatre.org.
Austin Gangsters: Organized Crime that Rocked the Capital
If any phrase is going to get you to a historical society lecture, it’s “a ragtag white trash mafia.” That’s the subject of the lecture that author Jesse Sublett will give on Thursday at Dallas Heritage Village (1515 S. Harwood St.). Sublett literally wrote the book, 1960s Austin Gangsters, on this particular crime crew. But let’s back up a bit. Who’s the white trash mafia? Two former football stars, no less. Timothy Overton and Jerry Ray James ditched sports, formed an association of bad dudes and set about robbing banks, running smuggling and prostitution rings and generally terrorizing Texas for years. They’ve become cult heroes despite their dirt-baggery, and if you show up, you’ll figure out why. Admission to Austin Gangsters: Organized Crime That Rocked the Capital is free and the lecture starts at 6 p.m. More at dallasheritagevillage.com. - Nikki Lott
When letter-writing takes place away from the white glow of a computer screen, bare of emoticons and free of silly acronyms, it becomes a powerful medium. If you’ve read decades-old correspondence between your parents or grandparents, you know how laden with emotion scraps of notebook paper can be. Entire souls were contained by envelopes, connections were kindled, fires were stoked and prose got impressive. Dear Liar explores just such a relationship. Writer George Bernard Shaw and actress/muse Beatrice Campbell engaged in an affair that was quite literally mailed in over the course of several decades. At times it was seemingly platonic, but occasionally naughty quips and shared tragedies made their bond quite palpable. In Jerome Kilty’s play, the two characters read their letters aloud in an intimate theatrical experience that puts the viewer between pen, paper and person. WingSpan Theatre’s production at Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive, begins its run at 8 p.m. Thursday, October 8. Following that, it can be seen at 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays through October 24. Tickets are $20 at wingspantheatre.com. -Jennifer Davis-Lamm
Friday, October 9
Brahms' Symphony No. 1
It took 21 years to complete. Brahms began his Symphony No. 1 when he was just 22, and he would not finish the piece until he was 43. Paralyzed by the mostly self-imposed pressure he felt in light of Beethoven’s symphonic work, Brahms spent 12 of those 21 years just finding the courage to remove an initial draft of the first movement from his drawer, where it had sat hidden for over a decade. True to his fears, when completed, his Symphony No. 1 had Beethoven’s mark all over it. This, however, turned out to be a good thing. A study in energy and contrasts — triumphant and meditative, tempestuous one moment, severely gentle the next — Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 reminds listeners of Beethoven’s Ninth’s raw brilliance, with the addition of Brahms’ own serious even-handedness. Blinding intensity meets balanced internal integrity in Brahms’ first symphonic outing, and in it we catch a glimpse of the composer’s future stylings — the emotional intelligence and structural purity that Brahms would expand on in subsequent symphonies. Jaap van Zweden conducts a program that also includes Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, to be performed by Midori. The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. Tickets start at $19. More info at mydso.com. -Jonathan Patrick
Fifty Years of Fashion
NorthPark Center has always been a fashion-forward haven. It’s the first stop for Dallas shoppers looking to step up their style game. As part of the ongoing celebration of its 50th anniversary, NorthPark hosts 50 Years of Fashion, a two-day event with runway fashion shows, cosmetic demonstrations and retailer promotions. Starting at 3:30 p.m. Friday with a free multi-brand fashion show and continuing through Saturday, most of the events are free, although the more upscale brands require a ticket. Some of the designers with shows include Elie Tahari, Cavalli and Ferragamo. VIP tickets are available to select shows for $50. More information at northparkcenter.com.
That whole ebola thing in Dallas proved that modern medicine isn’t too shabby when it comes to saving lives. But ebola medicine isn’t what sells. Boner and diet pills — hopefully you don’t get those two mixed up — lead the way for Big Pharma, and they may be holding science back from inventing more interesting recreational medicines. In Michael Federico, Jeffrey Schmidt and Lydia Mackay’s Faust, Dr. John Faust hopes to use medicine as a tool to unlock the mind of God. In order to accomplish such a thing, he has to sink to the wastelands and sell his soul. Luckily, you won’t have to pay such a hefty price to attend The Drama Club’s presentation of Faust at Kalita Humphreys Theater (3636 Turtle Creek Blvd.) For $25, see the play at 8 p.m. Friday or through October 24. To purchase tickets or find more info, head to thedramaclub.org. -Lucas Buckels
A jet-black armored car sits at the center of the Power Station, an art space just east of Deep Ellum. The license plate reads: FAILED. It’s one of three pieces by artist Jill Magid in the exhibition Emergency Measures, curated by Gregory Ruppe and Noah Simblist. Magid’s trio of work on display here revolves around the time she spent in Austin in 2010, when she was researching sniper shootings and, as fate would have it, became a witness to a shooting on the capitol steps. In addition to the car, she created a video of her TV interview on loop, and a book recounting the incident in great detail. Magid, a New York-based artist whose work often involves themes of safety and surveillance, will be in Dallas for the closing reception from 6-8 p.m. Friday at the Power Station (3816 Commerce St.), where she will speak about her work. For more info, visit powerstationdallas.com.
Saturday, October 10
White Rock Lake Artist's Studio Tour
Dallas has many unique art-intensive tours, events and attractions. There’s the beloved Dallas Gallery Day; there’s the grand, annual Dallas Tour of Homes; and for 23 years, there’s been the White Rock Lake Artist’s Studio Tour to provide a vivid, living, breathing glimpse into the lives, environments and sources of inspiration that give Dallas its artistic pulse. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, beginning from any of the Art Centers near White Rock Lake, such as the Bath House Cultural Center (521 E. Lawther Drive), you can embark on a free, self-guided tour of 43 different studios, homes and galleries. You can witness the vision behind the whimsical art of Nancy Cole or the ambitious yard art of Cynthia Daniel in the space where it all began. - Kelly Dearmore
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The noun diorama is commonly defined as “a model representing a scene with three-dimensional figures, either in miniature or as a large-scale museum exhibit.” But at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Jefferson Tower in Oak Cliff (351 W. Jefferson Blvd.), artists are encouraged to turn that noun into a verb by diorama-nating the heck-fire out of the place, aka creating and donating their own miniature worlds, all in the name of great causes. At the fourth Diorama-O-Rama, their fun creations will be auctioned to benefit the Oak Cliff Foundation and the Texas Theatre Building. The required $10 donation will snag you some beer and wine, and you’ll also get to see a post-auction concert featuring perhaps the area’s most adventurous musician, New Fumes, at the Texas Theatre. Support local art by supporting a long-adored art form. - Kelly Dearmore
Labyrinth by Keri Oldham & The Devil Within and Without: curated work by Oldham and Colette Robbins
Inspired by the 1980s cult classic, Keri Oldham creates a modern allegorical watercolor and mixed media series in which she investigates issues of identity, psychosis and story archetypes. The group exhibition curated by Oldham and Robbins explores the inner and outer demons that shape artistic practice. Artists in that exhibit include Lanie DeLay, Bruce Lee Webb, Erin Stafford and more.
Discover Spain! at Meadows Museum
If you haven't yet seen the stunning exhibition at the Meadows Museum, Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting, drop whatever you're doing and go. Better yet, visit this weekend, during the museum's Discover Spain! festival, which brings film screenings, Spanish foods and wines, guitar performances and dance to the museum in a free festival timed with Columbus day. From 2-9 p.m. Saturday, the museum has scheduled numerous activities, not the least of which is the art (there will be gallery talks every hour). At 3:30 p.m. Blancanieves screens, and at 7 p.m. see Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Those screenings have limited seating, so registration is required. Find more information online at http://bit.ly/1VBgSaq.
Sunday, October 11
Cyclesomatic: Stevie Ray Vaughan
The 2015 Cyclesomatic experience is nothing less than a big ol’ love letter to Oak Cliff and one of its favorite sons, Stevie Ray Vaughan. Meet at The Wild Detectives, 314 W. 8th St., at 3 p.m. and saddle up for an 18-mile cruise through historic southern Dallas that pays tribute to the venerated blues-style shredder. There will be stops at his childhood home, his teen haunts and his final resting place. The tour winds down at Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., for a screening of Kirby Warnock’s documentary When Dallas Rocked at 7 p.m. The 2015 Cylesomatic Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial Ride and subsequent film screening (which you can attend even if you don’t partake in the bike ride) is free, though Kirby Warnock will be on hand at the theater to take donations for a sculpture of Vaughan and his brother Jimmie planned for Kiest Park. For more information, head to Facebook. - Jennifer Davis-Lamm