18 Awesome Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend, April 16-19

The weather's great, the weekend is on its way (or arrived, depending on when you're reading this), and we're looking at nothing but culturally relevant fun for the next four days. Kick it off tonight with a play or two of your favorite comedians, and then head into some galleries, or hop on a bbq tour. Dallas is a happening place.

Thursday, April 16

Nick Offerman & Megan Mullally TV's Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally are one of Hollywood's most powerful comedy couples and not just because they are one of the few to actually stay married long enough to merit a ridiculously overpriced wedding. That's because they do more than just live together. They also perform together on the road like the old fashioned, husband and wife comedy teams before them like Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara and ... well, if you think of another one, let us know. The Parks & Recreation and Will & Grace stars are taking their comedy show throughout the country, and they always featuer a unique mix of stand-up and song. This time, the first couple of live comedy are in the middle of the cleverly named "Summer of 69: No Apostrophe" tour and they're bringing it to the Majestic Theatre (1925 Elm St.) at 8 p.m. Thursday for an evening of "heavy ribaldry, light petting and an astonishing final act of completion." It sounds like you should bring a towel. Tickets are $39.50 per person at ticketmaster.com. - Danny Gallagher

Colossal The country's favorite form of drama takes place every year from September to February, and it appears in living rooms, bars and giant stadiums across this great land. It features a cast of rich team owners, apoplectic coaches and players who we root for as long as they're useful to our cause. And our cause is football: a sport where fresh-faced college kids and hardened domestic-abusers alike are chewed up and spit out amidst a frenzy of jersey sales and talk-radio callers -- cast aside when pass-completion rates dip or catastrophic injuries occur. It's the latter that's the dominant theme in Colossal, a play performed in four quarters, complete with a rousing halftime show. Director Kevin Moriarty will turn the Wyly Theatre (2400 Flora St.) into a realistic football field for an immersive experience that will explore the fate of a former UT football player left quadriplegic by an on-field injury. The Dallas Theater Center is sure to score a touchdown with their presentation of the epic and groundbreaking play; see it at 7:30 p.m. Thursday or through Sunday, May 3. Tickets are $18-$55; to purchase tickets and see show times, visit dallastheatercenter.org. - Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Meet the Cast: Happy Camper This season, the popular Oral Fixation storytelling series launched a meet and greet night. The cast previews the stories they'll be reading at next week's evening of true life tales, which has the theme "Happy Camper." It's the last in the season, so if you've been procrastinating, this is your chance. - Lauren Smart

Mozart's Requiem This is the big one. Gloriously dark, at turns sublime and brutal, Mozart's final piece of music serves as a sweeping eschatological assault on death and dying. Aberrantly expressive, sometimes uncomfortably so, The Requiem is a triumphant monument to Mozart's impossible skill-set. Although arguably one of the most affecting pieces of music ever written -- with an infamous, although largely fabricated, backstory only deepening its mystique -- The Requiem's content somehow manages to surpass its reputation. The question: Is the Dallas Symphony Orchestra up for the challenge? The U.S. premiere of Wolfgang Rihm's Triple Concerto opens the program. This event has all the makings to be one of the absolute highlights of the DFW classical season. Performances take place at 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday and at 2:30 Sunday at the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. Tickets start at just $19. More information at mydso.com. -Jonathan Patrick

Friday, April 17 Justyna Gorowska: FWJG Photographer Francesca Woodman was fascinated by the female body. During the late 70's she shot black and white portraiture, often of women in the nude, playing with the camera to blur or smudge the image further submerging the subject into the medium. Woodman's photographic self-awareness, her sensitive portrayal of the female form, and a personal life marked with tragedy (she committed suicide in 1981 at 22 years old) have given contemporary artists many reasons to obsess over Woodman. One such artist is Polish performance artist Justyna Gorowska, whose first American solo exhibition, FWJG, marries her style with that of Woodman. For this exhibition, which opens at Cydonia Gallery (167 Payne St.) from 6-8 p.m. Friday night, Gorowska immerses herself into Woodman's work. Like Woodman before her, Growska takes an interest in blurring the boundaries between subject and work. The opening reception is free and open to the public and will include a performance. More information at cydoniagallery.com. -LS

All My Sons I've always thought that Arthur Miller's All My Sons sounds like a soap opera. Certainly there is plenty of familial conflict in this post-World War II drama, but obviously the playwright brings a bit more sophistication to the dialogue than you'd find in your grandmother's "stories." The winner of the very first Tony Award for Best New Play in 1947 (It beat Eugene O'Neill's stunning The Iceman Cometh), All My Sons explores the American Dream through the Keller family, who is being torn apart by a huge secret. WaterTower Theatre stacks the deck for this production with a stellar cast, including the company's artistic director Terry Martin, who is rarely seen onstage. The show previews this weekend, with a performance at 2 p.m. Sunday, and runs through May 10. See it at the Addison Conference Center (15650 Addison Rd.). Tickets start at $20. More information at watertowertheatre.org. -LS

Continental Gin Building Spring Open House If walls could talk, the ones in the Continental Gin building would be the life of the party. The building itself goes way back, but for the past 26 years, it's served as an artist community--housing studios where local sculptors, painters, jewelry-makers, and photographers hash out all their creative ideas. All the angst, the heartache, the joy, and the accomplishments of the artists are contained amongst the concrete and the drywall--but a few times a year, the building opens its doors wide and shares its stories with the public. The Continental Gin Building Spring Open House from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, and 2 to 8 p.m. on Saturday gives you a glimpse of the diverse array of art contained inside the studios, located at 3309 Elm. Walk around with a glass of wine and see the delights behind each studio door in this free event, which is part of the Deep Ellum Art Walk on Saturday. Visit facebook.com for more information. -JDL

Texas Ballet Theater Masterworks It's not boastful and it's not a big leap...though it very well contains a few. It's perfectly logical that you'd call centerpiece performances of three bold and diverse pieces of choreography, Masterworks. The Texas Ballet Theater presents abstract beauty, life and death through dance, and heady, lilting romance in the trio of vignettes by different choreographers. TBT tackles George Balanchine's "Rubies," a jewel-toned but otherwise plot-less piece (an excerpt from the first wholly plot-less ballet, Jewels) paired with an Igor Stravinsky score. Jiri Kylian's "Petite Mort" is set to Mozart and features choreography as challenging as its theme. TBT artistic director Ben Stevenson offers up his own "Five Poems," set to Wagner and inspired by the atmosphere at sunset, with sets and costumes were designed by Jane Seymour. Masterworks takes the stage 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. Tickets are $20-$150. Visit tickets.texasballettheater.org. -Merritt Martin

DMA Late Night & DGDG A lot of acronyms up there, but let's break it down: Dallas Museum of Art hosts its late night this Friday and the local experimental dance group, Danielle Georgiou Dance Group will be leading a workshop and then presenting a number of works. The workshop takes place at 8 p.m. in the C3 Tech Lab, and the performance is at 9:30 p.m. -LS

Saturday, April 18 Festival of Chariots Kalachandji's is one of Dallas' most perfect little secrets. Anytime I have an out of town visitor to impress (who isn't hell-bent on barbecue), that's the first place I take them--it's a little oasis with a gorgeous patio and some of the finest vegetarian cuisine in the city. It's also a Hare Krishna temple, and if you've never been to one of their elaborate festivals, now's your chance to experience their signature whirlwind of color, music and food. The annual Festival of Chariots recreates Lord Sri Krishna's chariot-driven return to his childhood home in the form of a parade; the Dallas version will leave from the steps of Kalachandji's, 5430 Gurley Ave., at 10 a.m. on Saturday, winding its way through East Dallas until noon. Afterward, revelers will return to the temple grounds for a joyous and family-friendly celebration until 4 p.m. featuring free vegetarian cuisine, music, dance, children's activities, face-painting, henna and more. For more information on the festival, visit facebook.com. -JDL

Rawlins Gilliland: Detention Hall Many of us dimiss our elders, believing that creating art with value and meaning and humor is best left to the young. But perhaps we're just not paying attention. In Rawlins Gilliland's newest endeavor "Detention Hall -- 70 Years of Poor Conduct," the bon vivant will relay his special brand of memoir-esque stories, this time exploring more tawdry subjects to a live score. He'll surely leave you with a night to remember, as well as some risqué dirt to take home. Get to the Kessler Theatre (1230 W. Davis St.) at 8 p.m. Saturday to experience the wisdom of Gilliland's 70 years delivered with youthful crassness. Admission ranges from $24-$36. Purchase tickets at prekindle.com. - Lucas Buckels

Cinema While we all love the movies, not many of us have adequate exposure to the stage. However, what if the stage brought the movies to us? In Infinity Dance Productions latest feature production Cinema, they're able to choreograph decades-worth of material into dance and stage ready adaptations. The best part, you ask? The movies range from Ghost starring Patrick Swayze to Donnie Darko starring Jake Gyllenhaal. There isn't an award winning film missing from this lineup with the added fun of live performance. So, definitely head to the Latino Cultural Center (2600 Live Oak St.) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday to take a journey through time with the zest of movement. Admission ranges from $15-$20. Go to eventbrite.com to purchase tickets and for more info. -Lucas Buckels

Texas Monthly BBQ Road Trip This is the era of unapologetic barbecue worship. Ranking the purveyors of smoked meats is something of a national sport; it sells zillions of magazines and generates tons of blog hits. Taking personal time off to wait in line for an hour at lunchtime is not unheard of -- and I've seen tears shed when restaurants announce to a queue of hungry patrons that they're out of ribs. We truly live in the golden age of barbecue, and if you've been slow to jump on the meaty wagon, then you need to ... jump on the meaty wagon. Well, technically, it's a bus: The Texas Monthly BBQ Road Trip will pick up passengers at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 18 at 300 West 7th St. in Oak Cliff; passengers will be treated to breakfast at Stanley's Famous Pit Bar-B-Q in Tyler, lunch at The Slow Bone in Dallas, and a late afternoon feast at Lockhart Smokehouse. In between the pit-stops, BBQ guru Daniel Vaughn will wax meaty about brisket, trade secrets, and other perks of being a full-time barbecue editor. Tickets are $150 at tmbbq.com and include beverages on the bus, plus meals and a beverage at each stop. -JDL

Letitia Huckaby: Bayou Baroque Late in February, the previously conjoined galleries Liliana Bloch Gallery and Public Trust announced they would be moving West to join the numbers in the Design District. This weekend, the first show to take over Bloch's space will be a solo exhibition of Letitia Huckaby, which will be part of a project to document the Sisters of the Holy Family Mother House in New Orleans, Louisiana: an African-American congregation, founded in 1842. For this body of work Huckaby uses techniques of portraiture to create photographs printed on fabric of a number of sisters. See it on display in the opening reception from 6-9 p.m. Saturday. More at lilianablochgallery.com. -LS

The Public Trust Just next door to Liliana Bloch Gallery, gallerist Brian Gibb re-opens his space The Public Trust with a group show of work by artists including illiam Binnie, Arthur Peña, Brent Ozaeta, Favio Moreno, Misty Keasler, Mylan Nguyen, Taro-Kun, among others. See the new digs during the opening reception from 6-9 p.m. Saturday. More at trustthepublic.com. -LS

Artspark Community Art Fair There are few places in this world where high art mixes with high commerce as successfully as at NorthPark Mall. That's part of the ongoing legacy of the Nasher family, who developed and own the mall, as well as the venerable Arts District sculpture museum that bears their name. The ArtsPark Community Art Fair is a celebration of that partnership, bringing arts organizations into the hallowed halls of NorthPark, 8687 North Central Expressway, to highlight the ways in which art is a part of our everyday lives. Expect your shopping experience on Saturday to include art from Circuit 12 Contemporary, Galleri Urbane, Zhulong Gallery, Cydonia Gallery, The Public Trust, Lab Art Texas; performances from Anita Martinez Ballet Folklorico, Texas Ballet Theater, McGuire School of Irish Dance, Dallas Symphony Orchestra; and demonstrations from the Dallas Zoo, Southwestern Watercolor Society, The Craft Guild of Dallas, Texas Sculpture Association. There will also be opportunities to learn more about local arts entities and how you can enrich your life with their offerings or volunteer. The art fair kicks off at 1 p.m.; visit northparkcenter.com to learn more. -JDL

A Spidey Weekend Spider-Man is the super hero that all other superheroes envy. He can't fly like Superman but come on, flying is such a boring and obvious superpower. It's the Olive Garden of superpowers. Yeah, he's got dead parents who drove him to his life of crimefighting like Batman but he doesn't have a flashback or an unending monologue about every five minutes of the day like some scorned character in a Shakespeare tragedy. He deserves more than just a temporary membership in the Fantastic Four and two great movies about his adventures. He deserves his own convention and the North Texas Comic Book Shows is finally giving it to him. From 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the DoubleTree Hotel (2015 Market Center Blvd.) will host "A Spidey Weekend" comic convention dedicated to Marvel's greatest superhero with a massive collector of Spidey comics, toys and other collectibles and appearances by Spider-Man artists Ron Frenz and Carlo Barberi and writers Tom DeFalco and Danny Fingeroth. Tickets are $7 each at comicbooksdallas.com; kids under 11 years of age can get in for free. -Danny Gallagher

Jonathan Ramirez's Infinite Sadness For this solo exhibition at WAAS Gallery, multidisciplinary artist Jonathan Ramirez uses painting, sculpture and photography to explore his interest in the process of human decay. To this point, he takes an interest in the human spirit in his work. See his exploration of these ideas from 8-10 p.m. Saturday. More at waasgallery.com. -LS

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