Thinner than Water The basis of a good family drama is the unified hatred of the patriarch. Well, hatred might be a strong word. Indifference? If there's one thing most of America can agree upon, it's that our parents fucked us up and we're not to blame for our deteriorating lives. The combustibility of family is the centerpiece of Melissa Ross' new play Thinner than Water, which receives its regional premiere at Kitchen Dog Theater at 8 p.m. Friday. If you're anything like the rest of us, chances are good that you'll recognize a bit of your own family in this comedy that The New York Times called, "Intellingently wrought." If the Kitchen Dogs have proven anything to us in the last 24 seasons, it's that they can bring out the fierce funniness in dark comedy. So, let this play serve as a bit of therapy for you. Thinner than Water runs at Kitchen Dog Theater (3120 McKinney Ave) through October 25. Tickets range from $20-40 are available at kitchendogtheater.org.
Thursday, September 18 Art 21: Exclusive Private Screening ART 21 is one of those gems of public television. This PBS show explores the contemporary art world through interviews with the world's most interesting working artists. For the season seven kick off, Susan Sollins - the show's executive director and curator -brings a special, exclusive screening to Dallas, where she collaborates with the Goss-Michael Foundation to show the season premiere at Texas Theatre at 7 p.m. Thursday. See the first episode and stick around for a conversation between Sollins and KERA's Jeff Whittington afterward. Tickets are free, but you must RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Art 21 airs on KERA TV, channel 13 at 10 p.m. Tuesdays starting October 28. More information is available at gossmichaelfoundation.org.
Martinis, Manicures, and Mammaries How about a little charity with your pampering? Head to Beauty Bar, 1924 North Henderson, at 7 p.m. Thursday for the Martinis, Manicures and Mammaries event. Drink, pamper, drink, repeat. Oh, and part of the proceeds will be donated to Basser Center for BRCA (which focuses on prevention and treatment of breast and ovarian cancers related to the BRCA mutation) The fundraising continues nightly through Friday, October 31 as $2 from every Nailtini product sold will go to the Basser Center. For more information, contact Beauty Bar at 214-841-9600.
Mesa's Flamenco Night Spend a "Night in Spain" without leaving Oak Cliff. Mesa's Flamenco night features music, dance, and a great plate of food. The night costs $10 to get in, plus whatever you spend on the copious amount of wine you will drink. Call 214-941-4246 for reservations.
Tim & Eric You don't even have to be up on your comedy game to know their names. Tim & Eric have a special brand of funny and they bring it Dallas at 8 p.m. Thursday to the Majestic Theatre (1925 Elm St.). Oh, and if that weren't enough, Dr. Steve Brule (aka John C. Reilly) will be there. Tickets cost $37.50 and are available at ticketmaster.com.
North Texas Giving Day This isn't an event, so much as a reminder. Do you have a favorite non-profit? Give 'em some money. Today there are competitive matching grants and a lot of other monetary goodies up for grabs, so scroll through to that favorite theater company or art space and give, give, give! Details at northtexasgivingday.org.
Tete a Tete with Christopher Blay The first installment of CentralTrak's conversation series is with Christopher Blay, whose spent much of his career in Fort Worth. He'll be discussing his work and the importance of place with Anthony Mariani of the Fort Worth Weekly. The talk is free and starts at 7 p.m. Thursday. More information at centraltrak.net.
Friday, September 19
The Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival Hannibal Buress, Jeff Ross, Marc Maron, Sarah Silverman, Louis C.K., need I say more? The Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival returns to the Gexa Energy Pavilion (1818 First Ave.) at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $35-$99.75 at livenation.com.
Strangling Brother's Haunted Circus Every Friday and Saturday through November 1, and Wednesdays and Thursdays in October, prepare to be scared by zombies and other spooky creatures. Tickets are $30 and it is suggested that you prepare yourself for an "overall physically demanding environment." The maze is located at the Irving Mall (3880 Irving Mall), just south of Dillards, for more info visit www.stranglingbrotherstexas.com.
Plano Balloon Festival It's like that movie Up, but better! For the entire weekend, balloons fly over North Texas and you can be there for the action. Tickets are $5 for adults, free for kids under 36 inches, and $4 for seniors. Gates are open from 4 p.m. Friday, 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Sunday. Visit planoballoonfest.org for more.
Dance Africa Celebrate traditional African dance with Dallas Black Dance Theatre this weekend. The show features all five of Dallas Black Dance Theatre's performing companies, and rings in their 38th season. See it at 7:30 p.m. Friday or Saturday at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, 2501 Flora Street. Tickets are $25-$40 and available at dbdt.com.
Two Story: a video installation by Frank Mosley and Lee Luna In the Safe Room at the Texas Theatre, the winter film in the Mosley and Luna's Four Seasons Quartet will be screened on loop starting at 8:30 p.m. Friday.
Thor Johnson: Fair Game The inaugural exhibition for Midway Gallery is a series of photos and videos by Thor Johnson, curated by Lee Escobedo. A staple in the local arts scene, Johnson documented the State Fair of Texas from 2004-2008 and in keeping with Midway Gallery's focus, the photos will be displayed as window projections. His photos serve as a portrait of the Fair, waffling between whimsical portraits of the kaleidoscope of fair-goers and more poignant snapshots of the humanity on display. Saturday, September 20 A Transfer of Spirit Many of the today's contemporary artists are inspired by the same masters. You'll see the work of master painters emulated in young artists as they develop their own careers that often take wildly different paths. The same is true for students who study under the same teacher, which is the idea of Kirk Hopper's newest exhibition, A Transfer of Spirit - a display of artists who studied with Roger Winter. See the work of David Bates, Suzanne Kelley Clark, John Alexander and several others arists as they celebrate Winter, Professor Emeritus of Painting and Drawing at Southern Methodist University. Winter, who taught his first painting class 53 years ago at the Fort Worth Art Center, built an artistic career of his own, but this exhibition celebrates the influences he's put out into the world as a teacher. See it in its opening reception at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Kirk Hopper Fine Art, 3008 Commerce St. More information is available at kirkhopperfineart.com.
DADA Fall Gallery Walk More than 35 galleries throughout North Texas participate in this year's Fall Gallery Walk, which is less walk, more metroplex collaborative event. But if you want to see 'em all, we salute you. DADA suggests beginning at the MAC, 3120 McKinney Ave., but for an expanded directory, call 214-914-1099 or visit dallasartdealers.org. If you want to parse your gallery hopping down to one neighborhood, try the Deep Ellum Gallery Walk.
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Sunday, September 21
Urban Theater: New York Art in the 1980s A great museum exhibition can serve as a time capsule. When The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth opens its newest exhibit, Urban Theater: New York Art in the 1980s, visitors will be sent back to one of the most exciting decades in contemporary art history. Think Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons, Jenny Holzer, Cindy Sherman, Julian Schnabel, and Andy Warhol for starters. Their work and more will be on display in this reexamination of an era that continues to prove influential. See it at The Modern (3200 Darnell St.) through January 4, from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesdays - Sundays. General admission is $10. More information at themodern.org.
Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade Every year, the gay community in Dallas celebrates the freedom of being "out." After 31 years, the annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade has grown into quite the event with its march taking over Cedar Springs Road with huge displays of pride and support. This year, catch the route from Wycliff Avenue to Lee Park at 2 p.m. Sunday as dozens of participants march by. It's always quite the event in Dallas and this year promises to be no different. More information at dallaspride.org.
The Parallax View As a city, Dallas has plenty of experience with conspiracy theories, corruption, and making headlines. But enough about us. At 5:30 p.m. Sunday, the Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd.) screens a 35-mm print of The Parallax View, which follows a reporter as he unravels a multinational corporation's conspiracy that led to a senator's assassination and countless other headline tragedies around the world. Alan J. Pakula's paranoia-inducing suspense thriller is the perfect cap for an otherwise drama-less weekend. See it for $10.50. More information at thetexastheatre.com.