When Kitchen Dog Theater mounts a new play, you put on your theater loafers and show up. This weekend, the well-oiled comedy machine mounts a new translation of Swiss playwright Max Frisch's mid-century classic, The Arsonists. This comedic parable focuses on a town that's struggling with a serious arson problem, and the wealthy businessman who takes in houseguests who need some extra room in his attic for a few drums of gasoline. It opens this weekend, and if you've never attended a Kitchen Dog opening night, do yourself a favor and buy a ticket to this Friday's show. They know how to throw a rager. Tickets and more info at kitchendogtheater.org.
Thursday, November 6 Joshua Bell at the Winspear When you hear about someone who is called "the poet of the violin", you automatically peg them as someone who spent their childhood tethered to a string instrument. Joshua Bell did have a knack for the violin as a child, there's no doubt, but he didn't lose his younger years to it. By all accounts, he got to veg out in front of the Atari, gorge himself on Star Wars, and play tennis just like any other kid of the 70s and early 80s without anyone going all tiger mom on him. And when he finally decided to put all of his energy toward the violin in his early teenage years, it didn't take him long to ascend to virtuoso status--by the time he was 17, he was playing Carnegie Hall. Since then, Bell has racked up a slew of accolades and titles in the classical music world and still slays onstage with his legatos and sautillés; see for yourself as he performs as part of the Winspear Opera House's Recital Series on Thursday, November 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to the event at the Winspear, 2403 Flora, are $45 to $100 at attpac.org. - Jennifer Davis-Lamm
Aromatherapy Karaoke Night The crazy cats behind Good Luck Karaoke at Deep Ellum's Twilite Lounge choose the strangest themes. For this, I'm coming armed with Enya.
Transitioners There are different levels of artistry: one on, there is art made for the sake of aesthetics; on another, there is art that goes beyond the purpose of appealing to people visually or aurally and seeks to effect social change or provide social documentation. There's nothing wrong with art that's solely aesthetic--but local arts organization Make Art with a Purpose (MAP) seeks to go beyond that, by advancing projects and providing resources for work that leads to social change. Transitioners is just such a work--a Slovakian project that examines communities and places that are in transition culturally, politically or geographically. Using installations, large scale "happenings" and performances, artists Pavlína Fichta Čierna and Matej Vakula examine growth and development and create dialogues about its effects; they'll discuss their work during a lecture presented by MAP and University of Texas at Dallas' CentralTrak artist residency. NEXT TOPIC: Transitioners will be moderated by MAP founder Janeil Engelstad on Thursday, November 6 at 7 p.m. at CentralTrak, 800 Exposition Avenue. There is no charge for admission; visit centraltrak.net to learn more. -JDL
Deep: Expressions of the Feminine Aura Kettle Art Galley hosts an all-female show, featuring five artists who create work that contains commentary on gender. The artists include: Roxanne Mather, Corey Godfrey, Megan Petasky, Emily Hawkins, and Harmony Witte. Swing by the opening reception at Kettle, 2650-B Main St., from 7-10 p.m. Thursday. More information at kettleart.com.
Bluebeard's Castle: Opera in Concert First performed in the United States by our very own Southern Methodist University, Bartok's one-act opera is a psychologically harrowing tale of a newlywed couple and their disturbing castle home. As with most performances of the opera, the DSO presents Bluebeard's Castle, not as a staged production, but in concert. A firm believer in the synthesis of peasant music with classical forms, Bartok's sole opera combines elements of Hungarian folk with heavy nods to Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande. Much like the narrative, the music throughout is at turns enchanting and unsettling. Jaap van Zweden conducts a program that also includes Mozart's Symphony No. 25. See it Thursday or Saturday. For tickets and more information visit mydso.com. -Jonathan Patrick
Friday, November 7
Flinching Eye Collective While not out to reinvent the wheel, the audio-visual artists in Flinching Eye Collective are out to sidestep the conventional expectations of performance art. A project that explores the connections between video, sound, and physical environment, FEC channel the ghosts of thinkers like John Cage and Marcel Duchamp to host interactive performances that challenge the very notion of what constitutes "art." On a three-leg Texas tour that sees the crew swing through Dallas (hosted by CentralTrak's music series CentralSound), FEC's realtime sound-based exhibitions are sure to provide an experience the likes of which we rarely see here in DFW. This one night event takes place at CentralTrak's Deep Ellum gallery (800 Exposition Ave, 75226) on November 7 at 8:00 PM. Admission is FREE. Additional info at centraltrak.net. -JP
Continental Gin Open Studios Think of the Continental Gin building as something of a dormitory for the artistically inclined...like UNT's storied Bruce Hall, except the artists of the Continental Gin probably don't stuff their pockets with boxes of cereal every morning and slink back to their studios to sleep until noon. They'd probably like to (and wouldn't we all) but these are working artists--people who have matured visions and honed processes and creative drives...and art to sell. You'll get a glimpse into all of these things during one of the twice-yearly open studio events held at the historic 120-year-old building (located at 3309 Elm Street) on Friday, November 7 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. and Saturday, November 8 from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. The Continental Gin Building Open Studios is chock-a-block with a variety of art, which in years past included everything from video installation to sculpture and jewelry to super realistic paintings. Artists will be hanging around to talk about their work and their space and to ply you with snacks (and wine). Admission is free; visit facebook.com/continentalginbuilding for more. -JDL
FWSO Presents Hitchcock! Halloween might be over but the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra still has some celebrating to do. Conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya leads the FWSO in an evening showcasing the best of Alfred Hitchcock's film scores. This includes quite inarguably some of the finest music ever put to motion picture: compositions by the likes of Bernard Hermann, Lyn Murray and Dmitri Tiomkin. Scenes from the corresponding Hitchcock masterworks -- To Catch A Thief, Vertigo, and North By Northwest -- will accompany the orchestra's renditions on Bass Hall's large viewing screen. Following Sunday's performance, the audience is invited to meet and mingle with the FWSO's musicians in Bass Hall's Grand Lobby. For tickets and more info visit fwsymphony.org. -JP
Saturday, November 8 Alamo Drafthouse Groundbreaking We're one day closer to having a movie theater downtown. Er, south of downtown. The groundbreaking on the Alamo Drafthouse in the Cedars takes place this weekend, and in keeping with the company's cinematic good times, they're throwing a party. Head down to the construction site (across the street from Gilley's), bring a lawn chair, grab some food truck bites, and watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Admission is free.
Caviar Club Menswear Trunk Show You, sir, look like you could use a fancy new pocketsquare. Or a bowtie. Look, if you're going to reach your full potential as a dapper gentleman, you might want to check out Caviar Club's menswear line. Because nothing says swanky like caviar and club. Stroll into the Winter trunk show Saturday evening at the new Glass Optical showroom (833 W. Davis St.). Nothing says winter like a new velvet bowtie... or well, anything velvet. The party starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, there will be drinks and tunes.
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Francesca Bifulco at WAAS Gallery Italian born, Los Angeles based artist Bifulco paints crowd scenes. Her exhibition, Inside Out of Touch, opens at WAAS Gallery Saturday evening. In this series, her central painting is titled At the Fair, and portrays a young girl in a crowd at, well, the fair. Stop by for the gallery talk at 6 p.m. Saturday and stick around for an opening reception.
Sunday, November 10 Bishop Arts Brass As more dance companies opt to dance alongside recorded tracks, Avant Chamber Ballet is a local dance company committed to performing with live music. It's made them a go-to company for dance and music lovers. Recently they launched a concert series (Just music, no dance). This weekend, the second in the concert series takes place at the Crow Collection of Asian Art (2010 Flora St.) featuring the Bishop Arts Brass. The concert is free and happens at 3 p.m. Sunday. More information at avantchamberballet.org.
Monologue Jam Inspiration can be found around every corner in Dallas. Artists funnel it into work they present to an audience that greets it with exuberant applause. But sometimes that relationship can be a bit more reciprocal. At Monologue Jam, the audience provides the inspiration, giving improv performers a prompt that they then turn into a 3 minute monologue. The direction of the evening becomes routed by those who attend. So bring your funniest friend and a bottle of your favorite white wine (BYOB), and enjoy an evening of pranks, jokes, and storytelling at its most spontaneous. There will be contests, games, giveaways, and who knows what else. Head to the Margo Jones Theatre (1121 First Ave.) at 7 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 at the door.
Complete Works of Shakespeare: Two Gents In an effort to speak every word Shakespeare ever wrote, Shakespeare Dallas created a staged reading series. They're midway through the five year project and this weekend, they'll stage The Two Gentleman of Verona. See it at Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St. At 3 p.m. Sunday or 7 p.m. Monday. Tickets cost $10 and are available at attpac.org.