This weekend you can fill your life with prancing ponies, the world premiere of a new musical, acrobatic CATS that play guitar, art exhibitions, and Mozart. And you can do all of that before the Super Bowl on Sunday -- or during it, if you're so inclined. Get planning, slackers. The weekend starts now. (Just don't tell your boss. Or mine.)
Thursday, Jan. 29
Stagger Lee The legend of Stagger Lee goes like this: A man got so pissed off at his "business partner" for taking his cowboy hat that he shot and killed him. In this day and age, it seems a little tame, but in late 19th century Missouri, Stagger Lee was a hat-retrieving badass. The story first appeared as a folk song in the Deep South, and later became fodder for hits by Lloyd Price, Ike and Tina Turner, the Clash, Johnny Otis, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and the Black Keys. Dallas Theater Center provides their own take on the man, myth and legend in the world premiere of the Will Power's musical Stagger Lee. The show takes the story back to its roots, but it's much more than a one-dimensional tale of a murderer and a hat. It's an examination of the American dream, racism and social history, set to a score of ragtime, R&B and hip-hop compositions. Watch Stagger Lee come to life at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theater (2400 Flora St.) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday; additional performances are Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. through February 15. Tickets are $17.50 to $60 at dallastheatercenter.org - Jennifer Davis-Lamm
Art President Stump Speeches Late last year, artists Thor Johnson and Joachim West brought their delectably irreverent sense of humor to an artist talk ruminating on the pretensions of the art world, and it was as much a performance as it was a serious conversation. These two will be back at it at 7 p.m. Thursday when they swing through Ro2 Art (110 N. Akard St.), each on a campaign to become the "art president" of Dallas. Hear their stump speeches, which are sure to be cheeky, surrounded by West's beautifully grotesque exhibit, Mother Earth Is a Dirty Whore, on display at Ro2. Entry is free. More information is available somewhere on Facebook, but don't expect much of an explanation.
Jesse Morgan Barnett & Jeff Gibbons Here's a show that you should wander through and then sit with for a week or two. Gibbons' pensive installation in the front rooms seems to battle its fancy environs, as he's moved experiences outside of and separate from an art space into one. In a larger gallery in the back, Barnett's Personal Life exhibition is an unmapped exploration of what reads as his experiences raising a child, or perhaps his interest in how his child experiences the world. The ground is covered with small installations, including a child-size wrought-iron gate at the center, and the work on the wall is filled with a mishmash of symbols and images. Trust me on this, the more time you spend with the work, and the longer you let it drift through your brain after you leave, the more interesting it becomes. Ahhh, abstraction at its most stimulating. See it from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thursday or Friday, or 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday at the Goss-Michael Foundation, 1405 Turtle Creek Blvd. More information at g-mf.org.
Tru I'm a theater nut. Always have been. And while I wanted to tell you go see THE FLICK this weekend, it seems you've missed your chance, as it's sold out through the end of the run. However, I'd put it out there that a little one-man-show called Tru is worth two hours of your time. I saw it last weekend, and Jaston Williams (Creator of Greater Tuna) is just so gosh-darn lovable in it that I have a hard time not liking the show. While the show's writing is eloquent, the plot is just so-so. But that seems like a moot point with Williams at the show's center. Oh, and another odd note is that it takes place at Christmastime, which had my internal calendar all jumbled. Still, I fell a little bit in love with the show, and Williams is a living legend. See it at 7:30 p.m. Thursday or 8 p.m. Friday or Saturday. Tickets are $12.50 - 25. More at theatre3dallas.com.