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.
Odysseo by Cavalia Growing up in North Dallas, there was just enough rural farm land for me and my sister's relentless begging to actually lead to horseback riding lessons. And though I never became horse racing material, I continue to respect a beautiful stallion. Which is why I was willing to trek all the way to Frisco last night to see 63 beautiful horses prance, and run, and jump, and run somewhere. Nothing much happens besides that in Odysseo. There's not much in the way of story, and I heard complaints on my row due to the lack of glitter. But there are human and horsey acrobatics galore, which is all I really wanted. The stays under the big top through Feb. 8. Tickets will run you $29.50-$149.50. More at cavalia.net.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra The Dallas Symphony Orchestra finishes out a strong month with yet another fantastic program. The evening begins with Prokofiev's suspenseful Symphony No. 3, a work primarily sourced from the composer's long-delayed opera The Fiery Angel. After a short intermission, the DSO welcomes accomplished pianist Peter Serkin to perform Mozart's sinewy and singular Piano Concerto No. 19. Rimsky-Koraskov's swift five-movement orchestral suite, Capriccio Espangnol, concludes proceedings with a rich vein of percussively acrobatic orchestration inspired by Spanish folk music. James Gaffigan conducts. Performances take place at the Meyerson Symphony Center (2301 Flora St.) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. More information at mydso.com. -- Jonathan Patrick
Meet & Greet with Circus Cats What's better than a cat? One that can do tricks. Tricks like play guitar, or a million other things these talented feline perform. The Acro-Cats are coming to Stage West Theater in Fort Worth from January 30- February 8, but they'll stop by Lee Harvey's (1807 Gould St.) from 5- 8 p.m. Thursday for a sneak peek. The show will be free, but no dogs allowed.
Friday, Jan. 30 Everest/La Wally Um, guys, the opera is doing a double feature that includes the world premiere of Everest by Joey Talbot. Don't ask questions. Be there to witness history, and art, and men singing about climbing mountains. 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Marvel Universe Live! Well, it's officially Super Hero month in North Texas. For the last few weeks we've hosted the Marvel Experience, which has delighted the area's youths with its interactive games, 3-D tech and rides. Now the Marvel super heroes and villains are taking over the American Airlines Center. What can you expect from Marvel Universe Live! this weekend? Well, people in spandex, pyrotechnics, gymnastic routines, Wolverine somehow not stabbing people despite his giant claws, 10 thousand screaming little kids and adults who are slightly embarrassed by the whole thing. Oh, and there's going to be another damn gift shop where Marvel will shill show-specific merchandise, like the Lectro Link. We have no idea what the Lectro Link is, but we're already roped into buying the kid one, even though we haven't bought tickets to the show yet. Admission starts at $45. Tickets available at marveluniverselive.com
$3 Double Features at the Granada Theater This weekend you have the chance to catch double feature film screenings at the Granada. On Friday at 7:30 p.m. catch Clerks followed by Clerks 2. At the same time Saturday catch Kill Bill vol 1, then stick around for Kill Bill vol 2. Entry is just $3, although knowing you the bar tab you run up will more than triple the price of admission.
Vincent Falsetta: Agendas - Several Decades of Painting Since the 70's, artist Vincent Falsetta has painted abstractions. Recently he debuted new work at Conduit Gallery in a stunning display, and this weekend the UNT on the Square (109 N. Elm St, Denton) gallery offers a peek into his studio practice. See work from all stages of his career. The artist reception is from 5:30 -7:30 p.m Friday.
The Amazing Acro-Cats We humans have done some pretty amazing things in our time: We've built temples and walls and giant pyramids that seemingly defy engineering principles; we've created technologies that allow us to see and interact with friends and family on the other side of the planet; and scientists have mapped out many of the secrets held in our genes. Now we have another achievement to add to the list: cats that perform circus tricks. OK, so The Amazing Acro-Cats won't be up for a Nobel anytime soon, but come on. These trainers have persuaded cats -- the most surly and conniving of all beasts, the type of animal that will identify the thing you love most, and then claw it to shreds and piss and vomit on it -- to do things that please you. Their kitties ride skateboards, roll barrels and play guitars, making your feline friend look like a box-crapping imbicile. It's a collection of furry feats you won't want to miss. See it live at Fort Worth's Stage West Theatre (821 W. Vickery Blvd., Fort Worth) Friday through Sunday. Shows are at 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays; 5 and 8 p.m. on Saturdays; and 2 and 5 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $19 at circuscats.com
Russian Winter Festival Despite the unforgiving bitterness of Russia's winters and the country's history of political unrest and oppressive social laws, Russians know how to have a good time. And you too can party Northern Asia-style, when Hotel St. Germain (2516 Maple Ave.) hosts its annual Russian Winter Festival. The fun begins at 7 p.m. with the national elixir, vodka, served in shot glasses made of ice (you know, for a touch of authenticity). A feast of kielbasa, piroshki and potato pancakes follows, topped off with a mélange of the Russian imperial court's sweetest offerings. Once you're good and full of chilled vodka, kabobs and specialty chocolates, you'll want to take selfies with the cardboard cutout of Russian Prime Minister, and noted punk rock-hater, Vladimir Putin -- the best way to commemorate this "partiya." Get your ticket for $95 by calling 214-871-2516. - Kelly Dearmore
Saturday, Jan. 31 Melvin Edwards:Five Decades Melvin Edwards has spent the last five decades working in steel. His most famous body of work is a series of small, steel reliefs titled "Lynch Fragments." These 3-dimensional pieces, which Edwards has been making for much of his career, aren't overwhelming in size, but carry a powerful presence. These pieces will be displayed alongside his larger pieces and installations. It may sound redundant, but his work can only be fully realized in person. He's been declared one of America's greatest sculptors. See it from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday or through May 10. Admission to the Nasher is $10. He'll be discussing his work as part of the Nasher 360 Series at 2 p.m. RSVP for that here.
RongRong&inri Chinese/Japanese, Husband/Wife collaborative duo, RongRong&inri are the subject of much of their own work, using black and white photography as a way to document relationships and life. Their work will be at The Modern in Fort Worth, as part of its FOCUS series. See it from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday or through April 5. Admission is $10.
Contemporary Japanese Fashion Symposium Have you ever searched Rei Kawakubo's designs and found yourself falling down a Google-image rabbit hole? Do you keep your gold Comme des Garcons button-up -- it's the perfect hybrid of menswear and disco queen -- in a garment bag? Are you still obsessed with Junya Watanabe's honeycomb dress from the autumn-winter 2001 "Techno Couture" collection? Just me? Well, if this sounds remotely like you, then you need a seat at the Contemporary Japanese Fashion Symposium at the Crow Collection of Asian Art (2100 Flora St.). This day-long symposium, held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, is in conjunction with the Mary Baskett Collection of Japanese Fashion exhibition, and it will cover a plethora of topics; you'll leave knowing more than you ever thought possible about avant-garde Japanese fashion. Tickets are $40 for the public; $20 for friends of the Crow Collection. More at crowcollection.org - Danielle Georgiou
soak stain bleed bloom It sounds like for her exhibition this weekend, Dallas-based artist Kristen Cochran is interested in fluidity. Which is to say that in her work, which will include a series of dunked drawings, lawn paintings and video works, she takes interested both in an open-ended process and result. In the show's description, she gives the definitions of the words in the show's title, as well as examples of use, as though to prepare us a show that challenges the way we discuss and define artistic process and result. I've never previously seen Cochran's work in person, but am very much looking forward to it. The opening reception is from 6-8 p.m. at the Pollock Gallery on Southern Methodist University's campus. Address: 3140 Dyer St.
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Piece Out Artistic process as artistic product -- you've probably heard some version of this idea before. The idea that the act of creation is as important as the final output isn't particularly new. It's in the same vein as the notion that the journey is as valuable as the destination. To artist James Rizzi, known as JMR, this concept is most prevalent in street art, with its speedy execution and experimental, rebellious nature. For Piece Out at WAAS Gallery (2722 Logan St.), JMR takes a special interest in visually recording the evolution of his process. His work both on paper and in three dimensions explores the balance between the conscious and subconscious mind. See the work during a free opening reception from 7-10 p.m. Saturday or through March 14. More information at waasgallery.com.
Soft Noodle Map When you step into the Ochre House Theater (825 Exposition Ave.), you enter another world -- a world entirely of artistic director Matthew Posey's creation. His small group of ruffians puts together shows every six weeks, and they're consistently magical mixtures of music and storytelling. For the next production, Soft Noodle Map, Posey's concocted a love story about a retired astronomer's 60th birthday party, at which the celebrant pieces together the puzzle of his past. It features some of the usual cast of actors -- including Cassie Bann, Carla Parker and Kevin Grammer, among others -- along with music by Bobby Fajardo, Jeff Keddy, Trey Pendergrass and Deanna Valone. See this musical comedy about relationships and life's mysteries when it opens at 8:15 p.m. Saturday or through February 21. Show times are 8:15 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. Tickets are $15. More information at ochrehousetheater.com.
Sunday, Feb. 1 NFL Super Bowl XLIX I can sometimes be anti-sports, but not this weekend. My dad will be in town, my mother is bound to make a million fancy dips, and I'm completely a sucker for the ads. I think my team will be Seattle, but I may change my mind before Sunday. Watch it wherever you fancy with whomever you like at 5:30 p.m. Sunday on NBC. Or don't. The lovely thing about television is that you can always switch it off.