When I announced in the Dallas Observer staff meeting on Monday morning that the Dead White Zombies had a show opening this week, my boss paused, looked around the room, and asked, "Are we in it right now?" This is exactly the question Dallas' weirdest theater mind, Thomas Riccio, wants people to ask. The shows are all about breaking down theater conventions and defying expectations. No two shows are ever alike, and in the ones I've seen, I'm often asking myself, "Is this theater?" The immersive, sometimes enlightening, sometimes confusing, and always a little bit creepy shows take place in abandoned warehouses or homes throughout West Dallas and they're the perfect kind of weird. You don't get to settle into your seat and sip your glass of $9 wine. You have to walk through the space and you might interact with the actors. You won't be comfortable, but that's the point. kaRaoKe MoTeL is the final play in a three part series, for which the Zombies constructed a seedy motel, and filled the rooms with the unexpected. If Flesh World was death, and (w)hole was the afterlife, kaRaoKe MoTeL is rebirth. Grab your tickets while you can. The show opens at 8:01 p.m. Thursday with multiple shows in a night and runs through December 13. More info at deadwhitezombies.com.
Thursday, November 20
Deep Ellum Wine Walk Get to know the Deep Ellum neighborhood a bit better, pick up a few things at the local shops and do it all while drinking a glass of wine. Buy a glass at a participating vendor for $5 and you'll get refreshed at every stop (NOTE: This isn't New Orleans, so you'll have to do a bit of chugging here and there.) Start your night at Kettle Art Gallery and see the fabulous show, Deep: Expressions of the Feminine Aura, which features five female artists.
Amy Schumer I learned recently that Amy Schumer is responsible for getting Comedy Central to allow the word "pussy" to go unbleeped. Of course, I'm probably the only writer in Dallas who can write "pussy" in an article without it being censored by advertisers or conservative subscribers or investors. Suck on that, other journalists! Of course, I'm putting it in quotes so that if my mom reads this, she will know that Amy Schumer said it, not her sweet daughter whose language is G-rated. Anyway, Schumer's is at the Verizon Theatre tonight. Tickets are between $37.50-$40 depending on available seating, or more expensive on Craigslist. Grab 'em quick. Don't fuck this up.
Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls Undermain Theatre's newest show is a hit, according to our theater critic Elaine Liner. At one point in her review she describes a storyline as "Sex & the City in Moscow, with Mr. Big as a bear." When I previewed it, I called it a grown-up Frozen. Go see it, because it's awesome. 7:30 p.m. Thursday or 8:15 Friday & Saturday. Tickets at undermaintheatre.org.
NICE by Danielle Georgiou Dance Group You've only got one more weekend to see this show (which, yes, happens to be by our dance writer, Danielle Georgiou). But Liner loved it. Tickets are selling quick at ticketdfw.com.
Friday, November 21
A Hunger Games Event We probably don't need to tell you, but we will. The new Hunger Games movie arrives in Dallas this weekend. Now, I'll be honest, that doesn't mean much to me. But my SMU journalism students are atwitter with excitement. If you're even half as excited as they are, you can shell out $35 to spend a Hunger Games-themed evening at Alamo Drafthouse. Basically you're shuttled between the theater and an archery tag place. More info at drafthouse.com/dfw.
The 31st Beaujolais & Beyond Wine Festival If you ever want to talk me into showing up somewhere, just promise me a glass of wine, or pack me a tumbler of it. I have a friend who calls this our "tumbler time." So, add in the promise of French food, and this is the perfect way to spend a Friday evening. Tickets are $65 online at faccdallas.com or $70 at the door. Expensive? No question. Worth it? Absolutely.
Stranger than Fiction at SMU's Pollock Gallery This didn't make it on my top five art exhibitions to see this weekend list, because frankly, I have no idea where the Pollock Gallery is. As much time as I spent on the SMU campus, I have never been to navigate the Owens Art Center. But if you're better at maps, and carry a compass at all times, this should be a great art exhibition. It's a group of artists who use paintings, videos, drawings and textiles to highlight the absurdities in everyday life. The official address for the gallery is 3140 Dyer St. Dallas, TX - but that makes getting there sound easy. Reception is at 6 p.m. Friday.
Peter Ligon It would be difficult to dig up someone who doesn't like Peter Ligon's landscapes. Even if you're not keen on landscape painting generally, there's something about Ligon's emotive, messy pieces that don't scream of photo source material. The painter captures every Dallas scene from trees in winter to the East Dallas' MSG-Palace, the Egg Roll Hut. His pieces are at once entirely specific and completely vague, more Impressionist than Realist. His use of light is inspired. And he's a longstanding member of the scene, with a history at the Shamrock Hotel studios. See his work in exhibition at RE Gallery (1717 Gould St.) at the opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Friday. More information at regallerystudio.com.
On Paper The new exhibition at downtown's RO2 Art Gallery should be on your list for this weekend. Co-curated by Gary Farrely and gallerist Susan Roth Romans, On Paper, is exactly what it sounds like: collage, drawing, painting, prints and sculpture, all on paper. Artists include Gary Farrelly, Joshua Goode, Kathy Robinson-Hays, Brian Scott, and a few others. See it in its opening reception from 7-10 p.m. Friday.
QuizProv Mixmaster's own Danny Gallagher is behind the newest Dallas Comedy House Friday night programming. He describes it as "the first live comedy show where trivia and improv comedy collide like Kanye West and humility." Plus, the laughs on the house. Just register your seats online and show up at 11:50 p.m. Friday for some late night fun.
Saturday, November 22 Patti Oleon's Parallel Spaces San Francisco-based artist Patti Oleon's realist paintings of "un-peopled places" appear almost surreal, or hyperreal, or beyond real or, let me start over. Oleon's paintings are like something out of a Stanley Kubrick or a David Lynch film, except they're paintings. Although I've not yet seen it in person, according to the Internet, from what I can gather her art is kinetic, a little creepy, and wholly captivating. I'll report back after the opening reception 6-8 p.m. Saturday, or you can just show up to Cris Worley Fine Arts in your own flesh and blood. More info at crisworley.com.
Oil & Cotton Christmas Card Studio At 10 a.m. Saturday, the crafters at Oil & Cotton will be at the Nasher Sculpture Center guiding you through the creation of handmade holiday cards. You'll use the Heatherwick exhibition as inspiration. The class is free but you need to RSVP at nashersculpturecenter.org.
Experimental Photography at PDNB In Dallas, the photography scene is primarily commercial. There's a huge market for corporate commissions of the Dallas skyline, but photography in a gallery? Don't be ridiculous. Which is why Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery is a bit of an anomaly. They show only photography and they show it well. The newest exhibition is a series of Experimental Photography. An array of featured artists will explore methods of photography like manipulated negatives, double exposure, sandwiched negatives, camera less (Huh!?), light-box, pinhole, camera obscure, etc. etc. etc. See it in the opening reception from 5- 8 p.m. Saturday. More information at pdnbgallery.com.
Fine Arts Chamber Players If you have seen DMA's Concentrations 57: Slavs and Tatars exhibit, it's devilishly funny. I laughed out loud multiple times while walking through (just listen to what's playing over the speakers). The Fine Arts Chambers Players use that exhibit as inspiration for an afternoon of folk-informed musical performance. The concert starts at 3 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. For more information visit fineartschamberplayers.org or dma.org.
Ricardo Paniagua's Mythical Topography In some ways Dallas-based artist Ricardo Paniagua is the stereotypical artist. He's a kooky kind of friendly, he finds inspiration in visions, and he has some provoking - if not obtuse - ideas about his colorful geometric art. But his pieces are visual puzzlers in eye-popping colors. For Texas Theatre's Safe Room Gallery (231 W. Jefferson Blvd), he's created a large-scale colorful canvas. See the work in an opening reception from 6-10 p.m. Saturday. More information at thetexastheatre.com.
Dallas City Lights In downtown Dallas, Christmas comes early this year, or does Thanksgiving come late? Anyway, Main Street will shut down at 7 p.m. Saturday, the holiday tree in Main Street Garden will light up and the Neiman Marcus window displays will be unveiled. Rumors of hot chocolate and face painting tinkle throughout he air. Admission is free; visit downtowndallas.com/citylights2014 for more.
Gone with the Wind & Singapore Slingers We can only hope that when an orchestra performance follows a screening of Gone With the Wind that the Tara theme will be played at least once. God, that song is beautiful. And if you're going to attend a screening of the epic Civil War love story, the Texas Theatre is the place to do it. Because you can drink in the lobby through Scarlett's marriage to Charles Hamilton through her "Never be hungry again speech." Then you can haul your tipsy giggles back to your seat for the short-lived happy times with Rhett, before she foolishly pines over the dull Ashley Wilkes. God, I've seen this movie too many times. It might be worth it once more just to finish the night off with the Singapore Slingers. The screening starts at 4 p.m. at the Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd.). Tickets are $15 and available at thetexastheatre.com
Bring into the Fold Marfa is the magic portal of Texas. It's a mecca for creatives where artists seek inspiration, or hide out far away from the city's hustle. It's there that artist Jason Willaford became known for his encaustics, and upon leaving behind the open road for the toll roads of Dallas, he was looking for new inspiration. He found it in the discarded vinyl of billboards, which he's used for a series of new work, piecing together these objects to create a new idea. For Bring Into the Fold, these sculptural pieces will be paired with paintings of how Willaford sees these new objects. It might not look like much at first glance, but there's a lot going on in these. Concurrently, in gallery two Unknown Wavelength by Jay Giroux will be on display. Opening reception is from 6-9 p.m. Saturday at Galleri Urbane, 2277 Monitor St. More information at galleriurbane.com.
Brian Brooks Moving Company The innovate New York-based dance company makes it Dallas premiere this weekend with shows at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, November 22 at 2520 Flora St. Tickets are $25-$75 and available at attpac.org.
Confetti Eddie Magic Burlesk and Sideshow We've been loving on Confetti Eddie's magic show since he first materialized in our lives. You've got another chance to check him out this weekend, with a family-friendly show at 8 p.m. and an 18+ up show at 11:30 p.m. Tickets at ticketfly.com.
Sundowner Circuit 12 has pieced together what sounds like a compelling exhibition. From Jesse Morgan Barnett to Jeff Gibbons, there's such an overload of talent on this billing it would be difficult to fuck it up. Plus, we've been told that the artists are collaborating in intricate ways on the exhibition. There's a lot of heady text about how the exhibition is about documentation and illusion that you can riffle through at circuit12.com. But trust me, you'll want to show up to this one. Opening reception is at Circuit 12 (1130 Dragon St., Suite 150) from 6-10 p.m. Saturday.
Sunday, November 23
The Arsonists Kitchen Dog Theater Sunday matinees are rare. My feeling on this is the actors tend to have too much fun on Saturday nights for the 2 p.m. curtain. But there's one this weekend, so if you're digging some afternoon theater take advantage. Liner writes, "It's Kitchen Dog's dynamite talent that makes it explosively entertaining." Tickets at kitchendogtheater.org.
Dallas Tweed Ride Pull out your tweeds, hop on your bike and head downtown. You'll bike around the streets with your fellow tweed wearers and end in Oak Cliff, where Oddfellows is hosting jousting and accordion playing. The ride starts at 1:30 p.m. at the Grassy Knoll next to the Sixth Floor Museum, 411 Elm St.
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