Best Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend

Cellist Yo Yo Ma will perform at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra gala Saturday night.
Cellist Yo Yo Ma will perform at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra gala Saturday night.
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Pandora’s Box prides itself on selecting only the most original and thought-provoking poets throughout North Texas for its less-than-family-friendly showcases of poetic literature. To celebrate this year’s Banned Book Week — which honors thousands of authors whose work society has, at least once, dubbed too inappropriate for schools, public libraries or other literary outlets — the collective will host a night of observance of banned poets including Amiri Baraka, Walt Whitman, Brodsky, Ginsberg and Gwendolyn Brooks. Join fellow literati and the folks behind Pandora’s Box at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, at Deep Vellum Books, 3000 Commerce St., for an encore of last year’s Pandora's Box: Only Light Can Do This / Banned Poets!. The event is free to attend. For more information, visit deepvellum.com. Deep Vellum Books, 3000 Commerce St., 6:30 p.m., free, deepvellum.com. – Diamond Victoria

Don’t we love a good superhero? They don’t always have to wear armor, either. The Crow Collection of Asian Art, 2010 Flora St., is putting a spotlight on iconic and brave Japanese figures during After Dark: Heroes and Heroines from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday. Check out representations of seemingly ever-present figure Jizo, the tragic story of Lady Tokiwa, legendary novelist and poet Lady Murasaki, and others featured in the Crow exhibition Styled with Poise: Figures in Japanese Paintings and Prints. Artist Kazuko Goto will lead early attendees through a Japanese woodblock printing demo, and the late-stayers can view a screening of Miss Hokusai, the animated tale of artist O-Ei, the daughter of well-known artist Katsushika Hokusai. There’s a pop-up at the Lotus Shop, too, so local art is ready for the purchase. Admission is free. Find more information at crowcollection.org. Crow Collection of Asian Art, 2010 Flora St., 6 p.m.-midnight, free, crowcollection.org. – Merritt Martin

Once upon a time, a book about how men and women are essentially from different worlds dominated the best-seller lists and took over pop culture dialogue. In it, the author advanced a simplistic worldview that proffers anecdotes to back up a seemingly universal predicament: the inability of married men and women to communicate. Today, it’s almost an anthropological relic; the book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus ignores same-sex couples and other nontraditional relationships, and the oversimplified premise doesn’t consider complicating factors in a relationship. Neither does the stage show of the same name. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus has a number of elbow-your-date moments; the one-man show mixes the premise of the book with standup comedy. The vignettes contain flashes of identifiable comedy, which, as long as you’re willing to see the reductive premise behind the show for what it is, will provoke a giggle or two. See it at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, and at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson. Tickets are $60 at eisemanncenter.com. Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson, 8 p.m., $60, eisemanncenter.com. – Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Ali Wong onstage in Baby CobraEXPAND
Ali Wong onstage in Baby Cobra
Courtesy of Netflix

It’s hard to stay at the top of the game in a business that relies on constantly appealing to the masses by making them laugh their asses off. But stand-up comedian Ali Wong makes it seem easy. Her unique brand of humor, which includes riffs on feminism, bodily functions and, as she says in her Netflix comedy special Baby Cobra, the good ol’ days when women didn’t have to work, makes it unclear whether she’s trolling us or just being honest. Either way, the comic’s wisecracks and quick punches are plenty of reason to check out her shows at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. Tickets range from $49.50 to $69.50 and can be purchased at artandseek.org. Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., 7 and 9:30 p.m., $49.50-$69.50, artandseek.org. – Diamond Victoria

There was a time when comics weren’t just movies for big Hollywood studios to exploit. They were things you had to pick up and open with your own hands and scan with your eyes to enjoy. If you long for those days, then make plans to attend the Dallas Comic Show from Saturday, Sept. 16, to Sunday, Sept. 17, at the Richardson Civic Center, 411 W. Arapaho Road. The two-day gathering of comic book fans will include celebrity guests such as WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Kevin Nash, movie actress Lori Petty, Twin Peaks stars Kimmy Robertson and Harry Goaz, and Star Wars stuntman Dickey Beer, better known as Boba Fett. Comics readers will also get to meet Crow creator James O’Barr, Marvel artist Joe Jusko and DC artist Brent Peeples. Tickets are $20 for a two-day pass and $5 for children ages 6-12. Sunday passes are $10 per person. VIP passes are $50 and include line jumps to meet celebrity guests and early entrances. A portion of ticket sales will go to the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief fund. Visit dallascomicshow.com for tickets and more information. Richardson Civic Center, 411 W. Arapaho Road, Saturday-Sunday, $10 and up, dallascomicshow.com. – Danny Gallagher

Every year, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra throws a decadent gala to help kickstart the classical season, and proceeds support the orchestra’s education and community programs. This year, Yo-Yo Ma, the world’s most recognizable cellist, will perform in a program featuring Dvorak’s Cello Concerto and Mahler’s Adagietto & Rondo-Finale from the composer’s Fifth Symphony, which the DSO will perform in full two days before and one night after the gala. The gala concert kicks off at 8:45 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Meyerson, 2301 Flora St., and an after-party follows. Jaap Van Zweden conducts. Tickets start at $99. Find more information at mydso.com. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., 8:45 p.m., $99, mydso.com. – Jonathan Patrick

It's easy to appreciate the "Mona Lisa" or "Starry Night." They're works of art we've been exposed to since we were children. Seeing them in a museum is like encountering a celebrity. But it can be even more meaningful to witness and support a local talent before he or she makes it into the Museum of Modern Art. If you attend the Oak Cliff Society of Fine Arts' fifth annual Rising Star Exhibition & Fundraiser this weekend, you'll get the chance see work by Texas artists and discuss it with them. Twelve Dallas art galleries each nominated an artist to participate. The fundraiser reception is from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at the century-old Turner House, 401 N. Rosemont Ave. Turner was a founding member of the Oak Cliff arts organization and left it his home when he died. Tickets to the reception, $85, are available at turnerhouse.org or at the door. A free public reception will follow from 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17. Turner House, 401 N. Rosemont Ave., 7-9 p.m., $85, turnerhouse.org. – Caroline North

Grease is, and will always be, the word. It’s that rare film that’s entirely problematic in just about every way (see: date rape, smoking as the coolest accessory, changing who you are to fit in, etc.) but that we collectively worship and get nostalgic about. The pop-culture phenomenon hit theaters in 1978 and has stayed front and center in our consciousness ever since. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, the oldest high-schoolers ever, rule Rydell with their respective cliques, which sing and dance their way through courtships, drive-ins, car races and carnivals with gleeful abandon. Experience the glory of this electrifyin’ musical on the big screen and sing along just like you were always meant to at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, at the Majestic Theater, 1925 Elm St. Tickets for the show, co-hosted by the Texas Theatre, are $10 at prekindle.com. Majestic Theater, 1925 Elm St., 5 p.m., $10, prekindle.com. – Jennifer Davis-Lamm

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