Chasing Hughley

Call us crazy, but we're not big fans of BET's Comic View. Sure, we're glad that for once there's something on television besides rap-music-video-booty-athon Flava on late Friday nights, and we're suckers for some good ol' stand-up. But it's not just the editing of 20 different comedians' routines into one frequently bleeped monologue that bothers us. No, we're purists about comedy. Anybody can get a giggle out of sexual, mean-spirited and loud jokes, but most of those comedians never know how to present the shocking in an oddly sweet, personal way. It's the ultimately kind spirit of the dark humor that draws us to the greats: George Carlin, Bill Hicks and, most obvious, Richard Pryor. The great Pryor revivalist movie, The Original Kings of Comedy, understood this fine balance between warmth and abrasiveness, and one of its stars, D.L. Hughley, rolls into the Addison Improv, 4980 Belt Line Road, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night to practice his Pryorian studies. Don't let his TV show fool you. This guy is funny. Tickets are $25 and up by calling 972-404-8501. --Sam Machkovech

The Late Show

If you're any fan at all of American theater, you're aware of and probably a fan of playwright Sam Shepard. If not, it's high time you give one of his gritty, slice-of-life dramas a try. That opportunity comes when the Undermain Theatre, 3200 Main St., offers The Late Henry Moss, with previews beginning Wednesday. As a Shepard sampler it has a little of everything he's tackled during his remarkable career: sibling rivalry, abusive father, life in the hinterland and all manner of bizarre, even fantastic, occurrences guiding (or mis-guiding) lives. Directed by Katherine Owens, the play is set in an adobe hut in New Mexico where brothers keep vigil over the body of their dead father. Pretty heavy stuff, filled with dramatic flashbacks that show the frailty and failings of the late Henry Moss. Also, there are a couple of fascinating secondary characters, including a girlfriend ol' Dad met in jail and a neighbor who dutifully tended the responsibilities the sons long ignored. The play features the talents of Bruce DuBose, Anthony Ramirez, Matthew Posey, Matthew Hutchen, Aaron Gallagher and Delilah Buitron. Tickets for Tuesday-through-Thursday showings are $15, and Friday and Saturday performances are $25. Call 214-747-5515. --Carlton Stowers

Backstage Privileges

Who doesn't crave being in the know? Who doesn't get a thrill from winning? The Dallas Theater Center knows what we love, and they'll give it to us free for the fifth year in a row. They're blowing the roof off the Kalita Humphreys Theater on Monday with Neighborhood Nights, an event replete with entertainment (previews of the upcoming season), food, prizes and backstage tours. The event is free (they really do know us well) and runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Call 214-522-8499. --Merritt Martin

Troubadour Tour

Gonzo is back. And this time there are a few more blue notes under his belt. Jerry Jeff Walker, native New Yorker and Austin's "Gypsy Songman," returns Saturday at 10:30 p.m. after his May release of Jerry Jeff Jazz (featuring classics like "My Funny Valentine"). He might be jazzin' it up as of late, but we're confident classics like "Mr. Bojangles" and "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother" aren't too far down the set list. Tickets are $8.75 and $14.75. Billy Bob's Texas is located at 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth. Call 214-373-8000. --Merritt Martin

Still Life Onstage
Spotlight shines on artists' lives

Bleached cow skulls, pastel flowers and soft Southwest landscapes are the iconic images that spring to mind when one mentions the career of the legendary painter Georgia O'Keeffe. But like most great artists, behind O'Keeffe's professional career was a fiery relationship filled with embittered emotions and enough turmoil to fuel her works until she stopped painting in 1972. Though he died in 1946, O'Keeffe's manager, Alfred Stieglitz (an accomplished photographer in his own right), was the great love of her life and gave her the freedom to be an individualist while pushing her to break down her own barriers. Theirs was a love/hate relationship that turned out to be inspirational and profitable for both. She became the rare artist who is successful while still alive; he used her as the subject of his greatest photographs. Their two great lives made riveting art history, and they also make a pretty intriguing play, as Stage West has proven with Lanie Robertson's Alfred Stieglitz Loves O'Keeffe. Stage West first produced the play in 1993 and revived it 10 years later for its Silver Anniversary season with original cast members Jerry Russell and Suzi McLaughlin under the direction of Jim Covault. More than just historical drama, more than simple relationship analysis, Alfred Stieglitz Loves O'Keeffe is a psychological exploration of an artist and his muse and an artist and her fuse. Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. through September 14 at Stage West, 3055 S. University Drive, Fort Worth. Tickets are $20 to $24 or $10 to $20 for students and seniors. Call 817-STG-WEST. --Jay Webb

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.

Latest Stories