Last Stand

Get ready for the Disappointments


If Roxie Hart were alive today (had she ever existed in real life), I'm quite certain that though today's economic milieu might make her feel right at home, she would bemoan the conspicuous lack of those early-20th-century contrivances: vaudeville shows. Today's incarnations of vaudeville (that snappy mélange of music, comedy, dance, novelty numbers and skits) on the small screen--Saturday Night Live, The Late Show and almost everything on Fox--don't quite have the same potency without the smell of overworked, under-showered bodies clothed in darned and empty-pocketed pants, crammed into a darkened theater (or the moonshine, for that matter), that was the staple of the original paradigm. Well, luckily for strapped postmodern man, the same diversion that the 1930s audience appreciated on Dallas' "Theater Row" at the Rialto, the Capital and the Palace before they were put out of business by Hollywood's new-fangled silver screen, is available at Frank's Place, a "speakeasy" inside the Dallas Theater Center, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Our Endeavors Theater Collective's The Last One-Nighter on the Death Trail, performed live Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, April 21 through May 14, is a reprieve from Hooverville, minus the odors from days of yore. But, you want to catch Dallas' new apotheosis of vaudeville before it, too, goes the way of penny candy and below-the-ankle hemlines. With over-the-top performances by the Disappointment Players, including "Pudge" Goodman, VaVa Veronica and the famous French poodle acrobats, Samson and Delilah, Our Endeavors Theater Collective proves that spectacle, in whatever form, is still a happening hat trick. Witness the wayward small-time troupe of misfits take what might be their final bow for $5 to $20 per ticket. Call 214-327-4001 or visit --Emily Jacobs

Smashing Pumpkins


I was the world's biggest Gallagher fan...when I was 7. At that age, I also believed that professional wrestling was real and that Super Mario actually came to my birthday party. I no longer have the brain of a 7-year-old, but for anyone else who does, Gallagher's mustache-sporting, prop-loving routine comes to Nokia Theatre at Grand Prairie, 1001 NextStage Drive, on Friday at 8 p.m. to remind us where Carrot Top got all of his ideas. Come out to see cheesy jokes and lovely songs like "Everyone's talking about Janet's Super Bowl breast/She's brown, who found a dot on her chest?" Eek. Stick to hitting watermelons, dude. Tickets are $29.50 to $39.50 at Ticketmaster, 214-373-8000. --Sam Machkovech

Global Whirling


Dancing is deceptive. For example, break dancing and ballroom dancing couldn't appear more different, but they're both just combinations of rhythm and movement. Similar things could be said about cultures. Dance for the Planet celebrates the differences and similarities of dance and culture in a two-day festival that features ballroom, Asian, tap, African, hip-hop and "dances of faith." Also on the schedule are a salsa contest, a teen break dance party and an audience-participation "globals" segment. A drum circle begins each day's activities. Dance for the Planet Festival 2005 is from noon to 6 p.m. April 23 and April 24 at Annette Strauss Artist Square, 1825 Leonard St. Admission is free. Call 214-219-2290 or visit --Stephanie Durham

In the Air


It's not what you have. It's what you can do with it. And when your profession includes tossing about sharp objects, you have to be pretty darn comfortable with what you've got. And the Flying Karamazov Brothers are, whether it's balls, clubs or a combination that they're juggling. This Californian vaudevillian clown troupe consists of founders Paul Magid, Howard Jay Patterson, Mark Ettinger and Roderick Kimball. Over the years, the Flying K's have performed in many places, from the small country side stage to the grandeur of Carnegie Hall. Traveling from prime time to the silver screen, they have shared the stage with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Joan Rivers. Richard Kaufman will conduct the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, which will be onstage and in the action, for the Flying Karamazov Brothers' special performances Friday through Sunday at the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. Tickets are $8 to $90. Call 214-692-0203 or visit --Danna Berger

Play by Play


In 10th-grade English class, I remember a thought that kept going around my head while we read Shakespeare's Hamlet for the first time: "What in holy hell is going on in this play?" It practically took a diagram to keep the characters and plot line straight, and I never did understand why Ophelia threw herself in a lake. Tom Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is all about that confusion, retelling the tragedy as absurdity from the point of view of two minor characters. In Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern die backstage; in this month's Risk Theater Initiative production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, director Marianne Galloway creates a physical space where audience and players are all backstage to witness this play within a play. And, thankfully, there are no diagrams needed. Tickets are $7, and performances are at 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays through April 30 at Samuell Grand Park Amphitheater, 3601 Samuell Grand Blvd. Call 972-943-8915. --Leah Shafer

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