Great Apes


Sometimes it's best to let people speak for themselves, especially when they use an intriguing combination of words that also describes everything in the simplest way possible. So, when Our Endeavors Theater Collective hailed its own upcoming extended performance of Dainty Shapes and Hairy Apes, or The Green Pill, as "a wild-burlesque-nightmare-comic-fantasy that explores sex, politics and the mystery of existence," we couldn't outdo that. Sure, it's a bit over the top and abstract in terms of a summarization, but, considering the creative source, that's the point. Dainty Shapes and Hairy Apes, or The Green Pill, was written in 1922 by Polish artistic revolutionary Stanislaw Witkiewicz, an obscure but influential jack-of-all-expressive-trades. His unique pairing of spiritual exploration and tongue-in-cheek visual outrageousness predates Jean Genet's "Theatre of the Absurd" and also inspired it, in much the same way Yevgeny Zamyatin, the early-20th-century author of We, opened George Orwell's Big Brother eyes. The story unfolds with a scene of sensationalized totalitarianism with two ex-lovers (Pandeus and Sophia) struggling for the soul of an innocent protagonist (Tarquinius). Don't let the flowery names throw you...or do, since the play takes place in an off-kilter burlesque realm that skews realities of fashion, politics and relationships. These are dark left-of-center theatrics that still ring true with today's reality. Our Endeavors Theater Collective, a group of singular but like-minded artists who've covered everything from Kurt Vonnegut to Edward Gorey, presents this interesting oddity at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary beginning with a pay-what-you-can preview on Wednesday. The show runs through April 18. The MAC is located at 3120 McKinney Ave. Visit or call 214-327-4001. --Matt Hursh

The Number Game

As we learned in A Beautiful Mind and Pi, the elusive world of numbers can really mess up a brain. The same theme applies to the award-winning production of Proof, playing at the Casa Mañana Theatre through March 28. A young woman leaves her own educational pursuits to help her mentally unstable number-genius father. The result is a revolutionary mathematical proof. For the everyday layman, questioning the laws of arithmetic rarely leads to a resolution. But it does test the boundaries and relationship in this family. Ticket prices range from $37 to $55 for shows at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. Casa Mañana Theatre, 3101 W. Lancaster, Fort Worth. Call the theater at 817-332-2272. --Desirée Henry

Windy City Style

Remember the wondrous days of women trying to have no figure at all? Shapeless dresses that shimmied with fringe and the taping down of breasts to create a more streamlined look for doing the Charleston? And oh, that "rouge" so popular among flappers. The result? Well, ladies like our grandmother cite fun times then and bad knees and breasts that require wheelbarrows now. But hey, that's fashion. Relive the 1920s Chicago Experience with the Repertory Company Theatre's dinner theater that brings razzle-dazzle and a bite to eat straight to the table. There is one night only to admire the pin curls and all that jazz the RCT is offering up. It's 8 p.m. Saturday at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson. Tickets are $39 to $45. Advance reservations are required. Call 972-690-5029. --Merritt Martin

Pas de Deux Coup
Celebrated dancers couple up for TITAS showcase

Mon Dieu! The pas de deux! Such a succulent morsel of classical ballet, scooped out from a full-length ballet, these pieces are star turns for one man and one woman partnered in a sensational showcase of technical prowess. For Dallas balletomanes, this year's TITAS Command Performance of International Ballet features internationally known dancers in pas de deux performances from classics such as Giselle and Don Quixote to Balanchine's exquisite modern works. Among notable featured performers are Cuban Jose Manuel Carreño with Lorna Feijóo, Patricia Barker and Jeffrey Stanton, Lauren Anderson with Andrew Murphy, and Rasta Thomas and Chiaki Yasukawa. For the first time, TITAS will feature a local dancer, Christopher Vo, a senior from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, in two solo pieces. Get tickets ($15 to $150) for the 7 p.m. Saturday gala at the Music Hall at Fair Park by calling the TITAS box office at 214-528-5576. --Annabelle Massey Helber

Bookin It
A book about museums comes to the museum

Junior bookworms might not be impressed by the recent The Da Vinci Code phenomenon. That's because to them an art-museum mystery involving religious iconography set in a metropolitan city has been done before in children's author E.L. Konigsburg's From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. We don't know if Konigsburg's Newbery award-winning book inspired The Da Vinci Code, but we know it inspired an upcoming Arts and Letters Live Jr. event. Flashlight tours, choose-your-own-adventure activities, skits and a visit from Konigsburg round out the evening of museum mystery. But unlike Claudia and Jamie, the book's characters, these kids have to go home at the end of the night. This program for kids 9 and up is 5 p.m. to midnight Friday at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call 214-954-0234 or visit --Stephanie Durham