Tec Support

Too often in Dallas, cultural exploration begins and ends with dining. We congratulate ourselves for trying that extra spicy plate of pad Thai or feel we've really grown to understand Asian-American culture because of that damn fine helping of mu goo gai pan. Sorry, that don't cut it. One of the best ways to help you and your children experience a wide array of Asian-American society, customs and myth is at a performance during Storytelling East, Listening West, a concert featuring dance, storytelling and music with an Eastern theme. Performing there will be the San Francisco two-person troupe Eth-Noh-Tec, the much-honored storytelling duo that has spent two decades blending myth, folk tale and personal anecdotes with their storytelling techniques--dance, song and stylized movement--to create something truly unique and beautiful. Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo and partner Nancy Wang lyrically weave poetic tales with astonishing Asian theater that not only takes you on a journey to a new place but makes the ride more exciting than you could imagine. Eth-Noh-Tec performs 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at Crow Collection of Asian Art, 2010 Flora St. Admission is $5 to $10; kids under 15 admitted free. Call 214-979-6430. --Eric Celeste

Elizabethan Ebony

"The ink is black, the page is white. Together, we learn to read and write." It's not quite Shakespeare--you actually may recognize it as Three Dog Night--but the subject matter is similar. As a whole, English literature (especially pre-20th-century lit) seems lily white, but ol' Willie often injected some color into his works. Othello, of course, is the most famous example, but let's not forget Aaron in Titus Andronicus or the Prince of Morocco in The Merchant of Venice. And 400 years later, has anything changed? The Black Academy of Arts and Letters' production of Shakespeare...Midnight Echoes reflects on this very phenomenon: Shakespeare's writing can have a relevant dialogue with post-post-modern racial experience. The piece--which was conceived, written and directed by Akin Babatunde--draws also from the life of 19th-century black actor Ira Aldridge, a Shakespearean performer who captivated his audiences all over Europe and was known as the "African Roscius." TBAAL's performance will involve monologues, prose, sonnets, spoken word and dance. See the show June 27 and June 28 at 8 p.m. at TBAAL's Clarence Muse Café Theatre in the Dallas Convention Center Theatre Complex, 650 Griffin St. Tickets are $15. Call 214-743-2449. --Michelle Martinez

On With the Show

What does God have to do with Ethel Merman? Lessee, there was an SCTV comedy sketch in which Andrea Martin impersonated the Broadway queen singing "Silent Night." (Each time Martin hit a high note, an ornament on a nearby Christmas tree popped.) Then there's The Big Voice: God or Merman?, an autobiographical musical about the lives and disparate religious backgrounds of the authors and stars, real-life couple Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu. The latter comes July 1 through July 6 to Trinity River Arts Center, 2600 Stemmons Freeway, Suite 180. Call 214-219-2718. --Patrick Williams

Future Perfect

You know that guy who's done everything and been everywhere before anyone else knew about it? Maybe it's your roommate who's known Interpol since the band was called Outerpol. It doesn't have to be that way forever. After attending the Dallas Symphony's Future Classics on June 26 at the Meyerson Symphony Center, you can sit back and wait until Jennifer Higdon's "Concerto for Orchestra" comes on the radio. He'll be like, "Cool," and you'll be like, "Yeah, I know." Tickets for Future Classics are $10 to $65; call 214-692-0203. --Leah Gerchario

A Mighty Fall
Quad C takes on Julius Caesar

While the lessons to be learned from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar are many, the one that sticks with us the most is probably the simplest: It's better to be safe than sorry. Seriously, Caesar, the fortuneteller told you to "beware the ides of March." You didn't heed the warning. You fell for flattery. And your conspirators killed you. Come on! You really could have saved us all a lot of trouble. Now, and forever more, 10th-grade students across the land will don togas and bad accents and recite (for a grade) Marc Antony's funeral speech. Unfortunately, "Friends, Romans, countrymen..." ranks right up there with the Gettysburg Address and the preamble to the Constitution as a favorite memorization exercise. (Ah, yes, learning by rote...the foundation of public education.) In any case, the tale of Julius Caesar lives on--not only in the classroom but in the theater as well. And we're glad about that, because, really, plays are meant to be seen, not read. Now, the folks of Quad C Theatre at Collin County Community College are doing their part to bring the Bard's words to life. Julius Caesar runs through June 28 at 8 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre, 2800 E. Spring Creek Parkway in Plano. Matinee performances are at 2:15 p.m. June 28 and June 29, and all tickets are $5. Proceeds benefit the Theatre Partners Fund, which provides scholarships for theater students. So, go to the show, watch the fall of a powerful leader and witness its bloody aftermath. Unless, of course, you run into a soothsayer who tells you to "beware the Black Box." In which case, stay home, already! Did we not teach you anything? Call 972-881-5100 for tickets. --Rhonda Reinhart

Dead Alive

You've got the dead body: a philandering professor's wife. You've got the usual suspects. You've got the inquiring police sergeant. All that is needed is you, the audience, to follow the twists in what Agatha Christie considered her second-best play, Verdict, staged by Richardson Theater Centre on June 26. Call 972-699-1130 for reservations. --Mark Donald

Knight Watch
Gladys gives Dallas Black Dance Theatre a hand

The Dallas Black Dance Theatre got lucky. Benefiting its campaign to restore the former Moorland YMCA building located in downtown's arts district, the theater managed to book the very busy, very legendary Gladys Knight for a one-time-only concert (in case you have been living under a rock, Knight performs a critically acclaimed ongoing show at the very pink Flamingo in Las Vegas). If her Dallas appearance is anything like her Vegas show, expect renditions of Sammy Davis Jr.'s hits, a tribute to Motown greats such as The Temptations and Marvin Gaye and, of course, those soulful hits that made her a household name. But don't forget the cause. That renovation-ready historical building will serve as the new facility for DBDT's rehearsals, training and educational dance programs in hopes of increasing student numbers. Gladys Knight sings your way June 30 at 8 p.m. at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. Tickets range from $45 to $125 and can be purchased at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Box Office. Call 214-692-0203 or visit www.DallasSymphony.com. --Jenice Johnson

We Go Together

Because you still have that crush on Didi Conn. Because you'll never forgive them for making a sequel. Because that damn song has been stuck in your head since 1978. Because, and let's face it, you haven't seen it enough. It's baaack! Grease, America's favorite musical, is coming to the Repertory Company Theatre in Richardson beginning June 27. Call 972-690-5029. --Leah Gerchario