This weekend, I’m highlighting charity and getting your chi aligned. Roll tape!
Texans for West benefit concert
This Sunday, AT&T Performing Arts Center will host a slew of local musical talent and a handful of vendors for a benefit event aimed at helping the victims and survivors of the recent fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. Among the performers set to take the stage at the Annette Strauss Square are the Toadies’ Vaden Todd Lewis, The O’s, Somebody’s Darling and Goodnight Ned. Additional event partners include Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger House, Granada Theater, Kessler Theater, House of Blues, Homegrown Fest, Club Dada, The Door and Good Records. Tickets are $20, and $7 for kids under 10, and ALL proceeds benefit the folks of West, Texas.
When: Sunday, April 28, 4 to 10 p.m.
Where: AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Annette Strauss Square, 2403 Flora St.
Why: Because you have a heart and it wants to help your fellow Texas in West AND get to listen to great local music!
Exhale Spa yoga at Klyde Warren Park
I’ve become hooked on yoga on the greenspace at Klyde Warren Park every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. Led by very friendly Exhale Spa instructor Laura, the class works through a series of stretches and poses for an hour under the sun and with a breathtaking view of the downtown skyline to take in with each restorative deep breath. I love it! As if starting the day off with some terrific yoga isn’t fantastic enough, by the time you’re whispering “namaste” at the end, all the food trucks are parked and opening their windows for service at 11 a.m. So my new routine has become yoga, food truck noshin’, sunnin’ on a blanket till my parking meter goes off. It’s a really great way to soak up the city, and some lovely yoga vibes. And — bonus! — everyone who participates gets a voucher to try an Exhale class for free or an Exhale Spa therapy at a discount. An epic win-win, if you ask me. Check it out!
When: Every Sunday, 10 a.m.
Where: Klyde Warren Park’s main lawn
Why: Because you love breathing in everything fabulous about the city … oh, and stretching and yoga-posing your butt off!
Earlier this month, I traveled to Louisiana as a guest of Baton Rouge to check out how the “Red Stick” city rolls. I had an exquisite time, and found the capital city to be full of charming corners, good eats and drinks and fun things to do. And no wonder — in the last few years, the city has poured resources into revitalizing its compact and very walkable downtown area. There’s a handsome new greenspace called the North Boulevard Town Square, at the heart of downtown that entices folks to walk around or grab a table for lunch. A classic trolley runs through some popular stops in town, including the town square. A stretch of 3rd Street offers nightlife options aplenty, and sites such as the Old State Capitol and the riverfront’s USS Kidd Nautical Museum and Louisiana Art & Science Museum make for supremely interesting visits.
But what kinds of trouble did I get into? Read on!Read the rest
The Dallas Theater Center’s latest production brings us front-and-center into the studio of artist Mark Rothko in the cerebral, biting drama “Red.”
Spare and unflinching, the Tony Award-winning play by John Logan features just two characters: Rothko (Kieran Connolly) and his young studio assistant Ken (Jordan Brodess). The play opens as Ken visits Rothko’s studio to inquire into the assistantship only to get a dressing-down from the abstract painter … and the job.
At this point in time — 1958 — Rothko has accepted a commission to adorn the walls of the restaurant in the iconic Seagram Building with his paintings, which he at first sees as an ideal showcase for his thought-provoking canvasses. Over the course of a year, however, Ken challenges his thoughts on the project, with surprising consequences for both men.
Aaaaand that’s about alls I can say about the plot without giving away everything. Brodess and Connolly pour every fiber of themselves into the roles, with the wet-behind-the-ears Ken revealing a not-so-naive mindset honed from tragedy, and Rothko providing a never-ending barrage of searing calls to self-assessment. The pace is quick but never rushed, and the chemistry between boss and employee crackles with spirited tension.
“Red” is presented without intermission, and flies by, again, without feeling sped along. I love the kind of play where you just step on board and enjoy the ride without so much as a bump in the action. This is that kind of play. Kudos to all players!
Where: Wyly Theatre
When: Now through March 24
Why: Because you love riveting, two-person dramas that also include a discourse on modern art
How: Buy your tix here
As a joint production with the Trinity Repertory Company of Rhode Island, the Dallas Theater Center presents King Lear, Shakespeare’s commentary on family (dis)loyalty and bloody geopolitics, at the Wyly Theater. (I was invited to witness the drama on media night.)
At its most basic, King Lear follows a father whose banishment of one of his three daughters for not sugarcoating her show of love toward him sets in motion an eventually fatal turn of events. Amidst all that, we witness a descent into madness, deadly sibling competition (two!), eye gouging (two!), and a castaway’s road to heroism. Strong performances underpin this production, most notably from Lear’s Brian McEleney, a vet of the Rhode Island theater. His turns from bone-rattling bluster to naked (literally) vulnerability are the stuff actors dream of sinking their teeth into, and McEleney’s measured restraint across all the emotions is something to behold. As the conniving Edmund, Lee Trull displays equal amounts swagger and ruthlessness in helping two families fall to pieces for his own gain. And Hassan El-Amin has buckets of fun as a street-smart Earl of Kent, who goes undercover after being banished in order to devotedly help Lear.
I loved the updated setting of this production, meant to parallel modern political war-rooms where battles crackle into motion behind the scenes. Another notable touch involves a gender change — the Earl of Gloucester is a lady in this retelling. Another star of the show is the stage design, which was a wonder — how many times have you seen it rain onstage? Such versatile and abundantly creative use of theater space is what sets the Wyly apart as one of the city’s innovative venues (remember Chad Diety?). Happily, the deluge didn’t dampen any of the electric performances, so get on out to the Arts District and take in the grandeur of this show.
What: King Lear
When: Through Sunday, Feb. 18
Where: Wyly Theater, 2400 Flora St.
Why: Because you thoroughly enjoy Shakespeare with a modern bent
The AT&T Performing Arts Center invited me to see the (in)famous Blue Man Group at the Winspear this week. Talk about spreading the holiday joy!
As you probably know, Blue Man Group consists of three painted percussionist-performers who use uncommon objects as instruments and incorporate a slew of other materials and technology to entertain the audience.
No matter your age, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this show. I never thought I’d find myself on my feet, dancing and screaming like a gleeful 5-year-old, but there I was, shaking my merrymaker at the closing segment. The Blue Men were beating these giant, lit-from-within, inflatable balls to a house beat and suddenly loosed the balls into the crowd, to screams. It was a blast watching the audience jump up to volley them from one side of the auditorium to the next.
Add to that the earlier skits featuring audience participation, 3D electronic displays and melodic banging on pipes, and you have the well-rounded, heady experience that is a Blue Man Group show.
Best scramble if you want to see them, though — the last shows are tonight and tomorrow. Get your tix here. And enjoy the show!!Read the rest