Before His Addison Improv Show, Lavell Crawford Discusses Traveling 325 Days Per Year

Categories: Comedy

Courtesy of John Johnson

Some comics travel for their trade because of their love of the art form or some inner need for attention or the hope of delivering to mankind a some new plateau of understanding through the power of laughter.

Lavell Crawford has a brutally honest reason for what keeps him going in comedy, an answer that perfectly matches his stage persona.

"I got a family and rent and I gotta take care of my wife and kids," he says with a laugh. "So bills keep me going."

Of course, he wouldn't be spending 325 days on the road for the last 25 years if he didn't enjoy being on a stage and he's got a new legion of fans to perform for after getting plenty of TV face time on Last Comic Standing and AMC's Breaking Bad as Saul Goodman's beefy henchman Huell Babineaux. Crawford is in town to do a string of shows starting tonight at the Addison Improv.

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Alamo Drafthouse to Break Ground on Its Downtown Location With A Free Movie

Categories: Film and TV

Courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse

The Alamo Drafthouse is about to launch a massive invasion on the Dallas-Fort Worth area, opening several new theaters, and it starts downtown with a new movie house on South Lamar Street. Developers for the new theater announced plans to break ground on the construction next month but a gathering of geekdom like the Alamo Drafthouse would never let a gaggle of rich guys break ground on theater.

No, fans of the Austin-based institution just wouldn't stand for it. There would be an uprising with torches and pitchforks that would make the raid on Dr. Frankenstein's monster in the original 1931 classic look like a high school pep rally.

In keeping with the theater chain's reputation for cinematic good times, it will celebrate the groundbreaking on Saturday, November 8 on the South Lamar Street site with a free outdoor screening and plenty of chances to fill up on food and drink.

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At Ochre House Theater, Young Lovers Try to Escape Robot World in Flower in the Machine

Categories: Theater

Ochre House Theater

Across Dallas stages, a long ignored genre of theater seems to have taken center stage. Science fiction, with all its robots, aliens, and future societies has been seen in its intellectual (Tomorrow Come Today at Undermain Theatre) and its campy (Rocky Horror Show at Dallas Theater Center). This weekend, Ochre House Theater ships a cast of characters off into dystopia for Flower in the Machine, a new play by Kevin Grammer about a young couple trying to escape a world managed by machines.

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Anna Bella Papp Is a Rising Young Art Star, and Her Work at the Nasher Shows Why

Categories: Visual Art

Nasher Sculpture Center
This is Anna Bella Papp, a beautiful young mind in the art world.
Sometimes ink is given to the artists showing at the Nasher Sculpture Center simply due to its reputation. Which is not unexpected: It's the norm in the art world to approach a venerated institution's offerings as more noteworthy than less high-profile spaces. Plus, with bigger marketing budgets, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Kimbell Art Museum and the Nasher can make sure their shows get in front of your face, coating billboards or clinging to street lamps. You're rarely disappointed at a museum show, because they tend to be flashier, the atmosphere whispering the importance of the art. The pristine work hangs on pristine walls, giving you an ideal experience of the work.

Without question, Anna Bella Papp's show at the Nasher benefits from its presence within Renzo Piano's architecturally stunning walls. But it's not like any other show you've seen at a Dallas museum lately. It's quiet, methodical and demands intimacy with the viewer.

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Here's Something to Be Excited About: StoryCorps Is Coming to Dallas

It's a pop-up storytelling adventure.

History is built on stories. Often, it's the stories of politicians who impact the world or scientists who impact daily life, but our personal histories are built around our own stories -the ones you tell your friends and family. Those are the kind that StoryCorps is traveling across country to gather: the stories that matter to you.

In a partnership between KERA and the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the StoryCorps MobileBooth will park in Dallas for a month, collecting our stories. Since 2003, this air stream trailer has been collecting stories of Americans to archive them in the Library of Congress and air portions of them on National Public Radio. It arrives in Dallas November 20 to park outside the Information Center in the arts district through December 20.

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Awesome Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend, October 23-26

Categories: Dallas Stories

Contemporary Ballet Dallas
What's cooler than being cool? Ice cold! And ballet. Obviously.

Another weekend has arrived without jamming a newly sharpened pencil into your coworker's eye, so you deserve to celebrate your self-control. There are parties, movie screenings, dance shows, art shows, plays and operas. Get to it!

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Crash the Party at the Texas Association of Schools of Art This Week

Pedro Velez, Chicago and San Juan PR artist and critic, 2014 Whitney Biennial participant

At this year's Whitney Biennial, the museum invited three curators from outside of the museum to work on the acclaimed exhibition. The goal of the biennial is to present the work of contemporary emerging American artists. And in 2014, only one curator was from New York; the other two brought their expertise from Philadelphia and Chicago. The goal behind that was to bring in knowledge of art outside of New York, to "de-center" the exhibition, if you will.

The Texas Association of Schools of Art has nothing to do with the Whitney Biennial, technically. But for its conference this year, it took this idea of "de-centering" to heart, with the goal of taking a look at how the American art world is changing, and whether or not Texas and the central U.S. are becoming increasingly relevant. Oh, and to fully explore the conference's theme of "Off Center," TASA invites curious outsiders to crash the party.

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Five Visual Art Exhibitions to See This Weekend

Categories: Visual Art

Thumbnail image for powerstation-ella.jpg
Ella Kruglyanskaya
The Power Station presents Grafika.

Fill October's final full weekend with art. As fall trickles into town in fits and starts, decorate your life at these galleries. And for once, Friday is the stronger night to hit the galleries, although there will be compelling work to see Saturday as well.

Ella Kruglyanskaya's Grafika
Much of Latvian-born artist Ella Kruglyanskaya's work turns an eye on the female form. In Grafika, both her large and small-scale pieces present a caricatured look at the depiction of the body in art. She plays with both bold color and simple sketching for a varied approach on the sexuality of the body, at once cartoonish and serious. See the work in its opening reception at the Power Station (3816 Commerce St.) from 6-8 p.m. Friday. More information at

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Dear Dallas, I'll Concede Your Standing Ovations On One Condition

Categories: Dallas Stories

Patrick Michels
These are students giving President Obama a deserved standing ovation.
Friday night, I found myself doing the Dallas Do-si-do Ditch. It's a cute little shuffle that people here do after a show with the following steps.
    1. Wait for first moments of applause.
    2. Jump to your feet without missing a beat.
    3. Swing your partner out the aisle.
    4. Promenade out the door.

I'm sure the 10s of other people doing it with me had really important places to go after a lovely, and not too long, evening at the symphony. I, on the other hand, was not in a hurry, although I certainly would've told you I was if you'd asked. I was avoiding the curtain call's inevitable standing ovation.

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Film Podcast: Oscar Season Opens with Birdman and Listen Up Philip

Categories: Film and TV

Alison Rosa
Michael Keaton and Edward Norton put up their dukes in Birdman.

It's awards season and the hyped movies are starting to land in theaters. On this week's Voice Film Club podcast, we talk about Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman, starring Michael Keaton, and Alex Ross Perry's Listen Up Philip, and carve out some time to recommend Nothing Bad Can Happen and Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me. All four of those films have received high praise and some have been hit with some pretty damning criticism, including the description that Iñárritu is a "pretentious fraud," leveled by film critic Scott Tobias of The Dissolve. Amy Nicholson of the LA Weekly, along with Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, dive into what stirs critics use loaded words like those when reviewing a movie. Ahh, must be Oscar season.

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