100 Dallas Creatives: No. 58 Man of Mystery Edward Ruiz

Categories: 100 Creatives

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Mixmaster presents "100 Creatives," in which we feature cultural entrepreneurs of Dallas in random order. Know an artistic mind who deserves a little bit of blog love? Email lauren.smart@dallasobserver.com with the whos and whys.

Edward Ruiz. Confetti Eddie. The man with the giant dinosaur outside of his studio. You might know him by any of these names, but did you know that Dallas is Ruiz' hometown? Well, it's true. The Oak Cliff-born visual artist, now a fixture in Exposition Park, has cemented himself as a magical force to be reckoned with. Drawing on his art, design, and theatre background, Ruiz has learned to fuse the technical and the entertaining to perform his art and illusions. And he just wants to share it with all of us.


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Expo Park's Newest Gallery Opens with Dallas Artist Thor Johnson's State Fair Photos

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Midway Gallery

The idea of inviting strangers into their home is not new to Lily Taylor and Sean Miller. When the artistic couple lived in Denton, they participated in the (International) Home Theater Festival, a movement to take performance out of the theaters and use house venues. Recently, they became Dallas residents and the musician/video artist couple decided to open up their live/work studio to the public as Midway Gallery, a space dedicated to video art.

For years, artists have been trickling into Expo Park, filling it with oddities like Confetti Eddie's magic and burlesque show, Ochre House Theater's intimate theatrical productions, Central Trak's live/work gallery space, Beefhaus' progressive art space, and 500x Gallery - Texas' oldest artist-run space. More recently, Cohn Drennan Contemporary moved its gallery space to the shady block on Commerce St. It's this milieu that attracts artists like Taylor and Miller to live here in the first place and its proximity to Fair Park that inspired the gallery's name.

"We named it Midway referring to the populist form of exhibition and amusement first introduced in The World's Columbian Exhibition held in Chicago in 1983," Taylor explains. "And we're excited that the timing works out to present Dallas-based artist Thor Johnson's historical collection of State Fair photos as our first exhibition."


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The Fertile Mind of Momix's Moses Pendleton Blossoms with Alchemia

Categories: Dance

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Max Pucciariello
"I can't go a day without clicking my camera. Capturing the personalities in the flowers, capturing the personality of the ice that forms on the lake by my house...I see the dancers in those flowers and that ice."

Moses Pendleton, artistic director of the dance company Momix, is wired to the wilderness. Every day he goes for a swim in the lake by his house in Connecticut, cutting blades through the still water and tuning into the nature surrounding him. "I get my ideas when I'm moving. We have such a mechanized body now," said Pendleton during our interview this last weekend. "I wonder about how to keep it organic ... and whatever really turns you on, will become your next big thing."

From that personal journey, Pendleton created his dynamic and enchanting Botanica, an exploration of the four seasons, and now, Alchemia, his interpretation of the four elements. This darker, dreamy and spiritual show comes to the Winspear Opera House September 12 and 13.

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19 Awesome Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend, September 11-14

Categories: Dallas Stories

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Let's do the Time Warp Again!

It might be difficult to believe this, but there is an entire generation of adults who have not necessarily seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It's about time these young whippersnappers learned the "Time Warp" and I can think of no one better to teach them than the Dallas Theater Center. Previews for the stage version of this cult classic - just called Rocky Horror Show - open Thursday night, with a run that stretches through October 19. Grab your tickets to see this gender-bending madhouse of a show about transvestite aliens at dallastheatercenter.org.

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Body-Hopping, Science Fiction and Avocados: Gordon Dahlquist on Tomorrow Come Today

Categories: Theater

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Undermain Theatre
Vanessa DeSilvio and Montgomery Sutton might be playing the same character....

It's little wonder Gordon Dahlquist's newest play is science fiction. The first words of the upcoming Undermain Theatre world premiere,Tomorrow Come Today, were penned at a 10-day silent retreat in West Texas.

"It's not just not talking," the Brooklyn-based playwright explains over lunch at All Good Cafe. "It was eight-and-a-half days of no gesturing, no eye contact, really no communication. Everyone there does this together."

The playwriting retreat, led by Erik Ehn, another playwright familiar to Undermain, approaches the words on the page with an almost Buddhist or Zen mentality. For Dahlquist, who's spent much of his career in science fiction, this was the perfect milieu for creating a futuristic dystopia where the affluent can upload their existence into a digital cloud, hop from body to body, avoiding -- at all costs -- death.

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Dear One Arts Plaza, The Mixmaster Knows How to Fix You

Categories: Dallas Stories

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One Arts Parking...err...plaza

It's a picturesque summer night. My mother is in town for the week. I'm taking her to the theater in the downtown Dallas arts district. With the simple hope that we confab over a cocktail before we settle into our seats at the City Performance Hall, we head to One Arts Plaza.

Usually I know better.

If you want to grab a spot on a patio and watch the sunset over Dallas, you should go somewhere else - anywhere else. It's not that the restaurants in One Arts Plaza are unequivocally crap. In fact, Tei-An rules the Dallas kingdom of eats. No, this culinary semi-circle has one very simple problem: THE PATIOS ARE A PARKING LOT.


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Win the Lottery to See Aziz Ansari this Weekend

Categories: Comedy

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Lucas Michael
Hey, Ladies!

This weekend, one of the country's funniest foodies stops in at the American Airlines Center. Aziz Ansari brings his latest comedy tour, Modern Romance, to town at 8 p.m. Saturday night and according to him it's so dope, he wants to give the tickets away.

"I think this is my best tour I've done with my strongest and most interesting material," Ansari says. "I got really insane stage/video screen display done so people in the back could see."

He's set up a lottery to give tickets and other stuff away.


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100 Dallas Creatives: No. 59 Adventurous Filmmaker Toby Halbrooks

Categories: 100 Creatives

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Mixmaster presents "100 Creatives," in which we feature cultural entrepreneurs of Dallas in random order. Know an artistic mind who deserves a little bit of blog love? Email lauren.smart@dallasobserver.com with the whos and whys.

"Sorry if the reception's bad, I'm headed into a national sequoia forest," Toby Halbrooks says, answering the phone in California. The musician come filmmaker is currently in the golden state to work on his latest venture with fellow Dallas darling, David Lowery. This time it's a project for Disney, a remake of the 70's children's film Pete's Dragon. They are writing the script together, and Lowery will direct.

The pair, along with producer James Johnston, forms the team Sailor Bear. Sailor Bear's first release, a short film called Pioneer, won the Grand Jury prize at seven film festivals and catapulted Halbrooks headlong into the world of independent film. Prior to that, Halbrooks had been working as a commercial producer and director.

"David and I started working together in 2006. I met him on this commercial and we became fast friends after working all night on the job," he says. "Within a couple of weeks we were writing together. I never set out to be a film producer. It just happened. James has known David for even longer and when we all met we decided to do Pioneer together."

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Merritt Tierce Finds Ingredients for Her First Novel, Love Me Back, in a Dallas Steakhouse

Categories: Books

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Merritt Tierce spent her mid-twenties waiting tables at a Dallas steakhouse. She was a writer, sure, but she spent most of her days serving the elite and struggling toward 30. That this experience would serve as formative life experience and become fodder for her first novel, Love Me Back surprises no one more than Tierce.

"It wasn't like I would go home and take notes like I thought I would write a book about it someday. I didn't even think of myself as a writer, at least not professionally," Tierce says, sipping an Americano at Oak Lawn Coffee, just "around the corner" from the unnamed inspirational steakhouse. "I see now that your twenties are about floundering and fucking everything up."

Love Me Back hits bookstores September 16, and while it isn't about real life Tierce, the Dallas-based author put a lot of her own story into the protagonist, Marie.


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Hear Audioplay of Local Author Darin Bradley's Chimpanzee at Dan's Silverleaf Tonight

Categories: Books

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DarinBradley.com

Tonight in Denton at Dan's Silverleaf local author Darin Bradley will officially release his second novel Chimpanzee complete with a live rendition of the audioplay of the novel. Bradley released his first novel, Noise, through Random House in 2010 while he was still working as a lead video game writer for id Software. Since then he's moved on to an editor position with Resurrection House publishing, the same publisher who bought Chimpanzee. We talked to Bradley about his novel, his job move, and how exactly he managed to put together a audioplay using all local talent.

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