Dudes who live for football would probably scoff at the idea of watching other guys dance. But let us not forget that Dallas Cowboys running back Herschel Walker performed onstage with the Fort Worth Ballet 27 years ago this April, and scores of NFL players have not only participated but have done very well on the TV show “Dancing with the Stars.” Had these Renaissance men not readied caveman-like fans to appreciate the power and grace required of this form, football aficionados might have missed out on the opportunity to attend the final shows of Colossal, the critically acclaimed dance-fueled play about a University of Texas football player named Mike who, like Jason Street on the TV version of “Friday Night Lights,” is searching for his place in football following a devastating spinal injury. Andrew Hinderaker, who received his MFA in playwriting at UT, wrote the script, which won the Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award. For the Dallas Theater Center production, directed by Kevin Moriarty, the Wyly Theatre has been transformed into a football stadium, where the actors bang bodies in full-contact choreography, and a drumline keeps the adrenaline pumping. The actor Zach Weinstein plays Mike, the wheelchair-bound protagonist. Weinstein himself is paralyzed and in a wheelchair, but instead of simply drawing attention to his handicap, he seems more interested in making a point about his character’s quest to express his nontraditional sexuality. “It’s not a play about disability,” Weinstein is quoted on the play’s website. “It’s a play about love. It’s a play about defining who you are and staying strong in that. It’s a play about love between men—love between fathers and sons, between friends, and between lovers.”
Wyly Theatre, May 1–3, dallastheatercenter.org
Comida vía Tejas
You could say Texans have ruined Mexican food, trying to pass off Pace Picante Sauce as salsa or flour tortillas as a legitimate substitute for corn. Or you could say Texans have expanded the horizons of Mexican food, building on its tradition and introducing Tex-Mex offerings like chicken fajitas and frozen margaritas. What no one can argue about is that the culinary cross-pollination of the people north and south of the border has left mainstream America with a dizzying array of food options, many of which will be explored at the fifth annual Foodways Texas Symposium, “The Texas Mexican Table.” This two-day affair, celebrating Mexican food in Texas in its many forms, will be as much a feast as a history lesson, presided over by more than a dozen chefs, writers, and experts. Indulge in seven fresh bountiful meals, learn about the influence that the Native Americans and the Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca had on the ways Texans and Mexicans prepared food, and perhaps even offer your own story for an oral history project related to Texas-Mexican foodways. But if you’re just interested in finding out the best places in Texas to eat tacos, you’re in luck with this trio of panelists: Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America; José Ralat, author of the Taco Trail blog; and Armando Rayo, author of the Taco Journalism blog and the book Austin Breakfast Tacos.
Various locations, May 7–9, foodwaystexas.com
The Kentucky Derby, the first horse race in the Triple Crown series, lasts about two minutes. It seems a pity to waste all the exuberance built up from drinking mint juleps during the more than two hours of pre-race TV coverage by languishing away the rest of the evening on the couch. Carry the momentum over to Derby in the City, a race-day music festival headlined by Shakey Graves, the Austin folk-rock phenom. Or better yet, abandon tradition altogether and spend the entire day there grooving to music in the parking lot of the Austin American-Statesman and catch the big race on a Jumbotron instead of your flatscreen. Maker’s Mark will be at the event, so there’s a good chance that mint juleps will be plentiful. Odd Duck, the restaurant co-owned by Bryce Gilmore, the James Beard-nominated Austin chef, will serve food in addition to Ramen Tatsu-Ya and Lick Ice Cream. And, of course, flamboyant hats are encouraged. In fact, the wearer of the most outlandish one wins a night at the Sonesta Bee Cave Austin hotel and $100.
Austin American-Statesman, May 2, 1 p.m., derbyinthecity.com
There are no reserves at RM/Sotheby’s Saturday auction of the Andrews Collection, considered the most significant private automobile collection ever offered at a single-vendor sale. That means everything must go and the highest bidder wins. There will be 78 killer cars that have been acquired and meticulously cared for by the father and son team of Paul Andrews, founder of the Fort Worth electronics company TTI, and Chris Andrews. Like fast cars? There’s a 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet, thought to be worth about $8 million. Or are you more of a high-end sedan person? Then keep your eyes peeled for the 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Town Car. That one should go for only about $4 million. These and five others are the big-money featured lots, leaving dozens more affordable but no less eye-catchingly pristine and nostalgia-inducing options, including pickup trucks, sports cars, convertibles, and an El Camino.
Andrews Collection, May 1–2, 10 a.m., rmauctions.com
Follow the Good Brick Road
Since 1979, long before HGTV made it popular, Preservation Houston has celebrated architectural restoration with its Good Brick Awards, bestowed on historic buildings exhibiting exemplary enhancement. View six recipients of this distinction at this weekend’s 2015 Good Brick Tour, including Fire Station 6 at 1702 Washington Avenue, which has been lovingly converted into an office space, and the L.D. Allen House at 2337 Blue Bonnet Boulevard, a 1937 art deco home that has been brought back from the dead.
Various locations, May 2–3, 12 p.m., preservationhouston.org
They say you are what you eat, so unless you want to risk being known as a GMO (genetically modified organism)—the latest trend in big agribusiness—you might consider actively supporting local farmers and their back-breaking efforts to produce wholesome, unadulterated foods. A good place to start is Sunday’s Farmgrass Fest, where in exchange for paid admission that goes to support an emergency medical fund for Central Texas farmers, one has the opportunity to eat farm-to-table foods, hear live roots music, and build healthy camaraderie.
Simmons Family Farms, May 3, 1 p.m., farmgrassfest.com