Dallas — On Saturday, Rawlins Gilliland will celebrate his 70th birthday with his third solo show in less than two years. Following Rated [R]awlins and Happy Murder Stories, both in 2014, Detention Hall: 70 Years of Poor Conduct is a collection of personal stories (the title says it all) from a man who describes himself as a “full-blown adventurer” and a “bad boy with a heart of gold.”
You might know him from his decade-plus of essays on KERA, and his live show exhibits that same larger-than-life personality. As with Happy Murder Stories, musical collaborator Thiago X. Nascimento (along with Jonathan Fisher on bass and Alan Pollard on percussion) will play an original score, in this case of Brazilian bossa nova. The scenic design is again by Dallas artist artist Cathey Miller. The show is at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff.
You can read more about him in my feature in the Star-Telegram/DFW.com, which has a little more about his life (he remembers Margo Jones and Tennessee Williams showing up to the parties at his musician-parents' home in East Dallas), but I thought I’d follow that up with five memorable quotes from our recent chat at the Allgood Café in Deep Ellum.
Here are five reasons not to miss Detention Hall. The photos on Nos. 1 and 4 are by Turk Studio; and Nos. 2, 3 and 5 are by TheaterJones’ photography intern, Southern Methodist University student Danielle Deraleau.
1. He’s modest.
2. He is a poet with NEA backing, and that talent is reflected in the way he tells stories onstage.
3. He’s not bad. He’s just drawn that way.
5. His poor conduct includes "intellectual revenge" on his bullies.