Easter Egg Hunt: If your child thinks one of Jesus' miracles for the unbelievers was turning hard-boiled chicken eggs three different shades of primary colors, don't blame him or her--keeping religious tradition, commercialism, and American popular folklore separate is a job that's confounded scholars for the better part of the 20th century. The Dallas Arboretum promises not to plant any subversive thoughts that might emerge from the mouths of babes during Easter Sunday sermons, but they are sponsoring one of the largest easter egg hunts in the city that will be presided over by, yes, a fun-lovin' lupus resurrectus giganticus as well as Tom, the Tom Thumb Mascot with the Gene Simmons tongue. Over 25,000 toy-filled eggs are distributed across the Arboretum grounds in two different hunts at 1:30 and 3 pm. The hunts are divided by age groups that range up to 10. Admission is $3-$6, with the egg hunts included in the ticket. It's open from 10 am-6 pm and located at 8525 Garland Road near White Rock Lake. Call 324-9801.
Robert Wuthnow: You can't open a newspaper or magazine these days without reading how America has fallen headfirst into a love affair with fundamentalist Christianity. The influence of the politicized faithful stretches far beyond churches and rural town halls to dominate the committees of the Republican Party, the ruling Congressional force which must contend with folks who get testy when their "God-given" mandates for change are ignored by anyone, whether it be a Democratic Party eager to paint them as extremists or moderate Republicans who want to shuffle them off to the dusty corners where their moralistic ultimatums won't repel a fickle American electorate. Many have declared that a nationwide exodus to fundamentalism means a return to reliable old values, but has anyone stopped to consider how fundamentalism robs Christianity of its beauty, mystery, and poeticism by reducing complex Biblical precepts into a fussy, Junior League-ish set of club rules? As part of its 25th Annual Willis M. Tate-Willson Lectures series, Southern Methodist University invites Princeton University theologian Robert Wuthnow to speak about the resurgence of Christian activism. Wuthnow, a Pulitzer-nominated author of over 14 books, gives three different lectures on the topic--on April 18 at 8 pm he covers "The Waning of Religion?"; on April 19 at 1 pm he talks about "Religious Conflict and Common Ground"; and on April 20 at 1 pm he discusses "The Appeal of Fundamentalism." Robert Wuthnow gives three lectures in Room 210 of Selecman Hall, 5905 Bishop Blvd on the campus of Southern Methodist University. For admission information call 768-7650.
Paco Pena Flamenco Company: Spanish classical guitarist extraordinaire Paco Pena has earned countless awards from critics' groups and musical institutions for his commitment to keeping the tradition of his Latino roots alive, but the Dallas Classic Guitar Society invites Pena and his company of singers, dancers, and instrumentalists for a special performance secular American audiences rarely get to hear. Upon visiting Poland, Pena was asked for the first time to write an explicitly religious piece of music for a Catholic music festival. Suddenly, his mind was set afire with connections he'd never made before--that the flamenco song conveyed a deep yearning to its audience, a yearning for some place where human nature, human need, and humankind's concept of God converged. He created an extended work that drew upon Roman Catholic liturgy, but went far beyond. The Paco Pena Flamenco Company performs at 8 pm at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora. Tickets are $13-$50. Call 1-800-654-9545.
The Great Gay-Straight Debate: Although the last five years have seen an explosion of gay and lesbian stand-up comics, that dying tradition still favors hetero white men pontificating before legions of other hetero white men about the sorrows of being a hetero white man in a world that dares to consider other viewpoints. Comedy clubs nationwide, dwindling though they may be, are still among the last bastions of masculine heterosexist privilege where fag and dyke jokes can still be enjoyed. To be fair, comedy has always thrived on the exploitation of stereotypes, but too often in the routines of headliners-turned-stars such as Eddie Murphy and the late Sam Kinison, gay men and lesbians were reviled, not satirized. With the resurgence of poor-white-hetero-guy stand-up shtick, you'd expect a continuation of the same homo-bashing, but Jeff Wayne, one of the prime advocates of that already cliched medium, stands ready to address hetero vs. homo issues. Wayne, creator of the one-man show Big Daddy's Barbecue and star of his own comedy CD It's Okay to Be a White Male, faces off with Jason Stuart, a fellow whose own sold-out nationwide routines have relied too heavily on the same punchline--ain't it wacky being gay? Jason Stuart and Jeff Wayne perform their Great Debate every evening April 19-23 at The Improv, 4980 Belt Line. For time and ticket information call 404-0323.