Events for the week

may 21
The Diner: These days artists who make bold, unconventional political statements are usually laughed off the stage. If the work sucks, then laugh away, but there's an eagerness to humiliate anyone who holds an ideal more profound than "making money is good for America"--especially if he or she is enraged by some perceived injustice and wants to shout to the heavens about it. Presented for your delectation is Dallas artist Greg Metz's latest excursion into moral outrage and theatrical confession. Titled "The Diner," it's a 1955 customized air stream travel trailer the artist has been working on for four years now, preparing it for the national tour on which it will hereafter embark. Taking a cue from both the futurist anxiety of George Orwell and Upton Sinclair's classic muck-racking stomach-turner The Jungle, "The Diner" condemns carnivorous capitalism by slamming the meat-packing industry with styrofoam, wood, and fiberglass sculptures of horribly (and in some cases genetically) mutated animals, as well as a 3-D restaging of "The Last Supper" in which you'll finally get to see Mr. Rogers, Jesus, Candice Bergen, Einstein, and Madonna rubbing elbows. The Cosmic Cup provides catering for the two-day exhibition, which also features entertainment by Homer Henderson's One Man Band and Brent Johnson's Sofa Kingdom. "The Diner" can be viewed May 20 & 21, 10 am-7 pm at the Continental Gin Building, 3309 Elm.

Dallas Music Fair: Since the vinyl record album was killed off just a few short years ago, millions of music lovers have been slammed between the eyes with the tragedy of obsolete entertainment technology, forced to buy a CD player if they have any interest whatsoever in new music. Meanwhile, the turntable faithful have been driven underground like some lunatic separatist organization, forced to buy and trade among themselves or buy and trade with used record stores who shove thousands of LPs into cardboard boxes without classifying the music. Vinyl fanatics feel about as welcome around your local Blockbuster as freethinkers in Plano, but there are places know, people like that go to congregate, offer support, and haggle over the price limits of an out-of-print record album. The Dallas Music Fair, an event that comes along every few months from Southwestern Promotions, features the very latest releases down to the rarest of singles and albums--with a special emphasis on vinyl. There are also posters, memorabilia, CDs, and lots more. The Southwestern Music Fair happens 10 am-5 pm at Dallas Park Hilton, 4801 LBJ Freeway at Dallas Parkway. Tickets are $3. Call (713) 771-3939.

may 23
Daniel de Cordoba and His Fiesta Flamenca Troupe: With the Latino influence being an ever-present part of daily Texas life (have you dined in downtown Oak Cliff recently?), it's high time we took a crash course in the romantic splendors and tempestuousness of Hispanic folk traditions. This is precisely what veteran choreographer-dancer Daniel de Cordoba seeks to provide with his constant performances around North Texas--a perspective, a context, and a general introduction to the art of flamenco. De Cordoba and His Fiesta Flamenca Dance Troupe carry their latest program to a cultural outpost that's a fair distance away from the Spanish traditions of continental Europe as you can imagine--the Jewish Community Center of Dallas. With a roster of guest artists, many flown over from Spain, de Cordoba's program includes "The Mysteries & Roots of Flamenco," which explores the Iberian, Moorish, Sephardic, and Gypsy influences on Spanish dance and music; a variety of classical dances; and "Homenajue," a group of Flamenco dances based on the poetry of Garcia-Lorca. Daniel de Cordoba performs with His Fiesta Flamenca Troupe at 7:30 pm at the Jewish Community Center, 7900 Northaven. It's free. 739-2737.

The Confessions of RosaLee: Some recent reports estimate that 60 percent of all black children in America live below the poverty line. While the first and most logical culprit to pursue in such a depressing statistic is white racism, that hard reality doesn't begin to explain the strange dynamics which cause one generation to influence the next into a life of drugs, violence, poverty, and self-defeating internal rage. KERA-TV Channel 13 airs an hour-long documentary as part of the outstanding "Frontline" series. "The Confessions of RosaLee" retraces the 7-year steps taken by Leon Dash, a Washington Post reporter who won a Pulitzer for his continuing series about the family life of one RosaLee Cunningham, an illiterate middle-aged African-American woman who represents a right-winger's wet-dream argument against government assistance for the poor--she's a single mother who has often scammed the government for as much financial assistance as she could receive, all the while supporting herself and her kids through drug-dealing and prostitution. But the story only begins there, as reporter Dash involves himself more and more deeply in Cunningham's life and discovers the powerful, even crafty instincts for survival which the woman's wretched childhood has taught her. If you doubt that poverty and crime have a generational component, this story might convince you otherwise. KERA-TV Channel 13 airs "The Confessions of RosaLee" as part of the "Frontline" documentary series at 9 pm. Call (617) 783-3500.

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