God Shows No Partiality: It's a phrase you don't hear much these days from religious speakers. And while it's easy to bemoan the mean-spiritedness of rhetoric from the Religious Right, America has just joined an international trend that's been centuries in the making. Fundamentalism has ruled (and ravaged) just about everywhere but the West, from the bloody battles among Buddhist sects to waves of violent retaliation between Muslim and Jewish extremists. While fundamentalist Christian activists in the United States have kept their missiles verbal, an exploration into the motives of the Oklahoma City bombers might begin a new chapter in the American culture wars. The School of Theology For the Laity presents a lecture titled "God Shows No Partiality" by a black Southern man of God who has the academic credentials of an international scholar. Thomas L. Hoyt, Jr. is the presiding bishop of the Fourth Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Louisiana and Mississippi, holds many degrees, and has traveled the world. The talk begins at 3 pm in the sanctuary of East Dallas Christian Church, 629 N. Peak. It's free, and supervised child care is available. For more info call 349-2792.
Retratos y Seunos: Photographs by Mexican Children: For over four centuries now, the craggy, misty lands of Chiapas--Mexico's southernmost region--seem to have escaped the racial enmity that has marred the country as a whole. Here Indians and Spanish descendants live alongside one another in crumbling villages, raising animals and praying and marrying and living and dying. International photographer Wendy Ewald, who has a history of working with impoverished children from the Appalachians to Bombay, ventured there in 1991 to supervise an art project among the Chiapan kids. The result is Retratos y Seunos (Portraits and Dreams): Photographs by Mexican Children, an exhibition of 68 photos snapped by the children that documents their daily lives. The photographers weren't directed toward straight documentary images so much as capturing the people and daily rituals that affected them most. Accompanying the show is a documentary video and interview text. Retratos y Seunos: Photographs by Mexican Children opens June 9 and runs through August 6 in the Meadows Museum on the grounds of Southern Methodist University. It's free. Call 768-3510.
C.J. Critt: From Mary Matalin and Ann Richards to Ellen DeGeneres and Ab Fab's Patsy and Adina, it seems everybody's after women these days for their words, and--surprise!!--despite the American cultural assumption that females are somehow softer, more caring creatures, their sentiments can cut with the same force as men's. Barb-tongued C.J. Critt is slowly acquiring her own audience with shows in Dallas and New York City that resemble what you get when you cross a poetry reading with a mob scene--great torrents of words, some wry, some angry, with an emphasis on using the visual metaphor as a battering ram. Although clearly feminist-inspired, Critt wields something far more deadly than ideological rants--a sense of humor. She performs her own brand of satirical cabaret, this time without the usual accompaniment of her Angry Girl Sextet, June 10 at 4:15 pm; June 13 at 9:15 pm; and June 18 at 1 pm as part of the Dallas Theater Center's Big D Festival of the Unexpected in the Kalita Humphreys Theater on Turtle Creek. Tickets to each performance are $6. Call 522-TIXX.
Landfill: Because of the bare stage, you might be tempted not to take the proceedings as seriously. But staged readings are not events at which one sips beverages loudly, rustles programs, or gossips among friends. In some ways, readings require a higher degree of concentration because the playwright's work is usually unfinished, or the playwright wants to find out if it's unfinished. Your reactions, suggestions, remarks, and insights are all sought by the writer to help him or her figure out if the work has hit its intended marks. The Playwrights' Project, a Dallas-based nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding and encouraging theater, hosts a reading of a trilogy of one-acts by Jim Anderson. Landfill concerns itself with a postapocalyptic world in which escape comes with a price. Playwrights' Project presents a staged reading of Landfill at 7 pm in the Teatro Dallas space, 2204 Commerce. A $5 donation is requested. Call 661-3703.
Turtle Creek Chorale: Dallas' world-renowned, 200-voice, all-male choir The Turtle Creek Chorale wraps up its 15th season with two performances informed by a decidedly Wagnerian flourish. Take a gander at some of the titles on the program for their performances with the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra--Mendelssohn's Festgasang An Die Kunstler, Strauss' Die Tageszeiten, and Bruckner's Abendzauber--and you can almost feel the braided wigs and breastplates vibrating with Teutonic vocal fury. The Chorale has tapped two formidable New York City opera talents to perform in these shows, though don't hold your breath waiting for Brunehilda drag. The New York City Opera's mezzo-soprano Melanie Sonnenberg, who replaced Cecilia Bartoli during those controversial Cinderella performances by the Dallas Opera this past season, performs along with the Metropolitan Opera's Timothy Jenkins, who has performed solo at the White House and is himself something of a Wagner aficionado. The performances will be recorded and released on Reference Recordings. The Turtle Creek Chorale performs June 11 and June 14 at 8 pm in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora in the downtown Arts District. Tickets are $10-$25. Call 520-