The Women in Theatre Festival: It's easy to fear that a series of short plays performed under the title "The Women in Theatre Festival," presented by the New Horizons Theatre Company and the Bath House Cultural Center, will spend most of their time scoring the obvious political points, but a quick perusal of the synopses for these works shows a spirited diversity of subject matter, and a nice emphasis on comedy as a vehicle to score some uncomfortable truths. There's a farcical exploration of male-female relationships, a broader comedy about a "marriage repairman" trying to heal a violent schism, and even a comic look at domestic violence. Performances of Pink Flamingoes and The Mother of God August 17 at 8 p.m.; Ara Watson's Final Placement and Laura Cunningham's A Man at the Door August 18 at 8 p.m. and 19 at 3 p.m.; Sherry Kramer's The World at Absolute Zero and Lynn Nottage's Poof! August 19 at 8 p.m.; Josefina Lopez's Simply Maria August 23 at 8 p.m. Tickets to the Festival are $10 for performances, $5 for readings, and $25 for a Festival pass. All performances at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther. 670-8749.
Janmastami: The Hare Krishna sect in America has gotten a bad rap over the years. You know--bald guy with a ponytail in flowing robes, trying to sell flowers to you at the airport. Pesky though some of their members might be in public, the Hare Krishnas are part of a larger body of Eastern philosophies that both outnumbers and predates the Christian theology. Our snickers at Hare Krishnas reflect not so much on them as they illustrate the wide schism between the Eastern and Western minds. The Hare Krishna Temple at Kalachandji's (yes, it's not just a restaurant) and the Texas Krishnas, Inc. converge to celebrate the Indian holiday of Janmastami. Lord Krishna first appeared to the faithful over 5,000 years ago. In Janmastami, there's the offering of gifts, the ceremonial bathing of the deity figure, street dancing, music, and a vegetarian feast to round it all off. The celebration kicks off at 6 p.m. at 5430 Gurley Avenue. For info call 827-6330.
Brave Combo: The name of the latest album by Denton-based world-rhythm blenders Brave Combo is Polkas For a Gloomy World. In case you didn't catch the implication, the boys feel it's their civic duty to shine a little light--and scuff a few floors in the bargain--onto a world too beset by the self-pitying confessional singer-songwriters and death-obsessed industrial outfits and flannel-clad, unwashed guys who make somber melodies out of guitar feedback. To wit, they're hosting another one of their Polka Parties, although you might expect some Latino and African rhythms thrown in when you least expect it. Prizes are awarded to couples who prove they can shake their groove thang in a uniquely Polish way. The fun gets under way around 10 p.m. at the Longbranch Country Club, 1850 Belt Line in pastoral Coppell. Admission is $7.50. Call 462-7715.
Theatre Crawl '95: Three of the most successful Dallas theaters are getting together because they're not satisfied with their current level of patronage. To be specific, they want you, if you're one of those individuals who always thinks about catching a play but just can't seem to make it off the couch. The Dallas Theater Center, The Dallas Children's Theatre, and the Undermain Theatre join talents for one evening guaranteed to offer you a diversity of flavors. Presented by the Playwrights' Project of Dallas, Theatre Crawl '95 is an evening of food, drinks, and a little one-act action--in this case, three short plays the companies hope will provide participants a taste of their unique personalities. The evening kicks off at 7:30 p.m. in the Dallas Theater Center's Kalita Humphreys Theater in Turtle Creek, where a shuttle awaits you after that performance to whisk you away to another. Tickets are $50 per person. For information call 497-1752.
Robert Anton Wilson: It's difficult to summarize in a blurb exactly what historian-author Robert Anton Wilson is coming to Dallas to speak about--this is a guy who deals in subject matter like quantum psychology, reality tunnels, numerology, astrology, the occult practices of folks like Aleister Crowley, and other arcana. Suffice to say if you're a fan of shadowy byways of human knowledge, Wilson has something to say that's right up your alley. He made a name for himself with The Illuminatis Trilogy, a trio of works that explored the real-life exploits of a semi-occultic 18th-century secret society known as The Bavarian Illuminatis, who planned to take over the world through mysticism. Do you follow us so far? Wilson is in town to give a lecture entitled Twelve Eggs In Search of A Box, which illustrates the relationship between the number 12 and the American jury system. Wilson gives a booksigning at 2 p.m. at Forbidden Books, 835 Exposition, and then bops on over to the Major Theatre, 2830 Samuell, for a 7 p.m. talk. Call 821-9554.
Buck Ramsey, Andy Wilkinson, Chuck Milner: Cowboy music is often a product of solitude, which explains the yearning, cosmic quality of guys who sit around campfires and pass the whiskey bottle, get misty-eyed over tumbleweeds, and forge spiritual relationships with their cayuses. You'd expect cowboy poetry to be just as fiercely individualistic, shot through with the same sense of humor and emotional restlessness. You'd be right. For a triple shot of this uniquely American art form, check out the performance of three gen-u-ine, nationally recognized cowpokes. Buck Ramsey, Andy Wilkinson, and Chuck Milner have played at music and storytelling festivals all over the world, and won chuck- wagon-loads full of awards and citations. They're converging on the Sons of Hermann Hall to record a live album of storytelling, guitar-strumming, and verse, and they want you to come share the experience. The evening begins at 8 p.m. at the Hall, 3414 Elm. Tickets are $5-$7. For information call 747-4422.