Rhinoceros: As a pioneering member of the school of writing known as Theater of the Absurd, French dramatist Eugene Ionesco, in the minds of some critics, came to typify the image of the pretentious, self-important Gallic intellectual. Indeed, Ionesco was a rabble-rousing humanist of the old school whose best works aren't supposed to mean anything deeper than what you see on stage - life is arbitrary, ambiguous, existential comedy. Perhaps his best work, and certainly his most famous, is the scary-funny dark comedy Rhinoceros, a play whose original London cast included Sir Laurence Olivier and Joan Plowright. It's the story of one man who tries to resist mob mentality - in this case, the increasing pressure by friends, neighbors, and family to join the crowd and become a rhinoceros. Rising Moon Theatre performs Rhinoceros Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. through November 11 at Swiss Avenue Theater, 2700 Swiss Avenue. Tickets are $5-$12. Call 824-9859.
Philip Glass' La Belle et la Bete: Live musical accompaniment to old black-and-white films is often a rather scattered affair, since most musicians are often more interested in publicly displaying their own free-form virtuosity than truly complementing the film in question. Philip Glass conceived of something a little more ambitious when he decided to accompany Jean Cocteau's 1946 classic La Belle et la Bete with a musical ensemble that includes seven instrumentalists and four opera singers. The result has earned him the nationwide acclaim that Glass is, by now, accustomed to receiving. He and his musical co-conspirators come to Dallas under the auspices of TITAS to perform his "Wagner Meets Cocteau" score while the film screens. Performances are October 19-21 at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium on the grounds of Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $7-$40. Call 528-5576.
Barbie Meets Whiplash: Dottie Whiplash is a musician/performance artist/visual artist/poet and venerable Dallas rabble-rouser. If you didn't catch her live ceremonial "performance" of rabid cavewomen consuming Rush Limbaugh, then maybe you've caught her "Barbie in Bondage" at the Milam Gallery's annual Erotic Art Show. Ms. Whiplash headlines a show called Barbie meets Whiplash that features a mix of her own art and music as well as the fine sounds of The Lucky Bible Co. and The Boozaphonics. The evening kicks off at 9 p.m. at the Major Theatre, 2830 Samuell Blvd. across from Samuell Grand Park. Tickets are $5. For more information call 821-FILM.
Portals: With their last show Legacies of Health, Happiness, and Harmony, the gallery Lloyd-Paxton displayed 74 pieces of rare and precious Chinese art. Now they're traveling even farther east to India, with an exhibition of priceless architectural artworks. The one-word title, Portals, says it all - these are ornately designed entrances for the homes of India's wealthy that date all the way back to the 16th century. The symbolism of the door wasn't lost on the Indian gentry, who decorated their doors with appropriate splendor. Portals opens with a reception the evening of October 20 at the Lloyd-Paxton, 3636 Maple Avenue. It's free. For information call 521-1521.
A Litany of Survival: When Audre Lorde died of breast cancer three years ago, the poet, essayist-activist was mourned by fans who felt less like they'd lost an idol than a dear friend whose journey they shared. Lorde was a feminist who knew that her status both as an African-American and a lesbian didn't fit in with the largely hetero, white middle-class ranks that swelled the second wave of the women's movement in the '50s. She came to symbolize the struggle for identity and self-respect that so many other feminists also encountered but didn't chronicle with nearly as much warmth and insight. Cathedral of Hope screens the feature-length documentary A Litany of Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde, which examines the activist life of a woman who many say lost her rightful place as symbolic leader of the women's movement to the more conventionally attractive, hetero, Caucasian Gloria Steinem. All proceeds from A Litany of Survival benefit breast cancer charities. The show starts at 7 p.m. at 5910 Cedar Springs. Tickets are $3. Call 351-1901.
Texas Brewers Festival: There are two kinds of people who will attend the Texas Brewers Festival - those connoisseurs who really do, as the press material says, "appreciate fine quality craftbeer brewed in Texas," and then those people who appreciate quantity, not quality, in their alcoholic beverages. The Texas Brewers Festival is keenly aware of this, and so has enlisted the Yellow Cab Company to offer rides to the temporary disabled. If you know you fall into that category, be smart and take them up on the offer. Ten different brewpubs from Waco, Austin, San Antonio, Midland, Houston, Dallas, and Shriner are offering patrons the best of their wares, which are purchased with $2 wooden tokens and distributed in a $3 mug you must purchase in order to drink. The Texas Brewers Festival happens October 21, noon - 8 p.m. and October 22, 2 -8 p.m. in Sundance Square of downtown Fort Worth. For info call (817) 336-7468.