Doubles: Japan and America's Intercultural Children: As often as Americans get bogged down in their own racial hostilities, it's easy to forget how cultures across the globe stratify their peoples along rigid ethnic lines. Finding context is part of the reason why the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth and the South Dallas Cultural Center have joined forces to host a documentary film by African-American filmmaker Regge Life entitled Doubles: Japan and America's Intercultural Children. Life was interested in going outside his own society to study how a different culture reacts to children of racially mixed parents - in this case, Japan and America. Life is in town for questions. His film screens ar 7 p.m. at the South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 Fitzhugh. For info call 761-1791.
Vampire Follies: Most of us have seen so many consecutive Christmas productions of The Nutcracker, just one more and that particular ballet begins to resemble its title in a more literal way. Ballet Dallas has started its own dance holiday tradition, one that combines the white-hot pop mythos of vampirism with the high-falutin' appeal of classical dance. With this, it's second production of Vampire Follies (La Cafe des Vampyres), the troupe has officially added the show as a seasonal production. Artistic director Thom Clower and international choreographer James Clouser worked together on last year's show and present a revamped version this year, once again set to the doom-inspiring music of Shostakovich. The show is performed October 27 & 28 at 8 p.m. and October 29 at 2 p.m. in the Majestic Theatre on Elm Street. Tickets are $5-$45. For more info call 373-8000.
Halloween Activities: For many grade schoolers, the reading gets especially cool around October, when diluted but still-exciting references to the occult pop up everywhere. In fact, if you have a kid close to you who doesn't like to read, Halloween is the perfect time to take a trip to the bookstore or, better yet, the library - no other seasonal literature is as imagination-friendly. The Children's Center at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library has all its Halloween titles separated and showcased for easy reference, but for Halloween weekend, the library has planned three days of events. October 27 at 10:30 a.m. features a puppet show and films, and October 28 & 29 at 2 p.m. a short film festival is shown, including titles like What's Under My Bed? and King of Cats. The Central Library is located at 1515 Young. For info call 670-7838.
Horror at the Major: East Dallas' venerable Major Theatre combines its recent past with the present and future - cool movies with underground music. Part costume-party fund-raiser, part old-fashioned horror film double feature, part thrash-goth-rock extravaganza, "Horror at the Major" features back-to-back screenings of Andre de Toth's 1953 Vincent Price 3-D extravaganza House of Wax with the 1958 Christopher Lee-Peter Cushing classic Horror of Dracula, the film that kicked off Hammer's hugely successful vampire series. Following those will be costume and jack o' lantern contests and, last but definitely loudest, a performance by Dallas sensation Ethyl Merman. The evening kicks off with the films at 8 p.m. and runs until the last creature crawls out following Ethyl Merman's jaw-rattling performance. Admission is $5. The Major is located at 2830 Samuell Blvd. across from Samuell Grand Park. For info call 821-FILM.
30th Annual Classic International Gem & Jewelry Show: Sure, the Classic International Gem & Jewelry Show is a drag queen's heaven for precious and semi-precious gems, beads, crystals, fine and costume jewelry, and collectibles, but the real attraction at this three-day convergence of national vendors is an exhibition called "Fabulous Jewelry of the Stars," with "unimpeachably authenticated" jewelry worn by the likes of Zsa Zsa Gabor, Elvis, Gypsy Rose Lee, and Liberace (has anyone ever seen these folks together in the same room at the same time? hmmm...). The event kicks off October 27, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; October 28, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; and October 29, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons. Tickets are $5. For info call (301) 294-1640.
Dallas Gameroom and Collectibles Show: Nostalgia is the order of the day at the Dallas Gameroom and Collectibles Show, which features hundreds of vintage signs, toys, games, coin-operated doodads, memorabilia, and lots more stuff that people have found in their old buildings or their grandparents' attic or their own basement. Among those things not found in an attic (as far as we know) are the special guests, two of whom nevertheless emerge from semi-obscurity to take their rightful place in the pantheon of American rock 'n' roll legends. We are speaking of Peggy Sue and Donna, the women made famous in songs by Buddy Holly and Richie Valens. There's also one of Holly's guitars; a Holly scholar named Bill Griggs who's just written a book; an exhibit of props, scripts, and animation cels; and lots more. The event is open day and evening October 28 & 29 in the Big Town Exhibition Hall at the Big Town Mall in Mesquite. For ticket info call 243-5725 or 644-7353.
Haunted Gardens: For many years now, stories have circulated about poisoned or otherwise violated candy turning up among the trick-or-treat booty of American kids. It has always been difficult to judge exactly how widespread the danger is, but for many American parents, an exaggerated reality is quite enough - sad to say, but in most parts of the country, trick-or-treating as American rite has died. The Dallas Arboretum steps in with an annual event aimed at kids but designed for everybody. The Haunted Gardens feature not-too-traumatic scares for little ones (although the Cannibal Cafe might be avioded by those with particularly impressionable tykes), with costume characters, a Haunted Forest, ghostly farmers on antique equipment, a Goblin Land, and a variety of activities. The Haunted Gardens is October 27 & 28, 7 - 9:30 p.m. at 8525 Garland Road on White Rock Lake. Admission is $4-$5, parking is $2. For info call 823-7644.