28th Annual Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot: It's highly recommended, should you choose to participate in the Dallas YMCA's 28th Annual Turkey Trot, that you dig in slow after the run--oyster dressing and multiple-mile runs are not known to be pleasant combinations. Still, as the Trot nears its third decade, many Dallasites have come to regard it as a family tradition, or at the very least a healthy activity for a famously gluttonous day that also benefits a great cause. There are three official contests--an eight-mile race, a three-mile fun run for the I'm-enthusiastic-but-not-that-enthusiastic, and an eight-mile wheelchair race for folks who really want to develop their biceps and pectorals. Just added for this year's festivities is an activity pavilion for all the family members who are left to stand around waiting for the runners--there is a Thanksgiving costume contest, face painting, a soccer kick, arts and crafts, etc. The event kicks off at 9 am at City Hall Plaza downtown. For more info call 954-0500.
Baby Doll's Thanksgiving Dinner: One of Dallas' preeminent strip clubs, Baby Doll's, makes available every Thanksgiving a free holiday meal with all the trimmings for anyone who wishes to partake. It's important to them, from a public-relations standpoint, to give something back to a community that produces such a faithful clientele. If you are without access to family or friends this holiday, consider the fascinating range of folks you'll meet at a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Baby Doll's. If you have children, rest assured that the professionals won't take the stage until the last underage mouth is fed. Serving begins at 11 am and runs until approximately 2 pm at 3039 W Northwest Highway. It's free. For info call 341-3691.
Dallas Fantasy Fair: There has been so much fuss over the last year about the violence in children's entertainment--"Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," the video game Mortal Kombat, etc.--that the concerned, self-righteous pundits have deliberately ignored the intelligence quotient. The discerning viewer actually can find far more imagination, ingenuity, and generally stimulating entertainment in children's fare than is available to the average adult. American pop culture needn't be considered the equivalent of a prefrontal lobotomy for those who indulge with enthusiasm. The Dallas Fantasy Fair is a veritable meeting of the minds for folks who prefer the grand themes of science fiction and fantasy over this boring world. The comic books, trading cards, action figures, role-playing games, speakers, and seminars included in this three-day event are proof positive that while the American imagination may not always be as couth as we'd like to believe, it's alive and well. The show is open Friday and Saturday, 11 am-7 pm and Sunday, 11 am-5 pm at the Harvey Hotel, I-635 at Midway. Admission is $8-$20. For more info call 980-8877.
Hansel & Gretel: You know the story from the classic tale by those purveyors of adolescent sexual angst, The Brothers Grimm--brother and sister escape single-parent home to become the main menu items of a forest-dwelling witch who loves to entice children into her lair with exquisite promises of all the naughty foods they can eat. Hansel & Gretel is at once one of the most familiar of children's mythologies and also one of the richest for psychological interpretation. And there is no medium better for elevating human emotion to its symbolic summit than opera, in which people are pawns to their own fate but are forced to tell their tale through song. The Dallas Opera gives performances of Hansel & Gretel November 24, 29, December 2 & 9 at 7:30 pm and December 26 at 2 pm at the Music Hall in Fair Park. The December 9 show is a special family performance at which each adult ticketbuyer can bring one child free. For information call 443-1043.
My Thing of Love: For 20 years now, the Chicago-based Steppenwolf Theatre has married great playwrights with great authors and promoted an extraordinary array of formidable theatrical talent--John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, Sam Shepard, and Laurie Metcalf, to name a few. If the critical acclaim continues as it has, you might add the name of actress-playwright Alexandra Gersten. Her first play, a dark-comic drama about the travails of one married couple called My Thing of Love, has won numerous national awards in its journey from staged readings at Steppenwolf to a recent Broadway production starring Laurie Metcalf. The Dallas-based New Theatre Company presents Gersten's play hot off the Great White Way, a forum increasingly hostile to such intimate character studies. Performances happen Thursday-Saturday at 8 pm through December 16 in the Swiss Avenue Theater Center, 2700 Swiss. Tickets are $8-$10. Call 520-ARTS.