World AIDS Day: If you don't understand why it was necessary to both politicize and commercialize AIDS, then pop out and buy yourself a copy of Urvashi Vaid's indispensable Virtual Equality, which is mostly about the gay and lesbian rights movement but deals significantly with how that movement's goals sometimes had to be relegated to the back seat in order to deal with a plague that combines America's two biggest shames--sex and death. While the HIV virus worldwide has infected more heterosexuals than homosexuals, it's difficult for many of us to see the outside clearly from that fish bowl called the United States. In commemoration of World AIDS Day, the Red Cross presents an agency information fair in which major AIDS service organizations in Dallas are present to discuss their activities, including Bryan's House, Oak Lawn Community Services, and the Dallas Urban League. The fair happens 10 am-2 pm at the Red Cross, 2300 McKinney Avenue. Admission is free. For info call 871-2175.
Voices de Nuestra Gente: Author, poet, screenwriter, and social critic Dr. Carmen Tafolla is fascinated with people and the way race, ethnicity, gender, and economic status influence the choices they make. Dissatisfied with some of the more orthodox tools of study, Tafolla took a route similar to that of New York stage dynamo Anna Deveare Smith--straight to the stage, where she set out to create and portray an entire cast of characters from the barrio. The result, Voices de Nuestra Gente (With Our Very Own Names), has been performed in Mexico City, London, Madrid, and all over the United States, most notably in a performance requested by the Department of Education. Dr. Tafolla brings her show to Dallas under the auspices of Teatro Dallas' 3rd International Theater Festival. The single performance happens at 8:15 pm at Teatro Dallas, 2204 Commerce. Admission is $12. For info call 741-1135.
James Earl Jones: The USA Film Festival is honoring James Earl Jones with its 1995 Master Screen Artist Award, but the peerless Mr. Jones has robbed American movie audiences of a truly star-quality film career by choosing to work his magic on the American stage. Think about it--when was the last time you saw Mr. Jones in a film role worthy of his talents? (Granted, the actor's vocal performance as Darth Vader in the Star Wars trilogy was singlehandedly responsible for creating one of American cinema's greatest villains).Actually, that's part of the reason he's in town--to premiere his latest movie, and possibly the most important one of his career. The Oscar buzz is veritably swarming over his performance in Cry, The Beloved Country, an adaptation of Alan Paton's 1948 novel that was, for many people around the world, their introduction to the tragedy of apartheid. Jones will be in attendance for the screening as well as a film-clip retrospective of his 31-year movie career. He will also take questions from the audience. The evening begins at 7 pm at General Cinema's Northpark 3 &4, North Central Expressway at Park Lane. Ticket prices are $15, $55, and $75. For additional information contact the festival at 821-NEWS.
Star Gazing: The events sponsored by Richland College in association with its planetarium are always great fun to attend, not only for the stars but for some of the people who avail themselves of the service. There is often a high quotient of what Arsenio Hall once described as the "Twinkies and Visine" set--folks whose interest in astronomy is accompanied by strange symptoms such as bloodshot eyes, cotton mouth, and the tendency to repeat the word "cool" with an awe more suitable to a Virgin Mary sighting. Since the show is free, it's usually fairly crowded, so get there early. The evening consists of a show inside the planetarium of the moons, planets, and constellations that are visible from Richland, followed by telescope set-ups outside for folks to catch a glance of their favorite stars. The planetarium show happens at 7:30 pm with outside telescope viewing to begin at 8:30 pm (if the weather is friendly, of course) in the Planetarium of Richland College, 1800 Abrams. Donations are gratefully accepted. Call 238-6013.