The Jingle Bell Run: It seems every year The Jingle Bell Run gets more and more elaborate, which is logical--when you generate mobs of this size, you'd best keep them busy or they might run riot. In 1995, the Run itself--actually a choice of either a 5K run or a one-mile fun-run--is almost beside the point. This year's Costume Contest will be judged by a panel that includes fitness guru Dr. Kenneth Cooper. The Fairmont's Regency Ballroom has been transformed into a Santa Land that includes choirs, arts and crafts, and a Santa Claus waiting with a warm lap. The race begins at 7:30 p.m. outside of the Fairmont Hotel on Ross Avenue. All proceeds benefit BloodCare. For information call 528-1290.
The Nutcracker: For performing arts groups, the Christmas season becomes a time of frantic self-justification or, "Why you should choose to spend your money on my hard-candy classic over the others." For purists, the biggest draw to Ballet Dallas' performance of The Nutcracker is that artistic director Thom Clower has bypassed Balanchine to reach back a hundred years to the original choreography of Lev Ivanov, which, in turn, was a more faithful adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffman's original story. While not necessarily superior to later versions, Ivanov does offer the chance for folks who've O.D.'d on The Nutcracker to catch its little-seen genesis. Performances happen December 15-23 at 7:30 p.m., with weekend matinees at 2 p.m., at the Majestic Theatre on Elm Street downtown. Tickets are $5-$45. For information call 373-8000.
Romeo and Juliette: The Dallas Opera dishes up a little classical tragedy for your holiday enjoyment--the tale of two teenagers whose hormones lead them to a very bad end. There is a certain primal rush to the grand drama that is an opera performance, so all those open throats should complement the tortured text of Romeo and Juliette quite nicely. The Dallas Opera has chosen a mainstay for its production--the musical adaptation of Shakespeare's work by Charles-Francois Gounod--rather than one of the many opera versions throughout the ages written by various composers. Performances happen December 15, 22 and 27 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on December 17, in the Music Hall at Fair Park. For ticket information call 443-1000.
Dale Bozzio: If 94.5 KDGE's weekday "Flashback Cafe" had a kingdom, it would be the wonderfully glitzy, kitschy Eden 2000, and if it had a queen, that would have to be Dale Bozzio, the Missing Persons diva who currently tours the country on a wave of twentysomething nostalgia. Flashbacks--the sting of peroxide burns, the smell of clove cigarettes, the swish-swish of parachute pants--are bound to kick into overdrive when Bozzio returns to Dallas to perform '80s hits like "Words" and "Destination Unknown." Eden 2000 hosts the chanteuse at 550 Greenville Avenue. For ticket information call 373-3363.
Hari Om Sharan and Nandini Sharan: Feeling Judeo-Christianed out? A little sound of the East might be just the thing to restore your equilibrium. The Dallas Hare Krishna Temple and The Texas Krishnas, Inc. (founded to raise "Krishna consciousness") hosts the internationally beloved devotional singers Hari Om Sharan and Nandini Sharan. The Sharans have toured the world together for over a decade now, but Hari Om Sharan's career goes back thirty years in India, where he is known as "Bhajan Maharishi," or Emperor of Devotional Ballads (think of him as the Eastern "Chairman of the Board"). Both Sharans perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Coppell Middle School West, off I-635 near the DFW Airport. Tickets are $15. Call 827-6330.
Shari Lewis and Friends: It seems remarkable that Shari Lewis has been able to sustain legions of fans throughout a thirty-year career--the same thirty years which have seen a tremendous change in attitude about not only children's entertainment but children themselves. Lewis can be seen as a primary influence on everything from "Sesame Street" to the much-despised Barney. But unlike the prehistoric purple codependent, Lewis sometimes appeals more to adults than children. She represents the kind of wholesome, gentle, whimsical entertainment that grown-ups, battered by the world and in search of an idealized vision of childhood, want to remember. Lewis was a little watered-down for some of us, but in an age of increasingly cynical children's entertainment, she qualifies as a truly "alternative" performer. Lewis performs at 12:30 and 3 p.m. in the Dallas Convention Center, Akard & Canton. Tickets are $5-$40. For information call 871-ARTS.