Ad-Libs Ninth Anniversary: Having any kind of business survive for nine years is an impressive accomplishment, but when you consider said enterprise is an improvisational comedy troupe, that's an even bigger deal. When Phil Larsson and his buddies started Ad-Libs in 1987, the live-comedy performance field was beginning to dry up. Back then, Larsson had to live in the back of the shop, washing himself in a tub with beer pitchers. Today, comedy venues across the nation are dropping like lame one-liners, but Larrson has his own shower and a more-successful-than-ever Ad-Libs. Come check out the 100 percent improv stylings of the troupe in its Ninth Anniversary Show. The performance happens at 8 p.m. at 2613 Ross in the Dallas Arts District. Tickets are the 1987 price: $5 per person. For more information call 754-7050.
Carlo Pezzimenti and Marta Urrea: All those Dallasites who complain that high ticket prices are what keep them from enjoying the finer art forms, meet Carlo Pezzimenti: world tourer, Spanish-music aficionado, disciple of Andres Segovia, and, perhaps most significantly, guy who plays free concerts because he loves music. Pezzimenti, a classical guitarist and sometime Texas Woman's University professor, is a first-class musical talent who will very soon be charging double-digit ticket prices for Carnegie Hall and Meyerson shows. Those who've heard Pezzimenti's spine-tinglingly beautiful music will gladly pay (but we don't mind the free shows). Pezzimenti shares the bill with another great talent, pianist Marta Urrea. The performance begins at 7 p.m. at the Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University at Hillcrest and Mockingbird. It's free. Call 768-2740.
The Next Millenium of International Ballet: It's not enough that The International Theatrical Arts Society (TITAS) provides Dallasites with season after season of world-class entertainment; Executive Producer Tom Adams wants to raise the standard even higher by importing the world's top ballet companies to the city. That takes money, and nobody at TITAS is getting wealthy off its endeavors. The solution? The second annual "The Next Millenium of International Ballet" benefit, a command performance that features the about-to-be-hottest ballet hoofers on the planet, including Vladimir "The Luscious Russian" Malakhov, Angel Corella, Tetsuya Kumakawa, Susan Jaffe, and Darcey Bussell.The performance happens at 7:30 p.m. at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Tickets are $10-$100. Call 528-5576.
Shelby Lee Adams' Appalachian Portraits: Award-winning photographer Shelby Lee Adams was born in Kentucky in the thick of the Southern Appalachians, which might explain why there isn't a trace of condescension in his photo exhibit, Appalachian Portraits. The pictures in this show are just a handful of the photos shot during a 15-year project that saw Adams, who says he developed his aesthetic eye as a reaction to the blindness which eventually overcame his grandmother, traveling down dirt roads most people wouldn't even recognize as road. The opening reception, on March 1 from 6 to 9 p.m., includes a lecture by the artist. The show is free and runs through April 13 at Photographs Do Not Bend, 3115 Routh St. Call 969-1852.
The 14th Annual North Texas Irish Festival: It would take an entire Calendar Events page to adequately list the variety of performers and events at the 14th Annual 1996 North Texas Irish Festival. Barring that, suffice to say there are more than 40 musicians and musical outfits from all over the world. Some specialize in traditional, some contemporary, some a hybrid of sounds, but they all share a genetic predisposition for green beer and blarney-lovin'. There's also a 3,000-square-foot Urchin St. Faire for the kids, and the Second Annual Texas State Championship of Irish Dance. The Festival begins with a three-stage preview Friday, 4-11 p.m., and continues Saturday, noon-midnight, and Sunday, noon-8 p.m., in Fair Park. Tickets are $3 for Friday night, and $10-$15 for other days. Call 821-4174.
Dallas in Wonderland: "Wonderland at Dallas Blooms," now in its 12th year, is designed to carry Dallas from late winter into spring, although with recent temperatures around 95, they might consider installing a giant water slide for heat-stricken patrons. "Wonderland at Dallas Blooms" features millions of tulips, daffodils, and azaleas surrounding greenery sculpted in the shape of Lewis Carroll's LSD-esque Wonderland characters. There are also plant and herbal demonstrations and lectures, musical entertainment, animals exhibits, and lotsa kid stuff. Activities start up this Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and continue every weekend through April 7 at 8525 Garland Rd. Admission is $3-$6; children younger than 6 are admitted free. Parking is $2. Call 327-8263.
Mondrian and the Music of His Time: Dutch pianist Marcel Worms presents a special concert performance-discussion about one very famous painter and the musical peers who (indirectly) influenced his work. Mondrian and the Music of His Time is a program of compositions that include not only composers as disparate as Gershwin, Scott Joplin, and Stravinsky, but also contemporary works about or influenced by Mondrian commissioned by Worms. An institution in his Dutch homeland, Worms is regarded not only as a world-class pianist but also as a preeminent scholar of jazz piano. The performance begins at 3 p.m. in the Horchow Auditorium of the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood. It's free. Call 922-1229.
Nobody Here But Us Chickens: Kitchen Dog Theater delivers a trio of short plays by playwright Peter Barnes that, like all truly great comedy, threatens to be misunderstood and cause a firestorm of ignorant protests. Each of the one-acts in Nobody Here But Us Chickens deals with the subject of being handicapped, but if you expect drama along the lines of an "empowering" TV movie about the triumph of the human spirit, watch out. The title play is also the first and deals with two men who think they're chickens; More Than a Touch of Zen presents two handicapped students trying to learn judo; and Not As Bad As They Seem mixes sexual tension and physical disability. Performances are Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday "pay-what-you-can" matinees are at 2 p.m., through March 24 at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. Tickets are $6-$12.
17th Annual Spring Dallas Home and Garden Show: While a garden show is a perfectly natural event to coincide with the let's-get-outside mentality of spring, you'd think an exhibit dealing with home repair, decoration, improvement, etc. would fare better in winter. As it happens, the Spring Dallas Home and Garden Show does boffo business each and every season of the blooms. Highlights include "Smart House!" which features the latest in interactive home technology (didn't these folks ever see Demon Seed?); top Dallas chefs offering culinary tips in "Cooking With the Best"; and garden entries from the Texas Association of Landscape Contractors. The show is open Friday, 2-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons Freeway. Tickets are $5 for adults, $.50 for kids. Call 732-6100.
We Were Baptized Too: Pat Buchanan is an even more influential figure in this year's presidential campaign than in 1992. Even if he doesn't get the nomination, his current success almost guarantees both major parties will move even farther right, which means it's open season once again on gays, lesbians, and the North American Free Trade Agreement. Buchanan likes to paint the homosexual community as leathermen, drag queens, and butch-femmes. (Those are only the most fun-lovin' members). Ironically, there are plenty of gay and lesbian Christians out there who might be happy to vote for a social conservative like Buchanan if only he weren't so hateful toward them. Marilyn Alexander, an executive director at Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology, has just released We Were Baptized Too: Claiming God's Grace for Gays and Lesbians. Alexander appears to discuss her book at 3 p.m. at Crossroads Market, 3930 Cedar Springs Road. For information call 521-8919.
Rebecca: Attend the USA Film Festival's First Monday Classic screening of Rebecca. Enjoy the sumptuous black-and-white photography, the effortless confidence of Hitchcock's compositions, the scintillating love-hate gazes exchanged between beautiful Joan Fontaine and dashing Laurence Olivier, but whatever you do, don't remember Carol Burnett's hilarious spoof Rebeky from her early '70s TV show. If Judith Anderson starts to resemble a bewigged Vicki Lawrence as Mrs. Danvers, just repeat to yourself, "Mama's Family...Mama's Family...," and the urge to laugh will pass. The film screens March 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the AMC Glen Lakes Theatre, 9450 N. Central Expressway, and March 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the AMC Sundance 11, 304 Houston in Fort Worth. Tickets are $5.50-$6.50. Call 821-NEWS.
Arts & Letters Live: One of the best hopes for reversing Dallas' reputation as a literary wasteland, the Arts & Letters Live series kicks off another season with "Texas Bound," a program in which Texas actors read Texas authors. The star of this evening is perhaps on the cusp of being a bigger star: Marcia Gay Harden, Tony nominee from the Broadway production of the two-part Angels in America, co-stars opposite Ellen Burstyn in the wildly praised film, Care of the Spitfire Grill, which wowed 'em at Sundance and is soon to be released nationwide with much fanfare. Other readers include local theater fave Dolores Godinez, and TV-and-movie-character-actor Barry Corbin. Performances happen at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood. Tickets are $10-$12. For more information call 922-1219.
Hero's, Women Who Have Inspired: WAVE, the North Texas-based women artists' collective, is currently involved in an exchange program with one of the most critically acclaimed women artists' group in the country. While WAVE presents an exhibition of its work in Chicago, the group hosts a Denton exhibition by Artemisia, a 23-year-old collective that has put itself on the art-world map by debuting the work of women artists who went on to storm the corridors of the Establishment. An artist's reception is March 8, 6-8 p.m., and the show runs through March 15, at the Fine Arts Gallery of Texas Woman's University, Texas and Oakland in Denton. A series of lectures at TWU, University of North Texas, and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth begins March 5. All of the lectures are free, as is the exhibition. For information call (817) 898-2530.
Around the World With Toys and Games: If we can be permitted a moment of jingoism, America really makes the coolest toys in the entire world. Period. End of discussion. Now, in the spirit of keeping an open mind, we heartily encourage attendance at the International Museum of Cultures' exhibit, Around the World With Toys and Games. Actually, once you see this show, you might decide America's children would be a little healthier if they relied less on megabillion-dollar corporations and more on their own minds and hands, as do many kids in Croatia, Mexico, Guatemala, and countries throughout Asia. Toys and games from all those places are on display. The show runs through May 31 at the International Museum of Cultures, 7500 W. Camp Wisdom Road. It's free. Call 709-2406.