Dawn Upshaw: Critics have fallen all over themselves to sing the praises of American-born soprano Dawn Upshaw ever since she won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 1984. Terms like "sweeping romanticism" and "spine-tingling" are tossed around as easily as Nerf balls, but the word no ultradistinguished, self-respecting classical critic wants to use is what springs to mind when you take a listen to any of Upshaw's twice-Grammy-winning albums: "sexy." Her supple, luxurious, assured voice puts the "purr" in opera. She performs with acclaimed pianist Richard Goode, who is himself a Grammy winner and worldwide concert draw. The pair take the stage at 8 p.m. in the Ed Landreth Auditorium of Fort Worth's Texas Christian University. Tickets are $10-$32. For information call (817) 335-9000.
Society for Cinema Studies Conference: The Radio, Television, and Film Department of Denton's University of North Texas brings to Dallas the four-day Society for Cinema Studies Conference, which as usual explores a huge variety of topics including new screen technologies, the latest in academic theory, and the down-and-dirtiest fodder for hungry movie fans. For all those earthy cinephiles out there who could give a flying fig about the hows of moviemaking, there are plenty of dishy panel discussions like "Hollywood Gossip" and "It's a Queer World After All: Disney and Homosexuality." (Don't expect much va-va-voom from "Anthropological Theory and Film Analysis.") There are numerous workshops, seminars, screenings, and appearances by national filmmakers scheduled March 7-10. One to watch out for is the March 9, 9 p.m., screening and discussion of Todd Haynes' sensational Safe, easily one of the best films of 1995. Haynes will be in attendance. All events take place at the Sheraton Park Central Hotel in Dallas. For information call 706-2906.
Fort Worth Dallas Ballet: The Fort Worth Dallas Ballet continues its love affair with the late legendary dancer-choreographer George Balanchine. Artistic director Paul Mejia, who has his own reputation as a creator of original, classically based ballet, also has work on the program. The company kicks off its second full repertory season in Dallas (the troupe produces complete seasons both here and in Fort Worth). On the bill is Balanchine's La Valse, which uses seven of Ravel's eight swooningly romantic Valses Nobles et Sentimentales. Additionally, Balanchine's Rubies, a movement from a larger work called Jewels, is included. Choreographer Mejia uses Tchaikovsky's Hamlet Fantasy Overture, Opus 67 to create an entirely new interpretation of Shakespeare's tragedy. Performances are March 8 & 9 at 8 p.m. in the Music Hall at Fair Park. Tickets are $8.25-$41. Call 1-800-654-9545.
Down the Road: The famous serial killers of America need to change publicists--they've become positively boring from overexposure--but if any local drama outfit could bring them to the stage with a bold freshness, it's New Theatre Company. New Theatre gets consistently good reviews from the local press, regularly gathers strong crowds, but hasn't seemed to generate the hipness factor (a sad necessity in this town) that talented fellow companies like the Undermain and Kitchen Dog have. Down the Road is playwright Lee Blessing's psychological drama about a husband-and-wife writing team who're tapped to write the biography of a vicious, unrepentant murderer. A double warning: If you're looking for cool bloodshed, all the deaths take place offstage; if you've got a problem with detailed verbal descriptions of atrocities, the dialogue contains a few of those. The show runs Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Swiss Avenue Theater, 2700 Swiss Ave. Tickets are $8-$10. (Thursdays half-price, Fridays two-for-one.) Call 871-ARTS.
Revival! The 1996 Dallas Collection: Every year DIFFA (Design Industry Foundation For AIDS) hosts a fashion show and soiree that features jackets custom-designed for the show by celebrity designers and just-plain-old celebrities. All proceeds, of course, benefit Dallas AIDS services. This year the big star netted for "Revival! The 1996 Dallas Collection" is none other than that Mary Tyler Moore theme song-singin', Nanouk of the North-lovin' sweetheart Isaac Mizrahi, who just might be the first frockmaker to graduate to feature-film stardom after last year's hilarious Unzipped. (Since McCauley's too old and screwed up now, may we suggest Home Alone III?) At the candlelight reception held afterward, performers include the Turtle Creek Chorale and First Baptist Church of Hamilton Park Men's Chorus. The show happens at 6:30 p.m. at Neiman Marcus NorthPark, Boedeker Street and Northwest Highway. For ticket information call 748-8580.
Joseph Vincelli: Dallas-based musician Joseph Vincelli describes himself as "jazz," but that's probably because he gets tired of walking around telling people, "I blend fusion with rhythm and blues." (It doesn't quite roll off the tongue.) Vincelli--who regularly wows 'em with his dashing looks and suave sounds at Dallas hot spots like Sambuca, on-the-jazz-map venues like the Roxy and the Strand in Los Angeles, and has recorded as a session man with Ice Cube--is about to release a new CD called I Will Wait For You. Vincelli performs at 8 p.m. at the Bath House Cultural Center. Vincelli fans, take note: Although he's performed free shows at the Bath House before, this one has a (reasonable) admission price of $7.50. Seating is limited. Call 987-9071.
STOMP: For such an unabashedly crowd-pleasing ensemble, STOMP has won a wide range of critical accolades: a Drama Desk Award, an Olivier (the British equivalent of the Tonys), and an Obie. (The group has also been tapped to perform its infectious, amazing percussive skills on Late Night and Roseanne.) There are actually three eight-member troupes, all of them trained by the British musician-choreographers Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, who started the original ensemble in London in 1991. Two currently crisscross the U.S. with university and amphitheater shows, and one continues a two-year run at New York City's Oprheum Theater. STOMP is proof that rare ability mixed with showmanship can unite pundits and audiences in awe: These guys jump through the air and make spirit-raising rhythms out of the most mundane objects. Performances are March 7 & 8, 8 p.m.; March 9, 4 & 8 p.m.; March 10, 2 & 7 p.m. Tickets are $7-$40. Call 528-5576.