Events for the week

Six Legs Over Texas: A Live Insect Collection: If most scientific displays about insects you see are typical of the field as a whole, it's tempting to assume that entomologists have evolved just a few rungs upward from the nasty little kid down the street who loved to stick pins in bugs and watch them writhe: Bug specialists like 'em dead or dying. The Dallas Museum of Natural History's new exhibit, Six Legs Over Texas, is the cool exception to dry, glass-encased bug corpses, as more than 20 different specimens of local and exotic arthropods are captured in all their wriggling, gross-out glory. There are also the inevitable mounted dead specimens, interactive displays, live presentations by trained educators, photos, and videos. On June 29, the Museum of Natural History teams up with the Dallas Aquarium for the joint Bug Day Family Festival, with special coordinated activities between the two institutions. The show is open through August 11 at the Dallas Museum of Natural History, 3535 Grand in Fair Park. Admission is $2-$3. Call 421-DINO.

Joan Rivers and Don Rickles: This double bill of acid-spewing show-biz legends is enough to send some folks scurrying under the couch cushions for the $40 admission price in spare change, while others reach for a bottle of TUMS. Anyone who caught Joan Rivers' post-Oscar assessment on Politically Incorrect knows that the lady works best when she's fighting to get back into the spotlight; her venom, still voluminous, finds its targets, and she manages to avoid the hysterical self-parody that made her presence well-nigh unbearable in the '80s. Don Rickles is still basking in the glow of his stellar supporting turn in Scorcese's Casino, long overdue after a series of failed sitcom attempts. If fellow nerve-grater Jackie Mason can pack 'em in with his one-man shows off-Broadway, Rickles' long-dormant insult shtick seems perfectly timed for a big comeback. The show kicks off at 8 p.m. at 3101 W. Lancaster in Fort Worth. All tickets are $40. Call (817) 332-2272.

Kevin Welch, Ray Wylie Hubbard: Kevin Welch isn't a country musician, but don't tell that to the marketing-department folks of the major labels, who're desperate to squeeze every artist into the most recognizable niche they can. Country-ish might be a better description for the 40-year-old singer-songwriter's introspective brand of folk-, swing-, and blues-inspired songs. Warner Reprise released his eponymous debut album in 1990, but discovered the mercurial Welch was a much more reliable moneymaker writing hits for other singers (Waylon Jennings, Trisha Yearwood, Ricky Skaggs) than recording his own. Along with fellow upstarts Kieran Kane, Harry Stinson, and Tammy Rogers, Kevin Welch decided to take control of his own destiny and start the independent label Dead Reckoning. Come let his gentle, world-weary tunes wash over you like a warm bath. Ray Wylie Hubbard opens. They perform beginning at 8 p.m. in the Scott Theatre, 3505 W. Lancaster in Fort Worth. Tickets are $12.50. For more information call (817) 738-1938.

june 30
Psychic Fair: Stop relying on the telephone psychics employed by Dionne, LaToya, and other infrequently employed celebs lured to the mysteries of The Other Side by the promise of a fast paycheck. (If you check the resume of your average telephone psychic, chances are you'll find several shady organizations listed with clever numbers like 1-900-DO-ME-NOW). Compare their usual $4-per-minute toll charge with the $10-per-15-minute readings at Dallas' oldest and largest Psychic Fair, and you needn't be the Amazing Kreskin to sense which one is the better deal. There are more than 40 professional psychic readers from throughout North Texas who ply their various trades (astrology, past-life experiences, palmistry, tarot cards) at the Psychic Fair, in addition to various "lifestyle" accouterments for the well-outfitted moon calf like books, jewelry, crystals, etc. The event happens noon-6 p.m. at the Dallas Park Central Hotel, LBJ and Coit. Admission is $7, plus $10 per 15-minute reading. Call 241-4876.

july 1
The War of the Worlds: For many of us diehard movie fans, watching Byron Haskin's 1953 War of the Worlds on TV was our first enthralling flirtation with celluloid sci-fi. Star Wars went on to consummate the relationship in 1977. George Lucas had both timing and merchandising on his side, which explains the shift of allegiance, but really, Is there any love like your first love? War of the Worlds not only featured spectacular special effects that have (remarkably) retained their modest effectiveness through five decades and eons of computer-imaging advancements, but it managed to bring author H.G. Wells' ultracreepy misanthropy to the big screen. In Wells' book you got the impression he thought the Martian conquest was not only inevitable, but perfectly logical in the scheme of the universe. When actress Anne Robinson catches her first glimpse of a Martian in the abandoned house, her repulsion is mirrored by the alien's. So who's uglier? You decide. Screenings happen July 1, 7:30 p.m., at the AMC Glen Lakes Theatres, 9450 N. Central Expressway; and July 2, 7:30 p.m., at the AMC Sundance 11, 304 Houston St. in Fort Worth. Tickets are $5.50-$6.50. Call 821-NEWS.

july 2
Invention Adventure: Invention Adventure is the kind of Lego monstrosity you would've created as a kid if you had a bedroom the size of a city museum and parents with a disposable income that roughly equalled Richie Rich's weekly allowance. Beware this new exhibit at Fort Worth's Museum of Science and History, however: Just like you'd expect, all four sections of the show contain ulterior motives that might be called educational. Thousands of the multicolored Legos have been employed to create the shapes in "Structures," "Machines," and "Robotics." The responsibility of kids and adults is to absorb the basic scientific principles demonstrated in each of the constructions. The exhibit is open daily through August 18 at the Museum of Science and History, 1501 Montgomery in Fort Worth. Admission is $3-$5; kids younger than 3 get in free. Call (817) 732-1631.

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