Porcelain: Two years ago the Dallas Theater Center staged Chay Yew's Porcelain as a reading for its "Big D Festival of the Unexpected." You could've heard a pin drop in that basement space as an Asian-Anglo hustler meets his Anglo lover during sex in a public rest room, and then promptly murders the fellow. The shock value of the material is emphasized over its more subtle tales about the vagaries of human nature. Kitchen Dog Theatre mounts a full production of the award-winning Porcelain, daring Dallas audiences to find themselves in this tale of social outcasts. Performances happen Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m., and Sunday, 2 p.m., at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. Tickets are $6-$12 (Sunday is pay-what-you-can). Call 871-ARTS.
Dance Exchange: A Choreographers Showcase: Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth is that city's only premiere professional modern dance company, which in North Texas pretty much means, "We love being ignored by the community at large." Actually, CD/FW has maintained a pretty steady audience base for its innovative presentations of contemporary choreography from around Texas and the country. Dance Exchange: A Choreographers Showcase is the last performance of its sixth season and the eighth time the company has performed this combination of brand-new modern pieces, a mix of Texas debuts and original commissions. Performances happen July 12 and 13 at 8 p.m. and July 14 at 2 p.m. in the Orchestra Hall, 4401 Trail Lake Drive in Fort Worth. Tickets are $6-$20. Call (817) 335-9000.
Gleaning Light: A Survey of Contemporary Pinhole Photography: Even as image technology--cameras both static and motion--grows by leaps and bounds thanks to our pal, the computer, there's a Luddite-ish group of national picture makers who've discovered the "limitations" of old technology often serve as fascinating resources for creativity. Gleaning Light: A Survey of Contemporary Pinhole Photography features 59 national photographers who employ the pinhole camera--a lenseless imagemaker that relies on the artist's knowledge and intuition for light. The fact that pinhole cameras are often constructed by the photographers themselves based on the requirements of the shoot make this medium all the more personal. The opening reception kicks off July 12, 7-9:30 p.m. The show runs through August 31 at Photographic Archives Gallery, 5117 W. Lovers Lane. It's free. Call 352-3166.
Discount Comedy Warehouse: The Discount Comedy Warehouse is a year-old Deep Ellum-based quartet of sketch and improvisatory comics who refer to themselves as the "George Zimmer" of comedy troupes. In other words, to the question of whether or not you'll laugh yourselves silly, they "guarantee it." This is actually the least funny line on a hysterical press release that maintains the troupe's talent "crashes onto the stage like a truckload of meat through a vegetarian outreach group." Various members have studied with Chicago's Second City, "while others performed in front of their families on religious holidays." Decide for yourself whether the troupe matches the hype. Performances happen July 12 and 13 at 11:15 p.m. at Pocket Sandwich Theatre, 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane. Tickets are $7. Call 821-1860.
Oliver Everett: It's hard for even the most Anglophilic of Americans to feel much sympathy watching England's Royal Family fall apart. After all, we peasants have experienced the bad blood that currently flows heavily among the offspring of the Queen Mother, although most of us haven't seen it in the bright shade of blue in which it currently splashes their antique walls. Oliver Everett must be the most restrained man in England: As the librarian at Windsor Castle and assistant keeper of the Royal Archives, he's surely heard the really hot gossip that hasn't found its way to the tabloids yet. Unfortunately, he visits Dallas for a very benign reason: to discuss the watercolor paintings featured in the Dallas Museum of Art's exhibit, Views of Windsor by Thomas and Paul Sandby from the Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Everett speaks at 11:30 a.m. in the Horchow Auditorium of the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood. Admission is $7. Call 922-1200.
Moonlore: Myths and Folklore from Around the World: Once upon a time people feared and admired the moon because it was their only source of guidance for work and travel during the night. The light bulb and other advances in artificial illumination have pretty much made this function obsolete worldwide, yet the pagan aura that surrounds Ms. Luna has only barely diminished. Arlington-based author Gwydion O'Hara for a long time has been fascinated with the moon as muse, mother, avenger, and goddess, hence his book, Moonlore: Myths and Folklore From Around the World. In addition to basic factual info about the moon's still-important scientific role, the author includes 60 stories from ancient and modern societies. He discusses his book 1-3 p.m. at Scorpio Herbs Bookstore, 3015 Sale St. It's free. Call (817) 446-3202.
Nia akimbo: You should know that the beautiful name "nia akimbo" that graces the Dallas-based poet was not given to her at birth. (As some wise scribe once said, only the names we give ourselves will matter when we die.) The phrase "nia akimbo," literally translated, means "purpose misplaced," which partially explains this woman's sensibilities when it comes to her literary calling: She believes writers often toil in a state of what Langston Hughes called "a dream deferred." Nia akimbo made Dallas headlines when her poem "Here" was selected to be inscribed on the Freedman's Cemetery Memorial Project. She offers an evening of story and verse for Paperbacks Plus/Upstairs and the Neighborhood Touring Program of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs. The readings will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Paperbacks Plus, 6115 La Vista in Lakewood. Admission is free. For more information, call 827-4860.
Affinities of Form: Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas: For anyone who claims that they don't know enough about early civilizations to really enjoy those much-hyped traveling artifact shows that often arrive at museums, the latest exhibit at Fort Worth's Kimbell Art Museum was assembled under one simple guiding principle:The collectors thought each piece was the prettiest of its kind. Affinities of Form: Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas forms part of an enormous collection by a renowned married couple named Raymond and Laura Wielgus, who gathered 400 pieces spanning 3,000 years and many cultures. More than a hundred masterpieces made it to Affinities of Form. The exhibit continues through October 13 at the Kimbell Art Museum, 3333 Camp Bowie Boulevard in downtown Fort Worth. Admission is $4-$8. For more information, call (817) 332-8451.
West End's Taste of Dallas: You say you've heard that ostrich is well on its way to becoming "the fourth white meat," but that you want to decide for yourself? Did you think fondue was a shade of pink before you discovered that it is a highfalutin way of playing with your food? The 10th-Annual West End Taste of Dallas crawls into our city during a hellaciously hot July to offer the definitive experience for some of the more obscure foods, and to provide the traditionalists among us with the pizza, pasta, seafood, Tex-Mex, and hamburgers that we crave. Events happen July 12, 5-11 p.m.; July 13, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; and July 14, noon-9 p.m. in the West End Historic District downtown. Admission is free, although food and drink will cost you. For more information, call 298-1217.
DFW Classic Car Show: The jury members hand-picked for the Fourth-Annual DFW Classic Car Show have a tough job ahead of them: figuring out which are the coolest entries of classic automobiles by class type, age, restoration level, and level of modification among a tasty group of Austin Healeys, Fords, Mercedeses, Chevrolets, Ferraris, Volkswagens, and other sought-after vehicles. Last year's DFW Classic Car Show attracted more than 3,000 Dallas autophiles, and organizers of this year's event hope to double that number with a larger exhibition area and a great cause:All proceeds from this year's DFW Classic Car Show benefit the Handicapped Resource Association and Great Southwest Rotary Club's Harold Key Endowment Fund. Hours are July 13, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and July 14, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at The Ballpark in Arlington. For admission info, call 749-5442.
Music For the Family: You say you want your children to be exposed to the finer things in life (classical music, great literature, fine paintings) so that the influence of nasty ol' popular culture (Top 40, Goosebumps books, Calvin Klein photo spreads) can at least be diluted. Violinist William Scobie has the program for you. His series of Dallas public-library concerts entitled "Music For the Family" is especially designed for children and features classical, folk favorites, demonstrations, and discussion about great tunes. The concert series begins July 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lancaster-Kiest Branch Library, 3039 S. Lancaster Rd., and continues July 16 at 2 p.m. in the Children's Center at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young St. Both are free. Call 670-1400.
How Can We End Corporate Rule? Many would argue the answer to this question is: "By blowing up the country and starting all over again." Bill Clinton's pro-business stands have pretty much killed the idea that Democrats are America's populist party, another casualty to the fierce, seductive free-market rhetoric of the Republicans. But there are conservatives and liberals--Who woulda thunk that Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader might one day agree on an issue?--who've grown deeply uncomfortable with the continuing Reaganite trend of granting big business almost unfettered leeway. The excesses of communism, not the morality of capitalism, effectively killed that system in Russia. The joke on America may be implosion through unchecked capitalism. Ronnie Dugger, founding editor of The Texas Observer and current Harvard University smart guy, presents a talk entitled "How Can We End Corporate Rule?" that details some of the big-business atrocities you may not have read about in the mainstream press. The discussion kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Midway Hills Christian Church, 11001 Midway Rd. It's free. Call 247-5080.