First-Annual Texas Film and Video Awards: The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics' Association, which boasts 30 highly opinionated men and women (and one purehearted calendar editor), has decided that all this talk about the expanding Texas film-production scene deserves its own seal of approval--something that only folks who get paid to express their opinions can offer, of course. Hence we have the 1996 Texas Film and Television Awards, a debut ceremony that offers a hearty thumbs-up to the best producers, writers, directors, and actors who toil in homegrown productions. Video clips are presented along with the awards, and many nominees have tentatively scheduled to appear. The event happens at 7:30 p.m. in the Lynch Auditorium at University of Dallas, 1845 E. Northgate Drive in Irving. It's free. Call 361-7820.
Woman of Texas: So you say the noted 20th-century feminists--Emma Goldman, Bella Abzug, Gloria Steinem--had to cut through the thorn bushes of modern sexism to earn their places in history? Well, let us introduce you to a relatively obscure woman named Jane Wilkinson Long who never uttered the "F" word, a modest little homemaker who managed acres of land by herself, fought off poachers and attackers with her own rifle, and served as a spy for the Texas Republic against Mexican conquerors--all without a man to light her way. (Her hapless husband was offed shortly after she came to Texas.) Historians Dr. Joan Jenkins and Neila Patrick Harris present a one-woman show starring Jenkins entitled Woman of Texas, which details this remarkable pioneer's survival in the 1830s. Performances are July 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hall of State, Fair Park. Tickets are $5-$10. Call 328-7612.
Every Man His Own Football: The Divine Madness of Dada: Playwright Peter Gooch and artistic director Johnny Simons and his Fort Worth-based Hip Pocket Theatre present yet another collaboration with perhaps the only Texas musical ensemble that can appreciate their mix-and-match sensibility--Denton's own Little Jack Melody and His Young Turks. Simons, Little Jack, and some good friends have collaborated on the musical extravaganza Every Man His Own Football: The Divine Madness of Dada. It was in the middle of World War I in Switzerland that a band of visual artists and performers formed Dada, a short-lived school distinguished by no particular style save the need to utterly subvert (and, in the process, lampoon) every rule of politics and culture you can name. Every Man His Own Football: The Divine Madness of Dada recreates the Dadaists' wacky aesthetic experiments. Performances happen Friday through Sunday at 9 p.m. through August 11 at the Oak Acres Amphitheatre, 1620 Las Vegas Trail North at 820 North in Fort Worth. Tickets are $8-$12. Call (817) 927-2833.
Kissing: The glorious act of kissing may be the best possible use of your lips--and that includes flapping them, which unfortunately is far more popular in this age of competing media pundits--but nobody stops and tries to find a rational explanation for why such a simple act so stirs the soul. Other than many hours spent on firsthand research (the first choice, we think), perusing photos of locked lips might provide some answers. Hence the traveling international photo show Kissing, which features white-hot international snappers (Annie Liebovitz, Keith Carter, and Henri Cartier-Bresson) as well as cool Texas talents (Nic Nicosia, Christina Patoski, and Nan Coulter). An opening reception happens July 19, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The show runs through August 31 at Photographs Do Not Bend, 3115 Routh St. It's free. Call 969-1852.
Stories Under the Stars: You've heard enough stories that manage to be both unbelievable and boring from your significant other's blowhard best friend after a few beers. Now it's time to hear some tall tales from a sober source who's actually paid to entertain you. The Tarrant Area Guild of Storytellers and Barnes & Noble Booksellers have collaborated on "Stories Under the Stars," the latest in an outdoor performance series called "Grapevine's Summer Gazebo." Expect fairy tales, international folklore, ghost stories, legends, myths, and other popular oral expressions. The event kicks off at 7:30 p.m. in the Gazebo at One Liberty Park Plaza in Grapevine. It's free. For directions call (817) 481-0454.
Ronnie Dawson: Texas rockabilly legend Ronnie Dawson has lived a life that's proven that any number of tired old cliches are true: "It's never too late," "Rock 'n' roll will never die," etc. That he's also finally started to get some recognition in the bargain doesn't hurt, either. '50s musical Wunderkind from Oak Cliff; '60s singer-guitarist as the bottom began to drop out of roots rock 'n' roll; tour mate to the legendary, self-destructive Gene Vincent on that man's rocky road downhill; and American musical institution turned jingle singer rescued by--you guessed it--a fervent overseas cult. The 57-year-old Dawson has spent most of the '90s basking in the critical glow of his rip-snorting performances, but that ain't no way for a real rock 'n' roller to live. He needs live feedback. His ever-growing concert audiences threaten to spill out of the venues, but there's always room for one more. The guy is like lava onstage, flowing with the rhythm of whatever tune he's hammering out. The show kicks off at 8 p.m. in the 8.0 Courtyard, 2800 Routh in The Quadrangle. Tickets are $10. Call 979-0880.