Fieldwork: The Field is the name of one of the most important nonprofit arts organization in the country, a service group that specifically targets independent artists with the idea of helping them gain some insight into the audience-performer relationship. Too often artists--especially those who work with large institutions or just free-lance for them--haven't developed the ability to critically examine their own pieces and thus discipline themselves. Dallas is on a Field network that includes Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco, and the fruits of that program show nationally as "Fieldwork," an evening of performance hosted by Moving Collaborations that features dancers, composers, visual artists, and writers in interdisciplinary pieces. The show happens July 18 through 20 at 8 p.m. in the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther. It's $5. Call 298-6866.
The 16th-Annual Big D Collectibles Show: This year the three-day Big D Collectibles Show celebrates its 16th anniversary of unrepentant nostalgia for movies, toys, comic books, Disney paraphernalia, Western collectibles, and TV. This year's special guest hasn't written the final chapter of her life just yet, thank you very much, but she's happy to chat about her ultracool career as a young, sexy, gun-wielding cowgirl. She's Gail Davis, star of TV's The Annie Oakley Show, which ran from 1953 to 1956, and countless Western features (including 20 as Gene Autry's co-star). Readers of Billboard named her their favorite Western TV performer two years in a row. Come to the show to shake hands, chat, and get her autograph--but just don't cross her, mister. Events at the Big D Show happen July 20, 10a.m.-3 p.m., and July 21, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Sheraton Park Central, Coit Road and Interstate 635. Admission is $5. Call 261-8745.
Supercop: At a time when it seems everybody's got a beef with our police forces (though how would you like to walk the plank of our high-crime society without that thin blue line beneath you?), it's nice to know our heroes in blue still have a sense of humor. In conjunction with the release of the smashingly entertaining Jackie Chan action thriller, Supercop, North Texas police departments have been asked to nominate the people on their force as Texas "Supercops"--and then make them prove it in front of a live audience. Preceding a free public screening of Supercop, a Tae Kwon Do expert will lead about 10 game police officers through a series of the Chan Man's more elaborate martial-arts moves. The audience decides who the real Supercop is. The evening kicks off at 7 p.m. in the UA Plaza, 9330 N. Central Expressway. For information on how to obtain tickets, call Christine Finnegan at 520-9700.
Lips Together, Teeth Apart: It's startling to realize that the work of Terrence McNally, the Texas native who has recently won successive Tony Awards for Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class and regularly earns kudos as one of our most eloquent living playwrights, has rarely been performed by companies in his home state. An upcoming production of Love! Valour! Compassion! is planned by a new Dallas company, and this week Fort Worth's Stage West opens the author's scathing comedy-drama, Lips Together, Teeth Apart, which examines the disintegrating lives of two fortysomething married couples on vacation together for the Fourth of July. Performances are Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m.; Friday and Sunday, 7 p.m.; and Saturday, 3 p.m., at 3055 S. University Drive in Fort Worth. Tickets are $13-$16. Call (817) 784-9378.
Ken-N-Jim: Sure, they might wear freaky hats, ride giant toothbrushes like bucking broncos, and channel the wisdom of your grandmother (most likely while wearing wigs that look just like hers), but Ken-N-Jim have serious business on their minds. This 3-year-old Fort Worth-based performance duo has been strutting its slapsticky stuff for kids to convey a serious message:Take your imagination seriously, boys and girls, and nurture it every day. The pair's latest show, entitled "Ready, Set, Read," features multiple characters who sing the praises of books. The performance happens at 3 p.m. in the Park Forest Branch Library, 3421 Forest Lane. It's free. Call (817) 377-4550.