Road to the Olympics: Dallasites have just recovered from a nonstop barrage of Summer Olympics coverage and advertisement tie-ins, but the Olympic powers that be and the megacorporations that pull their strings aren't finished with you yet. Ostensibly a part of the ubiquitous Sun and Star '96 celebration but also an advance plug for the 1998 Winter Olympics, the free public event known as Road to the Olympics boasts performances by two leading skaters, Japan's Yuka Sato and America's Tara Lipinski, a native Texan. Two years down the line you'll get the chance to say, "I saw 'em before the gold." Also, 30 local skaters are scheduled to perform a flag routine. The event happens today at 2 p.m. at the Galleria Ice Skating Center, LBJ and Dallas Parkway. It's free. Call 702-7114.
Larry McMurtry: With the reputation of a curmudgeon and the bank account of a Fortune 500 CEO, staunch Texan Larry McMurtry is one of our state's more intriguing celebrities, a man who recoils from overexposure yet toils in the most mass-consumed of artistic fields--movies and paperback fiction. With the long-awaited fall 1996 sequel to Terms of Endearment reteaming Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson, McMurtry has filed another chapter in his long and wildly successful association with Hollywood. He gives a rare public presentation for the Dallas Historical Society entitled "Writing For Fiction and Writing For Film." The presentation begins at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the Hall of State in Fair Park. Tickets are $50. Call 421-4500.
Singles Fair '96: Those of us who toil in a universe of single-serve sizes, light laundry loads, and cat hair all over the furniture deeply resent the pity that is sometimes bestowed on us by well-meaning friends who have chosen to couple. Given the catastrophically high divorce/split rate, it seems singlehood is not a disease to be overcome, but rather a lifestyle to which even the most happily matched among us may soon return. And so it is that Singles Fair '96 offers a balance of events for singles, managing to glorify the bright side of being No. 1 even while scheduling mixers in which folks try to shed their singleness like the plague. Singles Fair '96 features 30 exhibits of products and services, 10 speakers, prize drawings, and a dance. Events happen from noon to 6 p.m. at the Dallas Park Central Hotel, LBJ Freeway and Coit Road. Tickets are $20. Call 241-4876.
The Longer View--Panoramic Photographs: Be advised that the Dallas Visual Art Center will not provide medical compensation for any neck strain that might be produced as a result of viewing photographer Paul Greenberg's show The Longer View--Panoramic Photographs. You can't help but swivel your head in awe at the very long continuous images that Greenberg has captured with his hand-held Widelux camera. Greenberg is a military man-turned-doctor whose photos are wildly popular in Texas. The exhibit takes place at the Dallas Visual Art Center, 2917 Swiss Avenue. Call 821-2522.
Christopher Parkening and Jubilant Sykes: You don't have to be a classical music fanatic to have seen the face or heard the authoritative guitar plucks of Christopher Parkening. His Germanic good looks have graced not only countless album covers, but also numerous guitar instruction books--like Pavarotti and Marley, classical guitarist Parkening is a practitioner of a nonmainstream musical form whose name has transcended that form. Speaking of names, Parkening kicks off the 1996-'97 Dallas Classic Guitar Society with a fellow who gets a DO thumbs-up on the cool musicality of his Christian name alone:Baritone Jubilant Sykes takes the stage with Parkening to slay us with a program that stretches from centuries-old European chamber music to modern African-American spirituals. The performance happens at 8 p.m. in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora. Tickets are $12-$54. Call 871-ARTS.
Africa: One Continent, Many Worlds: The rest of us can sit and snicker while anthropologists and historians bicker about whether Africa is indeed the cradle of civilization, a debate that has more to do with racial politics than science, anyway. The fact is, this populous continent remains a greater mystery to most Americans, Anglo and African-, than almost any other region of the world, with the possible exception of the Middle East. The Dallas Museum of Natural History hosts its largest-ever interactive exhibit, the 8,500-square-foot show Africa: One Continent, Many Worlds. The exhibit is divided into five parts that explore art, family life, commerce, community, and the African diaspora. Throughout this journey there are hands-on activities, African artifacts, photos, multimedia presentations, and more. The exhibit runs through January 5 at the Dallas Museum of Natural History in Fair Park. Tickets are $2.50-$4. Call 421-3466.