Camping With Henry and Tom: In the spirit of Nicolas Roeg's priceless script of Insignificance, which detailed a fictional conversation of the real-life hotel meeting between Albert Einstein and Marilyn Monroe, playwright Mark St. Germain wrote his comic exploration, Camping With Henry and Tom, in 1993, then moved it off-Broadway two years later. The WaterTower Theatre in Addison brings this tale of what might have happened during a real-life camping trip taken by Henry Ford, President Warren G. Harding, and Thomas Edison. Performances happen Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. through October 26 at the WaterTower Theatre at the Addison Conference and Theatre Centre, 15650 Addison Road in Addison. Tickets are $18. Call (972) 450-6220.
Martha Argerich and Mischa Maisky: Martha Argerich is the kind of pianist who drives classical music aficionados to say things like "She's one of nature's happenings." Thus spake a jury member in Warsaw's 1965 Chopin Competition who was bowled over by a 24-year-old Argerich. Granted, these same aficionados tend to wet themselves over new talents with the same shameless glee of a 16-year-old at her first Beatles concert, but that particular jury put its award where its mouth was; she went on to be the first Westerner to win first prize in Warsaw. The Cliburn Concert series invites her and cellist Mischa Maisky, with whom Argerich recently recorded Three Cello Sonatas. The concert begins at 8 p.m. in the Ed Landreth Auditorium of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. Tickets are $10 to $35. Call (817) 335-9000.
Hair: The Deep Ellum Opera Theatre couldn't have picked a more opportune time to revive Broadway's classic "American tribal love-rock musical"; 1996 has found anyone who watches TV or reads magazines drowning in ad nauseam references to Broadway's Pulitzer Prize-winning megahit Rent. Some of us who have never seen either Hair or Rent performed live, but have listened to the original cast recordings of both, feel that the former's ode to free love in the face of the Vietnam War mops up the floor with the latter's toast to Bohemia in the '90s. Hair has the more wickedly clever, anarchic, and hummable tunes between the two. Come decide for yourself. Performances happen Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. through October 27 at Deep Ellum Opera Theatre, 3202 Elm Street. Call 871-ARTS.
Fort Worth Museum Powwow: The dances performed at Native American powwows are so very different in form and philosophy than anything in the canon of contemporary U.S. rituals, they sometimes elicit giggles from those Americans whose sense of history is fragile (and that's most of us). And yet, it's their very foreignness to most 1996 Americans that makes them fascinating--and essential for anyone who wishes to fully understand the natural elements of the continent on which we live. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History hosts its fourth annual Native American Powwow, which features dancing, of course, as well as storytelling, crafts, foods, and more. The event happens from 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the North Lawn of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, 1501 Montgomery St. in Fort Worth. Call (817) 732-1631.
Old Fort Dallas Auction: Just 15 minutes from downtown Dallas in tiny Ferris, Texas, sits a magnet for local TV and film companies--a detailed replica of a 19th-century Old West town known as Old Fort Dallas that has heard the crack of countless pistol-fired blanks. Old Fort Dallas itself and all the accouterments of its 28-structure sprawl will be sold to the highest bidder at a public auction, which means if your couch change beats your neighbor's couch change, you get an Old West town. A last-minute celebration under the current ownership happens October 4 at 6:30 p.m. with gunfighters, buggy rides, a barbecue, and more; the auction happens October 5 at 11 a.m. at Old Fort Dallas. For info call 1-800-250-8967.
The Mystery of Things...A Woman's Explanation of Lear: She has been Frank Sinatra's mother, a San Francisco transsexual landlady, an aging Southern belle with a tongue like a switchblade--but before and above her many incarnations on TV and movie screens, Olympia Dukakis has been an actress, teacher, and director of the stage. Dukakis premieres her new one-woman show, The Mystery of Things...A Woman's Explanation of Lear, at the invitation of the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas. She channels the tragic King Lear through the perspective of three fictional women who knew him best--Goneril, Cordelia, and Regan. The event happens at 8 p.m. at The Majestic Theatre on Elm Street downtown. For ticket info call 871-ARTS.
Keeper of Genesis--The Message of the Sphinx: Pity the Sphinx, that millenniums-old man-faced, lion-butted artifact that has served as a lightning rod for competing, often political interpretations of history. The latest amusing bon mot springs from the head of party guy Louis Farrakhan, who insists the Jews shot the nose off the Sphinx because the offending protuberance too much resembled a black African's. Egyptologist Michael Bauval has a view of Middle Eastern history that's more learned but almost as controversial in his field--that both the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx are mathematical and engineering marvels that prove the astrological knowledge of ancient ancestors was far greater than anyone thought. Bauval lectures "The Eclectic Viewpoint" at 7:30 p.m. at the Unity Church of Dallas, 6525 Forest Lane. Admission is $15. Call (972) 601-7687.
Chihuahua: Ballet Folklorico de Mexico performs every year for the pleasure of the wealthy and the well-connected intelligentsia at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City. The company stops in Dallas as part of a 22-city American tour that serves as the premiere of its two-part Mexican folk celebration "Chihuahua." Each part honors a different half of the complex Mexican heritage. The first part recreates the dances honoring creatures of the forest that were annual rituals for the Tarahumaras, the indigenous people of the Chihuahua region. The second details the Spanish influence by way of Poland; Spanish conquerors brought the polka with them to our continent, where it found a home in Mexico. The event happens at 8 p.m. at McFarlin Auditorium on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $10 to $35. Call 582-8580.
8 Country Reporter Festival: Dear old Bob Phillips--Dairy Queen pitchman, Texas wayfarer, he of the dorky haircut and whopper-of-a-head-cold voice. What would Sunday evenings in North Texas have been like for the past 25 years if Phillips hadn't been turning over his odometer on quests to meet some of our fair state's more unlikely eccentrics. Past mini-celebs featured on 4 Country Reporter and its later incarnation, 8 Country Reporter, gather for the 25th anniversary of Bob Phillips' show. The 8 Country Reporter Festival is more of a talent show than a dry memorial; think of it as The Lone Star Gong Show. The event happens from noon to 4 p.m. at Old City Park, 1717 Gano Street. Admission is $2 to $4; kids younger than 3 get in free. Call 421-5141.
Texas Baroque Ensemble: The purpose of musical ensembles like Texas Baroque Ensemble is not esoterica for its own sake, but the salvation of vital instruments and compositions that have been ignored by the pitiless, elitist roll of history. This Garland-based troupe specializes in almost forgotten works written before 1800 and performed on replicas of centuries-old instruments or restored originals. The Texas Baroque Ensemble kicks off the fifth anniversary season of the Saint Rita Fine Arts series. The performance happens at 7:30 p.m. at Saint Rita Catholic Church, 12521 Inwood Road. For info call (972) 934-8388.
Roberto Munguia: Robert Munguia became so enraptured as a boy with the childhood card game known as Loteria, he found himself unable to shake it even as he grew up and began to train as a painter in watercolor and collage. The fierce colors and tarotlike iconography of Loteria soon started showing up in the larger pieces that Munguia produced as an adult, and he realized the Rorschach nature of the game could be applied to a number of puzzling subjects revolving around identity--spiritual, family, national, global. The Dallas Visual Art Center hosts an exhibit of Munguia's work entitled Buena. The show runs through November 8 at Dallas Visual Art Center, 2917 Swiss Ave. Call 821-2522.
The Choice '96: You wouldn't think an American presidential election could have more twists and turns than in 1992, and although 1996 lacks the comic highs of Clinton-Perot-Bush, the upcoming election is by far the stranger of the two. When was the last time you got the impression there was virtually no difference between the two leading contenders? Seldom have Democrats resembled Republicans so much, and Republicans attempted to look so cuddly. During the past four years, Republicans have successfully managed to push Clinton to the right of center, while the bad publicity from that hateful 1992 Republican National Convention prompted the GOP to set up a veritable quota system of diversity in the speakers' slots for its 1996 convention. The invaluable documentary series Frontline continues its election-year tradition of candidate profiles with "The Choice '96," a two-hour dual biography of the careers of Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. Glancing at their mug shots beside each other, we have just one question: "Separated at birth?" The episode airs at 8 p.m. on KERA-TV Channel 13. For more info call 871-1390.
Rock & Roll: No one has lamented the passing of the great '60s rock legends like Ab Fab's Edina Monsoon, who declares with a wisp of regret: "Who dies in their own vomit these days?" Unfortunately, the chemical excesses of rich pop musicians have been all-too much in the headlines these past five years as a new generation implodes in the celebrity spotlight. It's hard not to be a little sad when perusing the classic portraiture in Rock & Roll, a new show of works by Lynn Goldsmith, Doug Kirkland, Stephen Goldblatt, and other internationally celebrated photographers. The faces of Janis, Jimi, Jerry, and Frank stare back at us with that weird mixture of wisdom and craziness, making us wonder what more they would've done if they'd lived their complete lifespans. The show runs through October 26 at Photographs Do Not Bend, 3115 Routh St. Call 969-1852.