Joan Osborne: The 1995 Joan Osborne single, "What If God Was One of Us?" was definitely one of the more intelligent songs to find its way onto alternative playlists in recent years, although heavy rotation, as is its wont, transformed a good thing into that I-can't-stop-singing-it-to-myself phenomenon known as hook hell. It's a shame radio had no idea what to make of her smashing followup, the raucous R & B throw-down "Right Hand Man"; that one withered on the vine of an American music industry that punishes artists for not repeating themselves. Osborne, a reportedly smokin' live act, comes to Fort Worth as the last act in the 1996 Alive at Five Concert series. The evening kicks off at 5 p.m. in the parking lot of Chisholm Trail, bounded by Third and Fourth and Main and Houston streets in downtown Fort Worth. The show is free, but you must obtain a ticket by calling (817) 390-8711.
Opera on the Lake: If you're an opera lover who wants to mingle with other devotees of the stage, or want to become an opera, or you're just lonely and have $35 bucks to blow, the Dallas Opera Guild convenes with a socializing opportunity for you. Opera on the Lake is the name of its event at Winfrey Point, hosted by TV personality Quin Matthews and featuring performances by the Dallas Puppet Opera Theatre and young singers who won the Guild's Career Development Grant. There's also Dallas Opera merchandise and information about the Guild, its committee, and various programs. The evening kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at Winfrey Point on White Rock Lake. Tickets are $3 per person. Call 443-1040.
Personal Filmmaking and Class Consciousness: Even a diehard film lover may not have heard the name Tony Buba, but the work of this Pennsylvania-based independent filmmaker has been celebrated in some pretty impressive places: New York's Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Carnegie in Pittsburgh all have held retrospectives of the 22-year career of this National Endowment for the Arts and Rockefeller grant-winning documentary director. Buba has concentrated his career on the trials of the working class in his hometown of Braddock. He gives a talk to the University of North Texas film department entitled "Personal Filmmaking and Class Consciousness: The Evolution of a Filmmaker." His presentation happens at 1 p.m. in Room 265 of the Speech/Drama Building at the University of North Texas in Denton. It's free. For information call (817) 565-2537.
1996 Harvest Festival: Don't you have the urge at every celebration to unscrew the bottle of Kountry Kwencher, glide your nose across the cap, and declare: "Boone's Farm has done it again"? We thought so. And to get the education necessary to speak with epicurean authority, we suggest you visit the 1996 Harvest Festival of the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association. Wine consultants Lisa Arpey and Stewart Ball host a seminar entitled "Favorite Texas Wine and Food Pairings" that includes a Wine 101 course that covers all the basics of the tasting ritual. The event happens from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Harvey Hotel DFW. Admission is $30. Call (817) 424-0570.
The Texas Kickapoo: Keepers of Tradition: It has been a tough road to hoe, but the Kickapoo tribe of Texas has managed not only to preserve the religion and customs of its native forefathers, but actually has maintained them as practical aspects of daily living. Abilene-based photographer Bill Wright was fascinated by this achievement, and began to document the Kickapoo with his camera. The results are a book and a photo exhibition with the same name: The Texas Kickapoo: Keepers of Tradition. An opening reception happens October 11 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.; there is a book-signing and gallery talk with the artist October 12 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; and the show runs through November 23 at Photographic Archives Lab & Gallery at 5117 W. Lovers. Call 352-3167.
Phyllis Diller: Her name has long since passed into that pantheon of comic legends whose actual appearances are far less frequent than the mention of their names (paging Uncle Miltie), but if Phyllis Diller has slowed down her performance schedule in recent years, her influence is all over the American comedic map. Diller was the first female comic to make domestic discontent fodder for standup; it's highly possible there would be no Roseanne and no Brett Butler without Diller's pioneering diatribes about "Fang" and her own hopeless housekeeping skills. Diller comes to Dallas in a benefit performance for The Suicide and Crisis Center. Her performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium on the grounds of Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $16-$61. Call 1-800-654-9545.
Vision Andina: Music of the High Andes in Concert: For an evening of the kind of music we guarantee you won't stumble onto surfing the radio dial, attend Vision Andina's concert at the Bath House Cultural Center. This 14 year-old cultural troupe, founded by Jacco Velarde, specializes in performing the South American folk music that is concentrated around the Andes Mountains. Ballads and dance tunes alike are on the program, which is performed using bamboo flutes, panpipes, and percussive bombos [***?-AM***] and chak-chas. The event happens at 8 p.m. at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther. It's free. For ticket info call 670-8749.