Desdemona...a play about a handkerchief: Last summer's Shakespeare Festival of Dallas production of Othello, while competent enough, featured a performance by Liz Piazza Kelley as Desdemona that generally towed the line for generations of Desdemonas before her. While the character being innocent of Othello's charges is what gives the play its tragic kick, must she always be portrayed like Snow White's nicer sister? Apparently Obie award winner Paula Vogel felt the same way about the Bard's strawberry handkerchief-toting little gumdrop, because she decided to write the story of Desdemona as both bawdy sendup and pointed feminist exploration. 11th Street Theatre Project opens its '96-'97 season with a production of Desdemona...a play about a handkerchief, Vogel's version that finds Desdemona in the company of whores, having had carnal knowledge of most of her husband's soldiers--except, of course, a little wily schemer named Iago. Performances happen Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. through November 22 at St. Matthew's Episcopal Cathedral, 5100 Ross at Henderson. Tickets are $10. Call 522-PLAY.
George Krause and Eadweard Muybridge: University of Houston art professor George Krause is also a nationally celebrated photographer who has, for the past 30 years, been working on shooting pictures throughout the world that roughly fall into four categories: sensuality (The Street), spirituality (Saints and Martyrs), mortality (I Nudi), and mystery (Qui Riposa). Selections from all four themes are on hand for this one-man show at Photographs Do Not Bend. Exhibiting with Mr. Krause is Eadweard Muybridge, a 19th-century English native who emigrated in 1852 to San Francisco, where he opened a bookshop. His renowned way with a collotype print caught the attention of former California Governor Leland Stanford, who commissioned Muybridge to prove with photographic motion studies that a horse is actually in flight during part of its gallop--that is, all four hooves are off the ground simultaneously. Both shows run through November 30 at Photographs Do Not Bend, 3115 Routh. For info call 969-1852.
Ricardo Cobo: The Fort Worth Classic Guitar Society opens the inaugural season of its Guitar Fort Worth series with a classical guitar veteran who has more gold medals than the Olympian who slept with all the judges. Colombian instrumentalist Cobo has won top prizes in some of the world's most prestigious competitions, including Casa de Espana in 1986 and the Guitar Foundation of America in 1987. Critics from The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post have showered Cobo with the kind of adjectives one normally associates with post-coital enthusiasm--"fiery...sultry...superhuman technique"--so you might bring a cigarette to light up after the show. The performance happens at 8 p.m. in the Ed Landreth Auditorium on the grounds of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. Tickets are $10-$15. Call (817) 329-4430.
The Wages of Sin or...Don Juan on Trial: New Theatre Company isn't the first Dallas company to nurse a Don Juan obsession; Teatro Dallas has relied on in-house playwright Valerie Brogan for a series of plays that compare the myth of the insatiable lover with that of the blood drinker. However, New Theatre Company isn't interested in simile, but a direct examination of the Spanish heartbreaker's merciless trail. New Theatre is using an English translation by Jeremy Sams of Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's The Wages of Sin or...Don Juan on Trial. Sams has translated Moliere, Cocteau, and Anouilh for some of the major classical houses in Europe. New Theatre Company's production runs Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Swiss Avenue Theater Center, 2700 Swiss. Tickets are $8-$10. Call 871-ARTS.
Antigoni Goni: Greek native Antigoni Goni has not only survived bearing the name of one of classical literature's most famous tragic heroines, she has prospered in her own field, which has nothing to do with family vengeance but quite a lot with cultural tradition. Goni is the most famous classical guitar player Greece has ever produced, a nimble-fingered dynamo who has performed featured solo gigs with the Montreal-Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the London City Youth Orchestra and the Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra, and the Juilliard Chamber Ensemble. Since September of last year, Goni has been in charge of the guitar department at Juilliard's precollege division. The performance happens at 3 p.m. in Christ Episcopal Church, 534 W. 10th in Oak Cliff. Tickets are $6. Call 528-3733.
Anne Rice: Having personally witnessed three of the six long hours that comprised Anne Rice's last marathon autograph session, I can say that no matter what you think of the woman's florid prose, her sincere appreciation for her fans is above criticism. Long after I would've wanted to stand up and deck the next person in corpse-white base and black cape who approached me, Rice was smiley, huggy, and utterly personable to each and every participant. Rice returns to North Texas for another marathon love-in to sign copies of her new book, Servant of the Bones. She arrives at 5:30 p.m. at Borders Books and Music in Lewisville, Stemmons and Round Grove. It's free, but you need a ticket to stand in line. 1,250 tickets will be distributed at the store starting at 9 a.m. Call (972) 459-2321.
The Paintings of Ray Thomas: ArtCentre of Plano hosts the American exhibition debut of a fiercely accomplished painter who has--as the member of yet another native people trampled by imperialists--filtered the mysticism of his ethnic cultural tradition through the hard-earned wisdom of the political underdog. Ray Thomas is an urban aboriginal artist who still makes his home in Australia. The artist appears at the opening reception for his first American one-man show November 9 at 7 p.m. The show runs through December 20 at the ArtCentre of Plano, 1039 E. 15th in historic downtown Plano.