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.
A Personal Journey With Martin Scorcese Through American Movies: The USA Film Festival and the Video Association of Dallas join forces to haul a massive, centennially candled birthday cake across the ocean to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of cinema with the British Film Institute's 13-part Century of Cinema. The top filmmakers from 13 different countries offer their own fiercely individual visions of the highlights and low lights of cinema. The Dallas festival opens with A Personal Journey with Martin Scorcese Through American Movies, directed by Scorcese and Michael Henry Wilson. Scorcese has claimed he'd rather watch a movie than make one any day of the week; he'll take you on a park stroll through the flicks that influenced him. Screenings happen at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the AMC Glen Lakes Theatre, 9450 N. Central Expressway. Tickets are $5. Other Century of Cinema documentaries happen November 10-13 and November 19-21 at the AMC Glen Lakes. Call 821-NEWS.
Multiculturalism Lectures: As part of its Andrew Cecil Lecture Series, the University of Texas at Dallas presents a series of three lectures that attempt to tackle the subjects of multiculturalism and internationalism as neither utopian liberal concepts or vilified conservative targets. "Tolerance, Equal Freedom, and Peace" is a talk by Dr. David Little of the United States Institute of Peace about the continued struggle for justice among various ethnicities inside and outside of America; it happens November 11 at 8 p.m. Former chair of the National Endowment of the Humanities Lynne Cheney's discussion (from a right-of-center perspective, no doubt) is entitled "Can Multiculturalism Be Done Right?" and happens November 12 at 8 p.m. "Isolationism vs. Global Reality" is the last talk of the series, given by Washington University professor Murray Weidenbaum on November 13 at 2 p.m. All lectures take place in the University of Texas at Dallas Conference Center, Campbell and Floyd in Richardson. They are free. Call (972) 883-2293.
Blithe Spirit: Margaret Rutherford and Geraldine Page both laid their legendary hands on the crystal ball of Madame Arcati, the dithery psychic of Noel Coward's oft-revived 1941 comic gem, Blithe Spirit. For the third production of its '96-'97 season, Theatre Three taps one of its most resourceful comic actresses to don the shawl of Coward's spiritual usurper of the upper middle class. Sharon Bunn was frightening and funny as Christopher Durang's Sister Mary, and her fearsome comic chops will be put to the test in this scenery chewer of a role. Performances of Blithe Spirit happen Tuesday-Friday at 8:15 p.m.; Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.; and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. through December 8 at Theatre Three in The Quadrangle, 2800 Routh. Tickets are $17-$24. Call 871-3300.
The Break: The Potlatch Staged Script Reading series continues its fall 1996 season with a screenplay by a Dallas filmmaker who has already filmed part of the script. David Slack hightailed it to New York last fall to screen the completed segments of his filmmaking debut, The Break, for the ever-competitive Independent Feature Film Market. He now directs a staged reading of a script he describes as a No Exit for the twentysomething generation. Organizations that have pitched in their support for the Potlatch series include the Dallas Screenwriters Association, The Playwright's Project, and Women in Film. The reading happens at 7 p.m. at Theatre Three, downstairs in The Quadrangle, 2800 Routh. It's free, but donations are gratefully accepted. Call 920-2464.
An Evening of Dazzling Animated Shorts: We'd take the title of this program at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth--"An Evening of Dazzling Animated Shorts"--as pure braggadocio...if the host were anyone other than the imperial wizard of Arlington video, Bart Weiss. You might know Weiss as an independent filmmaker, a video production teacher, or as the director of the city's annual Dallas Video Festival. You might also recognize him as the guy who knows everybody even remotely connected with film and video production in town. He screens a barrelful of his favorite animated shorts by both local and national artists. The event happens at 7 p.m. at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 1309 Montgomery in Fort Worth. It's free. Call (817) 738-9215.
David Sedaris: Those who caught David Sedaris' previous standing-room-only appearance in Dallas at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary's black box theater were privy to the amazing comic poignancy and malevolence this pint-sized satirist whipped up with only a sheaf of notes and a bottle of mineral water. David Sedaris is the Obie-winning playwright, National Public Radio commentator, author, soap-opera fanatic, Billie Holiday buff, and veteran house cleaner who channels Mark Twain's humanism and Dorothy Parker's venom (a tad more of the latter, actually) in his stories and essays. Barrel Fever is the incomparable 1994 collection that will transform you into a glassy-eyed Sedaris minion, joining the unholy army of the night that awaits his diabolical bidding. Sedaris reads at 8 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Theater of Southern Methodist University. It's free, but seating is limited. Call 768-4400.