Wet Willie Loves Pyro: Dallas-based actor-writer-poet Dalton James offered local audiences a rich, thoroughly lived-in performance earlier this year in Open Stage's production of Nicky Silver's jet-black family comedy Fat Men in Skirts. James lured us through his funny-scary transformation from a timid, Katharine Hepburn-obsessed mama's boy to a dead-baby eating, ferociously angry, Katharine Hepburn-obsessed mama's boy. It was a smashing act of comic devolution, more impressive because James never had to take a bite out of the scenery to unnerve us. He returns to the Dallas stage for another in a series of one-man performances. Wet Willie Loves Pyro promises ticket buyers "a fairy tale romance to rival that of Zeus and Ganymede," but the performance is thoroughly contemporary in its concerns. Performances are Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. through December 14 at Swiss Avenue Theater, 2700 Swiss Avenue. Tickets are $10. Call (214) 522-9646.
The Moveable Feast: The Dallas Poets Community has shelved its regular Third Thursday reading at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary for a new series of invitational poetry gatherings they've called "The Moveable Feast." The word "feast" is appropriate when you look at the first performance, with offerings more eclectic than a Pillsbury Bakeoff. Joe Ahearn and Brian Clements of Rancho Loco Press; Anita Barnard and Michelle Rhea of the anthology Blood Offerings; spoken word queen C.J. Critt, sans her Angry Girl Sextet; Jeff Davis from the international literary forum WordSpace; nationally acclaimed Isabel Nathaniel; and slam veteran/neo-beatster Clebo Rainey are all scheduled to bend your ear and the English language. The show happens at 8 p.m. at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. Donations are gratefully appreciated. Call (214) 953-1212.
Deck the Walls: In the spirit of gift giving that marks this holiday season, Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery presents a show of national and international photography assembled for no other reason than this: The pictures are cool and would make unique presents--for those, of course, who can afford to tread where collectors rule. Deck the Walls features a stocking stuffed with images by photographers you don't normally associate with holiday themes--Diane Arbus; her former photo instructor Lissette Model, who installed in Arbus a love of the form of crippled or otherwise misshapen people; Karl Blossfeldt, who photographed plant studies in highly unusual styles; and cowboy snapper Bank Langmore. The show opens with a reception December 6, 6-9 p.m. at 3115 Routh St. Call (214) 969-1852.
Melody AFI Bell: The Juanita J. Craft Civil Rights House was named for the late Dallas city councilwoman, NAACP activist, and tireless promoter for the cause of desegregation in rural Texas. Upon her death in 1985, she willed her home to the city of Dallas with the stipulation that it be used to further the causes she fought for in her lifetime. This year marks the debut of The Juanita J. Craft Storytelling Festival, held in the Civil Rights House. Dallas public schoolteacher turned insatiable griot (that's an African storyteller) Melody AFI Bell is the featured performer in a series of shows that will distinguish the African tradition of communication. Performances are December 6, 11, 13, 17, and 19 at 10 a.m. at the Juanita J. Craft Civil Rights House, 2618 Warren Avenue. It's free. Call 670-8637.
Seven Brothers Meet Dracula: Clyde Gentry III of the Plano-based fanzine Hong Kong Film Connection is determined to, as he describes it, "put the midnight back in midnight movies." His first in a planned series of screenings in conjunction with Bizarro World is the 1974 kung fu horror classic Seven Brothers Meet Dracula, starring action movie never-was David Chiang and Peter Cushing, the gentleman character actor who brought a grave class to every film in which he acted--including Seven Brothers Meet Dracula, originally titled Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires. Gentry promises high-octane fight scenes and lots of unnecessary nudity. Screenings happen December 6 and 7 at 12:30 a.m. at the AMC Glen Lakes Theatre, 9450 N Central Expressway. Tickets are $5. Call (214) 855-6286.
Andrea Harris-Salisbury: Dancer and choreographer Andrea Harris-Salisbury keeps busy with her membership in Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth and as artistic director of Ampersand Dance Theatre, but not so busy that she won't happily take on a third presentation to showcase her original choreography, created during her studies at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York City. She and a host of other dancers and choreographers have created a series of six duets, solos, and ensemble performances that explore some of history's most famous (and, in some cases, infamous) women. From Georgia O'Keeffe's labial imagery to Jezebel's infidelities and novelist Jeanette Winterson's heart-piercing novels, a veritable monster truck rally of potent womanliness is slated for your pleasure. Performances happen December 7 at 8 p.m. and December 8 at 2 p.m. at the University Theatre of Texas Christian University, Cantey and University, Fort Worth. The shows are free. Call (817) 926-7330.
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra: Given the generally clumsy, lame, and hostile decrees passed by Congress during the last few administrations, it's remarkable to discover that just six years ago, that battle-scarred body recognized a decidedly un-populist American music form. Congress passed an appropriation to create the 22-member Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the orchestra-in-residence at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. In conjunction with its ongoing exhibit Beyond Category: The Musical Genius of Duke Ellington, The African-American Museum has nabbed the SJMO for a Dallas performance. The show happens at 8 p.m. at Caruth Auditorium on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $25. Call (214) 565-9026.