3 Generations of African-American Women Sculptors: A Study in Paradox: One of the reasons institutions like the African-American Museum were created was to fill in gaps left by mainstream art historians. All those people who complain about their favorite version of history being rewritten are really afraid of the process of history itself, which requires constant adjustment and appraisal. Bet even if you majored in art history or sculpture at a major university, chances are you haven't heard of a majority of the subjects included in 3 Generations of African-American Women Sculptors: A Study in Paradox. The 10 women artists in this show are from the late 19th century through today. The show opens February 7 and runs through April 20 at the African-American Museum in Fair Park. For info call (214) 565-9026.
Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises: Masters of the Ocean Realm: You can bet your bottom there'll be nary a reference to tuna at the Dallas Museum of Natural History's new show Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises: Masters of the Ocean Realm. The point of the show is to educate kids on the grace and beauty of sea mammals so that they'll gladly paddle their dinghy into the path of a factory ship. Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises: Masters of the Ocean Realm covers biology, zoology, evolution, and ecology with exhibits like the interactive "Whale Top 40" jukebox that categorizes whale vocals, tons of info and graphics through interactive technology, and a recreated Greek temple to trace the place of the porpoise in Greek mythology. The show runs through May 11 at the Dallas Museum of Natural History in Fair Park. Admission is $2.50-$4. Call (214) 421-3466.
Faith Healer: After a general description, you might be prone to dismiss Brian Friel's psychological thriller Faith Healer as Elmer Gantry 2. But while this fervently praised Irish playwright jumps off from a similar starting point--the story of a traveling Christian healer whose power lies in his passionate, eloquent ability to make the poor and uneducated believe the unbelievable--he lands in very different thematic places when someone connected to the faith healer comes up dead. Performances happen Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m. through March 1. Tickets are $8-$15 (Wednesdays are pay-what-you-can). New Theatre audiences, take note--the company has a new, permanent performance space at 3202 Elm in the heart of Deep Ellum. Call (214) 871-ARTS.
Mark Curry: As is the desirable career trajectory for a TV comic actor, Mark Curry has every finger stuck in a different part of the tube pie--syndication (star of the five-year-old sitcom Hangin' With Mr. Cooper); cable (his recently broadcast HBO standup special Mark Curry--The Other Side); and talk shows (he is currently preparing to launch a late-night chatfest). What Curry brings to these ventures is sheer affability, a pretty precious commodity in a marketplace defined by Lettermanesque spleen. Long after the guys who hang quotation marks around their every word have curdled, Curry will find himself in demand. The show is at 8 p.m. at the McFarlin Auditorium on the campus of Southern Methodist University. For ticket info call (310) 854-6067.
Cris Williamson and Tret Fure: The generic term "women's music" is simultaneously a cheeky password for potential gay and lesbian audiences and an effort to escape the limitations the mainstream press often places on any female artist who publicly declares her lesbianism yet wants audiences to know that the romantic details of her life--same-sex though it might be--bear a striking similarity to the hetero troubadour's tales of heartbreak. An acknowledged pioneer of the field and her musical-romantic partner of the past five years come to Fort Worth to perform tunes off their latest collaboration, Between the Covers. Cris Williamson, who possesses one of the most celestial voices ever granted a human being, and Tret Fure, a vocalist-instrumentalist who was one of the first female sound engineers in the country, share stories of their life together for audiences with a taste for romance. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. in Orchestra Hall, 4401 Trail Lake Drive, Fort Worth. Tickets are $17-$20. Call 373-8000.
Alexander Shtarkman: If you want to whet your appetite for a February 11 Russian piano virtuoso sponsored by the Cliburn Concert series, the Jewish Community Center of Dallas offers you a younger Moscow-trained talent who is also a veteran of the Cliburn Competition. Indeed, assessing one of his recitals, a Los Angeles Times critic declared "he plays with the sensitivity and mellow refinement one associates with certain grand old men of the keyboard, most of them Russian." Shtarkman comes to Dallas with more than 60 upcoming scheduled engagements in Italy under his belt. The show is at 7:30 p.m. in the Zale Auditorium of the Jewish Community Center, 7900 Northaven Rd. Tickets are $13-$15. Call (214) 739-2737.