The Compleat Works of Willm Shkspr: It's really important for theater companies to do high-quality productions of William Shakespeare--not just to honor the man's wonderful words, but to spare audiences the drudgery of uninflected, uninspired Shakespeare, arguably the most unendurable theatrical torture ever devised. The WaterTower Theatre performs a huge regional hit entitled The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr (abridged) that, for the those with weakened attention spans who still desire their taste of culture, packs 37 plays and 154 sonnets into two hours. Bill can be sampled Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. at the WaterTower Theatre of the Addison Conference and Theatre Centre, 15650 Addison Rd, Addison. Tickets are $18. Call (972) 450-6232.
The Pizz: Forbidden Books and Video owner Jason Cohen plans to open a separate gallery space in the near future, but his new music section has been such a hit, he hasn't had time to diversify. He's been running art exhibits for a while, but with this latest one-man show by internationally acclaimed cartoonist hipster The Pizz, he's officially designating his in-store space Forbidden Gallery. It declares itself "Dallas' first gallery dedicated to lowbrow art," and we're forced to agree upon perusing some of The Pizz's marvelously lurid, lushly colorful comic-strip panel paintings festooned with gangsters, devils, temptresses, and strung-out losers. The Pizz says he likes to screw around with icons and archetypes to create a story underneath the single images. The show opens with a public reception April 4, 8 p.m.-midnight at 835 Exposition. It's free. Call (214) 821-9554.
The Texas Herb Growers and Marketers Association: As anyone who picked up last month's stellar Harpers cover article, "Confessions of An American Opium Grower," learned, the U.S. federal government enjoys a lot of elbow room when it comes to prosecuting individuals who grow legal substances that can be used to make illegal products. Members of The Texas Herb Growers and Marketers Association may enjoy poppy seeds on their hamburger buns, but they don't encourage poppy production in personal gardens (not that Texas weather is conducive, anyway). Their annual Herb Market features tons of tools and seeds, as well as seminars and demonstrations to clearly outline for herb growers how to get from plant A to product B. Lecture topics include "Aromatherapy and Natural Skin Care" and "Harvesting and Preserving Herbs for the 21st Century." The market is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Plano Centre, 2000 E Spring Creek Parkway, Plano. It's free. Call (972) 924-3703.
DanceArt: Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth, along with Texas Christian University New Century Danscene, serves as host and guide to a young international dance company on the North Texas stop of their first U.S. tour. Just three years old, Hong Kong's DanceArt comes to America under the artistic direction of Andy Wong, who is adamant about introducing humanitarian and community consciousness issues to contemporary dance. Dance titles include "A Journey To Solitude," "The Regeneration from Sterility," and other vivacious names. The dancing begins at 8 p.m. in Orchestra Hall, 4401 Trail Lake Dr., Fort Worth. Tickets are $6-$20. Call (214) 871-ARTS.
Carnivals, Fairs, and Parades: Texas Spring 1997 charged in like a lion. The balmy weather also reminds Texans that they must take to the outdoors before the humidity index threatens to fell kids and old people. Award-winning Dallas photographer Paul Greenberg is right on time with his Photographic Archives Gallery exhibit Carnivals, Fairs, and Parades, which includes photos taken guess where. You don't have to be a child-of-all-ages carnival lover to get off on people-watching, which is what this is all about. The show opens with a reception April 5, 7-9:30 p.m., at Photographic Archives Gallery, 5117 W. Lovers Ln. It's free. Call (214) 352-3167.
Singles Fair '97: "Luckily, I'm not allergic to penicillin" and "I'm so lonely" are not among the icebreakers we'd advise using at Singles Fair '97, which celebrates the glorious state of onehood that every single man and woman is currently working hard to escape. (Suggested remedy for the single-serving blues: one night on the town with a couple in a fight they didn't resolve back home). Ten speakers will discuss topics including emotional availability and what men and women want and how it differs. There will also be booths from most of the major singles organizations in North Texas, exhibits offering products and services "related to the singles' lifestyle" (at press time, COYOTE had not been invited to distribute pamphlets), and a singles dance at the end of the evening that should relieve some of the potential cruising pressure of the day's events. The event happens noon-6 p.m. at the Arlington Hilton Hotel, 360 and Lamar. Tickets are $20. Call (972) 241-4876.
Dallas Chamber Orchestra: The Dallas Chamber Orchestra includes in its mission statement the intent not only to preserve, but also to use rare and extremely old musical instruments in their performances. Kurt Sprenger, principal second violinist for DCO, will play a stringed instrument from 1610 created by Hieronymous Amati, whose father conceived the design we recognize as the violin today. Mr. Sprenger, whom we sincerely hope was never called "Butterfingers" in his youth by an impatient school marm, joins DCO music director Ronald Neal, who will brandish a 1724 Von Schwerin Stradivarius violin for a program that includes Handel's Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 12; Tchaikovsky's Andante Cantabile from String Quartet No. 1; and Bloch's Concerto Grosso No. 1 for Piano and Strings. Performances happen 2 and 7 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium on the grounds of Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $10-$17. Call (214) 871-2787.
22nd Annual Prairie Dog Chili Cook Off and World Championship Pickled Quail Egg Eating: Funny how some cliches apply to our lives, while others are utterly foreign. Some of us who grew up in Texas could practically log our days from birth by the various bowls of chili we were fed. On the other hand, the habit of consuming pickled quail eggs, which apparently constitutes a fond memory for many, is, to many of us, about as familiar as blood pudding (and not much more appetizing). The 22nd Annual Prairie Dog Chili Cook Off and World Championship Pickled Quail Egg Eating purports to be the largest event of its kind in Texas, but then again, don't they all? Last year drew almost 75,000 people from all over the country. Events happen April 5, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and April 6, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. at Traders Village, 2602 Mayfield Rd, Grand Prairie. It's free (but parking is $2 per car). Call (972)647-2331.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: It's a good thing that life doesn't imitate the movies when it comes to The Cuteness Factor. In real life, the beautiful, the homely, and all of us in between are pretty much guaranteed to receive similar punishments for our crime sprees (money, not looks, is the key that unlocks the justice system). In the movies, beautiful people not only die more tragic deaths than the rest of us, their most reprehensible personality features become adorable quirks. Case in point--George Roy Hill's endlessly enjoyable Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, whose heroes just wouldn't have been the same as played by Joe Pesci and Louie Anderson. The USA Film Festival screens it as part of the First Monday Classics series; come drown in the crystal blue, homicidal waters of Paul Newman's eyes. The screening happens at 7:30 p.m. at the AMC Glen Lakes Theatre, 9450 N. Central Expressway. Tickets are $6.50. Call (214) 821-NEWS.
Carl Bernstein: Whether exposing Tricky Dick as a paranoid liar or Pope John Paul II as an undercover Cold Warrior, Carl Bernstein has consistently set his targets so high as an investigative journalist that he's managed to maintain a stellar reputation that even Nora Ephron couldn't besmirch in Heartburn, her pre-director memoirs of his womanizing. Bernstein comes to town for a lecture on his latest mega-powerful subject, the rampaging media mogul Rupert Murdoch. "Murdoching: The Use and Abuse of Media Power" is the name of his critical talk that aims to dissect Murdoch's cutthroat acquisitiveness, which has become the modus operandi for communications titans around the globe. The event happens at 7:30 p.m. at The Theater in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, 3140 Dyer St. It's free. Call (972) 385-1202.
Alexander Toradze: Georgia-born (that's Russia, not the U.S.) pianist Alexander Toradze isn't polite when he sits down to tickle the ivory keys. This is why his interpretations of the Russian and Romantic canon have earned him the reputation of an iconoclast. Although the intense, virtuosic passion which he brings to these compositions would seem to be just what the composers ordered, Toradze, who won the Silver Medal at the Fifth Van Cliburn International Festival in 1977, is considered something of a maverick in the decorum-obsessed classical world. He returns to North Texas after a 10-year absence to appear as the finale for the 1996-97 season of Cliburn Concerts. 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-$35. Call (817) 335-9000.
Where Art and Morality Meet: The Dallas Philosopher's Forum hosts a talk by Southern Methodist University sociology professor Anthony Cortese. The title of the discussion means different things to different people: There's the camp who insist that real art should provide some kind of moral guidance, a model for living, or it is useless; others, like Woody "The Artist Creates His Own Moral Universe" Allen, insist that real art exists on a plane above morality, which can be radically different from culture to culture and therefore compromises the process of art with a social agenda. Cortese covers not only the conflict between artists and moral watchguards, but the ways in which their visions are sometimes parallel. The talk starts at 7 p.m. at Wyatt's Cafeteria, Forest and Marsh Ln. Tickets are $4. Call (214) 373-7216.
Literary Cafe: The forces behind Dallas' Arts and Letters Live literary series have advised us that our last blurb for their "Literary Cafe" series implied that these free informal evenings with writers play to almost empty houses. This is simply incorrect, and we were lucky to receive a polite phone call rather than a late-night visit from Vicente, the six-foot nine-inch Arts and Letters volunteer. What we meant was was that, compared to the star-studded "Distinguished Writer" and "Texas Bound" Series, The Literary Cafes suffer from a dearth of glamour in a city whose ticket sales are often predicated on how "international" the event is. But with award-winning poets James Mardis and Kay Barnes, Texas Monthly contributor Prudence Mackintosh, and Texas novelist Louise Redd on the bill, the second literary cafe is sure to draw a crowd. The evening starts at 8:30 p.m. at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St. It's free. Call (214) 922-1220.