Events for the week

thursday
may 1
Shoppers' Guide to the Center of the Universe: The 18-year-old Dallas-based modern dance troupe Dancers Unlimited mounts an ambitious new production that springs from the mind-meld of artistic director Lori Darley, composer Frank Lacey, and writer Tom Blackwood. Still, don't confuse "ambitious" with "self-important"; while the contemporary dance performance called Shoppers' Guide to the Center of the Universe takes a serious look at the consumerism that besots two innocents named Armand and Eviana, it attempts to score its points through laughter and agility, not sermonizing. Performances happen May 1 and 2, 8 p.m.; May 3, 2 and 8 p.m.; and May 4, 2 p.m. at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Tickets are $12.50-$15. Call (214) 823-7644.

Mark Jordan: With the exception of public schools, no other institution seeks to hide from the words "gay" and "lesbian" as much as the church. Before individuals started merging their homosexuality with their spirituality in a public way, Christian leaders could cheerfully denounce "the gay lifestyle," confident that they weren't talking about their own children, siblings, friends, co-workers, or congregation members. Professor and author Mark Jordan is a gay Christian agitator who doesn't just want to put a human face on gays and lesbians; he wants a gay and lesbian face on the church. His mega-controversial The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology posits the idea that the concept of "sodomy" is a convoluted sociopolitical invention that has depended on the indulgence of Biblical authors and scholars for its propagation. He speaks at 7 p.m. at Crossroads Market and Bookstore, 3930 Cedar Springs Rd. It's free. Call (713) 522-7989.

Nana Mouskouri: Those of us who watched PBS reruns of The Benny Hill Show during our grade-school years were introduced to Nana Mouskouri as channeled by Hill. Always more famous in Europe than America, Mouskouri is nonetheless the most successful female recording artist in the world, having released 450 albums in 10 different languages during the past 35 years. Prizing enunciation and tone over improvisation, Mouskouri churns out ballads like little crystal sculptures--beautiful, if a tad icy. She appears at 8 p.m. at the Music Hall in Fair Park. For tickets call (214) 373-8000.

Bath House Reopening: High on paint fumes and blinking in the daylight, Bath House Cultural Center honchos Terri Aguilar and John Navarro throw open the doors of their revamped Dallas arts showcase with a new exhibit (Axis Mundi, large-scale paintings by Benito Huerta) and a new play (Milchya Sanchez-Scott's satire Latina, presented by Cara Mia Theatre). The Bath House reopens with a performance of Latina at 8 p.m. and an opening reception for the paintings of Benito Huerta 6-8 p.m. at 521 E Lawther. The exhibit is free; the play is $5-$10. Call (214) 670-8749.

friday
may 2
The Last Supper: A Social Commentary on Romance: Hungarian-born, Dallas-based installation artist Beata Szechy consulted a fertile field of human nature for her latest work--Dallas Observer Romance ads. Of the 50 responses she received from placing an ad, 12 men of various ages, ethnicities, and temperaments were selected for "The Last Supper--'90s Style." Szechy's "social commentary on romance" combines religious iconography, telephone messages, screen banners, and more in a bittersweet ode to love in the communication age. The opening reception is May 2, 2-8 p.m. at the Craighead-Green Gallery, 2404 Cedar Springs. It's free. Call (214) 855-0779.

WRR's 49th Birthday Bash: Several people who read March's Dallas Observer feature on Dallas-based classical guitarist Carlo Pezzimenti called the Calendar desk and wanted to know where they could catch this remarkably talented artist live. Pezzimenti performs his first public set since that story ran at WRR's 49th Birthday Bash, which also includes a performance by the internationally renowned Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Classical fans, Carlo fans, and the curious should come and help Dallas' only classical station celebrate as it approaches the half-century mark. Events take place 7-11 p.m. at the Music Hall in Fair Park. It's free. Call (214) 670-8558.

Memorial for Townes Van Zandt: Press has been circulated to the effect that legendary Texas musician Townes Van Zandt died this last New Year's Day of "natural causes," and we agree--a premature death is indeed the natural result of Van Zandt's ravenous appetite for drink and drugs. We say this not to soil a dead man's reputation, but to remind everyone of how needless this great artist's tragic death was. A memorial for Townes is held as part of the "Whistlin' Alex Moore Memorial Song & Poetry Series" with poet-writer Roxy Gordon, Vince Bell, Mark Ambrose, David Byboth, and others. The evening happens at 8 p.m. at Paperbacks Plus, 6115 La Vista in Old East Dallas. Call (214) 821-9671.

saturday
may 3
Cinco de Mayo Fair Park: There are, of course, plenty of outdoor and indoor attractions at Cinco de Mayo Fair Park, purportedly our state's biggest and most popular Latino celebration. But as neat as the home show, the auto show, the bridal show, live music, and the diet-wrecking taste treats are, the event's most important feature may be the free checkups sponsored by Parkland Memorial Hospital. Child immunizations, diabetes and cancer tests, glaucoma screenings, and much more are included among the more than 30 health-related activities. Events start May 3, 9 a.m. and May 4, 11 a.m. in Fair Park. For ticket info call (214) 670-8400.

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