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.
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.
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.
Pet Adoptathon: Operation Kindness, Carrollton's no-kill animal shelter, has united with animal shelters across the United States and Canada for a marathon weekend Pet Adoptathon to let folks know that you can, indeed, buy quality friendship--for a nominal fee. Operation Kindness hopes to place 125 cats and dogs in caring homes for this two-day extravaganza that also includes door prizes, dog obedience demonstrations, and other activities. The benefits of pet ownership more than outweigh the responsibilities, but please make sure you're able to stick with your new buddy for the long haul. Extended hours for this weekend are May 2 and 3, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and May 4, noon-6 p.m. at 1029 Trend Drive in Carrollton. Call (972) 418-PAWS.
Heavy Metal: David Strickland and Carl Nash: The self-taught artists being showcased in Heavy Metal, the latest exhibit at Waxahachie's Webb Gallery, share an obsession with the hard, final quality of metal and, ironically, the illusion of movement it can create. David Strickland's sculptures are designed with an eye toward movement, since the artist himself has had a vision of breathing life into his work. Carl Nash, a Lubbock native who scours his birthplace for materials, creates his conceptual images in both small and large scale. The show runs through June 8 at Webb Gallery, 209-211 W. Franklin, Waxahachie. Call (972) 938-8085.
27th Annual Big D Charity Horse Show: Before you get carried away with the sight of beautiful four-legged animals at the 27th Annual Big D Charity Horse Show, you should know that it's usually illegal to keep a horse in your garage or your backyard. Therefore, unless the proper conditions exist at your home, think of a better way to spend a few thousand dollars. EXCAP, the Exchange Clubs' Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, benefits from this national competition of various breeds in various categories. Events happen days and evenings May 1-4 at the Las Colinas Equestrian Center, Irving. Call (972) 506-0480.
Possible Worlds: Fred Alsup and Linda Gardner's new Dallas theater company, Dionysus and Apollo, has a mission statement to showcase both classical and contemporary theater, and with a little help from the Undermain's Laurel Hoitsma and Mark Farr, they've hit the ground running with the regional premiere of Canadian playwright John Mighton's Possible Worlds. Hoitsma and Farr star as a pair of lovers whose habit of crossing dimensions entangles them in the police investigation of a serial killer who steals victims' brains. Think Arcadia and other Stoppard mindpokes with a Canadian flavor. Performances are May 5, 11, 12, 18, and 19 at 8 p.m. in the Undermain's Basement Space, 3200 Main St. Tickets are $8. Call (214) 821-1480.
Now, Voyager: Bette, Bette, Bette...you were a bitch icon for a generation of closeted gay men, teaching them how to smoke a cigarette and discard faithless paramours. Now that the closet door has been all but blown off its hinges, we who grew up in a relatively open era still crave the vinegary style of her more subdued performances. The two-ply weeper Now, Voyager falls into this category, as angst-ridden Davis must navigate her own family, potential lovers, and the family of potential lovers to attain true happiness. The USA Film Festival screens Now Voyager as part of its First Monday Classics at 7:30 p.m. at the AMC Glen Lakes Theatre, 9450 N. Central Expressway at Walnut Hill. Tickets are $5.50-$6.50. Call (214) 821-NEWS.
1997 Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary Celebrity Fashion Show: Every year the marriage of America's most inclusive charity organization, the Salvation Army, with the second-hand fashions of Dallas' most exclusive neighborhood, University Park, brings a smile to sooty plebeian faces. The 1997 Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary Celebrity Fashion Show features Dallas bluebloods (those who were born and those who were made) moving and shaking their moneymakers down the runway at Dallas Country Club. Everything is for sale but attitude, which is free to anyone who can mimic the most recent conversation they overheard at Star Canyon. The event happens at 11:30 a.m. at the Dallas Country Club. For ticket info call (214) 353-2714.
The Sound and the Fury: Emblematic of the Southern Gothic vibe that the great William Faulkner established in 20th-century American literature, The Sound and the Fury would seem to be an odd choice for dramatization. And yet, the stream-of-consciousness segments and internal monologues suggest the limbo and stylization of pure theater. San Francisco playwright Erik Ehn continues his association with the Undermain by directing his stage version of Faulkner's Compson family saga starring Katherine Owens, Bruce DuBose, Rhonda Boutte, and Dennis Millegan. Performances are Wednesday and Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8:15 p.m. through June 7 at the Basement Space, 3200 Main Street. Tickets are $8-$18. Call (214) 747-1424.