Harry Wu: A lot of American political leaders, both Republican and Democrat, wish that Harry Wu would just shut up. Scheduled as the keynote speaker for the upcoming Congressional hearings on whether China's "most favored nation" status should be renewed, the 19-year gulag veteran, courageous activist, and obsessive gadfly is currently the biggest thorn in the side of free-market advocates who want to keep their hands in China's pockets even as they turn their heads away from some pretty heinous human rights abuses linked directly to that country's manufacturing industry. Wu speaks about his experiences at 7 p.m. in the Lynch Auditorium of the University of Dallas, 1845 East Northgate Drive, Irving. Call (972) 721-5194.
Hal Galper Trio: Jazz musicians might as well copyright their names, since the various projects a celebrated jazzman works on during his lifetime usually bear titles no flashier than "The Bobby Shew Quintet" and "The Hal Galper Trio." Galper made his name a brand name through his long concert and recording association with saxophonist Phil Woods; Galper's emphatic but nuanced ivory-tickling challenged and soothed Woods' noodling horn. Hal Galper brings his trio to open the 13th Annual Jazz Under the Stars series. Concerts happen every Thursday at 8 p.m. in the Ross Avenue Plaza of the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood. Call (214) 922-1200.
Biggest Roach in Texas: Although the Dallas Museum of Natural History's actual contest to determine the "Biggest Roach in Texas" isn't until the end of June, we wanted you to keep your eyes open the next time you reach under the sink for Ajax. June 28's Bug Day Family Festival is open to Texas pest species only; no foreigners allowed. The roach doesn't have to be alive to be entered, but you can kiss the "Congeniality" ribbon goodbye if all your participant does is lie there, legs straight up in the air. If you want further information about the upcoming "Biggest Roach in Texas" contest, call (214) 421-3466.
Dog Show: Dan Day, Joe Nemmers, and the other Kitchen Dogs aren't just presenting a new production with their ambitious new "existential cabaret" called Dog Show--they're introducing a new, or at the very least expanded, company. Dog Show takes short works by the company's patron saint Samuel Beckett and mixes them with original dialogue and movement conceived by new and old Kitchen Dog Theatre members. In case you're wondering, it's OK to laugh at Beckett; a recent production by another company of the author's one-act Krapp's Last Tape, which is included in this show, elicited stifled giggles from an audience who didn't know how to take its absurd repetitions and non sequiturs. Expect to be challenged, but know that Kitchen Dog isn't too proud to entertain. Performances happen Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. through June 22 at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. Call (214) 871-ARTS.
Tri-Star Collectors Show: The list of attendees scheduled to appear at the three-day Tri-Star Collectors Show is so famous, even we non-sports fans have heard of them: Johnny Bench, Steve Carlton, Ralph Branca, Whitey Ford, Bobby Thomson, and Jake "I'm Not DeNiro" LaMotta. Actually, we haven't heard of Bobby Thomson and Ralph Branca, but those guys probably won't have problems being identified when they sit down amid the 150 national dealers of sports memorabilia, comics, and more, and grace cards, pictures, and posters with their John Hancocks. Events happen May 16, 3-8 p.m.; May 17, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and May 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the North Hall of Market Hall. Call (713) 840-7827.
George Carlin: OK, so his much-touted show for the Fox Network didn't work out. Writer-actor-legendary standup George Carlin has bounced out of so many career slumps in his 37-year career as a comedian, we suspect he doesn't know what to do with himself when life treats him right. When he gets the shaft, Carlin is prepared to shout it from the rooftops--or, at least, from a stage surrounded by fans who can't get enough of his patented mix of anger and pathos. The socially conscious goofball who has concentrated more on TV and movie work over the past decade comes to Dallas for an increasingly rare appearance. The show happens at 8 p.m. at the Bronco Bowl, 2300 Fort Worth Ave. Tickets are $20-$35. Call (214) 373-8000.
Just As I Am: Confessions of a Creative Child: The Dallas performance scene loses another talent as former Less Miserable leader Paul J. Williams heads to New York City to seek his fortunes. His cabaret performances have already been praised there, so before Williams is hosting "Talk Soup!" or hobnobbing with Lily on Broadway, check out his swan song performance "Just As I Am: Confessions of a Creative Child." Williams grew up a gay Southern Baptist Texan and has not only survived the combination, but gained hilarious wisdom from it. If you thought all gay men were born in major urban areas with the ability to style hair, mix martinis, and dis closed minds, check out Williams' monologues about being "creative" in small-town South Texas. Performances run Friday and Saturday at 11:15 p.m (an additional show happens May 21, 8 p.m.) through May 24 at the Pocket Sandwich Theater, 5400 E. Mockingbird. Tickets are $10. Call (214) 821-1860.