Cruces de la Vida: In a culture that has prized the public display of machismo as highly as the Latino culture has, it's inevitable that Latinas have traditionally been driven to find and exercise strength inside themselves. The Catholic Church has provided much fuel to help stoke these quietly raging fires. The Office of Cultural Affairs, in conjunction with the Hispanic Arts Initiative, tapped Dallas artist J. Viola Delgado to curate an exhibition entitled Cruces de la Vida. Translated into English as "Crosses of Life," the show features Maria Teresa Garcia Pedroche, Leticia Huerta, and Diana Navarette Marquis, among other artists, investigating through various media the religious, cultural, and sexual crosses that women have borne--sometimes heroically, sometimes not so--and how their faith in Jesus Christ has helped lighten the load. The Junior Players Guild of Dallas gets in on the action by sponsoring works from Camp Fire Girls and Boys of Oak Cliff. The Ice House was created as part of a program to nurture Latino art in this heavily Latino neighborhood. The show runs through June 30 at the Ice House, 1000 West Page St., Oak Cliff. Call (214) 670-4870.
The Colored Museum: Writer-director George C. Wolfe's work with New York Shakespeare and other prestigious theatrical organizations has planted him firmly in the company of young black firebrands like Savion Glover and Suzan Lori Parks, individuals whose disparate approaches to theater are united by their desire to use every available theatrical device to score political points. The Colored Museum is Wolfe's first, name-making effort, a comic tour of a fictional exhibition that explores black culture, identity, and assimilation, as well as various racial stereotypes and how they intersect, both within the African-American community and in the larger America. Under the direction of Dee Smith, Soul Rep Theatre Company gives three performances of Wolfe's acidic comedy, which ultimately reveals that blacks themselves aren't immune to practicing the kind of bigotry that has been traditionally practiced against them. Performances happen May 30 and 31 at 8 p.m. and June 1 at 2 p.m. at the African American Museum of Art and Culture in Fair Park. Tickets are $5 for children, $6 for students, and $10 for adults. Call (214) 565-9026.
Abelard & Heloise: Fresh from a smoothly unpremeditated performance in Dionysus and Apollo's intellectual romp Possible Worlds, Undermain Theatre company member Laurel Hoitsma hops time and place for another Dallas production that's grounded in fact and considerably graver in tone that John Mighton's script. She co-stars with David Stroh and a talented cast that includes Tom Lenaghen and Emily Ko in the Actors Stock Company production of Ronald Millar's Abelard and Heloise, the true story of two medieval lovers whose passionate affair burned even brighter in their minds, where the Catholic Church's extreme prohibitions against both intellectual and sexual explorations made their forbidden fruit appear all the riper and tastier. Actors Stock Company warns that Abelard & Heloise is intended for mature audiences, an automatic engraved invitation to the adolescent side of our theatrical tastes. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8:15 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Teatro Dallas, 2204 Commerce. Tickets are $10-$12. Call (214) 353-9916.
Juanita Craft Music Conservatory Piano Recital: Those of us who briefly harbored musical ambitions as children (and those who saw band membership as a sure-fire ticket out of compulsory gym) forced our parents to sit with frozen smiles through the honks and bleats of a grade-school band recital, where the best talents had to slum alongside the tin ears. Rest assured that some quality control has been exercised in the Juanita Craft Music Conservatory Piano Recital. Ms. Tobizena Williams, a local piano teacher, has assembled tykes who've been studying at the Juanita Craft Civil Rights House since October of last year. The Conservatory Piano Recital is performed as part of the Craft Civil Rights Project. The event happens 5-7 p.m. at St. Matthew Missionary Baptist Church, 2600 Warren Ave. Call (214) 670-8637.
16th Annual Tarrant County Gay Pride Parade: Many otherwise sympathetic straights (and not a few gays) are perplexed by the idea of a gay pride parade, which seems tantamount to organizing a celebration of blue eyes or lefthandedness. Many thought we'd replaced that overearnest '70s bromide "Gay is good" with the less flashy "Gay is." But an irrational feeling of pride is a natural outcome when a gay man or a lesbian makes the leap from self-hatred to the realization that there's nothing inherently tragic about homosexuality--it's the choices you make in your life that determine your happiness, no matter what your sexual orientation. This is a leap that many heterosexuals haven't made, which explains their confusion at events like the 16th Annual Tarrant County Gay Pride Parade and Gayfest '97, which features an "outdoor Midway atmosphere" of food, organizational booths, etc. The parade starts at 2 p.m., beginning from South Jennings at Rosedale, continuing north to Pennsylvania, west to Hemphill, and south to West Cannon in Fort Worth. Gayfest '97 happens at 3 p.m. Call (817) 335-0196.
Cirque de la Lune: If you're a lover of arts that do more than just make you feel all gooey inside (not a bad thing in itself, as long as you don't make a steady diet of it), then there are no more deserving arts organizations than Kitchen Dog Theater, the company that's found the human core in Beckett's misanthropy (see this week's "Stage" column), and Voices of Change, the nationally celebrated ensemble for the promotion and performance of twentieth-century classical music, a category that many classical snobs disdain. Kitchen Dog and Voices combine their talents for a fundraiser they've called Cirque de la Lune, an evening of music by Igor Stravinsky and three Beckett short plays currently being performed at the MAC. There's also French cuisine from some of Dallas' top restaurants and a number of drawings for door prizes. Come support the kind of adventurous performances that many corporations shy away from. The event happens at 7 p.m. at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney. For ticket info call (214) 220-0070.