Brian Clements: People don't automatically associate the city of Dallas with the genre of poetry, but then again, poetry seems to be a rootless expression that's lately flourished in underground pockets all over the country (including our fair city). Brian Clements is about as close as anyone can get to proclaiming themselves a "professional poet" (whatever that means), and he has the kudos to prove it: he recently won the prestigious Southern and Southwestern Writer's Breakthrough Award from the Texas Review Press for his book Essays Against Ruin. Clements' mentor at Southern Methodist University, Jack Myers, hosts this party to celebrate the publication of Essays. The Writer's Garret--of which Clements is a founder--does the rest. The event, including a reading, happens 4-6 p.m. at Paperbacks Plus, 6115 LaVista, old East Dallas/Lakewood. Call (214) 828-1715.
Neville's Island: The latest production by Fort Worth's Stage West doesn't officially open until June 19, but we're listing this weekend's preview performances for two reasons--to remind theatergoers who complain about high ticket prices for live theater that previews are performed at a discounted rate, and to call attention to a standard practice at Stage West, the open forum with audiences. Preview performances of British playwright Tim Firth's dark Neville's Island (A Comedy in Thick Fog) happen all weekend, but Sunday's show features a question and answer session in which, basically, the actors ask the questions and the audience gives them feedback. Neville's Island is an award-winning look at upper-crust British men whose civility deteriorates under awkward circumstances. The show previews this weekend with performances Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Stage West, 3055 S. University Drive, Fort Worth. Tickets are $11-$14. Call (817) STG-WEST.
SpeedZone: The press material for Malibu Speed Zone, the new 12-acre park built on recreational speeding, was delivered in a somewhat unusual way--by a guy who came to the front desk dressed as a cop. Get it? Cops? Speeding? (Dallas Observer employees who didn't get it took a nervous mental inventory from behind the copy machine: I thought terms of my probation had been fulfilled...). But the press packet for Malibu Speed Zone fairly buzzes with speed-freak enthusiasm. You have to have a legit driver's license to participate in one of the four different types of racing, whether it be custom-built Indy cars or dragsters, and experience accelerating from 0 to 70 miles per hour in three seconds. The park is open Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m.to 2 a.m. at 11130 Malibu Drive. Park admission is free, but racer tickets start at $5. Call (972) 247-RACE.
Six Legs Over Texas, Part Two: The Infestation Continues: Although the actual opening festivities for "Six Legs Over Texas, Part Two: The Infestation Continues" don't happen until the Bug Day Family Festival on June 28, the Dallas Museum of Natural History makes over 20 different species of local and exotic arthropods available to Dallas amateur entomologists right now. Most of them are very much alive. Six Legs Over Texas emphasizes exotic species and large spiders. The exhibit runs through August 10 at the Dallas Museum of Natural History in Fair Park. Tickets are $2.50-$4. Call (214) 421-DINO.
Turtle Creek Chorale: The boys of the nationally acclaimed Turtle Creek Chorale have been feeling really groovy lately, and the reason is clear--rehearsals for "Feelin' Groovy," the new TCC show featuring all 225 members revisiting what must be either the most beloved or most hated, but is certainly the most overhyped decade of the 20th century--the '60s. In true Turtle Creek Chorale fashion, very few feathers will be ruffled by the song collection in this program, which tends toward pop hippie-ism by the likes of Peter, Paul & Mary, Mama Cass, and Simon and Garfunkel. Come on guys, how about slipping in a medley that includes Gil Scott Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" or Phil Ochs' "I'm a Liberal"? Performances happen June 15, 16, and 18 at 8 p.m. in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. Tickets are $10-$30. Call (214) 871-