Master Magician Kozak: If television and movies drove a stake into the heart of the vaudeville circuit, then the fractured demographics of modern audiences is the ring of garlic around the corpse's throat to keep it from ever rising again. Nowadays it's almost impossible to conceive of an America where a single performance is targeted at people of both genders and all ages and races; the vaudeville-influenced variety format ruled for a while on TV, but recent efforts by the likes of Carol Burnett to revive it have collapsed. Internationally renowned Master Magician Kozak is now on a U.S. tour in an attempt to rekindle an affection for what he calls "Old World Vegas." No stranger to Vegas himself (or royal command performances, for that matter), Kozak presents an evening of "Magic, Martinis, Song, and Swing" with the likes of The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and The Squirrel Nut Zippers. Performances happen Thursday, 8:30 p.m.; Friday, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.; Saturday, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., at Hyena's Comedy Club in downtown Fort Worth. Call (817) 877-5233.
The Last Flapper: Zelda Fitzgerald suffers from the same rather narrow reputation as another literary wife, Sally Bowles (spouse of Paul Bowles) does--she was born, she drank martinis, she went crazy, she died. But as it happens, between the alcoholism and the schizophrenia, Fitzgerald carved an indelible impression among the literary and theatrical greats with whom she dallied. Playwright William Luce has adapted some of Fitzgerald's writings into the kind of one-woman show that actresses claw each other to perform--The Last Flapper. Performances by Wing Span Theatre Company happen at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday through November 1 at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther. Tickets are $10-$12. Call (972) 504-6218.
Delicatessen and City of Lost Children: Before you catch Sigourney Weaver and Wynona Ryder duking it out with big bugs in the upcoming Alien Resurrection, check out two previous works by that film's director, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and decide for yourself--has Jeunet gone Hollywood in the depressingly Mimic way that Guillermo del Toro (Cronos) did? Although both Delicatessen (1991) and The City of Lost Children (1995) have the swooping cameras and bleak humor of a Coen brothers/Terry Gilliam flick, it's hard to imagine any major studio going near these projects without softening up the content. Delicatessen was a justly talked-about art-house hit, with its tale of a cannibalistic butcher who's foiled by an impish Frenchman. But the even more remarkable, nightmarishly elaborate The City of Lost Children came and went like a comet. Don't let this chance to see the mega-disturbing fairy tale about an evil scientist attempting to steal children's dreams go by again without catching it on a big screen. On October 17 and 18, one film shows in the downstairs theater, the other upstairs at midnight at The Inwood, 5458 W. Lovers Lane. Call (214) 352-6040.
Second Hand Dance: Although Fort Worth/Dallas Ballet goes a long way toward filling Dallas' dearth of dance with its bi-city performance seasons, The Texas International Theatrical Arts Society (TITAS) adds a little bit of glitz to Dallas stages by bringing the biggest names in world dance to our city. Under their auspices comes the ultra-hot, extremely flexible New York dance company Second Hand Dance. Second Handers Paul Gordon, Andy Horowitz, and Greg O'Brien have sent international audiences to their feet with remarkable displays of ballet and athleticism. Sort of like a cross between a national-title cheerleading team and a breathing found-object sculpture, Second Hand Dance is the dance troupe for people who don't know a pirouette from an arabesque. Performances happen October 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium on the grounds of Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $7-$40. Call (214) 528-5576.
Great Pumpkin Sale and Carnival: Before Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, and the gang whored themselves for an international insurance conglomerate, they represented, for a period of about 15 years (say, from 1965-1980), one of the most philosophically profound children's entertainments in popular culture. The Peanuts' search for the meaning of life, led by the fluidly intellectual Linus, was a grand introduction to the important cosmic questions. "How long, Great Pumpkin? How long?" ranks right up there with the infamous Time magazine cover question "Is God dead?" Of course, you won't find any overt attempts at secular or religious philosophizing at the Northaven Cooperative Preschool's Great Pumpkin Sale and Carnival, just our favorite orange veggie decked out for our favorite supernatural season, Halloween. The sale happens October 16, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The Carnival happens October 18, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Both occur at the Northaven Cooperative Preschool and Kindergarten, Northaven and Preston Road. Admission is free, but rides, games, and food are paid for by the purchase of tickets. Call (214) 691-7666.
Third Annual City Neighborhood Fair: Maybe it's because we're too busy at the keyboards, but even as innovations like e-mail and the Internet have connected strangers across oceans and nations, we still don't take the time to meet the people who've moved in next door. The Third Annual Citywide Neighborhood Fair is an attempt not only to reintroduce people to the benefits of knowing their neighbors, but to remind us all that community groups--however contentious they are in conflict with one another--give the electorate even more power than a single vote does. Workshops, talks, panel discussions, and discussion groups are planned for this neighborhood fair, broken down by various neighborhoods of Dallas. The event happens 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Center for Community Cooperation, 2900 Live Oak St. It's free. Call (214) 670-4168.