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.
The Colored Museum: The recent, much-publicized face-offs between Latinos and African-Americans over public school issues was a microcosm of the shifting race debate in America. As blacks, browns, reds, and yellows edge closer to enfranchisement, if only because they're beginning to make up the majority of many large American cities, it has become increasingly apparent that various minority groups aren't much more eager to divide the pie than the Anglo majority was. The best art is prophecy, and New York wunderkind big wig George C. Wolfe anticipated the diversity debate within the African-American community with his hilarious satire The Colored Museum. Given its first full-length run in North Texas by Fort Worth's Jubilee Theatre, Wolfe's script takes us on a tour of a museum of 11 black stereotypes (not a few of them homegrown) and their consequences, both in and out of black America. Performances happen Friday, 8:15 p.m.; Saturday, 3:15 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.; and Sunday, 3:15 p.m. through November 16 at 506 Main St., downtown Fort Worth. Tickets are $8-$14. Call (817) 338-4411.
Dracula: A recent Harper's article about transporting Albert Einstein's brain across America in the back of a rental car (ya had to read it) included, as part of its background, the fascinating and lucrative business of licensing dead celebrity images--and prosecuting those who displease the celebrities' estates with unauthorized images. Bela Lugosi Jr. helped start this tempest when he laid claim to some of the profits the Hollywood studio that produced Dracula made from reproducing his father's image. Lugosi Jr. is justly proud of his father's contribution to American cinema, and continues to appear at related public events on behalf of his father. Case in point--Michael Wehrli's world-premiere stage adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula. This year is the centennial anniversary of Stoker's novel, and Lugosi has been enticed to add his presence. Performances happen Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. through November 2 at The Corner Theatre in DeSoto Town Center, 211 E. Pleasant Run Road, DeSoto. A special performance takes place October 19 at 8 p.m., with a reception honoring Bela Lugosi Jr. Tickets are $10-$12. Call (972) 680-4466.
Myron Wood: Inner Light: Myron Gilmore Wood intended to study piano at the Yale Graduate School of Music when he was a young man, but the 76-year-old's plans took a dramatic turn southward when he saw "the diamond-hard light" of the Southwest. After that, working under the influence of pioneers like Edward Weston and Roy Emerson Stryker, Wood emerged as the imagemaker of the natural contours of states such as Arizona and New Mexico. Photographic Archives Gallery is the Dallas stop for a national touring exhibit entitled Myron Wood: Inner Light. The show offers a retrospective of 50 photos--many of them personally selected by Wood--that span the years 1959-1980. The show opens with a reception October 18, 7-9:30 p.m., and runs through January 4 at the Photographic Archives Gallery, 5117 W. Lovers Lane. Call (214) 352-3166.
Cassio Vasconcellos: Photographs Do Not Bend brings Dallas a U.S. premiere--the first American solo exhibition by the Brazilian photographer Cassio Vasconcellos. He is critically lauded in Europe, but in America, Vasconcellos, like many other South American artists, is either overlooked or swallowed into the faceless blob known as "multiculturalism." Through his manipulation of photographic processes, Vasconcellos' portraits often resemble paintings--he applies photographic developer with various fibers, mashes different perspectives together, and generally nudges viewers into an entirely different attitude toward objects and scenes we normally take for granted. Vasconcellos' show opens October 17 and runs through November 29, with a reception scheduled for the artist November 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. Photographs Do Not Bend is located at 3115 Routh St. Call (214) 969-1852.