Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth: If you're a Dallas dance fan and new dance is what you're looking for, Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth opens its eighth performance season with an all-premiere program that would have to be still tapping around in the choreographer's head to get any newer. As usual, CD/FW isn't afraid to go for laughs with their original stuff, so two highlights of the evening are Kerry Kreiman's The Mystery Dance, which uses a game show host, road signs, and the music of Brave Combo to comic effect; and Baby Boom, a slapstick glance at the biological clock using music and visual styles from the '60s. Dallas choreographer Lily Cabatu Weiss' A Troubled Resting Place... offers a stark contrast, as the title suggests. Events happen November 14 at 8 p.m. and November 15 at 2 and 8 p.m. at the Ed Landreth Auditorium, University Drive at Cantey, on the campus of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. Tickets are $8-$15. Call (214) 871-ARTS.
The Conquerors From the Northern Frontier: Teatro Dallas opens its 5th International Theatre Festival with a production that combines talents from Canada and Costa Rica. Canadian actor-writer-director Luis Thenon presents his Kafka-esque study of political repression The Conqueror of the Northern Country as a two-person show with Costa Rican actress Maria Bonilla. They portray a man and a woman enclosed by a fence and doomed to repeat the same rituals. Take note: The show is performed in Spanish with some French. Performances happen November 14 and 15 at 8:15 p.m., with a special opening reception with live music at the Dallas Grand Hotel on November 14. Performances happen at 2204 Commerce. Call (214) 741-6833.
Lone Star Comedy: Comedy impresario Randy Bennett was a founding member of the L.A.-based comedy troupe The Groundlings and helped launch the careers of alumni Phil Hartman and Lisa Kudrow. He then turned around and operated Groundlings schools in Los Angeles and New York that educated George Clooney, Helen Hunt, and Daryl Hannah, among others. Transplanted to Texas, Bennett has been rounding up some of the most frequently employed TV, film, and stage actors who live in North Texas (yes, a living can be made, but often barely) for Lone Star Comedy, his new Fort Worth venture that hopes to cultivate a similar scene here. The debut run of the troupe happens November 14 and 15, 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., at Circle Theatre, 230 W. Fourth St, Fort Worth. Tickets are $8-$10. Call (817) 877-3040.
Carrot Top: We know we're supposed to be too cerebral to laugh at Carrot Top, the henna-mopped, high-caffeine master of props, but his relentlessness almost always knocks down our "that's so silly" wall and hammers our funny bone. Ever see Mr. Top do his shtick about terrifying the employees of various Wendy's establishments by putting his hair in pigtails, sticking his head into the drive-through window, and shouting, "Get busy"? And then there's his greatest invention, the tequila bottle with a note pad attached so you can scribble your apologies in advance. Carrot Top is upholding an all-but-dead vaudevillian tradition known as sight gag comedy, and since we've never actually seen him in a full-length show, we wonder--will people find his toy chest full of gimmicks funny for a whole hour? He performs at 7 p.m. at the Bronco Bowl on Fort Worth Avenue. Tickets are $20-$23. Call (214) 373-8000.
Art History of the Five Civilized Tribes: To Anglo Americans today as to AAs two hundred years ago, American Indian culture was one red monolith. But outsiders should have known by the sheer frequency of intertribal warfare that there were differences between the various tribes important enough to kill for. Visual art truly is the eyes of a civilization, and The Bath House Cultural Center presents an exhibit called "Art History of the Five Civilized Tribes" that illuminates the subtle but important variations among Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, and Creek tribes. Edward Hummingbird, the proprietor of The Gallery of Native American Art in Dallas, is guest curator. A public reception with Hummingbird happens this evening at 6-8 p.m. The show runs through November 26 at The Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther. Call (214) 670-8749.
Fil Alexander-Moegerle: So you say names like Pat Robertson, Flip Benham, and Donald Wildmon are the first that leap into your head when you think of the religious right's culture war? They're just among the more loudmouthed soldiers. One of the captains is businessman James Dobson, and he's all the more powerful because his ministry, whose national broadcasts are called Focus on the Family, has built a grassroots political structure as powerful and pervasive as, say, Benham's and Wildmon's are blustery and unsophisticated. Fil Alexander-Moegerle, a former executive in Dobson's organization turned disgruntled anti-right winger, has written a book called James Dobson's War on America that purports to expose the capitalist underpinnings of Dobson's moral crusade. Alexander-Moegerle appears to discuss and sign his book at 3 p.m. at Crossroads Market & Bookstore, 3930 Cedar Springs Road. Call (214) 521-8919.