These Nervous Days: Much like Spalding Gray's recently filmed one-man show Gray's Anatomy, performance artist Justin Chin's These Nervous Days uses the author's own maladies--in this case, his lactose intolerance and juvenile arthritis--as a springboard into studies of mortality, the deterioration process, and the cottage industries, some legit but many not, that have sprung up to convince us that we don't have to die. Justin Chin, a San Francisco-based poet and performer, has been chosen to open the McKinney Avenue Contemporary's new national performance art series entitled "Conscious Chronicles: New Left Coast Performance." Chin ricochets between a childhood spent in his father's medical clinic and Hollywood and Sunday-school takes on death. Performances happen November 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. Tickets are $7-$10. Call (214) 953-1212.
5th Annual Art & Antiques Auction and Gala: With local big wheels Ruth and Kenneth Altshuler chairing the 5th Annual Art & Antiques Auction and Gala, you can be assured that the usual junk that is stored under the category "antiques"--a decent but chipped and incomplete china set, or your grandfather's cheap but very old rifle--simply won't pass muster. Oriental rugs, side tables, vanity cabinets, and architectural drawings are among the antiques on the block, with art donated from the esteemed collections of Stanley Marcus, Margaret Ann Cullum, and Caroline Rose Hunt. Unless your wallet can double as a futon, we doubt there's much here for you. If you can't afford to participate in the silent auction, buffet, and live jazz, perhaps you're in the class that's earmarked to benefit--proceeds go to the Housing Crisis Center, an organization that attempts to find homes for homeless families. The event happens at 6:30 p.m. at the Trammell Crow Pavilion in the Dallas Arts District. For information call (214) 828-4244.
Quartetto Gelato: Along with the likes of Kronos Quartet and Turtle Island String Quartet, the celebrated Canadian "new classical" outfit Quartetto Gelato is raising the hackles of classical purists by daring to mix in jazz, opera, folk, and various ethnic blends into its repertoire. They seem to be compounding that respectability problem with their ice-cream-sweet name, which might be read as a frolicsome title or a raised middle finger to the dead European male club. The members of Quartetto Gelato don't make any pretense about their selections of airier material--chances are you won't hear Shostakovich on one of their programs--so let the listener beware. They give one performance under the TITAS (Texas International Theatrical Arts Society) umbrella at 8 p.m. at McFarlin Auditorium on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $7-$40. Call (214) 528-5576.
Dona Rosita's Jalapeno Kitchen: You could retitle Ruby Nelda Perez's one-woman show Dona Rosita's Jalapeno Kitchen something like One Latina Sittin' Around Talkin' and Bakin' and not lose anything in the translation. Perez comes to Dallas as part of Teatro Dallas' 5th International Theater Festival, but it won't be her first appearance under artistic director Cora Cardona's auspices. An American of Latin heritage, Perez represents the United States at the Festival with Dona Rosita, a monologue conceived and developed with playwright Rodrigo Duarte Clark from Teatro de la Esperanza. Our Lady of Jalapenos goes on a Dantean journey through the afterlife, dropping pearls of wisdom and baking hints in pursuit of the perfect hot pepper. Performances happen November 21 and 22 at 8:15 p.m. in Teatro Dallas, 2204 Commerce. Tickets are $15. Call (214) 741-6833.
Billy Budd: As if the world of opera hadn't already been claimed by gay men, the Dallas Opera presents a regular boy's club with its all-male production of the late gay composer Benjamin Britten's 1951 two-act version of Herman Melville's Billy Budd. Melville's own sexuality has been a source of speculation for some time now; it's hard not to be suspicious if you've ever encountered the scene in Moby Dick where shirtless sailors frolic on the deck rubbing handfuls of whale sperm oil on each other. And Britten, who died in 1976, was "out" before most people ever knew there was such a thing as a closet. Look for the homoerotic tension between the angelically primitive title character and the tyrant Captain Vere to be highlighted, thanks to a libretto co-written by E.M. Forster, another wearer of the green carnation. Performances are November 21, 7:30 p.m.; November 23, 2 p.m.; November 25, 7:30 p.m. and November 29, 7:30 p.m. at Music Hall in Fair Park. Tickets are $29-$150. Call (214) 443-1000.