Turandot: Puccini may be the one to thank (or blame, depending on your perspective) for the late Jonathan Larson's wildly praised musical Rent, but it was an opera first produced in 1926, two years after Puccini's death, that proved the oft-heralded Italian composer had a much more cynical view of love and death than the starving artists of La Boheme suggest. The anti-heroine of Turandot is a princess so spoiled in her power, she makes her suitors solve three riddles--if they fail, they die. The dashing Prince Calaf is smart in the ways of life and love, and turns Turandot's little game against her. Do we detect some unresolved relationship issues on the part of Puccini? If so, the world was the beneficiary of his bitterness. Performances by the Dallas Opera happen at 7:30 p.m. January 30 and February 4 and 7; with a matinee at 2 p.m. February 1 at the Music Hall in Fair Park. Tickets are $29-$150. Call (214) 443-1000.
Garland Symphony Orchestra: In a town that often seems more concerned with importing talent who have made their names in other cities than honoring the up-and-comers here, it's nice to see a local performance outfit give a featured spot to someone whose talents were cultivated right here (but most assuredly won't be confined). Before she reached her current age of 20, violinist Madeline Adkins was named the concertmaster of both the Chamber and Symphony Orchestras of the University of North Texas and did the same at the National Orchestra Institute at the University of Maryland. She's earned the triple-threat of student musician citations--National Merit Scholar, Winspear Scholar, and Presser Scholar. When not busy making the rest of us feel like losers, Adkins performs at music festivals all over the country. She is solo violinist for the Garland Symphony Orchestra's third concert of the season. The performance starts at 8 p.m. at the Garland Performing Arts Center, Fifth and Austin, downtown Garland. Tickets are $9-$24. Call (214) 553-1223.
CD/FW Dance Exchange: A Choreographer's Showcase: Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth continues its commitment to an endangered species--the independent choreographer--by hosting yet another "Choreographer's Showcase." As usual, the program is a grab-bag of styles and moods, from a funereal contemporary set to classical music, to a comic exploration of women on a desperate manhunt. The former, "Triptych for Darryl," is a tribute to the late dancer-choreographer Darryl Sneed by Nova Dance Company; the latter is a romp created by Cecelia Heimbach and Collette Stewart and based on their own reading of women's magazines. Both are premieres, as are works by Doug Hopkins, Alex Spitzer and Shannon Schmieding, and Andrea Beckham. The event happens at 7:30 p.m. January 29, and 8 p.m. January 30 and 31 at Orchestra Hall, 4401 Trail Lake, Fort Worth. Tickets are $8-$15. Call (214) 871-ARTS.
Texas Art & Rubber Stamp Festival: Reading the press materials from Rosedale, California, for the Texas Art & Rubber Stamp Festival in Grapevine is like stepping into one of SCTV's better alternative universes; the phrase "eagerly anticipated" for this most mundane of hobbies is invoked constantly. But how mundane is rubber-stamp collecting? Not at all for hundreds of thousands of people across North America, many of them kids with the attention spans of a housefly; get an enthusiastic youngster to show you his or her stampers and stamp books, and you'll be struck by the mysterious pull the phenomenon has on its acolytes. The show happens 10 a.m.-5 p.m. January 31 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. February 1 at the Grapevine Convention Center. Tickets are $4-$5. Call (916) 782-8823.
Blues Cabaret: It's easy to glamorize the blues-club scene of the '20s and '30s, especially by us palefaces who can't even imagine the segregation, dirt-floor poverty, and all-around second-class status from which these clubs provided escape. (One thing that's a near-universal horror, to Southerners anyway: no A.C. back then!) Fort Worth's Jubilee Theatre wants to capture the ecstasy and catharsis of The Old Days, which weren't exactly Good, and leave behind the social conditions that made those celebrations a dire necessity. Their "Blues Cabaret" is 75 minutes of classic blues, both of the juke-jumping variety and the slow, mournful laments. The show runs every Friday and Saturday, 11 p.m., through March 7 at Jubilee Theatre, 506 Main St. in downtown Fort Worth. For ticket info call (817) 338-4411.