Conversation Pieces: Short Stories From Long-Term Memory: Texas artist Kathy Lovas found herself in the horrible state that thousands of other adults do every year: working with an aging parent who has Alzheimer's. That degenerative condition creates a unique situation: Short-term memory zaps out, but long-term recollection comes flooding back. Inspired by her mother's condition, Lovas has created a show of photographs and text that uses chairs, dim light bulbs, and books to recreate moments from her family history (including World War II experiences). At the same time, she explores the tricks that everyone's memory plays with personal narratives. The show runs through March 7 at Handley-Hicks Gallery, 6515 E. Lancaster, Fort Worth. (817) 446-5004.
Latin American Evening: Teatro Dallas opens its 1998 season with a night of three one-act plays, written and directed by Latino artists, that explore poverty and sexuality in different cities and eras. Anton Arrufat's The Repetition has Teatro artistic director Cora Cardona revisiting Havana slums in the 1940s and finds slapstick possibilities in neighborhood politics. The Little Gay Immigrant That Could and Hispanically Correct are two pieces that deal with the collision between sexual identity and immigrant status; both come from the wildly successful Los Angeles production Men on the Verge of a Hispanic Breakdown. Finally, Jorge Diaz's I Die, Therefore I Am is an absurdist take on what happens when poor people meet profit-driven hospitals. Performances happen Wednesday-Saturday, 8:15 p.m., at Teatro Dallas, 2204 Commerce. Tickets are $12; Wednesdays are $5, and Thursdays are two-for-one at $12. Call (214) 741-1135.
RetroFest '98: "Calendar" is distinctly immune to displays of nostalgia, whether it's remembering the wholesome '50s or the revolutionary '60s for everything they weren't. But the month-long, multi-event Fort Worth history lesson known as RetroFest, which takes one decade from the 20th century and relives its culture, events, and politics, offers such a broad view, we can't help but be intrigued. The '40s are being revived for RetroFest '98. Opening events include the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet, which presents performances honoring the music of Glenn Miller at 8 p.m. February 13 and 14 at the Tarrant County Convention Center Theatre in downtown Fort Worth. Tickets are $9-$44. "Flight in the Forties," an overview of flying World War II craft that includes talks by the pilots who flew them, happens morning and afternoon February 14 at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, 1501 Montgomery St., Fort Worth. Call (817) 654-1356.
38th Annual Dallas Autorama: If you have to be nostalgic about something, it's best to attach your fond memories to something concrete: or better yet, something chrome, steel, and rubber. Vintage cars are one of the top attractions at the 38th Annual Dallas Autorama, including a display of the "original" Little Deuce Coup (may we see a certificate of authenticity, please?) that the Beach Boys made famous as well as Mercurys and Chevy coupes from the '50s. There are the usual inexplicable celebrity appearances, from Baywatch supervixen Donna D'Errico and Cowboys safety Darren "I've Never Been Accused of Anything" Woodson. Events happen 5-10:30 p.m. February 13; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. February 14; and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. February 15 at Market Hall. Tickets are $4-$9. Call (972) 732-6100.
The Bible Code: For most of the 2,000 years of the Christian church, people have been reading things into Biblical texts that others didn't see--the result is what we call "denominations," otherwise known as the chalk line that separates me (saved eternally) from you (hell-bound). The North Texas Skeptics would have a hell of a time tackling that curious phenomenon with one of their talks, so they've opted for a different but related topic: the so-called "Bible Code," a very bold Biblical interpretation that claims prophecy can be deciphered using alphabetical and numerical formulas. Gregory Aicklen, a computer software specialist from Richardson, discusses computer examinations of Biblical texts and how the examiners have found what they claim they've found. The talk happens at 2 p.m. at the Center for Community Cooperation, 2900 Live Oak. It's free. Call (972) 306-3187.
Valentine's Day Lock-In: For couples who have children, coordinating a proper Valentine's Day Love-In can be a nightmare of half-explanations and changes of conversation. Why are the adults suddenly buying AA batteries and chocolate syrup in bulk around the beginning of February? Why have key paragraphs from Freud's chapter on "The Primal Scene" been underlined and kept by the parental bedside? Avoid the embarrassing questions (at best), and the adolescent therapy bills (at worst), and use the Richardson YWCA's adult-supervised, all-night Valentine's Day Lock-In. Your kids get pizza, movies, crafts, swimming, video games, and breakfast, and you get the kind of marathon bone-fracturing, muscle-straining love-a-thon that only an entire night free of the progeny will allow. The drop-off time is 7 p.m., and the pick-up is 8 a.m. the following morning. (A little early for the day after a night of torrid passion, perhaps, but still better than hiring a sitter and slipping off to Motel 6 for an evening.) Fee is $20 per kid. Call (972) 231-7201.
Paul Zim, the Jewish Music Man: Rabbi Frank Joseph is currently the lead man o' the cloth at the Irving Havurah Synagogue, but he used to wear another yarmulke--programmer of KNON's "Jewish Music Hour." From his broadcast tower, he heavily promoted the music of legendary Jewish performer Paul Zim, whose 30 professional years and 25 albums covering every possible school of pre- and post-Hebrew compositions have earned him the nickname "The Jewish Music Man." Rabbi Joseph and Sherrie Stohl, a Carrollton songwriter, now bring Paul Zim to Dallas for his first solo appearance (and his first Dallas gig, period, since 1975). The performance happens at 3 p.m. at the Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving. Tickets are $5-$15. Call (972) 259-9602.
Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist: We're not generally in the habit of recommending films whose lead subjects hammer nails into their genitals for the camera, but Kirby Dick's remarkably poignant (yep, we chose the right adjective) Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist confirms that pre-millennial documentary filmmakers are beating the snot out of the directors of indie fiction flicks in terms of telling affecting, original stories. Bob Flanagan is the late performance artist whose lifelong, painful bout with the degenerative disease cystic fibrosis fueled his interest in masochism and body modification. Flanagan and his girlfriend-dominator Sheree Rose (literally) bared all for the filmmakers, as did Flanagan's endlessly patient parents, who struggle throughout the film to understand his obsessions. Given its Dallas premiere by the USA Film Festival, Sick is definitely not for the squeamish. But those who take this adventure will find themselves understanding Bob's strange motivations to a degree they wouldn't have thought possible. The screening happens at 7:30 p.m. at the AMC Glen Lakes, 9450 N. Central Expressway. Tickets are $7. Call (214) 821-NEWS.
Falcons: Back From the Brink at 200 MPH: As information-age civilization pushes us farther and farther back from direct connection to the earth, preservationists have a harder time impressing on people the mechanisms of ecological systems and how the elimination of one species throws other things out of whack. To most of us ignoramuses, it all sounds like a bunch of "tree-hugging crap," to quote South Park's Cartman. The Dallas Museum of Natural History attempts to cut through the crap and impress the importance of ecological balance on our media-sodden souls with a show called Falcons: Back from the Brink at 200 MPH. The lesson about the raptors' near extinction and tentative salvation features demonstrations wit the birds themselves. Opening weekend festivities happen 10 a.m.-5 p.m. February 14 and 15. The show runs daily through May 24 at the Dallas Museum of Natural History in Fair Park. Tickets are $2.50-$4. Call (214) 520-3666.
Weekday Classics: The Lakewood Theatre continues its flirtation with returning to the Granada's '70s and '80s halcyon days of repertory cinema in Dallas with a celebration of its 60-year anniversary. Comparing today's prices with those in 1938, the good old days do start to seem pretty damn good, bloody world war and all. For the next several weeks, the Lakewood presents "Weekday Classics," screenings of classic films from six decades ago. The first film to show on the weekday program is William Wyler's 1938 Jezebel, for which Bette Davis took home her second Oscar and forever established the "ice queen in a Suhthuhn hothouse" standard. No one makes a hoop skirt more diabolical. The shows run Tuesday-Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., at the Lakewood Theatre. Admission is 15 cents; popcorn is 25 cents. Call (214) 824-1203.