Events for the week

Tex! The State of the Union: Writers don't stop struggling once they reap the (usually modest) benefits of actually getting paid for their words. Often, the bigger fight begins here, as wordsmiths find they must keep the market on their mind at the same time they write from their heart. This union of practicality and passion happens inside many published writers, and it also happens among the business-literary halves of writing journals. The Writer's Garret and the Austin Writers' League present a panel of staffers from Tex!, discussing how, in their words, "literature liberals and publishing conservatives united to produce a new literary journal." The event happens at 3 p.m. upstairs at Paperbacks Plus, 6115 La Vista. It's free, but donations are gratefully accepted. Call (214) 828-1715.

march 2
Sofa Not Included: The phrase "sofa art" is imbued with such contempt not because of the art itself, but because of the sofa that's determining its placement in the room. Phrases like "focal point" and "center of vision" are introduced to the hanging of art when interior design collides with creative expression. But this may not be such a bad collision, at least according to the artists behind the gallery:untitled show Sofa Not Included. Five different artists have contributed work in different media to a show that includes moveable couches, so you can see how the stuff looks when aesthetic considerations overtake artistic ones. Viewers will also view the work of Chad Farris, a visually impaired painter. The show runs through March 21 at gallery:untitled, 3603 Parry Ave. The gallery is open Wednesday-Saturday or by appointment daily. Call (214) 821-1685.

march 3
Long Day's Journey Into Night: The Dallas Theater Center may not be breaking any new theatrical ground with a production of one of the most lyrically tortured family dramas in the history of American theater (and given the amounts of torture and lyricism that have been poured into family memory plays on the American stage, that sets a high standard). But Long Day's Journey Into Night, Eugene O'Neill's semi-autobiographical story of one adult son loosening the ties that bind, gag, and strangle, is so beautifully written and starkly observant, it's easy to take for granted: Nowadays, theater artists refer to it more than they actually stage it. Richard Hamburger hopes to mess things up a bit by presenting this smothering drama on a wide stage inside the not-known-for-its-intimacy Arts District Theater. He performed a similar feat with the intricate psychological evolution in Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, so we'll see. Performances happen 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday through March 22 at the Arts District Theater. Tickets are $16-$49. Call (214) 522-TIXX.

march 4
The Pictures of Texas Monthly: Texans love to complain about how we're depicted as slow-talkin', tradition-lovin,' phrase-spoutin' eccentrics, but the truth is, we contribute to that image as much as anyone to fuel the Texana tourist trade. Case in point--almost all the lame "Texas culture" stories in Texas Monthly, which work overtime to present us as... well, slow-talkin', tradition-lovin,' phrase-spoutin' eccentrics. The terrific photos that run next to the silly copy have been assembled in one place. Some of the best pictures here are Texas subjects shot by non-Texans such as William Wegman, Annie Leibovitz, and Helmut Newton. The show runs through March 29 at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney. It's free. Call (214) 953-1212.

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