Walter Koenig's appearance in Dallas--signing copies of his new book, Warped Factors: A Neurotic's Guide to the Universe--is sure to send Trekkies scurrying for their Spock ears and Klingon dictionaries. Koenig, better known as Pavel Chekov on the original Star Trek television and film series, has filled his book with insider accounts of his time on the Trek set and the years he spent watching Bill Shatner go through a series of hair hats that would make even Burt Reynolds cringe. A lengthy jab at the typical Trekkie was planned here, until someone reminded us that a few weeks ago we spent an hour waiting for the autograph of Anthony Daniels, who starred as C-3PO in the Star Wars trilogy. One shouldn't throw stones if his glass house has a replica of the Millennium Falcon in it. The book signing happens at 7:30 p.m. at Borders Books & Music, 5500 Greenville at Lovers Lane. It's free. Call (214)739-1166.
We never much cared for The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the 1975 musical parody that practically invented the midnight screening. So when the press release for Vampire Lesbians of Sodom mentioned that it was "a farce cut right out of the Rocky Horror genre," it wasn't exactly enticing. The play (which, incidentally, has nothing to do with lesbians) reads more like a road-company staging of Anne Rice's Interview With the Vampire. Vampire Lesbians is, however, worth checking out, if only to see the other short play it's paired with, Sleeping Beauty, or Coma. Coma, an updated version of the Sleeping Beauty fable set in swinging 1960s London, is escapism at its best, made better by the fact that it prowls the same territory as Mike Myers' suave secret agent Austin Powers. Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and Sleeping Beauty, or Coma open Friday at 8:15 p.m. at the Pegasus Theatre, 3916 Main, and continue through June 6. Tickets are $12-$15. Call (214) 821-6005.
In celebration of National Poetry Month, Aardvark Studios owner David Alvey has rounded up a group of local artists--among them Gillian Dreesen, Chandra Armstead, and Eli Lorenz--to visually interpret the poetry found in his "Art's Alive" chapbook, a collection of poetry performed at his studio and gallery. The resulting exhibit, Art's Alive Lives, kicks off with a reading from the chapbook, featuring local poets John Powell, Silverhawk, and Alvey. The reading and exhibit happen at 7 p.m. at Upstairs at Paperbacks Plus, 6115 La Vista; the exhibit continues through May 23. It's free. Call (972) 699-8953.
Perhaps the only thing scarier than rumors of a fifth installment of the increasingly tiresome Batman film series is Mr. Freeze, Six Flags Over Texas' newest thrill ride. Claiming to be the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the Southwest, Mr. Freeze hurls adventure seekers down its tracks at speeds of up to 70 mph, and launches them 236 feet into the Arlington skies. Even at a fraction of that speed, Mr. Freeze seems infinitely more interesting than the movie it's based on. It's hard to say which is faster: the coaster or Batman and Robin's stint in theaters. Six Flags Over Texas is open on weekends until May 8, when it opens for daily operation. Tickets are $26-$32. Call (817) 530-6000.
Probably no race has been more underappreciated for its contribution to literature than American Indians. Their writing, overshadowed by academia's focus on their oral folklore, has influenced not only works of southwestern writers, but American literature as a whole. Dr. Ken Roemer, an English professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, will speak about some of the forefathers of contemporary American Indian literature--N. Scott Momaday, Simon Ortiz, and Leslie Marmon Silko--in his lecture Founding Voices: Momaday, Silko, Ortiz, presented as part of WordSpace's series Native Tongues: Listening to Contemporary Native American Writers. The event happens at 8 p.m. at WordSpace, 1910 Mecca. Admission is $5 (free to WordSpace members). Call (214) 821-9671.
Ranking somewhere behind Astroturf and divisional playoffs on baseball purists' list of gripes is expansion. It dilutes the game, they cry. And, for the most part, they're right. The addition of two new teams--the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays--has created jobs for 40 or so guys who otherwise would have spent this season toiling in the bush leagues. The Devil Rays have been quietly successful, winning four of their first six games to tie the 1962 Houston Colt 45s and 1977 Toronto Blue Jays for the best start by an expansion team. The Texas Rangers get their first look at their new American League foes when the Devil Rays come to town for a three-game series. The game starts at 7:35 p.m. at The Ballpark in Arlington, 1000 Ballpark Way. Tickets are $4-$30. Call (817) 273-5100.
Blame Douglas Coupland. His 1991 novel Generation X capsulized a group of twentysomethings no one had paid much attention to before. Now seemingly everything is geared toward that group. Post-Generation X, every film has to have a pot-smoking, disillusioned slacker--usually played by Ethan Hawke--whose only job seems to be pondering the meaning of life. Carrying the trend into the theater world, New Visions, New Voices, a festival of new plays by students in SMU's playwriting program, features Morpheus and Mab, described as "a comedy about members of Generation X searching for the meaning of life." One hopes that the play format will at least preclude any kitschy re-evaluation of '70s culture . Are we the only ones who didn't like The Partridge Family the first time? The festival--which also includes HISTRIONICA, with Banjo Music, and Didymus--happens at the Margo Jones Theatre, located at Hillcrest and Binkley Avenues in the Meadows School of the Arts. It runs nightly at 8 p.m. through April 26. Tickets are $5-$8. Call (214) 768-2787.