It's a shame that writer Larry L. King is best known for scripting the risque (at the time) musical comedy The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. A surprise hit in both its Broadway and big-screen adaptations, Whorehouse was frustratingly tame, a cliched tease that wasn't as sharp as it could have been. At his best--like in his early novels Confessions of a White Racist and The One-Eyed Man--King is a sharp social commentator, capable of mixing in humor at the tensest of moments. Hopefully, his appearance (as part of Arts & Letters Live's salute to Texas writers) will shed some light on his diverse projects that extend far beyond Whorehouse's limited scope. Actor G.W. Bailey will help King celebrate his forthcoming book, Collected Letters, as well as his recent True Facts, Tall Tales, and Pure Fiction. The event happens at 7:30 p.m. at the Dallas Museum of Art's Horchow Auditorium, located at 1717 N. Harwood. Single tickets are $14. Call (214) 922-1219 or (214) 922-1220.
No one could have predicted that Denton's Good/Bad Art Collective would have lasted more than a year, much less five. This week, the group celebrates a half-decade's worth of breaking boundaries (among other things) in its own inimitable fashion, with a pair of events that sum up the group's skewed agenda. On Friday, the G/BAC presents its latest benefit concert, Benefit 37: Pinch Hitter, featuring the three bands that have collaborated with the collective the most: Baboon, the Banes, and Dooms U.K. Audience members will receive set lists for each act before the show and will have the opportunity to fill in for band members on some songs. The anniversary celebration will continue Saturday with an exhibition that chronicles the recent interests of the individual members of the collective, Good/Bad Burns! The exhibition is inspired by artist Ed Ruscha's "Museum on Fire" series, and will feature, among other things, the Good/Bad building being consumed by flames. We're not sure what this means exactly. Knowing the Good/Bad Art Collective, anything could happen. The benefit happens at Dan's Bar, 119 S. Elm in Denton, at 9:30 p.m. The exhibit happens at the Good/Bad building, 120 Exposition in Denton, on Saturday at 8 p.m. Call (940) 591-1725.
Aztec culture is a mystery to most, a few pages in a history book read in junior high or a special on the Discovery Channel. Ollin-Tonatiuh, an Oak Cliff-based Mexica-Azteca dance group, has tried to keep the ancient civilization's traditions alive through its ritual dances and ceremonies. The group's celebration of the equinox was captured on film by photographer Jose Vargas, and the resulting exhibition, Danza, is stunning. Vargas' color and sepia-toned photographs have a gauzy, mystical quality that makes them seem as if they were snapped centuries ago. The exhibit may not answer many questions, but it's beautiful enough that it doesn't matter. Danza is on exhibit at the North Oak Cliff Branch Library, located at 302 W. 10th St., through May 30. Call (214) 670-7555.
The 1998 Greater DFW Spring Tour of New Homes, sponsored by the Greater Fort Worth Builders Association and Home & Apartment Builders Association of Metropolitan Dallas, offers people a chance to look at homes they couldn't possibly afford. Hey, there's nothing wrong with that. We're right there with you. Touring open houses is one of the overlooked forms of cheap entertainment. The food and drinks are free, and there's always a chance to break some salesperson's heart by pretending you want to buy. It only works a few times, but by then you're pretty tired of the whole tour. Believe us, it's worth it. The tour is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call (972) 399-TOUR for information about the tours in your area.
Don't take this the wrong way: We're not recommending you go see Pete Droge. Droge is a victim of over-hype; we were told he would be great before we even got a chance to see if he was good or not. Continually championed by people like Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready as "the next Tom Petty," Droge turned out to be the showroom version of Petty: all look, no songs. His new album, Spacy and Shaken, is an improvement, but then again, he had a lot of improving to do. So why are we even mentioning Droge? Well, he's playing at the Dark Room, and that's a good enough opportunity to mourn the passing of one of Dallas' most underrated clubs. The Dark Room--which will close its doors for the last time in the very near future--was viewed as an afterthought to most, though it shouldn't have been. It was a place to see a good show, have a few drinks, and not have your ears blown out. We're not saying you have to go see Pete Droge, but you definitely should go there and have one last beer. Droge plays at the Dark Room, located at 2713 Elm, on Monday. Doors open at 8 p.m. Call (214) 748-ROOM.
Everybody in Dallas knows who Ron Chapman is, even those who don't listen to his show on KVIL-FM. For what seems like an eternity, Chapman has been a fixture on Dallas radio airwaves in the mornings. But his influence reaches beyond his time slot. KVIL is, according to the press release, "one of the most imitated radio stations in the country." Whether that's true or not, Chapman has had a big hand in the station's success, both on the air and behind the scenes. As the final speaker in the Talk Series, he will explore the changes that have taken place in the radio business in the last few years in a talk titled "Ya' Mean We Have to Get Along???" Chapman will speak at the Park City Club on Tuesday at noon. Admission is $35 per person, including lunch. Call (214) 520-0206 to make reservations and for more information.
The towering majesty of Mount Everest and the towering screens of IMAX theaters are a perfect match, but the difficulty in filming with IMAX cameras, which are twice as heavy as normal film equipment, had kept the two apart until director David Breashears and his crew found a way to make it happen. Using experimental cameras, Breashears and his team scaled the peak only days after an avalanche had decimated another expedition. The life-and-death struggle to reach the top and the mountain's astounding visuals combined to make the resulting film, Everest, a masterpiece in large-format filmmaking. The 40-minute film has smashed box-office records for IMAX theaters, propelling Everest into the top 20 for all films, boasting a per-screen average that dwarfs even Titanic's impressive numbers. Everest plays at the Omni Theater in the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, located at 1501 Montgomery in Fort Worth. Call (817) 255-9300 for show times.