The South Dallas Cultural Center has started to establish a strong presence with its once-a-month Black Cinematique film series and midnight Jammin' at the Center jam sessions. This month, the SDCC solidifies its third-Friday lineup by adding the J&J Group, a musical theater group managed by longtime Dallas arts-scene fixtures Nedra James and Ramona Jackson. In celebration of Juneteenth, the J&J Group will perform Bits of Ain't Misbehavin', an adapted version of the Tony Award-winning musical. The J&J Group's debut performance happens on Friday, June 19, at 10 p.m. A second performance of Bits of Ain't Misbehavin' will be held the following night at 8 p.m. The South Dallas Cultural Center is located at 3400 S. Fitzhugh. Call (214) 939-ARTS.
Frank Sinatra was already being eulogized long before he died. In the past year alone, more than a dozen books were published about the Chairman of the Board. One of the most interesting of these books was Esquire senior writer Bill Zehme's The Way You Wear Your Hat: Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin'. Written with Sinatra's cooperation, the book is a collection of anecdotes, rare interviews, and candid photos outlining the leader of the Rat Pack's personal code, from how much cuff should show underneath a suit jacket to how to treat a lady. Zehme is more than a little awestruck at times, but the book is an entertaining look at the Sinatra mystique. In the wake of Sinatra's recent passing, Club Clearview and Red will host Frank Sinatra and The Lost Art of Livin', a tribute to Ol' Blue Eyes that will feature a book-signing by Zehme. Also on hand will be about a hundred people who look like extras from Swingers, two former Playboy playmates, and Tony Ocean and his Orchestra. It's probably not as stylish as the kind of party Sinatra was accustomed to, but hey, how could it be? The event happens at Club Clearview and Red, located at 2803 Main, on Saturday, June 20. Doors open at 10 p.m. Admission is $6. Call (214) 939-0077.
One of the easiest ways to explain things we don't understand is to blame visitors from outer space. One of those things is the Sphinx, the ancient Egyptian sculpture with the head of a man and body of a lion. No one has been able to figure out why it's there or what it means. Graham Hancock, an award-winning British journalist and author of the books The Sign and the Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods, and The Message of the Sphinx, thinks the Sphinx may have come from Mars. Well, the Sphinx itself didn't come from Mars, but the people who built it did. In his new book, The Mars Mystery, Hancock says that the Sphinx is a warning, left by a race of Martians who ended up on Earth after life on their planet was decimated by an enormous asteroid. He claims that the Martians built the Sphinx to indicate that the same thing could happen to our planet. His ideas sound crazy, but they are supported by several astronomers and scientists who believe that Earth is long overdue for a comet or asteroid to impact. Then again, those same scientists said not too long ago that they had found an asteroid that was on course to collide with us. Then they checked their math. Hancock will talk about his theories in a lecture presented by The Eclectic Viewpoint on Sunday, June 21. The lecture will happen at Crowne Plaza Suites, located at LBJ and Coit Road. Admission is $20. Call (972) 601-7687.
For two and a half decades, the photographs that appeared in Texas Monthly always lived up to Texas' reputation for being larger than life, whether it was a shot of the craggy features of dope-smoking outlaw Willie Nelson or of the skyscraping hair of some Houston socialite. The magazine has attracted some of the finest photographers around, including Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, and William Wegman. In honor of the magazine's 25th anniversary, more than 140 of these photographs have been collected in a book and a traveling exhibition, The Pictures of Texas Monthly: Twenty-Five Years. The exhibition recently opened at The Modern at Sundance Square and will be on view until August 2. The Modern is located at 1309 Montgomery St. in Fort Worth. Call (817) 738-9215.