William Manchee could be Dallas' answer to John Grisham. Manchee, an author who has maintained a private law firm in Dallas since 1975, recently published Brash Endeavour, a page-turning tale of a small-time lawyer in over his head with some big-time clients. Just like in Grisham's books, the protagonist appears to be a thinly veiled version of Manchee. The novel follows Stan Turner--the character that Manchee introduced in the well-received Undaunted--as he moves to Dallas to open up his own law practice and becomes involved with an insurance scam that ends up with his wife being falsely accused of murder. It sounds like just the kind of potboiler that Grisham is known for. Let's just hope Manchee doesn't option any of his books to movie producers. Manchee will sign and discuss copies of Brash Endeavour at Borders Books & Music, located at Preston Road and Royal Lane, on Thursday, July 30, at 7 p.m. Call (214) 363-1977.
Most comedy troupes vow to perform a different show every night; Lone Star Comedy has the best chance of actually fulfilling that promise. With a rotating cast of 28 members, the company has more interchangeable parts than a box of Legos, and that versatility enables Lone Star Comedy to present a distinct performance nightly. One of the highlights of the troupe's show is "Outside Dallas," a long-form improvisation piece that is based on audience suggestions and the performers' quick wits, kind of like a live version of Mad Libs. The troupe performs at Addison's WaterTower Theatre, located at 15650 Addison Road, beginning on Friday, and shows continue through August 29. Shows happen each Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with a Saturday late show at 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 on Fridays and $12 on Saturdays (or $20 for both Saturday shows). Call (972) 450-6232
With big-budget effects films like Armageddon in every cineplex from here to Canada, it's refreshing to see a film from a time when the "special effects" meant a trip to the toy store. The effects in Rudolph Mate's 1951 film When Worlds Collide are anything but special by today's standards, but way back when, George Pai's intergalactic ark and other effects were considered revolutionary. The movie seems a little campy now, but the plot--a runaway planet on a collision course with Earth--has obviously withstood the test of time. Sound vaguely familiar to anyone? It should, because the film was, indeed, the basis for many of the scenes in Armageddon. When Worlds Collide plays at the Landmark's Inwood Theatre, located at Lovers and Inwood, at midnight Saturday. Call (214) 352-6040.
For everyone who believes that they have lived more past lives than Shirley MacLaine, Creative Organizations presents Dallas' oldest and largest Psychic Fair. The fair will feature more than 40 professional psychic readers from the metroplex, and all kinds of new-age crystals, books, tapes, and candles. However, the most important feature of the fair in our minds is the on-site massage booth. We have a feeling our lifelines would be a lot longer if we could just get someone to work on that knot we have in our lower back. The Psychic Fair takes place Sunday at the Holiday Inn Select Hotel, located at I-635 and Jupiter Road. The fair lasts from noon until 6 p.m. Admission is $7. Call (972) 241-4876.
Dave & Buster's restaurant looks like one of those brass-and-wood joints where men go to smoke cigars and eat steak. At least, that's the way the front room looks. If you walk all the way to the back, the decor is more Chuck E. Cheese than anything else, featuring just about any kind of game you can imagine, from old-fashioned skee ball to newer virtual reality games, and everything in between. In many ways, it's also like a casino, without a window in sight or a clock on the wall. A few weekends ago, we wasted almost three hours in the game room before we realized what time it was. The food is good--typical T.G.I. Friday's fare--but the real attraction here is the game room. Just wear a watch. Dave & Buster's has two locations in the metroplex: 10727 Composite Drive, and the In The Corner Shopping Center, 8021 Walnut Hill Lane at Central Expressway. Call (214) 353-0620 or (214) 361-5553.
Photographic Archives Lab and Gallery has hosted some fine photography exhibits in the past few months, including Ken Wagnon's Structures, an unusual take on nudes. The Texas Photographic Society's Sixth Annual Governor's Exhibition continues the winning streak by presenting 58 photographs by 41 award-winning photographers from around the state. Arthur Ollman, director of the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, presided over this year's juried exhibit and chose a variety of images--everything from rich portraiture and landscapes to personal documentaries. The Texas Photographic Society's Sixth Annual Governor's Exhibition opens at Photographic Archives Lab and Gallery, located at 5117 Lovers Lane, on Saturday, August 1, and continues through August. Call (214) 352-3167.
The Lakewood Theatre continues its weekday classics series with a presentation of The Great Ziegfield, the massive biopic about the quick rise of Broadway impresario Florenz Ziegfield, which won an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1936. In honor of its 60-year anniversary, the historic theater presents classic films from the '30s every other week and rolls back ticket prices to that period as well. For the screening of The Great Ziegfield, admission is 15 cents, and popcorn is a quarter. It's a good chance for everyone who has heard baby boomers gripe about going to a movie, buying a soda and popcorn, and then getting candy from the drugstore--all for less than a dollar--to see what they missed. The screening happens on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Lakewood Theatre. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m.; doors open at 7 p.m. Call (214) 827-