Everyone knows who Ron Kirk and John Wiley Price are. But not many people know who inspired them. In his exhibit I am because they were..., local artist David Goff nudges some of these people into the spotlight for the first time. Through his series of portraits of several prominent African-American citizens, including Kirk with his mother and Price with his teacher, Goff gives some unsung heroes a chance to shine, and maybe influence another generation. I am because they were... hangs at the South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 S. Fitzhugh, through January 2. Goff will be at the gallery on December 10 at 6 p.m. Call (214) 939-2787.
It's difficult to stage a bad production of Charles Dickens' classic Christmas tale, A Christmas Carol. Maybe it's the forgiveness of the holiday season, but every version we've ever seen seems better than the one before. Although we'd have to confess that the 1983 film A Christmas Story is our favorite thing to watch come Christmastime, any production of A Christmas Carol ranks a close second. So, there is a good chance we will be schlepping out to Mansfield for Main Street Theatre's take on the Dickens story, Mr. Scrooge, an upbeat version complete with song-and-dance numbers. We can hardly wait for the tap solo by the Ghost of Christmas Future. Mr. Scrooge plays every weekend, November 27 through December 12. Main Street Theatre, 107 N. Main in Mansfield. Call (817) 473-6060.
To many people, the only good things that ever came out of Cuba were cigars, a couple of good baseball players, and a conspiracy theory or two. The latest exhibition at Wharton Ltd., In and Out of Cuba, proves a few good artists have emerged from the country as well. The exhibit features more than 35 pieces by five contemporary Cuban visual artists, including Sergio Moreno Carmenate, Humberto Castro, Roberto Fabelo, Pedro Pablo Oliva, and Zaida Del Rio. In and Out of Cuba is stunning at times, but probably not good enough to rocket past cigars to the top of the list. Maybe someday. The exhibit continues through December 24 at Wharton Ltd., located at 2700 Fairmount. Call (214) 522-3303.
The "Mexican Elvis," El Vez, is one of the best Elvis Presley impersonators for one reason: He performs as the young, thin, pelvis-shaking Elvis. He doesn't do the old, bloated, karate-chopping, post-'68-comeback, Vegas version of The King. If you rounded up 10 Elvis impersonators, at least nine of them probably perform as Fat Elvis, mainly because it's much easier to do. Think about it: you don't have to be in shape, sing very well, or even look much like Presley for that matter. All you have to do is squeeze into a white polyester jumpsuit and sweat a lot into a scarf; it's child's play. El Vez also gets bonus points for being more than just an average Elvis mimic, roasting Presley chestnuts with a little south-of-the-border flavor. He may not be the best Elvis impersonator (and does anyone really care who is?), but he is definitely entertaining. El Vez performs at the Hard Rock Cafe, 2601 McKinney at Routh, at 8 p.m. Admission is $10. Call (214) 855-0007.
We don't mean to bring the room down, but to us, the holiday season has never been just a time to give and receive presents and drink enough eggnog to kill a thoroughbred. With joy comes a little pain, as we look around and remember all the familiar faces that aren't around anymore. But it doesn't make us sad, because we remember the good times, the great Christmas dinners or the drunken toasts. In that spirit--and in honor of World AIDS Day--the Holy Trinity Choir presents Musical Reverie, a collection of songs culled from musicals that allow people to remember those affected by HIV and AIDS. It's a good opportunity to take some time out before last-minute shopping gets in the way. The concert happens at 7 p.m. at Trinity Hall, 3811 Gilbert at Oak Lawn. Admission is free. Call (214) 528-9254.
Comedian Kevin Meaney has always seemed as if he might be more than a little crazy. As he stands on stage in suit and bow tie, it's not hard to imagine that he is a cast-off of the corporate world, a former 9-to-5 jobber who lost his mind under a pile of papers and reined it in enough to work it into his act. His frenetic routines are like watching a schizophrenic have a nervous breakdown. He barks faster than an auctioneer, tossing off punch lines like empty beer cans as he speeds down the road to the nuthouse. Meaney is also from the David Letterman school of comedy, meaning once he finds something the audience will laugh at, he'll beat you over the head with it for the rest of the night. It doesn't always work, especially when he flips out a little too much and completely abandons any pretense of telling jokes, but when it does, you can bet Meaney is one of the overlooked comedy talents of our time. Meaney performs at the Improv in Addison, December 2-6. Tickets are $12-$15. Call (972) 404-8501.