This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, March 27

ThursdayWe'd like to see Hugh Grant and John Cusack duke it out over whether Yanks or Brits better portray the 30-something scoundrel with the mind of an adolescent that they both played in the films About A Boy and High Fidelity. But a much better choice might be a novelist, and it's not Nick Hornby himself. It's Rick Marin, a writer for The New York Times and Newsweek whose first book has been optioned by Miramax. Called Cad: Confessions of a Toxic Bachelor, it's Marin's candid discussion of the years following his divorce when he lured in ladies with a suave removal of his horn-rimmed glasses and the mention of his failed nuptials. Marin will discuss his book during Authors at the Adolphus, a lunch and book-chat series. A three-course lunch will be served at noon, followed by Marin's talk. Admission is $36. The Adolphus Hotel, 1321 Commerce St. Call 214-651-3505.

While we're waiting for the approval of National Take Your Iguana to Work Day and Texas Candy Corn Day, we'll bide our time with World Theatre Day. Sponsored by UNESCO's Ninth World Congress of the International Theatre Institute, the program includes theaters across the globe--from Egypt to Chile to Big D--performing to earn money for charities. But the main purpose, according to this year's theme, is to determine, "Is theater still relevant to the time?" The Undermain Theatre will take this challenge when it brings World Theatre Day to Dallas with its performance of Celebrating Artists and Audiences: 100 Minutes of World Theatre, which features Dallas actors such as Katherine Owens and Bruce DuBose performing 10-minute readings from 10 international playwrights. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. Reservations are recommended. The Undermain Theatre, 3200 Main St., Deep Ellum. Call 214-747-5515.

Friday, March 28

FridayComedian Sheryl Underwood's politics are similar to many of the conservative Christian white men in Washington, D.C. The difference is she's a woman and she's African-American. And despite considering herself "sexually progressive" (we've never heard Bob Dole say that, Viagra endorsement and Pepsi commercial with Britney Spears notwithstanding) she's still a "God-fearing conservative Republican" at heart, and her act reflects that despite the heavy blue tones she applies like a top coat. Sheryl Underwood performs at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $17 to $20. Improvisation, 4980 Belt Line Road. Call 972-404-8501.

Saturday, March 29

SaturdayHere's some good news for that subcategory of art lovers who enjoy taking in their art while gnawing on a soft pretzel or turkey leg: There's a new arts festival in town. During the Katy Trail/Knox Street Art Festival, more than 40 artists, including Dale Moses, Anna Cool, Niki Gulley and organizer Nick Spink, will exhibit their works (which range from the two-dimensional gallery-worthy kind to the arts and crafts sort) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The festival, which also includes the usual food and beverage vendors, takes place along the Katy Trail on Knox Street between Travis Street and Abbott Avenue. A companion festival follows in late September near the Trinity River basin. For more information, visit the Web site (www.dallasartfestival.com).

Sunday, March 30

SundayModern artists are one part Picasso and one part P.T. Barnum. At least that's what we think when we look at some art and realize the only difference between one man's scribble and another man's stroke of genius is that the latter found someone else to buy it and deem it brilliant. Maybe we should stick with acquiring our "art" from the Target housewares department. Still, the works in the Philip Guston Retrospective look a lot like dabs of paint and awkward doodles to us. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, however, which organized the exhibit that will later travel to San Francisco, the Metropolitan in New York and the Royal Academy of Arts in London, seems to like him. The exhibit features works from 1930 to the artist's death in 1980, including several rarely seen pieces from Guston's estate and drawings that have served as blueprints for paintings. It opens Sunday and runs through June 8. Admission is $10 for those 13 and up, $8 for students and seniors and free for those under 13 or who are Modern members. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth. Call 817-738-9215 or 1-866-824-5566.

Monday, March 31

MondayHector Berlioz's best known orchestra piece, Symphonie Fantastique, is about his unrequited love for an Irish actress named Harriet Smithson. Within the five movements, the composer's alter ego takes opium, attempts suicide, imagines killing his beloved and watches his own execution. These days we'd call that grounds for a restraining order. But Smithson must have been flattered instead; she married Berlioz years later. The Meadows Symphony will perform Symphonie Fantastique during the second half of The Grand Event: Meadows at the Meyerson. The first half features several pieces performed by the trio of Eduard Schmieder, a Meadows professor of violin and chamber music; Alexandru Tomesco, a former student of Schmieder and the state soloist of Romania; and Nathaniel Rosen, a cellist and artist-in-residence at the Meadows School. The concert honors community leader John. S. McFarland. It begins at 7:30 p.m. and admission is $6 to $20. A free talk precedes the concert at 6:30 p.m. in the Horchow Auditorium. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. Call the Meadows box office at 214-768-2787.

Tuesday, April 1

TuesdayToday women are treated the same as men, earn equal pay for equal work and there is no such thing as a glass ceiling. Yeah, happy April Fools' Day. But we're not fooling when we say that the Women's Museum is open late tonight and admission is free from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Fair Park museum currently hosts exhibits such as Finding Our History: Milestones in Women's History, Words That Changed Our Lives, Mothers of Invention and displays paying homage to women in the arts, comedy, athletics and politics. The Women's Museum, 3800 Parry Ave., Fair Park. Call 214-915-0860.

Wednesday, April 2

WednesdayWhen we think of clay, we usually think of Gumby and bricks, and generally some combination of the two. Damn cheerful, pointy-headed green freak. We definitely don't think of the future of contemporary art, which seems instead to be digital and sterile, about pixels instead of passion. But two North Texas clay artists believe that clay--in all its organic beauty--has always had a place in art. It makes sense: Wherever there's a school art class, there's some kid making a lopsided bowl from clay. And clay as a fine art has evolved from that. During the McKinney Avenue Contemporary's twice-monthly Art Talk, Christopher Hart and Chris Gray, clay artists and graduates of the master's of fine arts program at the University of North Texas, discuss the future of clay and their own clay works. The talk starts at 7 p.m. but is preceded by a reception at 6:30 p.m. Admission to both is free. McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. Call 214-953-1212.

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