This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, May 29
Joni Mitchell says, "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot." So what if it's your mother's cemetery plot instead of paradise and a supermarket instead of that parking lot? Suzan-Lori Parks assigns that li'l problem to Billy, the main character of Parks' novel Getting Mother's Body. The whole thing could be nothing more than a bit of a hassle for the illegitimately pregnant Billy. But, it's said that a small fortune of jewels was buried with Mom by her lover. With it, Billy could find a truly final resting place for her mother and maybe a little comfort for herself, her baby and the aunt and uncle with whom she lives. Parks is noted and has been awarded for her plays (such as Topdog/Underdog) that share the complex nature and reality of her novel and its characters. Is Parks as equally as complex as her work? As dynamic as her storytelling? Find out as she discusses her work then signs copies of the novel at 7 p.m. at Borders Books & Music, 10720 Preston Road. Call 214-363-1977.

Friday, May 30
At this rate, in our mid-80s we'll be lucky to locate our dentures much less prepare for a highly lauded art exhibit of original work. Kelly Fearing, a professor at the University of Texas in Austin for 40 years and considered to be one of the most important living artists in the country, earned the respect of the admirers he will greet at the Selections From the Mystical World of Kelly Fearing opening reception Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Not only does he have art in major museums and collections throughout the United States, but also, according to curator Mark L. Smith, Fearing continues to paint, draw and generally create with "exceptional and consistent quality." The exhibit continues through July 5 at the Arlington Museum of Art, 201 W. Main St. Call 817-275-4600.

Saturay, May 31
Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery's new exhibition is a bow to the best friend, an homage to the dog. The Mondo Cane exhibit takes on the canine with a collection of photos from the 19th century to today, by artists ranging from New Yorker John Albok to local Paul Greenberg. The show's moniker is certainly appropriate: The gallery is definitely turned into "A Dog's World," with Saturday's opening event from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. having an open invitation to patrons to bring a coveted photo of their best friend to pin up on the wall and join the big-name photographers. The event and its raffle also benefit the Dallas no-kill shelter Operation Kindness and Petropolitan magazine. And, because it wouldn't be fair to let only humans have all the fun, the first 50 real tail-waggers to arrive also get a treat bag from Pets Around Town. The dog has its day and we don't have to worry about gazing upon any Trapper Keeper-worthy, soft-focus puppy posters. These works have real bark. PDNB Gallery, 3115 Routh St. Call 214-969-1852.

Sunday, June 1
OK, so we must admit we were a little leery of the "civic" part of Mesquite Civic Ballet. We have images of people in various uniforms flouncing around risking pulled hamstrings, tutus replaced by back braces and moms shushing their kids from the stage. But then we realized this isn't a job, these dancers don't need an art credit and the only thing motivating them to rehearse and perform is that they love to dance. Amen. We can relate; just glance at our paychecks. So Sunday, after putting away the groceries for Monday's barbecue, hotfoot it over to Eastfield College Performance Hall, 3737 Motley Drive in Mesquite, to check out some passionate Prokofiev. The company is performing the famous fairy tale Cinderellaat 2 p.m. Civic or professional, we want to see how any ballet dancer pirouettes in a glass slipper. Tickets are $10. Call 972-288-2362.

Monday, June 2
Nothing wins a kid over like swine. Give them a talking pig and they're happier than pigs in...well, you know. Babe, Piglet, Miss Piggy and, of course, the beloved Wilbur from Charlotte's Web. Oh, sure, we've argued that whole cross-species communication phenomenon over and over, but the touching porcine merriment never falters. Sheep chat with pigs, frogs date them and spiders befriend them. Enter Plano Repertory Theatre's production of E.B. White's classic. Aside from some quality time with the tots (and all for just $8 to $10), there's the sheer entertainment value of the occasional snort from an actor in a pig suit. If nothing else, by hoofing it out to the ArtCentre Theatre of Plano, 1039 E. 15th St., for one of the two shows at 9:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m., you can bribe your own piglets into cleaning up that sty of a room. Call 972-422-7460.

Tuesday, June 3
Time to don the full-coverage bloomers. "Jazz Breaks in June," the Sixth Annual Jazz on the Plaza series, is starting up and is doing it big-band style. The Mesquite Jazz Repertory Ensemble Big Band with Curt Bradshaw kicks off the season at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Mesquite Arts Center, 1527 N. Galloway, for the first of four free concerts. Feel the swing coursing through those veins yet? Is that toe a-tappin'? Well, Dallas-area swing kids better get inspired. It's time to jump, spin and find a dance partner (maybe not in that order). Just remember, if there might be a flip coming in that jazzy dance routine, opt against the thong under the skirt. This is, after all, a family event, and the only buns we want to see are the ones at the concession stand. Call 972-216-8211.

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