Friday, September 19
Tim Burton was on the right track with The Nightmare Before Christmas. Sure, there's not a nattily dressed, singing skeleton trying to steal Santa's job (as far as we know), but in marketing terms, only Halloween comes closest to Christmas in the length of lead time before the event. It's barely mid-September, and already several haunted houses are open. So get these out of the way now in order to hit the next two dozen as they open. Thrillvania, featuring the Haunted Verdun Manor and a new Jim Rose-ish sideshow attraction, is open in Terrell on Wilson Road, one mile south from Interstate 20, from 7 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays. There'll be extended hours later. Visit www.thrillvania.com. The Dallas Scare Grounds, 2001 Irving Blvd., have also been revamped--oh, the Halloween puns--with additions to The Necrotorium, The Terrortorium and The Hallucinatorium. The park is open 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays in September, plus Thursdays and Sundays in October. Admission is $16. Call 214-744-6705. Also, Fort Worth's beloved Cutting Edge, 1701 E. Lancaster Ave., is now open Saturdays only (from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.), but more days and times will be available in October. Call 817-348-8444.
Saturday, September 20
"Free to be Me" sounds like a song Elmo, Big Bird and their pals would sing on Sesame Street. It's not, but expect the same kind of unchecked enthusiasm as the Turtle Creek Chorale presents its first gay-pride concert in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Alan Rose Freedom Parade, which takes place Sunday along Cedar Springs Road from Wycliff Avenue to Turtle Creek Boulevard. With Free to be Me as its title and theme, the concert celebrates "who we are and the huge strides our community has made over the years." It also includes men dressed as Madonna, Cher and other divas. Performances are at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. in the Stemmons Auditorium at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel, 2201 Stemmons Freeway. Tickets are $20 to $30. Call the chorus' office at 214-526-3214, ext. 102.
Sunday, September 21
Here's something to cleanse your palate completely of Yakov Smirnoff. Kalinka--a duo consisting of a Ukranian-born balalaika (triangle-shaped stringed instrument) player and a Russian bayan (accordion) player--will tell no "life in America" jokes but will focus on showcasing the arts of their homelands and those from other places that inspire them in a concert series produced in conjunction with DFW International. The series kicks off the program called Paganini on Three Strings that will be performed 7 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Court Yard Theater, 1509 Avenue H in Plano. Tickets are $25. Future concerts include special guests and focus on Russian, Spanish, Jewish, Argentinean and world music. Call Texas Tickets at 214-696-8001.
Monday, September 22
Knowing the difference between right and wrong is one of those things we learned in kindergarten, along with how to share and that sand doesn't make a good snack. But that line gets blurry sometimes. We know murder is bad. But does killing only sexual predators make it less bad? That's just one conundrum facing the hero of A Promise Kept, local filmmaker Daniel Millican's film that's the focus of the Texas Filmmakers' Series this month. A cop must tackle this new case, plus cope with the death of his wife, raising his daughter and breaking in a new partner. The film stars Sean Patrick Flanery (The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles), Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy) and Mimi Rogers (former Mrs. Tom Cruise, part 1). It has also just received worldwide distribution through Curb Entertainment. The Angelika Film Center and Café and the Video Association of Dallas present A Promise Kept at 7 p.m. at the Angelika, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane in Mockingbird Station. Tickets are $8. Call the video association at 214-428-8700 or the theater at 214-841-4700.
Tuesday, September 23
We'll admit it. We are--to quote one of our favorite Kids in the Hall skits--a girl-drink drunk. If it's colorful, served in a curvy glass and topped with a slice of fruit or an umbrella, we'll drink it, even if it tastes like candy-coated lighter fluid. It's a beauty thing. Seriously, we give bonus points for matching our outfit. So, don that bubble-gum pink Jackie O. dress suit and head to Pink Drink Night. The event celebrates the launch of The Pink Drink Book and VOX raspberry vodka. All proceeds from book sales and the event, which also includes drinks and a raffle, benefit A Time for Me, a charity for women with cancer. It takes place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Dralion, 3102 Oak Lawn Avenue. Reservations are required. Call 1-866-456-4682.