No television; no frozen dinners. Home entertainment in 1938 America came from a radio's speakers, and dinner prep began in the house early in the day. As the kids come in from dusky games of stickball, the knob flips and the living room fills with booming voices. But this time there is chaos emitting and the earth is under attack. Is it real? Are spaceships opening their hatches? Rover Dramawerks re-creates the War of the Worlds broadcast and then some. Howard Koch's drama, originally starring Orson Welles, is augmented with performances of what went on behind the scenes of that pivotal airtime. The sound effects, the impending arrests and the intensity are brought to the stage for a different kind of spookiness this Halloween at the ArtCentre Theatre of Plano, 1208 15th Place. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through November 8, Rover wages War at 8 p.m. There will be 10 p.m. performances October 31, November 1, November 7 and November 8. Tickets are $10. Call 972-849-0358.
Friday, October 24
Typically, "flash over substance" is a derogatory description, insinuating that the marrow of something has been sacrificed for glitzy impression. In artist Christopher H. Martin's case, however, the heart of his canvas pieces has been enlivened and deepened by digital manipulation. The result is something that combines past and present, skin and bone and de- and reconstruction. Better yet, the originals and prints of Martin's Ghost series will be revealed Friday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. in a fall show benefiting DIFFA (Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS). These "digital hybrid originals," as Martin calls them, are $600 per print or $4,800 per canvas at his gallery, 2702 McKinney Ave., #101. The event is open to the public but requires an RSVP. Call 214-754-5900.
Saturday, October 25
Before Andrew Lloyd Weber's musical reconstruction and tenor Michael Crawford's masked song master, there was the hideous and heartbreaking Lon Chaney. Despite his silence, Chaney's Phantom of the Opera (circa 1925) struck chords with many a film fan. We've all seen the gruesome and iconic image of Chaney in the makeup he personally designed, but if the movie has been inadvertently missed, the Fine Arts Division of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library provides a free screening (to show off the new video projection wall) Saturday at 2 p.m. See the ghoulish god of the silent screen, restored and rescored, at 1515 Young St. Call 214-670-1643.
Sunday, October 26
We're tempted to say this shouldn't happen. The name Canton in the City is an oxymoron in and of itself. And trust us on this, because we got us some family in them there Canton parts. But we'll give Grapevine the opportunity to prove us wrong when the city attempts to kick it small-town style with a weekend "flea market." But in giving said chance, there are a few things to consider. First, 70 professional vendors does not a First Monday Trade Days make. Only 700 might. Second, antiques and toss-offs will no doubt be replaced with the holiday gifts and high-end country crafts like those vended in Canton by people who can actually afford space in the prized shady warehouse structures. To the sellers, good on ya and good profit. To the patrons, Grapevine's got the country chic, but if the bargain bug isn't squashed, head east to Highway 19 next weekend. The Grapevine Convention Center is located at 1209 S. Main St. with Sunday hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $3 for adults and $1 for students 12 to 18. One dollar per admission may be donated to a registered charity of choice. Call 972-471-0601.
Monday, October 27
It's October, do you know where your gourds are? If the front stoop is free of maimed pumpkins, the Pumpkin Patch in Rockwall is destination No. 1. With this year's order adding up to 125,000 pounds of the orange fruits from the perfect growing conditions of New Mexico and California, it's a safe bet the patch has prime carving candidates. This annual fund-raiser, co-hosted by the Friends of Rockwall County Library and Our Lady of the Lake Council of Catholic Women, doesn't limit its wares to the origins of pies and jack-o'-lanterns. Novelty gourds, peppered pickles, pumpkin butter and our favorite, jalapeño jelly, are also for sale. Since 1989, the patch and its hay-baled setting have been a prime fall photo op and a great place for kids to settle in for pumpkin story time, try out the harvest maze or get creative with this year's new activity, dried gourd painting. The gallery of gourds is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Halloween, thanks to volunteers, and is located at 310 Goliad in Rockwall (exit SH 205 from Interstate 30). Check out www.rockwallalive.com/pumpkin/.
Tuesday, October 28
After vacations to more bucolic locales and fighting rush-hour traffic (especially near the High Five), we question living in such a metropolitan area. We struggle on stressful days to see the beauty in what rural folk call "The Big City." Then we're struck by grandiose architecture, a skyline that looks like it lost a fight with a Bedazzler and even the glowing threads of a highway buzzing with head- and taillights. Through November 2, the Amon Carter Museum exhibits more than 90 photos from its permanent collection in City Lights. It is a cogent retrospective of the grit and sometimes-elusive beauty of the urban environment. The works by 20th-century photographers range from pictorialism to modernism to social commentary for a stunning reminder of progress. Try the big-city life at 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd. in Fort Worth. Admission is free. Call 817-738-1933.