This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, March 4

We've often wondered if video artist Bill Viola found inspiration for his work The Crossing from watching football games in which a coach is doused in Gatorade after a winning game. We loved the way Jimmy Johnson's stiff hair pasted onto his forehead when all that gel melded with the sticky sports drink. But then we're philistines. In his seminal video installation work, Viola projects two scenes, one on each side of a 10 feet by 14 feet screen complete with sound, both showing a human figure walking slowly toward the camera. In one, the person is covered in water that starts as a trickle and increases to a flood. The other shows Viola catching fire slowly until he is engulfed in flames. This work, now owned by the Dallas Museum of Art, established video as an art form and Viola as a prominent artist. As part of the Passion for Art: 100 Treasures, 100 Years, Viola will discuss his 30-year career and The Crossing, which is featured in the exhibit, as Bill Viola: Technology and Revelation at 7 p.m. in the Horchow Auditorium, 1717 N. Harwood St. Admission is $20, $15 for museum members and $10 for students. Call 214-922-1826 for required reservations.

Friday, March 5

Trickle-down aesthetics: Bill Viola's "The Crossing" is a trial by water and fire.
Trickle-down aesthetics: Bill Viola's "The Crossing" is a trial by water and fire.

We've shipped six-packs of Lone Star Beer to nearly every state in the union, so proud are we of the "National Beer of Texas." But Lone Star love isn't confined to T-shirts and beer. Even the literary scene is Texas-obsessed. Each year, Arts and Letters Live presents the program Texas Bound--Texas actors performing short works of fiction by Texas writers. But few people are actually Texas-bound for the four nights of the season, except once a year when there's Texas Bound from Broadway, and the National Public Radio show Selected Shorts crosses the Red River to record two shows live from the Dallas Museum of Art's Horchow Auditorium. Host Isaiah Sheffer brings Mary Beth Hurt and Maria Tucci to celebrate the centennial of Isaac Bashevis Singer with a selection of short stories at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at 1717 N. Harwood St. Tickets are $20 to $25. Call Arts and Letters Live at 214-922-1220.

Saturday, March 6

The Dallas Black Dance Theatre is a lot like a local band. They play enough here that we get lazy and think we can skip a show or two, but in other cities it's standing room only every show, every tour. So, for this one, pretend that DBDT is some other troupe like MOMIX or Pilobolus, and make plans to attend Dancelebration Friday or Saturday at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson. Not only is this the last chance until May's Spring Celebration Series, the talented troupe will perform the new works "Night Run" by Christopher Huggins and "My Inspiration" by Allyne D. Gartrell. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, $15 and $25. Call 972-744-4650.

Sunday, March 7

For many improv comedy troupes, Plan B seems to be "If you can't say something funny, say something gross." Flatulence, bodily fluids, incest, rape. Sadly, they've all been the straws grasped in desperation during improvised shows. It's like the actors never outgrew that stage where your favorite noun in Mad Libs was "poop." So Comedy Sportz's promise of a "clean, interactive improv experience" isn't as bland as it sounds. Nevertheless we'd like to see how the comedians alter their weekly shticks in order to appeal to kids. The flatulence and bodily fluids may still come into play, but in this case it may be more suitable. Each Sunday at 3 p.m., the comedians perform the Dallas Comedy Sportz Kidz Show at the new West End Comedy Theatre, 603 Munger, on the first floor of the West End MarketPlace. Admission is $10 for kids and their families. Reservations required. Call 214-880-9990.

Monday, March 8

All we really need to know about basketball we learned from watching television. White men can't jump. Coaches seem mean, but it's just tough love. Players need to find the strength in their hearts to make that game-winning shot. And the Harlem Globetrotters were really just that good. Surely some of those stereotypes will sneak into the games when Collin County Community College hosts the National Junior College Athletic Association Region V Men's and Women's Basketball Championshipsat the University of Texas at Dallas campus, 2601 Floyd Road in Richardson. (C'mon, white boys, prove us wrong.) Eight teams of each gender will compete beginning Friday with the finals Monday at 6 p.m. for the two men's teams and 8 p.m. for the women. The winner of each championship will compete in the National Championship later this year. Call 972-422-6803 or visit www.njcaaregion5.org.

Tuesday, March 9

Our immediate reaction to anything tiny and cute is to want to bite it. That's fine for gummy bears, but not so good for antique, handcrafted, miniature maple armoires. So we'll keep our hands and our molars to ourselves when Dallas' American Museum of Miniature Arts presents Mayfest in March, a seven-day exposition of miniatures for doll houses, city scenes and other landscapes. It opens Monday with workshops starting on Tuesday. It continues through March 14 with a sales room, exhibits, a live auction and special expo meals and get-togethers, all of which takes place at Crowne Plaza Hotel North Dallas, 14315 Midway Road, Addison. Visit www.minimuseum.org.

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