Only the absolutely nerdiest shindigs require their own specialized dictionaries. Latin club, Klingon conventions, Scrabble championships--all havens for people who never got to spend their own lunch money. But they're also full of people who take themselves very seriously. Just check out Word Wars, the 2004 Sundance Film Festival selection in the feature documentary competition and this week's presentation of the Dallas Film Series. The documentary by Eric Chaikin (a former Scrabble competitor) and Julian Petrillo (one of the assistant directors of Real Women Have Curves) follows four championship Scrabble players as they compete for $25,000 in the national tournament in San Diego. Among the players are the defending champion, who has memorized the dictionary, and a guy who downs bottle after bottle of Maalox. The film will be shown at 7:30 p.m. at the Studio Movie Grill, 5405 Belt Line Road. Admission is $7.50. Call 972-991-MOVIE.
Friday, March 19
If we had lots of disposable income, we'd hire a group of serious classical musicians to write and perform songs about our permanent collection: the best-fitting T-shirt ever; the awesome strappy, bowed Steve Madden heels we bought at Ross for $12.99; the jeans from high school we can almost zip again; our music box-playing orange stuffed owl from childhood. Fortunately for the four musicians hired to produce songs and poetry for the new Arts & Letters Live program called ARTsong: A Voyage With the Muses, the Dallas Museum of Art has a much more intriguing permanent collection. The performers who created original works based on the art at the DMA had masterpieces by Monet, Kandinsky, Picasso and many others to use as their inspiration. And the result will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Horchow Auditorium, 1717 N. Harwood St., by Angela Gilbert (soprano), Adriana Zabala (mezzo-soprano), Ryan Taylor (baritone) and Carrie-Ann Matheson (pianist). Tickets are $20 and $25. Call 214-922-1220.
Saturday, March 20
We're holding Colonel Sanders responsible for the trend he started when Kentucky Fried Chicken changed to KFC only to change again to Kitchen Fresh Chicken. Then, the Game Show Network became GSN, so it could morph into "The Network for Games," adding different kinds of programming such as reality shows and video games to the reruns of The $25,000 Pyramid and Love Connection. Get a taste of the new regime when the Game Show Network Tour visits Stonebriar Centre, 2601 Preston Road in Frisco, and offers students 16 and older a chance to participate in the Get Schooled Games Tour, part of Games Across America. There will be a live game show with a prize of $10,000 in college tuition and questions about trivia in politics, current events, pop culture and science. In addition, Evan Marriott, the star of Joe Millionaire and GSN's Fake-A-Date, will meet fans and sign autographs. The event takes place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the courtyard outside Macy's on the lower level of the mall. Visit the Web site at www.gsn.com/win.
Sunday, March 21
We once were convinced that Rococo was a warm alcoholic beverage made by mixing spiced rum and hot chocolate. To our disappointment, it is instead an 18th-century European art movement marked by over-the-top ornamentation and gilded decorative touches. Both are so sickly sweet we get a bellyache just thinking of them. But then we like our liquor straight and our art realistic. Learn more about Rococo the art form--we suggest packing Rococo the beverage--during the François Boucher Film Series when the movies Versailles: The Visit and Madame de Pompadour: Images of a Mistress are screened beginning at 2 p.m. The films are presented in conjunction with exhibits of art by Rococo master Boucher called Genius of the Rococo: The Drawings of François Boucher (1703-1770) and Boucher's Mythological Paintings: The Last Great Series Reunited. They run through April 18 at the Kimbell Art Museum, 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth. The films will be screened in the museum's auditorium. Call 817-332-8451.
Monday, March 22
You know who John Benjamin Hickey is. Maybe you don't know you know, but you know. He's that guy who's always a guest star on TV shows. Sex and the City, Law & Order, NYPD Blue, CSI, Homicide: Life on the Streets, It's All Relative. And he's also that guy in those movies. Changing Lanes, The Bone Collector, Dolores Claiborne. He's not Chris Noth, and he's not Ben Affleck. But he's there. And now he's here, one of three actors from Texas reading short stories written by Texans during the final Texas Bound performance called Texas Stories: Family Feuds. He'll be joined by Julie White (Grace Under Fire and Six Feet Under) and Max Hartman (Kitchen Dog Theater and Dallas band Mur) for shows at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. in the Horchow Auditorium, Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. Tickets are $20 and $25. Call 214-922-1220.
Tuesday, March 23
Art and poetry go together like peanut butter and bologna, good on their own, but, when combined, the individual flavors enhance the other ones without ever combining into a single taste. We're probably the first person to liken 17th-century Spanish poet Luis de Gngora y Argote to processed meat slices and Pablo Picasso to a paste of crushed nuts. But now that we have your attention, and you've lost your appetite, visit Southern Methodist University's Meadows Museum for 20th Century Texas and Spanish Prints, which includes the collection called Uniting the Genius of Poetry and Printmaking: Gngora/Picasso Livre d'Artiste. Uniting is an artist book of 41 prints of Picasso's original art inspired by poems by Gngora. Each two-page set includes a sonnet surrounded by drawings on one and a female portrait on the other. Joining Picasso in representing Spain is Salvador Dal, with works from two series of prints (the complete set of Poems of Mao-tse-toung and 11 from his work based on Faust). The Texas art is divided into 12 From Texas (an SMU-produced portfolio from 1952), Celebrate Texas (Pepsi's four-artist compilation for the Texas sesquicentennial) and Charles T. Bowling's Lithographic Work (26 prints created in the 1930s and 1940s). 20th Century Texas and Spanish Prints is on display through August 8 at the Meadows Museum, 5900 Bishop Blvd., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free. Call 214-768-2516.