A letter circa the late '70s (some content altered for improved readability): Dear Rodgers & Hammerstein, Thank you. I was really discouraged about my spelling, but thanks to the rousing "Oklahoma!" I am able to spell the state's name aloud and with a damn catchy melody. I unfortunately was unable to commit to memory any other words for nearly a week thanks to your infectious lyrics, but that has passed as I have begun searching for other words that rhyme with "surrey." Mother doesn't seem pleased, but I remain undaunted. I hope poor Jud Frye being dead isn't too hard on you and that, even though she says she can't, Ado Annie has learned she is indeed saying "no" all through that song of hers. Sincerely, A Fan. See all the rambunctious song and dance that inspired such correspondence Thursday at 8 p.m. as Starlight Performing Arts presents Oklahoma! at 201 S. Ector Drive, Euless. The Okays continue through Monday with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $8 to $10, and reservations are recommended. Call 817-508-9101.
Friday, August 13
Outcasts of Dallas, we urge you to rise and get your asses to a veritable Mecca of oddities. Come one, come all, you women with facial hair. Come, you with urgent inclinations to pierce, stick and insert metal objects into your head. Most important, come if you're in need of a little inspiration (with possible light-headedness or nausea). The Brothers Grim Side Show has hit Dallas with the beautiful Camanda Galactica, slithery William Dark, puzzling (ha!) Enigma, feisty Katzen and other performers of amazing, OK, curious feats. Beginning at 8 p.m. Friday, the 45-minute variety show commences once each hour until midnight in the Club Clearview parking lot (Elm and Crowdus streets). That's four chances to see how the weird, different and unaccepted transformed themselves into a fantastically entertaining family of freaks. And that's no insult. Seriously, it's empowering. Tickets are $8 (with combo deals to the side show and Clearview show available). The show runs Thursdays through Saturdays through Halloween. Visit www.brothersgrimsideshow.com.
Saturday, August 14
Leave the city for one evening and, if it's a clear night, you'll see lights you'll feel like you've never seen before. Little twinkling ones--you know, stars. Driving back from East Texas recently, we felt like pulling out a sleeping bag and getting some shut-eye underneath them like some fighting-for-justice Louis L'Amour character. They looked so powerful, yet peaceful and far less frenetic than our neon cityscape. But, as our fear of Texas' native snakes prevents us from acting on such a whim, we must rely on the Richland College Planetarium's show The Cowboy Astronomer on Saturday at 2 p.m. to inspire us with tales from the range during a tour of stars in the night sky. Following that, the planetarium offers Richland Skies, a short lesson on identifying constellations, planets and other sky-bound beauties for that next night away from the city. Git those dogies to Sabine Hall on campus at 12800 Abrams Road. Both shows are free and open to the public. Check out www.richlandcollege.edu.
Sunday, August 15
Kids exaggerate. That crab that bit little Tommy's toe was the size of a car. The light rain on the campsite was a hurricane. The ferry had, like, a thousand cars on it. Why not foster a little creativity with the embellishments? Rick Carton, illustrator of the Edgar & Ellen children's book series (for kids 9 to 12), and Star Farm Productions present a Tourist Tales and Illustration Workshop for kids 2 p.m. Sunday at Barnes & Noble, 801 W. 15th St., Plano. Carton will offer instruction on creating a lively travel story with vivid illustration--a perfect place for that giant crab or torrential downpour. The workshop encourages the creation of stories with "mystery and intrigue" as well, so youngsters' imaginations really get a workout while they learn that the page is the perfect place for their fact-based fiction. Call 972-422-3372.
Monday, August 16
Monday morning, Elvis fans will don sacred silk-screen and Bedazzled tees, air-brushed jackets and E-L-V-I-S brooches, and yes, some will wrap themselves in a full-blown Vegas-era studded jumpsuit, to honor the King of Rock and Roll on the anniversary of his death in 1977. Not one for wearing the King on our sleeve, we thought we'd just hunker down with some p.b. and banana sandwiches and watch Bubba Ho-Tep as our tribute, but Gilley's Dallas has a better idea. At 7 p.m. the venue presents the Memory of Elvis tribute concert featuring Dave "Elvis" Tapley and his "Cavalcade of Stars" show band. According to Gilley's sources, Tapley's performance covers all the hits of Presley's career, but "while taking the musical production of his performance very seriously, Dave Tapley reminds us that he does not think he is 'The King.'" If only our job required that kind of disclaimer...Dave and his gang hit the stage at 1135 S. Lamar St. Tickets are $10. Call 1-888-GILLEYS or hit www.gilleysdallas.com.
Tuesday, August 17
We eat Mexican food almost daily. Italian is old hat. Even sushi doesn't seem adventurous anymore. Indian? So not in the mood. It seems like in a city of amazing restaurants that include cuisines from around the world, we can't find a damn thing that sounds fun and new. Franki's Li'l Europe, 362 Casa Linda Plaza, provides us with a solution and saves us from another Tuesday night without culinary excitement. The bistro presents Hungarian Night featuring a three-course Hungarian dinner for $20 per person. That may seem high, but considering that all of the food is traditionally prepared by hand, the price is worth it. Chicken paprikash, gulaz and spätzle are available on Franki's European menu much of the time, but we can't wait to find out what other Hungarian dishes the chef has to offer on Tuesday. We love a little mystery with our indulgent comfort food. Service starts at 5 p.m. Call 214-320-0426.