We know how to dismember a jaw to get a good dental imprint, retain DNA evidence, look for prints and check a wound for gunfire residue. Thank you, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. We have come to appreciate William Petersen's entomological trivia and the dramatic pronouncement of any given situation by David Caruso. Long live Rory Cochrane. So, in all seriousness, we're completely stoked about The CrimeScene Company's interactive murder mystery dinner CSI: North Pole (The CrimeScene Elves: The Beginning) that opens Thursday at Spaghetti Warehouse, 1255 W. Interstate 20, Arlington. A murder has occurred (on Santa's rooftop no less!), and forensic experts must solve it before the holidays are ruined. Will there be a DNA match? Will there be any fingerprints to run? Any tainted jingle bells to examine? Will we get to wear those cool disposable footies over our shoes? Find out at performances every Thursday in December at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 and include dinner and the show. Reservations are required. Call 817-557-0321.
Friday, December 3
Department stores inspire two major reactions: crazed shopping or a cold sweat. During the holidays, those reactions can often be experienced at the same time. For those working retail in said department stores, the two are not mutually exclusive and may cause a third reaction: drunken self-loathing in the presence of fried foods and nicotine. Yeah, schlepping gifts sucks, but what about that poor guy in the elf suit who hasn't had a bathroom break in four hours and still has spit-up on his pointy collar? David Sedaris--author and regular contributor to PRI's This American Life--was that elf. At Macy's. In New York. From his experience, he penned The Santaland Diaries--a tale of pain, suffering, jaunty hats and pissing in fake shrubbery. The WaterTower Theatre brings the story to the stage in its yearly production of side-splitting misery at the Addison Theatre Centre's Stone Cottage, 15650 Addison Road, through December 19. Show times are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., and Sundays at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $18. Call 972-450-6232.
Saturday, December 4
Whenever we hear of a gallery exhibit with art described as "carcassy and husk-like" and "sequined snake-patterened shiny lycra," we have to investigate the described art. Not that it happens often. But when it does, we have to struggle to wrap our tiny minds around a show that contains both of those aesthetics. We aren't positive we understand the "gestural coiling technique" that artist Sally Packard employs to create her large "sculptural fabric forms" that are part of the Carapace exhibition. But we want to. We also want to examine the room-filled installation found in Gallery 414, 414 Templeton Drive, Fort Worth. We want to sip wine during the opening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and discuss how even though Packard's works aren't really moving, they give the impression that they are animate through color, shape and texture. Call 817-529-3624.
Sunday, December 5
From Dr. Drosselmeyer to the Sugar Plum Fairy, there is quite a bit to take in about The Nutcracker. Fantasy and reality are blurred, and we know from experience that the battle with the giant rats can be fairly disconcerting to some. Texas Ballet Theater offers an interesting opportunity for kids to see the opulent ballet, choreographed by Ben Stevenson, then meet the characters at the Children's Nutcracker Party. The company serves up goodies, craft activities, roaming characters and magicians for the kids Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (immediately following the matinee performance at Bass Performance Hall). So despite the fear of King Rat, smaller concerned citizens can rest assured with living, breathing proof that no gigantic animals or handsome nut-cracking utensils were actually harmed in the production. The party takes place across from Bass Performance Hall at the Maddox Muse Center, 301 E. Fifth St., Fort Worth. Tickets are $25 per person, and children 2 and younger are admitted for free. Call 817-763-0207, ext. 305.
Monday, December 6
If Sunny 97.1 and KVIL haven't provided you with enough holiday hits already, Lawry's The Prime Rib offers diners even more with their dinners. Through December 24, the restaurant welcomes The Living Christmas Card, an a cappella quartet that digs on Dickens duds and spouts out seasonal ditties. The musical group tours the dining rooms of the restaurant nightly from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. What may be even more entertaining than the performance will be watching the waitstaff refrain from murdering these whimsical characters as they tread upon the path between tables, to the kitchen and to a possibly healthy tip. After all, we at home can close our door and return to our easy chair. How do you handle it when Good King Wenceslas invades your section and stays for 20 nights? That's what we want to see. Lawry's The Prime Rib is located at 14655 Dallas Parkway. Reservations are encouraged. Call 972-503-6688.
Tuesday, December 7
It's completely acceptable that Paul Newman hawks culinary nibbles for charity. But somehow it seems odd that while Aerosmith bandmate Steven Tyler serves turkey at rehab centers, Joe Perry is out signing autographs...on bottles of his new hot sauce. But hey, Joe, whatever helps you sleep at night, right? Perry makes a stop in Dallas on Tuesday at the Hard Rock Café, 2601 McKinney Ave., from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to dedicate a piece of memorabilia to the restaurant, sign bottles of his Rock Your World Hot Sauces and celebrate a new menu item, Joe Perry's Rock Your World Quesadillas. From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., the "Guitar God" (as named by 92.5 KZPS) will eat with radio contest winners. Perry's hot sauces will be available at Hard Rock Café Dallas for a limited time. Check out www.joeperrysrockyourworld.com and www.hardrock.com.
Wednesday, December 8
Think "choreography" and, if dance has ever been of any interest to you, at the very least these four names will come to mind: Martha Graham, Twyla Tharp, George Balanchine and Bob Fosse. Those names cover the world of dance from modern to jazz to ballet to the smorgasbord of styles that make up a Broadway show. Fosse, a dancer, choreographer and director, is best known for his Broadway hits Chicago, Damn Yankees and Sweet Charity and films Cabaret and All That Jazz. The man was the first director in history to win Oscar, Tony and Emmy awards. "Fosse stars" Gwen Verdon and Ann Reinking collaborated to bring back Fosse's best choreography in Fosse, presented by Dallas Summer Musicals Broadway Contemporary Series. The production runs through December 12 with 8 p.m. shows each day and 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. Tickets are $17 to $70 so an audience member can get a little "Steam Heat" without being a "Big Spender." Call 214-631-ARTS.