When the city of Dallas was planning out the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, I wish they'd been more dramatic. Look at the Paris Opera House: catacombs, a subterranean lake and a creepy phantom slinking around, obsessing over an opera diva. I.M. Pei did a nice job with our design, but there's nowhere that I can imagine Andrew Litton slinking around in a mask and cape. Maybe that's a good thing, because it makes room for a visit from the Broadway Phantom of the Opera star at this Saturday's Dallas Symphony Orchestra AT&T 2005 GALA. After a pre-concert reception, Michael Crawford will perform music at 7 p.m. from both Phantom and his current London role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Woman in White during the event themed "Imagine--A Night Beyond Musical Imagination." Stick around for dinner, dancing and a raffle-ticket drawing for one of three fancy cars following the concert. It's all for a good cause, after all: The gala benefits the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's music education program. The Meyerson is located at 2301 Flora St. Tickets start at $650. Call 214-871-4090. --Leah Shafer
Not Dead Yet
We wish Defending the Caveman was a play based on those GEICO commercials about contemporary cavemen who take offense at the insurance company spokesman (a homo sapien sapien) saying that switching to GEICO is "so easy that even a caveman could do it." It could show the strife of the modern caveman in a society that equates beauty with hairlessness and flat foreheads. It could be the Uncle Tom's Cabin of the caveman movement. Or it could, at least, get GEICO a few more customers. Instead, Defending the Caveman is just Rob Becker's 14-years-running, won-lots-of-awards-on-Broadway treatise on relationships...again. Becker's joke is based on the premise that modern men and women--though they can program their TiVos and play MP3s on their cell phones--haven't evolved that much. Basically, men are hunters--single-minded, prey-chasing--and women are gatherers--social multitaskers who love to talk. Earth-shattering, right? But it's the last time you'll hear it. From Becker, that is. The show's run from October 19 through October 23 at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St, is his last time. In Dallas, that is. The "most popular comedy performance of all time" is destined to return in some form. Tickets are $39.50 to $49.59. Call Ticketmaster at 214-373-8000 or visit visitwww.ticketmaster.com.
Hot October Nights
One moment not included in Bob Dylan's autohagiography No Direction Home is his famous 1976 exchange with Neil Diamond as they appeared in the final concert of The Band. Diamond commented with his trademark humility, "You've got to be pretty good to follow me." Dylan, genial as always, replied, "What do I have to do, go onstage and fall asleep?" Diamond was so wounded by the remark that he only just managed to record and perform in rhinestone-encrusted jumpsuits for another 30 years. Obviously, you don't stay in show business into your 60s by having a delicate ego. Diamond has had it a little easier than Dylan has, however. While many of Dylan's fans consider him a sellout for abandoning the protest movement, Diamond always stayed true to his original policy of selling out early and often. This is a guy whose response to the Summer of Love was to release a song equating smoking pot to heroin addiction. There is a reason, however, that it's called selling out: It sells--more than 120 million albums, to be exact. Of course, a lot of that has to do with Diamond's ability to churn out relentlessly catchy songs. Be honest, which would you rather try to sing in unison with a stadium full of people: "Sweet Caroline" or "Subterranean Homesick Blues"? In fact, you've got to give Diamond credit for touring at all. He could have followed the lead of Manilow and Dion and holed up in his own theater in Vegas, or Branson, maybe. But no, like Dylan, he's still out there hustling, and his shows are selling out fast. Diamond plays American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets, $42.50 to $75, are available through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com or 214-373-8000. --Rick Kennedy
Man, the heroes are just out in droves lately. You pull drowning grandmothers out of hurricane floodwaters, you're a hero. Rescue people from burning buses? Hero. Airlift adorable stranded puppy from toxic soup-surrounded rooftop? Superhero. The Dallas Children's Theater is even getting in on the hero action with its take on the courageous Everyday Heroes, a drama for teens by Laurie Brooks. The play runs weekends from October 14 through October 31 in the Studio Theater at the Rosewood Center for Family Arts, 5938 Skillman St. Tickets are $14 to $16. Call 214-740-0051. --Andrea Grimes
Dance on a Dime
We thought gittin' our two-step on at Billy Bob's every weekend constituted about all the dancin' Fort Worth could handle, but we was wrong. Turns out they got them fancy-schmancy dancers doin' them con-tempernary dance moves in fancy leer-tards and whutnot. They's makin a whole fester-val out of it. Starting October 14 and continuing the next two weekends, performances from local choreographers will be held in the Sanders Theatre, 1300 Gendy St. in Fort Worth. Tickets are $10 and $8 for students and seniors. Call 817-335-9000. --Andrea Grimes