This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, October 20

We love peanut butter, and we love chocolate. So it makes sense that we love those peanut-butter-covered-in-chocolate creations such as Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. We hope the same applies for this tasty combination: The Rocky Horror Picture Show plus Young Frankenstein equals Plano Children's Theatre's Frankenstein Follies. This "romp and stomp spooky Halloween musical" (we're imagining zombies dancing at a hoedown) takes place at Castle Frankenstein, where a lost skiing party takes shelter with potentially disastrous results. The play's performed by teen actors for kid audiences, so expect the singing and dancing of Rocky Horror and the visual jokes of Young Frankenstein but without any of the parent-friendly stuff. Kids have plenty more Halloweens before they need to learn about sweet transvestites and sexual innuendo about "knockers" and "rolling in the hay." Frankenstein Follies runs 7:15 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2:15 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through October 30. Tickets are $6 in advance and $7 at the door, which is located at 1301 Custer Road in Plano. Call 972-422-2575.

Friday, October 21

Based on the recent Oak Cliff T-shirt wars, the town-turned-Dallas-neighborhood is either "the best part of Dallas" or a place where stick figure people put stick figure people's bodies into car trunks. So which is right? Neither. Both. We don't know. Our best guess is: somewhere in between. Something more like Perspectives of Oak Cliff Today--Through Our Own Eyes, an exhibit at the Ice House Cultural Center, 1004 W. Page St., that is both a photo contest featuring Oak Cliff photographers competing for prizes and a portrait of Oak Cliff itself shown through the 8-by-10 pictures hung in a collage on the gallery walls. The exhibit is open 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and closes with a reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday.

Saturday, October 22

The first thing that we heard about Plano was that the name fit: The city was "plain-o." Shopping centers, strip malls, chain restaurants, tract houses, subdivisions. And we can't say that we've taken the time to research the truth of that during our highway trips through the 'burb in search of, maybe not greener pastures (Plano folks seem to love their Weed 'N' Feed and lawn services), but definitely more colorful ones. There's a growing faction saying "Plano is neat-o, not plain-o," however, and those peeps (that's slang for "people," Plano-ites) are hosting the Plano International Festival. This first but aspiring-to-be annual event is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Haggard Park, 901 E. 15th St., and features a fashion show of clothing from a variety of countries (and, no, they're not England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany and France), a presentation of flags and performances from more than a dozen groups that include hula dancers, belly dancers, Highland Dancers, as well as ones representing the Caribbean, India, Africa, Polynesia, Taiwan and Argentina. Admission is free. Visit www.planointernationalfestival.org.

Sunday, October 23

Chess players always get labeled as geeks and nerds, and "chess club membership" is nearly synonymous with "never got to spend our milk money." And they certainly aren't helping with such titles as "International Grandmaster." Sure, you're an International Grandmaster of Chess, but it's like saying you're the best shaman warrior in Dungeons & Dragons. We suggest a change of name. How about "Super Cool Dude of Chess." Yeah, we'll stick with that. Meet a 17-year-old Super Cool Dude of Chess, the youngest Super Cool Dude of Chess in the Western Hemisphere, during The Art of Chess: DMA Matches with the UTD Chess Team from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. UTD's team of Super Cool Dudes of Chess, Cool Dudes of Chess and other just Dudes of Chess will play blitz matches and speed chess matches against all comers. It's a chess rumble in the galleries. And, just to make it fair, the 17-year-old Super Cool Dude of Chess will play blindfolded. How badass is that? We mean, for chess. Admission is free with paid admission. Call 214-922-1200.

Monday, October 24

Fresh Ink, the Dallas Theater Center's staged reading series, is so fresh that it just might be the first play based on a blog. Whose everyday observations typed into an online template for the world to read are actually interesting enough to base a play on? How about a young woman living in Baghdad? Known as "Riverbend," she is Western-educated and opinionated, challenging the American media she sees as well as those in her homeland, offering glimpses into her everyday life and also putting her life into context in the occupation of Iraq. Girl Blog from Iraq: Baghdad Burning, written by playwrights Kimberley I. Kefgen and Loren Ingrid Noveck based on Riverbend's blog entries, will be performed at 7 p.m. in the DTC's Bryant Hall, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Admission is free. The playwrights will discuss their work following the performance. Call 214-522-8499.

Tuesday, October 25

ESPN's third-greatest sports movie of all time. Entertainment Weekly's fifth-greatest movie of all time. These awards make sense for Raging Bull, Martin Scorsese's black-and-white documentary-style film featuring Robert De Niro as a boxer so unsympathetic that you want to see him take a real pounding. But how could it have been a contender for the Dallas Opera/Angelika Film Series about the influence of opera on contemporary cinema? Exactly. See, Scorsese slipped a whole buncha opera in there, and you don't even know it. And that's the point of this film series. As the Dallas Opera's Jennifer Schuder says, "You'd be surprised at how many people love opera without even realizing it." Raging Bull's score, instead of being composed scene-by-scene with original music, was taken from works by Italian composer Pietro Mascagni, according to Scorsese, to lend a real sadness to the film--like it needed any help. See, or rather hear, the film in a different way when it's shown Monday at the Angelika in Plano and Tuesday at the location in Mockingbird Station. Both screenings start at 7 p.m., are free and will be introduced by an opera expert. Call 972-444-FILM, option 012, for Plano or 214-841-4700 for Dallas, or visit www.angelikafilmcenter.com.

Wednesday, October 26

"On the first day of Halloween, my true love gave to me a story time that's creepy and crawly." There are just no good Halloween carols, so we had to make our own. We also think the holiday should get its own week; c'mon, Christmas gets a whole month (even more if you're Catholic and hold out for Epiphany). Celebrate the wicked week with Creepy-Crawl Story Time with the Dallas Museum of Natural History. In addition to stories about scary things, there will be some live scary things from the museum at the story time, which starts at 10:30 a.m. at Barnes & Noble Lincoln Park, 7700 W. Northwest Highway. The event is for children 3 and older, and visitors are encouraged to wear their costumes. Call 214-739-1124.

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