Bellsll Be Ringing

This is Dallas, the city of trade shows, conventions, seminars and any other informative event that requires a ticket or a tax I.D. Here's another, and so what, right? Wrong. For the first time the metroplex might just be opening its mind in a big way. June Wedding Inc. and CityPlace present the GLBT Unions Showcase on Sunday.Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender communities finally have a show devoted to that special day. While same-sex unions are not sanctioned in Texas, JWI feels that everyone can choose to have a personal ceremony to mark the bond between two people in love. Featured in several national wedding publications, JWI is known to have some of the best (and definitely most tolerant) vendors in the event-planning industry. Contract and rental companies, photographers, cake artists, hair and makeup professionals--every facet of the wedding experience will be represented at this huge event. This "army of wedding professionals" are either gay-owned or gay-friendly. No matter how you put it, this is a huge step for the ole Lone Star State.

Admission is $5, and door prizes, hors d'oeuvres, wine and champagne are ready for sampling. Live entertainment accents the whole shebang and all proceeds go to the Human Rights Campaign Fund's same-sex partner lobby. So, there's even more reason to get out that hidden file of dress ideas, wedding stills from Father of the Bride, the swatch from the cloth store and prepare for some serious planning and pampering. The best part of the whole event is that it doesn't just focus on the bride (or groom), but everyone involved. And besides, who wouldn't go to a huge showcase where there's wedding cake tasting?

CityPlace, located at 2711 N. Haskell off Central Expressway, will be teeming with professionals to help decide those pesky questions concerning the big day. Chocolate and vanilla or just one flavor? Strawberries in the champagne or on the side? A dress and a tux or two dresses or two tuxes? Tell Mom or just send photos? Point is, this is the chance to see the possibilities for a wedding never thought to be possible. Call 214-522-2271. --Merritt Martin

Ready To Rock
It's that time of year again when thousands answer the call of the guitar and convene on Fair Park's Automobile Building, home of the Dallas Guitar Show and Musicfest. From its humble beginnings in 1978, the Dallas Guitar Show has become an international event and the longest-running vintage guitar show in the world. This year promises to showcase even more guitars, a return of the acclaimed Musician's Clinics and live music from Andy Timmons, Leroy Parnell, The Stratoblasters and many more. The Musician's Clinics provide a forum for suggestions and advice in the form of Q&A sessions and demonstrations. In the past, the live outside shows have featured such acts as Chet Atkins, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Ted Nugent. The guitar show takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call 972-260-4201. --David Wilson

Sing the Body
As children, we couldn't help but giggle at paintings of nude bodies. Now, as so-called adults, you can't blame us if we giggle at the thought of those paintings on nude, live bodies. Whether you're looking for an exhibit or an exhibitionist, you can find both at the Body Art Ball at the Gypsy Tea Room on Saturday. Local artists will transform performers into walking art. The models, in little more than body paint and a thong, will have less than two minutes to bring the art to life. With a panel of judges including the likes of Jerry Cantrell and Vinnie Paul of Pantera, we're guessing this exhibition will be anything but a drag on or off stage. General admission is $25 and VIP seats are $100. Call 214-232-1297. --Candy Lancaster

Pop Stars
Andy Warhol was the "Pope of Pop," a master of iconography, but still he joined the country in its reverence of an icon in the truest sense, namely Jackie Kennedy. Following JFK's assassination, Warhol created paintings and screen prints of America's princess. Beginning Friday, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza devotes the entire Seventh Floor Gallery to Warhol and Jackie: Artist and Icon. The exhibit includes the artist's Flash text and screenprint series, Red Jackie and 30 single portraits of the first lady as well as two self-portraits of Warhol. The exhibit runs through October 26. Call 214-747-6660. --Merritt Martin

Story Time
Once upon a time, there were no 12-second commercials, no six-second sound bites, no TV zappers butchering attention spans. There was only the imagination. Journey back to those days of lore at the 18th annual Texas Storytelling Festival, featuring award-winning storytellers Kathryn Windham, Kala JoJo, Gayle Ross and Carol Birch. Also featured are Tejas Storytelling Association's unique slants on Texas legends. Concerts and workshops are planned as well. This festival is the first for the association to collect family stories. The yarns start spinning Thursday at Denton's Civic Center Park and unravel through Sunday. Concerts are $5 to $10 and workshops are $15 to $50. Call 940-387-8336. --Cheryl Smith

New Car Smell
Boys (and girls) and their toys
I have just paid off my car, meaning our family now owns two automobiles. We no longer make car payments, in other words. Financial advisers will suggest this is a good thing, and that, in these uncertain times, young couples with children should take on no unnecessary debt. While considering that, I got a press release for the 2003 Dallas Auto Show at the Dallas Convention Center. This was my reaction: I WANT A NEW CAR! I WANT A KICK-ASS NEW CAR WITH A BIG ENGINE AND LEATHER SEATS AND A 10-DISC CD CHANGER IN THE TRUNK AND SWEET RIMS AND A COOL NAME LIKE HONDA ELEMENT OR HUMMER H2 OR LEXUS GX 470 OR AUDI RS6, AND I WANT IT NOW, TODAY TODAY TODAY, I WANT IT, I WANT IT, I WANT IT! The Dallas Auto Show is Wednesday (4 p.m. to 10 p.m.) through March 30. Call 214-637-0531. --Eric Celeste

Mars Needs Women
Gray spreads interstellar understanding
Here's a question: How many sequels are too many? Once your best-selling self-help book (Men Are From Mars...) has become a stage play, a board game and 11 follow-up books, we think "blown out of proportion" might even be an understatement. (We're waiting for Mars and Venus in Prison.) Or maybe this trend simply speaks to how desperately horrible the sexes are at communicating. John Gray is bringing his astral mission to Dallas. The lecture promises to analyze gender conflicts in the office and smooth the path for better communication. Hey, no one ever said that earth girls (or boys) are easy. Gray speaks at noon Thursday at the Wyndam Anatole Hotel, 2201 Stemmons Freeway. Tickets are $27 to $40. Visit --Michelle Martinez


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