The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me: Forget all those straight actors reviving their careers playing "the good gay neighbor." The real revolution is an openly gay man playing a chick-hungry hetero: Dan "Bulldog" Butler does it every couple of episodes on NBC's priceless sitcom Frasier. But the stage-trained Butler flamed out for his award-winning, multi-character, "what does gay mean?" monologue The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me, getting its Texas premiere starring an intense, versatile Dallas stage actor named Terry Martin. Martin has distinguished himself by mastering accents and attitudes and creating utterly different men in marvelous performances for New Theatre Company and Fort Worth's Stage West. He seems a perfect choice to summon Butler's menagerie of confused straights and angry gays. The show runs at 8 p.m. March 5-8 at the John Anthony Theatre, 2800 E. Spring Creek Parkway in Plano and then 8:15 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2:15 p.m. Sunday, March 12-22 at Swiss Avenue Theater Center, 2700 Swiss Avenue. Tickets are $5-$12, except for the March 6 performance in Plano, which is a benefit for the Walt Whitman Community School and costs $25. Call (972) 422-7460.
God, Sexuality, and the Bible: Such a profound topic can't be adequately covered in one lecture, silly; it takes two. Actually, this pair of presentations called "God, Sexuality, and the Bible" is more like a workshop, conducted by theologian Dr. Rocco A. Errico, a man who spends his spare time translating ancient biblical languages and generating discussion about how to reconcile physical desires and spiritual dedication. In his talk, Errico examines issues such as birth control, sex outside of marriage, and homosexuality, and attempts to give perspective that explains biblical text in the historical and cultural context of its time and ours. Errico gives presentations 7-9:30 p.m. March 6 and 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m March 7 at Unity Church of Dallas, 6525 Forest Lane. Admission for both is $30. Call (972) 233-7106.
Hand-Tinted: Vintage Prints 1880-1980: There have always been people who thought black and white photography was drab long before color film was invented. Hence, they mixed illustration and photography in a century-old tradition called hand-tinting. The Texas African-American Photography Archive and 5501 Columbia join forces to celebrate a century of images--some of them professionally commissioned, others exquisitely domestic--by Texas-based black photographers, including notables such as Curtis Humphrey and Elnora Frazier. The show opens with a reception 6-8 p.m. March 6 and runs through June 28 at 5501 Columbia. Call (214) 823-8955.
A World of Flowers: Flowers have been a recurring theme in a couple of recent Dallas Observer features--pansies in South Dallas and azaleas on Swiss Avenue have set off neighborhood mini-wars across our fair city. Will the Dallas Arboretum need to post armed guards for "A World of Flowers," its 14th annual Dallas Blooms '98 celebration that expands the potential conflicts to national borders? Dutch daffodils and tulips, Chinese azaleas (don't shoot!), and blooms from Turkey, Africa, and Mexico will be on display, a total of 2,000 varieties in all. "A World of Flowers" is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, March 7-April 12, but features afternoon family activities every Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $3-$6, and parking is $3. Call (214) 327-4901.
North Texas Irish Festival: You'll find those famous Irish tempers tempered at the 16th annual North Texas Irish Festival, whose founders, as always, want to celebrate the Irish influence in North America but not ignore the tough issues that lacerate its homeland. In addition to photo exhibits, Gaelic language primers, dance, storytelling, lectures, and musical headliners like The Armagh Rhymers, Lenahan, and Sean Keane, the festival features twice-Nobel-nominated Denis P. Mulcahy, co-founder of Project Children, discussing both that organization and the fractious state of Northern Ireland. Events and performances happen 11 a.m.-11 p.m. March 7 and noon-9:30 p.m. March 8 in the shadow of the Cotton Bowl in Fair Park. Tickets per day are $8-$10. Call (214) 821-4174.
Cool Color Can! In an attempt to distance ourselves from a certain elitist staff writer who loves to dump on sentimental dead French painters, "Calendar" rushes to inform you that we love pictures of pretty flowers and cute kitties, especially when painted by retired Dallasites who are too old to give a damn whether we like the stuff or not. The vibrant color strokes and illustrative eccentricities of world traveler turned painter Henry E. Hobson are featured in a one-man show called "Cool Color Can!" that aims to do nothing more than entertain you with one man's perspective, an attitude that (cheesy content notwithstanding) is always revolutionary. The show opens with a reception at 5:30 p.m. March 7 and runs through March 28 at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther. Call (214) 670-8749.
The 10th Anniversary of The Dallas Collection: There are always a few brave souls who attend the celebrity-studded Dallas Collection, the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, and, after knocking back a few, will wonder a bit too loudly: "But where am I supposed to wear this stuff?" Though we're always fans of inappropriate public musings (especially ones we're close enough to overhear), our advice is to remember this mantra: tacky clothes, great cause. The 1998 edition features native Dallasite Todd Oldham as guest designer; Kate "No More Bareback Sex" Shindle, Miss America 1998; and an exclusive runway performance by members of Cirque du Soleil. The DIFFA event starts at 6:30 p.m. at the International Apparel Mart on Stemmons Freeway. Tickets range from $50-$525. Call (214) 720-9004.
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19th Annual Spring Dallas Home & Garden Show: A few friends who have no pictures on their walls at home and still live out of the boxes they moved with a year ago get a special kick out of attending the Dallas Home & Garden Show every year, thrilling to the efficiency, domesticity, and productivity of the displays and demonstrations...and then returning to their bare hovels, relieved of their need to nest for another 12 months. You needn't be a homebody to be titillated by the KitchenAid cooking stage or exotic live tips from some of Dallas' top chefs, or to peruse the home blueprints of top national architects, or to tiptoe through the dream gardens and landscapes you'll never be able to afford. The show happens 2-9 p.m. March 6, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. March 7, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. March 8 at Dallas Market Hall on Stemmons Freeway. Admission for adults is $6; kids under 14 get in free. Call (800) 654-1480.
Texas Bound: If acclaimed international stage names like Fionnula Flanagan (Irish), Lisa Fugard (South African), and Isaiah Sheffer (Yankee) don't sound very Texas to you, that's because they're "Texas Bound" from all over the world. All three converge on the stage of the Dallas Museum of Arts of the second round of Arts & Letters Live's literary series, in which actors read the short stories of favorite writers. Ann Beattie, Rebecca Lee, and James Thurber are the writers being orated (vice cops without a dictionary, relax) by the aforementioned stage talents. Performances start at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood. Although tickets for the 6:30 p.m. show are sold out, released tickets are often available 45 minutes before. Admission is $12-$14. Call (214) 922-1220.
Ugandan Daughters of Charity Group: Racial oversensitivity can lead to as much foolishness as racial insensitivity. For instance, in a country whose media has been blasted for its P.C. tendencies, why do we still feel a little uncomfortable at the thought of African orphans singing and dancing for a mostly white audience of students and adults at a North Dallas private school? In truth, The Ugandan Daughters of Charity Dance and Performance Group are canvassing North Texas, playing to folks of all ethnicities and income levels. And it really doesn't matter where the support comes from for the largest and oldest orphanage of Uganda, a country where AIDS affects primarily heterosexuals and has forced 1.5 million kids into the street during the past decade. The Ugandan Daughters of Charity Group performs at various sites in North Texas through March 14; one performance is 1 p.m. March 10 at St. Mark's School of Texas, 10600 Preston Road. Call (214) 358-4499.
Incredibugs: Let's face it: There's nothing more terrifying than those tiny-camera nature documentaries like Microcosmos that take you so close to a praying mantis romancing and then eating her male partner, you can almost hear the Barry White album ominously skipping on her little insect record player. We calm ourselves with the knowledge that we're not living in the Cold War paranoia of a '50s big-bug flick. The Fort Worth Zoo pulls nature out from under us with its Incredibugs exhibit, an animated-robotic display of giant ants, spiders, butterflies, wasps, and caterpillars whose microscopically detailed appearance and electronic behavior have been designed by entomologists. The show is open daily through May 26 at Fort Worth Zoo, near University Drive and Colonial Parkway in Fort Worth. Admission is $3-$7. Call (817) 871-7050.