20th Annual Chi Omega Christmas Market: You say your blood isn't quite blue enough to click champagne glasses with the wealthy and powerful of Dallas, but your idea of self-employment doesn't extend to holding a sign at the corner of a Stemmons exit ramp? The 20th Annual Chi Omega Christmas Market is the junk sale for you, baby. Actually, the organizers would chafe at that description, considering there was a jury approving exactly what wares would be available there. But when you think of handmade jewelry, clothing, food, holiday decorations, and the grab bag of other First-Monday-in-Canton-ish items, you use the term affectionately. Recipients of profits from sales by more than 130 national vendors include Big Brothers and Sisters, Genesis Women's Shelter, and Senior Citizens of Greater Dallas. Organizers expect to raise nearly $200,000 for charity this year. The market is open November 20, 2-9 p.m.; November 21, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; and November 21, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Dallas Convention Center, 650 S. Griffin St. Admission is $9. Call (214) 890-8131.
These Nervous Days: Much like Spalding Gray's recently filmed one-man show Gray's Anatomy, performance artist Justin Chin's These Nervous Days uses the author's own maladies--in this case, his lactose intolerance and juvenile arthritis--as a springboard into studies of mortality, the deterioration process, and the cottage industries, some legit but many not, that have sprung up to convince us that we don't have to die. Justin Chin, a San Francisco-based poet and performer, has been chosen to open the McKinney Avenue Contemporary's new national performance art series entitled "Conscious Chronicles: New Left Coast Performance." Chin ricochets between a childhood spent in his father's medical clinic and Hollywood and Sunday-school takes on death. Performances happen November 21 and 22 at 8 p.m. at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. Tickets are $7-$10. Call (214) 953-1212.
5th Annual Art & Antiques Auction and Gala: With local big wheels Ruth and Kenneth Altshuler chairing the 5th Annual Art & Antiques Auction and Gala, you can be assured that the usual junk that is stored under the category "antiques"--a decent but chipped and incomplete china set, or your grandfather's cheap but very old rifle--simply won't pass muster. Oriental rugs, side tables, vanity cabinets, and architectural drawings are among the antiques on the block, with art donated from the esteemed collections of Stanley Marcus, Margaret Ann Cullum, and Caroline Rose Hunt. Unless your wallet can double as a futon, we doubt there's much here for you. If you can't afford to participate in the silent auction, buffet, and live jazz, perhaps you're in the class that's earmarked to benefit--proceeds go to the Housing Crisis Center, an organization that attempts to find homes for homeless families. The event happens at 6:30 p.m. at the Trammell Crow Pavilion in the Dallas Arts District. For information call (214) 828-4244.
Quartetto Gelato: Along with the likes of Kronos Quartet and Turtle Island String Quartet, the celebrated Canadian "new classical" outfit Quartetto Gelato is raising the hackles of classical purists by daring to mix in jazz, opera, folk, and various ethnic blends into its repertoire. They seem to be compounding that respectability problem with their ice-cream-sweet name, which might be read as a frolicsome title or a raised middle finger to the dead European male club. The members of Quartetto Gelato don't make any pretense about their selections of airier material--chances are you won't hear Shostakovich on one of their programs--so let the listener beware. They give one performance under the TITAS (Texas International Theatrical Arts Society) umbrella at 8 p.m. at McFarlin Auditorium on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $7-$40. Call (214) 528-5576.
Dona Rosita's Jalapeno Kitchen: You could retitle Ruby Nelda Perez's one-woman show Dona Rosita's Jalapeno Kitchen something like One Latina Sittin' Around Talkin' and Bakin' and not lose anything in the translation. Perez comes to Dallas as part of Teatro Dallas' 5th International Theater Festival, but it won't be her first appearance under artistic director Cora Cardona's auspices. An American of Latin heritage, Perez represents the United States at the Festival with Dona Rosita, a monologue conceived and developed with playwright Rodrigo Duarte Clark from Teatro de la Esperanza. Our Lady of Jalapenos goes on a Dantean journey through the afterlife, dropping pearls of wisdom and baking hints in pursuit of the perfect hot pepper. Performances happen November 21 and 22 at 8:15 p.m. in Teatro Dallas, 2204 Commerce. Tickets are $15. Call (214) 741-6833.
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Billy Budd: As if the world of opera hadn't already been claimed by gay men, the Dallas Opera presents a regular boy's club with its all-male production of the late gay composer Benjamin Britten's 1951 two-act version of Herman Melville's Billy Budd. Melville's own sexuality has been a source of speculation for some time now; it's hard not to be suspicious if you've ever encountered the scene in Moby Dick where shirtless sailors frolic on the deck rubbing handfuls of whale sperm oil on each other. And Britten, who died in 1976, was "out" before most people ever knew there was such a thing as a closet. Look for the homoerotic tension between the angelically primitive title character and the tyrant Captain Vere to be highlighted, thanks to a libretto co-written by E.M. Forster, another wearer of the green carnation. Performances are November 21, 7:30 p.m.; November 23, 2 p.m.; November 25, 7:30 p.m. and November 29, 7:30 p.m. at Music Hall in Fair Park. Tickets are $29-$150. Call (214) 443-1000.
Clotilde Espinoza: Painters attempt to capture the world around them and color the image with a little bit of their insides; artists attempt to capture the world inside them using the images they see in the external world. By this definition, the haunting and haunted paintings of Mexico native Clotilde Espinoza enroll her in the latter class. Her one-woman show at the Dallas Visual Art Center is part of that space's MOSAICS series, a program that focuses on artists who have been "influenced by their ethnicity." This kind of jargon is a recipe for tokenism--who hasn't been influenced by his or her ethnicity? The mythological, vaguely Roman Catholic iconography that haunts Espinoza's graceful studies of light and shadow speak a far more universal story. The show opens November 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m., and runs through January 6 at Dallas Visual Art Center, 2917 Swiss Ave. Call (214) 821-2522.
An Evening with Isabella Rossellini: Some people have all the luck: born in a glamorous European city to international celebrity parents, one of whom was exiled by a particularly juicy scandal, then maturing into a career (and a face) that combined the best elements of both her celebrated parents. We don't hate Isabella Rossellini because she's beautiful and rich and grew up surrounded by the kind of people the rest of us only brush past through our Vanity Fair subscription. Her talent was always slightly obscured by her eccentric career choices until her smashing performance in Big Night revealed just how disgustingly blessed she was. The USA Film Festival hosts a night with Rossellini that includes a discussion of her late father's seminal anti-fascist 1945 drama Rome, Open City and her own newly published confessional Some of Me. The event happens at 7 p.m. at GC NorthPark 3 & 4 Theatres, 3 NorthPark East at Central and Park. Tickets are $13-$15. Call (214) 821-NEWS.
JFK Revisited: OK, perhaps it's a generational thing, but many of us who followed on the heels of the baby boomers have had it up to our follicles with the attention paid to JFK. We wish the guy wasn't killed, too, but mostly so he'd dodder into his late '70s a la Carter and Bush and spare us the endless narcissistic generational self-examinations. Because legendary Dallas photographer Andy Hanson was covering the waterfront in this town during Kennedy's reign, we include mention of his show JFK Revisited just because he has an authentic claim to helping archive that era. But this does not constitute an endorsement of Baby Boomer self-infatuation. The show runs through November 29 at Photographic Archives Gallery, 5117 W Lovers Lane. Call (214) 352-3167.