1997 Tour of World Figure Skating Champions: Some skating superstars have become famous for things other than working the blades--Dorothy Hamill for drinking iced tea and shampooing her hair, Rudy Galindo for being boy crazy, Oksana Baiul for proving you can laugh at someone's name and still have them kick your butt in competition. The 1997 Tour of World Figure Skating Champions gathers all these celebrated Olympic contenders, along with Brian Boitano, Michelle Kwan, Viktor Petrenko, Elvis Stojko, Marina Klimova, Alexei Urmanov, and Evgeny Platov (the list sounds even more like a Dostoyevskian family tree the longer you go), for a kind of purebred skate show. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. in Reunion Arena, 111 Sports Ave. Call (214) 373-8000.
Ad-Libs' Tenth Anniversary: We thought last year was the tenth anniversary of the venerable Dallas improvisational troupe Ad-Libs; either we're wrong, or the company has discovered the publicity value of repeating landmark anniversaries a la Elton John's endlessly repeated final tour. Second annual tenth anniversary or no, Ad-Libs has decided to spread the success of frequent full houses to the performing community as a whole by doing a benefit show for the Arts District Friends, the brainstorming nonprofit committee that helps plan the direction of the downtown Dallas arts area. The event happens at 8 p.m. at the Ad-Libs Theater in downtown Dallas' Arts District Friends, 2613 Ross Ave. Tickets are $15. Call (214) 754-7050.
Gordon Weaver and Marshall Terry: As part of its "Word of Mouth" Reading Series, the Writer's Garret hosts a night of fiction read by two men who could be described as literary smart-asses--and might even take that as a compliment. Gordon Weaver has been teaching students how to write (or, more specifically, how not to write) for more than three decades, and has in the process founded the Mississippi Review, edited The Cimarron Review, and published four novels and eight short-story collections. Weaver specializes in off-the-wall, machine-gun-fire satire, while Southern Methodist University associate provost and published author Marshall Terry tends to wrap his recollections in more sedate, if still cutting prose. SMU poet Jack Myers hosts the evening. The event happens at 8 p.m. at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. Tickets are $5. Call (214) 828-1715.
Demonic Portraiture: The Infernal Icons of Joseph Seeman: Many people try to run away from the devil in all his forms, but whether you're a devout Christian or a non-believer who understands the power of myth and metaphor in human civilization, you can never get too far away from him--his voice is always inside us, tempting us to wander off the right path. And then there are artists like illustrator Joseph Seeman, who believes his own dark side is capable of revealing some important things about human nature--his own and other people's. Forbidden Gallery presents a one-man show of the nationally renowned underground artist who claims to have recently held a personal audience with B.L. Zebub and his minions. Demonic Portraiture: The Infernal Icons of Joseph Seeman is the explosively colorful, sometimes bawdy result of that tour down South. The show opens with a reception June 6 at 8 p.m. and runs through July 6 at Forbidden Gallery, 385 Exposition Ave. Call (214) 821-9554.
Gay and Lesbian Parents Coalition International: Heterosexual readers with kids assume that the task of childrearing couldn't get any more difficult than it is. Just imagine if you were a single parent or couple facing the prospect of your state legislature enacting laws to waive basic parental rights or a judge who decides to take your kids away because he or she doesn't like your "lifestyle." Gay and lesbian parents are facing mammoth threats just like these all across the country, not to mention those pesky little Gay '90s etiquette questions like "How do I introduce my partner at a PTA meeting?" The Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Gay and Lesbian Parents Coalition International presents a support group dinner meeting for single and coupled gays and lesbians with kids. The group meets at 7 p.m. at a designated restaurant. For more info call Robin at (214) 521-5342, ext. 808.
Hillbilly Karma: There are many people who like to equate living outside the city with a simpler existence, with being closer to the basic cycles of life; other people think individuals who live in the hills and bush of rural Texas are poor and ignorant, and therefore cannot help their accommodations. Striking a middle distance in this terrain is writer-director-actor Les Branson, whose Thin Dime Theater presents the premiere of Hillbilly Karma, a spiritual comedy about an individual's search for release from the white-trash family who raised him--with a little help from Eastern religions and substances that make you see funny things. Performances of Hillbilly Karma happen Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. and Sunday, 3 p.m. at Swiss Avenue Theater Center, 2700 Swiss Ave. Tickets are $8-$10. Call (214) 353-9130.
A Walk on the Wild Side: If you let your children catch the recent network TV remake of Stephen King's novel The Shining, you might consider informing them that the Dallas Arboretum's Walk on the Wild Side does indeed contain animal topiaries, but not of the supernatural, marauding variety. The Dallas Arboretum has tapped artists to create these living sculptures of animals from North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and Anarctica. Jaguars, lions, zebras, hyenas, kangaroos, bears, eagles, and ibexes are all in this green zoo that includes educational sites at each of the seven continents as they're spread across the Arboretum's 66-acre garden. The show opens June 7 and runs through September 1 at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, 8617 Garland Rd. Call (214) 327-8263.
Water, Water Everywhere--But Dare We Take a Drink? It's amazing how we Americans place our very lives in the hands of nameless, faceless bureaucracies and agencies every day yet rarely consider what an enormous leap of faith that is. Take, for instance, the water you drink--is it safe? Don't say "I haven't died yet," because there've been scores of recent cases nationwide where individuals with compromised immune systems expired, their lips still damp from tainted tap water. McCuiston, the local public affairs show hosted by Dennis McCuiston, takes a look at our public water supplies and asks "Water, Water Everywhere--But Dare We Take a Drink?" Prominent gadflies around the country continue to insist that America's drinking water is a major disaster waiting to happen. Dwayne Anderson of Clean Water Action, Carl W. Riehn of the North Texas Municipal Water District, and Larry D. Wright of the Environmental Protection Agency are among the guests. The show airs at 1 and 11 p.m. on KDTN-PBS TV Channel 2. Call (972) 255-2599.
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Potluck Pignic: They might be a little unconventional compared to dogs and cats, but the next time you're stranded in a Brazilian rainforest with just a trusty four-footed companion, we can vouch for the fact that Porky will taste better with plum sauce than Tabby or Fido. The owners of potbellied ("oh, but they're so smart and clean") pigs would passionately deny repressed carnivorous motives in their selection of these undeniably cute little mammals. Now every swine lover who's felt the pangs of being different at a gathering of pets and their owners can let it all hang out at Potluck Pignic. Bring a covered dish (the Pignic isn't a strictly kosher affair, but we'd still advise against pork), your friends and family, and your pig for an afternoon of games. The event happens at Chris Hinterman's Wee Little Pig Camp in Ennis. Call (972) 878-7718.
Government Should Not Discriminate Against Private Schools, Resolved: Should the government be in the business of helping people secure private educations for their children? Many of those free-market neo-conservatives who always bellow about government intervention in the private sector are tickled pink at the thought that Uncle Sam will give them aid to ensure that little Margaret and Colegate won't have to rub elbows with people who aren't...well, let's just say top-shelf and leave it at that. Bill "Free Mary Jane" Buckley brings his venerable "Firing Line" debate to Fort Worth's Texas Christian University and examines the issue euphemistically known as "school choice" with the help of Governor Pete De Pont, CEO America Chairman James Mansour, the ACLU's Ira Glasser, and the NEA's Bob Chase. The initial two-hour warm-up "Firing Line Debate" starts at 2 p.m., with a taping session for two half-hour "Firing Line" programs scheduled at 4:15 p.m. It all happens in the Ed Landreth Auditorium of Texas Christian University, Fort Worth. Call (972) 386-6272.
Anonymous & Unknown: We all know the Alfred Stieglitzes and Irving Penns, but what about the Joe and Jane Sixpacks who've been creating brilliant photography that's slipped the notice of the art establishment? Photographs Do Not Bend celebrates these hidden professionals and amateurs with the appropriately titled Anonymous and Unknown. Curators Lois Tischler and Janet Buenger traveled the country to capture the most striking photographic images they found from the 19th and 20th centuries. The only stipulation--the pictures had either no attribution or were signed by a complete unknown. The show opens with a reception June 6, 6-9 p.m. and runs through July 12 at 3115 Routh St. Call (214) 969-1852.
Monet and the Mediterranean: The legendary French Impressionist painter Claude Monet would've dipped his brush into the sun if only that were possible. His obsession with honoring the quality and effects of natural light has beguiled generations of artists and art lovers since well before his death in 1926. Fort Worth's Kimbell Art Museum hosts a large traveling exhibition whose 70 works have been taken from 50 different private and public holdings across the world, many of which have been off limits to the grubby masses. Monet and the Mediterranean gathers the paintings he did between 1884 and 1908 while visiting the Italian and French Riviera. The show runs June 8-September 7 at the Kimbell Art Museum, 3333 Camp Bowie Boulevard, Fort Worth. Admission is $6-$10. Call (817) 332-8451.