15th Annual Fall Craft Fair: The non-profit Craft Guild of Dallas wants to drag closeted hobbyists and their work into the light of day by sponsoring classes and fairs to encourage a rather nifty notion--creativity for its own sake, not just because you're the best at what you do or can expect to make a lot of money from it. It seems the idea of doing something just for the sheer pleasure of creativity died somewhere across the last couple of decades (you can bet your buttons it's the media age at work; as Nicole Kidman wondered aloud in To Die For:"What's the point of doing anything if there aren't people to watch you do it?"). The Guild's biggest annual event is now celebrating its 15th year (although the organization itself has been around for 46 years). Getting your work into the Fall Craft Fair is a rather more exclusive proposition--participants are selected through a jury process. Bookbinding, glasswork, weaving, pottery, jewelry, watercolors, and paper art are all represented here, proudly displayed in front of the people who did it (consequently, you might consider keeping controversial opinions on the nature of art to yourself). The Fair is open November 2-4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. in Plaza of the Americas, 700 N. Pearl in the downtown Arts District. It's free. For info call 490-0303.
Built to Last: Photographs of Dallas from the Acme Brick Company Collection: Brick companies are kinda like toilets--you don't think about them much until you need one, and then they become the most important thing in the world. No other American company has become as synonymous with its product as the Texas-based Acme Brick Company. Acme and the downtown Central Library have joined forces for a small photographic exhibit that features some 20 pictures from the company's files, most of which were snapped back at the turn of the century. The real draw for history buffs, besides the fact that most of these photos have never been published or publicly displayed before, is the chance to see buildings that are long gone, like the Oak Cliff Interurban Station., as well as structures you've always loved exhibited in their infancy. The show runs through January 15, 1996 in the Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young. It's free. Call 670-1435.
The 19th Annual Lakewood Tour of Homes, Craft Fair, and Cafe: Let's face it--the real thrill of a neighborhood tour of homes is pretending how you'd fix up the place if you could only afford it. There are plenty of gorgeous old structures in the Lakewood neighborhood, and enough people around the city want to know what they look like inside to turn the Lakewood Tour of Homes into an event that's thrived for 19 years. The Lakewood Early Childhood PTA, which works to benefit the Lakewood Elementary School, has selected five different homes for your voyeuristic inspection. In addition, Lakewood restaurants and 75 artists combine forces to offer a Craft Fair and "Taste of..." Cafe. The event is scheduled November 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and November 5, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets are $6-$8. The Craft Fair and Cafe are located at Lakewood Elementary School, 3000 Hillbrook. For the location of the home tour and other info, call 821-8095.
Les Liaisons Dangereuses: It's been more than a year since Classic Theatre Company offered Dallas a production. Critically championed but playing, like most theater companies in this city, to wildly unpredictable audience support, the Company specialized in unconventional productions of classic European plays that needed the dust blown off them. With the assistance and support of the Undermain Theatre, artistic director Janet Farrow and a few of the original cast members turn up the footlights with Farrow's original adaptation of Choderlos De Laclos' 1782 novel about the joys and sorrows of cruel love. Les Liaisons Dangereuses opens November 4 and runs Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:15 p.m. through December 9 in the Undermain's Basement Space, 3200 Main. Tickets are $8-$10. For info call 423-3399.
Eleventh Annual African Awakening Conference: With the one-two punch of the O.J. verdict and Farrakhan's Million Man March, Americans of all colors have been thinking about race more deeply than at any time in recent memory. Do African-Americans and Anglos really live on two different planets? Which is the more destructive of forces--white complacency or black bitterness? While Afro-separatism has been a vital philosophy since the '60s--albeit one with a small following--Farrakhan and others have renewed the separatist call, this time as less an expression of pride or rage than practicality. The title of the Eleventh Annual African Awakening Conference, "Reclaiming African World History: Looking Back to Move Forward," says it all. A roster of internationally recognized African-American leaders comes to Dallas to discuss the importance of historical perspective to the civil rights movement--in this case, history that stretches back to the dawn of Africa. Events are scheduled November 4 and 5, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Junior Black Academy of Arts and Letters in the Dallas Convention Center, Akard & Canton. Tickets are $15-$35. For more information call 747-7000.
The Art of Louis-Leopold Boilly: Modern Life in Napoleonic France: The great French painter Louis-Leopold Boilly, who died 150 years ago this year, was one of the first major French artists to take the French Revolution seriously. Street scenes and other painted recreations of everyday life were considered unworthy of a serious artist's muse until Boilly came along and proved not only that a discerning eye can find beauty in the mundane, but that the revolt of the underclasses necessitated a change in social perspective that had to be addressed in visual art. The Kimbell Art Museum and the National Gallery of Art in Washington co-organized an exhibition of the genre painter and portraitist called The Art of Louis-Leopold Boilly: Modern Life in Napoleonic France. The show covers a 50-year period (1780 to 1830) that encompasses seminal events in European history. It runs through January 14, 1996 at 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd. in Fort Worth. Admission is $4-$8. Call (817) 877-1264.
Impressions from the Riviera: Masterpieces from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection: From great dead French artists to people who collect their work...The Dallas Museum of Art has caved in to long-time pressure, and organized the massive Wendy and Emery Reves collection into an exhibition space other than the installation designed to house it, an oh-those-crazy-rich-people recreation of the philanthropic couple's Mediterranean villa. Impressions from the Riviera: Masterpieces from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection features more than 70 paintings, works on paper, and sculptures of top 19th-century French masters such as Manet, Renoir, Monet, and Cezanne, as well as decorative arts from Spain and China. The show opens November 5 and runs through February 4, 1996 at the DMA, 1717 N. Harwood. Tickets are $1-$5. Call 922-1200.
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Dr. Strangelove: Stanley Kubrick belongs to a certain class of filmmakers--Fred Schepisi, Barbet Schroeder, Alan Rudolph--who seem to be so in love with the nuts and bolts of the filmmaking process that the artistic potential of cinema becomes their favorite obsession--the subject of the film itself is secondary. And so it is that a list of any of Kubrick's best works--Killer's Kiss, Dr. Strangelove, The Shining--is as impressive for the range of styles and topics as for the cold, angular precision that renders each of them an indelibly personal work. The USA Film Festival screens Kubrick's classic farce Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb as part of its First Monday Classics series. For anyone who thinks the cultural left wing has lost its sense of humor over the last decade, this classic humanist spoof is proof that you can be wicked and empathetic at the same time. The film screens in Dallas November 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the AMC Glen Lakes, 9450 N. Central, and in Fort Worth November 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the AMC Sundance, 304 Houston. Tickets are $6.50. For info call 821-NEWS.
Quilt Panels: For artists working in any medium, form often determines content--what you're gonna say is often determined more by how you choose to say it than vice versa. In some cases, inspiration hits you like a bolt from the blue, and you find yourself entirely changing your concept of boundaries to support the message. Such was the dilemma for internationally renowned composer Ronald Caltabiano when, after attending a 1987 Washington, D.C. exhibition of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, he knew he had to find a way to express the tangle of emotions he felt and witnessed. The result is Quilt Panels, a six-part, 20-minute work the composer describes as far more intuitive than anything he's yet written. Nationally lauded 20th-century chamber ensemble Voices of Change performs the piece, along with works by Lili Boulanger and Simon Sargon. The show kicks off at 8 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium on the grounds of Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $18-$20. Call 520-ARTS.
Maria Benitez: For such an internationally revered dancer as Maria Benitez, being called "the Baryshnikov of Spanish dance," while certainly a compliment, must be a bit frustrating. Benitez's fluid, gymnastic talent and worldwide concert appearances (she has performed in 49 of our 50 states and every major Western nation) at least rival Misha's in terms of scope, but she languishes in a discipline that doesn't quite have the same cachet with well-heeled Anglo audiences as European classical dance. Benitez and her troupe Teatro Flamenco come to Dallas at the invitation of the Dallas Classic Guitar Society for their only season performance in Texas. Their flamenco rhythms are packaged in performances that have as much to do with theater and opera as musical performance. Benitez performs at 8 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre, Elm and Harwood. Tickets are $10-$50. For info call 1-800-654-9545.
Faust: While the fable at the core of Goethe's Faust--philosopher too big for his britches sells his soul to the devil for omniscient knowledge and experience--has been repeated in various adaptations to the point of fossilization, the original script is rarely performed in this country in any of its English translations (Randy Newman's new musical interpretation for Broadway notwithstanding). Keeping this in mind, Extra Virgin Performance Cooperative has taken recent verse and prose translations by David Luke and Peter Salm, utilized a 13-song score by local composer Jon Schweikhard, and generally souped up and stripped down the central narrative to remind folks why it's often considered Germany's great contribution to world theater. The show opens November 8 and runs Wednesday-Saturday at 8 p.m. through December 2 at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney. Tickets are $8-$10, but all Wednesday performances are "pay-what-you-can." For info call 941-3664.