Deepak Chopra: It's hard to know where to draw the line among the hordes of books every year written by pop-psych gurus, "secret of success" motivators, and candy-cane spiritualists, but the works of Deepak Chopra, M.D. seem a good place to start. On the one hand, Chopra, whose first book Ageless Body, Timeless Mind shot to the top of national bestseller lists two years ago based on a couple of Oprah appearances the author made, seems to have taken the drearily predictable route of turning his name into a cottage industry with bestseller after bestseller, audio and video tapes, and weekend seminars at up to $700 a pop that repeat pretty much the same information over and over again. On the other hand, when you peruse any of his books, you're struck by how common-sensical the advice is--attain mental discipline through meditation, eat right and exercise, stop living in the past--and, even more impressively, how Chopra never offers any shortcuts to the results he promises. Still, the $30 ticket price on his latest Dallas lecture suggests that inner fulfillment and physical health are not equal-opportunity concepts. Deepak Chopra gives a talk that includes a general overview of his philosophies at 7 pm in the Unity Church of Dallas, 6525 Forest Lane. 233-7106.
Cindy Horstman: The Bath House Cultural Center kicks off a new series of weekend concerts called "Jazz on the Lake," in which you can enjoy some of the best jazz artists in the city for free while the stars twinkle on the surface of it's-too-dark-to-tell-how-sludgy-it-really-is White Rock Lake. The premier concert features jazz harpist Cindy Horstman performing a variety of classical and contemporary compositions with a back-up orchestra of friends that includes 1995 Dallas Observer Music Award Winner for Best Musician Andy Timmons, as well as Keith Carlock and Michael Medina. The Bath House Cultural Center kicks off its "Jazz on the Lake" series with Horstman at 8 pm. The Center is located at 521 E Lawther on White Rock Lake. It's free, but admission is first-come, first-served. Call 670-8749.
Gardens Are For Everyone: "Gardens Are For Everyone" is an afternoon orchestrated in conjunction with four area organizations--The American Foundation for the Blind Southwest in Dallas; the Association for Retarded Citizens of Dallas; the Deaf Action Center; and REACH of Dallas Resource Center for Independent Living. Guides conduct tours through the grounds especially adapted for easy access by everyone. The Arboretum is open to everyone all year round, of course, and you can even arrange in advance for special tours by people with sight or hearing impairments. The Dallas Arboretum hosts "Gardens Are For Everyone" from 1-4 pm at 8525 Garland Rd on White Rock Lake. Call 352-7222.
Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show: Rodeos are one of those American phenomena that are so intertwined with a specific lifestyle--like drag competitions and monster truck rallies--you can't really enjoy them unless you have a basic understanding and appreciation of the mindset that organized it. While those of us whose acquaintance with bulls and horses came about through Walt Disney and Chuck Jones can lip-synch our approval of such earthy, traditional populist activities, we secretly wonder what kind of weirdo gets his or her kicks from tying the legs of calves and tying themselves to the spine of an irritable ton of beef and are therefore hopelessly out of the loop--the geeks you spot in the stands with a cowboy hat one size too big and a Zima. For your delectation, the Fort Worth Rodeo happens every Friday and Saturday night, but every Saturday afternoon, another Western-flavored event is staged that anybody who's caught a handful of Gunsmoke episodes can appreciate. It's called Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show, and features staged shoot-outs, Indian ceremonial dancing, Roman riding, cowboy singing, and other spectacles. Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show happens every Saturday, noon-4:30 pm. Tickets are $7-$10. The rodeo starts at 8 pm every Saturday night; tickets are $5-$12. Fort Worth's Cowtown Coliseum, 121 E Exchange Ave in Fort Worth. Call 647-5700.
Mutt and Strutt 1995: The Humane Society of North Texas soon reaches its centennial anniversary as one of the largest independent, non-profit animal care organizations in the state, taking on the cost for care of more than 50,000 animals each year. The Humane Society wants to get a little publicity for its good cause, celebrate Be Kind to Animals Month, and have some fun with the community through Mutt and Strutt 1995, an outdoor dog show whose focus is on that domesticated Average Joe known as the mutt--although purebreds and other registered genetic overachievers are welcome to participate, should they decide to get their paws dirty. With a panel of local media personalities as the judges and a table full of trophies and blue ribbons to be given away, expect this event to turn into another one of those ego contests in which insane pet lovers hide behind their animals in ruthless competition with other insane pet-owners. The 1995 Mutt & Strutt takes place beginning noon at the Pavilion in Trinity Park on 7th St, a half mile east of University Drive in Fort Worth. Registration happens 10:30-11:30 am. To enter your pet, there's a $1-$3 fee to benefit the North Texas Humane Society. Competitions include Best Trick, Best Costume, Best Obedience Trained, and Eldest Humane Society Mutt alumni. The show is free to watch, and spectators are encouraged. All dogs must be leashed, licensed and vaccinated according to local ordinances. Call (817) 332-HSNT.
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The Diner: These days artists who make bold, unconventional political statements are usually laughed off the stage. If the work sucks, then laugh away, but there's an eagerness to humiliate anyone who holds an ideal more profound than "making money is good for America"--especially if he or she is enraged by some perceived injustice and wants to shout to the heavens about it. Presented for your delectation is Dallas artist Greg Metz's latest excursion into moral outrage and theatrical confession. Titled "The Diner," it's a 1955 customized air stream travel trailer the artist has been working on for four years now, preparing it for the national tour on which it will hereafter embark. Taking a cue from both the futurist anxiety of George Orwell and Upton Sinclair's classic muck-racking stomach-turner The Jungle, "The Diner" condemns carnivorous capitalism by slamming the meat-packing industry with styrofoam, wood, and fiberglass sculptures of horribly (and in some cases genetically) mutated animals, as well as a 3-D restaging of "The Last Supper" in which you'll finally get to see Mr. Rogers, Jesus, Candice Bergen, Einstein, and Madonna rubbing elbows. The Cosmic Cup provides catering for the two-day exhibition, which also features entertainment by Homer Henderson's One Man Band and Brent Johnson's Sofa Kingdom. "The Diner" can be viewed May 20 & 21, 10 am-7 pm at the Continental Gin Building, 3309 Elm.
Dallas Music Fair: Since the vinyl record album was killed off just a few short years ago, millions of music lovers have been slammed between the eyes with the tragedy of obsolete entertainment technology, forced to buy a CD player if they have any interest whatsoever in new music. Meanwhile, the turntable faithful have been driven underground like some lunatic separatist organization, forced to buy and trade among themselves or buy and trade with used record stores who shove thousands of LPs into cardboard boxes without classifying the music. Vinyl fanatics feel about as welcome around your local Blockbuster as freethinkers in Plano, but there are places where...you know, people like that go to congregate, offer support, and haggle over the price limits of an out-of-print record album. The Dallas Music Fair, an event that comes along every few months from Southwestern Promotions, features the very latest releases down to the rarest of singles and albums--with a special emphasis on vinyl. There are also posters, memorabilia, CDs, and lots more. The Southwestern Music Fair happens 10 am-5 pm at Dallas Park Hilton, 4801 LBJ Freeway at Dallas Parkway. Tickets are $3. Call (713) 771-3939.
Daniel de Cordoba and His Fiesta Flamenca Troupe: With the Latino influence being an ever-present part of daily Texas life (have you dined in downtown Oak Cliff recently?), it's high time we took a crash course in the romantic splendors and tempestuousness of Hispanic folk traditions. This is precisely what veteran choreographer-dancer Daniel de Cordoba seeks to provide with his constant performances around North Texas--a perspective, a context, and a general introduction to the art of flamenco. De Cordoba and His Fiesta Flamenca Dance Troupe carry their latest program to a cultural outpost that's a fair distance away from the Spanish traditions of continental Europe as you can imagine--the Jewish Community Center of Dallas. With a roster of guest artists, many flown over from Spain, de Cordoba's program includes "The Mysteries & Roots of Flamenco," which explores the Iberian, Moorish, Sephardic, and Gypsy influences on Spanish dance and music; a variety of classical dances; and "Homenajue," a group of Flamenco dances based on the poetry of Garcia-Lorca. Daniel de Cordoba performs with His Fiesta Flamenca Troupe at 7:30 pm at the Jewish Community Center, 7900 Northaven. It's free. 739-2737.
The Confessions of RosaLee: Some recent reports estimate that 60 percent of all black children in America live below the poverty line. While the first and most logical culprit to pursue in such a depressing statistic is white racism, that hard reality doesn't begin to explain the strange dynamics which cause one generation to influence the next into a life of drugs, violence, poverty, and self-defeating internal rage. KERA-TV Channel 13 airs an hour-long documentary as part of the outstanding "Frontline" series. "The Confessions of RosaLee" retraces the 7-year steps taken by Leon Dash, a Washington Post reporter who won a Pulitzer for his continuing series about the family life of one RosaLee Cunningham, an illiterate middle-aged African-American woman who represents a right-winger's wet-dream argument against government assistance for the poor--she's a single mother who has often scammed the government for as much financial assistance as she could receive, all the while supporting herself and her kids through drug-dealing and prostitution. But the story only begins there, as reporter Dash involves himself more and more deeply in Cunningham's life and discovers the powerful, even crafty instincts for survival which the woman's wretched childhood has taught her. If you doubt that poverty and crime have a generational component, this story might convince you otherwise. KERA-TV Channel 13 airs "The Confessions of RosaLee" as part of the "Frontline" documentary series at 9 pm. Call (617) 783-3500.