Arts District takes it to the streets
You'd better watch out, Dallas. Keep up this annual CityArts Celebration, and some people might mistake you for a real city--you know, the kind that has streets that bustle even when it's not between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, one that makes its culture a fun attraction for all on par with major league sports and not just something for kids on field trips, bored retirees and tourists. Good thing CityArts is only three days out of 365; one might get the wrong impression. CityArts kicks off Friday at 6 p.m. with live music at Artist Square followed by the Blockbuster Drive-In Theatre with the film Batman screened at the square (bring lawn chairs; food and drink will be available for purchase). The festival continues Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., stretching from Artist Square at the service road at Woodall Rodgers Freeway and Leonard Street down Flora Street to the Dallas Museum of Art, between St. Paul and Harwood streets. Admission is free to the celebration as well as the DMA, the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Crow Collection of Asian Art, which will all host special events. Outdoors there will be five stages of entertainment that ranges from the Women's Chorus of Dallas to the Dallas Black Dance Theatre to Our Endeavors Theater Collective to Brave Combo, plus chefs from Sambuca, Central Market, Spike, Nikita and more. Offstage there are children's activities booths, the Texas Visual Artist Showcase, one-hour guided tours of the Arts District and food and drinks from local vendors. Did we mention this whole buffet of Dallas culture is free? Get the full schedule at www.dallascityarts.com. --Shanon Sutlief
How to resurrect a flagging film franchise, courtesy of Batman Begins: Jettison Joel Schumacher and all the actors, dismiss the notion of casting Clint Eastwood as a decrepit Dark Knight and wipe the slate clean with a gritty, in-the-beginning approach. Hire a buzzworthy director such as Christopher "Memento" Nolan and cast Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman to star. How to celebrate the arrival of Batman Begins, courtesy of Lone Star Comics: Host a pre-release party at two locations from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Offer refreshments, hourly trivia, drawings and a costume contest. The party's a sure thing. The movie isn't. Follow the bat signal to 6465 E. Mockingbird Lane (214-373-0934) or 931 Melbourne Road in Hurst (817-595-4375). --Matt Hursh
On Her Best Behavior
She woke up naked next to a midget. Not many rising comics can claim that, let alone riff on it. It, too, remains doubtful that stars of their own show on basic cable, who also appear regularly on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, would want to claim that. Yet Chelsea Handler does. She's the host of the Oxygen Network's Girls Behaving Badly and a "correspondent" for Jay Leno. Her new book, My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands, includes the aforementioned midget and just might be funnier than David Sedaris. Handler is in town June 12 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Grapevine, 3902 Maple Ave., signing copies of My Horizontal Life and working over the crowd with her stand-up. Call 214-522-8466. --Paul Kix
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Forget what your mom said about your mouth locking open from chewing too much bubble gum. Instead, stock up on as much of the sticky stuff as you can; it's time to start practicing. The National Dubble Bubble contest will blow into local Wal-Mart stores Saturday, and kids (sorry, parents, the contest is open only to those 12 and under) across the Dallas area will compete for their chance to be one of the five nationwide finalists. How do you get to be a finalist? Just blow one of the five Dubble Bubble bubbles with the greatest diameter. How do they measure the bubbles? Why, they use the official Dubble Bubble Bubble Meter, of course. But that's not all: The grand prize winner will receive a $10,000 savings bond and four runners-up will receive a $5,000 savings bond. All finalists will also have $1,000 donated in their name to the Children's Miracle Network. To find the Wal-Mart location nearest you, call 1-800-WAL-MART or visit www.walmart.com. --Kelsey Guy
About the wrestlers: They're not the best, not the big names, don't draw the big crowds. In fact, it's called the Sons of Wrestling Legends Match. You look at these guys on the Web site of the Irving Heritage Festival--which will host a weekend-long party to promote the downtown district--and you think, "These guys gotta have day jobs." Their photos are that cheesy, that amateurish. Which is all the more reason to go. Amateur wrestling is better than professional wrestling, with the professional shows being too polished and loud, as if they're scared to let one second pass without overwhelming the audiences' senses in one way or another. There's a serenity to the amateur shows. A nearly liturgical pacing. The wrestling takes place Friday night at the festival, which also includes blues and country music on Saturday night and food and games throughout the weekend. All of the events are in and around Heritage Park between First and Second streets in Irving. Most of the events are free, but the wrestling isn't. Go to www.irvingheritagefestival.com. --Paul Kix