It makes us puke when the Neo-Cons espouse their pet theory: The U.S. government doesn't have to help anybody. Just let other people help everybody. Keep it in the private sector. Now go away and let us preach to the kiddies. Well, it goes something like that--we don't always have total recall. As unrealistic as such a mandate seems, what with all the troubles of all the people who can't quite help themselves, we eagerly applaud a joint venture between a big, successful arts organization such as the Dallas Opera and a little-engine-that-could non-profit like Genesis Women's Shelter. The DO announced a donation drive for Genesis at each of its performances of Jenufa, not coincidentally the masterwork of Leos Janacek about a young woman in dire straits. Jenufa is single, pregnant and lives in a small town in 19th-century Moravia. She fears her lover will be drafted before he has a chance to marry her. Performers are DSO's most stellar bunch, including Patricia Racette, winner of the Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year Award in 2000 in the title role. Dallas Opera general director Karen Stone says, "The Dallas Opera is honored to play a supporting role in this very important cause." Genesis spokeswoman Amidie Shaw explains the center's purpose. "We allow victims of violence to spend up to 18 months in a safe, secure and anonymous environment while en route to a more independent life," she says. How often can you do your community a favor and still enjoy a cool night at the opera? The final performance is 7:30 p.m. November 27 at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Tickets start at $19 and are available online at www.dallasopera.org or by phone at 214-443-1000. --Annabelle Massey Helber
Whether you call him a space cowboy or the gangster of love, Steve Miller just wants you to call. Maybe if you just picked up the phone, you'd already know that he (and his band) are going to be performing at the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. But you think you're too good to say you're sorry. Whatever, man. So, you have to hear it from us--Steve's going to sing his old classics in a concert "reminiscent of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury and Fillmore Ballroom in the '60s," and indulge in a jam session with jazz and blues musician John Handy. So, let bygones be bygones and catch the show on December 1 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 to $175 or $250 for a ticket and VIP dinner. Call 214-692-0203. --Michelle Martinez
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves should have really been titled Snow White and Her Harem of Pint-Sized Masochists. Yeah, she's beautiful, fair and sweet, but seriously, how did she get seven men to wait on her hand and foot if there wasn't some sexual deviance involved? Seven! Theatre Britain may not share that theory, but the company is offering a very British, zany panto version of Snow White by Jacque Mellor with song, dance, corny jokes and, of course, audience participation (which we assume doesn't include spanking the dwarves and ordering them to spit-shine our shoes). The world premiere of the production runs from November 27 to December 19 at the Trinity River Arts Center, 2600 N. Stemmons Freeway. Tickets are $6 to $15. Call 972-490-4202. --Merritt Martin
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Play of Christmases Past
Holiday shopping traffic makes everyone feel a little Scrooged. But only veteran actor James Carpenter truly fills Ebenezer's shoes this Christmas when Jonathan Moscone returns to the Dallas Theater Center to direct A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens' timeless holiday classic. This heart-warming tale of hope and redemption is a holiday tradition enjoyed by area actors and audiences alike. Married couple Doug Jackson and Amy Mills appear together as do siblings Abigail and Christopher Cartwright. All performances will be held at DTC's Arts District Theater, 2401 Flora St. Previews are November 26 through November 28. Opening night is November 30. These and regular performances, November 26 through December 24, are (with exceptions) 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays and 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Final performances are on Christmas Eve at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets are $16 to $46. Call 214-522-8499. --Danna Berger
Right on Time
On November 1 when Sunny 97.1 began spewing out the Christmas carols, it was a bit of a shock considering, well, Thanksgiving hadn't even rolled around yet. As a rule, we feel that holiday-related festivities should wait until after Turkey Day, so that everyone has a chance to recover from the tryptophan and really get into the spirit. Dallas has had its early November Nutcrackers, Christmas Carols and holiday bazaars, but the Turtle Creek Chorale offers up its Holiday Concert: Festive Flashbacks when the time is just right. But what else should we expect from the always impeccably dressed, dazzlingly talented male chorus that's well-versed in classics and always capable of spicing up a performance with an unexpected twist here and there? They don't sport white after Labor Day, and they certainly don't pimp holiday fun until after the turkey is gone. Kudos, boys. The TCC takes the stage for performances November 28 through December 15 at The Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. Tickets start at $20. Call 1-800-494-TIXS or check out www.turtlecreek.org. --Merritt Martin