Dancing at Lughnasa: Previously produced in Dallas by the Dallas Theater Center, Brian Friel's ecstatically lauded family dramedy, Dancing at Lughnasa, gets another production by Fort Worth's stellar Stage West ensemble. This'll probably be your last chance to see Friel's story of five unmarried sisters barely surviving in rural 1936 Ireland, as told through the eyes of the illegitimate son of one of them--until, of course, the film version starring Meryl "I Can Brogue With the Best of 'Em" Streep is released sometime next year. Come see the script performed in its natural habitat. Performances happen Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 3 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 7:30 p.m. through September 27 at Stage West, 3055 S. University, Fort Worth. Tickets are $13-$16. Call (817) STG-WEST.
Insight Meditation: The Way of Awareness: We must say that we were a little startled to realize that Massachusetts-based dharma teacher Daeja Napier is conducting a lecture and weekend seminar in Dallas hosted by...a Baptist church? The Royal Lane Baptist Church has agreed to provide digs for Ms. Napier to discuss and demonstrate her Vipassana meditative techniques; she's maintained a professional practice (as well as a family of five children) for the last 30 years. The program starts at 7 p.m. at Royal Lane Baptist Church, 6707 Royal Lane. A $5 donation is requested. For information on that or the weekend seminar, call (214) 351-3789.
Jack and Jill: New Theatre Company launches its first fall 1997 production with a bit of a dark cloud over its head--its future association with the space that also harbors Deep Ellum Opera Theatre is in doubt. The dearth of available theater space in this town has led to the demise of more than 20 different companies in the last couple of years. New Theatre Company is indispensable to the local scene, but more on that later. For the present, New Theatre's co-artistic directors (and husband and wife) Jim Jorgensen and Charlotte Akin star in Jane Martin's coal-black romantic comedy that's been described as a nursery rhyme for grown-ups. For those of us weathering the torrential downpour of perpetual romantic disappointment, this comedy about the desperate connections the lonely make should provide primo catharsis. Performances happen Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Deep Ellum Opera Theatre space, 3202 Elm St. Tickets are $5-$15. Call (214) 871-ARTS.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: The Making of a First Lady: Maybe you have to have been born after the baby boom generation to find the national preoccupation with JFK, Jackie, and the era of "Camelot" a little creepy. Any presidential assassination is a tragedy, of course, but the wealth of information that's since poured out about Kennedy's mob ties, not to mention his womanizing, makes all those black and white scenes of a beaming, fresh-scrubbed first couple a little...well, hard to take. In a recent, typically thought-provoking New Yorker article, Henry Louis Gates indirectly suggests it might not be such a bad thing to return to a time when the president's bedroom activities stayed in his bedroom. Thanks to her Garbo-esque silence, we'll never know how Jackie O. felt about her marriage. What we do have are the photographic images, collected in a show called Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: The Making of a First Lady. The exhibit runs September 6-28 at Milan Gallery, 408 S. Houston Street, Fort Worth. Call (817) 338-4278.
Yasumasa Morimura: Actor/Actresses: There are so many collisions of culture in the new McKinney Avenue Contemporary show Yasumasa Morimura: Actor/Actresses, we're not sure where to begin loosening the knots--East and West, male and female, gay and straight, theater and film. It's no secret that many Japanese have an American pop-culture fetish, and that many young, heterosexual Japanese males are indulging in drag for the heck of it. Stepping up to make his own statement on these intertwined phenomena is Morimura, one of Japan's leading visual artists, and Actor/Actresses is the first U.S. tour of 27 photos the artist created last year. He has recreated himself in the image of Taylor, Deneuve, Audrey Hepburn, and other legendary cinematic actresses. The show opens September 6, 6-8 p.m., and runs through October 12 at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney. Call (214) 953-1622.
Tyler's Tenth Annual Festival on the Square: Tyler's tenth annual Festival on the Square rolls around the first week of September every year to celebrate the coming of autumn. As mild of an August as we've experienced, might the gods of temperature turn around and smite us with a lingeringly tropical September? It's happened before, but Festival on the Square rolls on. This year, in addition to musical headliners Sara Hickman and Chubby "The Zydeco Showman" Carrier, there are the usual artists' tents, children's activities, tons of food, and a bicycle race that ends at the site of all the revelry, in Tyler's town square. The event happens September 6, 10 a.m.-midnight, in the downtown square of Tyler. Admission is free before 6 p.m., and after it's $10-$12. Call (903) 593-6905.
Eighth Annual Frontiers of Flight Museum Dallas Air Show: Since, for the last few years, America's armed forces have played more like an episode of Savannah than an elite fighting unit, it's time to try to revive a little enthusiasm from the smoking ruins of sexual scandal. The Eighth Annual Frontiers of Flight Museum Dallas Air Show will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force. The highlight of the Air Show will be flybys by the B-2A "Spirit" stealth bomber; the Gulf War star known as the F-117A "Stealth Fighter"; and, from the earliest era of aerial combat, four Nieuport 17 planes from World War I. There also will be hot air balloons and aerial acrobatics aplenty. The show happens September 6, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., and September 7, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at Dallas Love Field Airport, Cedar Springs Road and Mockingbird Lane. Tickets are $2-$8. Call (214) 522-6005.
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Montage '97: The 14th Annual "Montage '97," subtitled "A Street Festival of the Performing Arts," is really a big "Look at me!" from some of the city's most important arts organizations. Of course, there's food, artist booths, a talent show, live music on five different stages, and kids' activities, but more importantly, there are representatives from organizations including the Dallas Symphony Association, Shakespeare Festival of Dallas, and Dallas Children's Theater. All these are vital artistic resources, but it must be noted that they've already got some fairly powerful (and moneyed) friends--each is a beneficiary of arts funding from The 500 Inc. Many, many marvelous little theater companies and chamber music outfits won't have booths there, so remember those who've been shut out of the corporate kitty as you peruse. The event happens September 6, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., and September 7, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., in the downtown Dallas Arts District on Flora Street between Artist Square and the Dallas Museum of Art. Tickets are $5-$6. Call (214) 369-0500.
Twin Peaks: A Showing of Collectible History: Television sensations come and go, and they either leave a mark on the larger culture or leave the bad aftertaste of TV actors attempting to forge movie careers. (Does anyone really care if Northern Exposure's Rob Morrow and Janine Turner ever work in front of a camera again?) On the other hand, that early '90s TV phenomenon known as Twin Peaks left behind more than donut crumbs, coffee cup rings, and ladies with logs; David Lynch's aggressively cockeyed vision of small-town America graduated to an underappreciated feature film prequel and has reverberated stylistically in Picket Fences and American Gothic. Dallas theater artist Marco E. Salinas, apparently a Twin Peaks fanatic, offers his own personal collection of props, scripts, photos, fan memorabilia, and lots of text on the show. The exhibit runs through the end of September in the library of the Gay & Lesbian Community Center, 2701 Reagan at Brown. It's free. Call (214) 528-9254.
Stop Smoking: Get Ready For Success: While a self-identified conservative, former Surgeon Gen. C. Everett Koop has always seemed like an eminently sensible sort. He certainly swam against the currents of right-wing political correctness when he refused to endorse the Reagan Administration's "chastity only" line about AIDS, proving that he really was more interested in the public health than his own political future. Koop continues his crusade to help Americans stop smoking with a special seminar, broadcast by satellite from New York, that features him moderating a panel that'll offer the latest options for kicking the nicotine habit. The broadcast screens twice at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas and Dallas-Fort Worth Medical Center in Grand Prairie. For information, call (800) 745-1740.
Ralph Gibson: Selected Images: Ralph Gibson is the kind of guy you don't want to meet in a dark alley--because his photographer's eye for eerie shadows and shapes would make that dark place even weirder than it was. Ever since his groundbreaking 1970 book The Somnambulist was published to international acclaim, this 68-year-old former assistant to Dorothea Lange has graced museums, galleries, and private collections across the world with his chiaroscuro-esque photographs that bring a Night Gallery kind of creepiness to very simple objects. Ralph Gibson: Selected Images opens September 5, 6-9 p.m. and runs through October 11 at Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery, 3115 Routh Street. Call (214) 969-1852.