And the Light Shineth in Darkness: Texas-based painter Calvin Davis is up-front about the agenda behind his series of gorgeously detailed paintings. Exhibited as And the Light Shineth in Darkness, the pictures are designed so "people will come away from it with a greater desire to seek God in His Word," he explains. Don't worry--the Biblical Arts Center has a strictly no-laying-on-of-hands policy, and Davis himself doesn't stalk the premises with an emergency baptism kit. What makes the show impressive, besides the extraordinary grace of the brushwork, is the artist's recognition of the power of allegory--sort of the truth behind the lie. It's a subtle, persuasive power all these dreary fundamentalist activists would do well to adopt. The exhibit runs through June 23 at the Biblical Arts Center, 7500 Park Lane. It's free. For more information call 691-4661.
Kiss of the Spider Woman: Those who still yearn for the exclusive glamour of the footlights should know that venerable institution Broadway is kept (barely) alive on the kind of revivals that regularly grace the schedules of community theaters. (Witness the newest multimillion-dollar reanimation of A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum.) Kiss of the Spider Woman is a revival of sorts, an exotic musical version of a middling feature film that won Oscars. Chita Rivera, the New York production's original star (and a 1994 Tony Award winner), has joined the national tour. Performances happen Tuesday-Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. through May 12 at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Tickets are $13-$48. Call 373-8000.
Tales From the Mist: Mexico-based writer-director Abraham Oceransky has made it his mission to combine the aesthetic and dramatic sensibilities of two cultures that don't often mix--Latin-American and Japanese. The Latino stage is often broad and brimming with passion, while Japanese productions are subdued, but beyond that distinction the two share much thematic territory--specifically, obsessions with fate, honor, and betrayal. Tales From the Mist is Oceransky's latest collaboration with Teatro Dallas, a haunted look at the repercussions of a violent act committed under cover of midnight mist. Performances happen Wednesday-Saturday at 8:15 p.m. through June 8 at Teatro Dallas, 2204 Commerce. Tickets are $12. (Wednesdays are "pay what you can.") For information call 741-6833.
Conte de Loyo Flamenco Theatre: Conte de Loyo has performed flamenco dance to huge festival crowds and tiny theater audiences all over the world, always with the integrity of the medium held uppermost in her mind. But Dallas is her home base, the city she really wants to entertain and educate. The Conto de Loyo Flamenco Theatre presents its latest offering, Fuego Y Alma. Subtitled An Evening of Flamenco Dance, the show includes a matinee designed for kids. Performances are May 10 at 8 p.m. and May 11 at 1 and 8 p.m. at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther. Tickets are $5-$18. Call 871-2787.
Sports, Words, City: An Evening with Sportswriters: No doubt about it, Dallas is one of the top sports cities in America. Indeed, fans are so passionate here that our fair city has suffered from a kind of homogenized-cheerleading approach to the craft of sportswriting: Too many people are too afraid to alienate readers with blunt coverage of their favorite teams. Wordspace presents an evening by three North Texas-based, nationally renowned sportswriters who've been anything but timid--and sometimes suffered for it. Sports Illustrated contributor Jennifer Briggs (formerly of the Observer) discusses being a gal in a boy's club; Mike Shropshire of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram compares the raucous '70s to the prim, proper (on the surface) '90s; and Steve Pate of the Star-Telegram and the New York Post discusses regional differences. The evening kicks off at 8 p.m. at Paperbacks Plus, 6115 La Vista. The event is $5. For more information call 942-7012.
Tommy Chong and the Amazing Jonathon: Tommy Chong is the antithesis of the "baked potato" cliche that surrounds pot smokers--an ultraprolific writer-actor-director-musician-stand-up-comic. But he does smoke pot. Regularly. And he continues to incorporate the topic of pot-smoking--along with politics, sex, and pop culture--into his live material, although he refuses to outright advocate it the way Cheech and Chong did by example during the mid-'70s height of their popularity. Chong comes to Dallas for three performances with the Amazing Jonathon, a prop comic who's sort of a cross between Laugh-In and the Friday the 13th film series. Performances happen May 10 at 8 p.m. and May 11 at 7 and 10 p.m. at the Arts District Theater next to the Meyerson Symphony Center. Call 373-8000.
Fear Itself: Fort Worth's Jubilee Theatre presents the Southwest premiere of a drama by Eugene Lee, a Fort Worth native who has worked with the likes of Denzel Washington, Alfre Woodard, and Charles Fuller. Fear Itself is the title of Lee's latest drama, which draws heavily from influences as disparate as Homer's Odyssey and the machismo cult of professional football. Fear Itself concerns a family torn apart by the conflict between a father and son, each of whom has a personal dilemma they must solve through their relationship. Performances happen Friday at 8:15 p.m.; Saturday at 3:15 and 8:15 p.m.; and Sunday at 3:15 p.m. through June 9 at the Jubilee Theatre in downtown Fort Worth. Tickets are $8-$14. Call (817) 338-4411.
Quartetto Gelato: In case you're wondering, the four multi-instrumentalists in the Canadian pop-classical ensemble Quartetto Gelato are aware that the last word in their title is Italian for "ice cream." Oboist Cynthia Steljes, violinist Peter De Sotto, violist Claudio Vena, and cellist George Meanwell decided on the name because they insist the tone of their music is "light and celebratory." But don't confuse "light" with "throwaway": This still-young troupe has been hailed throughout America and Canada for both their technical skills and their passionate interpretive chops. Regular listeners of National Public Radio may have caught the troupe at the end of March on NPR's Performance Today, which dubbed the group "Debut Artist of the Year." The show happens at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $7-$40. Call 528-5576.
Peace Power: There are a whole lot of wonderful organizations behind "Peace Power," an afternoon of short plays written and performed by inner-city kids. The Junior Players, Dispute Mediation Services (a program designed to teach kids how to deal with conflict in nonviolent ways), and the United Way join forces to present four short plays that deal with feeling different, gender issues, and the gang lifestyle. All participants are between the ages of 11 and 15 and enrolled in DISD middle schools. In addition, there's an opening reception for the visual art show Mi Mundo, a collection of works by kids in similar environments. The plays happen at 4:30 p.m. in the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther. They're free. Call 526-4076.
Mother's Day at the Arboretum: Don't abandon your mother to the condescending insult of sloppy handmade cards or Mother's Day talent shows by enthusiastic but tone-deaf tykes. A really special Mother's Day is the one that lets her forget she's a mother for 24 hours. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden offers two days of high-class entertainment shot through with a double dose of late-spring Texas beauty. "Mother's Day at the Arboretum" features elegant brunches, strolling violinists, performances by ballet and musical groups, a specially outfitted gift shop, and, of course, acres of begonias, irises, day lilies, and perennials. Events happen May 11 and May 12, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at 8525 Garland Rd. Admission is $3-$6; parking $2. Call 327-8263.
Natural Exposures: Wildlife conservationists, zoologists, and the like may think their mission on earth is to protect and preserve fauna, but they're wrong. They exist solely so that the rest of us may enjoy some of the more exotic creatures on the planet through glass shields or photographers' flat images. Natural Exposures is just such an opportunity for the travel-impaired--an exhibit of pictures snapped in Texas, Costa Rica, and the Amazon by David Schleser, former curator of the Dallas Aquarium, and David Roberts, a research biologist at the Dallas Zoo. Both are expert-writers who've been consulted and published across the world. In Natural Exposures, saber-tooth wolf fish and blue-headed katydids are your pals. The show opens with a reception May 10, 6-9:30 p.m., and runs through May 19 at Photographic Archives Gallery, 5117 W. Lovers Lane. It's free. Call 670-6826.
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First National Potbellied Pig Convention: A statement of purpose is included in the media release for the First National Potbellied Pig Convention that pretty much sums it up: "It is our hope that with the broad range of courses offered, [participants] can identify ways to help their own...and other pigs in the community and recognize methods of better physical and mental health for their pigs." The release goes on to identify participants as "pig parents." The convention is the fruit of much sweat and blood poured by the North American Potbellied Pig Association, which hopes to raise the profile and awareness of this hottest of domestic pets. In addition to a vendor-display area, classes and seminars include "Understanding the Mind of Your Pig" and "Pigs...Let's Talk." Events are planned day and night May 10-12 at La Quinta Inn Conference Center, 825 N. Watson Rd. in Arlington. The fee is $60. Call (817) 875-2551.
Marion Winik: Fiction and nonfiction AIDS literature has exploded into an American publishing phenomenon over the last five years, but few of the authors who've reaped critical benefit from it have the perspective Marion Winik possesses. Winik is the Austin-based essayist-commentator who earned a national following from bittersweet National Public Radio broadcasts about surviving a drug- and sex-addled youth. She attracted the interest of Texas prosecutors after she admitted during a 1994 NPR essay that she helped her husband, who lingered in the final stages of AIDS, kill himself (though she was never charged with a crime). Her new book, First Comes Love, details their relationship, unusual because she knew her husband was gay when she married him. Winik reads and discusses her work at 7 p.m. at Crossroads Market & Bookstore, 3930 Cedar Springs. It's free. Call 521-8919.
The Path to Enlightenment: Masterpieces of Asian Sculpture from the Musee Guimet, Paris: The legendary Musee Guimet, Paris, France's national museum of Asian arts, is going through some structural changes, so 71 of its sculptures were sent on an overseas voyage. The Fort Worth's Kimbell Art Museum is the only American host. (The next destination is the Idemitsu Museum of Arts in Tokyo). The collection has been dubbed The Path to Enlightenment: Masterpieces of Asian Sculpture from the Musee Guimet, Paris, and it features the development of Buddhist-inspired sculpture across 12 countries and 18 centuries. The show runs through September 1 at 3333 Camp Bowie Boulevard in Fort Worth. Tickets are $6-$8. Call (817) 332-8451.
Desperados: The final scene of Arthur Penn's 1969 classic Bonnie and Clyde pretty much deflated the glam myth that surrounded these Texas hoods as Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway twitched and writhed in a slow-mo storm of gunfire. While there is a wealth of photography and text about the notorious duo in the exhibit Desperados, the gut-punch draw of the show will likely be the bullet-riddled blue shirt worn by Clyde Barrow. Desperados also includes memorabilia from such famous felons as Ralph Fults and Raymond Hamilton. The show runs through June 30 on the seventh floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young. It's free. Call 670-1435.