Events for the week
The Littlest Angel: The Dance Consortium is a troupe for people who don't like too much of any one dance style, but are turned on by a blend of the best of many kinds. The Consortium mixes classical ballet with modern choreography and, whenever it's appropriate, tries to mix in light and sound effects as well as puppetry and other media. The effect is less like a dance concert and more like--well, a whole lot of different elements thrown together for your viewing pleasure. The Consortium presents its annual adaptation of Charles Tazewell's kids' classic The Littlest Angel, about one unhappy cherub and the gift he makes to the Baby Jesus. Performances happen December 14-16 and 19-23 at 7 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees scheduled December 16, 22, and 23. All shows happen at The University of Texas at Dallas, 2601 N. Floyd & Campbell in Richardson. Tickets are $6-$8. For info call 883-2915.
The Jingle Bell Run: It seems every year The Jingle Bell Run gets more and more elaborate, which is logical--when you generate mobs of this size, you'd best keep them busy or they might run riot. In 1995, the Run itself--actually a choice of either a 5K run or a one-mile fun-run--is almost beside the point. This year's Costume Contest will be judged by a panel that includes fitness guru Dr. Kenneth Cooper. The Fairmont's Regency Ballroom has been transformed into a Santa Land that includes choirs, arts and crafts, and a Santa Claus waiting with a warm lap. The race begins at 7:30 p.m. outside of the Fairmont Hotel on Ross Avenue. All proceeds benefit BloodCare. For information call 528-1290.
The Nutcracker: For performing arts groups, the Christmas season becomes a time of frantic self-justification or, "Why you should choose to spend your money on my hard-candy classic over the others." For purists, the biggest draw to Ballet Dallas' performance of The Nutcracker is that artistic director Thom Clower has bypassed Balanchine to reach back a hundred years to the original choreography of Lev Ivanov, which, in turn, was a more faithful adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffman's original story. While not necessarily superior to later versions, Ivanov does offer the chance for folks who've O.D.'d on The Nutcracker to catch its little-seen genesis. Performances happen December 15-23 at 7:30 p.m., with weekend matinees at 2 p.m., at the Majestic Theatre on Elm Street downtown. Tickets are $5-$45. For information call 373-8000.
Romeo and Juliette: The Dallas Opera dishes up a little classical tragedy for your holiday enjoyment--the tale of two teenagers whose hormones lead them to a very bad end. There is a certain primal rush to the grand drama that is an opera performance, so all those open throats should complement the tortured text of Romeo and Juliette quite nicely. The Dallas Opera has chosen a mainstay for its production--the musical adaptation of Shakespeare's work by Charles-Francois Gounod--rather than one of the many opera versions throughout the ages written by various composers. Performances happen December 15, 22 and 27 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on December 17, in the Music Hall at Fair Park. For ticket information call 443-1000.
Dale Bozzio: If 94.5 KDGE's weekday "Flashback Cafe" had a kingdom, it would be the wonderfully glitzy, kitschy Eden 2000, and if it had a queen, that would have to be Dale Bozzio, the Missing Persons diva who currently tours the country on a wave of twentysomething nostalgia. Flashbacks--the sting of peroxide burns, the smell of clove cigarettes, the swish-swish of parachute pants--are bound to kick into overdrive when Bozzio returns to Dallas to perform '80s hits like "Words" and "Destination Unknown." Eden 2000 hosts the chanteuse at 550 Greenville Avenue. For ticket information call 373-3363.
Hari Om Sharan and Nandini Sharan: Feeling Judeo-Christianed out? A little sound of the East might be just the thing to restore your equilibrium. The Dallas Hare Krishna Temple and The Texas Krishnas, Inc. (founded to raise "Krishna consciousness") hosts the internationally beloved devotional singers Hari Om Sharan and Nandini Sharan. The Sharans have toured the world together for over a decade now, but Hari Om Sharan's career goes back thirty years in India, where he is known as "Bhajan Maharishi," or Emperor of Devotional Ballads (think of him as the Eastern "Chairman of the Board"). Both Sharans perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Coppell Middle School West, off I-635 near the DFW Airport. Tickets are $15. Call 827-6330.
Shari Lewis and Friends: It seems remarkable that Shari Lewis has been able to sustain legions of fans throughout a thirty-year career--the same thirty years which have seen a tremendous change in attitude about not only children's entertainment but children themselves. Lewis can be seen as a primary influence on everything from "Sesame Street" to the much-despised Barney. But unlike the prehistoric purple codependent, Lewis sometimes appeals more to adults than children. She represents the kind of wholesome, gentle, whimsical entertainment that grown-ups, battered by the world and in search of an idealized vision of childhood, want to remember. Lewis was a little watered-down for some of us, but in an age of increasingly cynical children's entertainment, she qualifies as a truly "alternative" performer. Lewis performs at 12:30 and 3 p.m. in the Dallas Convention Center, Akard & Canton. Tickets are $5-$40. For information call 871-ARTS.
Jack Myers and Rich Crossland: Remarkable as it may seem, there really are a small number of people out there who make a living from poetry. Professional poets are such a dying breed in our word-unfriendly world that an appearance by one is tantamount to an exhibition of an exotic creature that people have heard stories about but have never seen. The Writer's Garret hosts a reading by an internationally celebrated wordsmith whose work has earned praise from no less a source than Seamus Heaney, 1995 Nobel Laureate. Jack Myers, a Southern Methodist University professor, has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, countless literary awards, and has been published in major journals all over the country. Reading with Myers is novelist and short-story writer Rich Crossland, who received his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and was himself a professor at SMU. Myers and Crossland read at 8 p.m. in the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney. Tickets are $3. Call 828-1715.
2nd Annual Christmas Show: Before you attend the 2nd Annual Christmas Show, the holiday version of Houston-based Southwest Promotions' Music Fair, you might consider thumbing through your own collection for any titles that might not have graced the stereo set for a few years (just remember that one person's junk is too often still in the bins at the end of a business day). Although there are plenty of CDs and cassettes available there, vinyl is the hot commodity, the reason most people attend. With this in mind, friends and loved ones would be thrilled to receive some rare or out-of-print LP by a favorite artist. For a musical gift you may not be able to find outside of a national tour of garage sales and record shops, this is the place to go. The show is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Dallas Parkway Hilton, 4801 LBJ Freeway at Dallas Parkway. Admission is $3 for adults; kids 12 and under get in free. For info call 661-3600.
Howard Stern: Forget all that talk about Howard Stern being a racist, sexist homophobe, and really spend a few hours listening to his show. What you'll hear is something unique and even ambitious in American entertainment--a kind of ongoing project of democracy which seeks to unite the sensibilities of white, working-class, conservative men (the so-called "angry white males" of the last election) with women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, lesbians, and a host of other minorities in the American mosaic. You won't find a more diverse variety of voices, many of whom are indeed from underdog groups. If Stern has a flaw, it's not that he's a hatemonger but that he has set up a career which must eventually self-destruct, as all full-time provocateurs will. By stretching the limits of broadcasting, Stern is paving the way for his own demise, but for the time being, his crude antics hit the spot. Stern appears at 10 a.m. at Taylors Prestonwood, 5455 Belt Line. For information call 934-1500.
The Baby of Macon: The USA Film Festival hosts the screening of a movie about a miracle baby born into a land that desperately wants a messiah. Lest you think this is a First Monday Classics revival of George Stevens' 1965 The Greatest Story Ever Told, be forewarned that it's the Festival's Independent Showcase screening of a film by genius-pervert Peter Greenaway (The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover; Prospero's Books) that has never before been shown in Texas and still awaits an American distributor. 1993's The Baby of Macon features the now-hot British actors Ralph Fiennes and Julia Ormond in a tale of a child born of a withered old hag--only to be exploited by his sister as a holy infant. Unavailable on video, The Baby of Macon contains, according to press material, "brutal, shocking, outrageous, and sexually explicit scenes," to which we reply, "Save us an aisle seat!" The film screens at 7:30 p.m. at the AMC Glen Lakes Theatre, 9450 N. Central at Walnut Hill. Tickets are $6.50. For information call 821-NEWS.
Turtle Creek Chorale: Let's hope all this attention doesn't go to the head of Stephan Pyles, owner of Star Canyon. Three issues back he was a Dallas Observer cover boy and now he's about to star in the latest production of the Turtle Creek Chorale. What next, a network TV sit-com called "Stephan!" about a whacky restaurateur trying to keep a quaint diner afloat? It could happen. In "Holidays of the Future," Pyles, starring as himself, operates a truck stop in the hamlet of Big Spring, Texas (Pyle's actual birthplace). The 225 members of the Chorale get snowed in and agree to sing for their supper. Performances are December 19-22 at 8 p.m. in the Morton H. Meyerson Center, 2301 Flora in the Dallas Arts District. Tickets are $10-$25. For information call 520-ARTS.
Kay Bailey Hutchison: Forget for a moment that Kay Bailey Hutchison looks like Kurt Valdheim in drag. Forget the stories of her pinching and notebook-flogging aides that swarmed around her near-indictment. Forget that she slavishly supports her Texas partner in the Senate who is quite possibly the Antichrist. Ironically, the woman who Gloria Steinem called "a female impersonator," has proven one of the most assertive, ambitious women in America at every turn in her career. You can hear one of America's most powerful political figures, male or female, at noon as part of Julia Sweeney's Tuesday Talk Series at the Dallas Country Club, 4100 Beverly Drive. Tickets are $35. Call 520-0206.
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What's happening in town? From underground club nights to the biggest outdoor festivals, our top picks for the week's best events will always keep you in on the action.