Doubles: Japan and America's Intercultural Children: As often as Americans get bogged down in their own racial hostilities, it's easy to forget how cultures across the globe stratify their peoples along rigid ethnic lines. Finding context is part of the reason why the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth and the South Dallas Cultural Center have joined forces to host a documentary film by African-American filmmaker Regge Life entitled Doubles: Japan and America's Intercultural Children. Life was interested in going outside his own society to study how a different culture reacts to children of racially mixed parents - in this case, Japan and America. Life is in town for questions. His film screens ar 7 p.m. at the South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 Fitzhugh. For info call 761-1791.
Vampire Follies: Most of us have seen so many consecutive Christmas productions of The Nutcracker, just one more and that particular ballet begins to resemble its title in a more literal way. Ballet Dallas has started its own dance holiday tradition, one that combines the white-hot pop mythos of vampirism with the high-falutin' appeal of classical dance. With this, it's second production of Vampire Follies (La Cafe des Vampyres), the troupe has officially added the show as a seasonal production. Artistic director Thom Clower and international choreographer James Clouser worked together on last year's show and present a revamped version this year, once again set to the doom-inspiring music of Shostakovich. The show is performed October 27 & 28 at 8 p.m. and October 29 at 2 p.m. in the Majestic Theatre on Elm Street. Tickets are $5-$45. For more info call 373-8000.
Halloween Activities: For many grade schoolers, the reading gets especially cool around October, when diluted but still-exciting references to the occult pop up everywhere. In fact, if you have a kid close to you who doesn't like to read, Halloween is the perfect time to take a trip to the bookstore or, better yet, the library - no other seasonal literature is as imagination-friendly. The Children's Center at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library has all its Halloween titles separated and showcased for easy reference, but for Halloween weekend, the library has planned three days of events. October 27 at 10:30 a.m. features a puppet show and films, and October 28 & 29 at 2 p.m. a short film festival is shown, including titles like What's Under My Bed? and King of Cats. The Central Library is located at 1515 Young. For info call 670-7838.
Horror at the Major: East Dallas' venerable Major Theatre combines its recent past with the present and future - cool movies with underground music. Part costume-party fund-raiser, part old-fashioned horror film double feature, part thrash-goth-rock extravaganza, "Horror at the Major" features back-to-back screenings of Andre de Toth's 1953 Vincent Price 3-D extravaganza House of Wax with the 1958 Christopher Lee-Peter Cushing classic Horror of Dracula, the film that kicked off Hammer's hugely successful vampire series. Following those will be costume and jack o' lantern contests and, last but definitely loudest, a performance by Dallas sensation Ethyl Merman. The evening kicks off with the films at 8 p.m. and runs until the last creature crawls out following Ethyl Merman's jaw-rattling performance. Admission is $5. The Major is located at 2830 Samuell Blvd. across from Samuell Grand Park. For info call 821-FILM.
30th Annual Classic International Gem & Jewelry Show: Sure, the Classic International Gem & Jewelry Show is a drag queen's heaven for precious and semi-precious gems, beads, crystals, fine and costume jewelry, and collectibles, but the real attraction at this three-day convergence of national vendors is an exhibition called "Fabulous Jewelry of the Stars," with "unimpeachably authenticated" jewelry worn by the likes of Zsa Zsa Gabor, Elvis, Gypsy Rose Lee, and Liberace (has anyone ever seen these folks together in the same room at the same time? hmmm...). The event kicks off October 27, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; October 28, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; and October 29, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons. Tickets are $5. For info call (301) 294-1640.
Dallas Gameroom and Collectibles Show: Nostalgia is the order of the day at the Dallas Gameroom and Collectibles Show, which features hundreds of vintage signs, toys, games, coin-operated doodads, memorabilia, and lots more stuff that people have found in their old buildings or their grandparents' attic or their own basement. Among those things not found in an attic (as far as we know) are the special guests, two of whom nevertheless emerge from semi-obscurity to take their rightful place in the pantheon of American rock 'n' roll legends. We are speaking of Peggy Sue and Donna, the women made famous in songs by Buddy Holly and Richie Valens. There's also one of Holly's guitars; a Holly scholar named Bill Griggs who's just written a book; an exhibit of props, scripts, and animation cels; and lots more. The event is open day and evening October 28 & 29 in the Big Town Exhibition Hall at the Big Town Mall in Mesquite. For ticket info call 243-5725 or 644-7353.
Haunted Gardens: For many years now, stories have circulated about poisoned or otherwise violated candy turning up among the trick-or-treat booty of American kids. It has always been difficult to judge exactly how widespread the danger is, but for many American parents, an exaggerated reality is quite enough - sad to say, but in most parts of the country, trick-or-treating as American rite has died. The Dallas Arboretum steps in with an annual event aimed at kids but designed for everybody. The Haunted Gardens feature not-too-traumatic scares for little ones (although the Cannibal Cafe might be avioded by those with particularly impressionable tykes), with costume characters, a Haunted Forest, ghostly farmers on antique equipment, a Goblin Land, and a variety of activities. The Haunted Gardens is October 27 & 28, 7 - 9:30 p.m. at 8525 Garland Road on White Rock Lake. Admission is $4-$5, parking is $2. For info call 823-7644.
Deep Ellum Fall Arts Festival: The Deep Ellum Arts Festival and other parties interested in the continued cultural and economic development of that neighborhood hope to make Dallasites remember Ellum as the place to be when seasons change. As a followup to the Deep Ellum Summer Arts Festival, organizers thought the Deep Ellum Fall Festival might make a nice name. For three nights and two days, the streets of Main and Commerce will crawl with poets, visual artists, craftspeople, eye-popping costumery, dancers, and live musical performances by headliners The Nixons and Funland, as well as countless other local bands. The Fall Arts Festival happens October 27, 7 - 11 p.m.; October 28, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; and October 29, 1 -8 p.m. on the streets of Deep Ellum. It's free. For information call 831-1881.
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El Dia De Los Muertos: Anglo Protestantism is one of the most important reasons why Americans have such a hangup about death. Part of the ongoing debate about the quality and availability of health care is predicated on an unconscious, if very powerful, drive peculiar to North Americans - there seems to be some part of us that actually believes we can cheat death. Latino cultures worldwide have been maintaining a relatively cordial relationship with death for centuries now, as symbolized in their El Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) ceremonies. The international days of the dead are November 1 and 2, but expect all kinds of observances thrown back toward our own paganistic pop-culture variation, Halloween. Fort Worth's Modern Art Museum hosts a celebration that includes live dance and music performances, elaborate altars to the deceased, related visual art, and other offerings. The event happens 2 -4:30 p.m. at 1309 Montgomery Street at Camp Bowie Blvd. in Fort Worth. It's free. For information call (817) 738-9215.
High Stakes in Cyberspace: The wheelers and dealers of American business are throwing money into a black hole, based on the rosy predictions of not-exactly-unbiased analysts, just as they were back in the national real estate and savings & loan boom of the early '80s. The '90s obsession is that nebulous, about-to-disppoint-us-all phenomenon known as the Information Superhighway. Dozens of major American corporations (and not all of them in communications) are spending billions of dollars to develop online interactive technology which will complement or replace the existing satellite-and-cable infrastructure. In a new episode of the documentary series "Frontline," journalist Robert Krulwich takes a look at "High Stakes in Cyberspace," in particular the culture of advertising, which is about to explode under the fingers of Internet users. "High Stakes in Cyberspace" airs at 9 p.m. on KERA-TV Channel 13. For info call (617) 783-3500.
Ohio Tip-Off: For all the hype accorded to the feature documentary Hoop Dreams early this year, one of the oft-missed points that the film made was how love of fame has completely replaced love of sports for many, if not most, sports fans. It's not the sense of individual accomplishment (does that count for anything anywhere anymore?) but the crowd adulation that was driving those two young men toward the NBA. The Dallas Theater Center presents James Yoshimura's Ohio Tip-Off, a comedy-laced courtside drama with an imtriguing premise - a Ohio team of basketball players must face off against each other in front of an NBA scout when the other team cancels. Think of it as David Mamet at the rim. The play runs Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 & 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. through November 19 at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Tickets are $15-$39. For info call 522-TIXX.
Natural Connections: Photographs by Paula Chamlee: Believe it or not, landscape photography is one of the most artistically rigorous of American art forms. The photographer must have a highly discerning eye to find the patterns and shapes in organic materials; otherwise, a row of desert brush looks like a row of desert brush and not some peculiar, dynamic shape and texture created by nature. It should come as no surprise that 51-year-old photographer Paula Chamlee started her artistic career as a painter - her pictures of North American flora crackle with the tension between line and form. Natural Connections: Photographs by Paula Chamlee, a collection of her large-format pictures, runs through November 25 at the Photographic Archives Gallery, 5117 W. Lovers Lane. It's free. For information call 352-3167.