Night & Day

january 7
Keenen Ivory Wayans' publicist and agent can spin this however they want, but the fact is, his three-night stand at the Improv in Addison is a sign that the actor-comedian-talk show host's career is on a downward spiral that will most likely end with a recurring role on his brothers' excessively lame sitcom on the WB Network.
It's not that we don't think he's funny; In Living Color was one of our favorite television shows a few years back, and his directorial debut, 1988's I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, was a hilarious spoof of blaxploitation films. Somewhere between then and now, though, Wayans stopped trying to be funny, choosing to become an action hero instead. Most Wanted was the least-wanted movie of 1997, and 1996's The Glimmer Man only served to prove paunchy kung-fool Steven Seagal is the missing link between man and wood. Wayans got back to his roots last year, hosting his own late-night talk show, but even that didn't get him back on track, lasting about as long as Magic Johnson's show. So here he is, back on the comedy-club circuit, more than a decade after he thought he was through with it for good. If nothing else, he's still the funniest member of the Wayans clan. Too bad that doesn't mean as much as it used to. Keenen Ivory Wayans performs January 7-9 at the Improv, 4980 Belt Line in Addison. Tickets are $25. Call (972) 404-8501.

january 8
About a month ago, we said goodbye to Darlington, presumably forever. Chris (or Christy, or whatever he's going by these days) and Steve were moving to New York to peddle their pop-punk wares in the big city, leaving all of us suckers in Dallas behind for good. Now, it seems that "forever" meant something like a month and a half. Rumor is, the boys are back in town, and it's not just to visit. Oh well. We guess it's not that surprising. Apparently, Chris likes to change his address as often as he does his name. On Friday, Darlington will give its once-and-future homies a sneak preview of its forthcoming album at an all-ages show at the Galaxy Club, 2820 Main. Post from Vermont and The Commercials will also perform. Doors open at 5 p.m. Call (214) 7GA-LAXY.

january 9
The year 2000 and the threat of massive computer failure from the Y2K bug have spooked many into becoming hillbillies: People are snapping up backwoods property so fast, you'd think there was gold in them thar hills, and money is appearing under mattresses more often than box springs are. We aren't that worried yet. When the time comes, we'll probably just buy a few cartons of smokes, grab our grandmother's old double-barreled shotgun, and try to keep out the crazies. If you think about it, the fact that Prince's "1999" will be played every day for a year is much more frightening than some computer bug that will probably be fixed before you can say "Bill Gates' immunity deal." If, however, you feel the need to educate yourself on Y2K survival strategies, J.R. Morris, author of Year 2000: Your Personal Protection Guide, will lead a discussion on what we must do "before and after the computers go ballistic at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, January 1, 2000." Hmmm, looks like we may have to break out the shotgun a little early. Morris' discussion begins Saturday at 2 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 801 W. 15th St. in Plano. Call (972) 422-3372.

january 10
Artist Sam Reveles' paintings are like a collision between the right and left sides of the brain. His paintings start out as orderly, average landscapes, not out of step with the kind of work churned out by the late, gentle, kinky-haired Bobby Ross on his public-access television show. But on top of his pastoral canvases, it looks like he used a finished painting to clean his brushes on, at least at first glance. The paintings quickly reveal themselves to be abstract marvels, not random brush strokes, but fuzzy images as surprising and confusing as life itself. See for yourself. His latest exhibition, Recent Paintings and Drawings, hangs at the Gerald Peters Gallery, 2913 Fairmont, from January 9 through February 13, opening with a reception on Saturday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Call (214) 969-9410. Reveles will give an artist's talk on Sunday at 2 p.m. at The MAC, 3120 McKinney Ave. Call (214) 953-1212.

Upcoming Events

january 11
A few years ago, Tower Records intended to open a store in Deep Ellum, a move that would have surely hastened the area's move toward annexation by Addison. The chain eventually backed off after it couldn't find a suitable location. In the interim, Virgin Megastore opened its first Texas location in the Grapevine Mills Mall, becoming the biggest and best record store in town. Tower has finally opened up shop, but some of the luster has been lost. The role it was supposed to fill--a chain record store with the selection of a mom-and-pop store, as well as books and movies--has already been taken by Virgin. It's like Superman coming to the rescue 20 minutes after Batman saved your life. But we'll still shop there. At least it's not in Grapevine. The new Tower Records store is located at 3707 Lemmon. Call (800) ASK-TOWER.

january 12
To most people, the old Dairy Queens and gas pumps and grain silos that mark the miles on every farm-to-market road from here to Oklahoma are little more than dots on the landscape, blurry images that speed by through a passenger-side window. To photographer Gordon Sirek, they are art. Through his lens, an old Dairy Queen is a symbol of a crumbling way of life, and a rusty gas pump is a tangible reminder of a faded dream. Sirek's latest exhibition, Portfolio III-Vanishing Texas, collects 19 such images, black-and-white photographs depicting structures and buildings in various states of disrepair that were built in this century but probably won't make it far into the next. Portfolio III-Vanishing Texas opens on Tuesday at The House of Black & White Gallery, 3420 Avenue K in Plano, and continues through February 13. An opening reception will be held 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday. Call (972) 424-6958.

january 13
We always liked comedian Paul Rodriguez, so there's no way we can avoid enjoying George Lopez. It's basically the same act, but unlike Rodriguez, he's willing to take his comedy just a little further out on the edge; Lopez is like Rodriguez's stunt double. He's not afraid to point fingers within the Hispanic community, although he does it with the intent of providing a positive role model, not just to boost his own appeal. In the end, he makes you think as much as laugh, which is an uncommon trait in the current stand-up ranks. Of course, being funny is a pretty rare quality among the current stream of stand-ups, and Lopez is that too. Lopez performs at the Improv, 4980 Belt Line in Addison, January 13-17 and 20-24. Call (972) 404-8501.

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