Thursday, January 8
If you check the "single" box on forms and enjoy the beauty of a gourmet meal, then you're probably really picky and there's good reason you're still alone. We wouldn't know anything about that. We do know the glory of having discriminating taste and high standards, as do the members of Single Gourmet DFW. The members-only social group (no jackets as far as we know) is for single professionals in their 30s to 60s that throws receptions, dinners, cocktail parties, cooking classes, tours and more. The third annual kickoff party is a cocktail social with live music by The Marc Toussaint Combo and gourmet hors d'oeuvres at Earl's, 8141 Walnut Hill Lane, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The party is $35, but non-members will receive a $10 discount on annual membership during the event. Call 972-732-8000 or download the forms from www.singlegourmetdfw.com.
Friday, January 9
It's difficult to justify why it's necessary to spend $7.50 to see an old movie on the big screen rather than just rent it for $3.49 or wait for it to air on a movie channel. But sometimes home viewing just can't compare, at least without the kind of home theater system that makes $7.50 seem like spare change. Therefore, Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds is a movie-theater must-see, mainly because of the soundtrack or, rather, the lack of one. During those near-the-end claustrophobic, blood pressure-raising moments, Hitchcock doesn't rely on a composer's string section to cue us as to when our heart rate should increase. Instead, the quiet of the Taylors' living room is broken by the sounds of the restless birds outside. Flapping, pecking, cawing, slamming against the windows. It's all you can hear for what seems like an hour as you're trapped in the tiny room with the characters onscreen. Those who weren't afraid of those conspiring black birds downtown before should be now. And that's worth $7.50. The Birds will be shown at midnight Friday and Saturday at the Inwood Theatre, 5458 W. Lovers Lane. Call 214-674-9106.
Saturday, January 10
Every phrase sounds a little bit sexier in a different language. Take, for example, the new exhibit at the Bath House Cultural Center titled Sin Tema. It just wafts of mystery and seduction. It smolders; it sizzles. It means "without a theme." A bit of a letdown, translation-wise. Basically, it's an exhibit with no unifying topic other than the fact the 24 artists are of Hispanic origin. It opens Saturday with a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. featuring musician Marco Antonio Diaz and writer Blanca Irene Lozano Aguirre, artists from Del Rio whose work is on display in Enlace: Waves of Mystery, which also opens Saturday. Both shows close January 31. Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive on White Rock Lake. Call 214-670-8749.
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Sunday, January 11
The Writer's Garret and KERA-FM 90.1 modeled their new literary series The Writer's Studio after Bravo's Inside the Actors Studio with local talkie Glenn Mitchell playing the James Lipton role and various authors taking the hot seat in live tapings. It's an intriguing premise, and we're sure National Book Award winner Kathryn Harrison (author of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, The Kiss and Thicker Than Water) will be a splendid first guest. We just wish it were more like VH1's Behind the Music. You know, hazy dramatized footage of that time some heavy shit went down backstage at a book signing or a tryst with a bookworm groupie in a supply closet. That's really what would get kids reading. The first taping is 7 p.m. at Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St. in the Quadrangle. Call 214-871-3300.
Monday, January 12
In a twisted, masochistic way, we were really hoping that Ocean Front Property, the Texas Filmmakers' Series movie for January, was a long-playing video for that George Strait hit song. Instead, it's about actual sea-adjacent realty, though it does feature the kind of bitter, heartbreaker of a premise that good ol' George was twanging about. The film, by Texas director Joe Scott and shot in Galveston, features a man who tries to escape a breakup by holing up at a beach house only to be interrupted by the heartbreaker and her new husband. The Video Association of Dallas and the Angelika Film Center and Café present Ocean Front Property at 7 p.m. the second and fourth Monday of the month at the Angelika, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane in Mockingbird Station. Admission is $8, or $5.50 with student ID. Call 214-428-8700.
Tuesday, January 13
In our childhood, we were obsessed with The Pirates of Penzance. Or so we thought. It turns out we were actually obsessed with The Pirate Movie starring Kristy McNichol and Christopher Atkins of Blue Lagoon fame. Though still a musical about pirates, The Pirate Movie has one major difference from Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance: It sucks. A lot. We'd say you'll never see The Pirate Movie live onstage, but Road House has now been made into a musical, so we can't make any promises. You can, however, check out The Pirates of Penzance courtesy of the Fort Worth Opera and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra this week at the Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce St. in Fort Worth. With pirates, policemen and the Royal Navy all singing and dancing in period costumes, it's a sight to be seen--with or without an eye patch. The most popular of Gilbert & Sullivan's comedic operas, The Pirates of Penzance will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $14.50 to $96.50. Call the box office at Bass Hall at 817-212-4280.
Wednesday, January 14
Imagine that you know of chocolate in the rectangular, foil-wrapped form only. No s'mores, no peanut butter cups, no chips in cookies. Just chocolate bars. Tasty, yes, but very limited. That was our knowledge of quilts, pre-Quilt Mania. To us, they were cute, nostalgic blankets made by grandmas from old baby bonnets and faded curtains. But now we know it all: They are art, designed in traditional patterns from nature or free-form designs with political and spiritual influences. Feel like a kid in a candy store when the Dallas Museum of Art presents its Quilt Mania contribution with Through the Needle's Eye: American Quilts From the Permanent Collection of the Dallas Museum of Art. It opens Sunday and runs through June 27 with various events highlighting different aspects, beginning with Dr. Marian Ann Montgomery's gallery talk "Comparing the DMA's Quilts With the Quilts at Other Quilt Mania Institutions" at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday. The talk is free with admission to the museum, which ranges from $4 to $6. DMA, 1717 N. Harwood St. Call 214-922-1200.