Events for the week

august 14
Landscape: Ever participated in those silly "Be Handicapped For a Day" office events where you ride around in a wheelchair or wear a blindfold to help you sympathize? There's something about being able to remove your handicap at the end of the day that makes it...well, not quite so handicappish. The 11th Street Theater Project offers three special performances that will give you a less melodramatic, possibly more effective sense of what it's like to be outside the regular flow of communication. They perform Harold Pinter's one-act Landscape in sign language, then provide a vocal interpreter for those who can hear. Pinter can be difficult enough to understand if your ears work; this two-tiered presentation should provide an intriguing extra element to an author whose words are very often not to be trusted anyway. Performances happen 10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday following 11th Street's production of The Hothouse at St. Matthew's Episcopal Cathedral, 5100 Ross Avenue at Henderson. Tickets are $5. Call (214) 522-PLAY.

Esther Lutrell: Texas native Esther Lutrell left our fair state to become a player in the Hollywood industry. She went from Midwest documentarian and TV scriptwriter to an employee of the script department at CBS in Los Angeles, from where it was a relatively short (and possibly bloody) climb to development and production at MGM. Lutrell now operates her own production company, Mainstream Entertainment, and peddles her extensive knowledge of the script into nationally acclaimed writing seminars. This is a woman who knows where all the bodies are buried, but her talk for the Dallas Screenwriters Association will be confined to her experiences in the biz. This weekend, she's also in town along with DreamWorks development guy Mark Shulman and Viacom producer Donald Gold to offer her seminar Tools of the Screenwriting Trade. Lutrell's solo talk starts at 7 p.m. Thursday; her seminar with Shulman and Gold takes place both Saturday and Sunday. Both will be held in the Press Club of the Adams Mark Hotel. For admission info call (214) 922-7829.

august 15
Howard Stern Rally: "Calendar" can find a number of outrages more pressing than 97.1 KEGL's decision not to renew Howard's contract; we're still telling ourselves that the Brad and Gwyneth split is a misunderstanding that'll right itself once those two realize they were meant to be. Our limited doses of Stern have always revealed him to be a tad predictable and considerably less outrageous than an eighth-grade male firing on all his dirty-minded cylinders. Nonetheless, from the regular phone calls we've received, our readership includes many fans. If you worship the King of All Media and don't have anything better to do (i.e., sleep or work) shortly after dawn, a rally to protest the pulling of Stern's plug is scheduled, to be led by Stern personality "Melrose" Larry Green. The event happens 6 a.m.-9 a.m. outside the studios of 97.1 KEGL-FM in Irving. Call (214) 892-9840.

Elvis Night (20 Years and Still Dead): Although the estate of Elvis Presley would never admit it, the King's appeal (when he was young, at least) extended beyond working-class heterosexuals to gay men smitten by that rent-boy pout on a Southern baby face. The King's youthful androgyny has its Sapphic admirers as well; nationally celebrated lesbian impersonator Elvis Herselvis and her backups, The Straight White Males, are a sincere tribute that has earned official disapproval from Elvis' posthumous publicity machine. Elvis Herselvis joins The Red Elvises--three Siberian impersonators--and the headliner, Elvis fan Mojo Nixon, for an evening tribute titled "Elvis Night (20 Years and Still Dead)." Doors open at 10 p.m. at Club Clearview, 2803 Main St. Admission is $6, and you must be 21. Call (214) 939-0077.

august 16
Freak Show Banners: "Freak of the week" is a common phrase in journalism circles to describe the kind of story that focuses on an eccentric, a self-promoter, a genuine nutcase, or any hybrid of the three. These days, freaks aren't born--they're made; but earlier in this century, you had to have a physical deformity (or be able to fake one really convincingly) to earn that title and make your living on the freak-show circuit that criss-crossed America. Waxahachie's Webb Gallery presents a show called Freak Show Banners that features original painted signs by artists of the American midway like Snap Wyatt, Fred Johnson, and Jack Sigler. The show opens with a reception August 16, 6-9 p.m. and runs through September 7 at Webb Gallery, 209-211 West Franklin in Waxahachie. Call (972) 938-8085.

Anthem to Beauty: The rather unpleasant death of Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia, attributed in part to an ongoing heroin problem, would seem to puncture the psychedelic ethos that bound a legitimate American subculture for 30 years. The band's music and message had always leaned toward the sunny side of stonerism, the perpetual childhood that marijuana and other mild hallucinogens would seem to offer. Yet they weren't enough for Garcia, whose arms were heavily punctured road maps of the guitarist's desperate withdrawal from his own life. As part of its month highlighting American popular music, KERA-TV Channel 13 presents the documentary Anthem to Beauty, which traces both the band's career and the cultish faith of fans who've adapted their whole lives around the music. The show runs at 12:30 a.m. on KERA-TV Channel 13. Call (214) 871-1390.

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Jimmy Fowler