Events for the week

march 22
Sorrow and Solace: Every American military action since the mid-'70s--Kuwait, Panama, Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia--is examined up, down, and sideways by the press and politicians for any sign of infection by that most dreaded of American viruses--Vietnamitis. Everyone wants to know if the latest deployment of troops into a foreign conflict most Americans don't understand shows the symptoms of a chronic national humiliation. Politicos and pundits seem less interested in the real issues involved than whether they'll be able to explain it later. Sorrow and Solace is a drama of voices about the Vietnam War--including the Vietnamese themselves, who speak as the voice of the Memorial Wall--by Boston playwright Bill Strubbe that makes its world premiere under the N.M. Productions Theater Company. The show runs Thursday-Saturday at 8:15 p.m. through March 31 at the Hickory Street Annex Theatre, 501 Second Ave. A special poetry reading by local vets and mothers of vets happens March 25 at 8 p.m. at the theater. For information call 680-4466.

Streb: TITAS (The International Theatrical Arts Society) continues its fine tradition of hurling people through the air like basketballs. Its latest jaw-dropping import to the city of Dallas is an internationally acclaimed troupe founded by a former Catholic schoolgirl whose favorite teen-age pastimes included downhill skiing and motorcycle riding. Choreographer and founder Elizabeth Streb doesn't like to describe her 10-year-old eponymous company as "dance" group; she prefers "pop action." "Daredevil choreography" might be an even more accurate phrase. The ferociously accomplished performers in Streb put their limbs on the line with horizontal movements on a wall; hellacious trampoline and parallel-bar combos, and more. Performances happen March 22 & 23, 8 p.m., at McFarlin Auditorium, Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $7-$40. Call 528-6112.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Musical Discovery Adventure: The crypto-fascist, megabillion-dollar Walt Disney Company brings to Dallas its sprawling "medieval festival" as part of a 21-city tour. It sounds more like an infomercial directed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Disney's latest big-budget animated Xerox, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, won't hit the theatres until June 21, but if your kids, like millions across the country, can't survive the anticipatory D.T.'s, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame Musical Discovery Adventure" arrives with a new concept in promotion: the multimedia advertisement. Press material promises two live shows every hour; one bell-ringing ceremony every hour inside a 24-foot reproduction of the Cathedral of Notre Dame; a 10-minute puppet show performed by one of Disney's Hunchback characters, Clopin (he is described as "colorful and flamboyant," which is Disneyese for "he's the flamer this time"); and the chance for kids to gorge themselves dizzy on Disney glitz. The "Musical Discovery Adventure" rolls through Plano March 22-24 at Collin Creek Mall. For information call 750-4661.

march 23
Legacy of the Lone Star State: In its short time as a major North Texas arts institution, Waxahachie's Webb Gallery has built up steam with so-called "self-taught" artists from all over the country. It finally releases what is at once a labor of love, statement of purpose, and a declaration of the gallery's desire to maintain the state's cultural reputation. Texas Self-Taught: Legacy of the Lone Star State is the result of married founders Julie and David Webb scouring 6,000 miles through every corner of Texas. They were looking for just less than 10 times the feet worth of pieces (the recently expanded Webb Gallery clocks in at over 50,000). The drawings, paintings, sculptures, and found-object assemblages in the show draw from the collection of nationally celebrated artists both living (Carl Nash, who has constructed images of both Jesus and the Antichrist) and dead (the recently deceased Lone Star celeb "The Texas Kid"). The Texas Self-Taught: Legacy of the Lone Star State exhibit opens with an artists' reception March 23, 5-9 p.m., and runs through May 5 at 209-211 W. Franklin in Waxahachie. It's free. Call 938-8085.

Kweikwei Music Festival: The numerous Texas choirs that have entered the competition for the final showdown of the Kweikwei Gospel Music Festival all work within a profound American religious tradition reinvigorated by one faraway place: Africa. The Kweikwei Ensemble is a good-natured battle between prejudged, 15-or-more-member choirs from churches, high schools, college, or community groups. This is a presentation of the Dallas branch of the National Association of Negro Musicians and KHVN-FM "Heaven 97." The show happens at 6 p.m. at the Carver Heights Baptist Church, 2510 E. Ledbetter Drive. For information call 376-6037.

Abortion and Physician-Assisted Suicide: Jack "Dr. Death" Kevorkian was recently acquitted on another murder charge yet faces still another trial. The passion with which America's legal system has taken after Dr. Kevorkian reflects not just the man's apparent credibility problems as a dispenser of mercy but also suggests how insulated, pampered, medicated America, unlike almost every other country on earth, is ill-equipped nationally to deal with the subject of death. The U.S. medical establishment, probably the most effective in the world, has steadfastly refused to fix a fatal flaw--a rejection of spirituality in the delivery of treatment. Abortion and Physician-Assisted Suicide is another polite, patient, thorough study by the School of Theology for the Laity, which applies Christian philosophy to everyday conundrums. The day-long discussion and seminar happens 8:45 a.m.-3:15 p.m. at East Dallas Christian Church, 629 N. Peak Street. Tickets are $30. Call 349-2792.

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Jimmy Fowler

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