Moving The Fire: Removal of Indian Nations to Oklahoma: There is nothing more haunting about the infamous "Trail of Tears"--the U.S. government's brutal relocation of American Indian tribes to Oklahoma in the 19th century--than the fact that so many settlers left their belongings behind but brought with them bundles of ashes and cinders from their sacred fires. An exhibit of 37 photographs from the early part of the 20th century documents not the trail itself, but the makeshift lives these Americans were forced to live in the decades following their expulsion from native lands. Moving The Fire: Removal of Indian Nations to Oklahoma opens with a reception July 20 at 7 p.m. that features various American Indian agencies as well as a live program produced for cable access on issues related to Indian culture. The show is free and runs through August 18 at Cable Access of Dallas, 1253 Round Table. Call 631-5571.
2 Hours of Sex For Only $8: Anyone who relishes a good dirty joke should appreciate the new prudishness that rules America today. Since it's suddenly hip for everyone to run around wringing their hands about sex on TV and in movies and music, the horizontal rhumba is once again shrouded in darkness and shame--just the right ingredients to make it truly interesting again. The (Unnamed) Comedy Troupe has found unprecedented success with its comic revue 2 Hours of Sex For Only $8, playing so consistently to packed houses that the show has had to jump venues just to fit in with everybody else's schedules. They deserve a collective spanking for the wide variety of topics addressed--orgasms, marital aids, condoms, lingerie, personal ads, massage parlors, etc. The show opens for another month-long run Friday and Saturday at 11:15 p.m. in the Pocket Sandwich Theater, 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane. The show is also performed every Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Addison Improv, 4980 Beltline in Addison. Tickets are $8. Reservations are advisable. For more information call 821-1860.
Dances To Celebrate: The hundredth anniversary of the births of two great American composers is being celebrated this year with performances and events all across the country. In Dallas, a group of independent choreographers headed by Amanda Stone have assembled their own tribute to the eclectic genius of Leo Sowerby (who died in 1968) and William Grant Still (who passed away exactly ten years later)--one which involves original choreography set to various pieces by the composers. Grant and Still represent a vision of the American artist at its most romantic--both were born in the heartland and retained strong ties to their birthplaces, yet both rose to prominence with their mastery of a wide range of international musical forms, including choral music, ballets, jazz works, and chamber music. Various guest artists from out of town perform on the bill, which also includes locals Stone, E. Donnette Durham, and Lisa Ann Webb. Performances happen July 21 & 22 as well as 28 & 29 in Theater On Elm Street. Tickets are $7-$10. For information call 828-4788.
Conspiracy Theories: Now that the phrase "right-wing militia" makes regular appearances in taxi and kitchen table conversations, the conspiracy theorists have renewed gristle to chew on. You can scare yourself silly by believing any number of scenarios about the Oklahoma bombing, including that it was only the first guerrilla attack on the fascist government officials who killed the Branch Davidians or that it's part of a government conspiracy to trigger the disarmament of gun lovers. The North Texas Skeptics, an organization of folks who like to puncture other people's most cherished balloons, doesn't cotton much to either view. In fact, they think the popularity of conspiracy theories surrounding JFK, the United Nations, and countless other phenomena is a rather frightening trend for American thought--a lazy reliance on fantasy and pure conjecture to keep ourselves entertained. The Skeptics meet at 2 p.m. in the Center for Community Cooperation, 2900 Live Oak, to talk about various conspiracy theories, their historical role, and their psychological purposes. It's free, and the public is invited. Call 558-1047.
Big D Super Collectibles Show: When you come to the Big D Super Collectibles Show, be prepared to pine for the joys of a childhood drowning in pop culture arcana. Indeed, it's a little sad that what for kids were super-cool toys energized by the imagination become, for adults, "collectibles," but such is the inevitability of the loss of innocence. Silver and Golden Age comic books; movie posters from the silent era right through till today; board games, toy cars and whole armies of toy soldiers; wind-up creatures; vintage and contemporary Disney stuff; cap guns and cowboy hats and other Western-related materials--all of it gets crammed under one roof for your nostalgic pleasure. Hours for the Collectibles Show are Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Sheraton Park Central, LBJ Freeway at Coit. Tickets are $4 for everyone. For more information call (817) 261-8745.
4th Annual Peach Festival and Bake-Off: The peach enjoys a special place of honor among fruits--its name was co-opted into American slang decades ago to indicate everything that is dreamy, wonderful, irresistible, enjoyable, etc. With this in mind, peach devotees are converging on Grapevine for that city's fourth annual Peach Festival and Bake-Off. Although the peachy feelings should reach a crescendo, don't underestimate the level of competitiveness inspired by a baking competition--people are facing off with recipes they either invented themselves or were handed after generations in the family (with this in mind, also remember that the fruit being honored doubles as a handy projectile. Keep your eyes peeled!). There's a cobbler and a non-cobbler division (any other baked good that contains peaches). There's also a yummy-sounding ice cream "Crank Off," live music, stories for kids by the Tarrant Area Guild of Storytellers, and the Grapevine Farmers Market. The event kicks off at 9:30 a.m. in the Grapevine Heritage Artisan Center, 701 S. Main St in Grapevine. If you want to compete, call (817) 481-0516.
Mountebanks Changing Place: Johnny Simons, veteran artistic director of Fort Worth's Hip Pocket Theatre, loves theater with a passion that no other North Texas artistic director can claim. He's constantly opening the musty closet of world theater to pull out styles, forms, conventions, and disciplines from all countries and all eras, refashioning them into crazy quilt productions that're like no other in the area. His latest original creation, Mountebanks Changing Place, is dedicated to the 19th century French painter Honore Daumier, whose canvas of the same name swept Simons away to a world of roving clowns and busty damsels. The core text of his script was taken from Papernose Woodensconce's 1854 The Wonderful Drama of Punch and Judy, the original inspiration for the grotesque squabbling puppet characters. With music by Erik Satie and Gus Viseur, it should be an evening of high art with lots of low humor. Mountebanks Changing Place happens Friday-Sunday at 8:30 p.m. in the Jazz Cafe, 715 W. Magnolia in Fort Worth's historic Southside District. Tickets are $5-$12. Call (817) 927-2833.
Music Fair: Expect to see all kinds of strange characters lurking around yet another one of Southwestern Promotions' Music Fairs, stooping in the aisles looking for some obscure artist or title for which they've been combing used record stores and garage sales. The Fair offers participants the chance to buy, sell, and trade recorded music--LPs, CDs, and cassettes in every era and style of music you can think of. The Music Fair specializes in vinyl and out-of-print titles, so it's collector-friendly. Also available are T-shirts, photographs, magazines, autographs, videos, and concert posters from around the world. The one-day event happens 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Dallas Parkway Hilton, 4801 LBJ Freeway at Dallas Parkway. Admission is $3 for adults, but kids 12 and under get in free. For information call (713) 771-3939.
Third Annual Dallas/Fort Worth Classic Wheels Show: Last year more than ten thousand people swarmed to the Dallas/Fort Worth Classic Wheels Show to leer at classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles. These are cars so lovingly cared for, every detail of their original design sweated and bled over in restoration, that the collectors are compelled to register and show them off. In addition to the automobiles, a wide variety of area businesses and restaurants have booths to showcase their goods and services. Other activities include a Bug Swarm, at which local VW mavens see how many Bugs they can cram into a single parking lot; a collectible toy expo with an emphasis on (you guessed it) toy cars; special limited edition or one-of-a-kind autos; and an Elvis impersonator to provide just the right mood music. The event happens July 22 & 23, all day and into the evening at The Ballpark in Arlington. Tickets are $5-$7. For information call (817) 277-2138.
Selections From the Art Collection of Temple Emanu-El: The relationship between Judaism and Christianity in America hasn't always been a terribly friendly one. It's a measure of how wide the gap remains that Christian and Jewish organizations make much ceremonial pomp out of their contemporary collaborations. Two prominent North Texas institutions on opposite sides of the fence--Temple Emanu-El and Southern Methodist University's Bridwell Library--have for decades now maintained an aesthetic association, thanks largely to the efforts of the legendary Rabbi Levi A. Olan, who taught and donated large amounts of books. In the spirit of the late Rabbi Olan, Temple Emanu-El now displays its modern art collection at Bridwell, an eclectic jumble of modern works by such artists as Marc Chagall, Louise Nevelson, and David Aronson. From the Art Collection of Temple Emanu-El runs through October 6 in the Bridwell Library on the grounds of SMU. It's free. For information call 768-1867.
Comedy of Errors: Now that you've lost 50 pounds sitting in 95-degree weather at dusk to catch the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas' productions of As You Like It and Hamlet, the rigorous Sweating With the Bard Diet isn't over yet. Stockpile the towels and ice water for a return trip to Samuell-Grand, because now The Junior Players tread the boards to present a spirited production of Comedy of Errors. This is the fifth year in the Players' "Discover Shakespeare" series, which was designed to introduce the complexities of Shakespearean language to both the high-school-age students who're speaking it and those in the audience who're listening to it. Although the production is for everyone, the youthful cast suggests the show might especially appeal to adolescents. Comedy of Errors is performed July 25-30 at 8:15 pm each night in Samuell-Grand Park in East Dallas. All shows are free of charge, although donations to the Junior Players are gratefully accepted. For information call 526-4076.
Willard Watson: Just six weeks ago, a legendary figure in Texas art went to that great found-object field in the sky at the age of 74. Willard Watson, like so many artists condescendingly labeled "primitive" or "folk" by art scholars, saw his environment, his muse, and his work as one gigantic interwoven quilt. He spent most of his life trying to weave all of them closer together, with autobiographical drawings, tree-trunk sculptures, and perhaps his most famous piece--his red 1967 Ford truck that was transformed into a weird, wild magnet of objects and pictures dedicated to the many people in his life who loved him. The Dallas Museum of Art offers a memorial exhibition of one of "The Texas Kid"'s pictorial cycles of his life. Willard Watson, 1921-1995, In Memoriam: Life Cycle Drawings, 1985 is a series of related pictures in pencil and marker entitled Suite of 12 Life Cycle Drawings. The show is on display through October 31 in the Works on Paper Gallery of the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood. It's free. For more information call 922-1200.
Tearful trail. See Thursday.
Bedroom humor. See Friday.
Classic wheels. See Sunday.
French buffoonery. See Saturday.
Them were the days. See Saturday.