Fred Curchack: Texas-based performance artist Fred Curchack has traveled the world collecting awards and stunning non-English-speaking audiences with his one-man "revisionings" of some of William Shakespeare's most elaborate multicharacter fantasies. Curchack accomplishes this through a carefully synchronized combination of masks, light, shadow, sound effect, and, of course, his own rubber face and infinitely elastic voice. Some spectators have likened the man to Robin Williams, but comparisons don't do justice to Curchack's accomplishments--getting audiences in touch with the muse of the author he's reading and reintroducing them to the epic power of their own imagination. Fred Curchack performs Stuff As Dreams Are Made On Thursday and Friday at 8 pm and What Fools These Mortals Be Saturday and Sunday at 8 pm at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney at Bowen. Tickets are $15. Call 953-1MAC.
Losing a Loved One to AIDS: Although you rarely see those little red ribbons that indicate AIDS solidarity on awards shows these days, this signals, sadly, less of a general consensus that AIDS phobia has been conquered than a bored American zeitgeist shifting to the next popular cause (two weeks ago, the Oscar ceremonies were bulging with what might be its replacement in the arts crowd--pleas to continue public funding of the arts). If TV, movies, and music celebrities are guilty of self-serving exploitation of HIV, then the general public should be condemned for the opposite sin--never quite managing to stop the segregation of "guilty" and "innocent" AIDS patients. There are still huge numbers of Americans who believe that AIDS is a Biblical plague, or a government lab-created nightmare, or an automatic sign that the infected must be an individual of decadent personal habits. Facing a long and potentially painful deterioration is hard enough, but the terminally ill receive relief from their social and physical torments--while those who must live a long time past their beloved's death endure the trauma of seeing their loved one die in infamy. Fort Worth's AIDS Outreach Center presents Losing A Loved One to AIDS, a two-hour seminar by Tarrant County's AIDS Outreach Center that features Ed Luke, Jr., D.O., a Fort Worth psychiatrist. It happens noon-2 pm at the AIDS Outreach Center, 1125 W Peter Smith in Fort Worth. Tickets are $10 for professionals, but admission is free for HIV-positive folks and their friends and families. Registration is necessary before April 6 at 5 pm, so call 335-9194.
Water: Although a public television special dedicated to the subject of water may not sound like an exciting way to spend your Friday night, KERA-TV's Water addresses a startling, fascinating, and extremely important range of issues. The show doesn't concentrate on the turbulent community of micro-organisms that inhabit our water supply, but the turbulent, corrupt, short-sighted community of humans who control it. It's considered the single most important element of life, and although three-quarters of the Earth is covered with it, only one lousy percent is suitable for human consumption. As you can imagine, that fraction has been the object of battle between business and political forces for as long as people have kept records. Water traces a myriad of ecological difficulties, from California's fertile Owens Valley--virtually destroyed by drought because of Los Angeles' extravagant needs for water--to an unregulated region in the Australian outback where pure, natural water sources have created a new swampland; to the exploding population in Mexico City that's caused the ground level to sink gradually, while everyone labors over an enormous lake that's only partially usable. KERA-TV Channel 13 screens Water at 9 pm. For more information call 871-1390.
Michael Fracasso: Although the word "tasteful," when used to describe a musician, can be either faint praise or damning description, in the case of Austin-based singer-songwriter Michael Fracasso, it denotes professionalism and an accessible but discerning ear for strum-along melodies that KERA 90.1 listeners crave like ice cream. On his latest release When I Lived in the Wild, Fracasso glides atop the modestly rough arrangements like a neophyte lounge lizard in love with the angelic, unearthly quality of his own voice. When this guy sings about heartache or tries to sound cynical and world-weary, the result is not quite convincing but still very charming, like a precociously talented little boy in dress-up. Fracasso performs with his band Horse Opera and Jimmy LaFave at 9 pm at the Sons of Hermann Hall, 3414 Elm. Tickets are $6. Call 828-9246.
Imagination Celebration: Americans have grown passive in their daily participation with the arts--we expect movie special-effects wizards to do our imagination's work for us, most of us haven't the patience to read anything longer than a newspaper article, and we'd rather sit silently around a TV than sit around and talk. This is the problem that all those proponents of federally subsidized arts programs have run into time and again--how do you make your case about the daily relevance of art to a general population for whom that word has become unreachable, perhaps even contemptible? Programs like the Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration attempt to reinstill a sense of how much fun creativity can be. For many years this organization has sponsored nationwide events which focus on bringing teachers and artists together with people, especially kids. Their 10th annual Dallas arts festival, produced in association with Partnership for Arts, Culture, and Education, Inc., features performances, participatory workshops, and demonstrations by actors, writers, painters, dancers, singers--you name a creative profession, and it's represented here. The Imagination Celebration happens 11 am-5 pm on the grounds of the Dallas Museum of Art and throughout the downtown Dallas Arts District. It's free. Call 823-7601.