Teatro Tells the Tales

Just in time to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month, Teatro Dallas presents the national premiere of classic Latin American children's story The Tales of My Tia Panchita. Costa Rican writer Carmen Lyra's compilation of stories her aunt Panchita told her as a child in the 1890s are a blend of fantasy and humor recounted in her aunt's old narrative voice. The fairy tales of princesses, witches and crystal palaces under a well have been likened to the work of Hans Christian Andersen and the Grimm brothers. Teatro Dallas artistic director Cora Cardona adapts two of Tia Panchita's 22 stories for the stage in a bilingual style, including the tales' colorful Costa Rican expressions, yet weaving Spanish and English in a manner that allows speakers of both languages to understand the production. The Tales of My Tia Panchita runs September 12 through September 28 at Teatro Dallas, 1331 Record Crossing Road. The show starts 8 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Children's tickets are $5 and adults' are $10. Call 214-689-6492 or check out www.teatrodallas.org. --Cheryl Smith

Swing Like a Frog

Are you one of those fathers who deals with athletic impotency by forcing his children into sports? If so, be considerate: Step back and pay some professionals to do it for you. The Texas Christian University Fall Hitting Academy begins this Sunday to spread the home-run gospel, and kids ages 6-18 are invited to practice their Louisville slugging. The course, running for the next four consecutive Sundays, trains students in conditioning and provides video breakdowns of swinging technique. FHA runs a cool $300, but, if you ask us, taking li'l O'Tay to the Putt-Putt batting cage and reading quotes from Sammy Sosa's Cork Like A Champ! seems like a better deal. Call 817-257-5656 to reserve. --Sam Machkovech

Get Cultured, Y'all

We like things big here in Texas. A bit of a cliché, but it's true. Big houses, credit card bills, SUVs...the list goes on. And when we want a heritage festival, we want it as gargantuan-sized as a mountain of Texas barbecue. This year, it's all happening in Arlington. From weekends now through September 21, Six Flags Over Texas will host its very own Texas Heritage Festival, featuring more to see and do than you can shake a roasted turkey leg at. Focusing intensely on setting the turn-of-the-century mood, artisan woodcrafters and blacksmiths provide demonstrations in authentic period garb, and delectable Texas treats are on sale for your consuming pleasure. Bring the kiddies; come see the show. And remember to indulge in the pleasures of a stunning Texas polka. General admission is $39.99, young 'uns 48 inches and shorter get in for $24.99, and those 2 or younger get in free. Call 817-640-8900 or visit www.sixflags.com. --Mary Monigold

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