MTV and reality do not a pairing make. We've never once had a wall-sized aquarium or a penthouse atop a Vegas casino. The network, though, does promote an original series calledTrue Life
, and tonight the Lakewood Theater is showing a documentary scheduled to air as part of a special 90-minute episode.School's Out
was filmed by the World of Wonder production team that brought us the likes ofEyes of Tammy Faye
and features students from Dallas' own Walt Whitman Community School. Students and faculty in the film are available for a question-and-answer session, and the night also features a silent auction. The VIP reception at 7:30 p.m. is $50, and the local film stars will be in tow, along with cocktails and appetizers, plus that thing we love called priority seating. The whole shebang is sponsored by OUT TAKES Dallas--The Annual Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Call 214-282-2237.
Friday, April 18
Which came first, the Cossack or the egg? For participants at this demonstration, it's the Cossack. Though difficult for even the savviest of anthropologists to define, the Cossacks are a subgroup, a tribe, a cultural entity of Russia, and apparently the members love their eggs. James Romanoff, in full Cossack costume, teaches the meaning of the decorated egg and demonstrates the Russian art of psyanky (decorating said eggs). Romanoff works using a traditional and intricate process of layering wax and dye to create the heirlooms that Eastern Europeans use to welcome spring. Most likely that layering is far from kin to the colorful layers of candle wax consuming a twentysomething's entertainment center. If one desires the languid and relaxing experience of a Bob Ross Joy of Painting, this may not be the right event. Although Romanoff filters in tidbits about the cultural symbolism of the egg and how the various techniques relate to the use of natural dyes, he is touted as being "quite the performer." And if he truly is Cossack-clad, we don't doubt it. The Oak Cliff Mercantile at 330-A Davis St. in the Historic Bishop Arts District hosts the demonstrations Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Call 214-948-8080.
Saturday, April 19
The mind is riddled with questions on how one would create a kite version of Handel's "Messiah." But it has been done. Oh yes, it has been done. The mind scampers about the conundrum of what the hell a three-legged buggy is good for. The mind then saunters over to what made people design a fake bird out of cloth and attempt to fly it using a string. If luck is on our side, all questions will be answered over the weekend...except that one about what force causes cats to position themselves on any given reading material. At Meadow Creek Park in DeSoto, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eden Kites presents the Third Annual Lone Star Kite Festival. In past years, the festival has seen more than 300 kites in the sky, and this year there's not only a show up high, but plenty to see on the ground, too. Sport bike demonstrations, buggy rider exhibitions, 30-foot-tall kites and a class on how kids can make them could very well appeal to any member of the family. Especially since it's free. "What do a 90-foot inflatable gecko and a three-wheeled buggy have in common?" Come find out. Call 972-839-7115.
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Sunday, April 20
Our grandfather took us for a European dining experience in this little restaurant when we were 10, and we'll never forget it. Schnitzel, paprikash, spaetzle and more, no culinary stone left unturned. Even after three years as a vegetarian, we still crave the taste of Franki's Li'l Europe's cevapcici (the national dish of Yugoslavia, and Franki's is the only place in Texas that you'll get it). Back in the midst of omnivores, I can indulge in the savory little sausages, and I plan to at Franki's three-course brunch on Easter Sunday. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $21.95 per person, you can go with your ma to a place where any dish involving eggs won't be speckled with blue, pink or purple and let Franki wow the Easter hat right off her head with a meal from Slovenia, Yugoslavia, Germany or all of the above. Even when we move from Dallas, we'll come back here once a year to watch the model train and eat cevapcici at Franki's Li'l Europe, 362 Casa Linda Plaza. Reservations are required for Easter brunch. Call 214-320-0426.
Monday, April 21
This man can do the deed for hours. He's a performer. He's been talked about, written about and seen on television. Yet his name is not Sting. Try instead Swami Nostradamus Virato, teacher of Tantra, the technique and spiritual practice that can allow one to "hold court" for, well, ever. Virato will be in Dallas teaching and conducting informative workshops that are far from normal. After all, information on educational events doesn't generally include, "Sexual intercourse is not a part of the program, but Swami Virato invites and assists participants in dropping their armor and fully getting in touch with life." Assists? Dude, like, seriously? Before the lessons on connecting one's heart with one's pleasure begin, the Spiritual Fitness Center, 1213 E. Executive Drive in Richardson, welcomes Virato to Texas with a special shindig from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Call 214-332-0220.
Tuesday, April 22
Enough with artists who know they're sought after and have tasted a bite of success. We want struggling, broke and passionate artists. Artists who are grateful to someone for viewing their work; artists who stay up all night to finish a paper because they were too consumed in the creative process that afternoon. That's who we want to show their work and who we'd like to see rewarded for it. In that case, we should head to the opening reception and awards ceremony at noon on Tuesday for the Voertman Annual Student Competition at the University of North Texas Art Gallery, Mulberry at Welch in Denton. The yearly exhibition is now more than 40 years old and is made up of current works from grads and undergrads from UNT's School of Visual Arts. This meets my criteria, since any artist in school (not to mention grad school) is obviously broke and passionate about developing his or her artistic abilities. The show continues through May 6. Call 940-565-4005.
Wednesday, April 23
Oh, to be young again, wild and adventurous, crawling through tunnels and cement pipes. Or a colon, for that matter. Children and biological adventure-loving adults are welcome to traverse the 40-foot-long, 4-foot-high replica of the one thing we never thought we'd creep around in. Oh sure, there are incredible jokes to be made over this giant rectal relative, but it's all for a good cause. Molly McMaster, 27 years old and cancer-free for four years, designed the replica that shows various stages of colon health and colon cancer. The piece is based on actual colonoscopy footage, and McMaster uses her experiences and the replica as part of her advocacy for the cause. The Colossal Colon Tour visits Dallas at City Hall Plaza from Wednesday through next Saturday during its wind across the country, offering a fun(ny) and free way to educate the public on prevention, detection and treatment of colorectal cancer. Call 1-800-227-2732.