Child's Play

Last blast before class


Kids can get away with things that would seem, uh, disturbing in adults: They can pretend balloon animals are real critters, sing at the top of their lungs even if they don't know the lyrics, cover themselves with paint and glue and be active and play sports even when it's 100 degrees outside. Guess that's why they call it "kidding around." And parents can join them during the 13th annual Pepsi KidAround at Addison Circle Park this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, the park will be teeming with kids and their families and dotted with stages for live entertainment, arts and crafts tables, sporting activities and even a table featuring Carly Patterson, the 2004 Olympic gold medal winner, who will sign autographs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. If you have a gymnastics fanatic in the house, this is one activity you can't miss. Other chances to kid around include live performances by the Imagination Movers, described as "the Beastie Boys meet Mister Rogers," who will have kids dancing and singing to their hearts' content; Eddie Coker, a singer-songwriter who's a treat for kids and parents alike; and The Click Five, a kid-friendly rock band that performs a special concert on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. If a stage show doesn't interest your kids, they're sure to love one of the many activities such as rock climbing, batting cages, water balloon toss or the giant sandbox--just make sure the kids visit the sandbox before they get soaked by water balloons. Tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the gate and benefit the Family Place, which supports victims of family violence. Visit --Kelsey Guy

Politics of Acting


If you were underwhelmed by last year's remake of The Manchurian Candidate, then the Dallas Public Library gives you a chance to see the far superior 1962 original without rushing to the video store or waiting for a scratched copy from Netflix. Meryl Streep may be one of our greatest living actresses, but even she couldn't outshine Angela Lansbury's Academy Award-nominated performance. After watching Lansbury as a dastardly conniving mother, you'll never be able to watch silly Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote reruns again without a twinge of mistrust. Sweet old lady? Think again. The free screening is 2 p.m. Saturday on the fourth floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young St. Call 214-670-1643. --Jay Webb

Take a West


This Labor Day head West and Czech it out. It's Westfest, a cultural explosion including polka with Brave Combo, a parade with a princess, horseshoe pitching, the Kolache 5K run and the traditional Czech Taroky tournament--a game played with tarot cards. Plus, where else can you attend a polka mass? That's right, hymns with a polka beat. Celebrate Czech heritage at the 30th annual Westfest from September 2 through September 4. Shop hundreds of craft vendors, enter the kolache baking contest, heft a brewsky and hit the carnival. Country music favorite Asleep at the Wheel kicks things off 6:30 p.m. Friday. West is 70 miles south of Dallas on Interstate 35. Admissions vary by age and event. Visit or call 254-826-5058. . --Dana Berger

Talk of the Nation


I know this old writer who thinks Colin Powell's term under President Bush would make for a great play. The conflict of the piece would be nearly Shakespearean, the writer says. It makes sense: Here you have this man--honored, credible, noble even (to extend the Shakespeare metaphor)--who must risk his reputation for an administration that is none of those things; a man who's chosen to appear before a suspicious United Nations specifically because he's the least suspicious of any U.S. official but then presents to the foreign leaders information that, it could be argued, he himself views with suspicion; a man, and a four-star general, who cautions the Pentagon against the messiness that could follow a war in Iraq and, for his skepticism, is cast aside as an unfit team player. Judge for yourself when Powell speaks at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Southern Methodist University's McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz St., to debut the school's 2005-2006 Tate Lecture Series. The event's sold out, but call 214-768-8283 to be placed on the waiting list. --Paul Kix

Exotic Eats


When I think of Africa, I think of malaria, genocide and other things ill-suited for dinnertime discussion. But when Patrick Obinabo thinks of Africa, he thinks of food. To the American, there is perhaps no stranger notion. The continent never seems to have enough food. Africa's children--and mothers and fathers--die because of its scarcity. Yet Obinabo has built his reputation in America on recipes from Africa. Born in Nigeria, he's now the owner of Kalahari Inc., an African food manufacturer and catering company, and his dishes are featured frequently on the cable news channel TXCN. On September 1, he offers an African cooking class at Whole Foods Market in Plano, 2201 Preston Road. The menu includes curried black-eyed peas and tinti chicken. The class runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and the cost is $20. Call 972-612-6729. . --Paul Kix