This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, January 27

It's a one-night-only, going-out-in-style all-nighter for one of Dallas' biggest rock stars. OK, so it's a reception and book signing for Jesús Moroles, a granite sculptor with an exhibit closing at the Dallas Museum of Art. But that intro is so much better. "Rock star" may sound more exciting and glamorous than "granite sculptor," but what Moroles does is cool on its own. He sculpts, or "tears" as he likes to say, giant, heavy pieces of rock into his designs. And in the exhibit Jess Moroles: Rock, Roll and Play, anyone could be a rock star, taking pieces of granite left from Moroles' bigger pieces and building their own work. The interactive exhibit closes on January 30, but before it's gone Moroles returns for a reception in the gallery at 6 p.m., followed by a book signing from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the museum store celebrating his book, Moroles: Granite Sculpture. Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. Call 214-922-1200.

Friday, January 28

We remember the days when aspiring rock and rollers wanted to be Weezer's Rivers Cuomo. They got bad, choppy haircuts; they put their contacts in the drawer and donned heavy black-rimmed glasses; and they raided thrift store after thrift store looking for tiny, ironic, old T-shirts and pearl-snap, country-style plaid shirts. Guys, if you're still out there, here's a chance to win bonus points. The Dallas Opera will perform Giacomo Puccini's Madame Butterfly, the inspiration for the title of Weezer's album Pinkerton and that album's closing song, "Butterfly." Those who can't tell Rivers Cuomo from River Phoenix should still enjoy Madame Butterfly, the tale of an American soldier who takes a näive Japanese teenager as his wife only to return to the United States and take a "real" bride--and the deadly toll it takes on the opera's namesake. The Dallas Opera performs Madame Butterfly at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and 7:30 p.m. February 5 in the Music Hall at Fair Park. Tickets are $19 to $265. Call 214-443-1000.

Saturday, January 29

KNON 89.3 FM is like the old guy in the worn suit and hat playing guitar on a portable stool with his guitar case in front of him on the pavement, hoping you'll throw some coins in to thank him for his music. KNON's end-of-the-dial station is non-profit and listener-supported, which is why they'll be singing the blues this weekend during the KNON Sixth Annual Blues Festival at Poor David's Pub, 1313 S. Lamar St. On Saturday, Aaron Burton, Robin Banks, Pops Carter, Andrea Dawson, Big Charles Young, Paul Byrd, Wanda King Blues Band and Holland K. Smith will perform from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday's lineup includes 8 Ball Blues Band, AJ & Blue Roux, Stompin Bill Johnston, Chris Ruest, Pete Barbeck, Denny Freeman and Lucky Peterson with Cookie McGee and James Butler from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $15 per day or $25 for a two-day pass. Call the venue at 214-565-1295 or the station at 214-828-9500.

Sunday, January 30

We've known a few rats in our time. Not the kind with the long skinny tails and beady eyes. Just the human kind. But we like to imagine them with the tail and eyes. People sometimes act like animals; animals--especially house pets--sometimes act like people. But it's never so obvious as in The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame's play about Rat, Mole, Badger and Toad, the talking, suit-wearing, house-dwelling, bed-sleeping, car-crashing critters who frolic on the English countryside. And it might change your view on talking rats. Plano Children's Theater performs the play from January 27 through February 6 at 7:15 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2:15 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $6 in advance and $7 at the door. PCT is located at 1301 Custer Road in Plano. Call the box office at 972-422-2575.

Monday, January 31

If O. Henry had set his famous short story "The Gift of the Magi" in Texas, husband Jim might have sold his championship bull riding belt buckle to buy his wife, Della, a new chain for her turquoise and silver pendant while Della sells her pendant to buy Jim a new belt to show off his prized buckle. This aside brought to you by Texas Bound, Arts & Letters Live's Texas-inspired program of actors reading short stories, kicking off its 2005 season with a program featuring stories that received the O. Henry prize for short stories. Laura Furman, editor of The O. Henry Prize Stories, and Lynn C. Miller from the University of Texas at Austin host the readings, which will be performed by actors Ev Lunning Jr. and Pam Christian at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday in the Horchow Auditorium of the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. Call 214-922-1219.

Tuesday, February 1

All those years we laughed at our mom's harvest gold, avocado and rust metal fondue set, a relic from her swingin' 1970s pre-child days, we never imagined that fondue was a fad that would return--and be considered gourmet at that. We hate to admit it, but fondue is kinda fun, though not exactly well-balanced, meal-wise. But, it does involve the essentials: cheese, bread, chocolate and strawberries. Carol Ritchie, the spunky, blond, fast-talking host of Cooking With Carol on Saturday mornings on NBC5, presents Romantic International Fondue just in time for Valentine's Day. Her menu includes wine and cheese fondue; the Chinese firepot, which includes chicken, pork and Asian vegetables; Japanese tempura (what, vegetables in fondue?); beef fondue with dipping sauce and chocolate fondue, for dessert, of course. The class is 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Central Market in Fort Worth at Interstate 30 and Hulen Street. Admission is $50. Call 817-377-9005.

Wednesday, February 2

An easy-going and elegant Mardi Gras is like an antibacterial trash bin or a quiet, relaxing evening at Chuck E. Cheese. It doesn't happen; maybe it shouldn't happen. But it will when the Sammons Center for the Arts' Sammons Jazz first Wednesday series presents Mardi Gras Time, a concert of live jazz at the center, 3630 Harry Hines Blvd. The Gumbo Kings with trumpet player Steve Howard will perform New Orleans-style jazz in honor of Mardi Gras during the concert's first set. Then, the Johnny Case Trio from Fort Worth will take over. The concert, the first of the spring 2005 series, is from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 ($25 for members) and include valet parking, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks and light appetizers. Seating is general admission. Call 214-520-7789.