Is fashion art? The lines of distinction have always been Iblurred, but never quite as much as during the Sixties, when fashion and contempo-rary art were symbiotic media, feeding off each other in the frenzied quest for new ideas. The Kimbell Art Museum’s current exhibit, The Art of Fashion: The Radical Sixties, perfectly embodies the spirit of the time. Dec. 1-Feb. 24. For more information, call the museum at Metro (817) 654-1034.
FACES By the time you read this, faux St. Nicks all over town will be gluing on their beards and dusting off their Santa-shtick for another Christmas of kid-wowing in shopping malls and department stores. It’s tradition. It’s an American myth that keeps on ticking. But one Santa stands out from the rest. It’s not just his looks. (That beard, that hair, those eyes…) It’s his whole world view. Dr. Carl Anderson believes in the importance of Santa as a classic symbol of childhood. And he should know. After the holidays, Anderson goes back to his other job-as a child psychologist. The Austin resident has spent years studying the effect Santa has on kids-he even wrote his doctoral thesis on the subject. With credentials like these, he’s a real Dr. Claus-a man with a mission, a kid at heart. -Anne Warren
A “Tru” Story
THEATER The time is Christmas week, 1975. The place is a posh apartment in United Nation’s Plaza, overlooking New York’s East River. A present arrives for Truman Capote-a poinsettia, which he unceremoniously dumps into the freight elevator.
Esquire magazine has just published a chapter from his never-to-be-finished novel, Answered Prayers, full of bitchy gossip, and even Capote’s friends have deserted him. For the next two hours he will carry on a nonstop monologue addressed to those absent friends, to the silent telephone, to a tape recorder, to the audience, but mostly to himself; alternately musing, reminiscing, and raging about life and art and death, and the problems of being Tru.
Tru, the one-man show starring Broadway veteran Robert Morse, was a critical hit when it opened in New York last year. Decked out in Capote’s trademark horn-rimmed glasses and Panama hat, Morse gives a moving and even hair-raising performance as a writer on the skids. He serves up the true Truman: rueful, witty, capable of switching from tears to a tap dance-a writer who has succumbed to celebrity.
Tru will be presented December 11-16 at the Majestic Theatre as part of the NCNB Dallas Broadway Series. Tickets, $11-34, are available from the theater or Rainbow TicketMaster at 787-2000. -Ken Barrow
Christmas in a Small Town
FESTIVITIES To find trees with handmade ornaments, the music of strolling carolers, and the aroma of pine boughs, you need to hitch up the sleigh and head to a small town. Here are five within reasonable driving distance with memorable public Yuletide celebrations:
Marshall-The state’s most extravagant display, Wonderland of Lights, dazzles the eye nightly from November 21 through January 1 with more than two million lights on the county courthouse and surrounding buildings. Other events include candlelight home tours, parades, concerts, religious services, and carolers. Information: (903) 935-7868 Lodging: 1-800-423-1356.
Jefferson-The town’s exceptionally romantic candlelight home tour, on the weekends of November 29-December 1 and December 6-8, features the weekend residence of film producer Martin Jurow and others. Information: (903) 665-2118 or 665-87)5. Lodging: 1-800-JEFF-BNB or 1-800-345-4044.
Waxahachie-Costumed Victorian characters and carolers will adorn the town square on weekends, November 23-December 16, Don’t miss the lights, home tours, choirs, carriage rides, and performances of “Scrooge.” Information: Metro (214) 223-9827. Lodging: 1-800-535-2043.
Glen Rose-December 15 rings in the season with a parade, lights, music, dance, food booths, and shopping on the square. Information and lodging: (817) 897-2286.
Granbury-Visit on December 1 and tour 10 historic buildings and eight homes. Stay and enjoy the Texas Boys and Girls choirs, strolling carolers and bands, wagon rides, and artists and craftsmen in shops around the square. Information and lodging: 1-800-950-2212. -Derro Evans
The Beledi Boys
MUSIC Whether it’s the original score for an SMU dance festival, a percussion safari for the Dallas Zoo, or an after-hours jam in South Dallas, the Beledi Ensemble creates an unparalleled accord between Dallas and the rest of world. Beledi is the Arabic word for homeland, and there’s hardly any musical territory this ensemble doesn’t call home.
Jamal Mohmed lays down exotic rhythms on a trap set and clay instruments he crafts himself. His brother Buddy, who also plays upright bass with the Fort Worth Symphony, assists on guitar. Percus-sionist Kenny Grimes doubles on keyboard. The original members who formed the group 13 years ago are joined by stellar West Texas guitarist Joe Lee and Fort Worth vocal powerhouse Oltha Austin.
A typical composition starts with a folk tune or dance rhythm from Egypt, Greece, or Turkey. Beledi then weaves this thread into a rich tapestry via jazz improvisation. The result is a magic carpet ride down a musical trade route where Zappa spices Stravinsky, Ravi Shankar blends with rap, and Bach encounters the mystery of Bulgarian voices. Beledi performs December 12 at Club Dada, 2720 Elm, and December 20 at Over Dave’s Head, 2554 Elm.
-John Trimble and Phyllis Williams
RITES OF WINTER Long before there was a Christmas, there were Saturnalia festivals held around Winter Solstice, which happens this year on December 21. The longest night of the year, it is considered a time of spiritual rebirth, the dark before the dawn whenone’s soul can be cleansed.
To prepare us for the celestial event, Bath House Cultural Center will host Stanco & Co. December 13 to 15. The troupe of performance artists features members of Victor Dada, guerilla ontologists who tackle the meaning of life through humor and absurdity. Expect a surrealistically silly yet thought-provoking exploration of the myth and magic of winter. For more information call 670-8749. Tickets are $5, and show time is 8 p.m.
A Winter Solstice Concert with Wyndham Hill artists Philip Aaberg, Nightnoise, and Liz Story is Sunday, December 16, at 7 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. Aaberg’s piano evokes images of gentle prairies, farms, and country roads: perfect Christmas country. Story does delicate interpretations of “Greensleeves,” traditional Shaker hymns, and other holiday classics. Nightnoise blends mystical accents into its contemporary music. For ticket information call 528-5576.
To bring in Christmas on a boomingnote, Thanks-Giving Square is hosting itsannual TubaChristmas celebration. Thesmall triangle park wedged betweenPacific, Bryan, and Ervay downtown willbe filled with 100 musicians playingsousaphones, euphoniums, baritonesaxophones, and, of course, tubas. It’sfree and starts at noon on Monday,December 24. -Amy Martin
If you thought self portraits were merely exercises in narcissism, think again. Allen Street Gallery’s photo exhibit, Me, Myself& I, is a graphic study of the face am art. Through Dec. 16. 821-8260.