Saturday, January 28, 2023 Jan 28, 2023
56° F Dallas, TX


By D Magazine |


The Sammons Center for the Arts’ continuing jazz series heats up this month with Cafe Noir and The Flute Circle on May 2, BlItzen and The Dave Rady Trio on May 16, and the Marchel Ivery Quintet and UNT’s International Jazz Ensemble on May 30. Tickets are $8 and include complimentary wine, beer, soft drinks, and munchies. All shows start at 7:30 p.m. Call the Sammons Jazz Hotline, 504-6226, for more information.


PROFILE Akin Babatunde (at right) can wrap you around his little finger. With a word, or a glance, or a carefully crafted sentence he can make you happy. Or sad. Or angry. As an actor, writer, and director, emotion is his art, and the theater his studio. After years of performing and directing off-Broadway, Akin came to Dallas in November 1988 at the behest of former Dallas Theater Center artistic director Adrian Hall. After a year and a half, Akin is now an official member of the DTC family and firmly entrenched in the local artistic community. This summer he’s joining forces with the South Dallas Cultural Center, working with a youth ensemble in a salute to Black Broadway. One of Akin’s original works, What If-A Mind Boggling Experience, is now showing at the Bathhouse Cultural Center through May 12. -Sherri Gulczynski

Uncle Calvin’s: A Neo-Theo Sound Emporium


Folk diva Sara Hickman has called Uncle Calvin’s Coffee Emporium “the ultimate nightclub,” so Shannon Wynne, listen up: take a linoleum floor, cement-block walls, a no-alcohol, self-service menu of sugar-spiked coffees, teas, juices, and desserts, and mix well with singer-songwriters every Friday from 8-11 p.m.

Uncle Calvin’s does business out of the fellowship hall at NorthPark Presbyterian, making it Dallas’s only theo-pub, where caffeine, sugar, and good will are the drugs of choice. Best of all, however, are the live performances by stars of Kerrville New Folk, plus various singing sages from Seattle to San Diego and an impressive array of local talent, including Hickman, Lu Mitchell, Josh Alan, and Anne and Steve.

So, Uncle Calvin’s is a nightclub of sorts, with a kind of retro coffee house ambience, and it’s in a church fellowship hall. But regardless of the setting, the only message you’ll get here is the music.

In May, this true oasis of acoustic music features David Roth, Paul Sanchez, and Ed Gunsalus and Maria Bellatoni. On Park Lane at Central. 363-5457.

-Michael Pellecchia

Tripping the Lights Fantastic

CHEAP DATE It’s Saturday night. Just the two of you. With nothing to do. Oh. you can stay in and watch bad TV, or wander aimlessly through the picked-over remains on Blockbuster’s shelves, but there must be other alternatives that require little cash or advance planning.

Well, here’s a good one. And not only is it cheap, it’s unusual loo. Every Saturday night Richland College’s Cosmic Theater and Planetarium presents back-to-back laser-light shows. Now this may sound weird, but these intensely rhythmic, three-dimensional, sight-and-sound fests are experiences you won’t soon forget. And, even better, the audience defines the show. If the laser-light artist docs an artistic maneuver that you like, applaud; he’ll do more.

The musical selections change on a regular basis, so there’s a new show every few months. Classical music is at 7 p.m., and concentrates heavily on the romance composers and sweeping laser designs. The 8:15 p.m. New Age and progressive jazz show is more moody and graceful in nature; it’s the favorite of the 30 to 45 set. There is a mixed rock show at 9:30 p.m., followed by a Laser Rock Concert at 11 p.m.

The planetarium is located on the Richland College campus, on Abrams just north of LBJ Freeway. The campus is well secured on Saturday nights and there’s a small lake that makes for a nice, romantic night stroll on the adjoining walkways. The laser lights are combined with live concerts from local bands like Ten Hands on occasional Fridays.

The cost for the entire evening? $4 per person. Can’t beat it. -Amy Martin

This is the first in an occasional series on unusual-and cheap-dating opportunities in the Metroplex.

Nosing Around

J U N Q U E If you’re a patient person with an inquisitive nature, a nose for bargains, and a perverse desire to dig through your neighbor’s attic, chances are you like spending an occasional weekend idly browsing through flea markets. If so, you probably think that if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. Think again. Some flea markets are better than others, and some we’d rather not talk about. But those we will talk about are listed here. For novices: standard flea-market finds include backyard junk, farm-fresh produce, handcrafted items, and real antiques. Flea markets operate come rain or shine, parking is minimal (usually $2 per vehicle), and admission is free.

First Monday Trade Days in Canton, at Highway 19 and Kaufman Street; 60 miles east of Dallas off I-20. It begins on the Friday before the first Monday of each month. Open 7 a.m. to dark. (214) 567-6556. This one originated in 1873.

Traders Village in Grand Prairie, at 2602 Mayfield Rd., five miles south of Six Flags Over Texas at I-30 off Highway 360. Or take Highway 360 north, one mile off I-20. Open every Saturday and Sunday, year-round, from 8 a.m. to dusk. (214) 647-2331.

Vikon Village Flea Market in Garland, at 2918 S. Jupiter and Kingsley, two blocks north of LBJ Freeway. Free parking. (214) 271-0565.

Henderson Street Bazaar in Fort Worth, 1000 N. Henderson St. Take I-30 to the Henderson exit, go north, cross the railroad tracks, and it’s on your right, just north of downtown. (817) 877-3021.

-Lynn Adler

Finding Sanctuary in McKinney

WILD THINGS Bessie Heard was a passionate woman who cared deeply about the environment and the young people who would inherit an abused and polluted earth to live on. Her love for the great outdoors led her to establish the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney in 1967. Before her death two years ago, she lived to see it become one of the largest and most visited nature centers in the state.

Now the Heard’s about to get even bigger and better thanks to a $92,500 matching grant from the Meadows Foundation. A $200,000 expansion and renovation project will provide the museum with new classrooms, a lecture/orientation area, new live animal exhibits, and other important additions.

For the uninitiated, the Heard is home to more than 240 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Almost 150 species of wildflowers and 50 species of trees, shrubs, and vines have been identified on the sanctuary over the years.

Every Saturday this month, the Heard will give guided flower and bird walks. (Trail tours and nature programs are available year-round.) There’s a nominal fee per person, and reservations are recommended. If you go, check out the museum, which is open to everyone free of charge.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For information call (214) 542-5566 or Metro (214) 238-6494. The Heard is one mile east of SH 5 on FM 1378, southeast of McKinney. -Lynn Adler

BEYOND Parsley

You con cook with them, bake with them, bathe with them, live with them. They’re herbs, and they’re our friends. Meet them at the Fourth Annual Herb Festival, May 12 at the Fielder Museum in Arlington. (817) 460-4001.

May with Subtitles

FLICKS While most of the local populace will no doubt spend every available weekend out-of-doors this month, we feel a certain obligation to offer alternatives for those of you who prefer more sedentary pursuits of the air-conditioned variety. Instead of working on your tan so you’ll look healthy in white, we suggest an anti-sun strategy that works best with basic black. A cool, intellectual approach to weekends, the kind of attitude you wear to French films. And, coincidentally, we just happen to know of a months’ worth that you can see free or for only a few francs.

Every Saturday and Sunday afternoon in May (at 1:30 p.m.). the Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth will show films by contemporary French masters, with admission free to the public (all are shown in French with English subtitles):

May 5 & 6: In the While City, directed by Alain Tanner

May 12 & 13: Boyfriends and Girlfriends, directed by Eric Rohmer

May 19 & 20: An Revoir Les Enfants, directed by Louis Malle

May 26 & 27: Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle, directed by Eric Rohmer

For info, call Metro (817) 654-1034. Each Sunday afternoon in May the Dallas Museum of Art will show a Francois Truffaut film at 2 p.m. in the auditorium. Admission is $3 per person and you don’t have to be a member to get in:May 6: The Wild Child

May 13: Love on the Run

May 20: The Story of Adele H

May 27: Two English Girls For info, call 922-1200. -Anne Warren


Galaxy Fair ’90 is an unconventional convention of science fiction, fact, fantasy, and art. Fans and fun-seekers can enjoy some truly cosmic writing and art seminars, music, games, and other playful, interplanetary stuff. May 11-13. 337-3662.

Tapmaster Tommy Tune

DANCIN’ The most elegant beanpole alive, Tommy Tune has become a permanent fixture on lady luck’s dance card. Five Tony awards and the current Broadway success of his decadent Grand Hotel cinch his name in the history books for helping launch a new Golden Age of Tap. Four years ago he recruited three former street musicians, the Manhattan Rhythm Kings, to join him in a tribute to Fred Astaire. The Kings not only tap, they sing. Not only sing, but play instruments. And not only tap, sing, and play, but re-create pop styles of the Twenties and Thirties so well that Gotham critics attest to the accuracy of their name. Tune and the Kings will put the boogie in your woogie during the only 1990 Texas appearance of their revue, titled Everything Old is New Again. Expect a high-class pastiche of My One and Only, the Astaire revue, comedy bits, and some ferocious tapping. Friday, May 18 at 8 p.m. Tarrant County Convention Center, benefiting the Tarrant County Chapter of the American Red Cross. Tickets for the show and benefit reception are $100 and are available by calling (817) 335-9137. Tickets for the show only are $25 and $35 and available at all Ticketron outlets.

-Michael Pellecchia