The University of North Texas Art Gallery presents “Working with Harry,” an exhibition of large-scale bronze sculptures by Harry Geffert. Geffert’s foundry in Crowley. Texas, is a gathering place for regional artists who congregate to work on sculpting projects. A few of these artists, like Ken Little. Linda Ridgway, Richard Neidhardt, and Joe Havel, will be exhibiting with Geffert. Nov. 7 to Dec. 14. Call (817) 565-4005 for info.
Music Former Police drummer StewartCopeland would probably be the first toadmit it: he doesn’t know much aboutcomposing music. But he’s learning. “Whatthe hell” is Copeland’s favorite pomposity-deflating pose. With computer synthesis,he’s developed quite a film scoringbusiness, including the fall releases Taking Cure of Business and Men At Work. Themoney from his synth-and-sync factorysupported the writing of his first opera,Holy Blood and Crescent Moon, whichpremiered in Cleveland last fall to selloutcrowds and boos from the critics. OnNovember 16 and 17, the Fort Worth Operawill present his revisions on stage at theTarrant County Convention CenterTheater. The emphasis this time will be on”more bang per buck” than the Clevelandspectacle. We’ll see how it plays in FortWorth. -Michael Pellecchia
Stewart Copeland’s first attempt at opera may bewilder die-hard Police fans. It’s a major musical departure. For ticket info, call (817) 336-9000.
Lit Fest Lineup
Festival I Writers’ festivals usually prove to be oxymorons, approaching “festive” only after the oh-so-bacchanalian wine and cheese parties kick in. But SMU’s Literary Festival continually overcomes the humdrum, slating well-known authors from all genres for a week of scholarly delight.
This year’s festival, November 11-16, again boasts an impressive lineup. Southern-dipped humorist Roy Blount Jr. begins it all Sunday, with sci-fi star Ray Bradbury, former U.S. poet laureate Howard Nemerov, playwright John Guare, and novelists Rosellen Brown and Marilynne Robinson filling out the week.
SMU junior Melina Kervandjian, chair of the Lit Fest committee, says putting the package together is always draining, considering the $30,000 price tag and lack of financial help from the school. Nailing down six scribes’ schedules, matching ever-rising author fees, and arranging travel and lodging is just part of the burden. Then there are classroom visits and interviews to plan, as well as after-reading receptions and dinners. No problems for you, though: admission is free. Readings begin at 8 p.m. in SMU’’s Hughes-Trigg Theatre, except for Bradbury’s, which is in McFarlin Auditorium. Call 692-4466. -Eric Celeste
A Video Wonderland
Festival II It’s the endearingly quirky gems that director Barton Weiss digs up that set the Dallas Video Festival apart from most art events, even most video festivals. Weiss’s oddest discovery this year has to be “Independents do Elvis,” a compilation of Elvis Presley video visions. “Mondo Elvis,” described as a cheesy attack on American mythology, examines Elvis-worshiping zombies. Another features a later-period Elvis as an alien whose gaudy gold belt buckle receives signals from outer space.
The festival does have its serious side. The theme this year, A World of Video, showcases international video art from the Soviet Union, South America, and Eastern Europe.
But, even for all its globe-trotting and lunatic fringe-hopping, the festival’s commitment to local video artists remains one of its main strengths. Dallas-based folklore documentarian Alan Govenar will have two videos. And local director Ken Mandel will present a passionate documentary on Frida Kahlo, a tormented Mexican painter. Festival dates are November 15-18 at the DMA. Tickets for Thursday or Friday evenings are $5; it’s $7 for all day Saturday or Sunday and $18 for all-festival passes. Contact the Dallas Video Festival at 651-TVTV. -Amy Martin
DANCE OF THE ABSURD
Is this modern dance or modern magic? We’re not sure, but whatever it is, it’s a mind-boggling thing. MOMIX, on stage at McFarlin Auditorium, Nov. 9 and 10. For ticket info, call the TITAS box office at 628-5576.
The Gift of a Holiday
volunteerism For most Americans, holidays are a time for great clan-gatherings centered around home-cooked spreads spiced with tale-telling, laughter, and warm reminiscences. But for the less fortunate, holidays can be sad reminders of happier times.
The Dallas branch of The Holiday Project, organized nine years ago, helps to ease the loneliness of holiday time for the elderly, families of the critically ill, and others confined to institutions through informal visits at Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other traditional family days. This Thanksgiving the group plans to visit Ronald McDonald House and provide food, company, and consolation for the mentally retarded at the Birdie Jackson Foster Home. Last year the organization visited some 4,500 people throughout the D/FW area, with other drop-ins at the Birdie Jackson Home for Children, Dallas Juvenile Detention Center, and the Veteran’s Administration Hospital.
“When people wind up in institutions, their resources are gone,” said Heidi Zwicky, spokesperson for The Holiday Project. “They often have no friends. They normally wouldn’t get a greeting, someone to say ’I care about you, you’re not forgotten.”
The self-sufficient organization raisesits own funds (local businesses such asWyatt’s Cafeteria often contribute food)and is always looking for volunteers. Ifyou’d like to volunteer, call 715-1700 formore information. -Rosalyn Story
A Retro Fashion Attack
trends Just the other day I walked into the company coffee room and experienced the very strange sensation of fashion déjà vu. It was like walking through a portal of time. There before me, to the left of the creamer and Sweet ’n Low, stood a young woman with short cropped hair, wearing earrings the size of minor constellations and a mini-skirt that had obviously been attacked by a marauding band of op-artists. She was in quiet conversation with another woman, catsuited entirely in black, whose mane of straight blond hair was pulled back with a wider than wide black headband. It was a visitation from Twiggy and Peggy Lipton. It was a trend in action.
Technically, it was a retro trend in action. Not all trends have to be new, you know. Most are actually recycled ideas, dusted off for new generations to slip into while the rest of us stand around feeling old. This whole Sixties thing has hit me pretty hard, I guess. I was handling it fine until I saw a six-year-old in head-to-toe Pucci print at the Tom Thumb. I went home and dreamed I was sleeping on Peter Max sheets. I woke up humming “Let It Be.” Maybe if I’d grown up in the Fifties or the Seventies I’d be immune to this bombardment of technicolor images, but unfortunately I spent my formative years in the Sixties. Every time I see anorange mini and a purple turtleneck ittriggers some latent memory that comesbouncing to the surface of my psychewhere it lingers uninvited. I’m thinking ofcounseling, but I thought I’d try ironingmy hair first. -Anne Warren
AMERICAN POP If you haven’t experienced the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth’s survey of American Pop Art, you have about 15 minutes left to do so. The exhibit, with works by Warhol, Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, and other stalwarts of Pop Art, closes Nov. 4. Call (817) 738-9215 for info.
Atop the hill, country-western bands wail into the night in a sweaty, kickers’ dance hall. At the bottom, the Guadalupe River’s cool flow splashes across white-water rapids. In between, the historic village of Gruene (pronounced “green”) exists solely to feed, sleep, tempt, and otherwise entertain its visitors, who find a typical small Texas town revitalized by plenty to see and do.
Now a part of the city of New Braunfels, Gruene was founded in 1872 as a cotton farming community by H. D. Gruene, the son of German immigrants. A century later, only a virtual ghost town remained, but in 1973, San Antonio developers Pat Molak and Mary Jane Nalley bought 20 acres and an assortment of vintage buildings waiting to be restored.
Today, Gruene is experiencing agrowing popularity as a nifty day trip inthe midst of New Braunfels’s scenicattractions. Listen to the bands at GrueneHall, partake of the terrific food in theruins of a 110-year-old cotton mill at theGristmill restaurant, taste Texas wine atGuadalupe Valley, sip homemadelemonade at the General Store, or watchhandsome stoneware being made at BuckPottery. If you’re weary, just check intoone of the quasi-Victorian rooms at theGruene Mansion Inn (512-629-2641). Toget there, drive south on I-35 for aboutfour hours or board Southwest for a55-minute flight to San Antonio, thenrent a car. In any case, call the helpfulfolks at the New Braunfels Chamber ofCommerce (800-445-2323), who will steeryou right. And if you love oompah music,German sausage, and big crowds, planyour trip during Wurstfest, November2-11. -Derro Evans
Science can be fun. Just ask the Metroplex kids participating in the Winston School’s second annual Science Olympiad on Saturday, Nov. 3. The public Is invited to check out the students’ science projects, which will be on display throughout the day. For more information, call 691-6950.
Bomblets Attack Dallas
comedy In their latest production, “Guava-Va-Voom!,” the Guava Bomblets are back doing what they do best: big, goofy musical production numbers. See mirrored skyscrapers dancing to a calypso beat in “Here in Big D,” a spoof of The Little Mermaid’s “Under The Sea.” Or watch hysterical interviews with people who think they’ve seen The King in “Elvis Sighting.” A musical production on Incontinental Airlines is about, well, we’ll leave that up to your imagination. Says show director Cathy Barlag, “We have to have something tasteless or itwouldn’t be a Bomblet show.” “Guava-Va-Voom!” features all new material and an almost all new cast. Only Barlag and the ever-silly Allen Simmons return to the fold. The remaining eight performers of the show were culled from more than 40 who auditioned. They are described by Barlag as “spicy seasoned” actors and “very competitive folks” from the local theater community.
“Guava-Va-Voom!” runs Friday andSaturday nights at 11:15 p.m. fromOctober 12 through November 17 at thePocket Sandwich Theatre. The show willbe the Guava’s first in the theater’s new,larger, only slightly more upscale locationat 5400 E. Mockingbird, next to Jason’sDeli. Tickets are $6; call 821-1860 forreservations. -Amy Martin