Night and Day: Wednesday, July 18, 2002
Rare Animals

This Friday evening, two local art museums are hosting events that have nothing to do with the openings of major exhibitions, but are fascinating nonetheless.

The Kimbell Art Museum kicks off a new series of talks called Artistic Readings, which uses books on artistic subjects to inspire discussions and lectures. Museum-goers love to silently contemplate artworks as objects in themselves, without giving much thought to how they came into the museum’s possession. Art world insiders know that there’s almost always politics involved, especially when dealing with foreign governments, and especially when it’s a country like China that has checkered relations with our nation. Chinese art treasures were dispersed and hidden away in the 1930s, as the government feared looting by invading Japanese soldiers. Nicole Mones’ novel A Cup of Light takes place around the business of dealing with Chinese porcelain in the art world, and museum curator Jennifer Casler Price will be on hand to discuss the book and the issues relevant to buying and selling Chinese art.

On a lighter note, Texas Radio Theatre continues its series of radio plays at Arlington Museum of Art with Colonel Nickels and the Last Brushcat of Punta Oreos, a new play by Richard Frohlich. The comedy’s about a British explorer searching the South American jungle for a rare animal. As with all Texas Radio Theatre productions, it includes actors reading off scripts and a sound effects artist using all manner of objects to create the sonic environment for each scene. If Colonel Nickels is half as funny as Groucho Marx’s Captain Spaulding, it should be a treat.

Artistic Readings is 5:30-7:30pm Fri at the Kimbell Art Museum, 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, FW. Admission is free. Call 817-332-8451. Colonel Nickels and the Last Brushcat of Punta Oreos is at 7:30pm Fri at Arlington Museum of Art, 201 W Main St, Arlington. A $2 donation is requested for admission. Call 817-275-4600.

Mary Rodgers’ 1959 musical Once Upon a Mattress is based on the story of “The Princess and the Pea,” and though it has its roots in vaudeville, several of its songs (by Mary Rodgers and Marshall Barer) have a distinctive jazz flavor. It’s the second of Denton Community Theatre’s three summer productions. The play runs Jul 18-28 at Campus Theatre, 214 W Hickory St, Denton. Tickets are $10.50-15.50. Call 940-382-1915.

The third annual Gran Fiesta de Fort Worth celebrates the considerable Hispanic influence on our community. In addition to food, kids’ activities, sports, arts and crafts, and interactive displays, there’ll be more salsa, mariachi, merengue, and folklórico groups performing there than you can shake a palillo at. The festival is Fri-Sun at Main St between 4th & 11th Sts, FW. Admission is free. Call 214-855-1881 or 817-488-2336.

“An old pond / A frog jumps in / Splash!” “The sea darkens / The voices of the wild ducks / Are faintly white.” These haiku are courtesy of the great 17th-century master of the form, Matsuo Basho. Admirers of these deceptively simple, wildly suggestive poems can attend the meeting of the Fort Worth Haiku Society. This new group’s charter meeting was only last month, so it could use some support. The meeting is at 1pm at Four Star Coffee Bar, 3324 W 7th St, FW. Admission is free. Call 817-926-7905.

For those of us who are somewhat vexed by the summer heat and humidity, the Ridgmar Art Fest 2002 has all the amenities of an outdoor festival — arts and crafts, food, live music, kids’ activities — while offering the comforts of air conditioning and a shopping mall setting that promises minimal contact with nature. The festival runs Fri-Sun at Ridgmar Mall, 1888 Green Oaks Dr, FW. Admission is free. Call 817-731-0856.

The Euless Public Library celebrates its sixth birthday this week, and that’s the inspiration for a week of celebrations that includes concerts by Fort Worth Classic Guitar Society and Suzuki Strings, animals from Fort Worth Zoo, and contests for free DVDs. Tonight features a performance by Brave Combo in this unusual venue. The concert is at 7:30pm at 201 N Ector Dr, Euless. Admission is free. Call 817-685-1489.

Once they started making movies into Broadway musicals, it was pretty much inevitable that The Wizard of Oz was going to get the treatment. And why not? The songs by Harold Arlen and E.Y. “Yip” Harburg (not in the same league with the greatest songwriters of their day, but much underappreciated considering their body of work) are beautiful and modest in scale. Broadway composers don’t write like this nowadays. The musical runs Jul 23-28 at Bass Performance Hall, 555 Commerce St, FW. Tickets are $27-75. Call 817-212-4280 or 817-332-2272.

Dr. Jesse Stoff is an expert in the field he calls psychoneuroimmunology and advocates medical professionals devoting as much attention to a patient’s state of mind as to their medical care, in order to help the patient heal. Night & Day is all for the proponents of alternative medicine, at least until they start pushing their own line of products. A lecture based on Stoff’s research will be presented at 6:30pm at Hurst Public Library, 901 Precinct Line Rd, Hurst. Admission is free. Call 817-335-4752.

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