This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

 Thursday, August 21
It's ironic that Cantoni--the "design store" known for its sleek-lined, vividly colored furniture that we, as almost graceful, very considerate adults, would be terrified to sit on--is hosting a benefit for the Dallas Children's Museum, which lets rugrats run around, hands covered in finger paint with hats made from construction paper and glue stick. But, during 2003 Art Expo at Cantoni's flagship store near the Galleria, all $10 of the admission price is going directly to the museum inside Valley View Center. From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the store will host special displays and artist talks with representatives from the Phoenix Art Group, Rockledge Design Studio and Fanoos Art Crystal. There will also be raffles, drawings and special discounts on art and accessories, plus food and cocktails. The works will remain on display through Sunday for purchase. Cantoni's is located at 4800 Alpha Road, and reservations for the benefit are available by calling 972-943-9191.

Friday, August 22
To Grant Wood, there are five seasons: spring, summer, winter, Octoberfest and double bock. Wood's a brewmeister at Samuel Adams Beers, and he's one of the many people responsible for the company's five seasonal beers and eight year-round beers. He'll discuss his job, hand out samples of the brews and accompany those with some "light beer-friendly hors d'oeuvres." Sounds like pretzels to us. Only in the realm of Central Market do salted twists of crispy baked dough deserve such a title. Wood's appearance is called "An Evening with Samuel Adams' Brewmeister" and is 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Central Market, 5750 E. Lovers Lane at Greenville Avenue. Admission is $45. Call 214-361-5754.

Saturday, August 23
The rhythm is gonna get you. We just thought that you should be warned. Should you attend the Science Place and Dance Council fund-raiser Celebrate the Rhythms of Life, your feet will be tapping, your fingers might be snapping and you may be inspired to burst into dance Gene Kelly-style right in the atrium. Those are side effects of hearing and seeing a variety of rhythms and traditions over several hours. The benefit for the council's dance festival in Artist Square next weekend includes screenings of the IMAX film Pulse: A STOMP Odyssey, which documents dance in nine countries on five continents, and live dance from various local troupes, including African dance with Moussa Diabate and Djelykunda West African Dance Ensemble and flamenco with Conté de Loyo Dance Theatre. Celebrate the Rhythms of Life is 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $50, but $40 of it is tax deductible. The Science Place is located in Fair Park at 1318 Second Ave. For reservations, call 214-428-5555, ext. 310.

Errol Flynn, right, stole from the rich and gave to the poor--all while looking manly in tights.
Errol Flynn, right, stole from the rich and gave to the poor--all while looking manly in tights.

Sunday, August 24
Julia Pastrana was a human being. She wasn't half-ape or half-bear, just the unfortunate receiver of genes that made her entire body covered in long, straight, thick black hair, and a different set of genes that made her gums, jaw, lips, nose and ears larger than normal, especially for her 4-and-half-foot, 115-pound body. But she spent much of her short life on display like an ape or a bear in a zoo, working as a sideshow attraction for her husband and manager. Now, a new play by Shaun Prendergast asks whether the truly ugly one was Pastrana or the man who profited from her abnormalities. But his drama, The True Story of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana: The Ugliest Woman in the World, doesn't let you gawk at the freak. It's performed in the dark with the actors, sound and other special effects creating all the drama, tension and heartbreak. But death didn't end her career. Her husband took her mummified body--and the mummy of the baby she died giving birth to--on tour. Amphibian Productions performs The True Story... at the Texas Christian University Studio Theater, 2800 S. University Drive in Fort Worth, through August 31. Performances are 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $15, or $10 for students and seniors. Call 817-923-3012.

Monday, August 25
Errol Flynn should have won an Oscar for doing the impossible: looking dashing, tough and charming while wearing tights, a scalloped jacket and ringlets in his hair. He also won the girl, with Olivia de Havilland as Maid Marian. But there are more reasons to see The Adventures of Robin Hood. The 1938 film won Academy Awards for score, art direction and editing and accomplished that cool split arrow trick with a marksman, not special effects. It also has been restored in digital by TI Cinema Standard DLP and is running August 22 for one week at the Magnolia Theatre, 3699 McKinney Ave. in the West Village. At the time of its release, it was one of the first films to use three-color Technicolor and was the most expensive film Warner Bros. had released. With the restoration, it looks better than ever. For show times, call 214-520-0025.

Tuesday, August 26
Remember when the funniest thing in the world was just hearing someone say "poop" or "blow job"? Well, while many of us graduated from sixth grade--school-wise and mentally--some comedians are still stuck in that phase. Take out all the curse words and you'd probably have a string of phrases like "the...he...hers...a...goat...pants." For those who relish comedy that doesn't require bleeps or blushing, the Addison Improv is hosting Christian Comedy Night, one evening a month during which comedy is cuss-free and "inspirational" without being preachy. Al Fike, a comedian known for his impressions and musical abilities, hosts the concert. The idea is that the jokes are funny without being shocking or offensive. The next show is Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $12. Improvisation, 4980 Belt Line Road, Addison. Call 972-404-8501.

Wednesday, August 27
As a young, tragic and remarkably insightful poet who wrote poems in a sketchbook with a calligraphy pen, we thought all poetry had to be about love and loss. Then we read John Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn," and we realized that it could be about, ya know, stuff. We missed the point. Just like Keats' work isn't about some old pottery, we bet there's more to "Snakes" or "Genetics" than the titles let on. These two poems--and 10 others--are finalists in the Dallas Poet's Community Annual Poetry Contest. The poets, or a representative, will read their pieces at 7:30 p.m., and later in the evening, awards will be given to the first, second and third places and to a few honorable mentions, all of whom will receive prizes and be published in the journal Illya's Honey. Celebrate the writers--seven from Texas, including three from Dallas--at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. Call the MAC at 214-953-1212.

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