Why is it that other people's travels in exotic lands are so enticing? Maybe it's our inherent desire to shift settings temporarily by living vicariously through others. Maybe it's so we can learn without the risks of really stepping out there on our own. Maybe it's the mystery of other cultures made personal through a familiar person's account. Probably, it's all of those things plus a little voyeurism thrown in. Crystal Skillman's new play 4 Edges deals with photographer Palmer Sullan's experiences in an unfamiliar country replete with beautiful arts, hard work and acts of self-destruction. The performance revolves around Sullan's efforts to reconcile the images of beauty and brutality as she prepares for an exhibit after returning home. The run is Thursday through August 1 at Texas Christian University's Hayes Theater, 2800 S. University Drive in Fort Worth. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $10 to $20. Call 1-866-811-4111.
Friday, July 16
Sitting at our favorite bar the other night, we pondered over our third double vodka and tonic: Does our proclivity for drinking spirits technically make us a "spiritual" person? With deadlines, politics, relationships and other quandaries filling our head, we're finding our strongest faith is in a well-mixed Friday-evening happy hour. Kitrell/Riffkind Art Glass understands and is making this Friday's escape even more special. The gallery presents its 10th Annual Goblet Invitational, featuring one-of-a-kind and limited-edition glassworks from across the country. The "drinking vessels" are celebrated with a wine and cheese tasting from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 5100 Belt Line Road, Suite 820. Leave all faxes, voicemails and world-weariness at the door. Call 972-239-7957.
Saturday, July 17
We're suckers for descriptive and witty names, hence our pleasure in discovering the name of the area's newest theater company: Abbreviated Enlightenment. Producer Leslie Fletcher explains that in /ochen chotto schpiel/: very little play,' AE performs "reality-based short works" and "fast, fast, FAST theater" with a variety of scant plays, the order chosen by the audience. The first month's run opens Saturday (and runs every Saturday through August 7) with 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows at Addison Conference Center, 15650 Addison Road. Oh, and by the way, this is an "All ages show: mature content and language tempered by intellect." Now that's enlightenment. Call 1-877-590-4400.
Sunday, July 18
With the exception of the bare-chested and irritating Enrique Iglesias, we love the Latino arts. It makes us thankful to be in Texas, where Ballet Folklorico, mercados, mariachi and Lotera are plentiful. And, frankly, that's saying something if we're actually thankful to be here with our shirt stuck to our back with sweat and our neighbor's big hair blocking our DirecTV signal. To show our interest and appreciation, we're heading to the free Gran Fiesta de Fort Worth, benefiting the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. All the things favorably mentioned above will be there, plus pro soccer player Oscar Pareja (from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.) and more on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. between the Fort Worth Convention Center and Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth. The fiesta is also hopping from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call 1-800-538-1881.
Monday, July 19
Pears are so underrated. The experience of biting down on a chilly, juicy pear portion never ceases to satisfy. Even The Kids in the Hall paid homage to the fruit with one of our favorite sketches, opening with the flamboyant Scott Thompson hacking into a pear, spearing a piece with his knife and passionately ingesting it. The scene was soft-focus and cut to Thompson bolting up from sleep saying, "I had the pear dream again." It was bizarre and truly random, but every time we see it we remember how rarely we get to enjoy a good pear...and Canadian sketch comedy, but whatever. Painter Donna Finch Adams sees the lure of the pear also--at least, we assume she must, since she has an entire exhibit in the Irving Arts Center devoted to the bulbous fruit. In Praise of the Pear runs through September 26 at 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd. Yeah, there's still time to see it, but Monday's a bore, so play hooky and peruse some painted pears. Call 972-252-7558.
Tuesday, July 20
It seems like every summer, our appetite decreases, and so does our will to leave the house. Texas heat is oppressive and, in our opinion, horrific. Realizing that we will be in this region for a while and our summer in New England/winter in Texas idea is far from feasible, we think Tuesday might hold an invaluable opportunity. Chef Lanie Fioretti at Whole Foods (11661 Preston Road at Forest Lane) will try to tempt our wilted taste buds with her Easy Summer Recipes class, full of demonstrations of seasonal recipes that are perfect for family prep and summer palates. Now if only we can summon the strength to withstand the transition from sweltering to air-conditioned car. The 2 p.m. class is free, but reservations are recommended. Call 214-361-8887.
Wednesday, July 21
Forget Laundromats, coffee shops and bookstores. Apparently the best place to meet fellow singles is at a bar. There is a catch, though. In order to guarantee meeting no fewer than 20 prospective mates, the bar needs to be hosting a HurryDate event. The dating service offers a setting allowing participants 20 five-minute dates in one night. Score cards from all of the daters are then compared to find out who is mutually interested in another meeting. Now whether you men and women of 25 to 35 decide to register and participate in the round robin of romance or join us in viewing the shenanigans from the bar is entirely up to you. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the games begin at 7:30 p.m. at Fallout Lounge, 835 Exposition Ave. To HurryDate is $35; to gawk is free. Visit www.HurryDate.com.