Strange phenomena of ordinary life: Our cat will chase her tail only when perched precariously on the bathtub edge or the back of a recliner. We hit traffic or construction on Interstate 35 only when we're running late already and planning to blame it on traffic or construction. Hipper-than-thou indie rock will stop fighting about who liked Joy Division first and start jazz-handing and high-kicking like they're auditioning for a community theater production of The Fantasticks whenever Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" comes on the jukebox. But then Diamond himself is a phenomenon: He's barely aged in the almost 40 years since he hit the charts. His hair never grayed; his albums never stopped selling. And he played himself performing with a Neil Diamond tribute band in Saving Silverman. Shimmy those hands and lift those knees when Diamondbag: A Neil Diamond Tribute Band performs--without ND, sorry--during the Dallas Arboretum's Cool Thursdays concert series on the new Rutchik Concert Stage, 8525 Garland Road, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $5 to $14. Call the Cool Thursdays hotline at 214-515-6594.
Friday, July 8
The ability to completely switch personalities from content sweetheart to raging psychopath in seconds with no reason and no regret. Sounds like PMS. Or cats. Or alcohol. But without the aid of a menstrual cycle, paws or Jack Daniel's, it must be the ol' Jekyll and Hyde syndrome where science experiments gone wrong re-create what happens to some as part of nature. Watch the transformation when Pocket Sandwich Theatre presents the original play by founder Joe Dickinson called The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, another one of the theater's audience-participation, popcorn-tossing comedy spoofs. The show opens July 8 and runs through August 20 with performances at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 7 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $8 to $16, and food is available 90 minutes before show time. Pocket Sandwich Theatre, 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane. Call 214-821-1860.
Saturday, July 9
Food makes everything better. Think about it. With a platter of turkey and a dish of stuffing, you actually want to spend time with your family. Breakups require pizza and ice cream and pizza and ice cream. So it goes with July Jazz, the monthly concert series in Addison's Esplanade Park, 5044 Addison Circle Drive, sponsored by The Oasis 107.5 and Preston Chrysler. You may not like jazz, and nobody should ever like July, but they're both better when viewed from a restaurant adjacent to the park such as Pastazios Pizza, Side Walk Café, Kampai Sushi & Grill or Avanti Euro Bistro or from a picnic dinner in the park. The series starts with music by smooth jazz favorites Fingerprints and continues every Saturday in July from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. with music by James Gilyard featuring Simone (traditional jazz), Joseph Vincelli (smooth jazz saxophone) and CIRCO (Brazilian jazz). Admission is free. Visit www.addisontexas.net.
Sunday, July 10
While the boys were at one end of the pool playing Jaws or battleship or whatever, we girls liked to pretend our legs were one giant fishlike tail, flapping it around while we made graceful swimming motions with our arms. How we wanted to be a mermaid. So beautiful, with long flowing hair and a bikini top made from magically supportive seashells. Then we realized you couldn't just swim onto land and flop on over to McDonald's for a Happy Meal. (The ocean floor is the last place without a Mickey D's.) Whether you dreamed of being Ariel from the Disney movie or Tom Hanks, who wins the heart of a mermaid in Splash, there's a mermaid play for you. The student actors of Plano Children's Theatre, 1301 Custer Road, perform Little Mermaid: The Musical through July 17 with performances at 7:15 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:15 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $6 to $7. Call 972-422-2575. Hip Pocket Theatre, 1950 Silver Creek Road in Fort Worth, opens Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid, the story of a man who falls in love with a mermaid he caught, on July 8. It runs through July 31 with performances at 9 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Opening-weekend tickets are $2.50. During the rest of the production, tickets are $8 to $14. Call 817-246-9775.
Monday, July 11
Late-night talk show hosts can make jokes about Martha Stewart; she's still laughing all the way to the bank--or she could without that pesky ankle bracelet monitor she has to wear. Being a domesticated diva is still "a good thing." And summertime is the right time to get your kids headed in that direction. During Kids Cooking: Cooking, Arts and Gardening, children ages 5 to 7 can learn "a little bit of everything," from composting to place mat-making to snack-preparing. (By spring break, they should be editing their own magazine and designing a line of dish towels.) The three-day Kids Cooking camp is 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Wednesday for $50 at Whole Foods Market, 2201 Preston Road, Plano. Call 972-612-6729.
Tuesday, July 12
Mom used to threaten that if we didn't behave, she was going to leave us at the zoo with the other animals. Now we kinda wonder if that's the real reason why there are always so many mothers and screaming brats at the Dallas Zoo. We just go for the ring-tailed lemurs and secretly hope one escapes (they're so expensive on the black market). Whether you're making a deposit or a withdrawal to the park's collection, the Dallas Zoo hosts Dollar Day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday as its way to thank the community for its year-round support. Parking is still $5, so take DART. The Dallas Zoo is located at 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway at Marsalis Avenue in Oak Cliff. Call 214-670-6826.