Urgent memo: William H. Macy makes us impatient to find out who's on the receiving end of that intense stare in David Mamet's Spartan.
Urgent memo: William H. Macy makes us impatient to find out who's on the receiving end of that intense stare in David Mamet's Spartan.

This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, March 25

We had no idea that opiates, smuggling and white slavery are the three pillars of comedy. Playwright Charles Busch and the Pocket Sandwich Theatre apparently have the inside track, though, since the theater's production of Busch's Shanghai Moon involves all three. Oh, right, it's a spoof. Now that would make a bit more sense, as we couldn't really recall the last time we heard that guffaw-inducing joke that ends with "Then he says to the guy, 'That's the last addict I'll ever smuggle into slavery!'" Shanghai Moon is a send-up of 1930s Asian melodramas featuring Lady Sylvia and her affair with a "mysterious warlord." We're not sure what will transpire, but Busch is the creator of Psycho Beach Party and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, which pretty much guarantees we'll give it a go at Thursday's 8 p.m. performance. Food service is available starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $8, and the theater is located at 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane. Call 214-821-1860.

Friday, March 26

Biscuit. Having heard the word used so many ways--Whazzup, biscuit? Check out those biscuits. May I partake of your biscuit?--we surveyed co-workers in hopes of defining the slang term to help explain the significance of Friday's Biscuit Storytime. Unfortunately, the answers we received didn't clear up the confusion. "Oh, that means shoes." "Uh, one who is cute." "Whitey." "Probably a corruption of the word 'bitch'." "Titties." "Definitely 'ass'." "That's a gun." And "Doesn't that mean something sexual?" Looking further into the event's details, we accept the "one who is cute" definition, as the Biscuit in this case is a disarmingly cute li'l dog of children's literature fame. Alyssa Satin Capucilli's character (or at least a store employee in a large suit) will dazzle little ones at a 7 p.m. story time at Barnes & Noble, 2601 Preston Road, Frisco. We hope we'll get to hear Biscuit and the Bunny or What is Love, Biscuit? Those are easily one and two in our Biscuit Top 10. Call 972-668-2820.

Saturday, March 27

Racked with insomnia and an absentee husband, Charlotte (played by Scarlett Johansson) drinks, wanders Tokyo and investigates her hotel. Lost in Translation is a story about what happens when someone is immersed in a culture that is distinctly not theirs. During one of her hotel roamings, Charlotte happens upon a room of Japanese women arranging flowers and is welcomed and introduced to the art of ikebana. It's a small scene, but a beautiful, quiet and emotional one, as is ikebana. Instructors from Ikebana International Dallas Chapter 13 teach a beginner workshop on the Japanese flower arranging with flowers and refreshments provided. And just think of the money saved on a ticket to Tokyo when making the required reservations and plunking down only $25 to $35. Bring a notebook, clippers, pin cushion, bucket and shallow ikebana vase to the class, which takes place noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Crow Collection of Asian Art, 2010 Flora St. Call 214-979-6438.

Sunday, March 28

Everyone knows that Vincent van Gogh cut off one of his ears and ended up in an asylum. But it's safe to assume that only the art and biography buffs know that on that ear-y night, van Gogh was abandoned by his buddy and fellow artist Gauguin, who then went to Tahiti, "where he suffered from syphilis while cavorting with teenage island girls. He struggled with poverty, attempted suicide, fought for native rights, painted some of the greatest masterpieces in the history of art and died in 1903 at age 54." So says Fred Curchack of the unusual muse for his one-man show Gauguin's Shadow. Tortured, disturbing and frenetic, Gauguin has now been transposed into Curchack's alteration of the play Gauguin's Paradise, which is intended for a full cast. Still avant-garde and unexpected, the play is performed by University of Texas at Dallas students at Sunday's 2:30 p.m. matinee. The show continues through April 4. Tickets are $10 to $15. UTD is located at Campbell Road and University Drive in Richardson. Call 972-883-2787.

Monday, March 29

OK, ladies, grab the business cards and get ready to network in celebration of International Women's Day. Professional women can connect with each other at this event sponsored by DallasWIT. Indulge in appetizers and the cash bar while listening to the motivational stylings of speaker and author Sally Baskey in her lecture "Laughter, My Drug of Choice." Admittedly, we aren't up on the sales or technological side of business, but we're pretty sure that gaining business leads and friends is a good thing. The networking runs from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at the University of Dallas Art History Building, 1845 E. Northgate Drive, Irving. Admission is $12 to $15, and registration is available at www.camp.worldwit.org/eventlist.taf.

Tuesday, March 30

The Little Sisters of Hoboken are officially on tour. From Broadway to Big D comes Nunsense 20th Anniversary Tour. Aside from the fact that the show is award-winning and, well, two decades old, the touring cast coming to the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., features Kaye Ballard (The Full Monty), Georgia Engel (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Mimi Hines (Frasier), Lee Meriwether (Barnaby Jones) and none other than the Darlene Love (if you don't know, we're not telling). Check out these all-star nuns striving to raise burial money for their sisters "accidentally poisoned by their own convent chef." Tuesday is opening night with an 8 p.m. performance, and the sisters sing on through April 4. Tickets range from $10 to $65. Call 214-373-8000.

Wednesday, March 31

Those with kids who are toddlers or younger don't even consider going to see a movie much less a film with the entire family. Right? Well, not so at the Angelika's Cry Baby Matinees. A changing table is provided, lights are kept on dim and no one cares if the occasional breast pops out--for feeding, of course. On Wednesday, satisfy that hankering for Val Kilmer and kidnapping/white slavery dramas with Spartan by David Mamet, the man famous for unrealistically super-intellectual dialogue and the unlikely castings of Rebecca Pidgeon (thankfully, she's not in this one, so there's hope) in a number of his films. Never mind our hang-ups, this is a grown-up film that parents can enjoy without hiring a sitter or completely altering life's schedule. Kids under 5 get in free, and mamas and papas pay the regular matinee prices. The show starts at 1:30 p.m., so leave some room to grab a 'dog and popcorn since, even if the movie's over the wee ones' heads, the big, fast pictures might allow parents enough time to sneak a bite or two. Angelika Film Center and Café, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Mockingbird Station. Call 214-841-4700.


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