Before they were famous, were they so irritating? Did people notice as much when they suffered a bad bout with bloat? Did they do their own laundry? Did they talk with one another about bad dates? Did anyone care how many girls named Jennifer either of them dated? Amphibian Productions presents Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers' look at the pre-showbiz friendship of the consummate Hollywood duo in Matt & Ben. Meet the BFFs (or are they?) before Oscar struck. You know, back when they still had to use their last names when introducing themselves. Performances begin Thursday with shows at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, through August 28, at TCU Studio Theater, 1300 Gendy St. in Fort Worth. (Enter through the Walsh Center for Performing Arts.) Tickets are $20 ($10 for students and senior citizens). Call 817-923-3012.
Friday, August 19
Face it, you need a little variety in that cubicle-bound life of yours. Actually, you need a lot, but we can start small and work up to a life full of events more exciting than a Friday night spent thinning out the TiVo. For now, let's try The Balzach Brothers' Variety Dome 5000 Friday at 7:30 p.m. or 9 p.m. Take your pick. For $6, you can celebrate the 200th episode of a non-existent variety show that the stars themselves compare to "a cocktail of Laugh-In, The Sonny and Cher Show, SNL and Mr. Show." It's so random it just might make sense. Derek Welch and Nick Gibbons (who currently resides in the Big Apple and performs at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater) star as Brett and Chet Balzach and claim, "Though there is no intentional nudity, the show is of an adult nature but not mind." Just what you need. Now get the hell out of the office and down to Ozona Grill & Bar Theater, 4615 Greenville Ave. Reservations are recommended. Call 214-265-9105.
Saturday, August 20
Can you get a witness? How about a million sitting comfortably in their living rooms? It looks as though the Gospel Music Channel feels American Idol is a little lacking in the Lord department, so it's kicking off its own televised talent search, Gospel Dream 2005. "Anyone ages 15 to 60 who wants to be a gospel music star" is welcome to try out at the Dallas regional auditions before judges Dr. Sheron Patterson (KSOC-FM), Rick DeVoe (KLTY-FM) and other music industry bigwigs. (Our limited info did not disclose whether God would personally be involved in the judging process.) Bring heavenly vocal cords to Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd., Friday and Saturday. For contest details and registration, visit www.GospelMusicChannel.com.
Sunday, August 21
We mean well, but we have to admit we procrastinate. Our fundraising efforts never worked out well in school, since we generally waited until the day before the forms were due to ask Mom if anyone at her office wanted some sumptuous chocolate treats. Jump rope sponsorships topped out around $15--the sum of $5 from each parent, our lunch money that day and our remaining week's allowance. This year we're starting early with the money and with the muscles. We want to be seriously prepared for the 175-mile Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS in September, so we're taking them up on the offer of free crew-supported training rides on Saturday and Sunday at 7 a.m. at Cravens Park, 400 Cravens Park Drive in Arlington. The 54- and 70-mile routes are offered both days with rest stops provided. Ride out is at 7:30 a.m., so bring your bicycle, bottle, helmet and energy. Check out www.lonestarride.org or call 214-521-2412.
Monday, August 22
The minute we saw the title of the Science Place exhibit Cool Moves: The Artistry of Motion, we immediately thought of one of the most awesome songs in the world: "The Touch" from Transformers: The Movie. Don't pretend you don't know it. "You got the touch! You got the power!...You got the heart! You got the motion!" It's silly, and we're fully aware of that, but it actually pertains. See, the exhibit is a hands-on one that invites visitors to discover the secrets of motion through features such as the "Dancing Wall" (interaction with motion detectors), "Animals In Motion" (a video display of, well, animals in motion) and other cool stuff (a huge pendulum and three-wheeled racers, for example). But Cool Moves is only here through the end of the month so get to the Science Place, 1318 Second Ave., while you can still get the touch and, of course, get the motion. Call 214-428-5555.
Tuesday, August 23
"Doll." There are so many connotations of the word. Why don't you just go play with your dolls. You're such a doll! I feel empty, like a doll. Let's get all dolled up. Photographer Van Ditthavong covers just as many different themes in his exhibition Doll + Dolls, in which all works have dolls (as in, children's playthings) as subject matter. Ditthavong uses the inanimate figures to create visual stories that don't necessarily have an end--at least, not until the viewers create one for themselves. The word "doll" could have any of many definitions until it's placed in a sentence, just as Ditthavong's dolls could have any of many destinies until the viewer decides upon one. And we thought dolls were just for dressing. A reception opens the exhibition Saturday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Sozo Salon, 4524 Cole Ave. The show continues through September 3. Call 214-522-7600.
Wednesday, August 24
Normally, when someone tells us to wear all white, we laugh to the point of tears. But for a good cause we figure we can talk ourselves into, at least temporarily, believing that monochromatic clothing is very slimming...even in white. Women's suffrage is indeed a cause deserving of celebration. The Dallas City Council will do just that at noon on Wednesday as it issues a proclamation to recognize the anniversary of women's right to vote. The event will take place in Dallas City Hall's Flag Room, 1500 Marilla St. Participants can enjoy a light lunch, and everyone is encouraged to honor the suffragettes by wearing white. Call the League of Women Voters of Dallas at 214-688-4125.