This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, March 31

Our first thought was that Extreme Dance! would involve pirouettes on a skateboard or some sort of kamikaze-like performance with a half-pipe and rolling stilts. But since we don't like blood or vitreous humor with our ballet, it's a relief that the show is actually an explosion of creativity from Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth, Peggy Lamb and Moving Connections of Austin, Raven Dance Project of Huntsville and Wing & A Prayer Players of Fort Worth. The "extreme" part of the title comes from the wide range of topics--from a look at spirituality and Easter to a spoof of modern trends ("Om OK, You're OK"). The collaborative performance hits the stage at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Orchestra Hall, 4401 Trail Lake Drive in Fort Worth. Tickets are $8 to $15. Visit

Friday, April 1

Running With Scissors had our mind twisting around some heavy material (abuse, coming out, neglect, brainwashing...) while we laughed at the fabulously quirky main character. Dry made us cry as we stressed out and began rooting for the protagonist through rehab. Magical Thinking made us weep for a rat and laugh at health nuts right along with the stories' leading guy. Thing is, in each of those books, the main character is Augusten Burroughs, and amazingly enough, all three books are autobiographical. Burroughs has experienced a great deal for his young age, but unlike all the other "young author write-ups," we won't let reams of his tumultuous story leak out and ruin what he'll have to say as Arts & Letters Live welcomes him to the Distinguished Writers series 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Dallas Museum of Art. We'll let him do the dishing on modeling school, thieving housekeepers and living with his mom's shrink...among other things. Tickets for the live simulcast in the Atrium Café and Orientation Theater may still be available. Call 214-922-1219.

Saturday, April 2

At first, we were unsure of how much we wanted to see yet another exhibition of art focusing on "the representation of bodies in the media and social constructs of gender"--how Kansas City photographer Nicole Cawlfield describes her photography. Then we saw her stuff. Her images have the intrigue of Cindy Sherman's faux film stills and reek of scantily clad femininity. Pair that kind of appeal with fellow KC artist Peregrine Honig's ink drawings of awkward pubescence and you've got a sure-fire combo of unconventional femme artistry. There's none of that art that seems to lecture as you look in this show at Plush, 1927 Commerce St. It's real, it's cool and it's inspired. Forgive us for sounding so "You go girl!" but Cawlfield and Honig's work is mighty. The gallery opens the exhibition with a reception from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. featuring performances by Vicki Fowler and DJ Mustafa. The show runs through April 27. Call 214-498-5423.

Sunday, April 3

Yes, the songs are catchy and educational. Yes, the characters are cute and friendly. But there's something we can't get past when it comes to Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer. Her name doesn't rhyme with "explorer," people! Say it out loud; sing it even. It doesn't rhyme unless you say it with the accent of like, Debi Mazar. If the character was named "The Explorer" just because she explored and with no intention of rhyming, why not something like Beatrice the Explorer or Voyager Maria? We can't seem to get Nickelodeon to write us back with an answer, so we're going to La Casa de Dora to check out the home and culture of the Latina character and ask her just what the deal is with her name. The exhibit is at The Parks at Arlington Mall (3811 S Cooper St.) Saturday and Sunday during mall hours. Call 817-467-0200.

Monday, April 4

Here's a tip: If ever you're house-sitting and the homeowners say something along the lines of, "Help yourself to anything ya like! Make yourself at home," don't peruse the wine rack and select the bottle with the most dust on it. The dust doesn't mean they don't like it or haven't found a good recipe to use it in. Among wine freaks, that gentle coat means they're saving it for a special occasion. And trust us, they'll notice it's gone. Now, for those of you who still have that pristine vintage, declare Monday (or any Monday in April) a special occasion and head to Kathleen's Art Café, 4424 Lovers Lane (or the Plano location at 4021 Preston Road) for Open That Bottle Night. The staff will suggest food pairings for your wine, and customers that submit explanations of the memories and/or significance attached to their special bottle could win a dinner at owners Robert and Kathleen Ellington's home. Call 214-691-2355.

Tuesday, April 5

The bitch is back. We watch the Donald's show just for her direct hits at smarmy competitors, so of course we're interested to know how she mixed 3/4 intellectual lady with 1/4 firecracker and concocted success. She may have fired off some sharp criticism during Thursday's episode of The Apprentice, but Carolyn Kepcher is really all about getting women fired up and ready to lead. The executive vice president of the Trump Organization joins Marlo Thomas (actress, author and philanthropist), Court TV anchor Catherine Crier and others for the Women's Leadership Exchange Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. as they present various keynote addresses and the closing comments. The Wyndham Anatole, 2201 Stemmons Fwy., will serve as a inspirational hub for women business owners the metroplex over. Register at or call 1-888-937-5800.

Wednesday, April 6

Spring keeps peeking out here and there, priming us for patio lunches, the dog park and cook-outs. We made our first big jar of sun tea and at least thought about grilling out after exercising the pug at White Rock. But while the American traditions are great and all, we wanted something a little foreign and a lot delectable. Enter the tapas, escorted by the lovely sangria. The Spanish appetizers are all the rage at a tapas and sangria class at Whole Foods Market in Highland Park (4100 Lomo Alto Drive at Lemmon) Wednesday at 5 p.m. The free class shows the wide range of tapas (from a simple olive plate to mini-sandwiches) and pairs them with Mike McClure's tasty sangria. Call 214-520-7993.

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Merritt Martin
Contact: Merritt Martin