This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

Thursday, July 22

We're too lazy to stop at the grocery store and buy a burrito we can microwave for 90 seconds. So we're probably not the target audience for Benihana's Roll Your Own Sushi Dinner. Or maybe we are. Perhaps it's a nefarious plan: Invite the well-intentioned to a class, show them how difficult it is to make sushi and then they'll keep paying Benihana to do it. Very clever, Benihana-san. But whether or not you ever plan to break out the bamboo utensils and sticky rice, the dinner/workshop is a good deal. It's five courses--including the one for making California, spicy tuna or salmon rolls--for $30, which also includes a take-home sushi-making kit, pineapple-flavored sake and membership in Benihana's Emperor's Club. The other four courses are appetizers (edamame and wasabi dip), miso soup, salad and a sushi boat. Roll Your Own Sushi Dinners are 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays. Benihana, 5400 Whitehall St., Irving. Call 972-550-0060.

Friday, July 23

Two heads are better than one. Batman and Robin. Abbott and Costello. Captain and Tennille. Frank and Jesse James. Sid and Nancy. O.J. and Kato. Collaboration is always for the best, right, Bennifer? This thought inspired Dynamic Duos, the new exhibit at Cidnee Patrick Gallery, but it became more than that as the art created by pairs of siblings, romantic partners, friends and alter egos began to show contrasts and dualities beyond the simple idea. Featuring works by twosomes such as The Art Guys from Houston, The Wheeler Brothers from Lubbock and Dallas couple Rosemary Meza and Steve Cruz, Dynamic Duos opens with a reception from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and runs through September 4 at 2404 Cedar Springs Road at Maple Avenue. Call 214-855-5101.

Saturday, July 24

If we ever found the perfect bra--cute yet comfortable, supportive yet dainty--we wouldn't sing and dance. We would take the time to hand-wash and line-dry instead of tossing it in the washer and dryer. But then we're not Johnny Simons. The co-founder of Hip Pocket Theatre loves mentioning his unmentionables so much that he was inspired to pen Return to Girdleville With Men in BVD's (A Brief Sequel) 10 years after his play Girls From Girdleville Greet Men in BVD's. This isn't an ordinary musical (as if you couldn't tell from the title). The songs are lip-synched instead of sung, and the dancing is performed in mismatched outfits of underwear and accessories. The play runs through August 8 with performances at 9 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Hip Pocket's new location, 1950 Silver Creek Road in Fort Worth on Lake Worth. Tickets are $10 to $12 for adults, $8 to $10 for kids and seniors and $6 to $8 for kids 12 and under. Call 817-246-9775.

Sunday, July 25

Plain, simple rejection is bad enough. But rejection that comes with a movie theater of people booing and a gong being sounded is not for the weak of heart and self-esteem. The Dallas Gong Show sounds brutal, but maybe it will stop the next generation of films like White Chicks and anything starring Rob Schneider. A benefit for the Cancer Relief Fund, this gong show features five-minute films by local filmmakers and an audience ready to cheer or boo their opinions. Drag queen Edna Jean Robinson hosts, and a panel of judges, including Slim Jim from the morning show on 102.1-FM KDGE "The Edge," doles out the prizes, including the grand prize of $516.33 in cash, a slot at the Deep Ellum Film Festival and equipment and space rental for making another film. Admission is $10 to $15 for the 7 p.m. event at Studio Movie Grill, 5404 Belt Line Road, Addison. Visit

Monday, July 26

Our theory is that cellular phones are powered by monkeys with lasers, the jet stream and rainbow-colored microchips. We got a C in physics class, so we're pretty sure we're right. But we'll make sure with the Science Place's new permanent exhibit NetWorks!: Our World of Communications. Sponsored by Nortel Networks of Richardson, NetWorks! explains the science behind cell phones with 20 interactive stations that answer questions such as "What happens when I press 'Send' on my phone?" The Science Place, 1318 Second Ave. in Fair Park, is open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $4 to $7.50. Kids under 3 are admitted free. Call 214-428-5555.

Tuesday, July 27

We thought all bars would be like the one in Cocktail with attractive, charming men flipping bottles, tossing shakers and juggling shot glasses. Why else would you have to wait until 21 to enter? Though sometimes we wish our gin and tonic tasted less like nail polish remover, we're glad we don't have to wait five minutes for some Tom Cruise wannabe to finish his dance routine behind the bar. But those who want a shot of flash and strut by some guys who put the "cocky" into "cocktail" can attend the regional finals of The Quest for the Best Bartender Competition at Sherlock's Baker St. Pub & Grill, 5100 Belt Line Road, Addison. Bartenders from Dallas/Fort Worth and around Texas will register at 7:30 p.m. for competitions 9 p.m. to midnight in the categories of speed and flair. The speed-round trial is preparing five drinks and opening and pouring two beers as fast as possible. The flair section--which includes crowd interaction and moves choreographed to music--includes three mixed drinks and beer. Two finalists will receive $100 each and move onto the state finals in Houston. Entry is free as is admission for spectators. Call 972-726-6100.

Wednesday, July 28

We hated that classroom project where every student contributed a line to the story. Just when we'd pencil in our insightful, heartfelt moment, that annoying Sean would make some joke about dog poop. It seems our control-freak tendencies started early. But Montblanc's Great American Love Story, in which visitors to the store get to write a line in a romance novel, should attract like-minded writers with visions of hairless, defined pecs like Fabio's and long, wavy, flowing red hair worthy of a Harlequin cover. And maybe both should be wearing billowy white poet blouses. But those are just suggestions. The story started in New York City with an opening line by Candace Bushnell of Sex and the City, and Texas author Christine Dodd of Some Enchanted Evening just began chapter three. Aspiring writers visiting the NorthPark Center store from today through August 11 will sign the 2-foot-tall, 1,000-page book with their own line. And even the signing pen is romantic with the name Montblanc Solitaire Royal and covered in 4,810 diamonds. (It's also worth more than our car.) When the book is completed after an extended tour, it will be submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records as the "novel with most contributing authors." NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expressway. Call 214-890-0908.

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Shannon Sutlief

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