Wild Nights


What do you want to be when you grow up? In younger years, innumerable adults posed the question, and teachers made us illustrate it with Crayons on manila construction paper. Our fellow snot-dribblers drew rockets to the moon, stethoscopes, tutus and unicorns (OK, so some of us didn't understand the assignment). And invariably several little girls drew stick figures happily presenting trays of freshly baked cookies while efficiently pushing a vacuum cleaner. These bore the caption "I want to be a mommy." While we can respect the serious business of matrimony and procreation, we secretly thought these girls lacked ambition. Why be a mommy when you could be a veterinarian who piloted airplanes and danced Swan Lake in your spare time? We wonder how young Peregrine Honig drew herself as a grown-up or what Donna Huanca thought she might be as an adult. Did they or the other artists in Plush gallery's newest exhibit Wayward Girls want to be mommies? Or were their imaginings--like their works now--a little darker, a little more rebellious? Randall Garrett, owner of Plush, says local and national artists such as Honig, Huanca, Marcia Alaniz, Nicole Cawlfield, Suza Kanon, Marjorie Schwarz, Carole Smith, Maura Vazakas and Rebecca Westcott are helping to replace the traditional image of women in art with images that are "still very sexy but also defiant and very positive." Wayward Girls is the first show in the new gallery space, a location that Garrett hopes will give Plush a "higher visibility" in the heart of downtown. The opening of the all-female show will also feature music by Houston act Fast! Fast! Cash! The exhibit and new gallery space open with a reception on July 17 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at 1927 Commerce St. Call 214-498-5423. --Michelle Martinez

Learning Curve

Many educators say the best way to learn is to do. Slice open a frog and all that. The second best way is to observe, but ask questions, perhaps while taking notes. After that, simply watching helps you learn. Somewhere far down the line, perhaps even off the list, is observing while drinking great wine. Yet this is the technique Chamberlain's Fish Market Grill will use July 16, when for $65 you can watch a chef prepare a four-course meal for everyone who signed up for this one-night "cooking class" Chamberlain's is offering called Shellfish Extravaganza. Participants also get to down selections from Beringer's and Chateau St. Jean's. Once you're drunk, you eat the food you helped "prepare." Chamberlain's is located at 4525 Belt Line Road in Addison. The education begins at 6:30 p.m. Call 972-503-3474. --Paul Kix

House Beautiful

Whether you do it yourself, have your friend do it, hire someone to do it or enlist the help of a reality TV series, the age of the 2000s means major makeovers to your home. Cantoni Inc. --a contemporary furniture, accessory and design studio retailer--will host an Art Expo event from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. July 15. Guests will have access to food from Mondo's Restaurant and Bakery, cocktails by Tito's Vodka and will have the chance to win accessory pieces from the Cantoni collection, a shopping spree in the studio and additional discounts. Admission is $10 per guest. Proceeds go to the Mike Modano Foundation, and you get a chance to win an autographed hockey stick signed by Modano. Call 972-934-9191, ext. 121. --Jenice Johnson

French Kicks

If Pepé Le Pew--the dashing French skunk who was always on the make--wanted to invite you to a cooking class at Dallas' latest five-star restaurant boasting the talents of Avner Samuel (who exec-chefed at the Mansion before opening Aurora on Oak Lawn Avenue), he'd say, "Rawh-huh-huh-huh, mon petit choux. Rawh-hawh, my leetle cabbage. Let's cook zumting, how-you-say, ravishing for dejeuner, n'est pas?" If Samuel sounds like this, well, then he's even more authentic. The Paris-trained food star will teach French cooking every other Saturday at 10 a.m., beginning July 17, at Aurora. Students wine and dine with Samuel after class. Classes cost $65. Reservations are available by calling 214-528-9400 or visiting www.auroradallas.net. --Annabelle Massey Helber

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