From the ABC to the XYZ of cups, the University of Miami's New Gallery (1210 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables) opens an exhibition starring, drum roll, please ... the "CUP" in all its glorious incarnations. This cupstravaganza features everything from brawny tumblers to delicate pinky-flexing tea cups to the victorious loving cup to the frisky athletic cup.
Why the cup? Statistics show that the average American consumes 27.9 million cups-a-Joe each year. The Surgeon General recommends we drink 30.7 glasses of water each day.
Champagne flutes, shot glasses, and beer steins are a such vital part of the government process that several congressional stalwarts have been heard to slur, "In cups we trust."
So imbedded in the national psyche is the cup that the lowly Styrofoam model has been elevated to a unique cultural status, eagerly embraced at museum and gallery openings across America.
Cups are such a part of our daily lives that it's high time they get their due. We coddle our favorite coffee mugs, save our precious plastic Big Gulp tumblers. Hell, we even bid big bucks on eBay for Flintstones jelly jar collectibles.
To honor this most utilitarian of vessels, New Gallery has invited 65 artists to render their odes to the cup, resulting in a potent visual cocktail. Check out Robert Huff's Dixie Cup, a towering wooden concoction housing a cup in the belfry. Or catch Janis Mars Wunderlich's creepy Bikini Cup (left). Don't miss Wesley Anderegg's Heavy Load, a cute anthropomorphic piece whose head and torso make up the cup part with little arms serving as handles.
Opening Tuesday, September 28, and running through Friday, October 22, "CUP" offers art lovers a bit of everything from the functional to the sculptural, and all work in the show is for sale. Regrettably a reception featuring special guest Mr. Styrofoam has been rescheduled for Friday, October 8, at 7:00 p.m. due to the presidential debates on campus. Admission is free. Call 305-284-2792. -- Carlos Suarez de Jesus
All Washed Up
Hot water? Check. Bar o' soap? Check. Mold-speckled plastic curtain? Check. You've got all you need to unleash your inner Mariah Carey. And you sound so good, don't you think? Of course you do, poor, deluded soul. Why do you think so many tone-deaf wannabes audition for American Idol every year? Shove aside the curtain and stand in the spotlight at the national American Standard Singing in the Shower Contest. To promote VertiSpa, their new home hydro-massage shower system, the folks behind this competition will award you prizes if you do two things: (1) Willingly stand in the "specially outfitted shower truck," a modified stage set to re-create your at-home experience before a large audience, and (2) Sing your throat out and make the people scream for more. You could win a trip to New York City, your very own hydro shower thingy, or a chance to sing the anthem at a Knicks game! The humiliation starts at noon, at the Pembroke Lakes Mall, 11401 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines. Admission is free. To audition, call 888-242-2442 or visit www.americanstandard-us.com. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Shake into good shape
If you've visited an Arabic restaurant, you know that the sensuous undulations of the Middle Eastern art of bellydancing can be spellbinding. But shimmying your shoulders and gyrating your hips can also help whittle you down to size. Learn how to dance your belly off at Tamalyn Dallal's presentation of her book Bellydance For Fitness. She's the founder of the Mid Eastern Dance Exchange studio on Miami Beach. As a former Miss America and Miss World of the Bellydance, she's been invited to instruct at the Ahlan Wasahlan international bellydance festival in Egypt next year. The veils will be removed and the photographs in the book will be brought to life with a bellydancing extravaganza featuring many of Miami's best. Drinks and discussion this afternoon at 5:30; dancing starts at 7:30 tonight in the Bagci showroom, 4141 NE 2nd Ave. Admission is free, but guests are expected to RSVP. Call 305-439-1602, or write to firstname.lastname@example.org. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
High Tea Times
Tuck in that pinkie, tea drinker, put down that scone, and brace yourself. You're going to find things out this afternoon that may make you choke on your delicate cucumber sandwich, namely the difference between high tea and afternoon tea. Yes, all these years you thought you were so sophisticated indulging in high tea when the lofty-sounding ritual was actually established way back when in merry old England as a substitute for dinner. It was meant to feed -- oh my! -- peckish commoners not nonchalant regal types like you. Author and noted tea authority Jane Pettigrew will hip you to such important info during her lecture about the Social History of Tea today from 1:00 to 3:00 at Theine Tea Salon (119 Madeira Ave., Coral Gables). Admission is $45 and includes a traditional afternoon tea service (including sandwiches, scones, and sweets) plus a signed copy of Pettigrew's book, Design for Tea. Space is limited; call 305-774-0228 to reserve. -- Nina Korman