Press Picks

thursday
august 11
Youth Service Provider Summit A confab devoted to figuring out just what we can do about our young folks. Youth service providers and concerned members of the community (such

s parents, we hope) will have the opportunity to get together to discuss realistic plans for keeping kids off the streets and, instead, involved in positive recreational and educational pursuits. Teen employment will also be a hot topic. 7 p.m. Sharpstown Recreation Center, 6600 Harbor Town. For info call 845-1210. Free.

Absolut Extravaganza Those who can't take tequila will take this to heart -- a celebration of being Texan with vodka. There are, you know, hoards of Slavs in the Hill Country so it's sort of fitting (although Absolut is a Nordic distillation).

Actually, there's more than simple imbibing going on here. The celebration is also a benefit for DIFFA, a group that does artsy things to raise money (nearly $1 million to date) to fund programs that help those with AIDS. At this fest, 50 signed and numbered lithographs by Karen Blessen will be sold for $300 each. Speaking of art, the Steak and Stone Crab restaurant is newly remodeled. 5:30-8 p.m. Truluck's Steak & Stone Crab Restaurant, 5919 Westheimer, 520-7111.

friday
august 12
Canine good citizens Mutts will be allowed on the grounds of the AstroWorld Series of Dog Shows. Mutts who are prepared to take the canine good citizen test, that is. In recent years, the American Kennel Club has become a lot less snotty about mixed-breed dogs. This may be because of the success of Frisbee Dog, Agility Tournaments and Flyball, which are open to any old cur who can perform. Whatever the reason, the opportunity to be a good citizen is open to all dogs (for a $5 fee, and we assume the dog will need to be wearing proper tags). Dogs will be expected to walk on a leash, sit, stay and work and play well with others. The certificate they get for doing this could be used as a sort of character witness in case some shrill neighbor-child claims to have been menaced by your dog. Of course, as long as you're out with your dog, you can enjoy the other sights of the dog show, including obedience classes that are usually relegated to the back of the AstroArena while breed judging beauty contests take place in the main ring. Canine Good Citizen Testing 2-4 p.m. Dog show from early till after dark. Aug. 12-14. AstroArena, Kirby at Loop 610, 791-9069. Admission $7, $3 children under 12.

Alice in Wonderland This twisted tale of strange creatures in a dark wonderland is perfectly suited to the ballet stage, and to the talents of Ben Stevenson. Stevenson created this ballet because he thought it would be "a great way of introducing young children to dance, yet still entertain adults." Carroll's wonderful characters -- the white rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter -- are presented through masterful dance, fabulous costumes and magnificent music. This production could give a small child nightmares -- the kind of nightmares remembered fondly, as magical, in dull adulthood. Thru the 14th. Tonight's performance 7:30 p.m. Brown Theater, Wortham Center, Texas at Smith, 227-ARTS. $5-$70.

Karaoke contest Warble your way to fame and fortune -- well, perhaps to the national finals in Kah Nee Tah, Oregon. Contestants must be 18 years or older and can choose any of the more than 3,000 English and Japanese CDs in the Benihana lounge. The rules state, says manager Narongk Utsaha, "that contestants must not earn more than 25 percent of their incomes through singing." 9 p.m. Benihana of Tokyo, 9707 Westheimer, 789-4962. No entry fee.

Gary Primich Hot on the heels of his Travelin' Mood release, juke-joint harmonica ace Gary Primich blows his blues in our town. This is just one of the many stops for this old-style harp player, who has played with really, really greats such as Big Walter Horton and Pinetop Perkins. 9 p.m. McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 528-5999. $5.

saturday
august 23
See Stout commissioned The Houston Council of the United States Navy League announces the commissioning of the USS Stout (DDG 55) at the Port of Houston. The ship's sponsor, Mrs. Bettie Boorda, and her husband, Admiral J.M. Boorda, the current Chief of Naval Operations, along with the Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable John Dalton, will be in Houston for this official party. The public, ordinary squids like you and me, will be able to tour this Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer from 1-6 p.m. today and then again from noon-6 p.m. on Sunday. Wharf 32, Port of Houston. For details, call JO1 Forrest Parrott, 953-5916.

One Tough Texan Jan Hudson, writer of rough-hewn romances, makes a special appearance to promote her new book, One Tough Texan. The prose of Hudson, a licensed, non-practicing psychologist, runs like this: "The last thing Need Chisholm expected to see when he looked up from his beer was a naked lady. But there she stood in the doorway of the Ace in the Hole Saloon, backlit by the afternoon sun." This naked lady is one Kate Miller, who is already in the witness protection program and has just had the bad luck to witness another murder. The publishers refer to the ensuing plot as having a "Conquering Hero" theme. The popular, award-winning writer appears 1-3 p.m. Bookstop at Deerbrook Commons, 9668 FM 1960 Bypass, 548-1551. No cover.

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