Fun with Dr. Kevorkian Radio Music Theatre's first all-new show in a coon's age is more like a variety show than like the Fertle family stories. RMT stars (and radio and television commercial regulars) Steve and Vicki Farrell and their third banana Rich Mills have piled up a delightful mix of comedy sketches, bogus commercials and songs. The skits are vaguely linked by Dr. Kevorkian, who appears in, or is at least mentioned in, a goodly number of the vignettes. Fun with Dr. Kevorkian is a chance for hard-core RMT fans to see some of the short bits previously heard only on the troupe's syndicated radio service. Tonight is opening night; why not enjoy a bottle of champagne with the show? Early in RMT history, the thespians wanted to have champagne on the menu, so they went out and bought two bottles. They figured that anyone who would order a bottle of champagne would order a second. Now, as everyone knows, they're well-established and order everything by the case. Thu. & Fri., 8:30 p.m.; Sat., 8:30 & 10:50 p.m. Radio Music Theatre, 2623 Colquitt, 522-7722. Reservations required. $12.
Labor Day Funk Fest A more accurate title would be Pre-Party Funk Fest for the TSU vs. Prairie View A&M Labor Day Football Classic. Lacking in zing, don't you think? And, too, the funk and football elements are only part of the mix. You get live music from Big Mello, Jubilee, Groove U, Craig Mack and Brandy. You get players and support squads from both universities. And you get food, fair-booth festivities and fun and friends from 102 JAMZ. This is no little tailgate party
-- the promoters plan to see about 7,000 people. 4 p.m. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenue of Las Americas. $8.
Community Music Center Big Band Concert James Williams conducts the 18-piece All-Star Band in a tribute to Count Basie and that William Faulkner of the Swing Set -- you know, the big train on the track all the others have to move out of the way of -- Duke Ellington. Williams says, "There is a tremendous love for the big band sound and I think that the presentation of the works of Count Basie and Duke Ellington is an appropriate way to commemorate August as Jazz Month." Of course, August was last month, but jazz has always been comfortable with loose limits. Today and tomorrow, 8 p.m. Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park. All seating is free, but tickets are required for seating under the pavilion. Call 520-3290 for details or information on handicapped seating.
Burt Bacharach The Houston Symphony-Exxon Pops are back and the season-opening concert is chart-topper Burt Bacharach. The 30-year show-biz vet will play the piano and conduct our symphony orchestra in a program that includes Oscar-winning tunes such as Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head and Best That You Can Do. Bacharach is also the tunesmith behind notable ditties such as Alfie, Walk on By, Close to You and I Say a Little Prayer. 8 p.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-ARTS. $15Ð$50.
George Ranch Labor Day Reunion Cowboys and ranch hands from all over South Texas will converge on the historical park and compete in cattle-working skills. The dust-raising festivities continue through Labor Day. Today's highlight is the chuck wagon cook-off. Cooks will be judged on their grub and the authenticity of their wagons, gear and cooking methods. Team roping, team penning and pasture doctoring events will be held on the weekend, and the exhibits and other attractions will be open. We personally like the steer mugging event. Will steer carjacking be introduced next year? (The New York Knicks had a company picnic at the ranch; no word as to whether or not they followed the park's no-alcohol rules.) 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 3, 4 & 5. George Ranch Historical Park, 30 minutes from the Galleria. Take U.S. 59 south to the Crabb River Road exit, go south and follow the signs. 545-9212. $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 children 3-12. Evening Rodeo free with park admission; or, pay a mere $3 for the rodeo only.
Jaroslav Belik: The Art of Time Perhaps driven half mad by the almost total success of evil digital timepieces, Czech-born artist Jaroslav Belik designed and built a collection of unconventional mechanical clocks. Belik is well-suited to the task of redefining how we define time -- he has a degree in mechanical engineering and a degree in fine arts. These marvels have never before been exhibited and, fittingly, they will be marking the minutes on the second level of the new Houston Museum of Natural Science wing near the Foucault Pendulum. Belik's timepieces will be ticking and whirring alongside a variety of sundials, water clocks, spring clocks and other artifacts of compulsive behavior. (This is also the last weekend for The World of Faberge: Russian Gems and Jewels. The more than 250 fabulous objets will be taken away, in many cases back to Russia, on Sept. 5. The Faberge exhibit has a special extra price of $5.) The Art of Time opens today and continues thru Dec. 31. Admission is included in regular museum admission. Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m. Houston Museum of Natural Science, One Hermann Circle Drive, 639-4600. $3, $2 children under 12.