Press Picks

Talent show and The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T One of the great things about living in Houston is the sure knowledge that, each and every summer, we swamp-city dwellers can see a classic Dr. Seuss film from the outdoor comfort of tractor seats at The Orange Show. This is a tradition, and a fine one at that -- after all, how many civic traditions involve movies starring Hans Conreid? In the film, Dr. T. is Dr. Terwilliger, the most fiendish piano teacher who ever lived, and he tortures his students and makes them wear hideous beanies. At The Orange Show screening there will be a talent show starring ordinary Houstonians before the movie. Young and old alike will strut their stuff, and the winner will be determined by The Orange Show's highly technical response-o-meter. 8 p.m. The Orange Show, 2401 Munger, 926-6368. $3; free for talent show participants.

Houston Hip Hop Festival The Commerce Street Art Warehouse becomes a veritable theme park of hip-hop, with all the elements of hip-hop culture -- the music, the dance and that art -- in one convenient location. This is great for people who don't have anything like this in their neighborhoods, and for hip-hop artists (visual and musical) looking to broaden their audience. Local artists Daniel Sandoval and Jeff Shore will unveil some street art pieces inside the warehouse on Thursday. Sandoval, we are told, "is a talented emerging artist whose deliberate naif Latino style belies the sureness of his brush." Kid Style, Cipher, Skeez 181, Kram and G-wiz, who have a genuine naif style, will also have spray-painted works on display. And, as is de rigueur for festivals, there will be craft and food booths. Also, music from Seeds of Soul, Mad Hatta, The Terrorists, Soul Rebel and Fliponya. 8 p.m.-4 a.m. Commerce Street Art Warehouse, 2315 Commerce. (Directions from the organizers: "Go north on Main or San Jacinto, turn right on scenic and serene Commerce Street. Look for Mike Scranton's two metallic towers on your right." Mike Scranton's two metallic towers are the two things that, if you were driving east on Commerce, could only be Mike Scranton's two metallic towers.) $5 before 9 p.m.; $9 after. Call Urban Beat magazine, 926-2442, or, for information on the art show, Commerce Street, 225-5527.

july 23
Indians of the Plains: A Flash of Glory An exhibition of more then 100 objects from the Witte Museum collection of Plains Indians artifacts opens today in Richmond. Bring the kids; this show tells more of the story of Native Americans than does Pocahontas. Alongside the drums and toys and tools of the Choctaw, Lakota Sioux and Nez Perce, the Fort Bend Museum will have works by renowned Western artists such as Bodmer and Catlin, and works by not-so-renowned (yet, anyway) local artists Ken Turner and Tony Sherman. Turner's painting Ghost Dance is part of the exhibit as are sculptures by Missouri City artist Sherman. Sherman, known in these parts for his The Black Cowboy sculpture, has contributed to this show a series of seven busts of Native American chiefs such as Geronimo, Chief Joseph and Sitting Bull. Sherman, who, like many native Texans, has Native American blood -- a Choctaw grandmother -- will be on hand this afternoon, giving lectures at 2:30 and 4 p.m. Opening 1-5 p.m. Exhibition on display at the museum's John M. Moore home through August 13. Fort Bend Museum Complex, 500 Houston Street, Richmond, 342-6478. $2.50; $2 seniors; $1 children.

july 24
Lesbian Ladies of Laughter Nancy Ford, again, along with Nancy Norton and Laurie Davies are out of the closet and on the comedy club stage with a "male and hetero friendly" show. These are not, we are told, "just lesbian comedians ... they are comedians who happen to be lesbians." Just think of the evening as a night of "non-stop laughs from three of the best comedians touring today," unless you are, specifically, looking for a show that "fills a void in the lesbian and gay entertainment community." Tonight only. 8 p.m. The Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray, 524-2333. $12 advance; $15 at the door.

july 25
Astros In this midweek, midseason game, the Astros meet the Los Angeles Dodgers. Many saw Craig Biggio hit the first home run for the National League All-Stars, but how many saw him display his old-fashioned, family values on television? At the All-Star gala, Biggio was shown at Six Flags with his baby son, and all the media vultures asked him if he wanted his little boy to grow up and be a ballplayer, too. Craig, sounding like an accepting modern dad, said repeatedly that his son could grow up and be anything he wanted to be. But then he added, "Anything he wants, except for a ballerina." The family man and the rest of the team play at 7:05 p.m. Astrodome, Kirby at Loop 610. (Sneak down Murworth; beat the traffic.) For tickets, call 6-ASTROS. $4-$17.

july 26
The Liars' Club Award-winning author Mary Karr will read from and sign her memoir. Mary Karr didn't do anything spectacular; she just grew up in Port Arthur, like Janis Joplin and legions of refinery workers' kids, and thought she had a tale to tell. Not, however, a "survivors" tale. The plain facts are that Karr's mother was a nut and her father was a drunk. The plain facts, however, are not a story, and Karr is a storyteller who seeks not to whine about what happened to her, but to show what happened to a group of people. Of her family, and herself, she says, "We were a terrific family of liars who were redeemed by the slow unearthing of truths." Karr doesn't write like your standard official victim. In one scene, she is having a tough time with dad. Instead of clinically noting that she was unable to express herself or some other hooey, she explains, "I didn't let out a chirp." Tonight, she speaks up, using her gift for language. 7:30-8:30 p.m. Barnes & Noble, 3003 West Holcombe, Vanderbilt Square, 349-0050.

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