Press Picks

thursday
august17
Bach to Broadway Yum-Yum and Tevye meet at the South Main Baptist Church dessert theater this weekend. The church's musical tradition continues with a two-part program of light opera and show tunes. The Mikado, a Gilbert and Sullivan favorite, opens the show. After the adventures of Yum-Yum and her dear little maids have concluded, a fanciful waitstaff made up of characters from the first and second acts of the program serve dessert. Once the sugar tooths are sated, the audience then settles in for a variety act of Broadway song and dance with numbers from Cabaret, West Side Story, Les Miserables -- and Fiddler on the Roof, which will receive a special tribute. 7:30 p.m. tonight and Friday. South Main Baptist Church, 4100 Main, 529-4167. Tickets must be purchased in advance. $6; $3 children under 12; free childcare for children ages four and under.

Joie de Vivre! A globe-headed comic strip icon and a beauty school dropout -- him from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and her from Grease! -- meet in the Bering & Friends benefit variety show. All in all, Houston has quite a cast of musical characters on-stage this weekend, what with the show tunes and standards of this production and the light opera and musical numbers at South Main Baptist both going on simultaneously. Joie de Vivre! is arranged around life stages, beginning with childhood, which is portrayed through songs such as "The Book Report" and "Gooch's Song," and running right up to the afterlife, revealed by songs such as "Bless Us All" and "It's Today." The Bering & Friends review is affiliated with Bering Memorial United Methodist Church and the Bering Community Service Foundation; proceeds from this lively potpourri of musical stylings go to fund counseling and other services for people whose lives have been affected by AIDS. 8 p.m. tonight, Friday and Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Stages, 3201 Allen Parkway, For tickets, call 526-5846 or e-mail beringtix@aol.com. $15; $12 seniors.

friday
august 18
Koosed crazy Paige and Larry Koosed have been churning out carvings, dozens each week, for more than a decade, and are now quite well known in certain circles for their merry hand-painted collectibles. The Kooseds, whose wood carvings have the charm of wizened-walnut and dried-apple people, tend to stick with bucolic themes, carving country doctors and cattle and cats, cats and more cats. Today and tomorrow, the Kooseds, live and in person, will be presenting crates full of their collectibles. We're assured that at this art event any attire is welcome. Dress nicely, though, if you plan to skip over to Ousie's afterward for a meal. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. today and tomorrow. Gallery Americana, 3941 San Felipe, 622-6225.

Dead writer, dead paper Eddie Cope has put together a docudrama to celebrate short-story writer O. Henry's 1895 stint with the now defunct Houston Post. Dramatized stories fashioned by Houston attorney/playwright Walter Boyd also add to the mix in Surprise Endings: An Evening with O.Henry. A house that O. Henry, perhaps best known for The Gift of the Magi, rented in San Antonio is open to the public, as part of the Buckhorn and Hall of Fins museum experience at the Lone Star brewery in San Antonio. O. Henry should be better known for The Ransom of Red Chief, which is a) funny and b) telling social commentary. Opens tonight. 8 p.m. Continues Friday and Saturday through September 9. Houston Skyline Theater, Houston House, ninth floor, 1617 Fannin, 759-0701. $10.

Hare, Hare, Krishna, Krishna Quick, tell the boss you're a Hindu and skip out early to celebrate the Hindi/Hare Krishna holiday Janmastami, "The most opulent festival day for devotees," according to our friends at the Hare Krishna Dham. Lord Krishna's Appearance Day is celebrated with singing, dancing, dramas, feasting (yum), chanting (natch) and philosophical discussions. Last year, 5,000 of the faithful sang and danced and feasted, and all those 5,000 and more are invited this year. 6:30 p.m.-midnight. Hare Krishna Dham, 1320 West 34th Street, 686-4482. Free.

Justin World Bull Riding Championship Here in the Republic, we love rugged sport -- monster truck events and bull riding will always draw a crowd. Of course, compared to bull riding, driving monster trucks is relatively easy. Understood engineering principles govern the motion of monster trucks. Bulls are not engineered (not yet, anyway) and they are not easily understood. They are unpredictable, weird-tempered things that can and have injured people. The prize money is, therefore, six figures. Mutton busters, five- to seven-year-old kids under 55 pounds who ride wily and woolly sheep, are competing only for a trophy and new boots. Bull riding and mutton busting are, by the way, open to both males and females. The bull-riding and mutton-busting action is balanced by entertainment from the rodeo clowns who are always entertaining with their death-defying antics, as well as from charro Francisco Zamora, who will demonstrate his equestrian skills and the art of maguey roping (floreo de reata). Three full days of action and entertainment for the family begins tonight at 8 p.m. The Summit, 10 Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. $12.50-$23.50; special series ticket packages available.

saturday
august 19
Otello The Houston Ebony Opera Guild presents the Verdi version of the tragic Moor's story, that tragic fellow being the fatally jealous lord best-known from Shakespeare's play (in which he spelled the name Othello, but as the Bard also noted, a rose by any other name, etc., etc.). The story line stays the same, with powerful music being added. The tale of Otello and his beautiful Desdemona, and how they can't make a go of their marriage, has an enduring appeal. There are other characters, of course; lots of people enjoy Iago, for example, even though he isn't the center of attention. They follow him slipping around causing trouble, enjoying his covetous mischief. Or they like Iago because poor Otello is almost too tragic; identifying with him is uncomfortable. The guild's superb singers are sure to present a collection of rich and compelling performances. The opera is sung in Italian, with English narration, and this free show by a fine musical company is a rare treat -- and even more rare, this is a chance to be uplifted and culturally edified while soaked in insect repellent. 8:30 p.m. tonight and Sunday. Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. Call 520-3290 or 721-8647. Free.

Ray Wylie Hubbard Soft-spoken songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard has many claims to fame -- he wrote the bar classic "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother," his between-songs stage patter is unequaled and some say he is responsible for the three-name tradition of Texas-based singer/songwriters such as Allen Wayne Damron, Willis Allan Ramsay and Billy Joe Shaver. Want to know something else about Hubbard? He has long, spiky, polished nails on his right hand. Recently, he started taking serious guitar lessons. And rather than stick metal picks on his picking hand, he just grew his nails. Except for that one hand, he's still the same old grizzled Texan. The gleaming nails, though, create quite an impression. The effect, should you shake his paw, is gothic; however, the effect, listening to his music, is that the sound is better than ever. The Sand Mountain Guitar House Concert Series presents Ray Wylie Hubbard at Kaldi Cafe. 8 p.m. 250 West 19th Street. For tickets, call 864-9770. $8.

sunday
august 20
Cinco Ranch Triathlon More than 600 triathletes and a half-hundred corporate relay teams are getting set for Houston's biggest triathlon -- a 500-meter swim, 15-mile bike race and three-mile run. To prepare for this, the triathletes train for months and shave their whole bodies. Or maybe they just enter these things so they'll have an excuse to shave their rippling flesh. Who knows? People can be kinky these days. At any rate, all this muscle- and cardio-stressing work is to benefit the Mayde Creek High School college fund. The competition begins at 7 a.m. Party after. Cinco Ranch Beach Club. For more information, call Dave Rainey, 463-4326. Registration up to August 19, although this is not the sort of athletic event one should enter on a lark. $32 individual entry fee; $95 corporate relay teams; $85 per group. Free to spectators.

monday
august 21
Again, with the Miss Saigon cast Last week, the traveling cast of this road show spectacular treated us to a staged reading of a classic comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. This week, the kids present a special show, From Saigon, with Love. The multi-talented Miss Saigon crew will eschew their peasant clothes and fatigues to dress up for song-and-dance numbers, thrilling the crowd with Broadway tunes and pop classics. The festivities, all to benefit the Loving Arms Foundation children's AIDS charity, include a silent auction, with some auction items being "Let's Do Lunch" lunch dates with cast members, signed memorabilia from Saigon and other Broadway shows, and film collectibles. 8 p.m. Rockefeller's, 3620 Washington Avenue, 869-8427. $20.

tuesday
august 22
Art Works: the PaineWebber Collection of Contemporary Masters A somber fact of life, and one well worth noting in this time of diminishing funding for the arts, is that huge corporate entities pay for plenty of art -- we've all heard the "PBS means petroleum broadcasting system" jokes. A single soul, Donald B. Marron, chairman and CEO of the PaineWebber Group, is responsible for the PaineWebber collection. Whether Marron was moved by a love of art, a desire to see his name in a positive light or in print, or simply trying to impress a chick is not known or, really, important. The important thing is that major works by 20th-century artists such as Jasper Johns, Louis Bourgeous, Robert Rauschenberg, Lucian Freud, Philip Guston, Gerhard Richter, Susan Rothberg and Houston favorite Cy Twombly are currently on public display, and you can gawk at these works from ten to five weekdays. The show is up through September 24. Regular museum hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 12:15-6 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet, 526-1361. $3; $1.50 students, children six-18 and seniors; free to children under five and everyone on Thursdays.

wednesday
august 23
Animal party They have a cougar among the hundreds of homeless animals at the SPCA, a cougar who eats. They all eat, all those hundreds of animals, and they need medical care and run up the electric bill and, all in all, the operating costs of the SPCA are high, and getting higher. In the long run, we could all save the SPCA money, maybe even put it out of business, by being responsible pet owners. In theory, having all pets spayed or neutered, properly vaccinated and kept off the streets is easy enough. In practice, we have thousands of diseased animals roaming our fair metropolis. Some of these creatures end up at the SPCA, and cost the SPCA money. Like any normal nonprofit in need of money, the SPCA is having a fundraiser, a fun one, because people often don't think to be charitable unless there's something in it for them. So what's in it for you? Live music by Milkweed and the Surrealtors in the open-air, long neck party atmosphere of the Fabulous Satellite Lounge. 9 p.m. Fabulous Satellite Lounge, 3616 Washington Avenue, 869-

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