Press Picks

The Austin Lounge Lizards In their usual theatrical style, the Lizards announce this as "their last 1995 Houston club date." If you have somehow managed to avoid the whimsical but nonetheless technically expert musical stylings of the Lizards so far, then now might be time to remedy that oversight. Wholesome tunes about acid rain (the placid, acid rain that rhymes with Lake Champlain) and trysts at Beaumont truck stops are part of the Lizards' repertoire, as is a stellar cover of "The Teddy Bears' Picnic" and a bluegrass take on the music of Pink Floyd. The Lizards, basically, are geeks who went on to get good jobs but just never got over that "let's be in a band" urge. Not at all in the Lizards' free-spirited style, the 8 p.m. show is non-smoking. The second show, where smokers are welcome to light up and add to their future medical needs, is at 10 p.m. McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 528-5999. $10.

december 10
Red for Danger, Fire and Love: Early German Silent Films Long before Alexis Carrington Colby (a.k.a. Joan Collins) dominated Dynasty, the zaftig Asta Nielsen sashayed through the world of high finance as the title character in The Queen of the Stock Exchange. During this 1918 romantic melodrama, she manages to corner the copper market with a smart investment here, some insider information there. In the end, however, her fortune is cold comfort when her lover dies in a mining mishap. Nielsen was a superstar of the early European cinema, though she retired after the advent of sound. (She retreated to her native Denmark following Hitler's rise to power, despite a firm offer from propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels to run her own German studio.) Her uniquely restrained style of silent-movie acting is just one of the treasures waiting to be rediscovered in this series co-sponsored by the Goethe Institut-Houston and the Museum of Fine Arts and programmed by film scholar Barbara Hales. Queen of the Stock Exchange is one of several newly restored German silent films that will be shown today and next Sunday. 2 and 7 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet, 639-7515. $5.

december 11
John Wayne Bobbitt and the Bobbitt Girls The man who proved that your name is indeed your destiny -- and who has through sheer force of personality managed to squelch whatever wincing sympathy some guys may have once had for him -- is coming to town with a trio of co-stars from his triple-X epic, John Wayne Bobbitt Uncut. (This is, we are told, the best-selling porn flick of all time. Go figure.) It gets better; the Bobbitt Girls have names! John Wayne and his reattached manhood will wiggle on-stage with Tiffany Lords, Jordon St. James and Jasmine Aloha. We're hoping that Bobbitt and his girls have been studying with David Copperfield or maybe Penn and Teller and the show is a reenactment of the slashing, all done with smoke and mirrors and spurting buckets of realistic stage blood. Alas, though, we hear that Bobbitt merely wears a tux, shows some clips of himself with Howard Stern and hosts the show. Regardless, what a way to start the week! First show today at 12:30 p.m. Four shows daily through December 16. 12:30, 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. Free lunch buffet 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Michael's International, 6440 Southwest Freeway, 784-5900. $2, daytime; $6, evening. Michael's usually has a rule about not allowing unescorted ladies, but during Bobbitt's run, this rule will be waived at the doorman's discretion.

Dr. Nafis Sadik Lorena Bobbitt had her own ideas about birth control that, despite a certain fiendish appeal, are not really practical. Dr. Nafis Sadik has ideas about birth control that are not only practical, but also vital. The Pakistani doctor specializes in women's health and is the executive director of the United Nations Population Fund. Sadik's talk is sponsored by the Houston Chapter of the United Nations Association and 36 political and advocacy programs focusing on environmental, population and women's issues. 7 p.m. Rice University, Hamman Hall. For information, call 783-7159. Free.

december 12
SportsLab It's not every day that the world's first and only interactive touring sports theme park comes to town, so why not lace up your athletic shoes and head on out for "the opportunity to feel like a star athlete"? Guests are promised "the opportunity to experience sports in a way they only dreamed of before." The price of admission includes a chance to "take a crack at a [virtual] Tom Glavine fastball, learn how to drop into the pocket like Jim Kelly and scale a four-story high rock wall." We suspect that for scaling that wall, instead of your athletic shoes, you'll need rented rock-climbing shoes sprayed on the inside with special sticky stuff. Rock climbing, while not overtly popular in this flat city, offers a myriad of interesting challenges and sensations. (And by the way, Tom Glavine's not a fastball pitcher; he's a control pitcher. But hey, he was MVP of the World Series, and it can be daunting for a theme park to keep up with all these niggling sports details.) Through January 1. Today through Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Astrodome parking lot. Tickets available through Ticketmaster, 629-3700. $15; $10, seniors and children four to 17; free, children under four.

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