Beat the Heat!

1996 Summer Guide

Kids' Performance

May 30
Ten Years of Sounds Like Fun The Houston Symphony is celebrating its first decade of free kids' concerts with 16 free Sounds Like Fun! performances between today and June 25. Each of the concerts, conducted by the Symphony's Stephen Stein, lasts an hour, and in the half-hour before the music kicks in, kids can learn about all the musical instruments that make up a symphony. Today's concert is at 7:30 p.m. at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 1515 Hillendahl. Other concerts are: June 4 & 5 at 10:30 a.m., Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, 3826 Wheeler Ave.; June 6 at 7:30 p.m., Sugar Creek Baptist Church, 13213 Southwest Frwy., Sugar Land; June 11 at 10:30 a.m., Gentry Junior High School, 1919 E. Archer, Baytown; June 11 at 7:30 p.m., Crespo Elementary School, 7500 Office City Dr.; June 12 at 10:30 a.m., Pasadena Convention Center, 7902 Fairmont Pkwy., Pasadena; June 12 at 7:30 p.m., Sylvan Beach Pavilion, 1 Sylvan Beach Dr., La Porte; June 14 at 10:30 a.m., Champion Forest Baptist Church, 12501 Champion Forest; June 14 at 7:30 p.m., Bellaire Civic Center, 7008 S. Rice Ave., Bellaire; June 15 at 10:30 a.m., Miller Outdoor Theatre, Hermann Park; June 18 at 10:30 a.m., Acres Home Multi-Service Center, 6719 W. Montgomery; June 18 at 7:30 p.m., Katy First Baptist Church, 906 Ave. A, Katy; June 25 at 10:30 a.m., Blocker Middle School, 500 14th Ave. North, Texas City; June 25 at 7:30 p.m., Kingwood High School, 2701 Kingwood Dr., Kingwood.

June 1
Wiley and the Hairy Man It's hard to say what kids like these days, but given that the title of this popular children's show contains the word "hairy," it's likely to be a hit with your brood. 11 a.m. Presented by Young Audiences of Houston at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Dr., Hermann Park, 520-3290. Free.

The Princess and the Pea This children's theater classic will play on Saturdays through June 15, 11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. Company OnStage, 536 Westbury Square, 726-1219. $5.

July 21
The Tree that Grew Human Written especially for the children of Houston, this audience-participation musical celebrates the cultural traditions of Africa. 11 a.m. Presented by Express Theatre at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Dr., Hermann Park, 520-3290. Free.

July 27
The Dream Maker's Daughter Rounding out the Hilltop Children's Theater Festival, this fable will delight and charm children. And if it doesn't, sitting in the heat outside will at least sedate them. 11 a.m. Presented by Express Theatre at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Dr., Hermann Park, 520-3290. Free.

Summer Cinema

May
Eddie Whoopi Goldberg, a regular-jane basketball fan, wins the right to coach the Knicks. Naturally, she succeeds by teaching them to play nice. (Yeah, right.)

Dragonheart Draco the Dragon teams up with knight-errant Dennis Quaid to depose a rotten king. Sean Connery speaks for the animated beast.

Spy Hard As Agent WD-40, Leslie Nielsen spoofs the you-know-what genre. Nicolette Sheridan is his beautiful sidekick, and Andy Griffith plays the evil, armless nemesis.

June
Blaxploitation Bijou The Museum of Fine Arts' June series includes Super Fly, Foxy Brown, Sweet Sweetback's Baadassss Song, Blacula and other classics of the genre.

The Cable Guy As a demented cable-TV installer, Jim Carrey turns to the dark side.

Eraser Witness-protection guy Arnold Schwarzenegger saves Vanessa Williams from evildoers inside his own federal agency. Predicted to be among the heaviest hitters in a blockbuster-laden summer.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Victor Hugo's tale, told using Disney animation and Demi Moore's voice. And then there's the cute singing gargoyles ....

Lone Star From director John Sayles: first, the son of a small-town Texas sheriff (Matthew McConaughey) must compete with his father's reputation, then he must defend it.

The Nutty Professor In this remake of a Jerry Lewis vehicle, a super-fat scientist (Eddie Murphy) concocts a pounds-off potion and transforms himself into a spandex-clad love machine.

The Rock An Army general gone bad (Ed Harris) seizes Alcatraz and threatens to gas San Francisco. Reborn as an action hero, Nicolas Cage aims to make us forget that he ever played a depressed drunk; as his partner, Sean Connery aims to make us forget Draco the Dragon.

Stealing Beauty From director Bernardo Bertolucci: a 19-year-old American (Liv Tyler) travels to Tuscany, where she encounters Brits and a dying playwright.

Striptease Can a funny Carl Hiaasen novel survive Demi Moore's bare breasts? Burt Reynolds plays a creepy Florida politician.

Welcome to the Dollhouse A mouth-breathing 11-year-old (Heather Matarazzo) endures normal suburban life. Winner of the Sundance Film Festival's Grand Prize.

July
The Adventures of Pinocchio Martin Landau co-stars with the output of Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

The Fan Never mind killing the ump; baseball fiend Robert De Niro fixates on player-in-a-slump Wesley Snipes.

The Frighteners A small-town ghostbuster and his friendly spook sidekicks fight a supernatural serial killer. Michael J. Fox co-stars with a host of computer-generated special effects.

Independence Day The aliens have landed, and the world's armies are toast. Can Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith save our bacon? Great trailer, great opening date -- and great appeal to the rabid right, which, during this administration, should enjoy watching the White House reduced to rubble.

Joe's Apartment Starring the MTV roaches.
Kazaam I Dream of Jeannie in the inner city. Shaquille O'Neal plays the genie trapped in a boom box.

Kieslowski in Memoriam: Experience and Enigma Sick to death of bankable stars, obligatory love interests and large things that go boom? Starting in July, the Museum of Fine Arts offers a European antidote: films by the late, great Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski, best known in the U.S. for his Three Colors trilogy: Red, White and Blue. The series includes The Double Life of Veronique and -- rare! -- all ten parts of The Decalogue.

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