Summer isn't just a word or a season. It's a state of mind. Think about it: when you describe someone as "summery," what do you mean? You mean they're bright-eyed, effervescent, happy. They've thrown aside the cares of winter, taken advantage of the rebirth of spring and opened their doors of perception wide to all the verdant possibilities out there. They're primed and ready to go. Or maybe they're just loopy from the heat. In Houston, one possibility is as likely as the other. But whe-ther sunny or simply sun-struck, Houstonians know that this is the time of the year when you stop planning and start doing. Musing about getting to the beach is no longer enough: get to the beach. Contemplating the pleasures of a picnic won't do: fire up the smoker. Pondering whether the Astros can reach the World Series won't cut it: plop your bottom in an Astrodome seat and cheer them on. And if you wonder what else is to be done, just turn the following pages to see.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead Ricky Ian Gordon and Jean-Claude van Itallie's opera makes its world premiere with Charles Prince conducting and Marcus Stern directing. Through June 2. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m. Houston Grand Opera, Wortham Theater Center, Texas at Smith, 227-ARTS. $15.
The Food Chain Nicky Silver is the current darling of Broadway, maybe because his plays manage to be funny and dark at the same time. Through June 9. Tue.-Thu. 7:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sun. 2:30 & 7:30 p.m. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Ave., 228-5078. $18-$36.
The Sleeping Beauty In her last dance on pointe with the Houston Ballet, Janie Parker will perform Ben Stevenson's version of the 19th-century story ballet. June 6-16. Fri. & Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. Wortham Theater Center, Texas at Smith, 227-ARTS, $10-$75.
The Wizard of Oz Dorothy and the gang will be hoofing it up in the musical version of Frank Baum's tale. Through June 29. Mon.-Sat., 8 p.m. Galveston Island Outdoor Theater, 13 Mile Rd., Galveston, (800) 547-4697. $19-$29.
The Drunkard Bro Herrod's book and tunes from Barry Manilow (yes, that Barry, the man who is music and who writes the songs) come together in this tipsy musical. Through July 14. Stages, 3201 Allen Pkwy, Suite 101, Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m., 527-0220. $15-$18.
I Hate Hamlet Paul Rudnik's comedy examines the question: will the main character choose to be or not to be Hamlet? Through July 27, Fri. and Sat., 8 p.m. Company OnStage, 536 Westbury Square, 726-1219. $10.
Poor Super Man Brad Fraser, the sexy new Canadian playwright responsible for Unidentified Human Remains & the True Nature of Love, has a new play about -- big surprise -- young urbanites and their search for love. Through August 4. Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m. Theater LaB Houston, 1706 Alamo (off the 2100 block of Houston Ave.), 868-7516. $18.
South Pacific This is the musical that made the song "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair" fodder for shampoo commercials. Through July 20. Mon.-Sat., 8 p.m. Galveston Island Outdoor Theater, 13 Mile Rd., (800) 547-4697. $19-$29.
Ten by Ten Are short plays your thing? Scriptwriters/Houston will showcase the results of their ten-minute playwriting competition for local writers. Through July 20. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 & 8 p.m. Stages, 201 Allen Pkwy., Suite 101, 707-5194. $10.
Choreographic Workshop In June and July, the Houston Ballet Academy runs an intensive training program for aspiring young dancers from around the world. Starting today, they open the doors to let outsiders see what the future stars have learned. Through July 25. Tue.-Thu., 7 p.m. Houston Ballet Academy, 1921 W. Bell, 523-6300, ext. 201. $5.
Grease! Mackenzie Phillips and Sally Struthers will don leather and star in the super-cool hit musical. Through August 4. Tue. & Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7 p.m. Houston Broadway Series, Wortham Center, Brown Theater, Texas at Smith, 629-3700. $38-$44.
Cabaret Set in Berlin during the Nazis' rise to power, Cabaret tackles politics, bisexuality and the belief that the show must go on. Through August 18. Mon.-Sat., 8 p.m. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice, Galveston, (409) 765-1894 or (800) 821-1894. $19-$25.
The Winter's Tale One of the enduring mysteries of Shakespearean-era theater is how they managed the dancing bear scene in this play. Go figure it out for yourself at the opening performances for this year's Houston Shakespeare Festival. August 2, 8, 10, 14 & 16, 8:30 p.m. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Dr., Hermann Park, 520-3290. Free.
Gypsy This is the show that made Bernadette Peters a star at age 12. That, of course, raises the interesting question of why her voice never changed. Through September 8. Mon.-Sat., 8 p.m. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice, Galveston, (409) 765-1894 or (800) 821-1894. $19-$25.
Sonidas de sur Mexican and Mexican-American conjunto, marimba, son jarocho and banda. 8:30 p.m. Presented by the Society for the Performing Arts at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Dr., Hermann Park, 520-3290. Free.
Don Giovanni Is this the same Mozart who did The Magic Flute and Cosi fan tutte? Don Giovanni has a darker story than most of Mozart's operas, but the music is just as good. 8:30 p.m. Fri. & Sat., August 31. Presented by the Houston Ebony Opera Guild at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Dr., Hermann Park, 520-3290. Free.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
The Cable Guy As a demented cable-TV installer, Jim Carrey turns to the dark side.
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.
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.
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.
Larger than Life Bill Murray inherits an elephant. With Janeane Garolfalo.
Multiplicity A workaholic admits he'd have to be four people to do everything he wants -- so he clones himself. Starring Michael Keaton, Michael Keaton, Michael Keaton and Michael Keaton. With Andie McDowell as his confused wife.
Basquiat What the art-house crowd has been waiting for: Julian Schnabel's bio-pic about the tragically hip artist.
Chain Reaction Morgan Freeman: an evil scientist who's made off with the solution to the world's energy problems. Keanu Reeves: a lowly lab technician out to clear his name. Rachel Weisz: the obligatory love interest.
Jack The dark underbelly of Big: a rare disease causes a little boy (Robin Williams) to age prematurely.
John Carpenter's Escape from L.A. More than a decade after Escape from New York, an eye-patched Kurt Russell once again battles serious urban blight. This time the year is 2013, a quake has rendered L.A. a gang-controlled island and the president's daughter has swiped a doomsday device.
Supercop Jackie Chan kicks his way across mainland China. Hong Kong cinema fans saw this one a long time ago, but now, thanks to the success of Chan's Rumble in the Bronx, it's being released to a general U.S. audience.
Tales from the Crypt Presents Bordello of Blood Undead hookers! Dennis Miller investigates.
A Time to Kill Yet another John Grisham product: lawyer Matthew McConaughey and proto-lawyer Sandra Bullock defend Samuel L. Jackson, who's accused of murdering the creeps who raped his nine-year-old daughter.
Tin Cup Can Kevin Costner look sexy in golf clothes? This time, the obligatory love interest is Rene Russo. As a bonus, you can look for Houston golf landmarks, since parts of the film were shot in The Woodlands.
Flavors of the Third Coast Chef Russell Knott, trained in the kitchens of Brennan's and Ruggles, offers tips on preparing fresh, summer-flavored foods that are as satisfying as they are light. 6:30 p.m. Rice Epicurean Market, San Felipe near Voss, 789-6233 or 789-5426. $35.
Introduction to Novel Writing Why spend your summer vacation reading one of the great American novels when you can write one? Award-winning novelist Venkatesh Kulkarni offers a five-week course. Thursdays through June 27, 6:00-9:30 p.m. (June 27, 5:30-9:30 p.m.) Limited enrollment. For more information or to register, call 520-6022. $195.
Argentine Tango workshop Larry Carroll, a dancer from Los Angeles, will be in Houston on holiday, and will graciously teach a one-day workshop during his visit. Intermediate lessons, for those with some tango know-how, 10 a.m.noon; beginning workshop, with some flashy steps, 15:30 p.m. The workshop will be held at Stevens of Hollywood, 2143 Westheimer (at Greenbriar). For more information, call the Houston Tangueros hot line, 665-3812.
Houston Ballet The Houston Ballet Academy offers a full range of classes for adults. Beginners and those who've had some training are both welcome. Those who'd like to stretch and strengthen their bodies in an artistic workout can enroll at any time; summer classes end August 24. For more information, call Lisa Morton, 523-6300, ext. 210.
Accelerated Spanish Tessy Atcheson, who taught at UH for years, offers two fun eight-week courses this summer. Music, games and role-playing are key to her dynamic teaching methods. For more information on the June or the July course, call 877-1981. $140.
Wine tasting at Charley's 517 Wine Spectator magazine says Clive Berkman has one of the top 13 wine lists in the country, and Berkman is offering ordinary fans of the grape a chance to share his expertise. The June class covers six wines (French, Italian and California), and Berkman will talk about the wines' qualities and the best ways to enjoy them. On July 24, Berkman gives a practical class on great wines under $10. For more information on either class, call 877-1981.
Free Cryptography Workshop: How to use Pretty Good Privacy for E-mail and Network Privacy Remember when Web pages went black earlier this year? Well, those black pages were political statements from people who are worried about how telecommunications will be regulated. If you, too, are worried about what's going on and how you can continue to enjoy the free speech you've come to love in other media, this workshop is a good jumping off point. Free. 3 p.m. South Coast Computing, 1811 Bering, Suite 100. Park in the garage, enter through the back door and use the house phone (dial 100) if the door is locked. For information, call 799-1044.
Glamour photography Houstonian Jim Lowell explains studio tricks with strobes, and how to manage glamour lighting on location. This is a two-day class, held 15:30 p.m. June 9 & 16. Advance registration is required. For information, call 682-8922. $60 plus $25 modeling fee.
Harp workshop Four-time American Scottish harp champion Sue Richards is the star of this workshop and its accompanying concert. 6 p.m. At St. Mark Lutheran Church, 1515 Hillendahl. For more information, call Mary Radspinner, 583-1090. $20, workshop; $10, concert; $25, both.
Cup of Cardio LifeTime Fitness, a program of workouts for seniors, offers this high-level classes for oldsters who are already in shape. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 89:15 p.m. 5080 Richmond, 439-1710.
Rebirth and Dreams of the Soul The Jung Center will hold its 29th annual conference of the Institute of Analytical Psychology and the School of Expressive Arts this week. A variety of arts, psychology and movement workshops will be offered July 1820. To request a brochure, or register, call the Jung Center, 524-8253. $250.
Tissue Engineering While others putter with pottery or work on their backhand, you can learn the latest from the world of patient-specific therapeutics -- from transplantation of cells and tissues to artificial organs. Presented by Rice University department of continuing studies and the Rice Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering. Through August 9. For more information or to register, call 520-6022. $1,200.
Communications Job Seminar The Churchill Group, a PR firm, offers recent college graduates a chance to study the opportunities in communications in agency, corporate and not-for-profit sectors of the Houston community. Job hunting strategies are also discussed. 5:306:30 p.m. 2603 Augusta, Suite 900, 781-0020. Free.
Bay Area Massage Therapy Association The group meets to talk about the art and craft of massage therapy the third Monday of each month. 7:30 p.m. Southeast Memorial Hospital. For details, call 482-7091. Free.
The Second Annual Island Art Festival No ordinary arts festival this; the folks at the Art Colony Association have brought in Wayanay, an all-Peruvian band whose members use homemade instruments to perform the hypnotizingly beautiful music of the Andes. These guys (or another group of negligible difference) play the Halloween celebration on Front Street in Maui each year, attracting hordes of revelers with their magical sounds. And this being an arts festival, there'll also be the wares of 100 local and national artists, food, jugglers, kids' activities and special performances by the Dice Band and the Broadway cast of Beatlemania. Sat., 10 a.m.10:30 p.m.; Sun., June 2, 11 a.m.5 p.m. Pier 21 at Harborside Dr. and 21st St., adjacent to The Strand Historical District. 521-0133. $5; children under 12, free.
Tenth Annual American Institute of Architects/ Steelcase/A&E Products Sandcastle Competition There are 1,300 competitors making up the 65 teams involved in this year's event. Team members start arriving at East Beach at dawn, but no sand may be moved until the 11 a.m. start time. After that, it's a race for the Golden Bucket, the top prize for the most original and beautifully executed sand castle. Organizers expect more than 40,000 people. 11 a.m.6 p.m. Watching is free; parking, $5.
Kemah Celebration Last year, this was known as the Festival by the Bay, but the North Galveston Chamber of Commerce has changed the name. They're still celebrating, though, in the spirit of old-fashioned fun. The event features more than 400 vendors, live music, a carnival, food and opportunities to compete with your fellow neighbor. August 24 and 25, Wal-mart parking lot, 9300 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Texas City. 337-3434.
All Summer Long
Beaches The now well-established ban on drinking at all beaches except East Beach means that East Beach is now well-established as the hangout spot for the youthful, beer-guzzling set. Stewart Beach is the main destination for the youthful, juice-in-a-box guzzling set -- and their moms and pops, too. Use of the beaches is free, but expect to pay $5 per vehicle for parking.
Texas Seaport Museum This is the home of the 1877 tall ship Elissa, and admission gets you a self-guided tour of the restored sailing ship. They've also got museum galleries, theater presentations and a special immigration exhibit -- all summer long. Daily, 10 a.m.6 p.m. Pier 21, (409) 763-1877. $5, adults; $4, seniors and students.
1859 Ashton Villa This was the lovely abode of a prominent Victorian family; now, it's Broadway's only antebellum mansion. Tour the facility and see how the other half used to live. Mon.Sat., 10 a.m.4 p.m.; Sun., noon4 p.m. 2328 Broadway, (409) 762-3933. $4, adults; $3.50, seniors and students.
Galveston County Historical Museum Galveston's had some fairly up ups and some awfully down downs during its long history. Learn about them -- from its early settlers to the 1900 hurricane to the present -- through the Historical Museum's many exhibits. Mon.Sat., 10 a.m.4 p.m.; Sun., noon4 p.m. 2219 Market St., (409) 766-2340. Free.
Moody Gardens New exhibits, a new IMAX-3D feature and beach parties, beach parties, beach parties -- all added attractions to Moody Gardens' already spectacular array of offerings. See the kids section for more info on Palm Beach ($6), IMAX-3D ($6), the Rainforest Pyramid, paddleboat cruises and more. 1 Hope Blvd., Galveston, (800) 582-4673.
Sure it's hot. Sure it's muggy. But in Houston, when we can eat outside, we do. And catering to our need to gnaw out in the open, the city's restaurants, from the cheapest to the most haute, fling wide their doors, crank up the AC and go alfresco. All the restaurants listed below offer fine food and outside dining; for more details on them, check out the Press' weekly Cafe Capsules.
Antone's 807 Taft, 526-1046.
Becks Prime 2615 Augusta, 266-9901; 2902 Kirby, 524-7085; 11000 Westheimer, 952-2325; and 1202 Dairy-Ashford, 493-3806.
Berryhill Hot Tamales 2639 Revere, 526-8080.
Bistrot Aventure 1811 S. Shepherd, 527-9800.
Cafe Express 1800 Post Oak, 963-0222; 3200 Kirby, 522-3994; and 1422 W. Gray, 522-3100.
Cafe Noche 2409 Montrose, 529-2409.
Collina's 3933 Richmond, 621-8844.
Daily Review Cafe 3412 W. Lamar, 520-9217.
Empire Cafe 1732 Westheimer, 528-JAVA.
Floyd's Cajun Shack 1200 Durham, 862-3326.
Goode Company Barbecue 5109 Kirby, 522-2530.
Goode Company Hamburgers & Taqueria 4902 Kirby, 520-9153.
Green's Barbecue 5404 Almeda, 528-5501.
The Houston Brewery 6224 Richmond, 953-0101.
Jax Grill 1613 Shepherd, 861-5529; and 6510 S. Rice, 668-3606.
Kahn's Deli 2429 Rice Blvd., 529-2891.
Kaldi Cafe 250 W. 19th St., 802-2246.
La Griglia 2002 W. Gray, 526-4700.
Last Concert Cafe 1403 Nance, 226-8563.
La Quebradita Taqueria 631 W. 24th, 861-0800.
Melange at the Heritage Society 1100 Bagby, 655-8514.
Medina's Spanish Village 4811 Lillian, 802-2921.
Nielsen's Delicatessen 4500 Richmond, 963-8005.
Pat and Pete's Blues Burgers 311 Travis, 222-7337.
Patrenella's 813 Jackson Hill, 863-8223.
River Cafe 3615 Montrose Blvd., 529-0088.
Savages 2610 Bissonnet, 942-0580.
Sierra 4704 Montrose, 942-7757.
Spanish Village 4720 Almeda, 523-2861.
Toopees 1830 W. Alabama, 52-AROMA.
Zuzu 2320 S. Shepherd, 521-3736.
4th of July
Sam Houston Race Park Race Park planners, who know there's more to celebrate today than live racing, have scheduled the typical family attractions -- a petting zoo, face painting and other children's activities -- and fireworks. Gates open at 5:30; first race is at 7 p.m. Sam Houston Race Park, 7575 North Sam Houston Tollway (Fallbrook-Windfern exit), 807-8700. Regular admission, $3; children under 12, free; parking, $2.
Miller Outdoor Theatre New year; same deal. The city's Independence Day celebration at Hermann Park draws more people to Miller Outdoor Theatre than any other event of the year. A sea of people crashes over the hill and down the hill, spilling throughout the park. The patrons -- their faces washed over in waves of red, of blue, of whatever color the pyrotechnic expert who packed the explosive fancied at the time -- stare wide-eyed into the sky as fireworks burst to the sounds of the Houston Symphony Orchestra. There are perhaps flashier fireworks shows in town, but none affords such an opportunity to get so blanket-to-blanket and cooler-to-cooler with your fellow Americans. Free.
Six Flags AstroWorld Gosh almighty, as if any more incentive is needed to spark people's interest in spending a day with the family at AstroWorld. Yet, here, on the Fourth of July, they supply us with a fireworks extravaganza that's bigger and brighter than their usual satisfying fare. Kirby at Loop 610, 799-1234. One-day ticket, $29.95; under 48 inches tall, $18.95; senior citizens age 55 and older, $14.98; children two and under, free.
George Ranch Historical Park Enjoy Independence Day the way folks did in the 1890s, with watermelon seed spitting, three-legged races, egg and spoon runs, stilt walking and checkers. Back then, the womenfolk prepared elaborate picnic lunches and each potential suitor bid on those lunches for the privilege of sharing the picnic with the lady of his choice. Today, the menfolk can help themselves to the Ranch Snack Bar, though there will be a Box Social, where box lunches made in the traditional way will be auctioned off. Only 30 minutes from the Galleria. Take Highway 59 south to Crabb River Road, go south and follow the signs. 545-9212. $5.
Galveston The festivities begin at noon at Stewart Beach Park, where SUNNY 99.1 FM will be giving away free goodies until 3 p.m. When the sun settles, say around 9:15 p.m., a 25-minute fireworks display will begin. For the best view, you'll have to pack the sunburned and sticky kids in the car and look for a spot to park along Seawall Boulevard between 25th and 81st streets. Parking at Stewart Beach, $5; fireworks, free. (In case of inclement weather, the fireworks will be rescheduled for July 7.)
Clear Lake Fireworks Spectacular The city of Clear Lake has been at this for 21 years now, so they've got the details down pat. Near dusk, the Texas Air National Guard will do a flyover of Clear Lake, then at 9:20 p.m., the fireworks will be set off from a barge in the middle of the lake. The folks in Clear Lake say Clear Lake Park on the north side of the lake is a choice spot for viewing the display, which will last for about 20 minutes. Free.
More than Memorial Day It's not only Memorial Day; it's Oshman's Family Day at the Sam Houston Race Park, and the first 7,500 race fans through the gate will get a free Sam Houston Race Park sports bag. Aside from a day of Thoroughbred racing fun, there'll be basketball, a putting green, a football toss -- and members of the Russian Junior National Tennis Team will take to the court to volley a bit with anyone bold enough to take the challenge. Gates open at 11:30 a.m.; post time is at 1 p.m. Regular admission, $3; children under 12, free; parking, $2. Sam Houston Race Park, 7575 North Sam Houston Tollway (Fallbrook-Windfern exit), 807-8700.
Pub sport Signup ends today for the Houston Dart Association's Wednesday night summer league. The Wednesday night league includes an inner-city division for folks who don't want to travel outside the Loop. Sign up at Rick's Darts and Games, 7205 Harwin, 952-5900. Cost is $5 per person, plus a $20 annual HDA membership fee.
Bowling, bowling, bowling Bowl for the Texas Institute of Rehabilitation and Research and help earn the group a little money it can use to help others. As a bonus, an afternoon of heaving a ten-pound ball down an alley will let you discover just how out of shape you are before summer really gets rolling. 9:30 a.m. 4191 Bellaire Blvd. Call 528-0123 to enroll your team. Bowlers need to collect a minimum of $35 in pledges. If you find yourself hooked, summer leagues start up this week.
You don't have to be young, a man or even Christian The Downtown Y kicks off a whole slew of classes this week that are sure to get you sweating as much indoors as you already are outdoors: a volleyball clinic, boxercise, a weight circuit workout, adult aqua aerobics and kids' karate classes all begin today. Prices range from $20$45. 1600 Louisiana, 758-9235.
Fun with Flipper Enjoy the fresh air of the Houston Ship Channel, and learn all about bottlenose dolphins. The Galveston Bay Foundation reports that it's a little too warm to get people out on the bayous in canoes, but you can still catch an A&M research vessel, on which you'll follow shrimp boats up the Ship Channel into the bay and learn how these remarkable mammals are protected in the wild. 8:30 a.m.4 p.m. $40, adults; $20, teens ages 1218. 332-3381.
Tips for the lazy gardener If you haven't started your summer garden yet, you're late. Get out there anyway, and plant something in the ground. If you've already got something growing in your garden that's worthy of showing off, think about getting it ready for Covington's Airline Nursery's Tomato and Vegetable Growing Contest June 8. For info on the free but sure-to-be-stiff competition, call 447-1690.
Astros vs. the Colorado Rockies Youths attending Thursday's game will receive buttons and tattoos of "The Phantom." (We assume they mean temporary tattoos.) Also, All-Star voting is under way. Pick up a schedule to make sure you don't miss a series with any of your fave National League teams. 7:05 p.m. start each night. Astrodome, Kirby Dr. at Loop 610. 629-3700. $4$19.
Astros vs. the Philadelphia Phillies Saturday is Boy Scout Day, and the first 15,000 youths will be presented with squeeze bottles. 7:05 p.m. start Friday; 12:05 p.m. start Saturday; 1:35 p.m. start Sunday (which is Corpus Christi Day!). Astrodome, Kirby Dr. at Loop 610. 629-3700. $4$19.
Texas Terror vs. the San Jose SaberCats It's arena football, and they say it's so much fun, it's scary. Special start time, because the game's on ESPN2. 7 p.m. The Summit, 10 Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. $7.50$27.50.
Pothole-free biking Grab your helmet and head out to the Alkek Velodrome, the city's 330-meter oval that plays host during the year to many a U.S. Cycling Federation event. This summer, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops are invited to come out for organized outings of flat-track racing. Summer hours are 59 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 48 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (when you can in-line skate, too). Cullen Park, between Barker Cypress and Saums roads, 578-0693. Free admission; bikes available for rent.
Spectator soccer The Houston Hotshots -- who seem to be carrying on the mostly abandoned Houston pro sports tradition of wearing orange, red and yellow -- open their 1996 season tonight against the San Diego Sockers. This is a sport advertised as "bone crushing" and "totally extreme." 7:35 p.m. The Summit, 11 Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. $6$22.
Summit soccer The Houston Hotshots battle the Detroit Neon. If you feel like you need to learn more about the game, catch Telemundo 48's weekly highlight show, which airs from 10:3011 p.m. Sundays. 7:35 p.m. The Summit, 11 Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. $6$22.
City softball Registration for the city's summer softball leagues is today, and is operated on a first come, first serve basis. Play starts July 15 at city parks including Hermann, Memorial and T.C. Jester. $150$200 per team. For information, call 641-5051.
Vegetable Racquet Squash is a lovely, leathery-skinned fruit that's hard for some people to grow; it's also a lovely indoor racquet sport that's hard for some people to play. The not-at-all leathery-skinned folks at the Downtown Y will introduce newcomers to all the whys and wherefores of the game during Try Squash Night. (Class repeats July 30.) 1600 Louisiana, 758-9286. Free.
Football boys of summer Texas Terror vs. the Orlando Predators. 7:30 p.m. The Summit, 10 Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. $7.50$27.50.
America's Horse Quarter horse season kicks off today at the Sam Houston Race Park. See the Fourth of July section for more information. 7 p.m. Sam Houston Race Park, 7575 North Sam Houston Tollway (Fallbrook-Windfern exit), 807-8700. Regular admission, $3; parking, $2.
Houston Hotshots vs. the Dallas Sidekicks Indoor soccer fans can head out to The Summit for this one, or they can tune in to Prime Sports -- further evidence that we live in a beautiful world. 6:05 p.m. The Summit, 11 Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. $6$22.
Feed your head and work up an appetite The Houston Rowing Club will teach you to be part of the crew that, each weekend, takes one of three authentic, all-wooden, 34-foot British pilot gigs across the lake to the lovely Classic Cafe for breakfast. Lake history and water-safety lessons are included in the price. 334-3101. $20, plus breakfast.
Astros vs. the San Francisco Giants The series that starts today is the Press series of the season. The great Barry Bonds comes to town and the free gifts include autographed baseballs (Saturday) and trading cards (Sunday). 7:05 p.m. start Friday and Saturday; 1:35 p.m. start Sunday. Astrodome, Kirby Dr. at Loop 610. 629-3700. $4$19.
Arena Football Texas Terror vs. the Tampa Bay Storm. Last regular home game of the season. 7:30 p.m. The Summit, 10 Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. $7.50$27.50.
Paddle sports Maybe you read about table tennis in the Press a while back, and were intimidated by all that talk of glue and practice and equipment assemblage. That's for the pros; ordinary eggs can borrow paddles from the Houston Table Tennis Center and leave maintenance worries to the helpful staff; you just bring a friend and volley back and forth all day for $5 per person. Or join the club and play seven days a week for $25. 4997 W. Bellfort, 721-PLAY.
Juneteenth Blues Festival Although turnout at the Juneteenth Blues Festival has been hampered the last couple of years by the NBA championships, the Sonics have guaranteed that the "World's Largest Free Blues Festival" should return to its past attendance glories. Trudy Lynn, "The First Lady of Soul," is artist of the year; Chicago harp player Billy Boy Arnold will be sitting in with Joe "Guitar" Hughes; Gatemouth Brown will blow your mind. 8 p.m. Thu.Sat., June 6-8, Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Dr., Hermann Park, 520-3290. Free.
George Ranch Historical Park celebration The ranch has long maintained a fine collection of art and artifacts relating to the history of African-American cowboys. The Juneteenth celebration features continuous gospel entertainment; tours of the ranch (with vignettes depicting African-American contributions to Fort Bend county); historical reenactments (including a broomstick wedding); old-fashioned games for the kids; pony rides; and a real rodeo. Revelers can keep their strength up by enjoying the ranch's traditional Juneteenth barbecue. Celebration, 10 a.m.7 p.m.; rodeo, 3 p.m. Sat., June 15. The ranch is 30 minutes from the Galleria. Take U.S. 59 south to Crabb River Rd., go south and follow the signs. (713) 545-9212. $6; $5, seniors; $3, children. Group and presale discounts available.
Juneteenth Gospel Extravaganza For the 14th season, glorious live music for two evenings. Pack the coolers, pack up the kids and get a good seat on the hill. 7:30 p.m. Sat., June 15, and Sun., June 16. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Dr., Hermann Park, 520-3290. Free.
Juneteenth Freedom Festival The National Emancipation Association presents a celebration, with pageantry, entertainment and pride. Put on your picnic best and some Deep Woods Off and join the celebration. 1 p.m. Wed., June 19. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Dr., Hermann Park, 520-3290. Free.
Kids in the country The good folks over at the Martin Luther King Community Center, 2720 Sampson, will -- like they have for the past 28 years -- bus at least 125 inner-city kids out to Tom Bass Park for a day of outdoor fun, food and games in one of Harris County's largest and most beautiful parks. Take Cullen Dr. south of 610 until it turns into FM 518 at Clear Creek. For more information, call 659-7704.
Camps and Classes
Aeros Pee-wees Skaters who sign up for hockey camp get a T-shirt, a jersey, a chance to meet players (two players instruct, others drop in from time to time) and two and a half hours of on-ice training each day. Day camps are held at the Aerodome Ice Skating Complex in Willowbrook, July 1519. Kids five to ten skate, 9 a.m.4 p.m. weekdays; kids 11 to 18 skate, 8 a.m.3 p.m. weekdays. Evening camps are held at the complex in Sugar Land, July 2226, 6:309:30 p.m. Tue.; 58 p.m. other weekdays. For information, call 621-2842, ext. 41.
A.D. Player Theater Arts Academy The not-at-all secular theater company has two summer classes in acting, creative ensemble work and musical theater. June 10July 26. For information, call 439-0181. $150$200.
Boys and Girls Clubs Southeast Center The new center, with a 20,000 square-foot building, offers youths a computer lab and library, fine arts studies, games from Ping-Pong to chess and a Target Outreach program to end and prevent substance abuse, teen pregnancy and gang participation. Outdoors, on 27 acres, the center offers baseball, soccer and flag football. 5959 Selinsky, 784-5667.
Glassell School Two Junior School summer sessions offer kids four to 18 the standard creative stuff and a clay animation workshop. There's also a five-day ArtKamp that offers intensive instruction in a variety of media. Registration through July 1. For schedules and pricing information, stop by the school, 5101 Montrose, or call 639-7700.
Midtown Art Center's summer arts program Let the kids cultivate their talents while you're at work. Weekdays, 7:30 a.m.6 p.m., kids can study art, gymnastics, karate, choral singing, drumming, drama and dance in many styles. There are two sessions for boys and girls aged three and up, June 10July 12 and July 15August 17. The kids will perform in a recital August 17. 3414 La Branch (at Holman), 521-8803.
Summer jazz workshop Middle and high school students have the chance to work with pros. Musical arrangements, improvisation, orchestra and rehearsal techniques and master jazz classes will be offered, 12:304:30 p.m. daily, June 17July 19 at Texas Southern University/Willowridge High School. For information or to register, call 227-8706. $250.
Museums and Parks
Armand Bayou Nature Center The 2,500-acre wildlife preserve has three unique habitats. 8500 Bay Area Blvd., Houston, 474-2551.
Battleship Texas The Texas Freedom State Park store is now open. Mon.Sun., 10 a.m.5 p.m. The San Jacinto State Historical Park is 22 miles east of downtown off Hwy. 225. When you hit Hwy. 134 (Battleground Rd.), head north for a few miles, 479-2431.
Bayou Bend Ima Hogg's lovely home and gardens are a testament to a great Texas lady, and the museum has regular free family days with craft demonstrations and exhibits. Regular hours: Tue.Fri., 10 a.m.4 p.m.; last admission at 3:30 p.m. 1 Westcott St., 639-7750. $10; $8.50, seniors & students; $5, children ten18; $1.50 audio tour charge under ten.
Children's Museum June opens with a National Family Day Wonder Weekend celebration, June 1 & 2. All Wonder Weekend activities and Spotlight Performances are free with museum admission. Summer Sizzler activities are held most weekdays at 11 a.m., 1 & 3 p.m. The facility is open Tue.Sat., 9 a.m.5 p.m.; Sun., noon5 p.m. 1500 Binz, 522-1138. $5; kids under two free. Free family night, Thursdays, 58 p.m.
Houston Fire Museum Has Rescue 911 piqued the kiddies' curiosity about firefighting? Then bring them down to this real-world room. Tue.Sat., 10 a.m.4 p.m. 2403 Milam (at McIlhenny), 524-2526. Free.
Moody Gardens Moody Gardens has nature trails, a Japanese garden and a Rainforest Pyramid -- be sure to visit the butterfly hatching hut. Palm Beach is an Yber-swim experience with white sandy beaches, fresh water, paddleboats and a Yellow Submarine for kids. Palm Beach is open Memorial Day through Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. $6. Sun.Thu., 10 a.m.6 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.9 p.m. 1 Hope Blvd., Galveston, (800) 582-4673.
Museum of Fine Arts A Place for All People sponsors community events throughout the summer. MFA docents will read illustrated stories two mornings a week throughout June and July. Stories chosen will pertain to items in the museum's permanent collection so that kids can hear a story and then learn about art. Reservations required. Regular museum hours: Tue.Sat., 10 a.m.5 p.m.; Thu., 10 a.m.9 p.m.; Sun., 12:156 p.m. 1001 Bissonnet, 526-1361. $3; $1.50, students, children six18 & seniors; free, children under five and everyone on Thursdays.
Museum of Health & Medical Science Kids can learn all about the body in the Amazing Body Pavilion any day. Throughout July, "The Body Colorful," an interactive all-about-diagnostics exhibit, will be up and running. Regular hours: Tue.Sat., 9 a.m.5 p.m.; Thu., 9 a.m.7 p.m.; Sun., noon5 p.m. 1515 Hermann Dr., 521-1515. $4; $3, seniors, students & children under 12; free, Thu., 47 p.m.; group rates available.
Museum of Natural Science Dinosaurs -- drawings, models and fossil bones -- are all over the main floor, next to the Native American artifacts. Up in the new wing of the second level, "Birds and Beasts of Ancient Latin America" gives kids a peek at the pre-Columbian world of the Americas. Mon.Sat., 9 a.m.6 p.m.; Sun., noon6 p.m. Houston Museum of Natural Science, 1 Hermann Circle Dr., Hermann Park, 639-4600. $3; $2, children under 12.
HMNS, Burke Baker Planetarium "Journey to the Giants," a tour of Jupiter, Neptune and Saturn, will be shown daily, 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. June 3July 18. "Destination Mars" is a virtual space trip, daily 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. July 19August 30. Stargazers' Guide, a star identification show, will be held daily, 5 p.m., June 3August 30. Houston Museum of Natural Science, Hermann Park, 639-4600. $2; $1.50, seniors and children under 12.
Six Flags AstroWorld The new big thing in the sprawling, ever-changing theme park is the Batman the Escape water adventure. Open daily, 10 a.m. Kirby at Loop 610, 799-1234. $29.95; $18.95, children less than 48 inches tall; $14.98, seniors and handicapped.
Six Flags WaterWorld Beat the heat at one of our largest pool complexes. WaterWorld has a 30,000 square foot wave pool, at least half a dozen water slides and a kiddy pool. Opens daily at 10 a.m. Right next door to Six Flags AstroWorld, 799-1234. $13.95; $10.95, children less than 48 inches tall; free, children under three; multi-visit ticket (two visits to either park or one admission to each), $31.95.
Splashtown The 40-acre park has pools and wild slides all over, and room for concerts, classic car shows and other events. The Wednesday Kids Koncert series begins May 29. Gates open at 10 a.m. Getting to Splashtown is easy: take the Louetta Rd. or FM 2920 exit off I-45 N. For more information, call 355-3300. $16.95: $10.95 children less than 48 inches tall; free for children three and under. After 4:30 p.m., $8.95 plus tax for everyone. $99.99, family season pass ("family" means of three); $34.95, individual season pass.
Space Center Houston "Lasers and Holograms: Discovering the Splendid Light" is an interactive exhibit that shows how lasers work. Through June 2. SpaceWeek '96, an activity-packed celebration of the moon landing, is July 2027. Space Camps, June 1014, 1721; July 15, 812, 2226; July 29August 2, August 59. Hours: weekdays, 10 a.m.5 p.m.; weekends, 10 a.m.7 p.m. Space Center Houston, 1601 NASA Rd. 1 (20 miles south of downtown, on I-45 at the Johnson Space Center), Clear Lake, 244-2105. $11.95; $10.75, seniors; $8.50, children four to 12 years old; free, children under four.
Zoological Gardens Visitors can beat the heat by checking out the indoor exhibits -- the Brown Education Center, Kipp Aquarium, Small Mammal World, Texas Wildlife Bldg. and Tropical Birdhouse. Open daily, 10 a.m.6 p.m. Hermann Park, 1513 N. MacGregor, 523-5888. $2.50; $2, seniors; 50 cents, children three12; free, children under three.
Pass and Play Picnic Houston Oiler Ray Childress is the brains behind this fundraiser for the Childress Foundation, an organization trying to put kids on the right path. Jerry Jeff Walker and the Gonzo Compadres will provide live music; the food will be high-class picnic fare. 7 p.m.midnight, The Houstonian, 111 N. Post Oak Ln., 627-7900. $100, individuals; $1,500$5,000, tables.
Pride Week The theme for the 1996 Houston Lesbian and Gay Pride Week is "Pride Knows No Borders." The big finale for Pride Week is, of course, the parade on June 23. But that's only one thing; a variety of events and celebrations are planned. To be a part of all, or to find out what's happening, contact the Houston Pride Committee, 529-6979.
Antiques and Collectible Crafts Market Through June 15, a vast array of antiques, art, crafts, pincushions, silk floral arrangements, woodcrafts and other home decoration and gift items will be on display. The craft fair opens at 10 a.m. each day. Astrohall, Astrodomain, Kirby at Loop 610, 799-9632. $2; $1, seniors and children under 12.
Ole! Fiesta Bash Dos The Houston Challenge Foundation doesn't spend all its time providing food bank goods and other help to HIV-affected families in Houston and Harris county. Sometimes, the group's organizers raise money and kick up their heels. This party features a bountiful Mexican food buffet and live music from Angelucho's Copacabana. The hottest event of the summer, 811 p.m. Sonora Del Norte, 1515 Dallas, 523-8900. $35, and bring a bag of groceries for the food bank and your checkbook for the silent auction.
1996 Houston Summer Boat Show Everything anyone could ever need for marine fun, from yachts to wiggly worms soaked in blood chloride, will be on display through July 14. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. For more information, call 526-6361. $5; $2, children under 12.
The Greatest Show on Earth The 125th anniversary edition of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus comes to you live. We don't know if this is the blue or the red unit, but we do know it features Mark Oliver Gebel and his wild beasts, the Espanas in the Whirling Wheel of Death (and the Globe of Death) and Chinese acrobats. Through July 28. The Summit, Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. Tickets go on sale June 17. $10.50$16.50.
Justin World Bull Riding Championship The top cowboys, and cowgirls, will compete for more than $100,000 in prize money. After the fast action in the ring, bull riding fans get a live music concert. The three-day event opens tonight with a winner-take-all grudge match. Through August 18. 8 p.m. The Summit, Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. Tickets go on sale June 8. $12.50$20.50. Series ticket packages and Super Chute Seats also available.
May 30-August 29
Party on the Plaza. Thursday remains the day for happy hour on Jones Plaza downtown, at the intersection of Texas and Smith. Rik Emmett (formerly of Triumph) starts the summer on May 30. The remaining shows are: Carolyn Wonderland, June 6; Foghat, June 13; Head East, June 20; Badfinger, June 27; Joe "King" Carrasco, July 11; Iron Butterfly, July 18; Firefall, July 25; Rob Hanna, August 1; Bobby Kimball (formerly of Toto), August 22; and Dread Zeppelin, August 29. Free.
The Moody Blues The original melders of high kitsch and high art are back doing their thing with the Houston Symphony. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands. 629-3700.
Texas Music Festival. This summer program serves a dual purpose, allowing young musicians the opportunity to hone their solo, orchestra and chamber skills during a four-week residency, and giving the Houston public a chance to settle in for inspired performances by newcomers and masters alike. Festival concerts held Tuesday, June 4, to Thursday, June 27, at the University of Houston. For information, call 743-3009 or 743-3167.
Jerry Jeff Walker Terlingua's favorite son, and Texas Monthly cover boy, reacquaints us with his outlaw shtick two nights running. Rockefeller's, 1620 Washington Ave. 869-8427.
Road Kings Be reminded of what Jesse Dayton used to sound like when he reunites with his old band. One of them, anyway. Fabulous Satellite Lounge, 3616 Washington Ave. 869-COOL.
Broken Note Showcase Two nights of local bands featuring 30footFALL, Hoss, Heckle, Bickley, Pervis, Peterbilt, the Hates, Sillies, Sad Pygmy, Dinosaur Salad, Taste of Garlic, Aftershock, I-45, Tha Rebel Crew, Fragile Porcelain Mice, Cornerpiece, Ghost and DethKultur BBQ. Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak, 862-3838.
Gospel Celebration Featuring Kirk Franklin, John P. Kee and Houston's own vocal wonder, Yolanda Adams. Six Flags AstroWorld, Kirby at Loop 610, 799-1234. Park entrance $29.95; $18.95, children under 48 inches tall; $14.98, seniors and handicapped.
Tori Amos Thoughtful '90s diva visits the University of Houston campus. Cullen Performance Hall (entrance no. 1 off Calhoun), 629-3700.
Waylon Jennings Jennings recently signed with Justice Records. The local label did proud by Jennings' buddy, Willie Nelson; maybe the signing suggests Jennings still has something good to give as well. Rockefeller's, 1620 Washington Ave, 869-8427.
Don Walser No summer would be complete without a visit to hear Texas' favorite yodeling cowboy singer. McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 528-5999.
The Drifters, the Coasters and the Marvelettes Chances are, the names are the only things from the original groups in this lineup. But even if this is a bunch of Johnny-come-latelies, the songs are eternal. Six Flags AstroWorld, Kirby at Loop 610, 799-1234. Park entrance $29.95; $18.95, children less than 48-inches tall; $14.98, seniors and handicapped.
The H.O.R.D.E. tour The never-ending jammers are the Dave Matthews Band, Lenny Kravitz, Rickie Lee Jones and others. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands, 629-3700.
k.d. lang From Canadian cowgirl to lesbian cover girl to sultry chanteuse, Lang has always kept one thing the same: her incredible voice. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands, 629-3700.
Houston International Jazz Festival. This year's lineup includes Stanley Turrentine, Pascal Bokar, David "Fathead" Newman, Fredrik Noran, Tania Maria and Bubbha Thomas and the Lightmen. Festivities begin with a poolside jam, Friday, August 2, at the Omni Houston Hotel, 4 Riverway. The outdoor festival starts Saturday, August 3, in Sam Houston Park, 1100 Bagby. Mayor's Jazz Brunch is Sunday, August 4, at the Omni. For details, call 227-8706 or (800) 231-7799.
Dwight Yoakam Now that the hair plugs have taken hold, do you think Kentucky's favorite son will remove his hat in concert? Don't count on it. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands, 629-3700.
Steve Miller Band and Pat Benatar Last time we saw Pat Benatar, she looked like she'd morphed into Rickie Lee Jones' older sister. But Steve Miller, bless his heart, never changes. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands, 629-3700.
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