Community center multimedia arts program Not every screaming, squirming child wants to spend the summer pursuing organized sports; some want to embrace their artistic creativity. Fortunately for those kids, and for parents desperate to get kids out of the house by any means necessary, the city of Houston Parks and Recreation department offers a new summer program with acting, dancing, painting, photography, singing and writing classes. It's all about arts, it's all over town and it's all summer long. Kids ages 1119 will spend the summer developing their talents, and then have a chance to display their work at the Young Houston Playwrights Festival and other showcases. Classes meet at least twice a week for eight to ten weeks at community centers throughout the city. For more information, call your local park or community center, or dial 845-1210. You don't have the number of your local park or community center handy? Shame, shame, shame. You ought to take advantage of these civic perks. Get some exercise; get some art education. It's all free.
Fiddler on the Roof Hey, neighbor, how long's it been since you enjoyed a lengthy musical about the joys of simple life and an ethnic family facing changing times? Well, that's too long. Come on out with the family and laugh and cry over the joys and sorrows of Tevye, his five daughters, his lame horse and his "Do You Love Me?" wife. You know the story; you love the songs; see it one more time. Opening, 8 p.m. Country Playhouse, 12802 Queensbury (Town and Country Village), 467-4497. $15.
Kitchen Table/Bathroom Sink: Lo-Tech Photo Workshops The Orange Show offers anyone from eight to 80 a chance to play with photography techniques in a supervised environment. Barnabas Strickland is the instructor, and all the photo processes can be done in the privacy of your own home, at the kitchen table or bathroom sink. Today's class is on Polaroid transfers. Strickland will show how to "use the negative (the part you usually throw away) to make a picture that looks like you may have painted it." Later workshops cover cyanotypes and pinhole cameras. 9 a.m.noon. The Orange Show, 2402 Munger, 926-6368, orange Kid's Space Place Not since the grand opening way back in 1992 has Space Center Houston made a major addition to its NASA-themed exhibits and entertainments. That is, until now: Space Center Houston announces the grand opening of the all-new, two-story Kid's Space Place. Youngsters from three to 11 can play on, in and around 17 activity stations. Kids testing the kid-proof construction of 40 different interactive stations can imagine galactic conquest, learn about math and otherwise explore and develop that all-important space between their own ears. Yes, Kid's Space Place has Legos galore -- it wouldn't be Space Center Houston without Legos, would it? Open seven days a week, 9 a.m.7 p.m. 1601 NASA Rd. 1 (20 miles south of downtown, on I-45 at the Johnson Space Center), Clear Lake, 244-2105. $11.95; $8.50, children four11; free, children under four.
Introductions '96 The Houston Art Dealers Association announces its 17th annual summer event. Twelve galleries collaborate in this plot to introduce art mavens to emerging artists. It's an all-over-town, all-day open-house thing. Galleries will be open 10 a.m.5 p.m.; some will have evening receptions. For a full list of gallery addresses and phone numbers, see Thrills, Art. For more information, call 520-7767.
Art Celebration 1996 Galveston has art walks all the time; Houston has only a couple of events like this. Fourteen galleries have coordinated their openings (and even receptions when possible) to offer an all-day art blitz for art lovers and those of you who've been meaning to spend more time appreciating art. Nine of the galleries are within walking distance of one another. Park on Colquitt west of Kirby and trot around to Artables, Barbara Davis Gallery, Lynn Goode Gallery, Hooks-Epstein Galleries, McMurtry Gallery, Moody Gallery, New Gallery, Parkerson Gallery and slover mc cutcheon gallery. More adventurous types can buckle up and drive off to Lawing Gallery, hop over to Jack Meier Gallery and then hit the Heights to visit Devin Borden Hiram Butler Gallery. (All gallery addresses in Thrills, Art, Openings.) All galleries open by noon; receptions start at 6 p.m. For more information, call Artables, 528-0405.
Sarah Hutt Sometimes these conceptual things can be a bore, yet Sarah Hutt's art show of mother memories has an undeniable charm. "My Mother's Legacy" is made up of a thousand wooden bowls, all bought in thrift stores or donated by friends, and each bowl has a remark about Hutt's mother burned into the bottom. Remarks range from the typical -- "My mother had eyes in the back of her head" -- to the interesting -- "My mother made lasagna sandwiches" -- to the alarming -- "My mother had a pistol." You can add the lines up to tell stories, reflect how Hutt's mother is like/unlike your own or just read the 107 bowls on view and ponder the idea of memory. Her show is paired with one by Janet Tyson, a Fort Worth artist who's also obsessive and into found objects. Reception, 46 p.m. Through August 24. West End Gallery, 5425 Blossom, 861-9544.
Disco Mania! Hey, way back when Musique's seventies smash hit "In the Bush" was annoying you on the radio, you probably never dreamed that one day that song and all that the disco ethic entails would be part of a huge Toys for Tots event. "Disco Mania" is one of many events benefiting the 1996 Toys for Tots Christmas gift program, and organizers claim it's one of the biggest. Musique will perform live; regular eggs, decked out in bell bottoms, platform shoes and polyester will compete in a seventies couture contest; and there will be a laser light show. Attire: full disco. 9 p.m. First City Main Bank, 1021 Main Street, 629-3700. $10, advance; $15, at the door. Bring a toy for a tot and register to win round trip tickets to Las Vegas.
The 1996 Lowrider Magazine 20th Anniversary Tour Straight-from-the-streets artistry in airbrush, chrome and velvet and a "Latinpalooza" show headline this day made for high spirits and high-hopping cars. Low-rider craftsmen will go bass-to-bass in a "sound-off challenge" pitting car stereo system against car stereo system; and low-riding car and truck owners will compete to see whose vehicle can hydraulically hop the highest. At noon, the car lovers will quiet down for a somber event: the presentation of a plaque honoring Joel Carmona, a former president of Houston's Los Magnificos Car Club, who died after saving his wife and three daughters from a fire. 11 a.m.5 p.m. AstroArena, Astrodomain, 8400 Kirby. For more information, call (909) 595-2782. $18; free, kids under ten.
Jus' Jokin' The comedy club -- a black-owned, black-run business -- has just celebrated its one-year anniversary, and the club owners are proud and happy about that, but they want more. One thing they want is a rainbow audience -- comedy is universal and all that. Thursdays are Apollo Night with cash prizes; Wednesday nights are "Something for the Honeys," a ladies night with male exotic dancers; and this Monday night is Latino Night. Luke Torres headlines. 8:30 p.m. 9344 Richmond (between Fondren and Gessner), 975-7262. No one under 18 admitted. $5.
Archetypes of Feminine Power Nontraditional psychotherapist Nan Hall Linke offers a workshop on images older women might aspire to and how these stereotypes can be beneficial. Warrior, queen, wizardess and wise woman are on Nan's list of positive images; battle ax, mysteriously, is not. 7:309:30 p.m. Spectrum Center, 4100 Westheimer, Suite 235. To register, call 520-1551. Seating is limited. $15. (Gift certificates are available.)
Early shows Landmark Theatres in Houston, both the tucked-away-underground Greenway 3 and the out-in-the-open River Oaks 3, offer "Finally, a reason to get up on Wednesday." Assuming that the entire populace is made up of slugabeds, Landmark advertises its new afternoon times with the suggestion that you "get out of bed, brush your teeth and treat yourself to the finest films in town. We'll make popcorn. It'll be like a party." With shows starting around noon, you'll have extra chances to see fine cinema like Wallace and Gromit and that Lone Star movie you've been hearing so much about. (Lone Star: See it! See it now!!) Heck, commuters can skip out of work early, catch a flick and still catch the Park and Ride home. (If you want to see movies really early, AMC Meyer Park 16 has 10 a.m. shows on Wednesday, all 16 movies. Call 721-0140 for more information.) Call for more information about early shows at Greenway 3, 626-0402, or River Oaks 3, 524-2175, or visit http://www.movienet.com.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Some people have mixed feelings about the circus; Lord knows I do. Even as a kid, while I was into the animal aspects of the show, the circusiness of the whole thing, the spangles and hyperbole, left me cold. This year, Houston is visited by the Red unit of the circus, and we can thrill to, or be left cold by, "The World's Most Lovable Clown," David Larible; animal trainer Mark Oliver Gebel (who was born here, when his dad Gunther was on tour); and the Espanas "as they fearlessly confront the whirling Wheel of Death and the ominous Globe of Death." There doesn't seem to be a fake Fiji mermaid with the show. The circus opens tonight, 7:30 p.m., and continues through July 28. (Complete show listing in Thrills, Kids.) Come early for the Ringling Adventure, where kids can get their faces painted and bungee jump. The Summit, Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. Tickets are $10.50$16.50; special ringside seats are available, and you can get some good deals on regular seats by shopping at Fiesta.
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. Wynette Barton, Carolyn Grant Fay and Roger Woolger are among the workshop leaders. To request a brochure, or register, call the Jung Center, 524-8253. $250.