Astro World Series of Dog Shows All the dog show fun you've come to know and love -- agility dogs, breed ring strutting, canine Frisbee, flyball, "heavy petting" at the service dogs booth and ordinary mongrels qualifying for Canine Good Citizen certificates. Yes, it's four days of dogs, dogs and more dogs, and this year, there's also something new. For the first time ever in our part of the world, trainer Herb Williams and the talented pups of the Iams Wonderful World of Dogs will amaze and enlighten fans with their performance. The 30 dogs do doggie dressage and precision drills, play musical chairs and otherwise demonstrate their athletic skills and smarts. They've wowed animal lovers abroad (Princess Anne) and on TV (David Letterman). The dog show runs from 8:30 a.m.3 p.m. today; 8 a.m.past suppertime Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Williams' dogs perform four times daily. AstroArena and Astrohall, 8400 Kirby. For information, call (800) 884-2443. $7; $3, seniors and children under 12.
Men Like Women Who Like Themselves Relationship-issue authors Steven Carter and Julia Sokol scored hits with He's Scared, She's Scared, Men Who Can't Love and What Really Happens in Bed, and now they've created another book about how to get and keep a man. Men Like Women posits that men are actually paying attention, and since what women want most desperately to hear is that men are actually paying attention, this book is selling like hotcakes. Carter will be here, signing books and spreading his message of commonality: "If you think men and women are from different planets, you need a stronger telescope." 7-8 p.m. Jeremy's Bookshelf, 2441 Bay Area Boulevard, 486-8028.
Summer Stock What a trooper -- Judy Garland was fresh from rehab when she strutted across a sound stage singing "Come on, get happy" in a performance since imitated countless times by countless drag queens. That number -- not to mention Gene Kelly singing "You Wonderful You" -- contributes to the 1950 magic of this "let's put on a show" show. A new 35mm print of Summer Stock will be shown as part of a double feature with Gene Kelly's dance fantasia, Invitation to the Dance. 7:30 p.m. The Rice Media Center, Rice University (entrance no. 8 off University), 527-4853. $4.50 (for single or double feature).
Ruddygore The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston have explored most of the traditional G&S repertoire, and to great acclaim. Now they strike out for new territory, producing a full staging of the thriller Ruddygore, or the Witch's Curse. This 19th-century G&S parody of 19th-century melodrama offers a bad baronet, a pure maiden, ghosts and a curse requiring each member of the Gore line "to commit one terrible crime a day." The society explains that the show has languished even while other G&S shows thrived -- not because Ruddygore is less entertaining than The Mikado or Pirates of Penzance, but because it costs a lot to produce. Opening tonight, 8 p.m. (Other showtimes in Thrills, Theater.) Wortham Center, Cullen Theater, 627-3570. $10$28.
Steak! The Musical Good ol' Joey Berner -- fresh from Psycho Beach Party -- directs this goofy Western about vegans on the Chisholm Trail. Kathy Biehl, Chris Emery, Jesse Jou, Gretchen Lindquist, Matt Sanders and a herd of other troublemakers star. Music, dancing and cattle. Opening tonight, 8 p.m. (Full show listings in Thrills, Theater.) The Actors Workshop, 1009 Chartres, 236-1844. $10; $8, seniors and students.
Tamalalia! The newly hatched Free Range Arts Foundation premieres with an all-Tamarie Cooper show featuring fashion, dance and pasta as the lovely and talented Ms. Cooper thinks fashion, dance and pasta should be presented. Actress/choreographer Cooper will present movement and performance pieces, including "Get Back to Me on This One," which was recently enjoyed at the American College Dance Festival Gala. Thrift-store fashion shows interleave the theatricals, and the evening ends with Tamarie at the stove for a cookery-and-commentaryprogram.Free Rangers Jaime Flowers, DeWitt Gravink, Lara Heiberg and Amanda and Katie Moulder dance and model in the show. 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday. The Orange Show, 2402 Munger, 867-9350. $7.
How to Get Out of Debt and Stay Out and the ABCs of Investing Houstonians Dr. Earl E. Allen and Earl E. Allen Jr. will sign copies of their helpful, hopeful book. 23 p.m. Main Street Books, 4201 Main (by the downtown Sears), 522-3555.
Special Effects This IMAX study of cinema trickery takes you behind the scenes on movies from jolly old King Kong to the just-released Kazaam and the in-the-works Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition. You'll learn about techniques ranging from stop-motion animation to digital effects a la Industrial Light and Magic, plus tried-and-true methods like matte work and forced perspective. The new IMAX flick opens today, and continues through August, alternating with Africa: The Serengeti. IMAX showtimes: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m., noon, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 8 p.m.; late shows Friday and Saturday, 10 p.m. Houston Museum of Natural Science, Hermann Park, 639-IMAX. $5; $3.50, children under 12.