Press Picks

Vecherinka Players and Uzori Enjoy the finest in Russian food, music and dance as Houstonians of Russian descent and recent emigres present an evening of balalaika music, folk dancing and exotic refreshments. 8 p.m. Jewish Community Center, 5601 South Braeswood, 729-3200, extension 3231. $9, advance; $10 at the door.

Punchface and odd movies The disturbing three-part puppet serial concludes, and the final text reaches new levels of bleakness. Punchface is dead, we're told, and yet somehow he and his new Siamese twin, Tumor, "realize that even Hell has been a lie all along." Things are worse for Papa, and De Generiste may or may not return. This fun-spirited stick-puppet ugliness follows an evening of rare and unique cinema. Prior to the live-action, the Orange Show will show its "Truth is Stranger Than Fiction" collection of documentary films. Mondo Elvis reveals the bizarre rituals of serious fans, Hush Hoggies Hush is a 1979 gem about pigs trained to say grace before bellying up to the trough and Gates of Heaven is a 90-minute color film about pet cemeteries and the people who keep them in business. The film program begins at 8:30 p.m. and is $7. Punchface starts at 11:30; anyone who shows up after 10:45 p.m. gets in free. The Orange Show, 2402 Munger, 926-6368.

sunday
august 18
Get Spot's Shots While you're making sure all the kids have their back-to-school vaccinations, don't forget to have your animals inoculated. The Houston Humane Society has a heck of a deal on rabies shots. Every Sunday in August, 15 p.m., a licensed vet will be at the shelter giving cats and dogs vaccinations and tags for the low, low price of $3. Having your pets vaccinated is not just a good idea, it's the law. Houston Humane Society, 14700 Almeda, 433-6421.

If you left here, you'd be somewhere else by now Houston and Galveston both have the luck to be on the Southwest barnstorming film tour. Seven underground films will hit 13 cities in 13 days in one '65 Chevy van. Not just outsider art, the films offered include Advice to Adventurous Girls, a quickie about the first woman daredevil to brave "The Wall of Death," and Hokey Stoke, a social history of East Texas drag races. These micro-budget films, presented by Waxahachie-dwelling director Bill Daniel and San Francisco filmmaker Greta Snider, are shown with great enthusiasm and a few surprises. See the show in Houston tonight,7 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet. See the show in Galveston Monday, 9:30 p.m., Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe, (409) 762-9199. Both shows are $5.

Malavika Sarukkai The Classical Arts Society of Houston presents a dance concert with Malavika Sarukkai. The Indian dancer excels in the art of Bharatha Natyam, possibly the oldest dance tradition in India, and she recently performed for Hillary Rodham Clinton during the first lady's visit to Delhi. Mrs. Clinton and most of us may not understand the subtle meanings of Sarukkai's hastas (hand gestures) and abhinaya (facial expressions), but no one can fail to be delighted and moved by Sarukkai's skills. She'll perform with a live orchestra. 4 p.m. Rice University, Hamman Hall. For tickets, call 242-4914. $10, $20 and $50.

monday
august 19
Terry Southern: Not Dead Yet Over the course of three evenings, Southern's contributions to film and literature will be celebrated. One of our own, Terry Southern was born in 1924 in Alvarez, Texas (near Corpus), died in Manhattan in 1995 and, in between, did a whole lot of good work. Southern is best known as a screenwriter -- he co-screenwrote with such luminaries as Ring Lardner Jr., Christopher Isherwood and Stanley Kubrick, and also did a film with Peter Fonda. While not besmirching his movie work, this event will highlight Southern's print credits. Southern was one of the first "new journalists," redefining reporting with pieces such as "Twirling at Ole Miss," and he wrote a stack of books. The list of works to be read from includes Candy, Blue Movie, Flash and Filigree, The Magic Christian, Texas Summer and a collection of short stories, Red Dirt Marijuana and Other Tastes. Each night, there'll be a brief reading, a movie, a brief reading and another movie. Barbarella, The Cincinnati Kid, Dr. Strangelove, Easy Rider, The Loved One, The Magic Christian and Candy, if a print can be found, will be shown. If you want to know what film what night, you'll have to call Brasil and ask because the film schedule wasn't set when this was written. 8 p.m. tonight, Tuesday and Wednesday. Brasil, Dunlavy at Westheimer, 528-1993. Free.

tuesday
august 20
Maestro collection luncheon and fashion show The Houston Symphony and Saks Fifth Avenue present their 15th annual benefit event for the Symphony. Saks shows off its fall and winter couture evening wear, attendees get lunch and chances at door prizes and the Symphony gets more funding. Prizes include roundtrip airfare to Paris for two. Reception, 11; fashion show, 11:45 a.m. Doubletree Post Oak, 2001 Post Oak. For tickets, call 526-1622. $75$100; $750$5000, tables.

wednesday
august 21
Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute The Jay Hooks Band and local musicians provide the entertainment at this CD release party. The guest of honor, so to speak, is dead, but his lively evening celebrates a new CD put together by musicians whom Stevie Ray idolized, and who, in turn, admired him. Guests get a chance at T-shirts and other prizes, including a replica of a Stevie Ray guitar. Also, see the winners of recent singing and guitar competitions. 8:30 p.m. Billy Blues Bar and Grill, 6025 Richmond, 266-9294. $5.

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