Press Picks

thursday
august 15
Get rich Are you rich? That's the question posed by the members of the Borders Book Shop prosperity workshop, and "Why the heck not?" is implied in their tone. Wealth, according to workshop members, can be a state of mind, a belief system or (my personal favorite) huge bank accounts in the Cayman Islands. Join the group and concentrate on abundance. 8 p.m. Borders Book Shop, 9633-A Westheimer, 782-6066. Free.

friday
august 16
Texas Stampede '96 Fixer-uppers and arty types of any age and sex are invited to the Stencil Artisans League's convention and exposition, where everybody will get all wiggly about ways of making ordinary things look special. Stencils are only the beginning -- stencil artisans and their ilk go after old furniture and plain walls with faux finishes that include tortoiseshell, combed malachite techniques, moss terra cotta and a multitude of ways to make cheap veneers look like aged metals. More than 100 booths will be busy promoting equipment and crafty playthings, and there will be classes and demonstrations for three full days. The whole shebang opens to the public at 10 a.m. today. 10 a.m.6 p.m. today and tomorrow; 10 a.m.3 p.m. Sunday. Adam's Mark Hotel, 2500 Briarpark, 976-7400. $5 per day.

Get in touch with your inner Elvis Del Lago Golf Resort and Conference Center -- and, clearly, a mecca for Elvis fans -- has a weekend getaway special, the Heartbreak Hotel Weekend. You get Elviscentric food such as fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches in a '50s-style diner, the joy and heartbreak of an Elvis look-alike contest, the slightly exploitative joy and heartbreak of a "Little Elvis" contest, dancing to Johnny D and the Rocket 88s, "King Karaoke," two skydiving shows from the E Team, Elvises of the Sky, and a "Reflections of Elvis" revue from Graceland-sanctioned impersonator Joseph Anthony. Eating begins at 5 and entertainment at 6 p.m. We think Elvis would appreciate the priorities shown by that. 600 Del Lago Boulevard, Montgomery, (800) DEL-LAGO. Rooms start at $250 for the two-night minimum; Heartbreak Hotel entertainment packages start at $62.50 per night; lawn tickets for the Sunday skydive show and concert, $10.

Mom's the Word Life-based monologue revues are all the rage, so why not one from ordinary mothers? Written by a group of Canadian moms, the Mom's Collective, this evening of theater features personal, sometimes funny and sometimes tragic monologues about birth, sex and loss. Houston performances of the show will benefit Children of the World, a Houston-based charity with the Shelby Hodge seal of approval. Opening tonight with a pre-show reception and buffet. Curtain, 8 p.m. (Other showtimes in Thrills, Theater.) Stages, 3201 Allen Parkway, 489-3191. Opening night, $50; other performances, $12 and $15.

U.S. Ballroom Dancing National Championships Ballroom dancing made a man of Paul McCartney; imagine what it can do for you. This weekend, hundreds who just plain adore that one, two, three, four will enjoy social and strictly ballroom dancing. Dancers range from kids, actual ten-and-up children, to spry oldsters with more energy and stamina than many Olympic athletes. The elite from this competition will go on to represent our great nation in the World Championship. Noncompeting dance fans can enjoy workshops and exhibitions. First dancers hit the floor tonight at 8 p.m. and continue till the Cinderella hour. Dancing 9 a.m.-midnight Saturday and Sunday. University of Houston, Student Center, ballroom (entrance no. 1 off Calhoun). For more information, call 856-8833. $15, Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday during the day; $20, after 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Discounts for youths.

Justin World Bull Riding Championship The world's top cowboys and cowgirls will compete for more than $100,000 in prize money. After the fast action in the ring (fast action accompanied by blaring rock music), 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. tonight and Saturday; 4 p.m. Sunday. The Summit, Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. $12.50$20.50. Series ticket packages and Super Chute Seats also available.

John Nevitt A young man with a big band, John Nevitt and his 18-piece band swing through classics such as "Let's Fall in Love," "Let's Face the Music and Dance" and "Something's Gotta Give." Big band fans may have heard Nevitt sing on KQUE, where his CD, The Nearness of You, is on the play list. The 18-piece band accompanying Nevitt's vocal stylings includes Ed Gerlach on sax. 8 p.m. Wortham Center, Cullen Theater, Texas at Smith. For tickets, call Don's Record Shop, 667-9196. $25 and $27.50.

Shaver We always mention Billy Joe and his son Eddy when we have the slightest excuse. We've pointed out Billy Joe's long, weird career as a country music legend, we've talked about what a sweet thing young Eddy is, and now we're pointing out that the father-son duo has a new release, Highway of Life, on Justice records. (It's entirely possible that the Highway of Life title is in homage to Roy Blount's poem, "I'm Just a Bug on the Windshield of Life." Country music and Southern writing are all mixed up with such cross-references.) Shaver performs at 10:30 p.m. Kimmie Rhodes opens. The Fabulous Satellite Lounge, 3616 Washington, 869-COOL. $8.

saturday
august 17
The Enchanted Forest Texas Mime Theater, Anjali Center for Indian Performing Arts and good old Y.A. Bagersh of Express Theatre present a children's show based on the Panchathanthra tales. More than 40 performers will act out these instructive, humorous stories. Children in the audience may identify with the three stupid, sullen princes who are meant to learn from these tales, or with the clever storytellers. First show, 11 a.m. today. (Other shows listed in Kids, On-Stage.) Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Drive, Hermann Park, 520-3290. Free.

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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