Press Picks

thursday
august 29
Educators' Open House To help harried teachers plan and prepare fun outings for the new school year, the museum district is holding an open house. Shuttle buses will ferry teachers between eight institutions, refreshments will be served and the various museums will give educators the inside skinny on a variety of programs -- among them, tours, teacher workshops, classes for children, lending resource centers and outreach programs. Sponsored by the Children's Museum, Contemporary Arts Museum, Friends of Hermann Park, Holocaust Museum, Menil Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Natural Science, Museum of Health and Medical Science and the Houston Zoo. Brochures and free fact sheets aplenty, plus door prizes. No advance registration required. 48 p.m. For more information, call 639-7300. Free.

Kathleen Madigan Not so long ago, this girl-next-door-looking girl was working as a journalist and waitress. Now she's performed standup comedy on a Bob Hope special, on David Letterman and at the Montreal Comedy Festival. Having left the nasty, low-paying life of newsrooms and restaurants behind, Madigan is touring with her polished, friendly comedy, and she is a woman with a mission. "I'd like," she says, "to make a million dollars, retire, move to Ireland and drink as much Guinness as humanly possible." Clearly, a woman to be admired. Nightly through Sunday. Tonight, 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 and 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 8 p.m. The Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray, 524-2333. $6.50$10.

Rough Night at the Remo Room Nicely timed to coincide with the release of A Very Brady Sequel, Radio Music Theatre opens its new show, also about a beloved, cornball family. The Fertle Family, a herd of singing Baptists from Dumpster, Texas, takes a break from butter pie and folksy peccadilloes to deal with big-city problems like crime, drugs and homelessness. Rough Night at the Remo Room premieres tonight at RMT's own cabaret. 8:30 p.m. Radio Music Theatre, 2623 Colquitt, 522-7722. Reservations required, really; RMT sells out all the time. $14.

friday
august 30
Houston's birthday bash The fine folks at the Houston Heritage Society, them what keeps up the antique houses in Sam Houston Park, are throwing a free party to honor our city on her 160th birthday. Cake will be served, a costumed battalion will fire salutes with muzzle-loaders and docents will show a slide show celebrating the life of Sam and Margaret Lea Houston. ("Their Life Together" is a slide show that does not focus on Eliza Allen Houston or Tiana Rogers Houston.) The tearoom will offer the usual menu, and a special birthday entree. Party, 11:30 a.m.after noon. Sam Houston Park, 1100 Bagby, 655-1912. Free.

Great Big Beautiful Doll Oh, goody! A new trashy unauthorized biography. Eric and D'Eva Redding, formerly Anna Nicole Smith's manager/photographer and makeup artist, have put together a juicy tell-all. The Reddings promise that their book covers such unsavory (read: fun) topics as Anna's work in Houston men's clubs and tells "how she preferred women for sex and men for 'favors.' " All that innuendo and 16 pages of "many never seen before" photographs. Those pics are said to include "her 'audition' pictures for Playboy" and "intimate portraits taken as a gift for her elderly lover." Eric signs books this evening. 8 p.m. Borders Book Shop, 9633-A Westheimer, 782-6066.

Vic Damone Ain't this a show -- the singer's singer croons standards such as "You're Breaking My Heart" and "On the Street Where You Live," and sings contemporary ballads such as "All I Ask of You" from Phantom of the Opera. Damone, the man Frank Sinatra lauds as "having the best vocal equipment in the business," will be backed by the Houston Symphony. In his long career, Damone has worked with everyone from Rosemary Clooney to Michael Feinstein, produced more than 1,000 recordings and sung for untold thousands of people -- and this week, he'll perform three nights in Houston. Houston Symphony Pops with Vic Damone, 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday; 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-ARTS. $17-$56.

saturday
august 31
Ranching Heritage Weekend Just when you think you've seen everything at the George Ranch, the living-history-project people round up artifacts and photographs that no one has seen before. Over Labor Day weekend, the ranch will also have cowboys demonstrating cowboy deeds, activities for kids and chuck wagon chow. Tonight, the arena entertainment is a full-bore ranch rodeo. (Prior to the rodeo or team roping, kids can practice with "Barney Bonehead," the roller roper mechanical horse.) Sunday and Monday offer singing, storytelling and team roping.10 a.m.6 p.m. today, Sunday and Monday. Rodeo, 7 p.m. The George Ranch is 30 minutes from the Galleria. Take Highway 59 south to Crabb River Road, go south and follow the signs. 545-9212. $6; $3, children. Rodeo admission, $3 or free with Saturday admission ticket.

Warren Finn Racquetball Tournament Pros and novices who might be your neighbors alike will compete in a plethora of divisions -- including mixed doubles and juniors. Play starts at 5:30 p.m. today, and concludes Monday. Jewish Community Center, Warren Finn Racquetball Center, 5601 S. Braeswood, 729-3200, ext. 3239. No charge for watching.

Labor Day Luau This lulu of a luau may be the luckiest beach party ever because the fine folks at Moody Gardens will be giving away lottery tickets. The low-level gambling accompanies a Palm Beach party with live music for dancing in the sand -- plus limbo, volleyball and fun for the kids. Wear a swimsuit; put water wings on your offspring. 711 p.m. Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Boulevard, Galveston, (800) 582-4673. Free.

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