Press Picks

Cleo's Comedy Theatre Mind Games is the current sketch-comedy and improv show, and the wacky magic tricks have been wowing folks for a few weeks now -- but that's not enough for Cleo's troupe, the same Cleo's troupe that entertained at Caroline Farb's Marvin's Million Dollar Dream party. Tonight, Cleo's celebrates Oktoberfest with German brews, from grape and grain, and German food. And stay late for a 10:30 p.m. performance of Dick William's one-man show, The Plight of the Working Man ($5). 8 p.m. 3722 Washington, 861-2135. Regular show, $12; open mike, $3. Hey, before the show starts there's a happy hour with $2 drinks.

MBA Forum Why worry about the economy when you can get an MBA and control the economy -- that was the plan a few years back, and even now, although recent grads aren't placing as well as they had hoped to, having a master's in business administration is seen as being worth far more in today's volatile job market than actually knowing anything about any particular business. This forum includes a three-hour minority event, "Destination MBA," featuring panel discussions with African-American and Hispanic MBA students and graduates. Find out about nearly 100 schools around the world, and find out what kind of grades, test scores and credentials you'll need to get into those schools. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Doubletree Hotel Post Oak, 2001 Post Oak Boulevard. For more information, call (800) 537-7982 or visit $5.

Children's Festival Tots and preteens alike will enjoy all the kid-oriented entertainment and activities, and you might share their enjoyment when the Harms Marionettes take the stage. Puppeteer Don Harms works with African-American character marionettes, and in addition to doing shows, does behind-the-scenes puppeteering demonstrations. Harms Marionettes perform four times during the day. Children's Festival, 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, 363-3300. $4.

11th Annual Muster & Festival Wanna ogle beefcake? Then come on down! Wanna peer at historic photographs chronicling the proud tradition of firefighting? Well, come on out for that, too. The Houston Fire Museum's muster is a great chance for families to learn about fire prevention and fire safety from trained professionals, a great chance to learn about the history of firefighting and a hot, hot, hot chance to meet the hunky firemen of the famous calendar. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Houston Fire Museum, 2403 Milam, 524-2526. Free.

Bayou City Arts Festival At least once a week, someone calls and asks me, "When is the Westheimer Arts Festival?" Fifty-one weeks out of the year, the answer is, I don't know, I don't know for sure where they'll hold it and I don't know what they'll call it this year. But now the information is available. This year, what was formerly the Fall Westheimer Arts Festival recasts itself as the Bayou City Art Festival, moves downtown and happens this weekend. More than 300 artists and craftpersons will participate. 10 a.m.6 p.m. today and Sunday. Hermann Square at City Hall and Tranquillity Park. $5; free, children under 12. Valet parking available at the Bagby/Walker and Lamar entrances.

october 13
An Irving Berlin Songbook The Houston Symphony presents a tribute to Irving Berlin, celebrating music from Tin Pan Alley and the Great White Way. Guest conductor David Bishop, a popular music scholar, and a group of crackerjack singers will perform "Alexander's Rag Time Band," "Puttin' on the Ritz" and other hits from Berlin's 1,500-song catalog. On Friday and Saturday, there will be concerts at 8 p.m.; tonight, 7:30 p.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-ARTS. $17-$56.

october 14
Par Fore Pets The Houston Humane Society hosts a Columbus Day golf tournament to benefit the homeless animals languishing at the society's shelter. The format is foursomes, Florida Scramble, and prior to the shotgun start there'll be fooling around -- putting contests, handthrows and a mulligan sale. That early morning hanky-panky runs from 810 a.m., with the start at 10 a.m. Charitable golfers will whack the ball for a while, then enjoy a jovial awards presentation at 3 p.m. The $85 entry fee, tax deductible to the full extent of the law, includes greens fees, golf cart, range balls, tee gifts, a doggy-bag lunch and, the organizers promise, celebrities! (Sam Malone of 104 KRBE, maybe.) Reservations are required, and "to ensure the safety and well-being of your pets, please do not bring them with you to the tournament." Oh, and you don't have to play to contribute; you can send a check at any time. The Club at Tennwood, Hockley. For more information, call 433-6421.

october 15
West Side Story More of a flashback fantasy than your average touring road show, this version of a Broadway classic carefully recreates the original Jerome Robbins choreography. All the details are in place -- Robbins' direction and choreography have been followed to the letter. Classic shows such as this bring out the shower (and car-with-closed-windows) singers in us all. "Tonight, tonight ..." people will be singing the memorable lyrics as they drive aimlessly through underground Theater District parking. Opening tonight and playing through October 20. Tuesday--Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 7 p.m.; matinees, Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. (The Saturday, October 19 matinee will be signed for the hearing impaired.) Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 629-3700. $40.50-$46.50.

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