Press Picks

april 12
Enron Earth Day Festival Come celebrate glorious Mother Earth by perusing booths set up by Keep Houston Beautiful, the Sierra Club and such. After you've collected all the brochures on conserving, preserving and beautifying the planet, dispose of them in the appropriate recycling bin and find a spot on the lawn to enjoy the real point of this Earth Day gathering: music. Houston's own Beat Temple kicks the party off at 10:30 a.m., followed by R&B chart-topper Erykah Badu, Wang Chung, the Barenaked Ladies (!) and Toad the Wet Sprocket. (Listen up, fans of the Barenaked Ladies: It may be tradition, but it's not in the spirit of conservation to throw boxes of macaroni dinners at the band.) Funny gal Sheila Rivera fills in the gaps on-stage, and kiddies get their due, too, with a moonwalk, a Velcro wall, a bungee swing and a chance to mark up a giant coloring book. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Buffalo Bayou Park, west of downtown between Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive, 266-1000. $6; free, children under 12.

Commerce Street Art Warehouse benefit gala First it was lights at Wrigley Field; now it's air conditioning at Commerce Street Art Warehouse. Yes, it's true, the nonprofit art space -- home of 20 artists and a regular venue for Infernal Bridegroom Productions, SonicWorks and more -- lusts after modern amenities such as A/C, heating and an improved electrical system. The catch, of course, is money. Drop a few bucks their way tonight, and they'll reward you with visual art and performances by IBP players, DaDa Net Circus, eMCee, the Houston Underground Players, the Mushroom Tribe, Sirrom Caravan and more. A silent auction (with offerings from the Art Guys, Jim and Missy Pirtle, Kelli Kelly, the resident artists and others) starts at 9 p.m., with the fun going strong till 2 a.m. Commerce Street Art Warehouse, 2315 Commerce Street, 224-0872. $10; $8, students.

Montgomery and Stritch -- Seems Like Old Times Tonight, the concert stage in the woods becomes a cabaret room, a la the Algonquin Hotel, an oddly intimate setting for the reunion of singer Sharon Montgomery and singer/pianist Billy Stritch. Montgomery is a local gal; Stritch has left her and his native Sugar Land for the bright lights of New York City. For this night of sophisticated entertainment, seating is on the stage, and waiters make passes between tables hawking not beer in paper cups but wine and dishes catered by Carrabba's. 7 and 9 p.m. today; 6 and 8 p.m. Sunday. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, (281) 363-3300. $35.

Takin' It to the Streets "Takin' It off the Streets ... and to the Stage" might well have been the name of this high-energy dance program for youngsters and their families. The members of the dance troupe Koro will do a bit en pointe and to classical music, but they do it in high-top sneakers. The bulk of this program covers break dancing, hip-hop and the street styles of Brazil, New York and Chicago. 11 a.m. Miller Outdoor Theatre, Hermann Park, 100 Concert Drive, 520-9267. Free.

Alaska: Spirit of the Wild This new IMAX feature takes us to a part of the world barely tainted by man, mainly because it's a part of the world not conducive to man's creature comforts. Except, that is, as seen from the comfort of an IMAX theater. Take a seat and watch as Alaskan salmon travel 10,000 miles across the Pacific to certain death; see Alaskan brown bears struggle to pack on an extra 300 pounds to make it through hibernation; and squirm as polar bears scarf seals. It's reality, but it's not all harsh; this film also captures the aurora borealis lighting the frigid, dark skies. 10 a.m., then every hour on the hour. Houston Museum of Natural Science, Hermann Park, 1 Hermann Circle Drive, 639-IMAX. $5.50.

april 13
Funday in the Park Funday Sundays are back. Max the Squirrel and his cohorts kick off a long season of city-sponsored family fun in neighborhood parks with the usual games and rides (think school carnival with corporate sponsorship). Plus there's music, today compliments of Alma Tejana and Destino. This is just the first of 27 weeks of Funday activities; check with Max at 7-FUNDAY to see when he'll be at a park near you. 1-6 p.m. Guadalupe Plaza park, 2311 Runnels, 7-FUNDAY. Free.

PoloFest Polo season opens in Houston today with a My Fair Lady-themed festival. The couple best dressed in the style of that movie's "black and white" Ascot scene will walk away with a prize. Horace the horse groom, who's said to have a way with crafting horse balloon animals, will wander the grounds with other period characters. Spectators are allowed to play a special game of croquet -- one that uses polo mallets and balls. Plus, they can snack on crumpets and Pimm's Cup (the famed English polo drink, dontcha know). And then there's the traditional divot stomp at the game's halftime. Oh, and there is actually a game: the USPA's Governor's Cup, which goes on for six chukkers (that's playing periods to the uninitiated). 3 p.m. Houston Polo Club, 8552 Memorial Drive, 622-7300. $15; free, children 12 and under.

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