Press Picks

The oldest ethnic festival around The Sts. Cyril & Methodius Slavic Heritage Festival, the elder statesman of ethnic festivals in Houston, honors a whopping two saints and five nationalities (Croatian, Czech, Polish, Slovenian and Ukrainian). The day starts traditionally, with Mass at 10 a.m., followed by opening ceremonies with the presentation of flags, the singing of each national anthem and the announcement of five princesses. Past that, the festival takes on the familiar pattern of food (pierogis, sausages, pastries and such), music, dancing and cultural displays. 11 a.m. University of St. Thomas, Jerabeck Center, Yoakum at West Alabama, 529-1616. $3; free, children under 12.

april 14
An Evening of 12-Step Humor If you're a fan of dry humor -- we're not talking Bob Newhart -- then call the baby sitter and gas up the car. Mark Lundholm presents a night of comedy for the chemically challenged, a program aimed at those who've been to hell and back with drugs and alcohol and are ready to laugh at the in-jokes. Lundholm was the first non-alumnus invited to entertain at the Betty Ford Center Annual Alumni Reunion -- an honor that shows how funny he is, since the establishment boasts an amazing roster of talented graduates. 8 p.m. Spellbinders, 10001 Westheimer (in the Carillon Center), 266-2525. $10.

april 15
Mini-medical school Tonight kicks off five mini-lessons on health and medicine. You won't earn a medical degree or the six-figure salaries such a degree commands, but you will leave with a better understanding of why you ought to eat right and exercise, and what's involved in genetic testing. Future topics cover migraines, plastic surgery and aging. 6:30-9 p.m. Museum of Health and Medical Science, 1515 Hermann Drive, 521-1515. $15; $25 per couple; $10, seniors & students.

Meet Michael Ondaatje What a coup for the Houston Reading Series: Tonight's reading is by Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient. He wrote the Booker Prize-winning story in 1992, and it became the best movie of 1996, according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He's written more, including his memoirs, a couple of novels and two collections of poetry. 7:30 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, Brown Auditorium, 1001 Bissonnet, 743-3014. $5; free, seniors and students.

april 16
Six Degrees of Separation Not the Kevin Bacon version -- that's an Internet game for bored college students. Here, a young black man claiming to be Sidney Poitier's son ingratiates himself into the lives of a wealthy New York couple. He's not who he says he is, and as the plot unfolds, all comes to light -- as do the threads of chance that link one person to another. 7:30 p.m. Through May 18 (see Thrills, Theater for additional showtimes). Main Street Theater, 2540 Times Boulevard, 524-6706. $5, preview tickets.

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