Press Picks

Hoop-It-Up Loose your inner Barkley: The NBA's official three-on-three basketball tour has come to town. Hoop-It-Up is grand-scale street-style hoops -- 22,000 spectators hollering for 4,500 players on 100 courts, with talent ranging from Top Gun to Couch Potato. Ancillary events include Gatorade consumption, slam-dunk competitions, basketball demonstrations and a long shot contest that could net one lucky fan $25,000. Proceeds benefit the local ESCAPE Family Resource Center. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Rice University, stadium parking lots, 521-4535. Free to watch; $96-$108 per team to play.

Big Peel Little Wheel The Budweiser plant is featuring micro varieties ... of cars, that is. Thirty-five miniature, remote-controlled speedsters will roam the brewery grounds during Anheuser-Busch's sixth annual classic car show. Nearly 200 full-size vintage, muscle and late-model autos will compete for honors, and the Bud top-fuel dragster will be on display. Today, the brewery even caters to kids: There's also face painting, games and a dunking booth. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Anheuser-Busch Houston brewery, 775 Gellhorn Drive (at I-10 East), 675-2311, extension 5220. Free.

Discovery Pyramid grand opening A new pyramid has sprouted alongside Moody Gardens's Rainforest Pyramid: the Discovery Pyramid, a salute to space and the scientists who explore it. Forty-one adventures await within the pink glass walls: For starters, there's an X-38 Space Station lifeboat, a futuristic space habitat and an alien encounter exhibit. For today's grand opening, the latest class of astronauts and a team of professional skydivers will drop in (the latter group literally). 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Boulevard, (800) 582-4673. Grand opening festivities, free; attractions, $6 each.

Starlight Opera The outcry following KQUE-FM's demise has been heard loud and clear over at K-Arts. The classical station decided that yeah, Broadway scores from the likes of Cole Porter and George Gershwin did indeed fit under its programming umbrella. The new show, dubbed "Starlight Opera," returns such classics to the air tonight. All through June, Tom Richards will highlight Lerner and Loewe's Gigi, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Sound of Music and a salute to Leonard Bernstein on Broadway. 8-9 p.m. Saturday nights on KRTS/92.1 FM. Free.

Montgomery Old West Festival Trail Ride and Texas Longhorn Cattle Drive See real cowboys at work, driving a herd of 50 or so longhorns the seven miles from Dobbin to downtown Montgomery; see a hundred trailriders dressed like cowboys following behind; see city officials riding in cars -- it is a parade, after all. The procession concludes at the intersection of Highway 105 and FM 149 in the heart of Montgomery, where townsfolk will host a full day of wholesome Old West fun, including a performance by the U.S. Cavalry Horse Detachment. Saturday's entertainment is capped by Texas songwriter Johnny Bush, who's hitting the comeback trail with a vengeance. Sunday, the festival continues with cowboy poets, musicians and balladeers and live country music by Doug Supernaw. Parade, 8 a.m.; Johnny Bush concert, 9:30-11:30 p.m. For info, call (409) 597-4632. $5; $2, seniors and children ages six to 12; free, children under six.

june 8
Houston Gay and Lesbian Film Festival "Family Viewing" is the theme of DiverseWorks's afternoon matinees. The movies start at 1 p.m. with Claim-ing America's Promise, about the Houston chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians & Gays' journey to Washington. At 2 and 5 p.m., you can see It's Elementary, a documentary that asks how gay issues should be discussed in schools. At 3:30 p.m., there's Family Values: An American Tragedy, in which lesbian videomaker Pam Walton examines religious extremism and her own family history. At 4:15 and 6:30 p.m., All God's Children examines the black church's embrace of lesbians and gays. (Special celebrity bonus: The documentary was made in part by Dr. Dee Mosbacher, the lesbian sister of mayoral candidate Rob Mosbacher.) 1-8 p.m. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, 228-0914. Claiming America's Promise is free. The rest of the festival is $7; $5, students.

Best of Texas Music Festival The best? That's arguable. But at least the radio stations that organized this shindig understand the state's diversity. The stars include folk-rocker Delbert McClinton; blues-rock guitarist Chris Duarte; and King's X, a hard-rocking act with spiritual consciousness. Podunk, the Zealots and Atticus Finch open. Proceeds benefit the Leukemia Society. 210 p.m. Spring Creek Ranch (actually, it's a lovely field adjacent to Splashtown), 21300 1-45 North, 629-3700. $15 in advance; $20 at the door.

june 9
Stephen J. Cannell Cannell's name might not ring a bell, but he helped create some of the best shows made since TVs went color: The Rockford Files, Baretta, The Greatest American Hero and Wiseguy. Now he's a mystery writer, and his latest, King Con, concerns a confidence game. Word is that Cannell's already sold the rights to this book, and he's developing it as a star vehicle for John Travolta. Cannell signs copies of his book at noon. Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet, 524-8597. The book is $24.

june 10
Texas Juvenile Stakes Quarter-Finals The Gulf Greyhound rookies are racing tonight in this buildup to the Juvenile Stakes Final on June 21. But while these pups have only a few races behind them, they know how to chase that rabbit. Take Satin Prince, for example: This svelte upstart has logged eight wins in just 11 starts and has worked up to AA status. The Juvenile Stakes will be mingled in with a slate of regular races; post time is 6:30 p.m. Gulf Greyhound Park, I-45 at exit 15, La Marque, (800) ASK-2WIN. $1-$4, plus all you can bet.

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