Think traditional folk-dancing groups are full of old couples doing obscure Balkan dances to equally obscure Balkan music? Well, you're wrong. The ages of the Monday Night Folkdancers range from twentysomething to sixtysomething, and according to instructor Joan Furstenberg, "the people in their sixties act more like they're in their forties." And you don't need a partner. If the group is short on men, as is sometimes the case, the female teachers are good leads. Furthermore, while the steps may be old-world, the music is often new. "There's nothing like doing Turkish cecenos to a Michael Jackson song," Furstenberg says. The Monday Night Folkdancers meet every Monday night from 7:30p.m. to 10 p.m. at the River Oaks Parks and Recreating Building, 3600Locke Lane. Call (713)723-6332 for more information. $3.
Billy D. Washington is a VH-1 host, Charlie Shannon is a sitcom writer, and Jeff Burghart is a headliner at comedy clubs in Los Angeles. No, they're not big stars, but they are successfully staying alive in the sink-or-swim world of comedy, unlike, say, the meteoric Pauly Shore. What else do they all have in common? They got their starts at the Laff Stop's "Houston's Funniest Person Contest." This year 48 young amateurs have polished their acts in the hopes of breaking into the business in style with a cool title and $1,000 in prize money. One day you may be able to say, "I saw them first." Eight budding comedians perform in the semifinal round tonight; and another eight will perform Tuesday, July 20. The finals are Tuesday, August 3. All contest rounds begin at 8:30 p.m., and admission is $5. The Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray, (713)524-2333. 14Wednesday"Grease is the word, is the word that they heard" but you won't hear this in Theatre Under the Stars' production of the musical. In fact Grease the play is missing many of the classic '70s songs we've memorized from Grease the movie. There's no theme song; there's no "You're the One That I Want;" there's no "Hopelessly Devoted to You." But the worst affront to the movie generation's sacred belief in Grease as "the way we are feeling" is the fact that Danny's bad-boy T-Birds are called the "Burger Palace Boys." At least the Pink Ladies maintain their dignity. Despite its shortcomings, the play is the only Grease fix you're going to get for free you'd have to rent the movie. TUTS's production of Grease opens tonight at 8:30p.m. and runs every night except Sunday through July 24. Miller Outdoor Theatre, Hermann Park. Call (713)558-2600 for more information. Free.