Friday, May 23
Long before Mo'nique penned Skinny Women Are Evil, comedian Thea Vidale said, "They say that inside every fat woman is a skinny woman waiting to get out. Well, all I can say is, I ate that bitch." Vidale is best known for her role in the ABC sitcom Thea, in which she played a single mom in Houston who worked at the grocery store by day and ran a one-seat salon on her porch in the evenings. The former Pasadena waitress, who performs at the Laff Stop this weekend, is known for both her big heart and her love of dirty jokes. She even appeared in the '80s stand-up film Comedy's Dirtiest Dozen. Let's hope that along with the nastiness, she sets aside a little time to berate the skinny. 8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 22; 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 23 and 24. 1952 West Gray. For more information, call 713-524-2333 or visit www.laffstop.com. $12.50 to $16.50.
Saturday, May 24
Good old Power 104 KRBE. Even though you'd never tune in when a pal's riding shotgun, you've gotta stop there once in a while to get your dose of crap. Yeah, you might overdose on "Houston's No. 1 Hit Music Station" at the 104 KRBE/Green Mountain Energy Earth Day Festival, but don't lie: You know you want to see Bowling for Soup moon the crowd and sing "The Bitch Song." Also on the roster are Jewel, Lisa Marie Presley, Michelle Branch, Kelly Clarkson, Simple Plan and Lucy Woodward. If you happen to wander away from the stage clutching your gut, there's other entertainment, including environmental demonstrations and carnival games. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eleanor Tinsley Park, Allen Parkway at Taft. For more information, call 713-266-1000 or visit www.104krbe.com. $13; $10 with your 104 card (don't ever leave home without it).
Sunday, May 25
It's Memorial Day weekend, and most folks won't have to go to work tomorrow, so why not spend the day drinking? The Ginger Man will be marking the holiday by hosting a barbecue with entertainment by the Scattered Pages. And Under the Volcano (popularly known as Volcano) will hold its annual gumbo cook-off, with music by Tommy Dardar and a moonwalk and games for kids. Festivities start at noon at the Ginger Man, 5607 Morningside. For more information, call 713-526-2770 or visit www.ginger manpub.com. The cook-off runs from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. up the street at Under the Volcano, 2349 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-526-5282.
Monday, May 26
No school today. If you're the proud owner of a child or two, you've gotta provide some entertainment. We suggest a free day at the Houston Zoo. The family can check out the new spectacled-bear habitat; the species has finally gotten to move out of its concrete jungle into new digs that boast a 17-foot waterfall, a stream, pools, natural grass and a place to climb. Also, three giant eland, named Houston, Austin and Travis, have recently bought some real estate at the zoo. The huge rare antelopes spend their days grazing near zebras, camels and kudu. And don't miss everyone's favorite: the babies. Among the new arrivals are a Brazilian tapir, a bongo, a North American porcupine, a Nigerian dwarf goat and two crested screamer chicks. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 1513 North MacGregor. For more information, call 713-533-6500 or visit www.wild.houstonzoo.org. Free.
Tuesday, May 27
Unlike many artists, Fred Wilson does not kiss gallery ass. For his exhibitions, Wilson studies the galleries by interviewing staffers from curators to security guards, going through storage spaces and examining catalogs. Then he sets up exhibits that mock the galleries themselves and comment upon the sites' underbellies of conscious or unconscious race and class prejudice. To their credit, though, the galleries come to him. "Fred Wilson: Objects and Installations, 1979-2000" has been touring the United States since November 2001. The exhibition includes photography, sculpture, video and re-created site-specific installations. One piece, Atlas, mocks racist figurines. It features a waiter holding a tray, but in the tray is a towering globe covered in pushpins denoting areas of the world with large black populations. Today, see what Wilson's got to say about the Blaffer Gallery. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Fine Arts Building, University of Houston (entrance no. 16 off Cullen Boulevard). For more information, call 713-743-9530 or visit www.blaffergallery.org. Free.