Participating galleries include those along Colquitt and in the Museum District, the Heights and other areas. Expect exhibitions ranging from group shows by emerging local artists (Harris Gallery) to works by such masters as Pablo Picasso and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Gerhard Wurzer Gallery). Think of it as your chance to take in a month's worth of art viewing in a day (and, considering all the wine receptions, to get totally sloshed). 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 9. For a schedule and a list of participating galleries, visit www.arthouston.com. Free. -- Troy Schulze
Get dolled up at the Hope Center's Three Treat Event
If you suffer from an "inexplicable fascination with Barbie," as the folks at dance/theater center Hope Stone Inc. claim to, then (after therapy) you should head over to their Three Treat Event, where you can enter your custom-dressed plastic lady in a Barbie-decorating contest while enjoying two other treats: brownies and music. This weekend's fund-raiser stars Austin-based Abi Tapia, who calls herself a "wanderlusty songwriter." Children and adults -- Barbie-loving and non -- are welcome at the event, which will benefit Hope Stone's in-house and artistic outreach programs. It's too bad that none of the three "treats" is dance, Hope Stone's main pastime, but the best doll designer will win ten free dance classes. Bob Mackie wannabes should enter their Barbies by 5 p.m. on July 8, and then attend the festivities at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 9. Hope Center, 1210 West Clay, No. 3. For information, call 713-526-1907 or visit www.hopestoneinc.org. $10. -- Julia Ramey
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
"Man, you're burning up...," I say to a tall, stunning model who's carrying a tray of hors d'oeuvres. Her tanned, lithe body appears to be bound in a shimmering, iridescent white body wrap from her cleavage to her taut thighs. As her face contorts into a "Whatever!" sneer, I quickly add, "...in those -- you must be dying."
When she realizes that I'm talking about her furry white boots, she lightens up. "Oh, I'm totally burning up," she says with a grin.
I've shown up at the grand opening of the new Galleria-area hot spot, Tribeca Lounge. The theme for tonight's soiree is a Havana White party, and somehow I'm on the VIP list, with a little white wristband to prove it. So I decide to make the most of my temporary elite status. Sporting the most metro white shirt I could find, I skulk between the VIP section and the bar. (The line for drinks is so long that some people actually leave, get a drink across the street at another bar and come back.) Soon I'm chatting with scenesters and big shots like the friendly Walter, who just happens to own a Mercedes dealership. (I neglect to tell him I drive an old Volkswagen.)
Clad in white designer wear, people pose on the dance floor, lounge on couches with big fluffy white pillows and snag treats from a chocolate fountain. Outside, hipsters are sipping tri-tinis (made of mandarin liquor, Chambord and triple sec -- yum!), puffing on cigars and salsa dancing to Latin groovers Urbana.
By 10:30 p.m., the opening party is dying down and the "regular" crowd is starting to show up. My time as a VIP is waning, but as soon as I find a new wristband, I'll be back. -- Steven Devadanam
Here's the thing with those embedded reporters (Geraldo, anyone?) who document war: Those guys get to come home. But what happens when war is home? That experience is examined in Indirect Record, a group of films made by artists who either live or have lived under harsh conditions of violence and war in such countries as Colombia, Israel, Lebanon, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Using elements including diaries, music, photos and archival material, the films pay homage to lost loved ones and weave the kind of intimate war stories you'd never see on Fox News. 8 p.m. Saturday, July 9, and 3 p.m. Sunday, July 10. 800 Aurora. For tickets and information, call 713-868-2101 or visit www.aurorapictureshow.org. $5. -- Steven Devadanam
Give 'Em the Bird
There's something about a good old-fashioned trailer-park murder mystery. Jimmie Ruth Evans's Flamingo Fatale is the shocking tale of waitress Wanda Nell Culpepper, who is forced to prove herself innocent when her ex-husband turns up impaled on the titular tacky lawn decoration. Murder By the Book manager Dean James wrote the thing (using his transgendered pseudonym, natch) and he's hosting a celebration at the store, including door prizes for anyone sporting white-trash couture. Yeehaw! 6 p.m. Friday, July 8. 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit www.murderbooks.com. Free. -- Scott Faingold