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Hit Hermann

In time for summer, the park's had a facelift.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is The Greatest Show on Earth®. Enjoy chills, thrills and excitement while laughing in a family-oriented setting. Circus-goers will enjoy an up-close-and-personal experience as they sit feet away from beautiful white tigers, majestic Asian elephants and thrilling acrobats from around the world.

July 16-19 and 23-26 — AGA-BOOM / Theater of Physical Comedy

Moody Gardens Convention Center, 7 Hope Blvd., Galveston, 409-683-4186, www.moodytickets.com

A show for all ages, AGA-BOOM combines the unbridled silliness of slapstick with the theatrical expressionism and poetry of the very best in European experimental theater circus comedy. Get ready to be taken back to the excitement and amazement of childhood. Matinee shows at 1 p.m., evening shows at 7 p.m.

July 16-19 — Reliant Park World Series of Dog Shows

Reliant Park, One Reliant Park, 1-800-884-2443, www.reliantdogshows.com

Visit one of the finest indoor dog shows in America, to be held in Houston's Reliant Center. Along with breed judging and obedience, you'll discover agility dogs racing over obstacle courses, flyball teams hurdling to beat the clock and four-footed athletes catching Frisbees and dancing to music. Then take in the Mari Jon Filla Student Art Exhibit and buy dog goodies galore. Attend practical clinics on dog health, grooming and training or attend a Meet the Breed seminar.

July 18 — Houston Symphony / Gamer MusiCON 09

Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 713-224-7575, www.houstonsymphony.org

The Houston Symphony has expanded the visionary Video Games Live concert to an all-day celebration of the cutting-edge video-game-music industry. The world premiere of Gamer MusiCON 09 includes two high-energy concerts featuring symphony performances of the industry's greatest video-game hits with exclusive game footage and synchronized lighting. Throughout the day, a Game Crazy festival will offer playable game demos throughout all three levels of Jones Hall, plus a Guitar Hero contest for the chance to appear onstage during Video Games Live. The festival also includes an interactive panel and Q&A session with Blizzard Entertainment game composers, and an onstage costume contest for attendees dressed as their favorite video game characters. The doors open for lobby festivities at 2 p.m.; Blizzard Live will play starting at 3 p.m.; and Video Games Live plays at 7:30 p.m.

July 24 — The Blue Planet Live

Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 713-224-7575, www.houstonsymphony.org

When BBC/Discovery filmmakers dove into ocean depths still foreign even to scientists to produce the celebrated documentary series The Blue Planet, they chose George Fenton to create the musical score to match the mysterious world they uncovered. Now Fenton has adapted his Emmy-winning score into a sweeping symphonic experience. In its Houston premiere, Assistant Conductor/American Conducting Fellow Brett Mitchell leads the Houston Symphony in a live performance of Fenton's evocative music, while a specially edited theatrical presentation of the series' most dramatic sequences plays on a giant screen above the Jones Hall stage. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m.

July 25-26 — Bridal Extravaganza 2009

George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas, 281-340-7777, www.bridalextravaganzashow.com

Thousands of wedding dresses will be on display at the largest bridal/wedding show in the city. And if you're unhappily single, it might not hurt to come on in and walk among the 900 displays being exhibited; there's bound to be a few bridesmaids or groomsmen in the same boat. The first day starts at 10 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. The second day starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.

Admission is $10.

July 25 — The Music of ABBA

Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 713-224-7575, www.houstonsymphony.org

When ABBA fans heard the tribute band Arrival singing "Dancing Queen" on Swedish national radio, they thought they were listening to the original group. Now Arrival performs at Jones Hall with original ABBA drummer Roger Palm and the Houston Symphony. Hits like "Dancing Queen," "Mamma Mia," "Money, Money, Money" and "Take a Chance on Me" come to life with groovy lighting, stage sets and exact duplicates of ABBA's fantastic costumes, which the members of Arrival have exclusive rights to wear. Everything starts up at 7:30 p.m.

July 30, August 2 and 6-9 — Circo ­Comedia

Moody Gardens Convention Center, 7 Hope Blvd., Galveston, 409-683-4186, www.moodytickets.com

Unpredictable thrills, side-splitting comedy and daredevil stunts are the signature style of Circo Comedia, starring the fantastic duo Jean Saucier and Patrick Cote from Montreal performing their distinctive style of humor, acrobatic tricks, daring feats, magic and eccentricity. Matinee shows at 1 p.m.; evening shows at 7 p.m.

July 31, August 1-2 and 4-9 — The Houston Shakespeare Festival

Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Dr., Hermann Park, 281-373-3386, www.milleroutdoortheatre.com

This year the Shakespeare Festival will be featuring the plays Twelfth Night, the original story of a girl passing herself off as a boy and suffering romantic consequences, and Pericles, a complicated play about the perils of love. Free.

August 13-16 — Kevin Johnson, "Tongue-in-Cheek So to Speak"

Moody Gardens Convention Center, 7 Hope Blvd., Galveston, 409-683-4186, www.moodytickets.com

Kevin Johnson began studying ventriloquism at a young age. Because his mouth never moves, it's easy to believe in the magical characters that seemingly explode to life on his hand. Most famous for his performances on America's Got Talent and Late Night with David Letterman, his unique, clean comedy will appeal to all ages. Matinee shows at 1 p.m., evening shows at 7 p.m.

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