So you like bright things and loud noises. Don't be ashamed, simple friend; come July 4 and its plentiful pyrotechnics, all Americans will be reduced to wide-eyed zombies. Or maybe that's just the booze. If you're into combining drinks and fireworks, then leave it to the pros and trek downtown to Bayou Park, where Chevy's Freedom Over Texas celebration will feature food, drink and four stages' worth of bands. The evening closes with performances by LeAnn Rimes and Clint Black -- and, of course, some serious explosives (4 p.m. 1800 Allen Parkway, 713-845-1000; $6).
The classical-music set can find solace -- but not silence -- at Miller Outdoor Theatre, where the Houston Symphony will deliver the ol' 1812 Overture and other freedom-happy tunes to set the mood for late-night fireworks (8:30 p.m. 100 Concert Drive, 713-284-8350; free, but tickets are required).
If loud noises spook your tykes (or you just want them asleep by nine), the Children's Museum has a slew of daytime events, including a parade and a visit from Albert Einstein (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 1500 Binz, 713-522-1138; $5). Go ahead, show the motherland a little love this week: Apparently, the old gal still knows how to have a blast. For more Fourth of July events, check our listings at www.houstonpress.com. -- Julia Ramey
Make Love to Bruce Campbell at the River Oaks Theatre
Ever since he took on a bunch of resurrected killer skeletons in Sam Raimi's Evil Dead movies, Bruce Campbell has been known as a cult actor. (Read: You have a better chance of seeing him in a cheapo Sci-Fi Channel flick than on Inside the Actors Studio.) In Campbell's latest film, Man with the Screaming Brain -- which he wrote, directed and stars in -- he plays a murdered wealthy industrialist who is brought back to life and shares a brain with a Latin drug dealer. Campbell is also turning out novels, the latest being Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way, which revolves around his battle to save his reputation in Hollywood. At a lovefest for his rabid fans this week at the River Oaks Theatre, Campbell will hold a Q&A session, sign Make Love and host a screening of Screaming Brain. Q&A begins at 6 p.m.; screening begins at 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 6. 2009 West Gray. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit www.murderbooks.com. Q&A is free; book purchase required for signing; $12 for screening. -- Craig D. Lindsey
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
The air is thick with the smell of hair product, cologne and perspiration. As the speakers pump out throbbing beats, a tangle of bodies gyrates in unison. And damn, my tacos are awesome.
I'm watching the scene unfold at Berryhill Baja Grill in Montrose, where Sunday brunch has become legendary. But this is the Sunday of Pride Weekend, and I've come to check out a party that promises to be insane. I'm not disappointed. The main room is buzzing as the waitstaff, wearing T-shirts that say "Berryhill Fairyhill" and "Berryhill Equal Rights," weave through a crowd of fabulous gay scenesters, metros in muscle shirts and ladies in halter tops. My date and I make for the booths, which have become prime real estate for the sweaty dancers popping in for a breather from the patio.
After a ten-minute wait for the restroom (my apologies for barging in on the couple making out in the first stall -- I totally should've knocked), I hit the patio, where the party's outta control. A jumble of bodies shakes it to DJ Surain. When I jump on a chair to snap some photos, a super-hot Latina sees me and moves up to grind it for the camera. Meanwhile, two guys chat me up: "The prettiest picture here is you," one says to me, winking as I click away. (Dude's clearly been drinking.)
Soon, the patio has gone from elbow-to-elbow to chest-to-chest (where's that Latina when I need her?). I make for my booth, where I spot my date, my food and three attractive lesbians. Okay, now I'm jealous. I mean, those ladies are totally moving in on my guacamole. -- Steven Devadanam
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Happy Birthday, Eh?
Here's a drinking-game quiz for you: What do Pamela Anderson, Avril Lavigne, Nelly Furtado, Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey and Peter Jennings have in common? If you didn't yell out "They're all Canadian!" then start chugging your Labatt. Indulge in drinking games like this when the Houston chapter of Canadians in America celebrates Canada Day. Just days before America's birthday, you can salute the creation of the Great White North, whose citizens invented AM radio, the telephone, television, hockey and even Trivial Pursuit. Indulge your inner hoser, and when you're full of brew and making for the restrooms, pay your respects to Canadian Gideon Sundback, who invented the zipper. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, June 30. Stag's Head Pub, 2128 Portsmouth. For information, call 832-978-1333 or visit www.canadiansinhouston.com. $5. -- Steven Devadanam
Hecho en Hollywood
There once was a time when Latin Americans were relegated to playing mustached, sombrero-wearing stereotypes in Hollywood films. But now Latinos are starring in and creating blockbuster flicks, and their progress has been documented in The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in Hollywood. As part of its "First Friday" film series, Talento Bilingüe de Houston will screen the film, which includes clips and interviews with such Latino stars as Rita Hayworth, Gilbert Roland, Raquel Welch, Benicio Del Toro, Jimmy Smits, Salma Hayek and, por supuesto, J. Lo. 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 1. 333 South Jensen. For tickets and information, call 713-222-1213 or visit www.tbhcenter.org. $5. -- Steven Devadanam