Press Picks

august 4
Shake Lassie's paw America's most famous collie "will be on hand to promote his new movie." We always thought Lassie was a woman dog. Oh well. In any case, the canine star with a predilection for abandoned mine shafts and orphaned baby ducks will be in the malls meeting and greeting and doing tricks and giving paw-print autographs. 3 p.m. Foley's in Willowbrook Mall; 6 p.m. Foley's in Memorial City Mall.

Cherokee Cultural Society Artist, author and musician Bob Annesley is the featured speaker at the monthly meeting of the Cherokee Cultural Society. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. and everyone is invited. St. Stephens Episcopal Church, 1800 Sul Ross. Free.

Red Scare on Sunset Norma Desmond meets the Hollywood Ten in this send up of treasured tabloid fodder. Charles Busch, the drama queen behind Psycho Beach Party and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, penned this tale of McCarthyism, method acting and Hollywood. Busch himself is no longer among us (may he rest in peace) and so is unable to lend his inimitable performance skills to this production. The Main Street Theater cast, however, is suitably depraved. Rodney Walsworth, fresh from his triumph as the drag queen in Native Speech, dons dresses again. This time he's Granny Lou and a salesgirl. "Politics come and go, but the star system is eternal." Opens tonight, 7:30 p.m. Thru Sept. 4. Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m. Main Street Theater, 2540 Times Blvd., 524-6706. $12-$15, with discounts for seniors, students and groups of ten of more.

august 5
Success Runs in Our Race Author George Fraser, whose book is subtitled"TheCompleteGuideto Effective Networking in the African-American Community," will be signing his tome at Nia Gallery and Bookshop. Nia, by the way, is a great place for networking. They're always having top authors in to speak to the book-buying public. 6-8 p.m. 7721 West Bellfort, 729-8400. No admission.

Poolside Jam Session One of the many tres fabulous events of the 1994 Houston International Jazz Festival takes place beside the pool at the Wyndham Warwick hotel. There is no telling, really, what jazz greats and rising talents might appear. 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Wyndham Warwick, 5701 Main, 227-8706. $20 presale, $25 at the door.

Mizike Mama & Djembefola The Encountering African Cinema series continues with two exuberant musical movies. Mizike Mama documents the career of a women's a cappella quintet, Zap Mama, that blends African rhythms and European polyphony. The second feature centers on percussionist Mamady Keita, a native of Balandugu, Guinea. Mizike Mama is subtitled. Double feature starts at 8 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, Brown Auditorium, 1001 Bissonnet, 639-7515. $6, $5 members; single show $5, $4 members.

Bill Bellamy The boy who would be the next Cosby comes to town. Bellamy is leaning on the Cosby connection by having a clean act. Sometimes he sings "I'm just a Bill on Capitol Hill," too. Bellamy is the host of MTV Jams and has an upcoming Showtime special titled Booty Call. You can see the boy who doesn't do blue live, one night only. 8 p.m. Arena Theater, South-west Freeway at Fondren, 988-1020. $25. (Bellamy was an economics major at Rutgers.)

Chippy Billy Joe and his son, Eddy, canceled their date at the Brazos Bottom (no explanation given by the management company, nor reschedule date either). However, for those who need a fix of deep Texas music, we have an alternative. From Philadelphia. Original music for a play, Chippy, by Joe Harvey and Terry Allen is now available. This Chippy was a Texas prostitute who hitchhiked across Texas in the '30s, sleeping with roughnecks and cowboys and men of means and thought they were all, all 6,000 by her count, chickenshits. This is a tale of boom times, of wild days devoted to better whiskey, more money, faster horses and younger women -- told from a woman's point of view. Jo Harvey Allen does the Chippy narration. The text is from a found diary, some junk-store find penned by a woman with a little less luck than Katherine Anne Porter. A whole crew of great songwriters latched onto the project and the result is an epic document of country and western muses. Butch and Wayne Hancock, Joe Ely and Robert Earl Keen Jr. all lend their voices. This soundtrack was commissioned by the American Music Theater Festival in Philly, which produced the world premier of Chippy early this year. The Chippy CD is barely available in stores, but we know you can get it at Soundwaves and perhaps your local Sound Warehouse.

august 6
Uli Lenz and Nomakosazana The Houston International Jazz Festival brings truly, deeply international jazz toSamHoustonPark. Nomakosazana, currently a resident of Munich, is of Prussian Zulu heritage and spent her formative years in Botswana (which may have been Upper Volta then). The vocalist appears with German pianist Uli Lenz. Those who are unable to see the duo today can catch them at other jazz festival events -- the opening reception on Thursday, the poolside jam on Friday and the Mayor's brunch tomorrow. The duo has been making unusual music together since 1992. Today, they play in the park between 4 and 11 p.m. Sam Houston Park, 1100 Bagby. For more information call the Houston International Jazz Festival, 227-8706. Free.

august 7
Child Song This kids' concert is a Children's Theatre Festival on the Hill premiere. Kate Paxton and The Non-Toxic Band make music with thekid-approvedlyricistJoe Romano, a Sesame Street songwriter. The songs have many happy, green suggestions about helping the Earth. 11 a.m. Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park. All seating is free, but tickets are required for under-the-pavilion seating. Call 520-3290 for details or information on handicapped seating. Free.

Low-cost rabies shots Every Sunday in August pet owners can have their dogs and cats immunized for a mere five bucks. Or, every Sunday in August pet owners can let their disease-ridden, wormy, mentally unstable animals run loose in the streets wreaking havoc. The latter, although a popular choice, is immoral and illegal. People who would choose the latter are the ones responsible for all the time and moneyspentonanimalcontrol. Immunization hours are 1-5 p.m. Sundays, August 7, 14, 21 & 28. Houston Humane Society, 14700 Almeda Road, just seven miles south of Loop 610 in the Dome area, 433-6421. $5.

Astro artists Former Astros Larry Dierker, Norm Miller and Jimmy "The Toy Cannon" Wynn will be signing scoreboard art for the fans, and to benefit No Small Affair (an organization aiding children) and BAT (Baseball Assistance Team, a group helping old-timers who have fallen on hard times). Ed Henderson drew the animated scoreboard cartoons in the '60s, '70s and '80s and now he's selling cels. 2:30-4 p.m. Fine Toon Gallery, 2427 Bissonnet, 522-6499. Autographed cartoon renderings of the former 'Stros $10.

Skulls The fine folks at the arboretum invite you out to, "Discover how much you can tell about an animal by looking at its head bone!" Naturalist Jane Hultberg will explain what you can learn by looking at a dead critter's dry bones and buck teeth, beak or brain-case. This is an ongoing demonstration from 1-3 p.m. As always, free nature tours along the trails from 2-3 p.m. Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Drive, 681-8433. Free.

Stars 'n' Stripes The Southwest Jazz Ballet Co. presents a "high flying, fast-stepping" review of the swinging sounds of the '40s. This is a special tribute to WWII veterans and their families presented to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the war to make the world safe for democracy. Musical review 6:30-7:45 p.m. Houston Community College System Northwest College,WestchesterTheater,901 Yorkchester, 468-0955. Free.

august 8
"Official Monday Night Blues Jam" Back by popular demand: the blues jam at Ernie's on Banks. Yes, they made it into a sports bar, and what a sports bar, but they can't take that blues jam away. Kim says, "Ever since we became Ernie's, people have been hounding us to bring the jam back. Well, here it is!" There is no cover. It's free ... so you can spend your money on other things like beer and food and margaritas. Ernie's chef, Clark Weeber, offers a full sports bar menu and dinner specials. Ernie's has one of the best trivia games around, so don't let the fact that Ernie's Pool-Playing All Stars Wray Parker and Roy Pitcher were involved in some public scrapping (or the fact that some patrons throw trash in the yards of innocent Banks Street residents) color your impression of the place. The jam will be hosted by Ruel Russell and his Redmont Review. 9:30 p.m. 1010 Banks, 526-4566. No cover.

august 3
Dreamgirls Houston native and Tony-winner Jennifer Holliday brings the hometown her performance in Michael Bennett's Dreamgirls. Since Holliday was discovered in the choir of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, she has toured, performed on Broadway and won a Grammy. Dreamgirls could be about any of the non-Diana Ross Supremes -- it follows girl singers on a roller coaster ride through overnight success, over-spending, hitting the skids and making a comeback. Motown music is sung (and the hair is huge) for every line of pain and glory in this play. Holliday is joined by Broadway and television actress Alisa Gyse-Dickens and Broadway actors Weyman Thompson, Milton Craig Nealy and Adriane Lenox. The show runs thru August 14. Opens tonight, 8 p.m. Music Hall. Tickets available at TUTS Tix, 4235 San Felipe; selected Randall's stores; and at the Music Hall Box office on show days. Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 7:30 p.m. (Holliday's role will be played by Fuschia Walker for the August 13 & 14 matinees.) Music Hall, 810 Bagby, (800) 766-6048. $20-$37.

august 10
The Pied Piper Kate Pogue's stage adaptation of this tale of rodents and children enamored of a flautist is the finale for the Children's Theatre Festival at the University of Houston. The people of Hamlin, for those unfamiliar with the story, have a vermin problem and tend to be welshers. The Pied Piper comes in to clear out the rats and is rather unhappy when his labors go unpaid. Unhappy and vindictive. Kids may enjoy The Pied Piper because kids like to see actors in rat costumes, or because they enjoy seeing spiteful retribution succeed. Or it may be that this fable has been loved for centuries because in this story it's the parents who learn a lesson. Thru August 14. Weekdays at 10:30 a.m. with selected performances at 1 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m. Lyndall Finley Wortham Theater, UH central campus. For reservations and information call 743-2929. $5 adults; $4 children.

Finding bargains For five bucks, the super shopper eager to learn more about bargains can listen to an experienced buying consultant. This experienced buying consultant will talk about discounts, offer the inside skinny on buying wholesale and give the real goods on getting reduced prices. If you've mastered the discount centers along Harwin, take the next step and take this class.

Perhaps, afterwards, the consultant will have tips for shopaholics who are ready to turn pro. For sure, for shoppers who hear too much at home about how much they shop, this is a chance to see shopaholics who are much worse. Sponsored by Integrity Trainings, One Greenway Plaza, Suite 632, R.S.V.P. to 721-6766. $5.


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