Press Picks

thursday
june 22
The Life of a Check The YMCA and the Houston Public Library, two organizations not normally known as money machines, host a series of summer workshops designed to teach kids about the long green. "The Life of a Check," obviously, explains why mommy can too be out of money when she still has some checks left. Other classes include "A Case of the Gimmies," "The Magic Machine" and "What are Credit Cards." "A Case of the Gimmies" is for four- and five-year-olds, the ATM class is for six- and seven-year-olds and the credit card class is for ten- and 11-year-olds. To get more information about the schedule for all 16 sessions, or to ask some serious money questions, call the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Gulf Coast Area, 923-2227. Today, "The Life of a Check" is at 11 a.m., Houston Public Library, Central Library, 500 McKinney. Free.

National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts And which name, pray tell, springs immediately to mind when talk radio is mentioned? Rush Limbaugh, of course, and the man behind EIB (not to mention, some are convinced, everything evil going on in Washington) will be waddling in to accept an award from the association for being the 1995 Talk Show Host of the Year. This award is given to honor an individual who has contributed to the talk show industry by enlightening the public, providing listener enjoyment and serving the community ... and perhaps in gratitude to one who has convinced thousands of programming managers that hiring a talk show host is a good idea. Happily employed talk show hosts, producers, program directors, syndicators and others in the radio industry (maybe even Paul "Cubby" Bryan) will spend four days talking shop and glad-handing each other, and many hosts will broadcast their shows from our very own town. G. Gordon Liddy (accepting an award on Saturday, with Rush), Harry Shearer and Senator Bob Dole are also expected to appear. Through June 25. Sheraton Astrodome, 8686 Kirby. For more information, call 748-3221 and ask for the Gulf Coast Six room. $335.

friday
june 23
Real batmania Moody Gardens has live and flapping bats in their new Bat Cave. This particular Bat Cave isn't located beneath a billionaire's mansion, and it isn't packed with high-tech gadgets, but the 250-square-foot cavern is home to three species of Old and New World bats. Macro bats, such as the Ruwenzori Longhaired Fruit Bat, and micro bats, such as the Short-Tailed Leaf-Nosed Bat, are all happily housed in their Galveston home -- and because their environment has been manipulated so that the bats think day is night and vice versa, the world's only flying mammals are active, squeaking and squabbling, during visiting hours. The Bat Cave is in the Rainforest Pyramid. Monday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. One Hope Boulevard, Galveston, (800) 582-4673. $6.

Ab Fab Fabulous Pride Party If you thought the Pocahontas preview in Central Park was something, then check this out -- Heaven is hosting a Pride Week party with an Absolutely Fabulous theme. It's a whole evening based on the mores of the refreshingly irresponsible British sitcom. The Absolutely Fabulous Pride Party organizers tell us the show has "become a gay phenomenon throughout the whole U.S.," slighting (although perhaps not deliberately) lushes and women with heavy eyeliner throughout the whole U.S. of A. Absolutely Fabulous merchandise will be given away, cocktails will be served and, we're sure, many local queens will arrive in Patsy drag. This is just one of two Absolutely Fabulous Pride Week weekend events. Heaven, 810 Pacific, 521-0107. $5.

Spend the night with Eartha Kitt Or part of the night, anyway. This evening, for one performance only, the Houston Grand Opera is bringing in Eartha Kitt to headline a benefit concert to raise funds for the Houston Grand Opera Education and Outreach Programs. The timing might seem tied to all the batmania that's likely to be erupting this week, but those who remember Kitt only as the Catwoman who purred her way around Adam West's Batman -- or as the entertainer who got herself blacklisted in the late 1960s for having the temerity to speak out against the Vietnam War at a White House luncheon -- have memories that don't reach back far enough. Kitt began as a dancer, then became a nightclub sensation in Paris as a singer before returning to America for a 20-week run at New York's Blue Angel. This was all before 1952, and the record Kitt set at the time has never been broken. Long before Kitt slinked her way into a cat suit she was a cabaret star, and she remains a cabaret star long after the cat suit has disappeared. A number of critics have wondered why, if Tony Bennett and even Tom Jones can be embraced by the Lollapalooza crowd, Kitt hasn't been similarly rediscovered. It's probably because enough people haven't been smart enough to listen to her. HGO, obviously, hopes to help turn that around. Benefit concert begins at 7:30 in the Wortham Center's Brown Theater, 500 Texas Avenue. Concert tickets $20, $30 and $45; benefit tickets (which include a post-performance bash in the Wortham's Founders Salon) $125 and $200. 227-ARTS for concert tickets only; 546-0242 for benefit tickets.  

saturday
june 24
Young Robin Hood A children's theater production with adult-pleasing production values. Through July 8. 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays. Presented by Galveston Island Outdoor Musicals at Factory Stores of America, near Exit 13 off I-45, La Marque. For tickets call (800) 54-SHOWS. $6, adults and children.

Houston Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade This year's theme is "silence to celebration" and the rest is as per usual -- parade in the heat of the day, party indoors in the cool of the evening. The parade route is down Westheimer from Woodhead to Whitney, starting at 2 p.m.; the party is at Numbers, 300 Westheimer, 5-11 p.m. Bring cash for donations to local AIDS charities.

Lopon Tenzin Namdak teaches Dzog-Chen To those who practice the Bon religion and the Tibetan Buddhist Nying-Ma school of meditation, Dzog-Chen means "The Great Completion." Namdak is a spiritual leader and the founder of a monastic college in Dolanji, India, and Kathmandu, Nepal, and is here to do a little spiritual leading at The Yoga Center. Today, Namdak gives an introductory seminar, 7-9:30 p.m., and on Sunday he leads an all-day session. To reserve a place at one or both of the events, contact The Yoga Center of Houston, 2438-A South Boulevard, 523-7330. Introduction free; all-day workshop $40.

Bayou Bash From what we recall of this event, it's a boudin extravaganza, with restaurateurs from across the city presenting their versions of this mainstay of Creole cuisine. Don't even bother trying to figure out what boudin is made of; before you bite into some, just build up a little courage, if you must, with one of the advertised Cajun Martinis. Hot eats, smoking music from the likes of Rockin' Roddie Romero and the Rockin' Cajuns, and vendors selling such indispensables as alligator-tooth key chains are only part of the fun; the all-day event gets its second wind when the Astros take the mound against the Chicago Cubs at 7:05 p.m. next door in the Dome. Cheer on the home team and le laissez les bon temps all hang out! Noon to midnight. Astrohall, Loop 610 at Kirby Drive, 799-9632. $5; children under 12 admitted free with paying adult. Discounts available with an Astros ticket or a coupon from Diamond Shamrock.

sunday
june 25
Women of Science Fiction C.J. Cherryh, a woman who's written almost as many books as Isaac Asimov, will sign copies of her latest, Fortress in the Eye of Time and Foreigner. These books come after many others, enough others that a list of Cherryh's novel and story titles fills four typed pages. The established best-selling author shares the afternoon with three other women writers, Lynn Abbey, Jane Fancher and Martha Wells. Women of science fiction will be signing books from 2-4 p.m. Future Visions Books, 10570 Northwest Freeway, 682-4212.

Sunday Serenade Barbershop fun for the whole family and a money-making opportunity for the Houston Horizon Chorus. This choral group needs cash to enter next year's Sweet Adelines International Competition. In the past they've won third- and fourth-place medals, but they're not satisfied. The 140 voices of the Houston Horizon Chorus will be joined by the singers of the Starlite Sound Chorus, Symmetry, The Arrangement and Second Nature. 4 p.m. First Presbyterian Church of Kingwood, 5500 Kingwood Drive. For reservations, call 358-3288 or 359-9109. $10 tax deductible donation.

monday
june 26
Recreation program at Bordersville Park For half a decade, the unpretentiously titled Bordersville Recreation Program (BRP) has offered local children from low-income families a shot at the summer camp experience. Kids get your traditional, Father Knows Best-era activities such as healthy outdoor games and field trips. Kids also get your more modern activities, such as drug awareness education and free lunches. Parents who have not pre-registered their children (at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center) can register today, beginning at 9 a.m. The camp program continues 9 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays through August 4. Bordersville Park, 19622 Carver Road. For more info, call 446-8588. Free.

tuesday
june 27
Bayou City Gothic Houston does have more than suburbs and strip centers. We also have some fine Gothic Revival buildings, and to bolster civic pride and bring beauty into the lives of library patrons, the central location of the Houston Public Library has 25 photographs by Paul Hester of said Gothic wonders on display. The Trinity Episcopal, St. Paul's Methodist, Holy Rosary and Central Congregation churches are among the buildings celebrated. (The original Houston Public Library building itself is Spanish Renaissance, and the chunkoid pre-post-modern structure built on the same block was designed along the lines of a department store, at least on the inside.) The photographs, and some architectural drawings, will be on display through June 29. Houston Public Library, Central Library, 500 McKinney, 236-1313.  

wednesday
june 28
See seniors spell The Houston/ Harris County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is holding a regional spelling bee for spellers age 60 and up. Many of those competing learned to spell in the three R's days, when a word's proper spelling and definition were both deemed important. The Spell-Off Regional Championship will be held from 1-4 p.m. Hermann Park Educational Center, Houston Zoological Gardens, 1515 North MacGregor. For more information, call AAA, 794-9001.

The Cattle Tanks of Jefferson Parish R.T. Castleberry and Carolyn Davis present a staged reading of their parody of The Bridges of Madison County. Our satirists feel sure that "You loved and hated the book! You loved and hated the movie!" and invite everyone to "Love and hate the parody!" Collards, cowpeas and fuzzy-faced dairy cattle seem to figure in the text. 8 p.m. P.J.'s Coffee and Tea Co. 4321 Montrose. For more information, call 529-0198 or 664-0472. Free.


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