Press Picks

december 12
Shine and romance If the goober at the center of Shine can find true love, then your chances must be super! This event offers hopeful singles a chance to fill out a free Houston Press Romance ad and then enjoy, gratis, a preview of Shine. It's the greatest thing since sliced bread, according to many critics, and tells the bittersweet story of a musical genius who loses everything -- and then goes on to find a woman who appreciates him. Those who compose Romance ads will be eligible for the free movie (while there are seats available, of course) and will be entered in a drawing. The prize is dinner for two at Riva's Italian restaurant. Clipboards with ad forms will be ready at 6:30 p.m.; the movie starts at 7:30 p.m. Cineplex Odeon, River Oaks Plaza on West Gray. For more information, call 624-1414.

december 13
Out of the Blue: An Evening of Theatrical Clowning and Humor Bob Berky comes from a school of theater somewhere between Avner the Eccentric and silent-film star Harry Langdon. In his modern-day vaudeville show, the mute Berky does pantomime, plays the kazoo, rides a unicycle and performs a piece-within-the-piece work about the nature of circus clowning. His show is great fun for art snobs and innocent kids alike. The show opens with a party on Fish Plaza (free pizza for the first 400 ticket holders), 6-7 p.m.; show, 7:30 p.m. Presented by the Society for the Performing Arts at the Wortham Center, Cullen Theater, Texas at Smith, 227-ARTS. $16-$26; half-price children's tickets can be purchased at the Houston Ticket Center in Jones Hall.

december 14
Holiday Edition of the Antiques, Collectibles and Crafts Market One-stop shopping with everything you expect -- that is, the opportunity to use credit cards and snackage of food-court quality. This huge sale is in its 23rd year. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. AstroHall, Astrodomain, 799-9790. $2; $1, seniors; free, children under 12 accompanied by a paying adult.

Take a Homeless Pet to Dinner for Christmas The Citizens for Animal Protection are having an open house at their shelter, and those who have warm holiday wishes for our furry friends are encouraged to drop by, and to drop off cans of pet food for the creatures who live at the shelter. Those who donate food can take a peep at the adorable animals, buy something from the volunteer bake sale and even adopt an animal (we're against adopting animals during the holiday season, by the way, but if you have been thinking about getting a pet, and have seriously considered the responsibility involved, then okay, go ahead and do it). Open house, 1-5 p.m. today and Sunday. CAP Shelter, 11925 Katy Freeway (between Kirkwood and Dairy Ashford), (281) 497-0534.

The Christmas Revels: A Family Celebration of the Winter Solstice This year's theme is "A Mesoamerican Revels," and what happens is that the Aztec goddess Tonantzin morphs into the Virgin of Guadalupe. Sounds hokey and convenient, perhaps, but this holiday show is a sincere and delightful two-hour production featuring the talents of Mexican actress Angelica Aragón (A Walk in the Clouds) and the Huehuetl family musical dance group. We're also promised a Mayan creation-myth story, a Nativity scene and sing-alongs with traditional carols. There will be shows at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. today, 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. (Also, members of the Revels will appear at special outreach shows around town; call 668-6866 for details.) Rice University, Stude Hall. For advance tickets, call 629-3700. $20; $15, seniors; $10, children 12 and under.

The Nutcracker The city of Houston Ballet presents its production of the Tchaikovsky-scored classic in the lovely environs of the Grand 1894 Opera House -- you can even enjoy the show in a low-cost box. (The company also does its ballet as Inner City Nutcracker for inner-city schools.) 2:30 and 8 p.m. today; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Grand 1894 Opera House, Postoffice Street, Galveston, (800) 821-1894. $17, boxes; $14; $11, seniors and students; $9.50, kids 12 and under.

Lights in the Heights More than 7,000 luminarias will line select streets in the Heights, and almost that many happy holiday people will stroll those select streets during the Woodland Heights Civic Association holiday celebration. Musicians (classical, country and Elvis) will play from the porches of historic homes, and Santa will pose for pictures on the Norhill Esplanade. (Snaps with he of the ho ho ho are $5 each.) Magician Daniel Garcia and a slew of professional entertainers will perform on the esplanade, and Rockets mascot Clutch will be on hand. (Will Turbo be lurking, forlorn, in the shadows?) Parking is going to be tough, but everything else about this low-key neighborhood party is easy as pie, savory homemade pie. 6-9 p.m. Along Bayland and Woodland between Norhill and Beauchamp. To reach the Woodland Heights, take the Taylor/Watson exit off I-10 and go north toward Bayland; or exit Houston/North Main off I-45 and take Houston Avenue south toward Bayland. Do not, not under any circumstances, attempt to actually drive your car on one of the Lights streets; therein lies madness. Park a couple, maybe three blocks away. For more information, call 683-5188. Free.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Edith Sorenson