Press Picks

july 20
The Sourdough Cowboy Our favorite historically accurate singing cowboy is back. Sourdough, the alter ego of folksinger Don Sanders, has a show he's been doing around town for many moons. Kids dig it. The "Sourdough" show is based on WPA Writers Project interviews with real live cowboys. Bring the little whippersnappers out and they can expend some of that summer-doldrums-resistant kid energy in wild audience participation. Thursday and Friday, July 20 and 21, at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 21, 7:30 p.m. Presented by Texas Mime Theatre's Lively Arts Festival at HCCS, Heinen Theatre, 3517 Austin, 630-1138. Call 520-MIME for details or reservations. $4 adults and children; $3.50 per person in groups of ten or more.

july 21
The Art of Visibility/LiB Meeting Nancy Ford, a woman who's come to terms with her own natural-born spunkiness, an empowered adult woman who recognizes that she is fundamentally cute and, rather than feigning a less bubbly personality, accepts and uses her natural adorableness to her own advantage, will be highly visible as an out lesbian twice this week. Tonight, she's the speaker for the July meeting of Lesbians in Business. Ford is one of the founders of Outsmart magazine, a regular on the Gay 90s cable access show and frequent guest on KPFT/90.1 FM's Lesbian & Gay Voices, and she's a popular standup comic. Her talk tonight is "about the importance of visibility and how it affects our lives in the workplace." She'll also explain how she got up the nerve to launch a publication. The meeting is open to all lesbians who are in business, and lesbians who would like to be. Networking starts at 6, meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Innova, 20 Greenway Plaza. For information, call the LiB Line, 529-0077, or fax 529-2598.

I Hate Hamlet And who doesn't? Once in a while, anyway. Shakespeare's Melancholy Dane is, after all, so often so whiny and indecisive, and much much worse we are always expected to revere him. Bah. Icons are no good at all unless we have fun with them occasionally, and in Paul Rudnick's spicy and thoughtful play we have fun at the expense of the morose Prince, and at those who don't get the whole "unresolvable wrestling with one's place in life and one's desires on earth" thing. In this buddy play, a shallow soap star gets a chance to play Hamlet in the Big Apple (had it been written later than 1991, Rudnick would no doubt have given us a Canadian-born American film star playing Hamlet in Toronto). Because this is fiction, our hero gets a good apartment for the summer. In fact, the rooms he rents were once John Barrymore's, and the ghost of the grand actor appears and gives acting lessons to the shallow soap pup. First performance 7:30 p.m. tonight. Through August 6. Alley Theatre Large Stage, 615 Texas Avenue, 228-8421. $15.

A.J. Jamal Established comic, new club -- sounds like a quality night out to us, especially with the comedy scene as dismal as it's been lately. Jamal, who will be recognized by anyone who watches FOX (and everyone who's anyone watches FOX), is well-known for his role on In Living Color. Those who somehow missed the show that spawned Jim "The Riddler" Carrey might know Jamal from The Tonight Show, Comic Strip Live and other shows frequented by your better standup acts. Jamal will be live, in person, for five shows this weekend. 8:30 and 11 p.m. tonight and Saturday and 8:30 p.m. only Sunday. If you haven't been to Jus' Jokin' Comedy Club, note that proper attire and proper identification are required for all patrons. 9344 Richmond, 975-7262. $12.

july 22
Say No, Max! Those A.D. Players just don't quit. Days after the close of Joseph and the Madras Plaid Jacket, a children's show with perhaps the best dancing cows this town has ever seen, the A.D. Players S.T.O.P. (Social Theater Overcoming Problems) troupe offers a free show about resisting peer pressure and ignoring the dreary lure of drugs and alcohol. The boy hero of the story is ten-year-old Max -- and, yes, ten-year-olds do do drugs, and drink. They watch talk shows, they pick things up, they engage in all sorts of stupid, shortsighted and self-destructive things. Max, of course, eschews such behavior and invites the audience to join in his musical celebration. The goal of the 28-year-old theater company is to "confront the social issues that young people face today." Kids get a lot of that -- well-meaning folks confronting them with programs about the social issues already confronting them -- and this probably helps. After all, Clarissa can't explain it all, and neither can mom and dad. 11 a.m. Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. Call 520-3290 or 520-3292 for details or information on handicapped seating. Free.

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Edith Sorenson