Press Picks

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.

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.

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Edith Sorenson