School's Out, Art's In

Alyson Shotz's The Shape of Space glitters in a closed gallery

Looking through windows and looking at shiny things are two kinds of fun. Now you can do both at Rice University Art Gallery, even though it's closed over the summer months. Alyson Shotz's The Shape of Space, a curtain of 18,000 ovals cut from Fresnel lenses, will be hanging from the ceiling just inside the glass wall at the front of the space. The plastic lenses are magnifying, reflective and refractive, and they play with light in all kinds of ways. Shotz likes experimenting with reflecting surfaces. She took a walk through the woods in a bodysuit covered in mirrors for a 1997 video piece, Reflective Mimicry. In 2003, she put up a picket fence (pictured here) in a sculpture garden in Queens, New York, doing Tom Sawyer one better by covering it with Plexiglas mirrors. As one reviewer described the work, "While clearly visible from a distance or when observed obliquely, the slats disintegrated as one approached, melting into doubled foliage."

A startlingly different kind of light show, her new piece is sure to attract the interest of the chemically enhanced art lovers in town. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, June 1 through August 29. 6100 Main (entrance no. 1 or 2). For information, call 713-348-6069 or visit Free. -- David Fahl

Dog Eat Dog

Frankly speaking, any red-blooded American should've been sick on July 4, 2003, when Takeru Kobayashi, a 131-pound Japanese citizen, downed 44 and a half hot dogs in 12 minutes to best his American counterparts at the Nathan's Famous frankfurter-eating contest in New York. So how does a loyal patriot get even? Train at the Hot Dog Stand's contest this weekend. Winners of the two-day event receive -- surprise -- free hot dogs for a year. But forget the rewards (and the intestinal surgery); as Dubya would say, this is for 'Merica, friend. 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 28; and 7:45 p.m. Saturday, May 29. 10910 Kingspoint, 713-941-0888. $10 for participants. -- Steven Devadanam

Men in Underpants

SUN 5/30

Social responsibility aside, nothing gets a bunch of gay guys more hype about a good cause than the promise of male models walking around in tight swimwear. There'll be plenty of 'em this weekend at Meteor, strutting their stuff in designs from John Falocco, a photographer-designer whose swimsuits are featured in this season of Queer as Folk. Ernie Manouse from The Connection will MC the show. You can also expect live body painting and an exhibition of works by local artists. The event benefits the Montrose Clinic, which has been providing health care services to the community for more than 20 years. All proceeds from the art sales (and a silent auction) go to benefit this top-notch organization. So get out there, ogle some grade-A beef and help fight the good fight. 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, May 30. 2306 Genesee. For information, call 713-521-0123 or visit Free. -- Keith Plocek

Big Pimpin'

The original Huggy Bear struts on

The money's spent, the women are gone, and Snoop Dogg just ganked the role you made famous. What's a pimp to do? OP (Original pimp) Antonio Fargas, a.k.a. Huggy Bear from TV's Starsky & Hutch, is coming to town to spread his message of canes, Cadillacs and curls at this week's screening of I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. Fresher than a purple Kangol, Keenen Ivory Wayans's 1988 blaxploitation parody features Fargas in some of the greatest pimp moments in cinematic history: be it his "my bitch better have my money" poem or the way he walked out of jail decked out in hat, cape, ultra-flared bell-bottoms and platform shoes with live goldfish sloshing around in the heels. Meet Fargas and thank that sucka for his contributions to fashion at 7 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Sunday, May 30. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 1000 West Oaks Mall. For information, call 281-556-5621 or visit $10. -- Steven Devadanam

Grill Friends

FRI 5/28

Cooking for your sweetie can be a real challenge, especially when your fridge boasts mustard, three Shiners and some batteries. We bet your main squeeze would just love to come home to plump, juicy grilled shrimp on rosemary skewers, jerk-rubbed tuna steaks or succulent grilled peaches with rum and brown sugar. Ah, but the only grill you've been in front of is your car's, you say. Don't sweat it -- you'll be a pro once you hone your skills at Central Market Cooking School's "Hands-On Couples Cooking: Seafood Grilling." Come hungry -- this interactive class makes a darn good dinner date (just don't forget to kiss your chef when you get home). 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 28. 3815 Westheimer. For a class schedule, call 713-993-9860 or visit $110 per couple. -- Steven Devadanam

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