Thursday is always a good night to party. People are usually out in droves, but they don't have the same expectations as they do on Friday or Saturday. And, as any good Buddhist drunk knows, the lack of expectation equals the lack of disappointment. We suggest you quaff down a few glasses of wine tonight at DiverseWorks for the opening for "Texas Prime." Featuring works by artists who have little more in common than their connection to Houston, the exhibition is a smorgasbord of what's going on in the H-town scene. Also opening at DW tonight is "Real Time," an exhibition of photographs by artists who deal with issues of gay identity. Have a few sips and consider yourself edified. And save the hard-core partying for tomorrow. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. On view through June 26. 1117 East Freeway. For information, call 713-223-8346 or visit www.diverseworks.org. Free.
Friday, May 14
Back in the roaring '80s, no one in the straight community seemed to give much of a damn when the AIDS epidemic started wiping out gay men across the nation. But when a dentist in Florida infected six of his patients with AIDS, the story became fodder for media outlets across the nation. Lee Blessing's play, Patient A, tells the tale of the first patient to step forward, Kim Bergalis. Blessing writes himself into the play, where he engages in dialogue with Bergalis and Matthew, a composite of all the gay men who had died in relative obscurity before Bergalis's case garnered the beam of the national spotlight. The play opens today at 8 p.m. and runs Fridays and Saturdays, through June 5. Midtown Arts Center, 1423 Holman. For information, call 832-465-4563 or visit www.fanfactory.org. $8 to $10.
Saturday, May 15
You've probably heard of a runner's high, but how about a biker's buzz? For the Shiner BASH, cyclists will take off from Austin, San Antonio and Houston on a grand journey toward Texas's mecca of booze, the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner. Once they arrive, they'll shower down, change clothes (hopefully) and start partying. Two brews are on the house, which might not seem like much until you think about what alcohol does to a beat body. It's like drinking right after you've donated blood. Hit the road at 7 a.m. Sun & Ski Sports at Katy Mills Mall, 5000 Katy Mills Circle. For information, call 713-867-3256 or visit www.shinerbash.com. $50.
Sunday, May 16
The weekend ain't over yet. Grab some comfy kicks and bounce over to Red Star for "Believe: A Benefit for Felix Grajeda." A regular face on the H-town dance scene, Grajeda was recently hospitalized after a car accident. Lest you doubt his influence, check out the list of DJs who are coming out to spin for him today: Cee Plus, Ethan Klein, BIZZ, Gracie Chavez & G. Wizz, Fred Castillo, Chello, Johnny J and Witnes, to name a few. Basically, this party is like a hall of fame of H-town waxers. Dance the day away for a good cause from 2 p.m. to midnight. 2606 Fannin. For information, call 713-655-7827 or visit www.redstarnightclub.com. Donations appreciated.
Or, if you feel above it all, then you must be really tall. Towering, in fact. Well then, take your lanky ass over to Cullen Park today for the Towering Texans of Houston Family Picnic, Reunion and Playday. In order to be a voting member of TToH, males must measure in at six-foot-two and females must reach or surpass five-ten, but anyone can come out today to play with this skyscraping set. Hot dogs and soft drinks will be provided, so get your fill before taking part in biking, Rollerblading, volleyball, horseshoes and softball. And, for those who are a little less than towering, we suggest you don't stand too close to the volleyball net. Your forehead looks perfectly fine without a "Spalding" tattoo. Noon to 5 p.m. 19008 Saums. For information, call 888-468-2552 or visit www.houstontallclub.com. Free.
Monday, May 17
Sure, you dig literature, but admit it: Sometimes sitting though an author reading her own work can be a little boring. She stands there, book in hand on a bare stage, reading something she's probably read a thousand times before. You might feel a little more cultured after the experience, but chances are you probably could have done just as well reading it yourself. That won't be the case tonight at the Alley Theatre, where Chinese-American author Anchee Min will read from her new novel, Empress Orchid. The book is a story about China's last empress, Tzu Hsi. For the reading, Min is teaming up with Houston actress Lily Foster to perform scenes from the book, so you can check your preconceived notions about stuffy literary events at the door. 7:30 p.m. 615 Texas. For information, call 713-521-2026 or visit www.inprint-inc.org. Free.
Tuesday, May 18
You might look like hell, but do you think you could be Mr. Hell? Jack Rhodes Productions is looking for the lead character for Mr. Hell, a psychological thriller with a killer name. If you think you've got what it takes to be one scary mofo, grab a head shot (or a nice pic of yourself) and scramble over to the Holiday Inn Select today for an audition. And if you don't, ahem, make the cut, don't be selfish: Be sure to tell all your friends to go to Hell. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 2712 Southwest Freeway. For information, call 713-647-7709. Free.
Wednesday, May 19
Those folks at Halliburton sure don't discriminate. Iraq, Burma, Iran, Libya -- no country has a regime too "evil" to do business with. It must be some kind of compassionate conservatism: love your enemy, turn the other cheek, all that jazz. You can give Cheney's friends a big pat on the back today during a nonviolent protest at the Halliburton shareholders meeting. Details about the event's protester/ shareholder potluck supper forthcoming. 8 a.m. Root Memorial Park, 1400 Clay. For information, call 832-725-6220 or visit www.houstonglobalawareness.org. Free.