Former Houston Oiler Bo Eason workshopped his one-man play, Runt of the Litter, in New York and L.A., but when it came time to premiere the piece, he came back to Houston. The production at Stages Repertory Theatre drew large crowds to watch as Eason's fictional alter ego laid bare the conflicts and abuses that had led him to become a maniacal, dirty (but effective) professional football player. Eason and his wife, Dawn, talked at the time of possible movie deals, but even admirers of the play warned that such Hollywood hopes often are pipe dreams. Shortly after the production closed, however, Variety magazine reported that Eason had signed a $400,000 deal with Castle Rock Entertainment to make a movie of Runt, and to work with respected director Frank Darabont of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile fame. That was the combination Eason was most hoping for as he pitched the project around Hollywood. There are, of course, many hurdles to be cleared before the movie gets made, but Runt -- partly through the help of Houston support -- has allowed him to get his foot in Hollywood's door.
Former Houston Oiler Bo Eason workshopped his one-man play, Runt of the Litter, in New York and L.A., but when it came time to premiere the piece, he came back to Houston. The production at Stages Repertory Theatre drew large crowds to watch as Eason's fictional alter ego laid bare the conflicts and abuses that had led him to become a maniacal, dirty (but effective) professional football player. Eason and his wife, Dawn, talked at the time of possible movie deals, but even admirers of the play warned that such Hollywood hopes often are pipe dreams. Shortly after the production closed, however, Variety magazine reported that Eason had signed a $400,000 deal with Castle Rock Entertainment to make a movie of Runt, and to work with respected director Frank Darabont of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile fame. That was the combination Eason was most hoping for as he pitched the project around Hollywood. There are, of course, many hurdles to be cleared before the movie gets made, but Runt -- partly through the help of Houston support -- has allowed him to get his foot in Hollywood's door.
Despite a marital breakup and a long-running battle with multiple sclerosis, this daughter of a preacher man remains one of the pillars of stability at Channel 13. As an anchor and reporter, Melanie Cerise Lawson conveys empathy, poise and intelligence. The last is not surprising, given her Princeton undergraduate credentials with advanced journalism and law degrees from Columbia. Licensed to practice law in Texas and New York, she served a stint as a Wall Street attorney before returning home to establish herself as one of the first high-ranking African-American television news figures in Houston. In the empathy department, Lawson also had a good teacher. Her father is Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church pastor Bill Lawson, a man credited with helping to broker the way for expanded civil rights and political opportunities for black Houstonians. Separated from high-tech-company owner Geary Broadnax, the 46-year-old Lawson now flies solo from an aerie at the Bayou Bend Condominiums off Memorial Drive. So far her MS has required occasional use of a cane, but is not noticeable to viewers and didn't keep her from traveling to South Africa with former president Bill Clinton for Nelson Mandela's election. Like longtime Channel 13 favorites Dave Ward and Marvin Zindler, Lawson is a prime reason the station continues to stay competitive in the Houston TV news market.

Despite a marital breakup and a long-running battle with multiple sclerosis, this daughter of a preacher man remains one of the pillars of stability at Channel 13. As an anchor and reporter, Melanie Cerise Lawson conveys empathy, poise and intelligence. The last is not surprising, given her Princeton undergraduate credentials with advanced journalism and law degrees from Columbia. Licensed to practice law in Texas and New York, she served a stint as a Wall Street attorney before returning home to establish herself as one of the first high-ranking African-American television news figures in Houston. In the empathy department, Lawson also had a good teacher. Her father is Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church pastor Bill Lawson, a man credited with helping to broker the way for expanded civil rights and political opportunities for black Houstonians. Separated from high-tech-company owner Geary Broadnax, the 46-year-old Lawson now flies solo from an aerie at the Bayou Bend Condominiums off Memorial Drive. So far her MS has required occasional use of a cane, but is not noticeable to viewers and didn't keep her from traveling to South Africa with former president Bill Clinton for Nelson Mandela's election. Like longtime Channel 13 favorites Dave Ward and Marvin Zindler, Lawson is a prime reason the station continues to stay competitive in the Houston TV news market.

Who doesn't like songs about poo? Slump banks on the fact that everybody does. Penises too. Also: yeast infections, anal sex and hamsters. Keith Reynolds and Cathy Power have created a cult of personality around their Slump shows, which usually involve three chords on a guitar and lots of words your mother told you were not meant for polite conversation. Whether it's their lively Christmas pageants (audience members played games for porn tapes and butt plugs) or their spirited sing-alongs ("Life sure does suck it / It's hell in a bucket!"), Slump is nothing but perverted fun. But don't get us wrong. Just because they sing songs about Santa Claus's erection doesn't mean Slump is all naughty. In fact, there's something strangely alluring about a Slump show. Maybe it's the way it appeals to the twisted inner child in all of us. Either that, or the free butt plugs.
Who doesn't like songs about poo? Slump banks on the fact that everybody does. Penises too. Also: yeast infections, anal sex and hamsters. Keith Reynolds and Cathy Power have created a cult of personality around their Slump shows, which usually involve three chords on a guitar and lots of words your mother told you were not meant for polite conversation. Whether it's their lively Christmas pageants (audience members played games for porn tapes and butt plugs) or their spirited sing-alongs ("Life sure does suck it / It's hell in a bucket!"), Slump is nothing but perverted fun. But don't get us wrong. Just because they sing songs about Santa Claus's erection doesn't mean Slump is all naughty. In fact, there's something strangely alluring about a Slump show. Maybe it's the way it appeals to the twisted inner child in all of us. Either that, or the free butt plugs.
Yogi, Webmaster and Gynomite founder (and former Houston Press staffer) Liz Belile has since moved to Austin, and Abram Himelstein, whose New Mouth From the Dirty South published the volume, is living in New Orleans now. But this collection of erotic stories by women features more than a half-dozen local writers -- including Olive Hershey, Michelle Glaw and Press writer Melissa Hung -- and is very much a Houston-based effort. Hailed as "a milestone document to change the world, one orgasm at a time," Gynomite: Fearless, Feminist Porn is a subsidiary of a reading series that Belile started in Los Angeles in 1994. Belile took a rotating group of contributors on the road last year, for a tour that culminated with a documentary film shot by HBO. On the page, something is missing from the live rendering of these musings -- the excerpts from The Starr Report, for example, suffer without Shaila Dewan's breathless recitation. But there are plenty of entertaining, not to mention enlightening, moments. Surprising, perhaps, is the pervasive psychological and physical violence of these stories. Those expecting the subtle sensuality of, say, Anaïs Nin will be taken aback.
Yogi, Webmaster and Gynomite founder (and former Houston Press staffer) Liz Belile has since moved to Austin, and Abram Himelstein, whose New Mouth From the Dirty South published the volume, is living in New Orleans now. But this collection of erotic stories by women features more than a half-dozen local writers -- including Olive Hershey, Michelle Glaw and Press writer Melissa Hung -- and is very much a Houston-based effort. Hailed as "a milestone document to change the world, one orgasm at a time," Gynomite: Fearless, Feminist Porn is a subsidiary of a reading series that Belile started in Los Angeles in 1994. Belile took a rotating group of contributors on the road last year, for a tour that culminated with a documentary film shot by HBO. On the page, something is missing from the live rendering of these musings -- the excerpts from The Starr Report, for example, suffer without Shaila Dewan's breathless recitation. But there are plenty of entertaining, not to mention enlightening, moments. Surprising, perhaps, is the pervasive psychological and physical violence of these stories. Those expecting the subtle sensuality of, say, Anaïs Nin will be taken aback.
Lisa Torres, the hazel-eyed singer of the eponymous Lisa y Aventura, stands a mere four foot ten. Her moving voice and on-stage charisma make her larger than life. Her notes range from sweet, soaring highs to raspy lows, recalling the soulful cantings of Mexican diva Ana Gabriel. The band combines Houston talent (including Torres) with musicians from Mexico, and blurs the distinction between conjunto and Tejano. Unlike traditional four-member conjunto bands, Lisa y Aventura adds keyboards to the accordion, bajo sexto, bass and drums. Since forming three years ago, the band has emerged as one of the hardest-working acts in the business, bringing its highly danceable rhythms to venues all over Houston, the Rio Grande Valley and beyond. The group recently signed with Eagle Records, a small record company out of San Antonio.

Lisa Torres, the hazel-eyed singer of the eponymous Lisa y Aventura, stands a mere four foot ten. Her moving voice and on-stage charisma make her larger than life. Her notes range from sweet, soaring highs to raspy lows, recalling the soulful cantings of Mexican diva Ana Gabriel. The band combines Houston talent (including Torres) with musicians from Mexico, and blurs the distinction between conjunto and Tejano. Unlike traditional four-member conjunto bands, Lisa y Aventura adds keyboards to the accordion, bajo sexto, bass and drums. Since forming three years ago, the band has emerged as one of the hardest-working acts in the business, bringing its highly danceable rhythms to venues all over Houston, the Rio Grande Valley and beyond. The group recently signed with Eagle Records, a small record company out of San Antonio.

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