Poison: The veteran metal heads are at Riverbend Music Center with their "Harder, Louder, Faster" tour with special louder and harder guests Vince Neil and Skid Row. 7 p.m. today, $10-$28.75. 562-4949.
Park party: The Hyundai/WB64 Party in the Park is a bustling happy hour with food, drink and live music from Polecats, all in a riverfront setting. 5:30-10:30 p.m. today, Sawyer Point, downtown. 579-3100.
Art talk: The Cincinnati Art Museum strikes up a dialogue between contemporary artist Mark Fox, whose work is featured in the new Cincinnati Wing, and CAM Director Timothy Rub. Noon today, Lecture Hall, CAM, $5, reservation required. 721-2787.
Avant-jazz: The Brooklyn-based Alex Skolnick Trio brings their progressive, high-energy jazz to BarrelHouse Brewing Company, 9 p.m. today, 22 E. 12th St., downtown, $10. 421-2337.
Top pick: Former Fame star Debbie Allen recruits talented young performers (age 16 and older) for a new Fame, a NBC reality series in which celebrity judges will critique the dancers and singers (8-10 p.m., Channels 5, 22).
Critic John Kiesewetter also says Your 15 Minutes Are Up (9 p.m., E! Entertainment) looks at fleeting fame of some Real World, Big Brother, Survivor, Joe Millionaire and American Idol participants.
Kitty play: Getting a little tired of kitty stalking the neighborhood birds and then bringing you, uh, souvenirs? You need Thing in a Bag, a cat toy designed to bring out your pet's natural stalking instincts. It looks like a lunch bag, but it's actually a tear and claw-resistant material filled with a crinkly sounding material and a small, randomly activated motor. When it activates, the "thing" scoots and jiggles and bounces, causing kitty to go into a stalking mode. It's $12.99 at pet stores or at www.happydogtoys.com.
48 hours out: Sophisticated crooner Michael Feinstein performs at a benefit for the Fitton Center for Creative Arts. 8 p.m. Friday, Benninghofen Theatre, Fitton Centre, 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton. $100-$150 includes reception with artist. 863-8873.
48 hours out: University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Opera Department presents the world premiere of The Memory Game, a new opera by CCM composer Joel Hoffman about a songwriter/poet who dies in a concentration camp. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Cohen Family Studio Theater, UC, free. 556-4183.
72 hours till Saturday: Children's entertainer Zak Morgan begins a round of area appearances to promote his fun new CD When Bullfrogs Croak. 11 a.m. at the Covington Branch Library, Fifth and Scott streets and 3 p.m. at the Independence Branch, 6477 Taylor Mill Road. (859) 962-4060.
Relationships that cook
We want loving cooks
Try a different style with confidence
Easy desserts good to welcome soldier
Caponata provides change from usual grilled fare
Virtual Chef on the grill
Riverbend opens with ear-splitting rock and classic boogie
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Ayls' living creations have stories to tell
Toy patented by 2 Cincinnatians
Nagra adjusting to pace of 'ER'
'Reading Rainbow' seeks pot of gold
Despite their finales, shows will go on
Get to it!
HEALTH & FITNESS
Beer's benefits could surpass red wine's
Body and Mind
Calcium moderation key