Virginia Slims of Houston tennis tournament Conchita Martinez, Martina Navratilova and Zina Garrison headline this year's Slims tourney. Here's pulling for the Third Ward-born and -bred Garrison, whose lifetime record against Navratilova is something like 1-40. But Zina has karma working this year -- she started a free tennis camp for inner-city youth last summer. The $400,000 tournament is popular, so we suggest buying tickets in advance. Thru Sun., March 27. Westside Tennis Club, 1200 Wilcrest, 953-1111. $10-$27.
Women in Photography conference This four-day celebration of the art and its female masters is presented by Houston Center for Photography as part of Photography Houston Spring '94. Passive attendees are not invited -- the organizers hope to see spirited discussions. To this end, the format calls for break-out sessions following presentations on art history, law, medicine, photography, video and women's studies.
Columbia professor Carolyn G. Heilbrun will deliver the keynote address at 7 p.m. Tickets for the speech and the reception preceding it are $15. Some of the conference events have a single fee at the door; others are open only to those who register for the whole shebang. Call 840-9711 for details, or arrive early to register. Registration 3-7 p.m. University of Houston, University Hilton, Grand Ballroom.
Cruciform This exhibition is interactive in the old-fashioned sense of the word -- art mavens and others are invited to "share" interpretations of the cross. Close to 30 artists are involved, most of them local. A variety of crosses, from genuine Salvadoran folk art to well-schooled American artists' high-tech work, will be on display. Some are alarming, others are annoying, and, in most cases, there is the sacred subtext suggesting something a bit more complex than the simple appreciation of art. 6-9 p.m. Heights Pavilion, 244 W. 19th Street, 861-3411. Free.
Imagine Houston The city has sent out a press release announcing that "Mayor Bob Lanier unveiled today the city's first historic step toward creating a vision for Houston." All Houstonians are invited to join in the Imagine Houston project -- specifically, by attending the Imagine Houston forum.
It's a wonderful town, and we should all thank the mayor for his revolutionary ideas. Attend the forum and show your support by shouting, "We're Houston proud!"
Lanier will start the festivities with a 7 p.m. address. Imagine Houston Forum, tonight and tomorrow, George R. Brown Convention Center, 247-1864. Free. (Ride a Metro bus and save on parking.)
Harley-Davidson Traveling Museum One day only, see priceless motorcycles -- including one of only eleven 1905 Singles ever built. The Harley-Davidson Traveling Museum celebrates 90 years of hog history with a collection of vintage bikes and memorabilia. We expect both genuine bikers and yuppie upstarts to enjoy their heavy-metal infatuation together.
Mancuso Harley-Davidson will give free demonstrations of their state-of-the-art Dynojet Dynamometer; it will evaluate the engine performance of any motorcycle. You don't find family fun like this every day. Free, though donations to the Muscular Dystrophy Association are encouraged. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mancuso Harley-Davidson, 535 North Loop at Main, 880-5666.
Great Houston Duck Race Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the ducks once more. Yes, Houston, it is time once again to release a platoon of yellow rubber duckies for a race down Buffalo Bayou. Duck sponsors this year are looking at $35,000 in prizes, with the gran-prize winner getting a 1994 Mercury Sable. Ducks are $5 a pop, with special deals for sponsors of flocks.
But wait, there's more! There's the Foley's Duck Walk, a "waddle-off" and the American Airlines kid's carnival. The eagerly awaited annual Anatidae events begin at noon in Sam Houston Park. The duck hotline number is 521-DUCK. Call now -- they've only got 30,000 ducks to sponsor.
Houston Symphony Paul Cooper, professor of music and composer-in-residence at Rice's Shepherd School of Music, will have his Sixth Symphony performed in a program with Strauss and Tchaikovsky.
Cooper's symphony is a three-movement work inspired by jazz and dedicated to Nadia Boulanger, a Cooper mentor. Previously, the Houston Symphony presented Cooper's Symphony in Two Movements and Jubilate. As always, free pre-concert discussions will be held on the balcony level 35 minutes prior to each performance, and HSO conductor Christoph Eschenbach will conduct an open rehearsal Saturday morning at 10:30 ($2). There are two other performances: Sat., March 26 at 8 p.m. and Sun., March 27 at 2:30 p.m. Houston Symphony, 8 p.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-ARTS. $10-$49.
Walt Disney's World on Ice In a perfect world, everything would be "On Ice." Alas, our world is far from perfect, but Aladdin on ice is coming to the Summit tonight. The show, complete with flying carpet, ice-skating elephant and the parrot familiar from the Disney movie, features a dazzling cast of Olympic stars and a dizzying schedule of showtimes and special deals. Here's a selection of the complicated schedule: Tuesday is Fiesta Night; save $3 on all tickets with coupons from Fiesta. Wednesday is en Espanol -- noche para familias, ahorre $3 entodos los boletos con cupones de Fiesta. Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 1 at 4 p.m. and Saturday, April 2 at noon, save $2 on kids' tickets with coupons from Kroger. Friday's 7:30 show is poster night -- one free poster for each child under 12 with paid admission. Call Ticketmaster, 629-3700, or the Summit box office, 961-9003, to find out more about special deals. March 29-April 3. $10.50, $13 & $15.50.
Our own Serengeti Yellowstone National Park, as photos by Steve Fuller show, has beauty and wildlife as spectacular as the Serengeti's. Fuller's been a year-round resident at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone Park since 1973. Prior to that, he served as headmaster of a Shiite Muslim Indian school in Uganda and did a three-year study in the African bush. Fuller's writing and photographs have been published in Audubon and National Geographic. He'll show off his work in a 7 p.m. lecture at the Zoological Society of Houston, 1513 North McGregor, Gate 5, 529-2632. $8, $6 members.
Yevgeny Yevtushenko By all accounts, Yevtushenko, who'll read from his works as part of the Fondren Library's Robert Cherry Poetry Reading and Lecture series, is a fine performer. His place as a writer and as a member of Slavic society, though, is debatable. He's not currently esteemed in Russia because of his position in the Thaw generation, some of whom were considered collaborators with the Communists. Yevtushenko aspired to be another Vaclav Havel, but his stint in the the Soviet Parliament was short-lived. Now he's eating rubber chicken and speaking about his part in events that shaped the world. 8 p.m.Hamman Hall, Rice University, 285-5133. Free.