Press Picks

thursday
march 31
Senior Citizens' Prom Stouffer Presidente Hotel will be decked out as if for the glamorous proms of the '30s and '40s, and this senior prom is for genuine senior citizens --65 and older. This swing-time celebration will feature dancing to the Cary Richards Orchestra's renditions of tunes by Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington. Dress to the nines and dance the fox trot and the Big Apple.

KQUE's Paul Berlin will be on hand as the master of ceremonies and the presenter of grand prizes. While high school proms are generally just for a high old time, this dance is a benefit for the Houston Area Agency on Aging's Meals on Wheels senior nutrition program. Reservations required. 7-11 p.m. Stouffer Presidente Hotel, Six Greenway Plaza East (next to the Summit), 752-1912. $7, $5 with donation of canned food.

Spring Bloom Hotline Along the bayous and in the unmowed byways, wildflowers are beginning to bloom. Even the most jaded commuter cannot pass an esplanade bright with bluebonnets without, for a moment, thinking of heading for the countryside. This is a fine idea -- especially for those who have Easter holidays. Which way to go? Thanks to Lady Bird's interest in shrubs, bushes, wildflowers and whatnot, the Texas Department of Highways keeps folks from messing with Texas and sponsors a hotline to tell you, bicyclers and owners of fossil-fuel-burning vehicles, which flowers are at their best on which roadways. Soak yourself in Avon Skin So Soft, pack a picnic and then call (800) 452-9292.

friday
april 1
Fool Somebody Anybody. Pull a stunt. Jape, ape, mock, engage in tomfoolery, be waggish, contrive a stratagem for a dupe, bamboozle your boss, construct a hoax, rag, pull someone's leg, pull stunts, have someone on, kid (this does not mean do something cruel and then attempt that most lame and evil defense, "I was just kidding"), spoof, pretend, tease, tell shaggy-dog stories, have I.P. Freeley paged at a local bar, be a big obnoxious goof, if you always play pranks don't do it today (subtle, but effective), have someone ask you if you're an orange, stymie your secretary, or, at the very least, ask someone to pull your finger.

Steve Brudniak and his Electronic Confessional Brudniak is from this neck of the woods, more or less. His skills include filmmaking, bomb construction, writing and dabbling in the musical arts. He currently lives in Austin, which he's happy about because in his considered opinion, the three prongs of Satan's trident are the graphics arts industry, rock and roll, and Houston. What he does is make things out of junk, often creating mechanical devices that could easily go out of control and maybe kill someone. The particular and peculiar show he has brought to town this time is called "New Works and Selections from the Amuk Id Cathedral: kinetic sculpture." Details on the confessional and its wattage are still fuzzy. This is the perfect art opening for April Fool's Day -- which for other artists might be damning with faint praise. For Brudniak, though, it is high praise, and we hope you are intrigued. The show runs through April 30. Opening reception 6-8 p.m. Lynn Goode Gallery, 2719 Colquitt, 526-5966. Free.

saturday
april 2
Do your taxes The Houston Chapter of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants and the IRS will help handicapped, low-income or non-English-speaking citizens do their taxes. (Low income is $25,000 a year and under.) Volunteers in Tax Assistance is a yearly program that enlists more than 100 Houston CPAs as volunteers. VITA volunteers are active right up until the April 15 deadline. Today, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Carnegie Library, 1050 Quitman; Central Library, 600 McKinney; and Flores Library, 110 North Milby. For more information call 622-7733. Free.

Houston Ballet's Company B The Cullen Contemporary series continues with a world premiere, a Houston premiere and the return of Company B. Paul Taylor created Company B for the Houston Ballet in 1991. It was a hit here, and the frisky work set to Andrews Sisters songs went on to critical acclaim nationwide.

Musings, seven dancers performing four movements, is set to Mozart's Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A Major. Musings was originally created by choreographer James Kudelka for Karen Kain, a principal dancer of the National Ballet of Canada for many years. Kain came to Houston to coach the dancers on the intricacies of Kudelka's choreography for this Houston premiere.

The world premiere of Houston Ballet Academy alum Trey McIntyre's Touched opens the program. Set to the music of jazzman Dave Brubeck, McIntyre's work is quite novel and employs unique lighting -- the dancers carry flashlights. Opens tonight, 7:30 p.m. Wortham Center, 500 Texas, 227-ARTS. $10-$35.

sunday
april 3
24-Carrot Brunch The true meaning of Easter: alcoholic bunnies in a dark cafe. The rabbits in the picture at the top of the next page are costumed characters attempting to lure families into polite dining. It is always possible that children, when dressed up and expected to act like adults, will comport themselves as proper table companions. Most children, like most adults, are keen on having the same attire and attitude as those around them. Subjected to peer pressure at the Post Oak Grill, perhaps they'll use their best manners for a brunch with leg of lamb, beef tenderloin, pasta, omelets, smoked salmon, trout medallions stuffed with shrimp, and tomatoes stuffed with poached eggs. Champagne for adults only. Reser-vations recommended. Post Oak Grill, 1415 South Post Oak Lane, 993-9966. $16.95, $8.95 children.

Easter Orange Hunt Jeff McKissack's legacy continues -- in this case, it's his interest in the health of children that lives on. Kids ten and under are invited to participate in this special orange hunt and to enjoy other sugar-free goodies. Out in the wholesome fresh air, kids and adults will be treated to special entertainment by Luisa Amaral-Smith: she sings and has always been popular with audiences of wee ones. A man in a bunny suit will also be entertaining (perhaps alarming) children. During this distraction, oranges will be hidden.

Put the kids (ten and under) in sturdy clothes so they can climb and crawl all over the Orange Show in search of healthful citrus treats. They can also play with the whirligigs. 1-2:30 p.m. The Orange Show, 2402 Munger, 926-6368. $1 hunting fee.

monday
april 4
Faulkner's first editions Brazos Bookstore has decided to exhibit rare first editions for your edification. American Firsts will show the earliest printings, original dust jackets and all, of books by great American authors. William Faulkner, Nobel Prize for Literature 1949, belongs on the list.

Two generous Houston collectors have lent 12 of their Faulkner books for display. The list of works includes Faulkner's first published novel, Soldier's Pay, and two rare short-story collections, These Thirteen and Dr. Martino. The 1929 edition of The Sound and the Fury will be open to show the book's original ending.

What's interesting is that these books, with their thoroughly unmodern typefaces, margin sizes and jacket art, tell exactly the same story as the hideously highlighted paperbacks, abused and misunderstood by some degenerate undergrad or over-eager high school student, one finds in a used-book store.

Also on display will be Henri Cartier-Bresson's 1947 photograph of Faulkner at the author's Mississippi estate, Rowan Oak.

Free and open to the public, book-buying and otherwise. Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet, 520-0701.

tuesday
april 5
Grand Hotel Many people have seen the classic film version with John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford (when she was young, dewy-eyed and spry as a chicken), Greta Garbo, Wallace Beery (who was

a sweaty stud-monkey before John Goodman made big bouncy bellies sexy) and a jolly dachshund whose name is unrecorded. A few people have read the novel by Vicki Baum. (No relation to Frank.) Now, the Bellaire High School Fine Arts Department presents the musical version.

Grand Hotel is a lavish drama set in a Berlin hotel on the eve of WWII. As is usual in these theatricals, the character's lives are strangely intertwined. You get social criticism, political humor and a big cheer for the American way! There are tragic ends for the good guys and deserved fates for the bad. And some redemption.

This is a dandy story, and enjoying a high school production might be a fine bargain for your theater dollar. (Moreover, before he was influencing the Quaid brothers at UH, Cecil Pickett was a drama coach at Bellaire -- so you never know.) Through April 9. Opens tonight, 7:30 p.m. Bellaire High School Auditorium, 5100 Maple,

295-3753.

wednesday
april 6
Da Camera open readings A chance for you, the music listener, to have a say in the classical scene. This is the second of a two-part series to introduce new works by local composers. The selections, a field of ten, were winnowed down from a field of 28 by a committee. Tonight you can attend the final reading and offer your opinion of the six works presented. The top-ranking works will be scheduled for performance with Da Camera's After 1910 series.

The composers' identities are kept secret -- Da Camera would hardly want people playing favorites. However, as a tease, here are the titles of the new works you'll hear tonight: Duo for Violin and Viola; Verwandlung for String Quartet, Flute, Clarinet and Percussion; Airs and Dances for Violin and Viola; Suite for Violin and Marimba; and Threshold of Pleasure for Flute and Piano. 7:30 p.m. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway. For more information call Da Camera at 524-7601. Free.

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