Press Picks

august 4
Shake Lassie's paw America's most famous collie "will be on hand to promote his new movie." We always thought Lassie was a woman dog. Oh well. In any case, the canine star with a predilection for abandoned mine shafts and orphaned baby ducks will be in the malls meeting and greeting and doing tricks and giving paw-print autographs. 3 p.m. Foley's in Willowbrook Mall; 6 p.m. Foley's in Memorial City Mall.

Cherokee Cultural Society Artist, author and musician Bob Annesley is the featured speaker at the monthly meeting of the Cherokee Cultural Society. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. and everyone is invited. St. Stephens Episcopal Church, 1800 Sul Ross. Free.

Red Scare on Sunset Norma Desmond meets the Hollywood Ten in this send up of treasured tabloid fodder. Charles Busch, the drama queen behind Psycho Beach Party and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, penned this tale of McCarthyism, method acting and Hollywood. Busch himself is no longer among us (may he rest in peace) and so is unable to lend his inimitable performance skills to this production. The Main Street Theater cast, however, is suitably depraved. Rodney Walsworth, fresh from his triumph as the drag queen in Native Speech, dons dresses again. This time he's Granny Lou and a salesgirl. "Politics come and go, but the star system is eternal." Opens tonight, 7:30 p.m. Thru Sept. 4. Fri. & Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m. Main Street Theater, 2540 Times Blvd., 524-6706. $12-$15, with discounts for seniors, students and groups of ten of more.

august 5
Success Runs in Our Race Author George Fraser, whose book is subtitled"TheCompleteGuideto Effective Networking in the African-American Community," will be signing his tome at Nia Gallery and Bookshop. Nia, by the way, is a great place for networking. They're always having top authors in to speak to the book-buying public. 6-8 p.m. 7721 West Bellfort, 729-8400. No admission.

Poolside Jam Session One of the many tres fabulous events of the 1994 Houston International Jazz Festival takes place beside the pool at the Wyndham Warwick hotel. There is no telling, really, what jazz greats and rising talents might appear. 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Wyndham Warwick, 5701 Main, 227-8706. $20 presale, $25 at the door.

Mizike Mama & Djembefola The Encountering African Cinema series continues with two exuberant musical movies. Mizike Mama documents the career of a women's a cappella quintet, Zap Mama, that blends African rhythms and European polyphony. The second feature centers on percussionist Mamady Keita, a native of Balandugu, Guinea. Mizike Mama is subtitled. Double feature starts at 8 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, Brown Auditorium, 1001 Bissonnet, 639-7515. $6, $5 members; single show $5, $4 members.

Bill Bellamy The boy who would be the next Cosby comes to town. Bellamy is leaning on the Cosby connection by having a clean act. Sometimes he sings "I'm just a Bill on Capitol Hill," too. Bellamy is the host of MTV Jams and has an upcoming Showtime special titled Booty Call. You can see the boy who doesn't do blue live, one night only. 8 p.m. Arena Theater, South-west Freeway at Fondren, 988-1020. $25. (Bellamy was an economics major at Rutgers.)

Chippy Billy Joe and his son, Eddy, canceled their date at the Brazos Bottom (no explanation given by the management company, nor reschedule date either). However, for those who need a fix of deep Texas music, we have an alternative. From Philadelphia. Original music for a play, Chippy, by Joe Harvey and Terry Allen is now available. This Chippy was a Texas prostitute who hitchhiked across Texas in the '30s, sleeping with roughnecks and cowboys and men of means and thought they were all, all 6,000 by her count, chickenshits. This is a tale of boom times, of wild days devoted to better whiskey, more money, faster horses and younger women -- told from a woman's point of view. Jo Harvey Allen does the Chippy narration. The text is from a found diary, some junk-store find penned by a woman with a little less luck than Katherine Anne Porter. A whole crew of great songwriters latched onto the project and the result is an epic document of country and western muses. Butch and Wayne Hancock, Joe Ely and Robert Earl Keen Jr. all lend their voices. This soundtrack was commissioned by the American Music Theater Festival in Philly, which produced the world premier of Chippy early this year. The Chippy CD is barely available in stores, but we know you can get it at Soundwaves and perhaps your local Sound Warehouse.

august 6
Uli Lenz and Nomakosazana The Houston International Jazz Festival brings truly, deeply international jazz toSamHoustonPark. Nomakosazana, currently a resident of Munich, is of Prussian Zulu heritage and spent her formative years in Botswana (which may have been Upper Volta then). The vocalist appears with German pianist Uli Lenz. Those who are unable to see the duo today can catch them at other jazz festival events -- the opening reception on Thursday, the poolside jam on Friday and the Mayor's brunch tomorrow. The duo has been making unusual music together since 1992. Today, they play in the park between 4 and 11 p.m. Sam Houston Park, 1100 Bagby. For more information call the Houston International Jazz Festival, 227-8706. Free.

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