Press Picks

Houston Dance Coalition Gala Concert And the winners are: Sonia Adrianna, Lori Amare, Cindy Carpenter, Sara Draper, Nancy Geleota-Wozny, Jennifer Lawson, Victoria Loftin and Sophia Torres. These choreographers presented their works in a field of 22 entries and won their places in this showcase. Works in this dance concert have grand themes such as humanity's relationship with God and humanity's relationship with Satan. Other works explore simpler, more pastoral themes, such as the day-to-day life of a wee sea creature. 8 p.m. Cullen Performance Hall, University of Houston, entrance no. 1, 4800 Calhoun. For information, call 524-7212. $5 pre-sale, $10 at box office one hour prior to show.

october 16
Poetry Fest Bobbie Wallace Wright and John Gorman will be the stars of this afternoon of rhymed (and often unrhymed) recitations. Wright and Gorman will share the podium with a group of juried poets; that group would be Fabian Worsham, Yolande Gottleib, F. Diane Harris and Beth Heller along with University of Houston instructor Bruno Brietmeyer, recent UH graduate Ron Mohring, Rice student Vanessa Curtro and, from Spring, Kathryn H. Brown. The 1994 Houston Poetry Fest Anthology will be available for sale along with local literary journals and small press offerings. The tenth annual Houston Poetry Fest grand finale, 4 p.m. University of St. Thomas, Jones Hall Auditorium, 3910 Yoakum, 525-3175. Free.

october 17
Dr. Shinichi Suzuki's Talent Education Tours of North America An ensemble of gifted children and their Suzuki-method teachers will play concert works -- Bach, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Vivaldi. The musicians range in age from four to 16. The pianist is eight and joined by seven violinists and two cellists. These children are from Japan and selected for the tour by Dr. Suzuki himself. His method is based on "how children learn their native language -- by hearing it over and over again from as early an age as possible." How well this method might work with Houston children -- kids born and raised in an allergy hell who have been stopped up their entire lives and can barely hear, let alone distinguish pitch and tone -- is still an unanswered question. However, throughout the rest of the world the Suzuki method has been a great success. 7 p.m. Stude Concert Hall, Alice Pratt Brown Hall, Rice University. For more information, contact the Suzuki School of Houston, 667-2777. Free.

october 18
School Colors Guess what. We still have problems with race relations in America. No, really, still. Schools are in serious trouble, the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow and School Colors, a documentary set in a Berkeley, California, high school 40 years after Brown v. Board of Education, tries to figure out what those leaders will be like. Better? Worse? The same? The two-and-one-half-hour show cruises through three school terms and incorporates video by students. The administrators at Berkeley High are trying very hard. Principal Jim Henderson provides sensitivity training and prejudice reduction seminars for his faculty, works to build a more obviously diverse staff and quit tracking students in ninth-grade English and history classes. Still, students are violent and skip school. White students, according to the school, seem to be doing better than African-American and Hispanic students. I say, let's see their video and decide for ourselves. Berkeley High has 2,400 students: 38 percent white; 35 percent African-American; 11 percent Asian/Pacific Islander; 9 percent Hispanic. Sounds like Alief. Students and faculty speak their piece and do what it is they do on video. 9 p.m. PBS, Channel 8.

october 19
Peacemaking Among Primates Frans de Waal, the primatologist author of Chimpanzee Politics and Peacemaking Among Primates, will give a talk about mugging and blowing raspberries and kissing among apes and offer his ideas about what these activities mean among the apes and, perhaps, lead us to extrapolate. Performance artist Laurie Anderson sometimes acts like a monkey, and she's not alone. If you're reading this in a public place, the smart money says that if you look up right now you'll see some simian behavior. (Everything from an anthropoid ape down to a marmoset is, according to the strictest definitions of loose usage in the OED, a monkey. In case you were thinking I made a monkey of myself by citing Laurie Anderson in an ape piece.) De Waal's lecture, the first in a series sponsored by the Shell Oil Company (which is widely known to be owned and operated by monkeys), will follow the annual meeting of the Zoological Society of Houston. Lecture 7 p.m., Brown Education Center, Houston Zoological Gardens, 1513 North MacGregor, Hermann Park, 529-2632. $8.

All the Trouble in the World Look at him there, duded up in a horrible tie, holding a stinking cigar and affecting a steely eyed gaze. Oh, he's a favorite son of Atlantic Monthly Press, married to a woman half his age and quite the conservative. But P.J. O'Rourke got his start writing stories for National Lampoon like "How to Drive Really Fast While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink." Might have been something about drugs in the title, too.

P.J. changed. Poof. One day he was a wacky, drug-addled apolitical-to-liberal writer and then the next day he was a wacky, drug-addled, very political conservative writer. Maybe the change wasn't entirely out of the blue. A constant theme in his early, National Lampoon writing was that people who tried to plan things and organize and were in power were stupid and quite often evil. In his later Rolling Stone writing, he notes that people who try to plan things and organize and are in power are stupid and quite often evil. Why this might be so and why he is so romantic about the downtrodden is not examined. As a humorist, as a writer, O'Rourke is what goons who take standup seriously call an observationist, meaning he offers elaborate descriptions. His reporting style is always outrageous, but not annoyingly so. When the facts alone are outrageous, he drops the gonzo style. In Haiti, he writes, "a broken exercise bicycle stood in the corner .... What CARE flub, Peace Corps mix-up or kink in charitable intentions had put it there?" All the Trouble in the World: The Lighter Side of Overpopulation, Famine, Ecological Disaster, Ethnic Hatred, Plague and Poverty is a hoot and worth reading for the laughs. Perhaps in his eighth book, O'Rourke will offer insights deserving of the Twain and Bierce and Swift com-parisons he's received. O'Rourke will be sign-

ng 8 p.m. Bookstop, 2501 Post Oak Road, 627-9810. Signatures are free; the book is $22.

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