Nice Girls Don't Say Things Like That Judy Carter brings her comedy and magic show into town for two shows only. Ms. Carter describes herself as "just another Jewish-lesbian-comic-magician," which might sound to some like an odd boast. But to those who pay attention to lesbian entertainers and comedy, that statement sounds like good-natured modesty. The woods are thick with lesbian-comic-magicians. Certain woods are, anyway. Carter is all over, having won an "Entertainer of the Year" award in that bastion of conventional entertainment, Atlantic City, and been an opening act for Prince and Kenny Loggins, who are probably not even the same species. Carter's show is not so much about politics, therapy, lesbian relationships and her grandmother's girdle as it is about stuff that's funny. 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray, 524-2333. Advance tickets available at venue or at Inklings Bookstore. $10 advance, $12 at door.
Violence and Youth: Who Holds the Key? Teresa Ramirez, executive director of the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department, and Sue Schechter, a state represent-
tive who chairs...the...Joint...City/County Commission on Children, will speak at a meeting of the League of Women Voters. 9:30-11:30 a.m. Montrose Public Library, 4100 Montrose. For more information about this and other League of Women Voters programs, call 784-2923. Free.
The Sound of Music Once upon a time, Marie Osmond was quoted in Tiger Beat, holding forth on the problem of lipstick smearing onto teeth. (Her solution, "always carry tissues.") Now, Marie Osmond is Maria, touring as The Sound of Music's irascible governess and belting out Rodgers and Hammerstein tunes like "My Favorite Things," "Edelwiess" and "Climb Every Mountain." Neal Benari stars as Captain George von Trapp in a fresh, live, stage version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's biggest hit. The dandy goat puppets from the movie version will not appear. Through October 30. Previews tonight, 8 p.m. and tomorrow afternoon, 2 p.m. and opening tomorrow night, 8 p.m. Presented by Theater Under the Stars, performed at the Music Hall. Tickets available at TUTS Tix, 4235 San Felipe; selected Randall's stores; and at the Music Hall box office on show days. Music Hall, 810 Bagby, (800) 766-6048. $22-$45.
Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival To be held in what they're calling downtown Conroe. To include a 6-foot tall, 40-foot long, 5,000-gallon aquarium full of fish representing the popular Lake Conroe species. Also the wedding of "Willie B. Fryed," the festival mascot, and his helpmate, "Ima Good Catch." Eating fish, too, along with boudin, etouffee, gumbo, andouille sausage, red beans and rice, gator balls and chicken-on-a-stick. The professional entertainment lineup includes Gary P. "Home with the Alligators" Nunn, Cookie and the Cupcakes and Rocking Dopsie Jr. Other entertainment? Mr. and Mrs. Catfish pageants, a dance contest and a Shriner's band. That band will be in the Bon Ton Parade, the opening event at 10 a.m. today. Followed by a Party on the Square kickoff party, 6-11 p.m., and then the actual extravaganza Saturday and Sunday. Head out I-45 North, take a right (go east) on Highway 105 in Conroe and then follow the signs. Don't bring pets, glass containers or coolers. For directions, further information or to enter the dance contest, call the festival hot line, (800) 324-2604.
Iri-Ji Kwanzaa may draw heavily from the traditional West African celebration of the yam harvest, but Iri-Ji is the (or a, anyway) traditional West African celebration of the yam harvest, and today's festival is advertised as the only authentic Iri-Ji ritual in the Western Hemisphere. The Greater Houston Owerri Club Inc. is staging the festival and will present an Old Bende War Dance, Owerri Women Dancers and Ojionu. Ojionu, a masquerade dance named after a colorful talking bird, is one of the festival's highlights. An authentic Ojionu will be performed by Africans living in Houston. African arts and crafts will be displayed and food, including yams, will be served. Rain or shine. Noon-8 p.m. Jones Plaza, Texas and Louisiana. No admission charge.
Bob Alper Alper bills himself as "the world's funniest rabbi." On the typical Friday night, Rabbi Bob can be found at the pulpit of Temple Micha, in Symcote, Pennsylvania, leading his congregation in solemn prayer. At other times, he can be spotted behind a lone microphone at some of Manhattan's hippest comedy clubs, schmoozing on a talk show, hawking his latest comedy video or making one of his frequent appearances in Houston. His act is a gentle blend of affectionate stories about his family and congregation, and a few jokes that are so old that they can probably be found in the Bible (Old Testament, of course). Hors d'oeuvres 8 p.m., show 9 p.m. Westchase Hilton, Westheimer at Briar Park. For tickets call 496-5950 or 578-1858. $25 and $35.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.