Pop Love and Help Me, O' Please Help Me Evening number two of works by directors with unique vision and no money; this time it's premieres by Houston's own Kyle Henry. Pop Love is described as a micro-budget, non-linear dark comedy and it appears to be based on Henry's play Balance & Symmetry, which is about a flaky flautist who falls for a pop singer with a messiah complex. Help Me, O' Please Help Me stars the indefatigable, irascible Rose Malone, of Rodney D. Young commercials and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom. This short film, Henry says, is a spoof of John Waters' movies. The ultimate quality of Ed Wood's and Kyle Henry's efforts might differ, but the details of their careers are full of eerie parallels. Both men look normal, perhaps even overly clean-cut, so long as no one knows what they do alone in their dark editing closets. The working style of both men is best described as flirting with disaster. The adventurous Mr. Henry reports, "On several occasions, crew and cast members had near-death experiences (i.e. loaded guns, crashing light grids, repeated self-induced electrocution with a defunct microwave), but I am happy to report no one died, which is always a plus." (No octopus motors lost, either.) Seduced by his vision, Henry's crew, like Ed Wood's, was a tight unit that worked for little or no money and whiled away the hours singing their favorite ditties. "I Hate Kyle," sung to the tune of "Three Blind Mice," was one of them. Finally, like Ed Wood, Kyle Henry did theater work first and then had parts in his own films. More than a coincidence? Two screenings, 3 and 7:30 p.m. The late show to be followed by a reception with live music and refreshments. Rice Media Center, Rice University, entrance no. 8 off University Boulevard, 527-4853. Special premiere price, $5.
Elijah The Houston Masterworks Chorus opens its ninth season with a rafter-raising classic oratorio. Distinguished conductor Robert Porco and organist Robert Brewer lead the 150-voice chorus in Medelssohn's over-the-top interpretation of the Old Testament story. Think of it as sound and fury signifying something. 7:30 p.m. First Presbyterian Church, 5300 Main, 529-8900. $15 & $20.
Taste of the Village There are easily a dozen lovely restaurants in Rice Village and the very lovely owners and managers of these establishments have joined together to help the hard-working scholars at the University of St. Thomas. Today, Village restaurants will be offering a bite of their best dish to all Taste of the Village ticket holders; proceeds from Taste of the Village go to college scholarships. Prego offers antipasto, El Meson will serve Ropa Vieja and black beans Fabada Asturiana, Jason's Deli will pass out muffalettas, The Village Brewery will draw cold ones and Mientje's will serve some of their richest coffees. Eat yourself sick, stroll around enjoying the live music and bask in all this indulgence in the name of a good cause. 2-6 p.m. To purchase tickets, call the University of St. Thomas, 525-3100. Only 1,000 tickets will be sold. $20 advance, $25 today.
The Phantom of Montrose Silly spooks spoof for Body Positive/Houston and the Foundation for Interfaith Research and Ministry. Cocktails, buffet and silent auction, 6 p.m.; performance of musical entertainment based on, but in no way intimidated by, a well-known Broadway smash, 7 p.m. Texas Medical Center Conference Center, ballroom, 2151 W. Holcombe, 524-2374. $25, $50 and $125.
George Crumb 65th Birthday Festival Gala Crumb has had a busy weekend -- master classes, brown-bag lunch lectures, performances and at least one moderated interview, and today the distinguished composer wraps up his Birthday Festival with another full schedule of events and then an exclusive gala. The playful, imaginative composer will conduct master classes at St. John's Episcopal School during the day, give a public lecture in the afternoon at the University of Houston and then kick up his heels with a select crowd in the evening. Call 688-6120 for festival information or tickets to the gala. There are a limited number of tickets available for the black-tie birthday party at Gremillion Art Gallery, 1706 Post Oak, 622-4241. For more information, call 227-ARTS. $125-$165.
Margarett Root Brown Houston Reading Series Renowned Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai and novelist John A. Williams will read. Though both men have rather stuffy sounding credentials, this should be great fun. Amichai was born in Germany, raised in Palestine and served in the commando units of the Haganah underground during the Israeli War of Independence and the Sinai Campaign; he kept his eyes wide open all the time and is nonetheless a man of compassion, not bitterness. Williams has written 12 novels, including The Man Who Cried I Am, and has chronicled the lives of important black Americans in biographies such as For Ourselves: Images of Malcolm X, If I Stop, I'll Die: The Comedy and Tragedy of Richard Pryor and The Most Native of Sons: Richard Wright. 8 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, Brown Auditorium, 1001 Bissonnet, 743-3013. $5 suggested donation.
Lauren Bacall Screen legend, former Mrs. Humphrey Bogart and, before that, nice Jewish girl Lauren Bacall will sign copies of her new autobiography, Now. Yes, new autobiography; she had another one a few years ago that covered both her marriage to Bogart (he died) and her marriage to Jason Robards Jr. (he drank). 8 p.m. Bookstop, 2922 Shepherd, 529-2345. Free.