Press Picks

february 23
The Persistence of Hate in the 21st Century Despite having endured the Holocaust, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel doesn't consider hate part and parcel of the human experience. His optimistic view is that hate has many faces, and until people learn to recognize and battle it effectively, it will persist well into and beyond the 21st century. That "well into" is an amazing remark, for it carries the notion that if we learned to recognize and battle hate effectively, we could end it, perhaps not by the millennium, but soon after. Wiesel has racked up more awards than you can shake a stick at, but what he is concerned about is using his talents with language to call for human rights and peace. This evening, he lectures on fear and racism. 7:30 p.m. University of Houston, Cullen Performance Hall (entrance no. 1 off Calhoun), 743-2996. Free.

Health and Human Rights: Inextricable Connection Boy, I'll say. People kept in the gutter, or medieval prisons, aren't likely to be healthy. Dr. Jonathan Mann, director of Harvard's François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, spends most of his time fretting about public health and human rights issues and one of his specific areas is pandemic recognition and response. Pandemic recognition and response -- that is, recognition of and response to epidemics that cover a wide geographical area -- is an excellent way to deal with public health issues. After all, things that affect our health tend not to recognize cultural or national boundaries. Moreover, the sort of alliances required for dealing with hyalomme ticks, or proprionic fevers are exactly the sort of alliances one needs for general respect and friendliness. Mann, chairman of the Global AIDS Policy Coalition, speaks at 8 p.m. Rothko Chapel, 3900 Yupon, 524-9839. Free.

Don Quixote It's unlikely that when Miguel de Cervantes sat down to churn out his massive parody of chivalric works that he imagined it would serve as the source for a ballet, especially a ballet that's become one of the dozen or so mainstays of the classical repertoire. After all, arthritic, delusional knights aren't the sort to cut a very memorable rug. But Marius Petipa solved that little problem in 1869 by making the Don little more than an observer to the real action, a love affair between two Spanish villagers, Kitri and Basilio. Over the years, Don Quixote has been notable in that, in an art form where men are often a mere backdrop to the more graceful and important ballerina, it was a showpiece for male dancers. Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov in particular made bravura use of Cervantes' tale. The Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson, however, may have different thoughts. He's rechoreographed Don Quixote, and the attention the Houston Ballet has focused on dancer Lauren Anderson -- who'll portray Kitri at tonight's world premiere of Stevenson's take on the tale -- indicates that he may have swung the pendulum back to the female performer. Here's hoping he hasn't cut all of Basilio's showoff leaps, though. Brown Theater at the Wortham Center, Texas at Smith, 227-2787. 7:30 p.m. tonight, February 25, and March 2, 3 and 4. 2 p.m. February 26 and March 5. $5-$70.

february 24
Crisis in Chiapas Photographs by Marco Antonio Cruz, Angeles Tarrejon and Antonio Turok; writing by Subcomandante Marcos, the poetic leader of Ejercito Azapatista de Liberascion Nacional; and supplementary writings by journalists covering the Chiapas crisis have all been arranged in an exhibit. The curators promise that this show is apolitical, and suitable for children of all ages. Some of the images have a very all-American, vintage Life magazine look. Opening 68 p.m. Friday, February 24. Through March 24. Rice Media Center, Rice University, entrance no. 8 off University Boulevard, 527-4853.

J.R. Richard There were times when you'd sit with mouth ajar watching former Houston Astros hurler J.R. Richard, not even knowing the ball had been pitched to the defenseless batter. That's how dominatingly fast Richard threw, and how fast he collected cash as a result. Unfortunately, things slowed down to a tortoise's crawl, and Richard lost his fortune and ended up living under the Southwest Freeway at one point. Now he has a sales job and a contingency apartment, and the 44-year-old Richard, who has never asked for a handout from anybody, says his faith in God and his inner strength have helped him cope and turn his life back toward better days. With that reversal of fate comes a tribute to Richard hosted by Pastor C.L. Jackson. 7:30 p.m. Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church, 2801 Conti Street. The tribute is free and open to the public, but donations can be made at the gala or by mailing to "Trust FBO J.R. Richard," c/o New Testament Church, 3401 Anderson Road, Houston, TX 77053. For more info call Rick Kizzee at 433-9668 or 433-7533.

Lamb In this fragile Irish film, Liam Neeson plays Michael Lamb, a Christian brother working at a home for boys. His clerical collar is getting a little tight, but he's still a lamb of God. However, the lamb of the title may be Owen, a boy from the home. Dissatisfied with the care Owen's getting, Michael takes him and runs away. Not trained for life in the secular world, Michael soon finds he can't really care for his young charge. It all turns out badly; pondering the question of how else this story could have ended, and the attendant questions about the care of problem children, institutionalized and otherwise, is where Lamb leaves one. The questions are not comfortable or easy, but Lamb is a beautiful study. Opening today. Several shows daily through March 2. Landmark's Greenway, 5 Greenway Plaza, 626-0402. Feature ticket price $6.50.

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