Press Picks

march 23
Angels in America Tony Kushner's epic of gay life in America -- which has won a Tony, a Pulitzer and a London Evening Standard best play award -- opens in our neck of the woods with a special preview performance for Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA)/Houston. Angels is presented in two parts, and the first, Millennium Approaches, will be performed this evening. The regular run continues through June 11. Alley Theatre, Neuhaus Arena Stage, 615 Texas Avenue, 228-8421. Tickets for tonight's benefit, $150 general admission, $500 VIP tickets. All guests are invited to a post-performance reception in the Alley foyer. For reservations, call DIFFA, 552-9445.

march 24
Asian Treasures Hard-working Y. A. Bagersh and his Express Theatre have a new show for children, a quick tour of Asia. In several scenes of story and dance, elegant costumed characters present folk tales from the East. Elements of Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Vietnamese history are portrayed. Cherry Blossom, choreographed by Chizuko Matsumoto uses elements of two ancient Japanese styles, mai and odori. Linda Phenix has prepared a Vietnamese piece about Li' Xi' (Lucky Money), a traditional New Year's gift. These women, and the other choreographers, are all classically trained and use the conventions of cultural form in their dances and costuming. Asian Treasures opens tonight at 7 p.m. Those with special reservations may attend a reception after the show. (Reception catered by Tokyo Gardens, Hunan Restaurant, Minh Foods and Khyber North Indian Grill.) Children's Museum, 1500 Binz, 759-1314. $5.

The track is back A ten-week showcase of cycle races commences tonight. In U.S. Cycling Federation (USCF) races, cyclists will compete in points races, miss and out, and unknown distances. If that's Greek to you, don't worry, as the cyclists whiz by, the hotshot cycling-race announcer will explain it all. 7 p.m. Alkek Velodrome, in Cullen Park, Barker Cypress and Saums Road, 578-0693. Free.

Guns 'N Hoses II Police officers and firefighters slug it out for charity, the Texas Special Olympics and the USA Boxing Gulf Association. Until we have City Council mud wrestling, this is as good as it gets. Buy a blue ticket to sit on the HPD side and root for the peace officers, or buy a red ticket to sit and cheer on the firefighters. 7:30 p.m. The Summit, 10 Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. $10, $15, $17.50 and $25.

HSPVA Jazz Festival Highlighting students in the groove, HSPVA directors Bob Morgan and David Caceres -- and student director Joseph Berryman -- present two days of what's red, hot and cool featuring guest artist Larry Slezak. Slezak has performed with Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, Liza with a Z and Tony Bennett, and now he plays with the kids of HSPVA. Today's concert, 7:30 p.m. High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Denney Theater, 4001 Stanford, 522-9289. Saturday concert same time, same place. Advance tickets $5 one night, $8 for both. At door, $6 for a single night, $10 for both performances.

Big Butt Girls, Hard Headed Women Rhodessa Jones' one-woman show celebrates an often unexplored element of sisterhood. The title is taken from two things Jones heard while she was growing up, "Sit your big butt down" and "Don't be so hardheaded." She did not sit her big butt down and she is hardheaded and ended up in prison -- as an instructor, that is, teaching aerobics in a women's correctional facility. To entertain the inmates, she told some stories. Then the prisoners told some stories back. Oddly enough, they all had stories about being told to sit their big butts down. Next thing you know, Big Butt Girls, Hard Headed Women was a successful theater piece. This collection of biographical vignettes has been doing sold-out shows in venues across the country. Meanwhile, Jones set up The Medea Project: Theater For Incarcerated Women. As a commissioned artist-in-residence in San Francisco's city and county jails, Jones has helped women in prison create and perform theater pieces. During her two months in Houston, Jones will perform for the arty crowd and conduct workshops for youth. Two shows, 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, 228-0914. $12 adults, $10 DiverseWorks members, $8 seniors and students.

march 25
1995 River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash Okay, everybody, up and at 'em by 8:30 a.m. Gloves and trash bags will be handed out by Woodsy Owl, Smokey the Bear and Mobius (BFI's mobius-quality recycling character) at seven official Trash Bash sites. This backbreaking, earth-friendly frolic was cooked up by a gang of state and federal agents, city and county agents, and gadfly environmental activist plus a few bandwagon jumpers. Free hot dogs, cooked up by volunteers, will be provided at all cleanup sites, and entertainment will be provided at a select few. Extra entertainment that is, as all volunteers will thrill to the sheer, naked joy of doing right by our waterways. Cleanup begins at 9 a.m. and will cease between 11 and 11:30 a.m. Armand Bayou, Bay Area Park; Lake Conroe, Stow-Away Marina; Houston Bayous, Brays Bayou, Buffalo Bayou, White Oak Bayou; Dickinson Bayou, Highway 3 public boat ramp; Galveston Bay, Texas City Dike; Lake Houston, Deussen Park; and San Jacinto River, Battleground State Park. Call (800) 64-TEXAS for more information.

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