Press Picks

no mo blues Sharon Bridgforth is hell on copy editors, suggesting that "bull-dog-jean, the wo'mn-lovvn-wo'mn" of lovve/rituals & rage is back, in a tale about blues music being sublime and "a feisty backwoods herstorian [who] struggles to ungrip she Soul from misery." As this quote shows, Bridgforth plays fast and loose with every known rule of written language, but don't be put off; when it comes to on-stage storytelling, she does pure and solid work. Her theater group presents no mo blues twice this weekend. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway (I-10 at North Main), 223-8346. $12; $7 students.

may 20
Travis Tritt The youngest member of the Grand Ole Opry comes to the Southern Star Amphitheatre for a family concert. Travis Tritt, for those who know TNN videos and not names, looks a little bit like Brad Pitt (although he doesn't have such good hair days as the movie star) and sings Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof, No Vacation from the Blues and Outlaws Like Us. His wry side comes from collaborations with Marty Stuart. You can call him a Southern rock guy, a country rocker or just plain country. Doesn't matter; a lot of people like all kinds of music without knowing a thing about it. Once, Roy Acuff was playing at the Opry and someone handed him a note, a request. This note was addressed to "Mr. Roy A Cupp" and the sender wanted to hear "The Great Respected Bird." 8 p.m. Southern Star Amphitheatre, Six Flags AstroWorld, Kirby at Loop 610, 799-1244. All seats $3 with park admission, which is $12.95 plus tax for an adult.

may 21
The Foreigner Tuna favorites Joe Sears and Jaston Williams star as (almost) normal characters in Larry Shue's zippy hit comedy of mistaken identities and mix-ups. The setting for this tale is not Tuna, Texas, but Betty Meck's fishing lodge in the piney woods of Georgia. There are Englishmen on the premises, real ones, and a foreigner who may not be. Don't worry, the play is funny, not confusing, because all the characters in it are confused. Matinees this weekend, 2 p.m., and night-time shows at 8 p.m. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice Road, Galveston, (800) 821-1894. $11-$33.

may 22
Romance in a Minor Key This German film is being shown by the Goethe-Institut as part of their series "The Ministry of Illusion: German Film 1933-1945." These are a different sort of Nazi-era film. Unlike, for instance, Triumph of the Will, the films in the series were attempts to influence the public with urbane comedies and romance. Erick Rentschler, a professor of film studies at the University of California at Irvine, put together this package. According to a quote-heavy San Francisco Chronicle review of the series, Rentschler became "fascinated by the subtle propaganda woven into the 1,100 features made in Nazi Germany during the Third Reich, which he calls the world's first media dictatorship." Rentschler has said that "when you look at these films, they are by and large light, frothy entertainment where you never see a swastika or a picture of Hitler or hear a Seig Heil ... when studied carefully these seemingly harmless diversions are actually very strongly laced with ideological poison." A common plot, apparently, is for some sad wayward German man or woman to collide with sinister foreign forces and then find safety, redemption and security in a reconfirmed dedication to the homeland. If you wonder what that sort of thing might look like, just remember Kiss of the Spider Woman, and the film that William Hurt's character was remembering so poignantly. That romantic mystery would have fit right into this series. What Rentschler has done is round up genre films that show yet another side of the Nazi propaganda machine. The series continues through the summer and tonight's feature, from 1943, will be introduced with a lecture by Barbara Hale. 7:30 p.m. Goethe-Institut, 3120 Southwest Freeway., Suite 100, 528-4510. Free.

may 23
Archaeological Excavations in the Region of Macedonia Dimitrios Pandermalis, professor at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, comes to Houston to talk about hot, sweaty work at Dion (Mt. Olympus) and more recently in Macedonia. Archaeology is painstaking work; one doesn't just waltz into the field and yank pots and jewelry out of the dirt. This is why it helps to have some idea of what one might find. To have some idea, one must read and study. Pandermalis has done all the hard work; tonight, he shares the highlights of his passionate career with a lecture audience. 7:30 p.m. University of St. Thomas, Jones Auditorium, 3910 Yoakum. For reservations, call 621-6300. Free, but seating is limited.

may 24
Paint the White House Black The Renaissance Cultural and Performing Arts Center is currently without a home, but that doesn't stop the plucky troopers from putting on a show. Paint the White House Black, a gospel comedy, opens at the Music Hall as a benefit for RCPAC's building fund -- the planned new facility will be at 3821 Jensen Drive. Def Comedy Jam star T.P. Hearns and Lecreesia Campbell, of the Wilmington, Mass. Choir, have leading roles and Howard Hewett is a featured player. The show opens tonight and continues through May 28. 8 p.m. Music Hall, 810 Bagby. For tickets, call 520-0200 or (800) 766-6048. $15.50.

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