Press Picks

thursday
may 25
Boutros Boutros-Ghali Last year, Henry Kissinger; this year, Secretary-General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros-Ghali. The Institute of International Education is having its annual luncheon and has, as usual, lured an important guest in to be the speaker. Boutros-Ghali has been secretary-general since 1992, and must have many interesting observations on post-Cold War diplomacy. The Institute of International Education has been interested in cultural exchange since 1919. 11:30 a.m., luncheon; 12:45 p.m., Boutros-Ghali speaks. Westin Galleria, 5060 Alabama. For reservations, call 621-6300. $45, $75 and $125.

Java Jazz With the blessing of the Milt Larkin Jazz Society, Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee is holding a jazz show in a strip center. Jazz/blues, really. Today's featured performers are The Adams Boys (Aaron, 18; Gerald, 15; and Courtney, 13). Buddy Guy and Jimi Hendrix were equal influences on our young performers, but they're happy to be part of a promotion for a coffee-company CD featuring Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. At the not-at-all large Starbucks Coffee Company store, 1655 South Voss (at San Felipe), 975-7667. Free.

New Texas Radio Live, on-stage. Donna McKenzie brings favorites from her New Texas Radio show out for a live performance. McKenzie's radio show celebrates the sounds of Texas, and now she's taking some bands on tour around the state. Tonight local band Beat Temple, Dallas' Sixty Six and Austin's Billy White Trio all play together on the Rockefeller's stage. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Rockefeller's, 3620 Washington, 869-8427. $5.

friday
may 26
Clifford the Big Red Dog Before Carl was a good dog, Clifford was big and red. Children are invited to meet the vermilion mutt, hear him tell his favorite stories and join him in a hunt for buried bones. Clifford would surely like to sign kids' books, but we don't know if he can, what with his being a dog and having paws and all. In any case, this sounds like a fine way to begin vacation, and to teach kids about kindness to animals and literature. 6:30 p.m. Barnes & Noble, 3003 West Holcombe (Vanderbilt Square), 349-0050. Free and open to the public.

Man This is not to say a thing against any of the fine Picks for this week, but this is probably the most interesting (as in "Monsters lead such interesting lives") event on tap. Burn Play and Zocalo Theater and Performance Art Company present "a sculptural performance of an industrial tragedy" in three acts, and Mike Scranton seems to be the major creative voice. Tom Kennedy, creator of Ripper the Friendly Shark, is also involved; other suspects are Dennis Clay, Mark Coghlin, George Hixson and Jason Nodler. "Not since Fritz Lang's Metropolis," we are assured, "has such a scorching reflection of industrial libido ascended to the teetering heights of ungirded madness," and, hey, teetering heights and ungirded madness are terms with verve when the subject is sculpture. 10 p.m. Zocalo Theater, 5223 Feagan, 861-2442. Admission to this performance/sculptural installation is $5.

A Big Band Salute: The Songs and Music of World War II The Houston Symphony Pops ends the season with a splashy Memorial Day weekend special full of swing and speeches -- important speeches from the time of the Second World War. "In the Mood," "We'll Meet Again," "The Last Time I Saw Paris" and other classics are included in the musical program, but for the extra patriotic oomph, famous speeches will be broadcast. Neville Chamberlain's "On the Way to Munich," Roosevelt's "Declaration of War" and speeches of Churchill and Hitler will be included in the narrative. If Churchill's "It will be long, it will be hard and there will be no withdrawal" is spoken, no sniggering please. And sing out loud and strong during the "God Bless America" sing-along. No one will be expected to compete with soloist Heather Holcombe (mezzo-soprano), but all ticket buyers are expected to raise their voices in patriotic pleasure. 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday; 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-ARTS. $15-$50.

saturday
may 27
Sand Blast Nothin' says summer like loud music, sand and too much sun, and here's KRBE/ 104.1 FM with all three and sumo wrestling as an extra. Talk about your Top 40 ways to kick off summer! Mysteriously, the Weekend Sand Blast is being held Saturday (which doesn't count as a weekend without Sunday) and Monday (which is only weekend when the prefix "three-day" is used). Whatever you call it, it should be noisy, bawdy fun. Water wars, gyrosphere rides and a volleyball tournament are planned, plus a live KRBE broadcast on both days. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. today and Monday, Stewart Beach, Galveston. For details or to register for volleyball, call Wendy Craven, 266-1000. Activities are free.

The Object Show Quietly, on a tree-lined side street, Kathleen Packlick continues her subversive program. Packlick runs the West End Gallery and for many years she's been using her space for art that suits her, art that strikes her as spirited and, sometimes, fun. This summer's iconoclastic show has toys and nightmares by Bill Frazier, Marci De Bock and Marjorie Moore. Moore has taken the monkey as her subject -- her paintings are of real, live monkeys and of scary toy monkeys like that damn beast in overalls who clacks yellow cymbals. De Bock has never quite outgrown paper dolls and Frazier's focus is the Venus de Milo. Opening reception for the artists 4-6 p.m. today. The show continues through July 8. Gallery hours Saturday are noon-4 p.m. During the week, enter thru West End Bicycles. 5425 Blossom, 861-9544.

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