Press Picks

thursday
february 29
Jack Daniel's at the rodeo Today at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Jimmy Bedford, master distiller, will be in the Jack Daniel booth to talk about his life's work. Bedford is one of the six master distillers in the 129-year history of the Jack Daniel Distillery. He'll talk about Tennessee whiskey, explain his job and how he got it and autograph bottles of Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey. Bedford will be in the booth at various times throughout the day through March 2. Tickets for just the Livestock Show can be purchased at the Dome and are $5; $2, children. Tickets for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo are available through Ticketmaster, 629-3700. A note from Miss Manners: it's considered bad form to open the bottle and chug it immediately following the autographing.

Video Postcards from the Edge: Views of Life and Art from East End/Third Ward Teens Under the tutelage of Houston artist Karen Sanders, students from Jackson Middle School and Yates and Austin high schools have spent six weeks creating video postcards. For two weeks, they had to suffer through classroom learning about video and video production. Then they were set loose to videotape their neighborhoods, and after a month of shooting and editing, the results are ready to be seen. The videos, from a joint project by UHReach and the Southwest Alternative Media Project, will have their premiere at 7 p.m. tonight at Dudley Hall and then go on to be part of the "1996 Houston Area Exhibition" in the Blaffer Gallery. University of Houston (entrance no. 16 off Cullen), 743-9530.

friday
march 1
Fire Eyes The title of Somali filmmaker Soraya Mire's documentary is a reference to the repressed rage in the eyes of African women who are victims of genital mutilation. The phrase "female genital mutilation" is a blanket term that covers clitoridectomies and other practices that, according to the World Health Organization, are a leading cause of health problems among Third World women. These practices are not history; they're still common in much of Africa and parts of the Middle East and India. Mire introduces her film, which presents interviews with both those who have been mutilated and those who still defend the practice, at the opening of Women's Month at UH-Downtown. In the days and weeks to come, Women's Month programs will address such topics as birth, breast cancer, eating disorders, feminist sex therapy and women in prison. Mire presents her documentary and gives a lecture at 7 p.m. University of Houston-Downtown, 1 Main Street, student lounge, 221-8093. Free.

Anne-Sophie Mutter Sultry babes seem to be taking over classical music. Although her pipes aren't fully developed, singer Cecilia Bartoli is earning raves coast to coast, and Da Camera's Sarah Rothenberg is no slouch in the looks or the music department either. And then there's Anne-Sophie Mutter. Mutter has been famous since 1977, when she soloed with the Berlin Philharmonic. She was sort of glamorous even then (or at least as glamorous as a 13-year-old can be). Since, Mutter has grown up in more ways than one. The German violinist has earned a slew of international awards, and now, after nearly 20 years of touring North America, Mutter finally brings what the San Francisco Chronicle called her "remarkable mixture of tenderness, subtlety and dramatic assurance" to Houston. Mutter will play a program of Bartók, Debussy and Mozart sonatas, along with Brahms' Sonatensatz scherzo, 8 p.m.; KUHF's Betty Morgan and Rick Walter give a concert talk, 7:30 p.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-ARTS. $10-$42.

From the 1690s to the 1990s -- Old instruments, new voices The Houston Harpsichord Society insists that harpsichords are a viable part of the music scene. To prove that point, the society presents a concert of baroque and modern music. The featured modern music is "The Peace of Wild Things," by Houston composer David Ashley White. The text of "Wild Things" is from a poem by Wendell Berry and will be sung by renowned mezzo-soprano Katherine Ciesinski. White will discuss his work before the concert. 8 p.m. Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas, 497-7382. $15; $12, seniors and students.

Plantationland Putting Gulf Coast swampland to good use, Houston-based performance artist Kelli Scott Kelley has created a video fairy tale with a marsh and a Spanish moss backdrop. The gothic setting is the burned shell of an antebellum mansion in Breaux Bridge, and the story is a tale of spirits and mysterious rituals. Kelley's 45-minute video was shot without dialogue, but the narrative is enhanced by Sara Irwin's choreography and William D. Kelley Jr.'s soundtrack. The filmmaker will be present at the showing. 8 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, Brown Auditorium, 1001 Bissonnet, 639-7515. $5; $4, seniors and students.

Suicide in B-Flat This is not like Sam Shepard's popular plays. For one thing, Suicide is without ill-fated lovers. Also, it's funny. Infernal Bridegroom Productions, a group that has previously done well with the blackest of comedy, is presenting Suicide in B-Flat this weekend. At some point, most of the characters throw their hands up and shriek, "I gotta get out of here; I can't take it E," but the silliness, it's hoped, includes some critical commentary. 8 p.m., today and Saturday. Commerce Street Arts Warehouse, 2315 Commerce, 523-4531. $5.99.

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