Press Picks

Meet Miss Frizzle's maker Prolific, and award-winning, children's author Joanna Cole is surely best known for creating Miss Frizzle and the Magic School Bus, but she's in town today to sign copies of a new and different book, Give a Dog a Bone: Jokes and Riddles about Dogs. 11 a.m. Munchkins Books for Children, 2530 Times Boulevard, 522-3911.

Victor Borge At the age of ten, Victor Borge played piano with the Copenhagen Philharmonic orchestra. By rights, he should have gone on to become an acclaimed virtuoso. Unfortunately, though, Borge had a sense of humor (not a great advantage for a classical pianist in those days), so he went on to create his own mix of music and jokes. Although he can play a straight concert when he wants to, he still prefers to entertain with classic tunes and corny clowning. Audiences don't seem to mind. 3 and 8 p.m. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice, Galveston, (409) 765-1894 or (800) 821-1894. $15, $29 and $37.50.

Some Mourn, Some Rejoice A play by Jewell Handy is the centerpiece for this 12 Minutes Max! presentation. Handy's canny narrative, about the politics of hair as told from a young girl's point of view, comes between a dance work based on the story of Ferdinand the Bull and a two-voice performance poem by Jacsun Shah and Rise Collins. 8 p.m. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, 223-8346. $12; $7, students.

april 21
Plymptomania This is a red-letter weekend for fans of animator Bill Plympton. First, not only is Fine Toon gallery showing original production artwork from animated Plymptoons such as Your Face, The Kiss and 25 Ways to Quit Smoking, but also Bill himself will make a rare appearance today. He'll be signing art items from 12:303 p.m. 2427 Bissonnet, 522-6499. Later in the day, Plympton's first live action feature, J. Lyle, will be shown at the Rice Media Center. J. Lyle isn't entirely live action -- the dog in it has cartoon lips and the titular sleazeball lawyer has animated internal (and external) organs that try to convince him to give up his shallow ways and live a righteous life. J. Lyle will be shown with a short work from Plympton's current project, and Bill will introduce the Saturday show. 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday. Rice Media Center, Rice University (entrance no. 8 off University), 527-4853. $5.

An Afternoon of Brahms Andre Watts has been tinkling out memorable tunes for more than three decades, or ever since Leonard Bernstein asked him to substitute for an ailing Glenn Gould. Watts was a mere pup of 16 at the time, and if he didn't grow into the eccentric that Gould was, he did grow into an equally engaging pianist. It's been some seven years since Watts last played in Houston, and as the grand finale of the Society for the Performing Arts season, he, clarinetist David Shifrin and cellist Gary Hoffman will perform three fine works by Brahms. Not only that, if you show up early enough, you'll get a yummy brunch and a curtain talk as well. Brunch begins at noon; curtain talk, 1:30; concert, 2 p.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-ARTS. For more information about the brunch, call 227-9976. $10$47.

Kate Clinton She's no relation to our current president, but this feminist comic makes the most of the coincidence of her name. Her motto is "Liberte, soroite, hilarite" and she's already got a contract with America -- "It's called the Constitution." This smart, funny and not at all pandering comic will give us two shows. 7 and 9:30 p.m. Rockefeller's, 3620 Washington Avenue, 869-8427. $10, $17.50 and $20.

april 22
Madam Sadat A woman who knows a great deal about leadership, community involvement and women's issues, Madam Jehan Sadat, is the guest speaker at a kosher luncheon for the Women's Division of the 1996 United Jewish Campaign. The goal of the luncheon is to bring women from all walks of Jewish life together to concentrate on the goals of the campaign. The purpose of Madam Sadat's talk is to continue in her role as a speaker for peace. 11:30 a.m. J.W. Marriott, 5150 Westheimer. For reservations, call Gary Kornblith, 729-7000. $27 per person, plus a $136-minimum pledge per person.

april 23
Eat Drink Man Woman Noting that the Houston Community College System has at least 14,000 students of Oriental ancestry, and that institutions of learning should promote cultural interest and enlightenment, HCCS is hosting an Asian film festival. Asian-American, Chinese and Japanese films will be shown, with Eat Drink Man Woman and Great Wall as the opening night offerings. Double features will also be shown Wednesday and Thursday; check Thrills for details. Eat Drink, 6:30; Great Wall, 9 p.m. Landmark Greenway 3 Theatre, 5 Greenway Plaza. For tickets, call Matt Veach, 718-7791, or Denny Smith, 630-7237. For directions to the theater, call 626-0402. Free.

april 24
Meet your monkey uncles Zoologist and paleoanthropologist Meave G. Leakey (who married into the Leakey clan) will talk about our ancestors and distant relations. She knows all about our kin from digging in the dirt of Africa -- the cradle of mankind. Her most recent discoveries have to do a with a hominid called Australopithecus anamensis, who is suspected to be the critter right at the juncture between Homo and australopithecine folk. After Leakey's talk about fossils from the Turkana Basin in Kenya, there'll be a dessert reception. 7 p.m. Museum ofNatural Science, 1 Hermann Circle Drive, Hermann Park. For reservations, call639-4629. $15.

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