Press Picks

thursday
june 6
Mr. Holland's Opus There's a lot of talk lately about what's new at movie theaters, but Cinemark has something really different: tonight, Cinemark Hollywood 16 will show the heartwarming story of a music teacher father and his deaf child with closed captions for the deaf and hard of hearing. The hope among that community is that this screening, which they herald as the first Houston-area screening of a first-run film with closed captions, will show theater managers that an audience exists for captioned films. 7 p.m. Cinemark Hollywood 16 Theatre, Beltway 8 at Red Bluff, Pasadena, 475-0081. $5.75; $3.50, seniors and children.

The Mask of Moriarty Hugh Leonard plays fast and loose with fictional heroes; his new play is described as "Sherlock Holmes meets Monty Python." Main Street Theater, however, keeps Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved detective in good hands: the comedy-mystery is directed by Freeman Williams, who directed Main Street casts in three previous productions with Sherlock -- Crucifer of Blood, Tainted Blood and Sherlock's Last Case. (The theater's calling Williams "MST's master of the macabre and zany.") Opening tonight, 7:30 p.m. Main Street Theater, Chelsea Market, 4617 Montrose, 524-6706. $10$15.

The Sleeping Beauty This classic ballet features an eternal princess, a grand dame and Janie Parker (whose imminent retirement means she'll soon need an appellation other than "Houston Ballet principal dancer"). The grand dame is Dame Margot Fonteyn, this century's finest Aurora. Fonteyn provided "special coaching" for the 1990 production of Ben Stevenson's production. That coaching, and other details, paid off. In 1992, Dance Magazine cheered the ballet, Stevenson and "witty details, including a ferocious, Joan Collins-style Carabosse who wears a tutu with sequined snakes on the bodice." (Unlike most companies, Houston Ballet has a woman, rather than a man in drag, dance the bad-girl role: Sandra Organ and Susan Cummins will alternate.) Janie Parker will alternate in the role of Princess Aurora with Rachelle Jonell Beard and Lauren Anderson. (Parker's dates listed in Thrills, Dance.) Opening tonight, 7:30 p.m. Wortham Center, Brown Theater, Texas at Smith, 227-ARTS. $10$75.

friday
june 7
Guy Harvey Expect a parking lot full of Ford trucks with GCCA and Ducks Unlimited bumper stickers: internationally famous marine-life artist Guy Harvey is signing autographs and selling art at Academy this weekend. The Jamaican-born painter studied marine zoology at Aberdeen University in Scotland, studied further at the University of the West Indies and then produced a thesis on the ecology of coastal pelagic fish. But scholarship paled beside the call of the wetlands muse. Beloved by fans of the finned and waterfowl, Harvey produces both large works, such as a 26-foot-high sailfish mural on Fort Lauderdale's busiest bridge, and small ones, such as leaping redfish on T-shirts. He also creates seascapes on canvas and sells posters. This art signing might be a terrific place to pick up a Father's Day gift. Harvey will be at the Katy Freeway store, 8723 Katy Freeway, 59 p.m. today. Tomorrow, he'll be at the Pasadena store, 5500 Spencer Highway, 10 a.m.2 p.m. At both appearances, he'll offer customers a chance to win an original print and sign autographs on any of his works (which we think must include funked-up old T-shirts that are very much the worse for wear). Asia/America Identities in Contemporary Asian American Art Okay, pals and gals, we're munching spring rolls and slurping pho like there's no tomorrow, so don't you think it's time we got interested in other aspects of Asian and Asian-American culture? Of course it's time, and it's time to see some knockout art, too. The University of Houston and the Asia Society present "Asia/America," a groundbreaking survey of works by contemporary Asian-American artists. Many styles and countries are represented, and many of the works are surprising, striking and unforgettable. On view through July 2. The show has a preview, 79 p.m. tonight, and at 7 p.m. June 13, guest curator Margo Machida and three artists will be part of a round table discussion. Also, on Saturdays in June and July, some of the artists will lead workshops for kids. ($5 per person or $25 for a set of six.) Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston (entrance number 16 off Cullen), 743-9530.

The River Under the River Houston Weave Dance Company presents its first show. The new company, formed by five Houston-based choreographers, unveils five short modern dance works. Musical accompaniment ranges from Brian Eno to Pergolesi, and dancer/ choreographers will discuss their choices in a pre-curtain talk before the performances. Talk, 7:30; dance, 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday. Rice University, Harjo Studio. For more information, call Bonnie Boykin Busker, 664-5935. $7; $6, seniors and students.

Beyond Desire: New Lesbian and Gay Performances Take a trip down memory lane with former Pomo Afro Homo Brian Freeman, and get wisdom from Technomama Ann Sisnett, a Panamanian-born poet who's head of the Foundation for a Compassionate Society (look for 'em on the World Wide Web). Both poets will read at the first performance in this summer's Beyond Desire: New Lesbian and Gay Performance series; tonight's installment is titled "Pretty, Witty and Wild." 8 p.m. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, 223-8346. $10; $7, students.

saturday
june 8
Montgomery Old West Festival In modern-day Texas we have few opportunities to see a herd of longhorns on a cattle drive, even during the bigger rodeos. The Old West Festival doesn't have a rodeo, but it has roundup entertainment such as roping and branding; cloggers; a performance by the Jose Brothers, cowboy nerds; and a barn dance. (Those who don't want to dance can visit the saloon and gaming parlor in the evening.) Some of the unique entertainments include readings by cowboy poets, Native American basket making crafts and a horse training demonstration by Larry Heidbreder. And don't worry kids: Sourdough the cowboy (a persona of Don Sanders) will sing. His antics are offered along with monkey puppets and stories from Deermoon. 10 a.m.midnight today; 8 a.m.5 p.m. Sunday. Montgomery Old West Festival, downtown Montgomery, 15 miles west of Conroe where Highway 105 meets FM 149. For more information, call (409) 449-MOWF. $8; $4, children three12; free, children under three.

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