Press Picks

ROBIN LEACH AND CAROLYN FARBo Together at Last! Former Rocket Robert Reid and cheery Aussie TV star Robin Leach will join their very dear friend for "The Magic of Carolyn Farb," a roast and toast honoring her life of twisting arms to raise money for good causes. Tonight's good cause: the Trinity Life Center for abused and neglected children, which teaches kids self-respect and lets them work with horses and perform ranch chores. Black tie. Cocktails and silent auction, 6:30; dinner, 7:30; entertainment, 8:30 p.m. Doubletree Post Oak, 2001 Post Oak Boulevard. For tickets, call308-1000. Suggested underwriting levels, $1,500$10,000.

Unity: Together We Can Continue to Make a Difference Lee Brown -- former police chief of Houston and New York, former national drug czar, current Rice professor -- will address the local chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants Inc. Will he finally announce that he's running for mayor? Is he auditioning potential campaign treasurers? Is he explicitly courting the black-accountant bloc vote? Don't expect answers. 6:30 p.m. Sheraton Astrodome, 8686 Kirby, 241-0215. $50.

The Bar Art Show An exhibit of work culled from bars. Really. Prankster/artists the Art Guys and three unidentified "special guest curators" have gathered objets from dives and posh spots throughout the Gulf Coast. Opening 8 p.m.1 a.m. Contemporary Art Guys Museum, 631 West 22nd Street, 880-2302.

june 23
Texas Grape-Grazing Not that we're sick of beer festivals, but it's about time we had a celebration of the grape. Texas wines, vintages with a long history beginning with Catholic Spanish conquistadors who had to have communion wine, are the flavor of the day. Reds and whites from Grape Creek, Llano Estacado, Messina Hof, Ste. Genevieve and other wineries will be poured, and food from fine downtown restaurants will be served. Take note, trendoids: there's a cigar seminar! All this and live music. (And, yes, beer.) Noon6 p.m. Market Square Park, downtown at Congress and Travis. $2, sampler ticket; $3, taster ticket; $6, connoisseur kit, with wine glass, notebook and taster ticket.

Pride Knows No Borders Press releases and announcements have been arriving for weeks, announcing events connected to Lesbian and Gay Pride Week with the earnest charm of Kiwanis missives. The female grand marshall, we were told, was elected at a "heavily attended meeting." (And with good reason, apparently: Jeanette Vaughn is a longtime member of the Royal, Sovereign and Imperial Court of the Single Star, and bears the title "Imperial Queen Mother for Life.") In any case, the end result of all those committee meetings is Pride Week, and its crowning events are today's parade and Pride Fest. The parade begins at 5 p.m., and runs down Westheimer, from Woodhead to Whitney. At 7 p.m., the parade dead-ends into the fest, at the corner of Taft and Lovett. For more information, call 529-6979, e-mail info//

june 24
A Retrospective of the Works of Massimo Troisi Before Il Postino made him famous, actor Massimo Troisi did a lot of good work. Now, eager to satisfy American appetites for "that skinny guy with the big eyes," the Cecchi Gori Group and Miramax Films have assembled a retrospective package with four other thoughtful, sensitive Troisi films. (The weekend features are listed in Thrills, Film & Video.) The Houston tour concludes with tonight's feature, Che Ora E (What Time Is It?), a 1989 film directed by Ettore Scola and, reportedly, Troisi's favorite among the three films he made with the director. In a shift that may startle Postino fans, Troisi plays the son of a lawyer (Marcello Mastroianni). Three shows this evening. Landmark, Greenway 3, 5 Greenway Plaza, 626-0402. $6.75.

june 25
Pint for a Pint Ben & Jerry's and the Blood Center have joined forces. The Vermont ice-cream makers have announced a new flavor, the iron-rich Hemoglobin Hash, and... Okay, I made that up. But in an attempt to make donating blood more appealing, the Blood Center is offering a "Pint for a Pint" trade off; you give blood, you get a coupon for ice cream. You can give (and get) at any of the Blood Center's fixed-site facilities or at a mobile center. For more information, call 790-1200.

june 26
The Book of Mercy Houstonian Kathleen Cambor -- a protege of the late Donald Barthelme and a student of Rosellen Brown -- has produced a first novel that draws heavily on her own bizarre life experience: specifically, the discovery that her in-laws belonged to a secret alchemy society and cast spells. Her novel is about a woman trying to understand her own father's oddball religious ideas. She reads at Brazos Bookstore. 7 p.m. 2421 Bissonnet, 523-0701.

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