Press Picks

Jerry Jeff Walker Walker and his Gonzo Compadres have a new album out, Scamp, his 27th. With so much material at his disposal, what can Jerry Jeff's audience expect? The best of both of his worlds, it seems: Hear the all-new stuff mixed in with selections from his greatest hits disc, Night After Night, recorded live at the Birchmere outside Washington, D.C. The prez and vice-prez are said to have stopped in that particular Alexandria, Virginia "listening room" one night to hear Walker. Though neither politician is known for having discriminating taste in music, Walker isn't necessarily aiming at those with discriminating taste. His is a fun music with broad appeal. He may even throw in a Christmas song or two, gonzo-style, of course. 7:30 and 10 p.m. tonight and Monday. Rockefeller's, 3620 Washington Avenue, 869-TICS. $18$39.50.

monday
december 30
Not Necessarily Clean, but Sober A night of comedy with no drink minimum! That's because there's no drinking -- by the comics or the audience. Will this mean the comedians have to work harder for laughs? Maybe. More likely, though, it'll mean less heckling. Among the non-drinkers on the bill is Jimmy Pineapple, whose biting and sometimes blue comedy is the reason the Laff Stop couldn't go with "Clean and Sober" on the marquee. Since you won't be drinking during his performance, you may even leave the club remembering a Pineapple line or two to quote in the office the next day, if you're the sort to quote Pineapple in the office. Andy Huggins and Ronny Kenny are also on the bill. Juice, soda, assorted bottled waters, coffee and tea will be available. 8 p.m. Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray in the River Oaks Shopping Center, 524-2333. $8.

tuesday
december 31
New Year's Noon When the clock strikes 12 -- 12 noon, that is -- Houston youngsters will hit the punch, toot their noisemakers and parade through the halls of the Children's Museum to welcome the New Year kid-style. There'll be none of that icky adult stuff, such as kissing on the lips or sipping champagne or saying an inebriated something to your employer/spouse/parent that will haunt you until the day you die. Here kids can celebrate and still get to bed at a decent hour so mom and dad can get to the icky stuff in peace. The party starts at 10 a.m., at which time Discovery Guides will show the kids how to make their own hats and noisemakers. The parade's at noon, followed by a party with cookies and punch. Don't be late, they warn, as the museum will close today at 3 p.m. Children's Museum, 1500 Binz, 522-1138. $5; $4, seniors; free, children under two.

Holiday in the Park on New Year's This is a pure-dee fun thing to do, and given the prices for New Year's Eve activities in town, AstroWorld actually seems reasonably priced tonight. Count down the last moments of 1996 with Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Pepe Le Pew and the gang, then sing along to "Auld Lang Syne" as fireworks burst overhead. Before the main event, stroll through the decorated park, take in a holiday show or two or four, scarf down a funnel cake and take a ride down Santa's Snow Hill. A special craft area has been set up for kids, and guests get free party hats and noisemakers. Noon to midnight. 9001 Kirby Drive, 799-1234. $21.95; $19.95, children under 48 inches tall; $15.48, seniors; free, children two and under.

New Year's Eve with Jennifer Holliday Houston's own "Dreamgirl" sets loose her soulful pipes on the hometown crowd to celebrate the passing of another year. Holliday has won a Tony and a Grammy and even had a dance hit a decade back with "No Frills Love." She'll probably sing that, as well as "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," a song that garnered this songbird a great deal of attention at the tender age of 22. This is a dress-up event, and since you're all dolled up, why not go all out? The regular ticket price includes a post-concert party, a continental buffet and dancing; however, the Gold Package ($500 per couple) will get you all that plus a cocktail reception, dinner at Charley's 517, a room at the Four Seasons Hotel and a free ride to and from the shindig. 10 p.m. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Avenue, 228-8421. $75 per person.

Out of This World This musical adaptation of Moliere's classic comedy Amphitryon concerns the god Jupiter, his crush on a newly married mortal and Jupiter's wife Juno's desire to thwart hubby's plan to seduce the young woman. Does our heroine stand a chance? Jupiter's son Mercury gets in the mix when he sets out to help his dad, then falls for a mortal of his very own. The action takes place in Greece, and really, if you were a god, isn't that where you'd live? The music and lyrics are by Cole Porter. Champagne reception, 8:30 p.m.; performance, 9 p.m. Additional performances through January 12 (see Thrills, Theater for showtimes). Main Street Theater, Chelsea Market, 4617 Montrose, 524-6706. $50.

wednesday
january 1
Psychic Fair Extravaganza You just can't get through an early morning episode of The Andy Griffith Show these days without several commercial interruptions from telephone psychics -- techno-minded practitioners of the intuitive arts -- hawking their services. If seeing these has piqued your interest, but you're not the type to sit on the phone, test the waters at this one-day event. Gary Wayne is the celebrity psychic, and you'll find experts on numerology, astrology, tarot, palmistry, massage therapy and aromatherapy. Moreover, Arthur Douet, internationally acclaimed portrait and spiritual artist, will be around to promote copies of his 1997 calendar. And you know, in this day and age when going to a bridal fair or craft show will run you six or seven dollars, the psychics are only charging a buck; they know we can't afford more coming on the heels of Christmas, which I think proves they're the real deal. (However, if you're content taking your chances venturing into the New Year without psychic advice, at least put on a pot of hoppin' John for good luck before settling in with the Cotton Bowl, the Rose Bowl and your old habits.) 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Marriott West Loop Hotel, 1750 West Loop South. For information, call 706-6931. $1.

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