Press Picks

thursday
march 27
Threadgill's -- The Cookbook Threadgill's is a great place for lunch, except that it's so darned packed all the time, and it's a couple of hundred miles away. Better to whip up the Austin institution's Southern dishes at home. Proprietor and recipeman Eddie Wilson -- the so-called curator of Austin cool -- combined 100 recipes with asides such as food songs by Guy Clark and food poems by Roy Blount Jr. The first printing -- 10,000 copies -- sold out during the Christmas rush, but now you can pick up a copy from the second batch, bend Wilson's ear and sample a few of his Easter recipes. Noon-4 p.m. Randalls, 1407 South Voss, 783-8304. Free; copies of the book sell for $21.95.

Sample a sliced retina? The Museum of Health and Medical Science, home of Sneezy Sammy and Safety Sally, is celebrating its first birthday, and for the occasion, Tom Tanes, chef at the nearby Wyndham Warwick, has baked a really big cake ... in the shape of a really big eyeball. The cake is modeled after the colossal peeper in the museum's Amazing Body Pavilion, and whether the layers are white, chocolate or red velvet we can't say. But there will be candles and music compliments of the New Caney High School Tuba Quartet. 4-7 p.m. Museum of Health & Medical Science, 1515 Hermann Drive, 521-1515. Free.

friday
march 28
Joe Laid Aside Using that name, Fernando Casimiro reaches out to young people, urging them to shed their anger for their own good. The Belize native was abandoned by his parents, raised in squalor and eventually hitchhiked to Houston, where things have gotten better. Tonight, he tells his story, through poetry and performance. 9 p.m. tonight and April 4. Cafe Artiste, 1601 West Main (at Mandell), 528-3704. Free.

Fifth Annual Bunny Roast No, they won't barbecue rabbits. Nor will Santa Claus, the Great Pumpkin and Baby New Year be on hand to humorously salute the Easter Bunny. The Strand Street Saloon's fifth annual Easter festival celebrates the season with a barbecue cook-off, an Easter egg hunt for the kids and lots of music -- Mark May and the Agitators, Bert Wills and more. The festivities kick off at 4 p.m. today with 98 in the Shade and pick back up at noon Saturday and Sunday. At 10 Mile and Stewart roads, Galveston, (409) 763-6260. $3.

Lone Star Dinosaurs See how the great state of Texas might've looked 100 million years ago, before longhorns and ranches, oil derricks and football, before bluebonnets, mesquite and Enchanted Rock. Even then, things were big. Texas-based artist Karen Carr consulted with paleontologists and paleobotanists to paint the original Texans -- tyrannosaurs, nodosaurs and hypsilophodonts -- and their portraits are on display with fossils, fossil casts and more. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Houston Museum of Natural Science, 1 Hermann Circle Drive, Hermann Park, 639-IMAX. $3; $2, children under 12.

Great Loves of the Silver Screen While Stephen Stein and the Houston Symphony run through romantic selections from the soundtracks of movies such as Brigadoon, the corresponding film clips will show on a giant screen hung over the stage. Alas, there's not an Ennio Morricone song in the lot, but Doctor Zhivago gets its due with five scenes; other leading men include King Kong and Boris Karloff. 8 p.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-ARTS. $21-$56.

Lifesavers Party This Good Friday, bad boys can do good at Rich's. Fork over ten bucks for the entertainment -- DJ Danny M from South Beach, Florida, plus Shawn Welling, Planet Funk and Mix 96 celebs -- and feel warm and fuzzy knowing the proceeds will support AIDS research. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Rich's, 2401 San Jacinto, 521-2910. $10.

saturday
march 29
Lights... Camera... Music! It's the symphony again, this time performing soundtrack selections for kids. Heated glances and puckered lips are out; Dorothy, Toto and Robin Hood are in. The clips will be projected on a giant screen while the musicians play; kids can come early to visit the Instrument Petting Zoo. 10:30 a.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-ARTS. $5-$10; $3-$7, children.

The Brubeck Brothers These three are the offspring of Dave, so you know that when they brag that jazz was their first language, they grew up fluent. Tonight, Matthew (cello, piano, bass), Daniel (drums) and Christopher (bass, trombone, piano) play some of their own stuff, some of their dad's stuff and a few standards, too. 8 p.m. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice Street, Galveston, (800) 821-1894. $14.50-$24.50.

Rom Ryan Guitarist Ryan reaches into the musical melting pot to pull out a style that he calls "new edge music," a mixture of world beat and New Age. Vicky Charleston, Austin's queen of the poetry slam, opens. 8 p.m. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, 663-7087. $10.

Paddle Armand Bayou Dr. Tommy Douglas of the Galveston Bay Foundation is leading a canoe convoy down Armand Bayou; he's hip to the native creatures and their habitats and will point out natural points of interest, as well as unnatural changes brought on by encroaching Clear Lake City. They say the paddling is easy, and the trip will include many stops; if you don't already have a canoe, you can rent one for $25. 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. For more information, call 332-3381. $10.

Urban Cowboy reunion Bud and Sissy, Uncle Bob and Jesse live ... in the hearts of locals who 17 years ago helped make Urban Cowboy. The party-throwers have already collected RSVPs from musicians from Gilley's house band (Robert Herridge, Johnny Williams and Kenny Fulton, to name a few); Gator Connelly, the man who taught John Travolta how to two-step; and Steve Stronge, who ran the bull at Gilley's and who played his brother Sam Stronge in the movie. Mingle with them, and enjoy music, dancing, Lone Star beer and rides on the very bull that broke Bud's arm. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. G's Ice House, 6961 Highway 225, (281) 479-9213. $7.

Rocky trailers When Rocky Horror Picture Show fans yelled for the River Oaks Theatre to "start the fucking movie," they weren't just following tradition: They really didn't want trailers for other features mucking up their experience. The theater has surrendered to public demand, and the promos will now trail the feature. Stick around after tonight's midnight screening and see blips of Kiss, a movie about necrophilia; Crash, about open marriage and car wrecks; and the director's cut of Das Boot. Around midnight. Landmark River Oaks 3, 2009 West Gray, 524-2175. $6.75.

sunday
march 30
Easter Celebrate this holiest day of the year with folks who have much to be thankful for: a bowling alley, among other church amenities. First Baptist Church has several services today, alternating between a traditional choir service and one that's more contemporary. Choir service at 8:15 and 11 a.m.; "The Gathering (Worship Contemporary)," 9:30 a.m. First Baptist Church, 7401 Katy Freeway (at Loop 610), 957-6754, www.hfbc.org. Childcare provided. Free, until the collection plate passes your pew.

Easter Orange Hunt After listening raptly to the songs of Don Sanders, the Sourdough Cowboy, well-mannered children in patent-leather shoes will proceed in an orderly manner to collect the oranges and sugar-free candies the Orange Show Bunny has hidden around the folk-art environs. That, or all the eager little rugrats will strip the place of its holiday goodies in 30 seconds flat. 12:30 p.m. The Orange Show, 2401 Munger, 926-6368. $1, children 12 and under; free, everyone older than 12.

monday
march 31
A.D. Players' 30th anniversary Three decades back, Jeannette Clift George started a theater company with the help of a few volunteers; today, that company boasts 35 staffers and a million-dollar budget. Tonight, the A.D. Players celebrate with a black-tie dinner and auction, followed by a retrospective of the theater's lengthy career. 6 p.m. Doubletree Hotel, 2001 Post Oak Boulevard, 439-0181. $100-$1,000.

tuesday
april 1
No Foolin' kite auction If you've got a hero other than Willie Nelson, chances are that person has decorated a kite for tonight's UH Art Friends auction. Elizabeth Taylor, Evander Holyfield, Van Cliburn, A.J. Foyt and Kimba, our own pachyderm personality, are just a few of the names in the all-star cast. And even better, each kite is attached to a themed prize. Snag Ann Richards's kite and drive out on a 1948 Indian Chief motorcycle; Rob Mosbacher's contribution comes attached to a press conference lunch with the bureau chiefs of the New York Times, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal. Like I said: There's something for all tastes. Racehorse Haynes is the auctioneer; proceeds benefit the University of Houston art department's scholarship and fellowship fund. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Bistro Vino, 819 West Alabama, 850-0208. Find your checkbook, and call ASAP to save your place on the guest list.

Hail Hale-Bopp The comet is visible through the end of April, but it's closest to the sun today, which means that it's as bright as it's going to get. You can see it lurking near the northwest horizon just after sunset, but if you want to catch this particular ball of celestial ice free from the bright lights of the city, hie yourself to Brazos Bend State Park. (Alas, the park observatory's 36-inch telescope, available to the public at only $1 a pop, is open only on Saturday nights; still, the naked eye will do.) Dusk-10 p.m. Brazos Bend State Park (55 miles from downtown on Hwy. 59; exit Crabb River Road and follow the brown signs). 639-4777. $5 per carload.

wednesday
april 2
Dr. John Deutch The recent director of Central Intelligence is here tonight, and his speech, sponsored by the Holocaust Museum Houston, will ask whether we've learned the lessons of the Holocaust, and why intelligence -- in every meaning of the word -- is needed to prevent similar genocide. For Deutch, this message isn't just a job, it's his heritage: His family escaped the Nazis and immigrated to the U.S. 55 years ago. 8 p.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 942-8000, extension 126. $50.

Dog Opera No fat lady sings, though our play's heroine is overweight. Single, she commiserates with her gay friend Peter about the paltry few good men out there. Together they come to terms with their feelings for their parents, lovers and each other. Stages's production is the Houston premiere of Constance Congdon's play. The first preview begins tonight at 8 p.m.; the show's regular run is April 4-27. Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Parkway, 527-0220. $10, preview price.

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