Press Picks

Quartet Infernal Bridegroom pitches its new production as "for mature audiences only," which means that not only is sex an issue, but the story is fit for an adult intellect. German playwright Heiner MYller based his 1981 play on Dangerous Liaisons (the 1782 novel, not the film, but the gist is the same). A cruel couple plot the moral and sexual destruction of those around them; the action takes place simultaneously in a drawing room before the French Revolution and in an air raid shelter after WWIII. Greg Dean and Shelley Calene play all the parts. Previews at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday. Through May 10 (see Thrills, Theater for additional performance times). Commerce Street Art Warehouse, 2315 Commerce Street, 935-2008. Previews, $6.99; regular performances, $9.99.

april 19
Dionne Warwick You know what's in store tonight, maybe because you're psychic, but more likely because Warwick -- perpetrator of "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" -- sold more than 12 million records before 1966, and through the '70s and '80s continued to appeal to swoony pop audiences. Now, she's better known as Whitney Houston's cousin and a mainstay of the Psychic Friends Network. Tonight, she sings with the Houston Symphony. 8 p.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-ARTS. $21-$56.

Houston International Festival This festival's huge, man, the biggest we've got in this big ol' city. The event's basically the same as before, this year with a Chinese theme; there'll be food, music on five stages, and plenty to occupy kids and shoppers. If you're in the market for a date, you may be interested to know that slightly more women attend than men, that half the folks there are college graduates, and on average make more than $50,000 a year. 11 a.m.8 p.m. today, Sunday and April 26-27; 11 a.m.-2 p.m. April 21-25 (see Thrills, Music, for concert times). Spanning 20 blocks of downtown Houston; you can't miss it. $6; $2, optional donation for kids three11; free, two and under.

Tenth Annual Roadside Attractions: The Artists' Parade of Cars Dr. Seuss liked nonsense; "It wakes up the brain cells," he once said. Dr. Seuss would have dug Art Car Weekend. Artists from all over, and especially from right here, have transformed their vehicles into mobile folk art and will parade all 180 products of their overheated imaginations through downtown Saturday, cutting right through the International Festival. 12 p.m. From Allen Parkway at Taft, down Lamar, Smith and Walker to the Sabine Street Bridge at Buffalo Bayou Art Park. The awards ceremony follows at Heritage Park. Free, unless you view the parade from inside the festival.

Totally TV Visit two of the men who give life to the Disney studio's television cartoons: The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Timon and Pumbaa, Aladdin, the new Jungle Cubs and more. Steve Wetzel, production manager for Walt Disney Art Classics, and Raffi Parseghian, Disney artist, compete with their creations this Saturday morning. Those who do pull away from the TV set can see up close how a cel is created, and can even ogle several extremely rare cels. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Fine Toon, 2427 Bissonnet, 522-6499. Free.

april 20
Elissa Regatta and Parade The Houston Yacht Club is turning 100, and the celebratory parade will be led by Texas's own tall ship Elissa. She's glad to lead the way, no doubt, because proceeds from this annual flotilla have helped keep her in sailing shape. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The parade starts at the entrance to the Bayport Channel near Bayport, heads down the Houston Ship Channel to Barbour's Cut, then turns back. The best viewing will be from 10:15-11 a.m. at Morgan's Point (take Highway 225 east to Highway 146 north; exit on Barbour's Cut Boulevard), (409) 763-1877. Free.

april 21
Beat a weatherman On the links, that is. During the Second Annual Weatherman's Classic, our town's most notable weather gurus will be out on the course raising money for a planned Weather Museum and Education Center -- specifically, for an elevator and restrooms. Dr. Neil "Tiger" Frank, who won the first of these events last year, is back; his challengers include Frank Billingsley, Doug Brown, Ed Brandon, Kathie Turner, Mario Gomez and more. Registration, 10 a.m.-noon; tee time, 12:30 p.m.; awards banquet and dinner, 5:30 p.m. Willowisp Country Club, 14502 Fondren, 529-3076. $125. And no, there's not a rain date.

april 22
Celebrate Earth Day with Mother Earth This humongous eco-sculpture, a project of the Houston Women's Caucus for Art, will be made from the earth and built by women, their children and their caregivers. Once complete, Mother Earth -- all 80 feet of her -- will recline in a meadow, one hand resting on her pregnant abdomen, the other palm outstretched, offering passersby a place to rest. She'll be missing her left breast -- a sign of loss and environmental concerns. Volunteers are needed to help shape the hills, to help plant the sod and to help water and weed the sculpture once she sprouts like the giant Chia Pet that she is. Challenger Seven Memorial Park, I-45 south to NASA Road 1, turn right, then left at the first intersection after the light onto West NASA Boulevard. The park entrance is a half-mile on the left and the sculpture is toward the bird sanctuary. To volunteer, or just to ask questions, call 520-7840 and push *4. Free.

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