Press Picks

thursday
june 19
Eat Out & Chip In Too often, making the world a better place requires you to perform some bothersome volunteer activity or, worse, to contribute actual money. But for a limited time only, would-be do-gooders are in luck: The Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS has devised a scheme by which you can combat that disease in an entirely pleasurable way: by dining at the right restaurants. Approximately 40 Houston eateries -- including This Is It, benjy's, Treebeard's, Toopees, Brasil and Armando's -- will donate a portion of today's sales to DIFFA. For a complete list of participating restaurants, call DIFFA/Houston at 552-9445.

Old-Fashioned Like-It-Used-to-Be Juneteenth Celebration For the second year, Harris County Precinct One and County Commissioner El Franco Lee celebrate the day Texas slaves heard about emancipation. From 11 a.m. till noon, Bob Lee ("Da Mayor" of Fifth Ward) will talk about slave humor, and historian Patricia Prather will recap the holiday's history. At noon, a traditional lunch -- barbecue and watermelon -- will be served, accompanied by blues recordings from the '40s and '50s. Kashmere Annex, 3815 Cavalcade. Free, as long as the food holds out.

Crisol The Afro-Cuban jazz group led by Texan Roy Hargrove makes an early stop on its tour to promote its new album, Habana. 7:30 p.m. Cullen Theater, Wortham Center, 500 Texas Avenue, 629-3700. $21-$33. Proceeds benefit the S.H.A.P.E. Community Center.

The Woman in Black For eight years, this ghost story has haunted London. Now Houston theatergoers have the same chance to scare themselves silly, watching as a middle-aged Englishman tries to revive a faded memory -- one perhaps better left repressed. London's Daily Mail called the play "a darkly glittering rarity -- a genuine thriller." Opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. (See Thrills, Theater for additional showtimes.) $10-$15. Main Street Theater, 2540 Times Blvd., 524-6706.

The Gap Band Like every tobacco company that plasters its name on entertainment events, Benson & Hedges claims that its sponsorship of "100 Nights Live!," a summertime series of low-priced music, is designed "to enhance brand awareness and recognition among adults who smoke." But judging from the lineup, B&H really does mean "adults": Does anyone under 30 remember the Barkays? Morris Day and the Time? Or tonight's act, the Gap Band? In case you're drawing a blank: The R&B group's hits include "Shake," "You Dropped a Bomb on Me," and "Oops Upside Your Head." And you might've heard their riffs sampled by Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg. Ah, immortality. 10:30 p.m. Club Phoenix, 64 Woodlake Square, 977-0100. $12. The series continues through July 5. Smoking, of course, will be allowed.

friday
june 20
Puro Gallo rally In his lithographs and prints, Joe Luis Lopez often depicts roosters, obvious symbols of masculine strutting and crowing. He labels his poster-ish cocks of the walk "Puro Gallo" -- Spanish for "pure rooster." But somewhere, something got lost in translation, and in a fit of corporate strutting and crowing, Gallo Wines sued Lopez over his use of the word "gallo." Today, pro-Lopez picketers will demonstrate outside stores selling Gallo wines. And this evening, Casa Ramirez Folkart Gallery and Velia's Cafe host a fiesta and rally, with Lopez in attendance and live Latin pop and salsa by Ten Tazion. The rally's 6-9 p.m. at Velia's Cafe, 2910 Navigation, 228-3542; $5 suggested contribution (to benefit Lopez's legal defense fund). The artist's lithographs, greeting cards and T-shirts are also on display through July 14 at Casa Ramirez Gallery, 239 W. 19th St., 880-2420. Look for picketers at a grocery store near you.

Cotton Patch Gospel Think Jesus Christ, Supercracker. In the '70s, playwright Tom Key adapted the works of Clarence Jordan, who transposed the books of Matthew and John to backwoods Georgia; eventually, Harry Chapin added a bluegrass score. Now, 18 years after the musical was a hit in New York, the A.D. Players have resurrected it. The Lord of Lords, King of Kings is born in an abandoned trailer, John the Baptizer preaches fire and brimstone and Governor Herod arranges a lynching. Pray that Christ -- and the South -- will rise again. Opens at 8 p.m. tonight (see Thrills, Theater for additional showtimes). Grace Theater, 2710 W. Alabama, 526-2721. $19.

Pumped Up on Art Yes, darling, you've long been fixated on the shoes of the supervixens. And now's your chance to own a pair once graced by a camp icon. Tonight the bugle-beaded glitterati will bid on footwear previously worn by drag queen favorites such as Julie Andrews, Fran Drescher, Julie Newmar and Elizabeth Taylor. But even if you buy the stars' high heels, don't think for a minute that you can put yourself in their shoes. Local artists have transformed the autographed pumps into works of art -- "fabulous" works of art, we're assured. Auction proceeds benefit the Pride Committee of Houston. 7 p.m. The Majestic Metro, 911 Preston, 529-6979. $30. Formal or semi-formal attire.

saturday
june 21
Butterfly Count This morning, the birders of the Houston Audubon Society turn their field glasses to another variety of winged creature: butterflies. Count leader P.D. Hulce explains that butterflies act as a kind of early-warning system for the environment; if the fluttering nectar-suckers are in trouble, so are we all. To help with the census at Brazos Bend State Park, show up with bug spray, binoculars and lunch at 7:30 a.m. (yes, a.m.). Elm Lake at Brazos Bend State Park. $2.50. For directions and more information, call Hulce at 863-1142.

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