Cinderella Both ballet and fairy tales occupy that region of our imagination that is lyrical and magical. Everything that happens in them seems so impossible. The leaps and turns and lovely lines of the ballerina embody that mystical moment little girls long for when they read the tale of Cinderella, who's transformed from a stepchild/scullery maid into a princess. Ballet seems the perfect medium for her tale, and Ben Stevenson's Cinderella is now in the repertoire of 20 companies throughout the world. In 1996, the New York Times called the work "splendid" and "dazzling." Tonight we here in Houston can be dazzled by both the magical power of fairy godmothers and the wondrously human power of the ballet. 7:30 p.m. (See Thrills, Dance for other dates and times.) Brown Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas, 227-ARTS. $10-$88.
Roseanna Vitro Borders Books in Meyerland hosts musical events regularly, and tonight it features something special. Roseanna Vitro, who began her career in Houston, sings jazz like few others do. In the words of a Chicago Reader critic, she sounds as if her voice "could physically move the stage -- reaching down for something slow and sultry, she brings a hothouse sensuality to her music." Tonight, as part of the Houston Jazz Festival, she'll perform songs from her latest release, a compilation of Ray Charles tunes. Come, listen and if you buy a CD, she'll probably autograph it. 8-10 p.m. Borders Books, Music & Cafe, Meyerland Plaza, Loop 610 at Beechnut, 661-2888. Free.
Romper Room We call it play when a kid builds head-high towers with blocks, or when she cuts off Barbie's hair and glues it to her plastic horse. When grownups do the same, we call it art. Of course, those adults tend to be consciously subversive, sexual and political as they draw and glue and stack; that's part of what makes their stuff art. Still, that thoughtful time artists spend in the studio is colored by the distant shadows of their childhood play. And therein lies the concept of a new DiverseWorks show: examining "the zone in which art and play collide." Twenty artists throughout the nation have contributed work for Romper Room, a traveling show organized by Thread Waxing Space in New York. Tonight marks the opening reception. 7-9 p.m. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, 223-8346. Free.
Jack and Jill The battle between the sexes has been a central theme of comedy since Aristophanes's Lysistrata decided that she and all her sister Athenians would withhold their "favors" till the menfolk realized that making love is infinitely better than making war. Fast forward to 1996, when Pulitzer-nominated playwright Jane Martin writes her own take on this ancient struggle. Jack and Jill has been called a "touching, cautionary and, yes, very funny dissection of the human heart." It is the story of a man and woman who fall in love but find that her need to articulate her feelings collides with his desire to be quiet about touchy-feely stuff. Sound familiar? Rob Bundy, who begins his second year as Stages's artistic director and whose credits include productions at Actors Theatre in Louisville and Circle Repertory Lab in New York, will direct. Runs thru Oct. 12. Opens 8 p.m. tonight at Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Parkway, 527-0220. $25-$28, opening night; $15-$21, regular performances.
Houston Women's Festival Move over Lilith Fair: The Houston Women's Festival is an all-day affair featuring music, comedy, music, art and then of course, more music, all female, all righteous and many from right here in Texas. The Therapy Sisters and Cowboy's Nightmare are just two of the six acts singing today. Most promising of all is the duo that headlines: Zrazy hails all the way from Ireland, plays a critically acclaimed mishmash of Irish-influenced techno-pop/jazz/ballad music and has played it in London, Vienna and Amsterdam. Celebrate your femaleness. 1:30 p.m. to midnight. Garden in the Heights, 3926 Feagan, 868-1910. $10, advance; $12, door; $5, children ten16; free, children under ten.
Terry Fox Run Years ago, Terry Fox lost his right leg to cancer. So he did what any sane man would do: He set out on a 5,300-mile run across Canada in hopes of raising people's awareness of cancer. He ran 3,399 miles and raised $24 million before losing his life to the disease. Inspired by his courage, others have taken up his cause. This year marks the 16th Terry Fox Run for Cancer. Registration, 6-7 a.m. Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar, 652-6206. $20, 5K; $10, kids' 1K.