Led by last year's league MVP Cynthia Cooper, the Houston Comets continue their pursuit of a second consecutive WNBA crown with a game against the Washington Mystics at 7:30 p.m. (for info about other Comets games this week, see page 29). Compaq Center, 10 Greenway Plaza. Info: 627-WNBA. $8 to $38 (Ticketmaster: 629-3700).
Though frequently ridiculed and wickedly parodied, the late Carl Sagan was a deeply thoughtful man with an infectious love of science -- and one of the discipline's great popularizers. Author Timothy Ferris has followed Sagan's lead, making the mind-boggling mysteries of the universe accessible to all via the superrational poetry of his books Coming of Age in the Milky Way and The Mind's Eye. Ferris's latest, The Whole Shebang: A State-of-the-Universe(s) Report, tackles perennial puzzles like relativity and quantum physics, plus emerging head-scratchers like the multiple-universe theory. Ferris discusses and signs copies of the work from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Barnes & Noble, 1029 West Bay Area Boulevard, Webster, (281) 554-8224.
When pop/country/gospel musician Larry Gatlin's not polishing his golf game, the University of Houston alum has taken to penning musicals for himself. The first was 1994's Alive and Well; the latest is Texas Flyer, about a former rodeo cowboy (Gatlin) who runs a sad cafe in a tumbleweedy town. The production's co-stars are Richard White (who's scheduled to play the title character in Theatre Under the Stars' August production of Zorro: The Musical) and Susan Powell (Miss America 1981). A preview is scheduled at 8:30 tonight; the run continues through July 25. The Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Drive in Hermann Park, 284-8350. Free.