Down Beat magazine described clarinetist Don Byron as an "agent of omnijazz" -- an omnivorous musician who practically devours different styles. He grew up listening to his father's calypso bands, his mother's piano practice, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and the New York Philharmonic. Since those early days, he's jammed in salsa bands, studied jazz at the New England Conservatory of Music, developed an interest in klezmer (Eastern European street music often led by the clarinet) and searched for "a sound above genre." There's no telling what to expect from Da Camera's "Agent of Omnijazz: Don Byron" show (selections will be announced from the stage) except a lot of variety. 8 p.m. Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas. Tickets: (713)524-5050, $25-$35. Also, Thursday, February 25, at 11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. Byron will give a performance for public schoolchildren demonstrating the evolution of jazz through film -- specifically Warner Bros. cartoons. The Power Center, 12401 S. Post Oak. Call (713)524-7601 for seating availability.
At the Compaq SCI://TECH 99 science fair you can meet and mingle with the dorks of today before they become the department heads of tomorrow. Some 3,500 local high school students will be furiously typing away on the campuses of Tomball, Montgomery and North Harris colleges in competitions like the Internet Scavenger Hunt, the WebMaster Contest, Technical Writing and, our favorite, the computer programming "Code Wars." Before you laugh, remember that in the next millennium these weird scientists will undoubtedly make at least 15 times your current salary. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call the Education for Tomorrow Alliance at (409)273-7256 for more information.
Grease on ice is a rather unappetizing concept -- whether it's Crisco, motor oil or the sock-hoppin' '70s love story about the leathered transformation of sweet Sandra Dee. Nevertheless, Grease groupies who didn't get enough of last year's rerelease might be interested in seeing Danny Zuko, Frenchy, Rizzo, Kenickie and even Vince Fontaine slide through the Compaq Center doing "that crazy hand jive" and singing such songs as "We Go Together," "Summer Nights," "Beauty School Dropout" and "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee." Two-time Olympic medalist and everybody's favorite kneeclobbering victim Nancy Kerrigan stars as Sandy. Guess Tonya was too tough to be a Pink Lady. 2 p.m. Grease on Ice also plays Saturday and Monday, February 27 and March 1, at 7:30 p.m. Compaq Center, 10 E. Greenway Plaza. Tickets: (713)629-3700, $15-$50.
The Guerrilla Girls -- a small group of anonymous art-world feminists who joined up in New York in 1985 to increase the visibility of female and minority artists -- say they weren't taken seriously until they began staging demonstrations in big, hairy ape masks. Some art scholars say that female contemporary artists are getting noticed with the same strategy: humor. Promotional cartoons for the O'Kane Gallery statewide juried exhibit, "is this a joke or what," ask, "Where does a guerilla girl show her work?" and answer, "Nowhere, until she tickles some ribs." The opening reception is tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The exhibit is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through March 31. Special "guests" will read from The Guerrilla Girls' Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art on Saturday, March 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. Rooms A427-429 in the University of Houston-Downtown's new Academic Building, One Main. Call (713)221-8042 for more information.
In her 13 years as a resident company actor at the Alley Theatre, Annalee Jefferies has played some of the best leading ladies: Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams's Streetcar Named Desire, Nurse Ratched in Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Beth in Sam Shepard's Lie of the Mind, the Mormon housewife in Tony Kushner's Angels in America... But this is her first time to tackle the title role in Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler. Written in 1890 by the "father of modern drama," Hedda Gabler is the story of a frustrated newlywed in mid-19th-century Norway. Bored by her well-to-do but dull new husband, Hedda attempts to control the lives of her friends and acquaintances -- including her much-less-dull ex-suitor Eilert Lsvborg. Tonight's show is at 7:30 p.m.; it's followed by a talk-back session. February 24 through March 20. Showtimes: Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. Call (713)228-8421 for tickets, $31-$46.
The art collection that David Rockefeller built includes more than 17,000 works of art displayed in hundreds of Chase Manhattan Bank lobbies. But corporate art has a reputation for being really, really bad. Why would anyone go to a museum to see the nondescript, over-framed art you ignore on the way to the ATM? According to the Museum of Fine Arts and the Contemporary Arts Museum, this is different. "No other corporation has been as visionary in its collecting activity as Chase Manhattan," says CAM director Marti Mayo, "emphasizing work that is ... on the edge, rather than safe...." With pieces by everyone from Donald Judd to Jean-Michel Basquiat, "Art at Work: Forty Years of the Chase Manhattan Collection" runs March 3-May 2 at the MFA, 1001 Bissonnet, (713)639-7300, and the CAM, 5216 Montrose, (713)284-8250. Hours: Tues. to Sat. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (to 9 p.m. Thu.) and Sun. from 12:15 to 6 p.m.