Accidental Death of an Anarchist, by Nobel Prize-winning Italian playwright Dario Fo, tells the darkly comedic story of "The Fool," a man who gets arrested for impersonating a judge. He's taken to the same police station where just weeks earlier an anarchist being held for questioning "accidentally" fell out the window to his death. The Fool uses his talent at impersonating judges to trick the police into investigating the accident. Main Street Theater first tried to produce Fo's political farce in the early '80s, when a man being questioned by Houston police mysteriously fell into a bayou and died, but they were unable to get the rights to the play. Lucky for them, indictments of abuse of power never go out of style. 8 p.m. Also Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. ($13), Saturdays at 8 p.m. ($18) and Sundays at 4 p.m. ($14) through April 3. Main Street Theater in the Village, 2540 Times Boulevard, (713)524-7606. $18.
The Orange Show preservationists have triumphed over rust and more than 20 years of decay. Houston's fruit-inspired alternate universe created by that strange late postman Jeff McKissack is reopened for business. To celebrate, Harlem Slim will lead a '20s Delta Blues jam session, KPFT's Rick Heysquierdo will emcee a battle of the one-man bands, the Houston Men of Morris Dancers will welcome spring with the fancy footwork of their folk fertility ritual, and Chef Behne (another postman-by-day) will feed the hungry masses. 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Orange Show, 2402 Munger, (713)926-6368. (Art-car artists are invited to pick up their entry packets for the Art Car Parade, April 17.) Spring operating hours are Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $1.
In 1993 the Texas Legislature finally passed a law allowing breweries to sell their beer in their own on-premises restaurants and pubs. The state celebrated by sprouting a brewpub on nearly every street corner and creating the Texas Brewers Festival. At this year's fifth annual festival, you can taste, or chug, more than 40 Texas-made beers and ten wines from Texas vineyards while listening to the music of Chris Duarte, Norma Zenteno, the Sonnier Brothers, Little Jack Melody, the Allen Oldies Band and the Texas Militia Men. Noon to 9 p.m. at Market Square, Preston and Travis. The alcoholic lineup is the same Sunday, March 27, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., but the musical guests are Hadden Sayers, The Hollisters, Carolyn Wonderland and the Imperial Monkeys, Moses Guest and Hot Club of Cowtown.
Sure, you'll see some River Oaks jewels on the American Institute of Architects home tour, "A Celebration of Distinguished Houston Residential Architecture, 1924-1999," but the most interesting stops show that it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to build an award-winning home. The concrete-block town houses at 5811 Rose in the Memorial Park area were built by three college architecture classmates who pooled their meager resources. The creative 1,600-square-feet units feature sealed plywood and stained concrete floors, built-ins, two-zone air-conditioning and balconies. And Project Row Houses: Six Square House, the Rice University Building Workshop at 2501 Holman in the Third Ward, fits two stories, a view of downtown and a screened-in porch into only 900 square feet. 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Also Saturday, March 28. Tickets may be purchased at the AIA/Houston, 3000 Richmond. Call (713)520-0155 for more information. $15.
Eric Miles Williamson may be a graduate of the University of Houston Creative Writing Program, but for his first novel he went back to his tough Oakland roots. An Outsiders for a new generation, East Bay Grease is about T-Bird Murphy, a boy who has to survive first his poverty-stricken mother and her motorcycle-gang boyfriends and then his ex-con father and a school full of gangs and guns. His saving grace: a talent for the trumpet. People who know say Williamson's writing is reminiscent of Jack London, Stephen Crane and John Steinbeck. Williamson reads from East Bay Grease at 7 p.m. at Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet, (713)523-0701. Free.
In the '30s George Hurrell was the photographer to the stars: Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford all trusted him to capture them in flawless light. Marlene Dietrich, on the other hand, trusted only herself. She put a full-length mirror next to the camera, writes Werner Sudendorf, director of Deutsche Kinemathek Berlin. "She would strike her own poses," Hurrell told him, "and say, 'Shoot, George, shoot!' If you didn't get it then all hell broke out." Hurrell's photographs of the diva Dietrich -- along with screen siren's collaborations with such photographers as Cecil Beaton, Lazlo Willinger, Horst P. Horst and Edward Streichen -- are on display at the Goethe-Institut Houston through May 6. Hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 3120 Southwest Freeway, (713)528-2787. Free.
San Francisco Bay Area photographer Cay Lang quotes Mark Rothko in her art-as-a-career book Taking the Leap: "As an artist you have to be a thief and steal a place on a rich man's wall." So how do you get your brilliant work out of your poor friends' bathrooms and into a more worthy hanging place? You learn to think about business as much as brush strokes. Lang's workshop is designed to teach struggling artists about contracts and consignment forms, pricing and press releases, and exhibitions and connections. Follow your passion, but be practical about it. 10 a.m. Fine Arts Auditorium, Houston Community College, 1300 Holman. Call (281)425-6484 for more information. Free.