Hatred and homophobia in America's heartland are the subject of The Brandon Teena Story, a chilling documentary at the Rice University Media Center. When Teena Brandon turned 20, she decided she was more suited to being a male. She changed her first name to Brandon and made lots of male and female friends in her new hometown of Falls City, Nebraska. When two friends discovered Brandon was a woman, they brutally raped him. A week later, the same two thugs murdered Brandon and two others. The film chronicles his coming-of-age struggle with identity. Susan Muska and Greta Olafsdottir directed the tragic story that won awards at the Berlin Film Festival and the National Educational Media Network. Screening time is 7 p.m. Rice University Media Center is located on the Rice University campus at University Boulevard and Stockton Drive. Call (713)527-8750. $5.
Houston Ballet dancers get skimpy and sexy, and don Scottish kilts in a series of vignettes arranged by three talented Gen-X choreographers. Dominic Walsh, 28-year-old Houston principal, reprises his lusty showcase of the vicissitudes of love and the complexities of the human heart in Flames of Eros. Six dancers heat up and cool down in angular waves, dives and leaps to music by Ennio di Berardo. Indigo, set to two Vivaldi cello concertos and directed by 29-year-old Stanton Welch, pushes the boundaries of classical technique in an abstract pure-dance work for eight dancers. Inspired by folksinger Enya's exotic Celtic strains, 33-year-old principal Sean Kelly infuses Patterns with mean Irish dance movements, virtuosic solos by principals Lauren Anderson and Timothy O'Keefe, and heavy jammin' to sounds of Highland rocker Ashley MacIsaac. The mixed repertory opens Thursday, May 6, and runs Saturday and Sunday, May 7 and 8, at Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park. 8:00 p.m. Free.
Picture yourself as poor old Gulliver trapped in the land of the Lilliputians or Lewis Carroll's meek little Alice after she got small. A panorama of teeny-weeny art puts you in a different dimension at the Miniature Works Art Show. One funky still life features soft pencil shadings of beetles merrily perched on a tiny close-up of a nose and forehead. Each micromasterpiece is no bigger than four inches. All fit into the palm of your hand. The show is about the aesthetics of placing value on little things we take for granted and wee things we ignore or are too busy to see. The Houston Women's Caucus for Art sponsors the show. See it from 2 to 5 p.m. at Bruce Mauldin Gallery, 704 Fairview. Call (713)526-3690.
There's no musical delicacy like the rare sound of a boys choir. The clarion, pingy tone is rarely produced by a regular children's choir. Young singers rigorously train and rehearse before releasing their high-pitched confections, only to lose their perfect timbre after two years of singing. The Houston Boychoir is scouting for new voices for its 1999-2000 season. Known as the Singing Boys of Houston until they built a reputation at gigs around town, this group gives boys eight to 14 a taste of glory as they share the stage with world-class performers. In the past they've teamed with the Houston Symphony in Mahler's Eighth Symphony and Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust. Boys eight to 12 are eligible to try out today and Thursday, May 13, at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 5501 South Main. Auditions will also be held Tuesday and Wednesday, May 11 and 12, at HSPVA, 4001 Stanford, and Jersey Village High School, 7600 Solomon. Call (713)789-5266.
Don't let the Top 40 likes of Eric Carmen, Sammy Hagar and Kenny Loggins turn you off to Broadway's latest recycled road show, Footloose. The dance musical is a slick tale about a free-spirited kid who reminds a local minister it's no sin to be young. A boy loses his father; a man loses his son. Heart-rending and all that -- but it's got enough pyrotechnics and dazzling acrobatic leaps to make you forget it was reconstituted from the hackneyed rite-of-passage film starring Kevin Bacon and John Lithgow. Director Walter Bobbie won a Tony for his Broadway blockbuster Chicago. Two-time Grammy nominee Tom Snow teamed with lyricist Dean Pitchford to compose nine songs for the production. Presented by the Society for the Performing Arts at Jones Hall. Today through Saturday, May 15, at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. The Saturday matinee is captioned for the hearing-impaired. Call (713)629-3700 for tickets, $25-$49.50.
Yiddish words and sayings permeate English slang. We schlepp our schlock. Call one other schmoes, schlemiels, schmoozers and schnooks. But there's nothing schmaltzy about the inherent musicality of the Yiddish language. A Traveling Jewish Theatre goes beyond its day-to-day usage and explodes stereotypes about the dialect in Diamonds in the Dark: An Exploration of Yiddish Poetry. The San Francisco-based ensemble captures the lyrical passion of this century's Yiddish poets, setting movement and the spoken word to a jazzy, neoclassical musical score. The poetry bears witness to mystical, erotic and political themes to the rhythms of Yiddish and English speech. 8 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 5601 South Braeswood. Call(713)729-3200 for information. $18; $10, students and seniors.