If you like a little action along with your art, head to the opening reception for DiverseWorks' "In Houston: A Site-Based Performance and Installation," an exhibition of three Chinese artists living in the United States that is far from stationary.Houston-based Weihong continues her exploration of color with a half-black and half-white Ping-Pong table where two players, one dressed in black and one in white, will be batting balls back and forth. Zhang Jian-Jun presents sculptures that blend materials old and new, such as antique clay pots and silicone, into tall, totemlike, motorized sculptures that move through the gallery. And Zhang Huan is planning a site-based performance-art piece that will involve unsuspecting folks at the gallery.
To fully experience the exhibition, attending opening night is key. But if you miss it, local artists will sporadically re-enact Huan's performance piece, and recorded sound from the Ping-Pong game will provide a reminder of the real thing. The exhibition also features samples of the artists' previous projects, including Weihong Invites You to Tea, in which the artist had tea with, and photographed, visitors at Negative Space Gallery. Opening reception: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 1. At 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, Richard Vine, the managing editor of Art in America, gives a lecture about contemporary Chinese art in America. The exhibition is on view through June 14. Gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. 1117 East Freeway. For information, call 713-223-8346 or visit www.diverseworks.org. Free. -- Cathy Matusow
Hotel Galvez's Tidal Wave
I had arranged to meet my blind date in the lobby of the Hotel Galvez (2024 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, 409-765-7721). But I was a little early, so I looked around the palatial hotel and decided to have a seat at the small bar. A petite brunette appeared out of nowhere and introduced herself as Liz. She placed a small bowl of nuts and a cocktail napkin in front of me, and I asked her to recommend a drink. She proceeded to whip up a blender full of Tidal Waves, tasting the concoction before filling my glass. "Some people call this drink a Blue Hawaiian, but I prefer the name Tidal Wave, what with our proximity to the water and all." Her accent was as cute as her smile, and our conversation went down as easily as my drink. I hoped my date would stand me up. But just when I wanted to know what happened next in Liz's life, I heard an unfamiliar voice calling my name. When I turned around, the Tidal Wave almost knocked me off my barstool.
Mix above ingredients and ice in a blender for ten to 15 seconds. Carefully pour into a highball glass, leaving enough foam on top of the glass to suggest a crashing wave. -- J.W. Crooker
This weekend's Pink Picnic promises much more than simple sandwiches in any old bucolic setting. The outdoor performance and dinner will benefit both the Pink Ribbons Project/Dancers in Motion Against Breast Cancer and the Blackwood Educational Land Institute in Hempstead, six wooded acres where all the fun will happen. Bobbindoctrin Puppet Theatre, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Hope Stone Dance and Suchu -- as well as a cocktail hour -- will make sure everyone stays entertained. And there will be a tree-planting ceremony to honor breast cancer victims. The bus to Hempstead leaves from St. John's School, 2401 Claremont Lane, at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4. $25 to $100. -- Cathy Matusow
A Dating Game
Houston's 610 Speed Dating hosts romantic round-robins. Participants spend six minutes each with ten "dates," and if two daters wish to see each other again, organizers fork over their contact information. "It gives you just enough time to know if there's any chemistry," says Tanita Graham of 610. "Rejection anxiety is gone, no one's feelings are hurt, and no time is wasted." Graham proudly notes that a couple who met at her very first event will be getting hitched in August, and she herself is now married to a speed dater -- despite the fact that she tried to hook him up with someone else first. To register, visit www.610date.com. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 1. Azteca's, 2207 Richmond. $35. -- Bob Ruggiero