This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Thursday, July 15

With an exhibition title like "Is Where the Heart Is," artist Justin Berry is running the risk of turning people away who fancy themselves lactose-intolerant, i.e. allergic to cheesiness. But Berry's sculptures and drawings might teach you a thing or two. His work deals with the construction of ideal and not-so-ideal homes. In one piece, he fits together a city of little pink houses, emphasizing their cookie-cutter nature. The show is strongly recommended to residents of the burbs. Works on view through August 7. Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. Barbara Davis Gallery in the Warwick Hotel, 5701 Main, 11th floor. For information, call 713-520-9200 or visit www.barbaradavisgallery.com. Free.

We'll miss ya, Marlon: Brando (right) plays opposite a 
weirdly made up Renato Salvatori in Burn! See 
Saturday.
Courtesy of MFAH
We'll miss ya, Marlon: Brando (right) plays opposite a weirdly made up Renato Salvatori in Burn! See Saturday.

Friday, July 16

Do you think lust is the opposite of free will? Playwright Nicky Silver seems to. Find out what he's talking about today at the opening performance ofFree Will and Wanton Lust. Presented by Unhinged Productions, this dark comedy centers on Claire, who loves young men, and her daughter Amy, who's already bitter and intoxicated at the age of 15. Mix in a gigolo and a metaphysicist, and you've got the makings of one philosophical roll in the hay. 8 p.m. today. Continues at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 3 p.m. Sundays, through August 7. Theater LaB Houston, 1706 Alamo. For information, call 713-547-0440 or visit www.u-p.org. $15 to $20.

Saturday, July 17

Skate or die -- or just bust your head open on the concrete. Today amateur skaters will hit the deck and try to qualify for the Gravity Games in Cleveland, Ohio. If you think you can catch mad air, then grab your rig and head out. These qualifying rounds are also great opportunity for spectators to check out novices taking headers off the ramp. After all, they don't call it the Gravity Games for nothing. 10 a.m. Third Coast Skatepark, 13030 South Kirkwood in Stafford. For information, call 281-242-6555 or visit www.gravitygames.com. $20 to $25 for registration.

If you're not the shredding type, we suggest stepping it up and heading over to the Kaplan Theatre today for "Step Dance/Hip Hop and Afrikan Dance." Part of the biennial Black Dance Festival, this performance traces moves from back in Africa all the way up to their current incarnations at black fraternities. Feel the beat at 5 p.m. Kaplan Theatre at the Jewish Community Center, 5601 South Braeswood. For information, call 713-524-1079 or visit www.kuumbahouse.org. $5 to $8.

Top off the day with a Marlon Brando film. He was just about the only actor who could earn accolades for mumbling a monologue. The man somehow elevated slurring to an art form. Tonight you can watch the recently departed thespian in Burn!, Gillo Pontecorvo's flick about war profiteering in the Caribbean. Brando's voice was dubbed over in Italian for the film by, one assumes, an actor with a lovely speech impediment. 7 p.m. Brown Auditorium at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org/films. $5.

Sunday, July 18

There's a whole Sunday circuit in this town: La Strada, Berryhill, the Social, ToC Bar. Now add the Licor Lounge to the list. For Simple Sundays, DJs Johnny J and X-Factor spin what general manager Matthew Nelson calls ultra-lounge. The meaning behind the name of the event is simple enough, sort of: "The reason why I named it Simple Sundays is that we're simply open," he says. "Nobody knew we were open." Now they do. 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. 2204 Louisiana. For information, call 713-654-0869 or visit www.licorlounge.com. Free.

Monday, July 19

Warm up your jazz hands, 'cause it's time to learn how to dance like a Broadway star. Today begins a four-day Theatre Dance Workshop offered by Theatre Under the Stars. This week you'll learn warm-up routines, musical comedy numbers and basic step combinations. You'll have to figure out how to be a diva on your own. 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. today through Thursday, July 22. TUTS Rehearsal Studios in the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-558-8801 or visit www.tuts.com. $75.

Tuesday, July 20

You suck, buddy. But now you can market that skill. Head over to Ace Theatre today and audition for Dracula. Director Bonnie Hewett is looking for seven women and six men for her production of Stephen Dietz's script. "This one stays almost to the letter on the novel," she says. Prospective vampires need not prepare anything in particular. "Any improvisations that I feel that they need to do will be just that: improvisations," says Hewett. "So everybody will be coming from the same starting point on that." Actually, that's not exactly right. Considering how much you suck, you'll definitely have a head start. 7 p.m. today and Sunday, July 18. 17011 Barnwood. For information, call 877-768-3675. Free.

Wednesday, July 21

Do you feel lucky? At DiverseWorks's Luck of the Draw Auction, you might walk away with a work by Aaron Parazette or the Art Guys. Or you might stroll off with one by someone you've never heard of. It's all a matter of chance. The works are placed on the wall without the artists' signatures, and then the auctioneer draws lots to see who gets to pick first. Could it be you? 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 1117 East Freeway. For information, call 713-223-8346 or visit www.diverseworks.org. $20 for entry; $100 for each chance ticket.

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