Almost a decade ago, Princess Diana's death triggered an overwhelming outpouring of emotion from the public. Since then, her own son Harry has soiled her memory (love the swastika, dude), and the ex-hubby has moved on. So alas, it's time to dig her up again and throw her to the wolves. The feast begins this week, when the Houston Museum of Natural Science unveils "Diana - a Celebration," an exhibition of 150 objects, including Di's wedding gown and 28 of her designer dresses, presented in nine themed galleries -- one of which is dedicated to her charity work. A look at the Web site of Ohio-based Arts & Exhibitions International (www.artsandexhibitions.com), the show's producer, is telling: On the "Exhibitions" page, the company profiles its two flagship shows: First, "Diana"; second, "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs." It's quite revealing -- and maybe a little embarrassing -- that "Diana" enjoys billing over King Tut. But by the looks of it, Diana, a mere commoner, has definitely won her battle against royalty -- everywhere. Opens Friday, October 21, and runs through February 5. One Hermann Circle Drive. For information, call 713-639-4629. $14.50 to $17.50. -- Troy Schulze
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
My friends Vern and Adam and I brave the lines at Foley's in the Galleria on a Saturday afternoon to see Enrique Iglesias. The Latino heartthrob-singer (you know, the man who gets to nail Anna Kournikova) is in town to promote True Star, his new men's cologne by Tommy Hilfiger. Once we're past the screaming, hyperventilating women, we get five minutes with His Hotness, who talks cologne, ladies and, er, rubbers.
"Hey, whatever I can do to help people get laid," says Iglesias of his cologne. True Star smells pretty darn good. It's fresh, spicy and has a cool aftertone -- kinda like the tall, dark and handsome Iglesias, who tells me how he was dumped right before his high school prom, and how I don't need to be like him to be cool, I just have to be myself. (Note to Enrique: Being you is much cooler.) So, are there any other product lines he's about to lend his nombre to?
"The next product I'm gonna put my name on is extra-small condoms," he deadpans, mock-seriously. "I can never find extra-small condoms, and I know it's really embarrassing for people -- you know, from experience. Hopefully people won't be ashamed when I step forward."
Hmm"I'll be watching for those, too. -- Steven Devadanam
Cheech and "Chicano"
All those years of living in a haze of marijuana smoke may have clouded actor-comedian Cheech Marin's judgment -- really, Cheech, a Don Johnson sitcom? -- but he's still influential. Marin is a one-man advocating force for modern Chicano art and painting, and many of the pieces in "Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge," which opens this week, are from his private collection. These bold, colorful works from 26 artists speak to a unique culture, social perspective and political agenda. As former Cheech partner Tommy Chong might say, that's far out, man. Exhibit opens Friday, October 21. Runs through December 23 at the UH-Downtown Willow Street Pump Station, 811 North San Jacinto. For information, visit www.chicano-art-life.com. Free. -- Bob Ruggiero
Thanks to pioneers such as Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, martial arts is more mainstream than ever. (Even goofy practitioners like Steven Seagal, who just unleashed a sports drink, get considerable run.) Celebrate the ancient Asian discipline at this weekend's 26th annual Asian American Festival, where high-flying displays of martial arts will be showcased by local studios. Also watch for Too Exclusive, an Asian hip-hop dance troupe, and grab some Asian grub, courtesy of a local Vietnamese-American Boy Scout troop. 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, October 22; and 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, October 23. Hermann Park, 100 Concert Drive. For information, call 713-861-8270 or visit www.asianfestivalhouston.com. Free. -- Steven Devadanam