Night & Day
It's curtains for the venerable warhorse called the Music Hall following Theatre Under the Stars' production of Victor/Victoria; the building's scheduled to be razed in early June, following the last performance of this Blake Edwards/Henry Mancini collaboration (for info about Sunday's related "Wrecking Ball," see page 42). Julie Andrews was originally slated to croon Mancini's tunes "Le Jazz Hot" and "Paris by Night," reprising her role as the title singer/Polish count from the '82 movie and the '96 Broadway production, but bowed out because of recent throat surgery. Andrews's Broadway stand-in, Anne Runolfsson, has assumed the lead role. Barry Williams (The Brady Bunch) has replaced Anthony Newley as Toddy; Michael Nouri portrays King Marchan. Final performances: 8 tonight and Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. 810 Bagby, (800) 678-5440. $22.50 to $69.50.
The second annual Houston Gay & Lesbian Film Festival continues this week with tonight's "Evening of Short Videos" (Kwoi's Dark Sun, Bright Shade, Paul Leem's Thick Lips, Thin Lips and the John Lindell collection Just Another Love Story), Saturday's Queer Artists Collective Mix-Up Video! and the Houston premiere of Pierre & Gilles: Love Stories and Sunday's Pride Divide (another local premiere). France's Pierre & Gilles have been mating photography, painting, religious imagery and low-rent pop culture for a generation; the Gallic pair's latest, Love Stories, features Catherine Deneuve, Nina Hagen, Boy George, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Marc Almond. Paris Poirier (Last Call at Maud's) directed Divide, an exploration of gender evolution since the '40s "homophile" movement that includes interviews with Camille Paglia, Kate Clinton, Congressman Barney Frank, Michelangelo Signorile and Michael Musto. Friday's and Saturday's shows start at 8 p.m. Sunday's begins at 6 p.m., and is followed by a panel discussion titled "Examining Houston's Queer Landscape." DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, 223-8346. More info: 228-0914, 914-5037. $6 per evening. (The HGLFF continues through June 14.)
"Mysteries of the Pyramids" versus "Accordion Kings" -- choices, choices. "Pyramids," facilitated by mystic/channeler Dr. Jonathan Sherwood, promises "new discoveries" about the Great Pyramid of Giza concerning "tones, chants, sounds, harmonics and the different aspects associated with sacred geometry," plus "new evidence pointing to the possibility of secret passages, and the fact that 1998 holds some fascinating new experiences as the harmonics of the kings, queens and the lower chamber are present toward the end of this year. When you consider," the press release continues, "that this cycle only occurs once every 1,860 years, it becomes also [sic] obvious that this is a rare event." Well, maybe, but will you cough up $35 to hear Sherwood yak about sticking tuning forks into a pile of old Egyptian rocks or opt for the gratis and simultaneous "Accordion Kings" show featuring Tejano superstar Shelly Lares, the polka-crazed Dancehall Boys and Wilfred Chevis and the Texas Zydeco Band? Do the sacred math. "Pyramids": 7 to 9 p.m. The Spiritual Heights Wellness Center, 508 Pecore, 864-4325. "Accordion Kings": 7:30 tonight and Saturday. The Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Drive in Hermann Park. Info: 284-8350.
Now that most of Houston's mainstream arts organizations have had their spring flings, odd-ball season is upon us. Tonight you'll have to select your alternative social function with care -- or a coin flip; your heads-or-tails choice is the Hair Ball versus the GothZ and GawkerZ Ball. The former, in its sixth year, is a tribute to the Tall Locks of Texas that sports the unofficial motto, "The higher the hair, the closer to God." People termed it one of the "Parties of the Year" back in '95, but don't let that stop you from mixing and mingling among the skyscraping tresses or viewing the high-concept "Parade of Hair." This year's theme is "Ridicule, Rebellion and Revolution" -- a "historique tribute to hairstyles made famous by Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI." Orchestra X provides the music; attire is "black tie and/or big hair." Towering manes run in our Lone Star veins, but the organizers of the GothZ and GawkerZ Ball -- Madame Miambo, Dead Duck Productions, the TemplO GothDrops -- know that nihilism is a learned trait, and they're eager to pass on their intimate knowledge of the arcane arts of gloom and creative misspelling via attractions like "Angel's very bizarre fashion show," an appearance by Sarah Hill and her hearse, Joey Berner's theatrical parody Goth with the Wind, a Goth Poe/Try reading by the Mausoleum's RaPTure SaVanT, art by the RUBBER TreeO and a performance by electro-Goth-Noiz band Delicate Terror. As the title indicates, gawkerZ in Dockers are encouraged to attend. The Hair Ball: 8 p.m. Two Houston Center, 909 Fannin. Info: 528-5858. $150 and up (proceeds: Lawndale Art Center). The GothZ and GawkerZ Ball: 9 p.m. TemplO, 5217 Feagan, 802-1828. $5.
Though largely a zydeco bash, "The Show Down" is headlined by urban-contemporary group ConFunkShun. Also on the bill: Step Rideau and the Zydeco Outlaws, Willie Clayton, Scott Gertner and J. Paul Jr. and the Zydeco New Breeds. 2 p.m. Crosby Fairgrounds, located on Crosby-Lynchburg Road, off I-10 exit 787. Info: (281) 471-5060, (281) 530-9843. $20; $8 for kids under 12.
Something we've always wanted to see: a game pitting, say, the Detroit Red Wings against the Seattle Mariners -- toothless dudes with hockey sticks dodging liquid-smoke bean balls tossed by "Big Unit" Randy Johnson. We won't see it at the AFC/NFC Celebrity Basketball Game, but we will see a truckload of NFL beeves on the hoof driving the lane and throwing their considerable weight around Rice University's Autry Court. The gridiron-stars-turned-hoopsters include Tennessee Oilers Steve McNair and Eddie George, Dallas Cowboys Broderick Thomas and Kevin Smith, Denver Broncos Ray Crockett and Allen Aldridge, Washington Redskin Terry Allen and Jacksonville Jaguar Keenan McCardell. Moses Malone and Spud Webb are the celebrity refs. 4 p.m. Info: 671-9239, (281) 565-4151. $7.50 (proceeds: Special Olympics Texas).
Cross-pollination between the arts in Dallas and Houston is rare, and internecine strife frequent, so it's nice to see a little cooperation in the form of "Texas Bound: A Literary Celebration"; the traveling literary show, a co-presentation of the Dallas Museum of Arts series Arts & Letters Live and our own Alley Theatre, features Texas actors interpreting short pieces by Texas-based authors. Tonight's edition, which starts at 7:30, includes excerpts from Rick DeMarinis's Novias, Jim Sanderson's Ladies Man and Judy Troy's Ramone by Alley actors James Black and John Feltch and Katherine Owens of Big D's Undermain Theatre, respectively. Raphael Parry directed the staged readings. The Large Stage at the Alley, 615 Texas, 228-9341. $12; $10 for students and seniors.
After an auspicious beginning and a rocky, controversy-filled midseason, the fledgling Women's National Basketball Association became just another blip on the cluttered cultural radar in most of the markets where it landed in its inaugural year. But not in front-running Houston, where our "We Got Gamers" brought home the first WNBA title, thanks mostly to 1997 league MVP Cynthia Cooper, her fellow guard Sheryl Swoopes and Coach of the Year Van Chancellor. Houston Comets begin the process of defending their crown with tonight's preseason home opener against the Cleveland Rockers. 7:30 p.m. Compaq Center, 10 Greenway Plaza. Info: 627-WNBA. $8 to $38 (Ticketmaster: 629-3700).
Poet Edward Hirsch is the John and Rebecca Moores Scholar at the University of Houston and the much-decorated author of For the Sleepwalkers, Wild Gratitude and The Night Parade. He reads from and signs his latest collection, On Love, at 7 p.m. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet, 523-0701. Free.
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