Press Picks

october 30
Macbeth Baddest of the bad girls, Lady Macbeth is a feminist's nightmare. She's strong and powerful but as low down and dirty as they come; she personifies all our worst fears about what happens when women rule the roost. So in a way it makes perfect sense to set Shakespeare's tragedy about power, greed and good old blood and guts in the mean old future. Main Street has done just that. Of course the future is almost always a pretty grim place in our collective imagination, what with the atom bomb, nuclear fission and our general dislike for one another. That's why the set design is "evocative of the aftermath of destruction," and Lady Macbeth makes her run for power during the "days of the final conflict." Opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. (See Thrills, Theater for other dates and times.) Main Street Theater, Chelsea Market, 4617 Montrose, 524-6706. $11-$13.

Mall-Walkers' Masquerade Halloween Costume Contest Kids get all the fun at Halloween: candy apples, decorating the house, costume contests. But this Thursday, some of the Sharpstown Mall walkers take to the runway and show the world that youngsters aren't the only ones who can dress up like the goblins they often are. Yes indeed, some of the seniors have been planning for months and are looking forward to making their costume fashion statements -- and to showing off on a runway and possibly winning prizes. Come, bring your little monsters and show them what they're up against. 10:30 a.m., Center Court, Sharpstown Center Mall, 7500 Bellaire Blvd., 777-1111. Free.

Words Alive A cup and a saucer, a hand and a glove, Bogart and Bacall -- all perfectly sensible matches. But a dancer and a book? Tonight the Chrysalis Dance Company and the Jewish Community Center's Bookfair will try to make this strange coupling work. Several artists will depict dramatic interpretations of stories by Jewish authors, and Chrysalis has been commissioned to present the story "A Ghetto Dog," about an old woman and her dog during the Holocaust. Sounds so strange that it's bound to be worth seeing. Opens tonight at 8 p.m.; other performances Nov. 1, Nov. 6 and Nov. 8. Jewish Community Center, 5601 S. Braeswood, 551-7255. $10-$14.

Sav-A-Pet Masquerade Ball Calling all animal lovers: Tonight's costume gala, complete with drinks, food and dancing, benefits one of the sweetest organizations in Houston. Sav-A-Pet takes wounded and sick homeless animals, makes them well again and then finds them a loving home. All this do-gooding costs lots of dough, so pony up if you love ponies, or any other animal for that matter, and have a good time while doing so. Food will be provided by Sharon Graham Catering; the dance music by Commercial Art. 7-11 p.m. Paraiso Maravilla, 5714 Fairdale, 622-5295. $125.

october 31
Third World Club Jamaica Jamaica has been around for ten -- count 'em, ten -- years. Anyone in the club business knows that kind of longevity is practically miraculous. So to celebrate its celestial status, Jamaica Jamaica will present Third World, a Grammy-nominated, internationally renowned reggae band, in hopes of bringing on the next fine decade. Club Jamaica Jamaica, 2631 Richmond, 529-8800.

M In this 1931 German film, you'll meet up with Hans Beckert, a child-killing madman who is hunted down by a group of vigilante criminals, anxious to get to the bottom of the case and thus keep the cops from disturbing their underworld peace. At a deserted factory, Beckert is thrown in front of a kangaroo court of gangsters, thieves and murderers. Claiming insanity, he pleads his case, but you'll have to see the movie to find out what happens next. Old as it is, the movie has chilling relevance. Leonard Maltin called it "riveting and frighteningly contemporary ... cinematically dazzling." 7:30 p.m. tonight and tomorrow, Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet, 639-7515. $5.

A Celtic New Year Instead of Halloween, why not celebrate New Year's? The Celts were a herding people, and their calendar grew up around their animals' annual cycle. On this day, the herds were thinned against the coming cold, bonfires were lit and great feasts were held. The veil between this world and the next was believed to be at its most delicate, and spirits at their most powerful. The Celts invited the dead back with fanfare. Their fun was, of course, the genesis for our modern-day Halloween, but it sounds like they had a much more uproarious time of it, what with the bonfires and all. Celebrate the old-fashioned way with harp music, food, drink and other arts of the ancient Celts. Doors open at 4 p.m. Garden in the Heights, 3926 Feagan, 880-1065. $7; free, children under 12.

The Haunted Hotels I and II Seems like haunted houses spring up on every street corner in Houston during the Halloween season. For nine years, Jim Fetterly and Mike Darling have created some of the scariest, using all the pyrotechnics of the '90s. This year, the disclaimer reads, "The Haunted Hotels are not recommended for children under 12, persons with heart conditions, expectant mothers, or whining wimps." The rest of you are free to get the bejesus scared out of you. Doors open at 8 p.m. Haunted Hotels I and II, 2800 block of Fannin at Tuam, 759-9866. $8 for one attraction; $12 for both.  

The Rocky Horror Picture Show It's back and it's still pretty darned funny. This cult classic -- featuring Susan Sarandon as Janet and Tim Curry as the "transsexual Transylvanian" -- is a great cap to an All Hallows Eve. And Landmark's River Oaks 3 has its own live-show cast, who, er, enhance the film as it runs. Wear your costume. Bring your rice and squirt gun. Midnight, Landmark River Oaks 3, 2009 West Gray, 524-2175. $6.75.

Les Enfants Terribles Philip Glass and Jean Cocteau: That's an artistic marriage inspired by the most irascible of muses, and in this production, it's explored through dance, music and theater. Les Enfants Terribles is a strange and haunting tale of two individuals so dependent on one another that they cannot exist apart; the splintered personalities struggle to maintain their precarious balance until they are ultimately destroyed. Four singers, seven dancers and three keyboardists, including Glass himself, will perform; it's bound to be one of the most amazing (and perhaps confounding) performances you'll see all year. 8 p.m Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas, 227-ARTS, $25-$37.

november 1
Food for Thought: Two Private Universes Today, Rice University offers doughnuts and discussion of two artists' works (samples of which are both now on view in Houston). Obsessive box maker Joseph Cornell spoke with obsessive dot painter Yayoi Kusama almost daily. Cornell made sketches of Kusama, and following Cornell's death, Kusama made a series of collages as a tribute to him. Though their works are very different, the artists shared an interest in mystery, repetition and childhood visions. Meet with other arty types at Rice University for coffee, followed by an introduction to Kusama's intense installation Dots Obsession. Then take a bus to The Menil Collection, where Walter Hopps, founding director and curator of 20th-century art, will guide you through Cornell's enigmatic world. Finally, return to Rice and eat a box lunch while shop-talking about the art with a curator, writer, artist or art historian; there'll be at least one per table. Begins 10:15 a.m. at the Rice Art Gallery in Sewall Hall. Registration required by October 30; call 737-5740. $35.

Round Top Arts Festival The weather's been more good than bad lately, so if the sky stays blue and breezy, you might want to wind your way out to Round Top today to see the juried art show. Of course, there will also be music and food and demonstrations of traditional pioneer arts, not to mention the children's activity tent for all those who have utterly no interest in art or who don't trust the idea of an art show so far from the center of a major city. Round Top is gorgeous in the fall. Drive out and see how much beauty Texas has to offer -- on a canvas or simply framed by your car window. Nov. 1 and 2, Henkel Square, Round Top, (409) 249-3308. $5.

Clean Cities Been sitting around obsessing about the ozone, or trying to figure out how to get from here to there without putting any more pollution in the air? Today, all day, hear just about everything you've been hankering to know about air pollution, its causes and its cures. Speakers will discuss clean-burning fuels, cars that don't use gas and other such hopeful solutions. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Rice University, 6100 Main, Physics Auditorium (Building 6), 528-3779 to RSVP. Seminar is free; $8-$10 lunch catered by eatZi's.

New Morning for the World Martin Luther King III joins the Houston Symphony to present this piece based on his father's writings. The music, composed by Pulitzer Prize winner Joseph Schwantner, is intended to reflect Martin Luther King Jr.'s troubled struggle in his quest for civil rights. Hear excerpts from seven speeches and letters, including "Letter from Birmingham Jail," "Behind the Selma March" and (of course) "I Have a Dream." 8 p.m. Nov. 1 and 3, Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-ARTS. $13-$59.

november 2
Eye on the Third Ward This Sunday, see an exhibit of 40 black-and-white photographs by students from Jack Yates High School. All last year, as part of a joint project with the Museum of Fine Arts, students in teacher Ray Carrington III's photography class were encouraged to capture on film the images and meaning of life in their neighborhood -- Houston's Third Ward. 12:15-6 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet, 639-7300. $3; $1.50, seniors and students.  

november 3
Duchesne Golf and Tennis Classic Even though those pesky working-class athletes are scrambling hard for their place on the green and the court, golf and tennis are still mostly sports of the comfortably moneyed. Moneyed folk are also the ones who get those good private school educations, such as the kind you'd get if you attended Duchesne. Thus it makes perfect sense that Duchesne would have no ordinary fall fundraiser, such as a homely little Halloween carnival or gooey spaghetti dinner; instead, it goes straight for the big bucks with its very own Golf and Tennis Classic. Enjoy the game of your choice today, and know you're helping a fine (if not desperately needy) institution. 11 a.m. golf, 2 p.m. tennis, Westwood Country Club, 8888 Country Creek Drive, 468-8211, ext. 135. $50, tennis, includes dinner and cooler drinks and a goody bag while playing; $140, golf, includes lunch, dinner, greens fees, cart, balls, home video and a goody bag. Please reserve your space by October 31.

november 4
Houston Reading Series Maxine Kumin has written 11 books of poetry, four novels, a book of stories, several kids' books and tons of essays. Along the way, she's won a Pulitzer Prize (for Up Country) and has been named chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Tonight, she'll read from her works, as will J.M. Coetzee, the South African novelist best known for Waiting for the Barbarians. Thank the Margarett Root Brown Houston Reading Series for providing an entertaining and thought-provoking evening. 8 p.m., Brown Auditorium, Mu-seum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet, 743-3014. $5 suggested donation; free for seniors and students.

november 5
Home for the Holidays Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas are fun, but they can also be lots and lots of trouble. If you're a decorating klutz who, try as you might, has never been able to get your holiday table to look as good as your mom's (or even that lady's down the block), there is help for you yet. The Decorative Center of Houston offers seminars today, hosted by professional decorators. Borrow their ideas to start the season beautifully. 10 a.m. Decorative Center of Houston, 5120 Woodway, Suite 209, 961-9292. Free.

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