Press Picks

june 12
Don Quixote The Houston Ballet caps its 199697 season with a revival of Ben Stevenson's lavish, romantic Don Quixote ...
yes, the same Don Quixote that premiered here two years ago. In October, the Ballet will truck this production to the Kennedy Center, so they're giving the hometown crowd another chance to see it first. This Don Q is also noteworthy in that it's the last time 19-year veteran Rachel Beard will don slippers as a principal dancer for the Houston Ballet. Opens at 7:30 p.m. tonight (see Thrills, Dance for additional showtimes). Wortham Center, Brown Theater, 500 Texas, 227-ARTS. $10$80.

june 13
The Mediation of Ornament: Eight Texas Painters There's no difference between abstract art and decoration, at least not in the Transco Tower Gallery's new exhibition. The "Mediation of Ornament" name was lifted from a book by Oleg Grabar, in which Grabar argues that ornamentation is beautiful and provides pleasure. (Gasp!) The eight Texas artists -- including Houstonians Virgil Grotfeldt, Perry House and Aaron Parazette -- each explore the notion of beauty. Parazette does so by painting, on large canvases, the most banal wallpaper patterns he can find. Opening reception, 6-8 p.m. Through July 18. Transco Tower Gallery, ground level, 2800 Post Oak Boulevard, 526-6461. Free.

Keith Hennessy: Box In this one-man show, performance artist Keith Hennessy explores racism, prison and colonialism. He dances; he does stuff with lit torches; and he plays characters ranging from "Buffet," an aging showgirl, to an aborigine who sings "House of the Rising Sun." Wrote SF Weekly, "You will not go away from his solo performances unchanged." 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, 228-0914. $12; $7, seniors and students.

Pops Are Tops In an early celebration of Father's Day, ComedySportz presents a special show for dads. As the comedy teams compete for laughs, the audience is encouraged to cheer, jeer and even heckle the referees. Tonight's refs may receive special abuse: They're the fathers of ComedySportz athletes. 8 p.m. Treebeards, 315 Travis, 521-2226. Free for fathers; $8 for everyone else.

Upcoming Events

Astros vs. Twins The good guys are set to start a series against the Minnesota Twins -- an American League team. This year, as an experiment, American League and National League teams will occasionally intermingle without going to the World Series. It's an idea the leagues have kicked around for 20 years or so, and if all goes as planned, the ploy will intensify rivalries and present baseball's stars to new audiences. In this case, Houstonians have added incentive to come out: The Twins bring with them Houston's own Chuck Knoblauch -- the Twins' second baseman, 1991 Rookie of the Year and alumnus of Bellaire High School. 7:05 p.m. tonight and Saturday; 1:35 p.m. Sunday. The Astrodome, Kirby Drive at Loop 610, 6-ASTROS. $4-$21.

june 14
Bay Day Festival Learn about the beauty that is Galveston Bay from the people who make their living using it and the people who dedicate their lives to protecting it. Visit traditionalists who build and sail wooden boats, and see a jet ski demonstration; then watch a simulated Coast Guard helicopter rescue and learn what not to do with whatever watercraft you prefer. Afterward, settle in for the music: Stoot Zydeco, the Grateful Geezers, Key West, Sisters Morales and Lee Roy Parnell. Get to the fest early to save money on admission and to pick up a free flag in honor of Flag Day; stay late for a fireworks display. Bay Day is sponsored by the Galveston Bay Foundation. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sylvan Beach Park, La Porte, 863-9994. Admission before 5 p.m. is $3 for adults, $1 for kids ages six14. After 5 p.m., the price goes up to $6 for adults, $3 for kids.

Landlubber Beach-Block Party This is a festival turned inside out: Instead of arts and crafts being lugged to the park, the purveyors have brought the party to the goods. The craft shops and art galleries in the 200 block of West 19th Street in the Heights are hosting a beach-themed street party with a "micro-beach" (a kiddie pool full of sand), surf tunes and munchies such as beer, lemonade and watermelon -- even hors d'oeuvres for dogs and cats. Yes, beasts are welcome, even inside the stores. In fact, the party continues Sunday with a pet beachwear contest; no thongs, please. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today and Sunday. 200 block of West 19th Street, 861-3411. Free admission; $10 to enter pets in the contest.

Antiques, Collectibles and Crafts Market Can't stand the beach ... or even a sidewalk dressed up like a beach? Antique dealers and collectors will peddle their wares inside the cool concrete of the Astrohall this weekend. An abundance of sports memorabilia is one highlight of this oversize market, now in its 24th year; another is the display of the Houston Names Project Memorial Quilt, with 27,000 three-inch-by-six-inch panels honoring lives lost to AIDS. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Astrohall, Kirby at Loop 610, 799-9632. $3; $2, seniors; free, children under 12. Present an Astros ticket and get a dollar off. No charge to view the quilt.  

Juneteenth at the George Ranch Black cowboys get special attention at this celebration, in part because for the last hundred years black cowboys have contributed much hard work to keep the George Ranch going. The day kicks off at 9 a.m. with a prayer breakfast (service by the Reverend Kirbyjon Caldwell; breakfast by McDonald's), followed by a full day of historical re-enactments, old-time games, storytelling, music (most notably by Beau Jocque and the Zydeco Hi-Rollers, 1-3 p.m.), an indoor rodeo and the chance to peruse historian Russell Austin's collection of inventions by African-American scientists. The Juneteenth fest runs 9 a.m.-7 p.m. George Ranch Historical Park (take Highway 59 south to Crabb River Road; go south and follow the signs). (281) 545-9212. $6; $3, children.

Zocalo Rockfest Rare Seed, Pure Rubbish, Mary Tyler Moron, City Kings, Hr, Under the Sun, Big Holiday, god dog and Coochie Rat make up the lineup for Zocalo's first ever Rockfest. The first band's up at noon, with a new one taking the stage every hour on the hour until they've all played. If it rains, the bands will just move inside. Organizers suggest bringing a flag to wave; it's Flag Day, after all. Tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 11:30 a.m. Zocalo Theater, 5223 Feagan, 523-FUNK. $5.

june 15
Father's Day Olympics KRBE is looking for macho dads, men who can tackle a simulated downhill ski run with grace and style, who can in-line slalom, climb a rock wall and speedily change the tire on a mountain bike. The ultimate test is whether they can compete in all four events and exhibit humor, win or lose, as family, friends and complete strangers watch. Prizes include a $1,000 gift certificate from Sun & Ski. Refreshments available. 1-3 p.m. Sun & Ski Sports Expo, 5503 West FM 1960, 266-1000. Free.

june 16
Kip Winger in-store Kip Winger was the glam-rock poster boy of the '80s whose namesake band dominated MTV, sold four million records and earned scads of airplay with "Headed for a Heartbreak." He sat out the grunge era, but now he's back with This Conversation Seems Like a Dream, a solo effort he describes as 75 percent gut instinct and 5 percent each of Bowie, Dolby, Beatles, Gabriel and Sting. How does it feel to be a has-been? "I don't give a shit," he says. "The public already perceived me. Now I perceive myself." Today he'll sing a set, sign CDs and give away an Alvarez Regent guitar. 8 p.m. Borders Books, Music & Cafe, 12788 Fountain Lake Circle, Stafford, (281) 240-6666. Free.

Texas Bound: A Literary Celebration Since 1992, this Dallas-organized reading series has matched Texas actors with the works of Texas writers. Tonight Austinite TV star Julie White, who plays Nadine the neighbor on Grace Under Fire, will read from "The Old Folks Wish Them Well," a short story by Rice grad Lisa Sandlin. Alley Theatre resident actor James Black also interprets Houstonian James Lee Burke's "The Convict," and Dallas actor Randy Moore reads from Tom Doyal's "Sick Day." 7:30 p.m. Alley Theatre, Neuhaus Arena Stage, 615 Texas Avenue, 228-8421. $10; $8, seniors and students.

june 17
Stomp By now, you probably know all about Stomp: The dance/percussion outfit has swept through Houston a couple of times; they've been all over TV, from Letterman to General Hospital; and they make commercials. But in no way should you assume fame has taken the edge off their hard-muscled, hard-pounding act. They'll make you want to snap and whap along, but when they give you the chance, you'll see that it's not as easy as it looks. This troupe is wildly popular; if you haven't called for tickets, do so ASAP. 8 p.m. Through June 22 (see Thrills, Dance for additional showtimes). Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-ARTS. $25-$35.

Exxon Tiger Challenge unveiling The Houston Zoo adds to its menagerie a new interactive computer kiosk -- a bilingual information source with tips for exploring the world of tigers, understanding them and acting on their behalf. Learn about their plight (severely endangered), and pick up fun facts about the tigers at the Houston Zoo (the one they call Rambo loves to swim). Unveiling, 11 a.m.; zoo hours, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Houston Zoological Gardens, 1513 N. MacGregor, 529-2632. $2.50; $2, seniors; 50 cents, children ages three-12; free, kids under three.  

june 18
The Rink Theater LaB Houston -- still giddy over the success of Houston's first ever Fringe Theater Festival, co-hosted by Theater LaB and DiverseWorks -- starts the second half of its Fascinating Women series with the Southwest premiere of The Rink. TUTS regular Susan Shofner stars as Anna, a woman who fights with her estranged daughter (played by Jentry Brown) for control of the family's old skating rink. This being a Kander and Ebb work, the show is jam-packed with Broadway-style showstoppers; two heavyweights, Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli, were cast in the Broadway version. The Rink is the first show for which the duo teamed up with Terrence McNally; their second effort was Kiss of the Spider Woman. Opens at 8 p.m. Through July 26 (see Thrills, Theater for additional showtimes). Theater LaB Houston, 1706 Alamo (off the 2100 block of Houston Ave.), 868-7516. $18.

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