Press Picks

thursday
january 11
Moving Violations You may have seen Emmy-winning TV journalist John Hockenberry recently, not reporting news, but hawking his book. Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs and Declarations of Independence is a tale both of life in a wheelchair and life as a roving correspondent. Riding a donkey in the mud to cover Kurdish refugees is no picnic, yet in Hockenberry's experience, it's no worse for a paraplegic such as himself than trying to get a cab in the rain (drivers are loath to get out and load a wheelchair in the trunk). After speaking at a luncheon and visiting the Texas Institute for Rehabilitation and Research and TIRR LifeBridge hospitals, Hockenberry will sign copies of his book. 7-8 p.m. Barnes & Noble, 7626 Westheimer (at Voss), 783-6016.

friday
january 12
A Victorian Romance You've got to be careful about this stuff -- if you don't watch out, you can end up a crazy lady living with 16 cats and rooms full of dusty, moldering objets d'art. However, the Victorian Romance -- "a special show and sale in the Victorian manner!" -- does have interesting, educational exhibits and many pretty things for sale, and you don't have to go overboard. Everything dainty and elegant will be on display through Sunday. Opening 9 a.m. today. Hyatt Regency, 1200 Louisiana. For more information, call 781-6864. $4 daily admission.

Sleep (making peace with the angels) That choreographer Pat Graney is compared to the likes of Mark Morris and Robert Joffrey tells you less about her approach to her art than it does about where she's from: Seattle, which has produced not just grunge, but also more than its fair share of dance phenoms. Graney's the latest, and over the last few years she's wowed crowds around the country with her mix of imagination and athleticism. Graney (who once taught briefly at Sam Houston State in Huntsville, and hopes to say hi to some of her former students while she's in town) premiered Sleep a little more than a month ago, and so she's still testing how audiences react to her examination of dreams and ritual in women's lives. Part of that testing is seeing how much fun people have at her performances; thankfully, she's not so consumed by dance as art that she's forgotten it has to be entertaining as well.8 p.m. tonight and Saturday. Presented by DiverseWorks at the University of Houston Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre, entrance no. 16 off Cullen, 228-0914. $15; $7, students.

Quartetto Gelato Yes, the ensemble is named after Italian ice cream, and yes, they can be silly. However, the Italian Ice Cream Quartet are serious artists. The four may play tangos and use an accordion from time to time, but they can handle a set of variations on Donizetti tunes by Pasculli with verve. Presented by the Society for the Perfoming Arts. 8 p.m. Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas, 227-ARTS. $20-$30.

saturday
january 13
Dance Month at the Kaplan Sixteen years ago, the Jewish Community Center started a Dance Month series, and you wouldn't believe what they've lined up this year -- original dance works by everybody who's anybody in Houston dance and classes for those who want to be a dancing somebody. The goal of Dance Month is to "focus chiefly on the promotion, development and presentation of outstanding metropolitan Houston choreographers and dance companies." The JCC is also bringing in dance artists from all over for performances and master classes. Dance Month is part of a larger Dance Series that runs from tonight until mid-summer. (For a complete schedule, see Thrills, Dance.) Triple Focus I is the opening concert, and it features the Davidson Dance Group, Discovery Dance Group and Joan Karff's New Dance Group. 8 p.m. Jewish Community Center, Kaplan Theatre, 5601 South Braeswood. 551-7255. $12; $7, seniors.

International Hockey League All-Star Game One of the fun and weird things about our local team is that it's in the Eastern Conference. Two Aeros, defenseman Marc Laniel and left wing Sylvain Turgeon, will share a locker room with players from Atlanta, Cincinnati and Detroit tonight before hitting the ice to take on the Western Conference team. The bizarre division of cities is probably a desperate attempt to get an even number in each conference, but why is there a shortage of IHL cities? This is a sport with sumo wrestling at halftime -- every city should have a team! All-Star Game and IHL antics, 6:30 p.m. The Summit, 627-AERO. $6-$35.

sunday
january 14
Martin Luther King Jr. Service Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston is celebrating the memory of Dr. King with an afternoon worship service. Taking the interfaith notion seriously, Interfaith Ministries has included Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim leaders in the program. The Reverend John Bowie, pastor of the True Light Missionary Baptist Church and coordinator of the service, says, "There will be time during the service for celebration and dialogue about the status of Dr. King's 'dream' in our city." Musical selections will be performed by One Accord of South Main Baptist Church and the Illuminators of True Light Missionary Baptist Church. 3 p.m. Services will be held at South Main Baptist Church, 4100 Main. For more information, call 522-3955. Free.  

Tribute concert for Dr. King's dream The Texas Southern University department of fine arts has organized a tribute concert featuring the Scott Joplin Chamber Orchestra, the Kashmere High School choir and HISD superintendent Rod Paige -- Paige will narrate Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait." Group rates are available for this family show. 6 p.m. TSU, Hannah Hall Auditorium, 3100 Cleburne, 523-9710. $10, adults; $5, students.

monday
january 15
Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Unity Festival "Communities Working for the Greater Good of All" is the theme for this parade, which has 25 floats and 45 marching bands. Today, at least, who cares if there was a bit of squabbling between parade organizers? The Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Unity Festival has all its permits in order and a variety of entertainers lined up, and so the thing for us to do is get out and show support for Dr. King's dreams of total community and one nation. As a fun fact for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we'll note that the actual name of the "I have a dream" speech is "The Speech at the Civil Rights March on Washington, August 28, 1963." The parade begins at 10 a.m. Texas at Smith is the starting point. At Main, the parade makes a right and travels all the way down to Pease, and then it cuts back up Travis to finish on Walker. This will affect bus schedules. For more information -- about the parade, not about Metro -- call 659-4133.

tuesday
january 16
A Woman's Life Da Camera's Sarah Rothenberg will be tickling the ivories tonight both as part of her arts organization's Exceptional Women in Music series and to celebrate the release of her brand-new CD, an interpretation of Das Jahr. Das Jahr (The Year) was written by Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, the older sister of Felix Mendelssohn. As children, Fanny and Felix were both brilliant pianists -- some contemporaries even said Fanny was the better of the two -- but when they reached adulthood, Felix went off on his musical career while Fanny had to follow a proper 19th-century woman's role, which meant no public performances and no public composing. Das Jahr, Mendelssohn-Hensel's musical diary of a year spent abroad, was written in 1841, but it wasn't published until 1989. Rothenberg premiered the piece in the U.S. in 1991 at the Bard Music Festival's "Mendelssohn and His World" series, and tonight she'll go through a year's worth of traveling in a mere hour for Houston audiences. 7:30 p.m. The Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross, 524-5050. $18; $9 for students and senior citizens.

Heritage at Risk -- Architecture of Rural Texas Richard Payne has traveled the highways of Texas, photographing buildings and architectural details on buildings in small towns. Anyone who has traveled at all in this state has noticed that most any small town "downtown" is boarded up and derelict, with all the shoppers gone to the Wal-mart on the interstate. The Greater Houston Preservation Alliance considers the loss of historic architecture criminal, and so does Payne. "We have much to learn, cherish and preserve from an era in which human scale, intimacy and craft flourished in architecture," Payne says, and he presents his photographs as support for that argument. "Heritage at Risk" will be displayed at Robert McClain & Co. Opening receptions today and Wednesday, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 2818 Kirby, 520-9988. Free.

A new year of nutrition A Moveable Feast, the purveyor of vegetarian fajitas, offers a five-week series of healthy cooking classes. Marian Bell will teach recipes for "healthy lunches and snacks and low-fat dinners and desserts." She says this is to help people "ease the 'weight' of keeping resolutions." She's a hoot, that Marian. 7-9 p.m. Tuesday nights through February 13 (and a special breakfast class from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, January 27). A Moveable Feast, 2202 West Alabama. For information, or to register, call 528-3585. $20, each class; $70, any four; $110, all six classes.

James Taylor "Sweet Baby James" is transformed: the longhaired druggie has become a bald health-nut. However, he still plays acoustic guitar -- which will be fleshed out this evening by his backup band, the Houston Symphony -- and sings his own songs. Critics insist that Taylor is now doing well in symphony halls only because his original fans are older and richer and in the habit of visiting symphony halls. But Rolling Stone argues that "Taylor's popularity is not merely a case of nostalgia." In any case, tickets will probably sell out fast. 8 p.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-ARTS. $30-$90.  

Frontline You may think you know a lot about Newt Gingrich, but did you know that, as an undergrad at Tulane, the jowly youth looked like the love child of Elvis and Buddy Holly? The Long March of Newt Gingrich, this evening's Frontline episode, offers a long, hard look at the many moods, and the many sideburns, of the Speaker of the House. 8 p.m. KHOU/Channel 8. Free.

Bawdy Night Martin Burniston leads a motley crew composed of anyone who can scrape up the $3 cover in a rousing night of naughty music. Dirty limericks, nasty chanteys and lewd tunes from around the world are on the program, and everyone is invited to bend an elbow and bellow along with Burniston. 8:30 p.m. McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 528-5999.

wednesday
january 17
How to make money in the stock market, if you're a woman The Association for Women in Computing has invited the good people at Smith Barney to give a seminar on investing in high-tech stocks -- such as Netscape, we imagine. Dinner is included in the price of admission. 5:30 p.m. Aramco Services Company, main auditorium, 9009 West Loop South. For reservations, call 797-8467. $20.

The goose looks to the Moose The Katy Prairie Conservancy is having a fundraiser, and to lure fund-givers, hunting, fishing and birding trips are being offered at auction. This silent auction has a guided fishing trip to Laguna Madre and a guided hunting trip on the Katy Prairie. Those who wonder why a conservancy would be auctioning off hunting trips should study the lessons of Ducks Unlimited and the Gulf Coast Conservation Association. When it comes to preserving wildlife habitat, sports types spend the big bucks. Money raised at this event will go for the group's first significant acquisition on the Katy Prairie. 6-9 p.m. Moose Cafe, 1430 West Gray. For more information, call 663-7159. $25.


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