Press Picks

may 25
Boutros Boutros-Ghali Last year, Henry Kissinger; this year, Secretary-General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros-Ghali. The Institute of International Education is having its annual luncheon and has, as usual, lured an important guest in to be the speaker. Boutros-Ghali has been secretary-general since 1992, and must have many interesting observations on post-Cold War diplomacy. The Institute of International Education has been interested in cultural exchange since 1919. 11:30 a.m., luncheon; 12:45 p.m., Boutros-Ghali speaks. Westin Galleria, 5060 Alabama. For reservations, call 621-6300. $45, $75 and $125.

Java Jazz With the blessing of the Milt Larkin Jazz Society, Seattle-based Starbucks Coffee is holding a jazz show in a strip center. Jazz/blues, really. Today's featured performers are The Adams Boys (Aaron, 18; Gerald, 15; and Courtney, 13). Buddy Guy and Jimi Hendrix were equal influences on our young performers, but they're happy to be part of a promotion for a coffee-company CD featuring Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. At the not-at-all large Starbucks Coffee Company store, 1655 South Voss (at San Felipe), 975-7667. Free.

New Texas Radio Live, on-stage. Donna McKenzie brings favorites from her New Texas Radio show out for a live performance. McKenzie's radio show celebrates the sounds of Texas, and now she's taking some bands on tour around the state. Tonight local band Beat Temple, Dallas' Sixty Six and Austin's Billy White Trio all play together on the Rockefeller's stage. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Rockefeller's, 3620 Washington, 869-8427. $5.

may 26
Clifford the Big Red Dog Before Carl was a good dog, Clifford was big and red. Children are invited to meet the vermilion mutt, hear him tell his favorite stories and join him in a hunt for buried bones. Clifford would surely like to sign kids' books, but we don't know if he can, what with his being a dog and having paws and all. In any case, this sounds like a fine way to begin vacation, and to teach kids about kindness to animals and literature. 6:30 p.m. Barnes & Noble, 3003 West Holcombe (Vanderbilt Square), 349-0050. Free and open to the public.

Man This is not to say a thing against any of the fine Picks for this week, but this is probably the most interesting (as in "Monsters lead such interesting lives") event on tap. Burn Play and Zocalo Theater and Performance Art Company present "a sculptural performance of an industrial tragedy" in three acts, and Mike Scranton seems to be the major creative voice. Tom Kennedy, creator of Ripper the Friendly Shark, is also involved; other suspects are Dennis Clay, Mark Coghlin, George Hixson and Jason Nodler. "Not since Fritz Lang's Metropolis," we are assured, "has such a scorching reflection of industrial libido ascended to the teetering heights of ungirded madness," and, hey, teetering heights and ungirded madness are terms with verve when the subject is sculpture. 10 p.m. Zocalo Theater, 5223 Feagan, 861-2442. Admission to this performance/sculptural installation is $5.

A Big Band Salute: The Songs and Music of World War II The Houston Symphony Pops ends the season with a splashy Memorial Day weekend special full of swing and speeches -- important speeches from the time of the Second World War. "In the Mood," "We'll Meet Again," "The Last Time I Saw Paris" and other classics are included in the musical program, but for the extra patriotic oomph, famous speeches will be broadcast. Neville Chamberlain's "On the Way to Munich," Roosevelt's "Declaration of War" and speeches of Churchill and Hitler will be included in the narrative. If Churchill's "It will be long, it will be hard and there will be no withdrawal" is spoken, no sniggering please. And sing out loud and strong during the "God Bless America" sing-along. No one will be expected to compete with soloist Heather Holcombe (mezzo-soprano), but all ticket buyers are expected to raise their voices in patriotic pleasure. 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday; 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-ARTS. $15-$50.

may 27
Sand Blast Nothin' says summer like loud music, sand and too much sun, and here's KRBE/ 104.1 FM with all three and sumo wrestling as an extra. Talk about your Top 40 ways to kick off summer! Mysteriously, the Weekend Sand Blast is being held Saturday (which doesn't count as a weekend without Sunday) and Monday (which is only weekend when the prefix "three-day" is used). Whatever you call it, it should be noisy, bawdy fun. Water wars, gyrosphere rides and a volleyball tournament are planned, plus a live KRBE broadcast on both days. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. today and Monday, Stewart Beach, Galveston. For details or to register for volleyball, call Wendy Craven, 266-1000. Activities are free.

The Object Show Quietly, on a tree-lined side street, Kathleen Packlick continues her subversive program. Packlick runs the West End Gallery and for many years she's been using her space for art that suits her, art that strikes her as spirited and, sometimes, fun. This summer's iconoclastic show has toys and nightmares by Bill Frazier, Marci De Bock and Marjorie Moore. Moore has taken the monkey as her subject -- her paintings are of real, live monkeys and of scary toy monkeys like that damn beast in overalls who clacks yellow cymbals. De Bock has never quite outgrown paper dolls and Frazier's focus is the Venus de Milo. Opening reception for the artists 4-6 p.m. today. The show continues through July 8. Gallery hours Saturday are noon-4 p.m. During the week, enter thru West End Bicycles. 5425 Blossom, 861-9544.  

may 28
The David Caceres Quartet This local jazz group has done Cezanne and Dizzy's, but this is their first show at Ovations. As a jazz group, the quartet covers a lot of ground; funk and bebop are in their repertoire. Frontman Caceres plays alto sax and sings; his quartet is rounded out by Joe Ferreira on drums, Dave Nichols on bass and Ted Wenglinski tickling the ivories. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Ovations, 2536-B Times Boulevard, 522-9801. $7.

Beyond "Draw Cubby" "Drawing Comics the Marvel Way," led by Sal ("You All Know Me, I'm the Brother of John") Buscema, is a seminar that will help wannabes find out if they've got what it takes to become powerful, legendary comic book artists who may one day get to see movies starring their own pen-and-ink heroes. He promises not to recommend being related to someone who's a much bigger shot than you are, and who published a book with a title oddly similar to that of the seminar you're helming. Image comic artists Greg Capullo and Brian Denham will also be attending the convention. After Buscema's public art talk, the man will sit down with lucky convention-goers, artist-to-artist, and look at portfolios. The comic book convention is open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; "Drawing Comics the Marvel Way" will start at 1 p.m. Ramada Northwest, Grand Ballroom, Highway 290 at Pinemont. Half-price tickets are available at both Bedrock City Comics stores. $5 at the door.

Mystery Solved Why the KRBE Weekend Sand Blast isn't at Stewart Beach all weekend -- because KRBE is busy with the Audio Bar-B-Q concert in The Woodlands today. Beach amusements such as sumo wrestling (you know, in those big sumo suits) and human bowling will be amusing revelers in the parking lot and the half-day concert has really big radio names such as Adam Ant, Blues Traveler, Letters to Cleo and Toad the Wet Sprocket. Gates open at noon, music starts around 2 p.m. The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, 629-3700. For details, call 266-1000. $20 lawn seats; $35 reserved seating. Or, set your auto dial, listen to KRBE/104.1 FM and try to win free tickets.

may 29
Take the kids out to a real ball game After all that strike nonsense, this recreation of a 19th-century ball game will be especially refreshing. Hired athletes will be sweltering in authentic uniforms, but everyone is urged to wear sneakers and plan to play. The game is 1890s rules -- no overhand pitching, six balls before a hitter can walk to first and no stealing bases. Peanuts and lemonade will be available, and non-sports fans can stroll around other historical sites on the ranch or take in the Victorian "Decoration Day" ceremony at the J.H.P. Davis Ranch. "Decoration Day" was the Victorian Civil War Memorial Day. The game starts at 2 p.m. George Ranch Historical Park, take U.S. 59 south to Crabb River Road, go south and follow the signs. 545-9212. $5 adults; $3 children. For details, call 545-9212 or 343-0218.

Selena Tribute I happened to be in the Heartland when Selena was murdered, and was surprised and confused when the local TV anchors in Wisconsin went into detail about who Selena was. (They really leaned on the Mexican Madonna thing, which I don't think was fair. Selena was never trashy.) Here in Texas, of course, Selena was a one-name star like Liza or Frank. Mattress Mac, always sensitive to the needs of the community, is sponsoring this tribute concert (along with the Quintanilla family, KPRC/Channel 2 and radio station KXTJ/ KQQK). La Mafia, Alvaro Torres, Roberto Pulido, Pete Astudillo, Elsa Garcia, Graciela Beltran, Los Agues and the Barrio Boyzz are scheduled to appear. Money goes to the Selena Foundation (to build a Tejano music museum) and a Selena scholarship fund established as part of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo "Go Tejano" committee. 4 p.m. The Astrodome, Kirby at Loop 610. For the current cyberscoop on this concert, Tickets are available at Gallery Furniture and Ticketmaster, 629-3700. $6 and $10.  

may 30
Lunch with the People's Lawyer Richard Alderman, attorney, professor, author and television star, will attend a genteel lunch at the Junior League and chat about non-O.J. legal matters. As we said, Alderman is a genuine lawyer, and so cocktails will be served. (There are lawyers, musicians and journalists who don't mind bar-less events, but they are few.) The Houston Advertising Federation's May luncheon with the "People's Lawyer" begins with cocktails at 11:30 a.m. and has a noon program. Junior League of Houston, 1811 Briar Oaks. For reservations, call ADS-9999 or fax 522-8327. $25.

may 31
We May Look Like You But It's Not Really Us Sounds like a zany '60s movie starring Connie Stevens in pink-frost lipstick, and yet it's a literary event, at least in the imaginative minds of the Flying Dutchman Writers Troupe (not to be confused with the Flying Fish Sailors). For six years now, Mario Cook, John Gorman, Kevin Kwan, Simone Gers and their cohorts have been pulling stunts like this. They say their aim is to "promote the performance of the literary arts through the sponsorship of reading series and by providing a showcase for emerging writing talent." Don't let that dull, wordy statement of purpose give the wrong impression. The troupe's readers are varied and interesting, and terse when need be. 8 p.m. P.J.'s Coffee and Tea Co., 4312 Montrose. For details, call 529-0198 or 523-2649. Free.

By Edith Sorenson

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