This Week's Day-by-Day Picks
Thursday, April 21
In case you haven't noticed the excessive turbans or lack of parking downtown, the Houston International Festival is under way this weekend. To honor the annual event (or maybe to steal some of its thunder), the University of St. Thomas is throwing its own International Festival. Stop by the cozy confines of the Montrose campus and you can take in Mexican, Cambodian, Indian and Palestinian dance performances. Also watch for an ass-kicking demonstration of capoeira, the martial art form native to Brazil. Nosh on offerings at the Asian Student Association's fried rice cook-off and get a face full of pastry at the German Club's pie-throwing booth. Oh, and don't forget to ease your social conscience for a moment or two at the ECOS Earth Day Booth or the Bread for the World Booth (gawd -- that's so college). The festival runs from noon to 2:30 p.m. Life Mall, 3800 Montrose. For information, call 832-605-7587. Free.
Friday, April 22
She's a former sorority girl and a stripper, so it's not surprising that comedian Sheryl Underwood loves to talk sex. ("The penis may be strong enough for a man, but it's made for a woman," she once said.) Then there's her gem: "Have I ever fucked a white man? Yes, I have -- but that was because the rent was due.") Well, guess what: Underwood, who's been called the female Richard Pryor, is a card-carrying Republican, has a master's degree and enjoys -- gulp -- NASCAR. Chances are you've seen her as the host of BET's Hollah! or as the crazy, "monkey bread"-hawking Catfish Rita in Queen Latifah's Revlon commercial of a movie, Beauty Shop. Much like with Pryor, you never know what to expect from Underwood. She could crack on gay sex, rednecks or even Democrats, so catch Catfish Rita at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21. Show continues 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. today and Saturday, April 23; and 8 p.m. Sunday, April 24. The Improv, 7620 Katy Freeway. For tickets, call 713-333-8800 or visit www.improv.com. $20.
Saturday, April 23
Wanna be famous and immortalized forever by adoring future generations? Kill a dragon. St. George did, apparently, and now he's celebrated every year by Britishers worldwide on St. George Day. The gallant, brave-hearted dragon slayer was such a boy scout, he was eventually adopted as England's official patron saint -- and as the saint of scouting. The Red Lion Pub is celebrating him today with an all-day fest featuring the Morris Dancers of Houston and folk singing led by Martin Burniston. There'll also be a car show by the Old English Car Club, which will be rolling out the Mini Coopers, Aston Martins, Jaguars and Bentleys. Down English pints and feast on traditional English fare such as shepherd's pie, sausage rolls and even curry. Curry, huh? Now that's British. 11:30 a.m. through 2 a.m. 2316 South Shepherd. For information, call 713-782-3030 or visit www.redlionhouston.com. Free.
Sunday, April 24
This week you can pay your respects to some modern-day saints at the Holocaust Museum Houston. A powerful new exhibit titled "Unlikely Liberators" tells the story of African-American and Japanese-American soldiers who fought for the United States in World War II -- and often were the first units to liberate concentration camps -- despite facing racial tension, segregation and sometimes open hostility from their fellow American soldiers. Composed of photographs taken by the soldiers themselves, the exhibit follows groups such as the 761st Tank Battalion, made up entirely of African-American soldiers, as they fought their way through Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. It also documents the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, a unit of Japanese soldiers, who were the first to liberate a concentration camp in Dachau. That these two oppressed minority groups combined to liberate another -- the Jews -- is a poignantly American story. Visit the heroes through August 31. 5401 Caroline. For information, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org. Free.
Monday, April 25
Any electronica fan or historian worth his or her salt knows that L.T.J. Bukem deserves mad cred for ushering in jungle from stepchild status to a bona fide genre. Though guys like Roni Size and Goldie held the '90s spotlight as jungle personae, Bukem stayed behind the decks and mixing board, producing compilations and highlighting other artists. The breakbeat whiz is stopping by M Bar today with decknician/cohort Conrad, making this a show that no beat lover should miss. 9 p.m. 402 Main. For tickets, visit www.groovetickets.com. $10.
Tuesday, April 26
We care about your pocketbook, really we do. That's why we can invite you with a clear conscience to the annual Houston Press Menu of Menus Extravaganza. At this party, you can enjoy a sampling of dishes from more than 30 local restaurants. Mexican, Middle Eastern, Asian -- it's all there, and for our money (and given that we're inherently cheap) this makes one cost-effective date. Throw in a wine and beer tasting and live music from Yvonne Washington, and you've got a damn good shindig for a Tuesday. The best part: All proceeds benefit Child Advocates and Houston Proud. 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. 550 Prairie. For information, call 713-280-2490 or visit www.houstonpress.com. $25 in advance; $30 at the door.
Wednesday, April 27
It's been quite the week for British saints, smack-talking Republican sistas and big eats. Get some poetic perspective on your existence with the Starving Poets: Literary Arts/Music Festival. Local and national visiting poets and musicians, along with members of the Starving Poets group, will descend on venues as diverse as the Children's Museum of Houston, Paesanos Lounge and other spots to share their flow, tunes and spoken rhymes. The festival starts today at 8 p.m. at G's & Z's Cafe, 4412 Almeda, 713-737-8366, and continues at various venues through May 1. For information, a schedule and a list of participating locations, call 866-811-4111 or visit www.starvingpoets.org. $10.
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