This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Straight Up! Helicopters in Action will spin you right round, baby, right round. See Monday.
Courtesy of SK Films

Thursday, May 6

If you love to talk about "nothing," then you've got to drop by Louis Shanks for an appearance by the real J. Peterman. The bona fide inspiration for the Seinfeld character of the same name will be in town promoting his new line of furniture. Be sure to ask him what the hell he was thinking when he green-lit the urban sombrero. 6:30 p.m. 2800 Fondren. For information, call 800-880-8484 or visit Free.

After you're done pondering the literary aspects of selling stuff, get ready for a dance extravaganza. Pink! The Musical features performances by Houston Ballet, Houston Metropolitan Dance, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, Suchu Dance Company and Hope Stone Dance, not to mention Boston's hoi polloi and New York's Bang Group. And what, you might ask, is the reason for this convention of lithe limbs? The fight against breast cancer, of course. Louise Parsley has taken individual performances by these groups and integrated them into a Broadway-style musical, giving you the chance to see all of the big-time players on the Houston dance scene in one fell swoop. Have a few drinks for a good cause and consider yourself cultured for weeks. 8 p.m. Cullen Theater in the Wortham Center, 501 Texas. For information, call 713-526-1907 or visit $50 to $100.

Friday, May 7

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Pimpin' ain't easy. In Neil Simon's Last of the Red Hot Lovers, a bumbling middle-aged fellow decides he wants to join the sexual revolution. So, after 23 years of marriage, he tries to get a little tail on the side. Now, we don't want to blow the show's load by giving away the ending, but we will say that the randy protagonist has a little trouble rising to the challenge. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, though May 29. Country Playhouse, 12802 Queensbury. For information, call 713-467-4497 or visit $13 to $18.

Saturday, May 8

Building cultural bridges, one sashay at a time, Houston's CORE Performance Company is teaming up with Berlin's Tanzcompagnie RUBATO for an evening of free dance performances. RUBATO starts off the night with "This Is Not a Lovesong," which, as far as titles go, is one of the least limiting we've ever heard. CORE then joins RUBATO on stage for "Links," a performance about the universal ramifications of the smallest individual actions. After seeing this concert, it should be obvious that the two companies have a lot more in common than excessive capitalization. 8 p.m. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Drive. For information, call 713-862-5530 or visit Free.

Well, it probably won't make it till the break of dawn, but Pencil Head's Dusk Til Dawn Film Fest has at least enough entries to make it past midnight. This new festival of shorts (30 seconds to 45 minutes) should offer up some laughs for even the longest face. This Story Udderly Sucks, by Andrew M. Currie, is an animated little number detailing what happens when a cow meets a vacuum cleaner. Image vs. Idea, by Jodie Brivic, is a soundless flick that'll make you view something quite ordinary in a whole new light. And Kaze, Ghost Warrior, by Timothy Albee, is a story about a fallen samurai who comes back to kick some serious ass. 8 p.m. Sirrom School of Dance, 5570 Weslayan. For information, call 832-247-8634 or visit $10.

Sunday, May 9

Want to stay cutting-edge? Then you should know that there's a new theater group in town called Collide, whose mission is to perform highly experimental and neglected works in odd places. For its first production, Collide is presenting an updated version of Jean Giraudoux's The Madwoman of Chaillot. In this version, a cowboy prospector tries to persuade the president of a meaningless company to help him in his quest for oil, with the goal being to acquire enough wealth to start a war. (How novel: oil for blood.) In order to get this black gold, the dastardly duo must destroy the last free people of the earth: a small group of street performers and peddlers. And then things start to get crazy. We're not quite sure what to make of all this, but that seems to be the point. Check it out at 8 p.m. today and Friday, May 7. Commerce Street Artists Warehouse, 2315 Commerce. For a full schedule, call 713-807-7447 or visit $5 to $10.

And, lest you break the poor woman's heart, don't forget that today is Mother's Day. We suggest flowers and an excuse for why you can never do laundry at your own house.

Monday, May 10

When it comes to synonyms, the word "helicopter" has some of the coolest: eggbeater, whirlybird, chopper, spinneroo. Okay, we made that last one up, but you can see tons of blade-spinning action today at Straight Up! Helicopters in Action. This IMAX film will take you inside the cockpit as brave Airwolf disciples pluck people from the most harrowing of situations. 4 p.m. Houston Museum of Natural Science, One Hermann Circle Drive. For a full schedule, call 713-639-4629 or visit $4 to $7.

Tuesday, May 11

As any fan of Tekken on PlayStation 2 already knows, capoeira is just about the most graceful way in the world to whup the shit out of someone. At Grupo Cafu's capoeira class, you'll learn all about this Brazilian technique, which is one part dance and one part martial art. Classes are ongoing, so just show up and start kicking. 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. El Dorado Ballroom, 2310 Elgin. For information, visit $10 per class.

Wednesday, May 12

Where have all the beatniks gone? Apparently, they've fled the coffee shops and gone online. In honor of the launch of ContemporaryBeatnik. com, a Web portal designed for artists, musicians, writers and other freewheelin' types, the folks at Meteor are having one hell of an opening party, "The Mind Inside Your Space." The mind inside your space? Hmm"it seems like the stream of consciousness has already begun. But seriously, this should be a killer opening, with artists from all over the globe dropping by to discuss their works. We're still waiting on confirmation from Allen Ginsberg's ghost. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 2306 Genesee. For information, call 281-898-0482 or visit Free.

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