This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Andy Warhol gave endangered animals the same superstar treatment he gave Marilyn. See Thursday.
Courtesy of the McClain Gallery

Thursday, February 5

Andy Warhol's personal fame has far outlasted the 15 minutes he predicted the rest of us would enjoy. His name is virtually synonymous with the pop-art movement of the '60s, and no modern art museum would consider its collection complete without one of his soup cans, car crashes or Marilyns. In addition to his fascination with fame, advertising and death, Warhol also loved animals -- as his many familiar cat and dog portraits demonstrate. Late in his life, his concern for endangered animals grew, and out of that came the colorful collages in the 1986 series "Andy Warhol: Vanishing Animals." The works have rarely been seen since his death in 1987, but they open in town with a reception today. Could this show be the start of something big for the Galapagos tortoise? 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. McClain Gallery, 2242 Richmond, 713-520-9988, Free.

Friday, February 6

The fury of a scorned woman burns hotter than hellfire, as any student of literature can tell you. Now the righteous anger of the scene-stealing jilted bride from Dickens's Great Expectations is taking center stage in Miss Havisham's Fire, an English-language opera opening today at Moores Opera House. Fifty years ago, Miss Havisham locked herself away in her room, forever wearing her rotting but otherwise unspoiled wedding gown. In flashback, we see how the rejected virgin spread her misery around. The opera culminates in an earthshaking mad scene that probably has nothing on Howard Dean's barbaric yawp. 7:30 p.m. today and Monday, February 9; 2 p.m. Sunday, February 8. Preview lecture 45 minutes prior to curtain. University of Houston campus, entrance no. 16 (off Cullen),713-743-3313, $7.50 to $15.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, February 7

You can tell more about people by the books they choose to display in their homes than almost anything else (except their cars). If your shelves are looking thin, or their residents a bit commonplace, you can head out to the Southern Lit Mag and Small Press Fair today for bargains galore on some terribly hip reads. All magazines will be on sale for $2, and all books for only $4, so taking home a few armloads won't be out of the question. Actual, live editors will also be at the fair, shaking hands and answering questions about how to turn that weepy journal of yours into a publishable piece of modern literature. Noon to 5 p.m., with a 2 p.m. panel discussion on the publishing process. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit Free.

After casually scattering your new indie lit around your quarters, you can give your eyes a rest from the strain of reading, have a few drinks and let Tom Rhodes's wisecracks roll over you. The American comic has an anything-goes talk show on FCC-free Amsterdam television, so you can expect some knowing and practiced drug references. 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. today and Friday, February 6. 8 p.m. Thursday, February 5. Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray, 713-524-2333, $11.50 to $16.50.

Sunday, February 8

Church music comes in all flavors. If the sonorous chanting of monks puts you to sleep, and earnest folk songs about Noah's ark give you Sunday-school flashbacks, try opening your mind to Trinity Episcopal Church's Jazz Mass. The service takes its theme from Duke Ellington's Third Sacred Concert, "Every Man Prays in His Own Language." Several of his works will be performed, and the final piece, "Praise God and Dance," will feature a performance by dancer Sandra Organ. 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. 1015 Holman, 713-528-4100, Free.

Monday, February 9

The vagaries of life can get a person down, no lie. But a sense of humor about life's curveballs can see you through some tough times. If you're in need of a push in the jocular direction, you can get one from Richard Russo, a master craftsman of both the sad-but-funny tale and the bastard-with-a-heart character. Russo, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for his novel Empire Falls, will be reading from his new, unpublished work today at Cullen Performance Hall. 7:30 p.m. University of Houston campus, entrance 1 no. (off Cullen Boulevard). For information, call 713-521-2026 or visit $5.

Tuesday, February 10

Here's your chance to groove to that mellifluous "auction chant" -- "I'm bid $200, do I hear $250? Going once, twice, sold!" Today's 2004 Print Auction features 121 photographs by artists from seven countries. Auctioneer Dale Stulz will guide collectors through the catalog of prints, from vintage gelatin silver to ink-jet digital. Hold on to your hat as the heat in the room rises. "People will get into bidding wars," says Debi Campbell of the Houston Center for Photography. "The tension goes higher and higher in the room as the prices increase." And don't worry that an errant itch on your nose will land you in debtor's prison -- Stulz knows the difference between serious bidders and vicarious thrill-seekers. 6 p.m. dinner; 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. live auction. SP Martel Auditorium, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 3511 Yoakum. For information, call 713-529-4755 or visit $35 presale; $40 at the door. Reservations recommended.

Wednesday, February 11

We know it's so '80s, but have you nurtured your inner child lately? Pull on your short pants and relive recess today with Retro Games. The theme is "games you can play in the dark," but it's not that kind of party. The games will include Murder in the Dark, Flashlight Freeze Tag and, our personal favorite, Sardines. In Sardines, a variation on hide-and-seek, one person hides and everyone else looks for him. When people discover the hiding place, they pile in one by one, until only one person is left wandering around in the dark, looking for the seething, giggling mass of bodies. If all goes well, you might find someone new to play more standard adult games with. 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. The Good Space, 5757 Woodway. For information, call 713-376-2727 or visit $25.

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