Wanda J. Laborde, producer of the third annual Pan Jam Festival, swears that the steel drum was the only musical instrument created during the 20th century. Whether or not that's so, it certainly has plenty of fans. "We attract Trinidadians, college students, Parrot Heads and people who like island style," says Laborde. The fest kicks off with a parade that includes appearances by beauty queens, dancers, the Arabia Temple Steel Band, astronaut Chris Hadfield and grand marshal Ellie Mannette, also known as the father of the steel drum. Afterward, panners from San Antonio to the Caribbean will demonstrate their percussive prowess; the bill includes Club Trini, the Islanders, Caribbean Steel Tones, Water's Edge Steel Drum Ensemble, Steel Vibrations, Texas Tide and Robert Greenidge, who has played with Jimmy Buffett for more than 15 years.
The free event features a raffle and silent auction benefiting the North Harris College Steel Band and the University of Houston PANtagonists. 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, September 13. 600 Block of Sixth Street in Kemah. For information, visit www.panjamfestival.com. -- Bliss Foster
Who's Foolin Who?
If watching the hapless fail ever upward isn't your idea of a good time, then perhaps you should steer clear of Bobbindoctrin Puppet Theatre's production of Tolstoy's Ivan the Fool. Otherwise, go out and root for Ivan, the unflappable, dutiful and -- some would say -- foolish citizen who gives away his good fortune only to have it come back to him a hundred-fold. It's the second run of this audience favorite, which is the only Bobbindoctrin production suitable for kiddos. In the show, the actors manipulating the puppets are plainly visible, adding dimension and humanity to the fable. See the Old Devil, his imps, some hags and Ivan's siblings try and fail to bring Ivan down -- only to have him wind up as their czar. D'oh! 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, from Friday, September 11 through September 27. Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex, 2201 Preston. For reservations, call 713-526-7434. For information, visit www.bobbindoctrin.com. $15. -- Lisa Simon
Peter Frampton's back Now
Though it's widely acknowledged that Peter Frampton's 1976 album Frampton Comes Alive! is the 800-pound gorilla of live records, the classic rocker himself has long been underrated. Frampton started out as a teen guitar whiz for the Herd and Humble Pie and then went on to forge a solo career that's seen plenty of ups (massive sales, stadium sellouts) and downs (overhype, questionable career moves). He's back with Now, his first studio effort in almost a decade. Although the Englishman VH1 called the "Macho Man of 1976" no longer sports his long blond locks, his last Houston show still moved at least one woman to throw her bra on stage. Do you feel like he does? 8 p.m. Saturday, September 13. Verizon Theater, 520 Texas Avenue. Joe Bonamassa opens. For tickets, call 713-629-3700 or visit www.frampton.com. $25 to $32. -- Bob Ruggiero
Why bother reading highfalutin literary interpretations of great American authors such as Jack Kerouac and Peter Josyph when you can sit back and watch their works interpreted on stage by svelte dancers? Trash your crib notes and check out Dances from the American Night, a series of provocative dance interpretations by the Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble. 8 p.m. Friday, September 12. Alice Pratt Brown Hall, Rice University, entrance no. 12 (off Rice Boulevard). For information, call 713-533-9515. $8 to $15. -- Keith Plocek