Press Picks

january 9
Someone Who'll Watch Over Me An American doctor, an English academic and an Irish journalist find themselves cut off from the world -- they're hostages in Lebanon -- and as dire as their circumstances sound, humor and imagination ride high; rather than bore one another with technical jargon, they turn to exercise, songs, jokes and fantasies about loved ones to maintain their composure under duress. Hosea Simmons Sr., Kent Johnson and George Brock star in the Houston premiere of Frank McGuinness's 1992 play; Ron Jones directs. Opens tonight, 7:30 p.m. Performances continue through February 9 (see Thrills, Theater for showtimes). Main Street Theater, 2540 Times Boulevard, 524-6706. $10-$15; discounts available for students and seniors.

National Volunteer Blood Donor Month President Clinton and the American Association of Blood Banks made this proclamation to honor the eight million people who gave blood in 1996, but they're probably hoping it'll drum up more business. And why not? A single donation can save the lives of up to three people. If you haven't given blood before, know that it'll take 30 minutes, more or less, and it'll hurt, but only a little -- more so when they prick your finger than when they stick you in the arm. (And we might mention that it's a cheap way to get a head start on a good drunk, but that wouldn't be in the spirit of Blood Donor Month.) Call the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center at 790-1200 to find out how you can help.

january 10
The Age of Discretion Talk about your big chill. This play's story line follows a group of high school pals who find themselves, ten years on, dealing with the aftermath of AIDS -- death, don't you know -- and HIV infection. The Age of Discretion has been performed in Houston area schools for four years, and concludes this weekend. Promoters suggest that if you think that the theater isn't the best place for a lesson on AIDS, "try experience." 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday. High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Denney Theatre, 4001 Stanford, 942-1966. $5.

Dance Month at the Kaplan A day before the group's big farewell to-do at the Wortham Center (for more info on that, check out the dance column), a member of the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company will teach modern dance techniques to a lucky few. Thanks to the sponsorship of I.W. Marks, the master class can be had for a nominal fee -- $5! -- but at that price, you can't expect a chance to try on the great outfits the company dancers sometimes wear. You can, though, expect an intense lesson in Lewitzky's lean and taut style. And Bella herself will be in attendance. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Jewish Community Center, 5601 South Braeswood, 729-3200, extension 3275. Tickets are $3.50 in advance, $5 at the door.

Having Our Say Sadie and Bessie Delany share a century of living and a New York Times bestseller based on their experiences. Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years is Emily Mann's adaptation of the women's story. The two are the daughters of a mixed-race mother and a former slave, and are with it enough to realize not only that most of their lives are now behind them but that they have a unique perspective on the growth of America. They've seen it all, and they still have hope for the future. Delores Mitchell and Vinie Burrows, formidable women in their own right, star. Opens tonight, 8 p.m. Continues through February 8 (see Thrills, Theater for additional showtimes). The Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Avenue, 228-8421. $31-$43. Having Our Say is the first of four plays in the Celebration Series, a joint project of the Alley and Ensemble theaters; series tickets are $70.

Health & Fitness Expo 1997 We are not lazy! Our priorities are not out of whack! We're simply uninformed -- or so say the good folks of the Methodist Health Care System, who are hosting this expo to ensure that we have the proper information and techniques to live longer, live healthier and live up to our New Year's resolutions. The three-day expo will feature nearly 25 seminars for runners ("Carbo Loading Prior to Sporting Events," 5:30 p.m. today) and non-runners (sports medicine, nutrition, cardio-karate and more), plus the opportunity to meet world-class athletes and to buy discounted sportswear. The expo is an adjunct to Sunday's Methodist Health Care Houston Marathon (formerly the Houston Tenneco Marathon). 11 a.m.-7 p.m. today; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday (Family Day); 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenue of the Americas, 957-3453. Free.

HomoImprovement Only the phrase "more power" would seem to apply to both the Queer Artist Collective and the sitcom whose title the artists spoof. Having accepted the challenge to "fearlessly be themselves," the folks of QuAC have composed highly personal works of expression, which they'll perform using their written ideas, video and choreographed movement. Racism, sexuality, homophobia and whether Sears Craftsman tools really do have a lifetime warranty (and whose lifetime are they talking about, ours or the tool's?) are among the topics these young men and women address as they investigate identity. Well, actually, they don't talk about Sears, though maybe they should. 8 p.m. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, 228-0914. $10; $7, seniors and students.

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Betsy Froehlich