Press Picks

june 5
Falsettoland In the final installment of William Finn's three-part musical "Marvin Trilogy," Marvin is reunited with Whizzer, the man for whom he left his wife; Marvin also plans for his son's bar mitzvah -- and finds that those plans don't always jibe with the ideas of his ex and her new man, Marvin's onetime psychiatrist. Got that? Don't worry. Newcomers to the trilogy won't be left behind; the production was designed to stand on its own. An official event of Houston's Gay and Lesbian Pride Week. 7:30 p.m. Through July 19 (see Thrills, Theater for additional showtimes). Main Street Theater at Chelsea Market, 4617 Montrose, 524-6706. $15; $12.50, seniors & students.

Opera to Go Houston Grand Opera's Education and Outreach Department is boxing up Hansel and Gretel and taking it on the road -- or at least to Houston-area libraries, where it can whet tiny opera appetites. Performers mix with oversize puppets, and the performance clocks in at a mere 50 minutes. Today's shows are 10:30 a.m. at the Scenic Woods Regional Library, 10677 Homestead, and 3:30 p.m. at the Jungman Regional Library, 5830 Westheimer. Other performances through July. For a complete schedule, call 546-0230. Free.

Boxxapalooza 1 Rap phenom Brad Jordan, a.k.a. Scarface, makes a fairly rare appearance in his hometown to headline the Box's latest R&B/hip-hop/rap venture. Though local fans don't often get to see Scarface spew his lyrics on-stage, they know what's coming from this full-on, in-your-face "reality" rapper. The former Geto Boy shares the stage with hip-hoppers Too Short and Lil' Kim and R&B acts 112 and Joe. 8 p.m. AstroArena, Kirby Drive at Loop 610, 629-3700. $20.

june 6
Pete Mayes Day Anahuac native Pete Mayes, purveyor of true blues for more than four decades, is officially the man of the day; a city of Houston proclamation says so. The guitarist, an old-school bluesman, honed his craft in his family's dance hall in Double Bayou and on stages in the U.S. and abroad. The proclamation, as well as SumArts's Blues Artist of the Year award, will be bestowed tonight just prior to Mayes's performance at the 21st Annual Juneteenth Blues Festival. Oscar Perry and Bobby "Blue" Bland bookend Mayes and his Texas House Rockers. On Sunday, Martha Turner, Milton Hopkins with Jimmy "T-99" Nelson, and Calvin Owens and the Big Blue Sound close out the festival. 7 p.m. tonight and Saturday. (The blues fest opens at 7 p.m. Thursday when Mark May takes the stage; see page 66 for the scoop.) Miller Outdoor Theatre, Hermann Park, 100 Concert Drive, 626-8000. Free.

Mike Svoboda: Alphorn Special Mike Svoboda, one of the world's best trombone players, also dabbles in performance art and strange instruments. Tonight's performance includes both elements: Svoboda will perform on an alphorn, a conch shell, a didgeridoo and a garden hose, revealing that all these objects are closely related to his own signature instrument. Presented by the Goethe-Institut Houston German Cultural Center and the Swiss Institute. 8 p.m. University of St. Thomas, Cullen Recital Hall, 4001 Mt. Vernon, 528-2787. Free.

Kate Clinton Why, wonders the pioneering lesbian comic, are hets so fixated on gay marriage? She answers her own question: "I don't think it's going well for straights, so that's why they concentrate on our lives. Instead of pushing for gay marriages, we should encourage straight people not to do it." Tonight, Clinton's "Mad Vow Tour" stops in Houston. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray, 524-2333. $20.

Michael Ray Charles, 1989-1997: An American Artist's Work The African-American artist addresses race and prejudice by painting stereotypical characters such as Buckwheat and Aunt Jemima. Charles has drawn mixed reviews and is no stranger to controversy. But he also has his fans: Spike Lee, for instance, wrote the introduction to this show's catalog. Seventy paintings and works on paper are included in this, Charles's first major museum exhibition. Opening reception, 7-9 p.m. Through August 31. University of Houston, Blaffer Gallery, (entrance no. 16 off Cullen), 743-9530. Free.

Waco: The Rules of Engagement Did a "bunch of religious fanatics" decide to kill themselves, as President Clinton described the deaths of David Koresh and his followers? Or did a vengeful FBI trigger the fire that consumed the compound, then machine-gun those who tried to escape? The makers of this almost three-hour-long movie purport to prove the latter, based on video shot with Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) technology from FBI surveillance planes. 7:30 p.m. tonight through Sunday. Rice University, Rice Media Center (entrance no. 8 off University Boulevard), 527-4853. $5.

june 7
Revolution Summer: Equal Pay Revolution Summer is the name of Mark Allen's new art space. His first exhibit, "Equal Pay," is in fact based on a revolutionary idea: that patrons pay for their purchase with time -- specifically, the amount of time it took the artist to create the work. Prices run from seven minutes to 60 hours. What the patron will do for the artist during said time is negotiable, which should make for some very interesting bidding wars. "Equal Pay" is the first of only three shows planned for this space (actually the first two rooms in Allen's home). After that, Allen writes, the gallery will "gently evaporate before becoming sullied by infrastructure, a board of directors, or a social agenda." Opening reception, 8-10 p.m. Through June 29. Revolution Summer, 1215 Marconi, 521-7564. Free.

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Betsy Froehlich