Press Picks

june 12
Don Quixote The Houston Ballet caps its 199697 season with a revival of Ben Stevenson's lavish, romantic Don Quixote ... yes, the same Don Quixote that premiered here two years ago. In October, the Ballet will truck this production to the Kennedy Center, so they're giving the hometown crowd another chance to see it first. This Don Q is also noteworthy in that it's the last time 19-year veteran Rachel Beard will don slippers as a principal dancer for the Houston Ballet. Opens at 7:30 p.m. tonight (see Thrills, Dance for additional showtimes). Wortham Center, Brown Theater, 500 Texas, 227-ARTS. $10$80.

june 13
The Mediation of Ornament: Eight Texas Painters There's no difference between abstract art and decoration, at least not in the Transco Tower Gallery's new exhibition. The "Mediation of Ornament" name was lifted from a book by Oleg Grabar, in which Grabar argues that ornamentation is beautiful and provides pleasure. (Gasp!) The eight Texas artists -- including Houstonians Virgil Grotfeldt, Perry House and Aaron Parazette -- each explore the notion of beauty. Parazette does so by painting, on large canvases, the most banal wallpaper patterns he can find. Opening reception, 6-8 p.m. Through July 18. Transco Tower Gallery, ground level, 2800 Post Oak Boulevard, 526-6461. Free.

Keith Hennessy: Box In this one-man show, performance artist Keith Hennessy explores racism, prison and colonialism. He dances; he does stuff with lit torches; and he plays characters ranging from "Buffet," an aging showgirl, to an aborigine who sings "House of the Rising Sun." Wrote SF Weekly, "You will not go away from his solo performances unchanged." 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, 228-0914. $12; $7, seniors and students.

Pops Are Tops In an early celebration of Father's Day, ComedySportz presents a special show for dads. As the comedy teams compete for laughs, the audience is encouraged to cheer, jeer and even heckle the referees. Tonight's refs may receive special abuse: They're the fathers of ComedySportz athletes. 8 p.m. Treebeards, 315 Travis, 521-2226. Free for fathers; $8 for everyone else.

Astros vs. Twins The good guys are set to start a series against the Minnesota Twins -- an American League team. This year, as an experiment, American League and National League teams will occasionally intermingle without going to the World Series. It's an idea the leagues have kicked around for 20 years or so, and if all goes as planned, the ploy will intensify rivalries and present baseball's stars to new audiences. In this case, Houstonians have added incentive to come out: The Twins bring with them Houston's own Chuck Knoblauch -- the Twins' second baseman, 1991 Rookie of the Year and alumnus of Bellaire High School. 7:05 p.m. tonight and Saturday; 1:35 p.m. Sunday. The Astrodome, Kirby Drive at Loop 610, 6-ASTROS. $4-$21.

june 14
Bay Day Festival Learn about the beauty that is Galveston Bay from the people who make their living using it and the people who dedicate their lives to protecting it. Visit traditionalists who build and sail wooden boats, and see a jet ski demonstration; then watch a simulated Coast Guard helicopter rescue and learn what not to do with whatever watercraft you prefer. Afterward, settle in for the music: Stoot Zydeco, the Grateful Geezers, Key West, Sisters Morales and Lee Roy Parnell. Get to the fest early to save money on admission and to pick up a free flag in honor of Flag Day; stay late for a fireworks display. Bay Day is sponsored by the Galveston Bay Foundation. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sylvan Beach Park, La Porte, 863-9994. Admission before 5 p.m. is $3 for adults, $1 for kids ages six14. After 5 p.m., the price goes up to $6 for adults, $3 for kids.

Landlubber Beach-Block Party This is a festival turned inside out: Instead of arts and crafts being lugged to the park, the purveyors have brought the party to the goods. The craft shops and art galleries in the 200 block of West 19th Street in the Heights are hosting a beach-themed street party with a "micro-beach" (a kiddie pool full of sand), surf tunes and munchies such as beer, lemonade and watermelon -- even hors d'oeuvres for dogs and cats. Yes, beasts are welcome, even inside the stores. In fact, the party continues Sunday with a pet beachwear contest; no thongs, please. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today and Sunday. 200 block of West 19th Street, 861-3411. Free admission; $10 to enter pets in the contest.

Antiques, Collectibles and Crafts Market Can't stand the beach ... or even a sidewalk dressed up like a beach? Antique dealers and collectors will peddle their wares inside the cool concrete of the Astrohall this weekend. An abundance of sports memorabilia is one highlight of this oversize market, now in its 24th year; another is the display of the Houston Names Project Memorial Quilt, with 27,000 three-inch-by-six-inch panels honoring lives lost to AIDS. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Astrohall, Kirby at Loop 610, 799-9632. $3; $2, seniors; free, children under 12. Present an Astros ticket and get a dollar off. No charge to view the quilt.

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Betsy Froehlich