Press Picks

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Breakfast with the Stars and Stripes E.Q., the only male zebra at the Houston Zoo, was conceived in vitro. The genetic son of two full-blooded Plains Zebras, he was born to a surrogate mother: a quarter horse mare. Ten years later, he's seeking still more parental figures -- people who'll "adopt" him by donating $35 to the zoo. Other thematically appropriate animals are also available: starfish for $20 and tigers for $40. This morning, adoptive families are invited to a celebratory breakfast with (or at least near) their beasts. 10-11:30 a.m. at the Houston Zoological Gardens, 1513 N. McGregor (in Hermann Park). To adopt, call Megan Conley at 529-2632, ext. 100.

Hitler's coffeepot Yeah, this auction's got Confederate belt buckles, Ming Dynasty jade and booty salvaged from sunken galleons. But this afternoon, in addition to those expensive collectibles, Treasures Auction, Inc., will offer what are delicately termed "negative-charisma pieces." From Burkina Faso comes a devil figure made of petrified camel bone; from Mexico, an Olmec human jawbone carved with glyphs; from Tibet, a leg-bone pipe capped in silver-like metal. Creepiest of all is a 10K white-gold coffeepot and demitasse spoons from the Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden. The set bears the initials A.H., and is stamped with the personal Third Reich crest of you-know-who. Auction begins at 2 p.m.; previews possible beforehand. 10161 Harwin, 783-3886. Admission free.

Who Killed Hazel Patton? Everybody wanted to kill Hazel, the mean, mean matriarch who controlled the purse strings of a black South Texas clan. But only one character actually stabbed her -- and at the intermission of this homegrown comedy/mystery play, the Ensemble will allow the audience to guess whodunit. Opens tonight at 8 p.m. (See Thrills, Theater for additional showtimes.) At the Ensemble Theater's temporary home, the Midtown Art Center, 3414 La Branch. For tickets and information, call 520-0055. $12$17.

Unveiled Weave, an all-female Houston-based company, presents an evening of modern dance including two brand-new works: Julie Hicks' "Doll Fights" and Bonnie Busker's "Are You Feeling It?," set to the music of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. 8 p.m. tonight and 3 p.m. Sunday; a pre-curtain talk starts 30 minutes before each show. At the Jewish Community Center, 5601 S. Braeswood, 551-7255. $12; $7, seniors and students.

Pride parade Capping Houston's Gay and Lesbian Pride Week '97 is the nation's first nighttime Pride parade. The slogan is "Glowing with Pride," and in keeping with the theme, floats will gleam with neon and incandescent lights, with spangles and glitter and anything that sparkles or shines. "It'll be lights, lights, lights!" exults Pride spokesman Jack Valinski. "But no flames. We want to obey city regulations. And besides, we have enough flaming queens already." 9-11 p.m., along Westheimer between Ridgewood and Stanford. For information, call 529-6979. Free.

june 29
Houston Press Music Awards You can't possibly see all 55 acts -- each of them nominated as the best the city has to offer -- so you'll have to settle on a strategy. Old faves? Up-and-comers? C&W? Underground? Whatever sounds attractive as you're wandering outside the clubs? Decisions, decisions. At 11 locations in or near Shepherd Plaza, 2025 Richmond off Shepherd. For a map and complete schedule, see our Music Awards Supplement in this issue or point your web browser to Only $5.

Axel Zwingenberger Can a pianist from Hamburg play the boogie-woogie? Can a German blues champion pass muster in America? Will a jazz audience surrender its chardonnay in favor of room-temperature beer? Find out at 7 p.m. at Ovations, 2536-B Times Blvd., 522-9801. For more information, call the Goethe Institut, 528-2787. $8.

june 30
Richard Ford No less than the New York Times' Michiko Kakutani has called the novelist "one of the most eloquent voices of his generation." She was writing about his previous book, Independence Day, a meditation on middle age that won both the Pulitzer and the Pen/Faulkner Award. Tonight Ford will read from his latest work, Women with Men, three novellas about love's complications. 7 p.m. Brazos Books, 2421 Bissonnet, 523-0701. Free to worship at the altar of literature; the hardback is $23.

july 1
Barriomural Dos! Every Tuesday this summer, artists Beth Secor, Janice Cumbess and Mario Perez will help Orange Show volunteers -- including lots of kids from the East End -- paint the entire Proclean Chemical Building. Asked the subject of the mural, Secor responds, "It's one of those things that evolves. So far, there's kind of a landscape with monkeys, polar bears and lions." You mean the volunteers get to paint whatever they like? "Yeah," says Secor. "I think Jesus is going to be in it somewhere." Would-be muralists should be at least eight years old (adults welcome) and are advised to wear old clothes, a hat and heavy-duty sunscreen. 9 a.m.-noon. Proclean Chemical Building, 2614 Carrolton. For more information, call the Orange Show, 926-6368. Free.

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Lisa Gray