Press Picks

april 3
Don your orange and black The Harley-Davidson Traveling Museum, a 48-foot, 18-wheel mobile monu-ment to the great American motorcycle, is here. The rig's haulage includes the all-new VR-1000 superbike, which has been kicking butt on the AMA circuit, and the vintage Peashooter, whose 1937 Daytona speed record still stands. Some fondling will be allowed. Today only, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Mancuso Harley-Davidson, 535 North Loop (at North Main), 880-5666. Free (but all donations will benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association).

Mitch Hedberg Hedberg's bio is a delight to read. Unfortunately for all you gentle folk out there, it's a bit long to print here in its entirety, but the highlights of this easy-going Los Angeles comic's career include a recent Late Night appearance (he was the one talking to the deli meat); a 12-show tour with Ellen DeGeneres (making fans "wait longer to see her"); opening for Tommy Chong in Guam ("fielding gifts of marijuana from fans, [gifts] that I was supposed to give to the less accessible former movie star"); and being fired by Bill Maher. Well, he says, "My comedy isn't for everybody, just for people who think I'm funny." That would include me. His pal Chard Hogan opens. 8:30 p.m. (See Thrills, Comedy for additional showtimes.) Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray, 524-2333. $6.50-$10.

The Member of the Wedding Twelve-year-old Frankie is at that awkward stage, struggling to discover her place in life. She finds comfort with her family's black cook, Edna, whose own family struggles with life's limitations in another way (i.e., Jim Crow laws). Carson McCuller's The Member of the Wedding was contemporary when it was published as a novel in 1946, and remained contemporary when it became a play in 1950 and then a movie in 1952. It endures because, hey, people are still struggling to find their places. 7:30 p.m. Main Street Theater, Chelsea Market, 4617 Montrose, 524-6706. $10-$15; discounts are available for seniors and students.

Houston Works Seventy-two of Houston's design pros -- architects, landscapers, preservationists, graphic designers and others who are deciding just what our city will look like -- have put ideas on paper for all to see. In some cases, it's too late for changes; the projects are complete. For others, the time will never come: Some projects are strictly conceptual. Either way, the design people care what you think; if you care what they build, go on down and get in on the debate. Opening reception, 6-8 p.m.; the exhibition continues through May 17. Lawndale Art & Performance Center, 4912 Main Street, 527-4876. $10.

april 4
HSPVA: Celebrating 25 Years Our own little bit of Fame, the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, turns 25 this year, and in celebration 20 graduates on the visual side are showing their stuff at DiverseWorks. The artists selected represent a wide range of HSPVA grads, but all continue to live and work here in the Bayou City. Opening, 7-9 p.m. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, 228-0914. Free.

Ex-Con-Vention Maybe you've been in prison. If so, Freddie Gage doesn't want you to return. The gang-leader-turned-preacher and author of All My Friends Are Dead speaks to more than 800 former inmates for a three-day inspirational rally, a "criminal justice version of Promise Keepers." The convention continues all weekend. 7:30-9:30 p.m. tonight; 10-11:30 a.m. and 7-9 p.m. Saturday; and 10:30-11:45 a.m. Sunday. First Baptist Church Heights, 201 East Ninth Street, 861-3102. Free.

The Musical World of Thomas Mann The German writer may be known primarily for his literary genius, but music was central to his characters and was a source of many of his best known works, among them The Magic Mountain, Tonio Krsger, Tristan and Doctor Faustus. Tonight, Da Camera's Sarah Rothenberg (pianist) and mezzo-soprano Katherine Ciesinski are among the artists performing Schubert, Brahms, Mahler, Wagner, Beethoven and others. Fritz Weaver (whose acting credits range from a guest-star slot on The X-Files to a Tony-winning turn in Child's Play) will read selected passages. Mann will even read a bit himself, not through seance, but via his own recording of Tonio Krsger. 8 p.m. Wortham Center, Cullen Theater, 500 Texas, 524-5050. $15-$30.

Undiscovered Talent contest "There's a good reason some talent remains undiscovered" is the ad line for Christopher Guest's new mockumentary Waiting for Guffman. Before that movie starts, real, live Houstonians will have a chance to prove that maxim. The first 15 people to sign up will have two minutes or less to show their stuff to the movie audience, a la the Gong Show; all entrants win a movie pass for themselves and a date, and the grand prize winner takes home a director's chair. Goonball talent begins manifesting itself around 9:30 p.m., prior to the night's final screening of Waiting for Guffman. Greenway Theatre, 5 Greenway Plaza, 850-0217.

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Betsy Froehlich