Press Picks

july 25
The Way Cool Group Show See way cool art and meet musical artists from Da Camera at this celebration of the arts. The relatively new Koelsch-Frietsch Gallery promises "a cornucopia of contemporary art in a variety of mediums." Works -- standard art along with jewelry and darling little craft things -- will be displayed, and Da Camera representatives will talk about their roles as producers of ensemble music. All that and a Latin band providing live music. Snackage is courtesy of the Empire Cafe and Ohio Grange Cafe. 69:30 p.m. Koelsch-Frietsch Gallery, 1609 West Alabama, 520-9058. $5.

I'm Grown and I Still Don't Know What I Want to Be Many well-meaning and otherwise intelligent Americans go through school, find jobs and even manage to get elected to public office without ever having a clear idea of who they are and what they want. Fear not, psychologist Robert F. Sarmiento says, you're not stuck. To help you make a change, Sarmiento offers a workshop with assessment tests. Seating is limited; call to register. 79:30 p.m. 9525 Katy Freeway, second floor, conference room, 877-1981. $35, materials included.

Sapphire With her first novel, Push, the poet and performance artist has captured the attention of the chattering classes, drawing rave reviews -- and outrage, and plain old irritation. Written as the journal of Claireece "Precious" Jones, a tough, semi-literate 16-year-old, Push deploys bad spelling and torrents of profanity to show what it's like to be fat, on welfare, living in Harlem and pregnant by your "fahver." Sapphire will read at an event co-sponsored by several independent bookstores: Brazos, Crossroads, Inklings and Nia. 7 p.m. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, 223-8346. Free.

july 26
Houston Astros The last series had no promos; this series offers freebies every night. Tonight, the first 25,000 fans get Brian Hunter posters; Saturday and Sunday, thousands of tykes take home mini-bats. Oh, yeah, they're playing the Los Angeles Dodgers. 7:05 p.m. tonight and Saturday; 1:35 p.m. Sunday. Astrodome, Kirby Drive at Loop 610. 629-3700. $4$19.

Drums of Sweetwater Main Street presents a new work by Houston's own Thomas Meloncon. The author of more than 20 dramatic works, three poetry collections and ten children's plays, Meloncon is perhaps best known for The Colored Section, The Diary of Black Men, The Tree That Grew Human and Whatever Happened to Black Love? (Diary and Black Love have both been successful nationally.) Sweetwater is set in a small Texas town shortly before the assassination of Martin Luther King. An African-American psychiatrist and three African-American mental patients are the central characters in this murder mystery with touches of spiritualism and humor. Through August 18. 8 p.m. tonight. (All showtimes listed in Thrills, Theater) MainStreetTheater,2540Times Boulevard, 524-6706. $10-$15.

Woyzeck "Local geeks and bozos present the world's greatest freak show," brags the headline of the Bridegroom Productions press release. Perhaps that's an overstatement; but it's certain that Woyzeck represents Bridegroom's deepest foray into alternative theater. When playwright Georg BYchner died 150 years ago, he left garbled notes toward Woyzeck, his third play, an episodic tale of a poor soldier put to death for murdering his common-law wife. Academic debate surrounding the messy manuscript didn't deter the Bridegroom people; not fazed by questions about the correct ordering of the scenes, director Jason Nodler forged right ahead and staged the thing. Opening tonight, 9 p.m. (Additional showtimes listed in Thrills, Theater.) Zocalo Theater & Performance Compound, 5223 Feagan, 520-7080. $5.99.

july 27
TheDreamMaker'sDaughter Rounding out the Children's Hilltop Theater Festival, this fable will delight and charm children. And if it doesn't, sitting in the outdoor heat will at least sedate them. 11 a.m. Presented by Express Theatre at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Drive, Hermann Park, 520-3290. Free.

Bridal Extravaganza Lady Astor said, "I married beneath me ... all women do," but she did marry, and she did have to buy a dress and endure all the other preparatory hoopla. For those similarly burdened, the convention center hosts the Bridal Extravaganza, a "gigantic bridal supermarket" spread over ten aisles. Brides-to-be can check out bridal fashion shows, the gallery of cakes and the Gallery Furniture "Honeymoon Theater," which features continuous videos of "romantic destinations and cruise-line packages." Door prizes and coupons, too. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. For more information, call 995-9206. $7; $5 discount tickets available at bridal and tux shops around town.

JC Penney Hispanic Designers Model Search In June, the first rounds narrowed the field to 25 contestants. The hopefuls are all under 22 and not professional models; besides aspiring to be models, they also variously aspire to be actors, chemical engineers, doctors, law enforcement officers or zoologists. These not-professional would-be mannequins will appear in a fully choreographed fashion show. One male and one female will win the right to compete at the national finals in Dallas this fall, where they might win a chance to appear in JC Penney ads. KLTN DJ Raul Brindis is the emcee, KTMD/Channel 48's Carolina Teran is a special guest and EMI Tejano recording artist Divino will play. 1 p.m. JC Penney, Northwest Mall. For more information, call 850-9521. Free.

Electric, Eclectic Singing the body electric and celebrating more-modern-than-MTV dance, the Duplex Center for the Arts presents a performance and visual arts show to benefit a new dance group, Hip Hop Arts. There will be no formal dance concert because the space will taken up by visual artist props. Dancers will present an improv show, and then graffiti artists will spray-paint murals on panels and a car. Doors open at 6; graffiti artists work at 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. The Duplex, 1924 Brun (corner of Welch and Brun), 523-3709. $10; $5, students.

Soular Cafe III Dj Sun, acid-jazz pioneer and host of KPFT's Soular Grooves, presents another night of acid jazz, mixed with entirely danceable Latin and house music. Guitarist Cory "Funkafingaz" Stoot will lead featured performers the Live Shop Players. Stoot has played with George Clinton, and that information alone ought togetyououtofthehouse.8 p.m. Rockefeller's, 3620 Washington Avenue, 869-5483. $10; $15, minors.

july 28
PC Cowboys Hamshire Fannet and Toomey Starks, who proclaim themselves to be the world's only politically correct cowboys, headline a benefit for local actor and CASA volunteer Jim Keany. Keany is in end-stage liver disease, and as you've no doubt noticed, new livers don't come cheap. Come out for music, comedy and a live auction of wares including everything from dinners for two to rounds of golf. 58 p.m. McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 528-5999. (For more information about Jim Keany and the Organ Transplant Fund, call Pat Greene, 785-7985.) $20.

july 29
American Festival for the Arts After offering half a summer of music and theater, American Festival for the Arts leaves town for a South American tour.The group's farewell performance, a chamber concert, features the award-winning Meliora Winds and world-famous cellist Robert deMaine, along with violist Susan Dubois and pianist Craig Ketter. 8 p.m. Ovations, 2536 Times Boulevard (at Kirby), 522-9801. Seating is limited; tickets are first come, first serve. For more information, call the AFA concert line, 520-8776. $9.

july 30
All Arts for All Houston rally All Arts for All Houston, an ad hoc ensemble of artists and concerned non-artists, is holding a rally to oppose the Theater District Association's grab for city and county arts funding. The Theater District has proposed that its heavy-hitting members -- among them, HGO, the Houston Ballet and the Alley Theatre -- escape peer review and claim guaranteed hunks of cash, leaving the little guys to fight over the scraps. Rally attendees are asked to wear red, white and blue. 1:30 p.m. In front of City Hall Annex, Bagby. For more information, call Jeff Salzberg, 523-4046, or your local theater or performance group.

National Night Out "Fire and crime don't belong in the home or neighborhood," declare Ron Stone and the local chapter of the Community Associations Institute -- and who could possibly disagree? Tonight, Stone and CAI take their noncontroversial stance one step further, telling ordinary eggs what they can do to prevent fire and crime. The evening's theme is as earnest and dull as the fire-and-crime line: "Neighbors Helping Neighbors -- Making Houston an Even Better Place to Live." While this live program may not be as exciting as an evening in front of the tube, it should impart more urban-life education than Cops and Rescue 911 rolled together. 6:30-9:15 p.m. Grace Presbyterian Church, fellowship hall, Westheimer at Ella Lee, just off the West Sam Houston Tollway. For more information or to register, call 784-5462. Free.

july 31
Baptism by Fire Engine Fans of the spoken word are invited out to hear original poetry and fiction from Diane K. Hinkle, Catharina Lindstrom, Robin Mina and Cynthia Saxon. Spoken-word events have grown rare, now that the fad has passed, so you know these readers must be presenting quality stuff. 9 p.m. Zimm's Wine and Coffee Bar, 4321 Montrose. For more information, call 529-0198 or visit Free.

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Edith Sorenson