Press Picks

march 14
How to Talk to Your Angels Tired of TTouching your pets? Not so friendly with your psychic friends? Well, then, let Kim O'Neill help you develop your channeling ability and find empowerment (greater empowerment, even), independence and self-awareness by communicating directly with angels. O'Neill says she's led judges, NASA employees, plastic surgeons, police and professors through the celestial spheres and has been an angel-human liaison in Japan, Kuwait, Turkey and Switzerland. (She's also worked as an advertising copywriter, but we won't hold that against her.) Today, the angel advocate will sign her new book, 7-9 p.m. Barnes & Noble Vanderbilt Square, 3003 West Holcombe, 349-0050.

Speakeasy Continuing its series of casual yet informative art talks, Lawndale presents Nikky Finney, a poet and creative writing teacher who's in town to work with Project B.R.I.D.G.E. kids on Foto Fest projects. Finney's talk will cover "Camera House," a camera obscura installation at Project Row Houses; the relationship between what we see and what we write about; and encouraging and developing young artists. Her talk follows the reception for Lawndale's Project B.R.I.D.G.E. opening. Art opening, 5 p.m.; Speakeasy, 7 p.m. Lawndale Art and Performance Center, 4912 Main, 528-5858. Free.

march 15
Alice in Wonderland The story of a girl and her rabbit, and her caterpillar and a wealth of other fantastic creatures, is the fifth anniversary production for Express Theatre, which has pulled out all the stops for this show. This version of Alice was adapted for the stage by Kate Paxton, a well-known figure in Houston theater. Paxton also wrote the songs. Trey McIntyre, whiz kid choreographer (and sometime filmmaker) from the Houston Ballet, choreographed the moves. And last, but certainly not least, Kanchan Kabad designed the wonderful, whimsical costumes for the play. We haven't seen such fanciful children's theater costumes since the A.D. Players' production of Joseph and the Madras Plaid Jacket. A gala tea party reception -- and Alice fans know how tea parties can go -- follows the opening performance. Opening 7:30 p.m. tonight; subsequent performances 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Wortham Center, Cullen Theater, Texas at Smith, 227-ARTS. $10-$30; group discounts available.

Sounds and Dance of Puerto Rico Festival Miller Outdoor Theatre begins a new season with international stars such as Ruth Fernandez, Victor Manuel and Grupo Unik-Ko and a wonderful variety of Latin orchestras. In the heat of summer, Miller fans bring blankets to sit on; this time of year, maybe an extra blanket to drape over your body would be advisable. Or maybe you can just close your eyes, succumb to the sounds, imagine you're in Puerto Rico and let your imagination keep you cozy. 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday. Miller Outdoor Theatre, Hermann Park, 520-3290. Free; free tickets are required for seating in the covered area.

march 16
Mortal Kombat: the Live Tour Don't worry, moms and dads, "there will be no blood or other graphic violent imagery sometimes associated with the video game" at this live performance. The Mortal Kombat people are quick to stress the nonviolence angle, insisting that their action-packed show is based on real martial arts and includes some really awesome gymnastics moves, not to mention state-of-the-art special effects and neato laser lights. Moreover, the Mortal Kombat people answer the question, "What is the story or moral lesson behind Mortal Kombat?" by explaining that, "Mortal Kombat is the story of human beings rising above their potential to overcome immortal odds." (Emphasis theirs.) Five fast-action shows: 1, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. today; 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday. The Summit, 10 Greenway Plaza, 629-3700. $10, $14.50 and $17.50.

37th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade This two-and-a-half-hour parade promises one St. Patrick's Day parade queen, dozens of floats, 150 entries, plenty of Irish music and innumerable "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" T-shirts. Begins at 1 p.m. at the corner of Richmond and Rice and travels down Richmond to just east of Hillcroft. Free.

Jack Livingston Jack Livingston is leaving us. No more art openings, no more reading series (Livingston was our fair city's first poetry slam moderator and headed up the ArtSpace reading series), no more kids programs and no more Catbox (at least no more Catbox with Livingston on guitar). Before he goes, he's having one last show, "Consumption." Calling himself, for this show, an "armchair Orientalist," Livingston has made delicate brush strokes on linen. The gouaches, mounted on birch, look for all the world like rare and valuable antiques. Of course, they're really rare and valuable Jack Livingston paintings, with the hints of gentle humor and educated taste that are ever-present in his work. The show's up through March 30. Sally Sprout Gallery, 223 Westheimer, 526-6461.

Snapshot An art exhibit designed for the snoopy neighbor in all of us, "Snapshot" is a collection of simple, everyday snapshots by your simple, everyday friends and neighbors. If checking out people's personal web pages and watching funny home videos has only whetted your appetite for red-eyed, out-of-focus images of ordinary Americans, this is the show for you. The artists in this show are folks who, last Saturday and Monday, showed up at DiverseWorks with a selection of their favorite photos and pushpinned them to the walls. Opening, 7-9 p.m. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, 223-8346. Free.

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Edith Sorenson