Press Picks

february 8
The Best Kind of Loving: The Blackwoman's Guide to Finding Intimacy Gwendolyn Goldsby Grant really wants black women to get married, but she's titled her book "finding intimacy" because she's not the type to force anyone into anything. Her golden rule for relationships is "friendship first, love second and honest always," but her book is not a collection of self-help checklists and homilies. Grant has had a long career as a psychologist, lecturer and advice columnist ("Between Us," Essence magazine), and now she brings her training, experience and the common sense she was raised with to a gentle and helpful text. The Best Kind of Loving was written, Grant's publishers say, because even though there are hundreds of relationship books on the market, virtually none have explored the specific circumstances of relationships between African-American men and women. Male-female communication, Grant says, is tricky enough, but African-Americans "carry the added burdens of myths and stereotypes." The handy paperback (handy for men or women) is $13. Grant will be signing copies, 6-8 p.m. Nia Gallery and Bookshop, 7725 West Bellfort, 729-8400.

february 9
S, M, L, XL We ordinary squids might have thought that small, medium, large and extra large were only skivvies sizes, but Rem Koolhaas has other ideas, ideas as grand and weird as only an architect's ideas can be. S, M, L, XL is a survey of work arranged by scale (hence the title) produced by Koolhaas' Dutch firm, Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Included are sketches, diary excerpts, fables and fairy tales relating to the work, the task of architects and Koolhaas' own unique world-view. Koolhaas' resume lists a previous book, Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Japan, and important buildings in France, Holland and Japan. Koolhaas is visiting seven cities on his American book tour, Houston among them. Tonight, he lectures at 5 p.m., the Brown Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet; and signs his new book at 7 p.m., Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet, 523-0701. Both events are free and open to the public. The book, all six pounds, 1,376 well-bound pages and 1,500 illustrations of it, is a mere $75.

The Maids Underground art seems to have influenced a university. Not too long after a guerrilla production of Jean Genet's The Maids, the University of Houston School of Theatre announces a production of the play. Director Kimber Cox has cast men in the women's roles, as Genet instructed. Sounds like good, subversive fun. 8 p.m. tonight, Saturday and Sunday; matinee 2 p.m. Sunday. UH, Wortham Theatre, 743-2929. Free.

Neil Sedaka It is not possible to listen to oldies radio for an afternoon without hearing a hit by Neil Sedaka -- in part because Sedaka's hits span decades. Tonight, the author of 1,000 songs appears with the Houston Symphony-Exxon Pops. Along with favorites such as "Calendar Girl" and "Laughter in the Rain," the pianist and composer will perform "Classically Sedaka," a concert of songs with classical melodies, the works of Chopin and Tchaikovsky, for instance, and lyrics by Neil Sedaka. 8 p.m. Tonight and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-ARTS. $15-$60.

february 10
Lasers and Holograms: Discovering the Splendid Light Lasers are employed in everything from grocery shopping to neurosurgery, so isn't it about time you took the kids out to learn how these beams of light work? How they overcame their death-ray reputation to become part of everyday life? Lasers and Holograms is an interactive exhibit that shows how lasers work, has some groovy sci-fi special effects and gives everyone a chance to design a laser-light show. This super science show opens today and will continue through June 2. Winter hours: weekdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; weekends, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Space Center Houston, 1601 NASA Road 1 (20 miles south of downtown, on I-45 at the Johnson Space Center), Clear Lake, 244-2100. $11.95; $10.75, seniors; $8.50, children four to 12 years old; free, children under four.

Face to Face What a coup for community theater -- Main Street Theater has outgrown its Times Boulevard building and opened a second space in Chelsea Market. Children's theater, which is often a major moneymaker for local theaters, will be offered for the inaugural production. The brand-spanking-new space, with 250 seats, will be used mostly for children and youth theater programs -- leaving the Times Boulevard building for the quality theater that Main Street fans expect. Face to Face is the first show at Chelsea Market, and it's a fast-paced comedy with a lesson about the folly of judging books by their covers. Opening today, 2 p.m. Through February 24. Main Street Theater at Chelsea Market, 4617 Montrose, 524-6706. $5.

Mardi Gras! Galveston According to the Krew of Spree du Corp., organizers of the Pinstripe Pasquinade, big shots are planning a hostile takeover of Galveston. Island natives will be rooked out of their homes by paraders, who will exchange $24 worth of gaudy beads for the place. The Pinstripe Pasquinade parade, to be held at 2 p.m., is only one event in 12 big days of pre-Lent festivities. Dr. John, the Neville Brothers, Pete Fountain and other major league carnival entertainers will perform, Cajun and Creole cuisine will be served and many revelers will need designated drivers. One of the big parties today is the Mystic Krewe of Aquarius Coronation Ball and Royal Pageant, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., at Moody Gardens. The attire is after-five, and tickets are $40 (drinks not included). Another party is the Seventh Annual King Gambrinas Coronation Ball, a black-tie and costume celebration, 9 p.m.-1 a.m., Tremont House Hotel, $200 per couple. But the biggest party, or "Z biggest party," as they say, is the Z Ball, the coronation of King and Queen Zany II. 7 p.m.-1 a.m. At the South Shore Harbor Hotel. Not one but two elaborate buffets and open bar for $75 per person. This weekend and next, and some weekdays, also feature events for families and kids. For more information on the joy, the laughter and the loving that is Mardi Gras! Galveston, call (800) 351-4237.

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Edith Sorenson