Local News

Calendar: April 2008

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April Events
Day-By-Day Events, Performance, Performance for Young People, Radio, Art/Photography, HIV Testing. Spotlight on ‘Tea for Mussalini’ and B–tch.

April Day-By-Day Planning AheadPerforming Arts Performing Arts for Young PeopleRadioArt/PhotographyHIV Testing

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LTTea
Lily Tomlin in Tea with Mussolini at the MFAH

Spotlight:

‘Tea’ with Joanne
‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ heroine Joanne King Herring has ‘Tea with Mussolini’

When one of OutSmart ‘s favorite cover girls, Lily Tomlin, came to town to raise some cash for Houston Area Women’s Center, she told an enrapt group of journalists, including our own Blase DiStefano, that she’d been asked to play a lesbian in a new movie loosely based on the life of director Franco Zefferelli. The down side, Lily said, was that she’d have to leave her animals while she lived in Florence for three months while filming. DiStefano urged her to do the role, even offering to take care of Lily’s furry ones.

That was 10 years ago. The film in question? Zefferelli’s Tea with Mussolini . Good call, Blase! We guess Jane Wagner provided kennel duties.

Screening as part of Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s popular “Movies Houstonians Love” series, Tea, it turns out, is a fave of Charlie Wilson’s War heroine, Joanne King Herring.

Funny—we assumed Joanne would have preferred something starring Julia Roberts.

April 28, 7 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Details: www.mfah.org. —Nancy Ford

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Bitch
Bitch comes to Houston.

Spotlight: The B Word

Thirty shows in less than two months is an incredibly grueling road schedule. The specter of bad food, unpredictable wintry weather, and sleeping in a different bed nearly every night is more than enough to render even the most calloused performer…well, bitchy.

Fortunately, in this case, it’s simply good PR.

Presented by the Athena Art Project, Bitch blows into Houston on April 24, 8 p.m. to play Chances Bar (1100 Westheimer).

On this go-’round, Bitch is sans Animal, with whom she performed and recorded in the late ’90s through early ’00s. But the “musical beat poet multi-instrumentalist” is by no means a solo act these days. Drummer Lee Free and psychedelic instrumentalist Gabriel K have signed on to form Bitch and The Exciting Conclusion.

B+TEC recorded new tracks this past winter in New York City for the group’s upcoming LP, conveniently produced by Bitch’s own brand-new label, Short Story Records.

Not so incidentally, Short Story’s first release is Boulder from indie folk legend, Ferron. Dropping May 6, it features performances by The Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco, and Le Tigre’s JD Samson, among others.

B+TEC joins a list of upscale lesbic acts booked at Chances recently, like The Cliks and God-des & She. Hats off to owner Nick Vastakis and staff for transforming the club into the Gulf Coast’s answer to The Planet (you know—where The L Word girls hang out). Without the food service and uppity coffee, of course.

If we’re lucky, maybe Bitch’s girlfriend Daniela Sea (The L Word ‘s Max Sweeney), who sometimes performs with B-TEC, will tag along for the Chances show. Bitchin’!

Tickets: $15 at the door, or $10+ online. Details: www.hwfestival.org.

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April DAY BY DAY
(see also April Weekly and Monthly)

1 (Tues.)

Center for AIDS Benefit Recital by Jean-Yves Thibaudet at the Houston Symphony. The world-renowned and Grammy-nominated musician will perform a recital to benefit the Center for AIDS in Houston. The Center for AIDS (CFA) advocates both locally and nationally for better treatments and better access to care for persons living with HIV/AIDS. 8 pm, by invitation only. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. Info/tickets: [email protected]

Explore Modern Views on Spirituality. Dr. Steven Spidell presents a five-part series of classes that will address the paradigm shift in scientific, theological, and spiritual perspectives on the nature of reality and faith. Topics include viewpoints of quantum physics, complex adaptive systems, and process theology, covering a wide range of reality-based Christian issues. Classes begin Tuesday, April 1, 6:30–7:30 pm. To register: [email protected] or 713/528-0527. Recommended $20 donation per person in cash or checks, accepted at the first session. St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 5501 Main St. More info: www.stpaulshouston.org .

2 (Wed.)

Jazz up Lunch with The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Big Band. Grab lunch and enjoy talented musicians from HSPVA, courtesy of Da Camera’s lunchtime performance series, A Little Day Music. Stay after for a chance to win tickets to an upcoming Da Camera concert. Free. Noon in the Grand Foyer, Wortham Theater Center, Texas at Smith. More info: 713/524-5050 or www.dacamera.com.

3 (Thurs.)

Meditation and Prayer : Labyrinth inside St. Paul’s. The movable Labyrinth at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church will be set up in the church’s Activity Center, which is on the second floor of the Sanctuary Building. Found in many religious traditions in various forms around the world, the labyrinth is an archetype of the journey of a spiritual seeker, a symbol of unity and wholeness. Come anytime 3–7 pm. St. Paul’s UMC, 5501 Main Street. www.stpaulshouston.org .

4 (Fri.)

Wind Down with Sip & Stroll Wine Tasting. Benefiting Bering & HRC, Rainbow Lodge serves South American wines in a casual atmosphere, 5:30 pm. $29. Information: 713/861-8666.

2008 Houston Heights Tour Candlelight Dinner & Auction. Emcee John Blass leads the live auction which includes the event’s cover art, a brilliant watercolor by local artist Yu Cha Pak, and a collaborative piece by artists John Palmer and Chris Silkwood. SPJST Lodge, 1435 Beall, 8–11 pm, preceded by a private tour of the homes (no shuttles on Friday evening). Tickets $100 each/$1,000 reserved table for 10. Seating limited to 450; advanced purchase is required. Silent auction includes luxurious spa packages, local art work, antiques, fine wine, fun travel packages, and more! Info/tickets: www.houstonheights.org or 713/861-4002, ext. 3.

5 & 6 (Sat. & Sun.)

Get a Fresh Perspective at the 2008 Historic Houston Heights Home and Garden Tour. Six must-see homes include a two-story Victorian celebrating its 100th year, a 1920s bungalow renovated with sustainable materials including bamboo cabinets, a 1930s bungalow created for entertaining by its architect owner, a 1925 bungalow whose new addition is designed around two shady sycamores, a 1994 Greek Revival modeled after a home in the New Orleans Garden District, and a recently built home showcasing the owners’ diverse art collection. Featured family homes: Vandewalker, 2035 Rutland; Newberry, 705 East 19th; Standridge, 1509 Oxford; Dawson, 1021 Harvard; Thayer-Gayle, 533 Cortlandt; and Schooley, 807 Rutland. Stroll Heights’ area antique shops, art galleries, eclectic boutiques, restaurants, and more, plus don’t miss the Third Annual HHA Youth Art Show at the Heights Fire Station. Noon-6 pm. Advance tickets, $17; available at Another Place in Time, The Artful Corner, Buchanan’s Native Plants, Eclectic Home, Harold’s in the Heights, Jubilee, and Karen Derr & Associates. Day of tour, $20. Ticket includes all six homes and bus shuttle. Individual homes: $5 each. Parking/shuttle-boarding at the Heights Fire Station, Yale and 12th Street. Info: www.houstonheights.org or 713-861-4002, ext. 3.

H-E-B Houston Children’s Festival celebrates its 20th year as Houston’s favorite family outing, presented by Baker Hughes, to-date benefiting over $3,680,000 for Child Advocates, Inc. and the abused and neglected children it serves. Six stages of excitement and entertainment, featuring Corbin Bleu, star of High School Musical and Jump In ; plus SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick, presented by Hilton Furniture; and the Houston Comets’ pureNRG, presented by TeamKid Town. Fun and fascinating Family Adventure Zones include H-E-B Kid’s Kingdom, Baker Hughes Circus Town, EarthZone by Shell & Motiva, with Flumpa & Friends LIVE!; Wells Fargo Great American Barnyard Zone; YMCA’s Healthy Kid Zone, and Texas Children’s Hospital & the Health Museum. All held around City Hall, Tranquility Park and Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston. 10:30 am–6:30 pm. Admission: $5 per person with one H-E-B grocery receipt (one receipt accepted per ticket); $8 at the gate without an H-E-B receipt; free for children under three.

Japan: The Past, Present, and Future. The 15th Annual Houston Japan Festival is alive with colorful cultural events as the Japanese Garden at Hermann Park is transformed into an authentic Japanese village. Celebrate with food, crafts, and entertainment, including Japanese art, music, dance, technology, and martial arts. Hear the spiritually healing music of Taisho-Koto, featuring Wakanakai, a noted group from Houston’s sister city of Chiba, Japan. Listen to the unique folk sounds of Tsugaru Shamisen, its name derived from the quaint three-stringed redwood lute which is played. The Japanese Garden in Hermann Park, Fannin St. and Sunset Blvd. (nearest intersection). Free. 10 am–6 pm. More info: www.jashouston.org or call the Japan-America Society of Houston at 713/963-0121.

8 (Tues.)

Opening Performance: All in the Timing. See this critically acclaimed evening of comedy shorts that combines wit, intellect, satire, and just plain fun, by David Ives. Eccentric personalities usher the audience through a dizzying and absurd exploration of the English language. Free. 8 pm. Following will be a cast party cafe. Hamman Hall, Rice University, 6100 Main St. Entrance 21 (off Rice Blvd). Info: www.arts.rice.edu.

11 (Fri.)

He’s Cool and Oh, So Hot! Meet Andrew Christian, designer of innovative, urban-inspired underwear that has everybody taking a second look. Models will show off some of his collections. All guests will receive an Undy Game Ticket and enjoy complimentary drinks. Male Uwear, 7–9 pm. Come early to shop. Afterward, at Meteor see more steamy designs at the Andrew Christian Fashion Show, 10 pm.

12 (Sat.)

Healthy, Long-term Relationships can happen to you! Step out of that same old cycle, and learn how to build trust and intimacy with your partner. Whatever your history, now is the time to learn from the past and go forward to find and keep love and passion alive in your life. Licensed professional counselor/therapist Denise O’Doherty explains the essentials of a healthy relationship, skills to achieve the breakthrough rather than the breakup, and how to manage differences in personality styles. (What to do when what attracted you in the beginning bothers you now.) Class presented by Leisure Learning Unlimited. $30. 10 am–noon. Unitarian Universalist Church, 1900 Bering Drive. Register at www.llu.com or call 713/529-4414.

Meet Artists and tour their studios. Twenty-four local artists invite the public to view/purchase their work directly from them. Part of the 10th Midtown Visions Cultural Arts Tour. Noon–5 pm. Art Square Studios, 2711 Main Street at Dennis. More info: Vikki Trammel at 713/652-5028 or Alan Hurwitz at 713/825-8198 or e-mail [email protected] to receive e-vite.

13 (Sun.)

Beautiful Voices: St. Paul’s Choral Scholars Sing Evensong Service. The service of Evensong, also known as evening prayer, is remarkable both for the centuries-old liturgical tradition it represents and for the atmosphere of contemplative devotion that enables it to remain deeply meaningful for worshipers today. The distinguished choir comprised of advanced high-school vocalists selected through a rigorous audition process, presents the sacred liturgy. 4 pm in the sanctuary of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 5501 Main. More info: www.stpaulshouston.org .

Horn Concerto by Houston Art Cars. Celebrate the historic opening of Discovery Green, Houston’s new urban park located near the George R. Brown Convention Center, with the sounds of car horns as the Horn Concerto returns to Houston for another free performance. Composed by Mitchell Center 2005 visiting artist Stephen Montague, this piece will be presented by Houston Art Cars. About noon. Directions/info: www.discoverygreen.com or 713/333-1161.

17 (Thurs.)

Ecology and Nature take center stage as the internationally acclaimed CORE Performance Company of Several Dancers Core interpret artist John Alexander’s work. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, invites the public to John Alexander: A Requiem to Loss , a CORE dance event in tribute to the exhibition John Alexander: An Elegy to Nature . Reception afterward. Register for a chance to win great giveaways from KUHF 88.7 FM and the MFAH. Admission is free for “Artful Thursday,” April 17, 6:30 pm. Brown Auditorium Theater, The Caroline Wiess Law Building, 1001 Bissonnet St. Info: www.mfah.org or 713/639-7300.

18 (Fri.)

Free Concerts at lunchtime to kick off the 2008 Houston International Festival, Out of Africa, in the area around City Hall between 11 am–1:30 pm.

19 (Sat.)

Earth Day pot recycling and ecological advice. The Houston Arboretum has teamed up with Gulf Coast Recycling and Avangard Innovative in celebration of Earth Day. Bring the family from 10 am–4 pm. Free. Are you among the 70 million U.S. households who plant flowers or garden every year? Help keep thousands of plastic pots out of the landfill by dropping off dirt-free, stacked and unbagged plastic garden pots and trays at the Arboretum for recycling during April. Houston Arboretum, 4501 Woodway Drive. More info: www.HoustonArboretum.org or 713/681-8433.

Race in for $1 Deals at Buffalo Exchange and help Lonesome George, the last Pinta tortoise ever. You can make a difference this Earth Day to help restore the ecosystem of George’s home and bring closely related Espanola tortoises back to Pinta Island in the Galapagos Islands. Buffalo Exchange works to protect the environment by reusing and recycling clothing—find unique vintage and nearly-new items from jewelry to jeans and designer wear. All $1 sale items during Buffalo Exchange’s Dollar Day Sale benefits Galapagos Conservancy to fund a project to repopulate Pinta Island with giant saddleback tortoises. The conservancy, partnered with the Charles Darwin Foundation, is the only U.S.-based organization focused exclusively on conservation of Galapagos. Buffalo Exchange also donates to local nonprofit agencies in the community through its Tokens for Bags program; take a token instead of a bag for purchases, and Buffalo Exchange will donate five cents to your favorite charity. For info: www.buffaloexchange.com and www.galapagos.org

19 & 20 (Sat. & Sun.)

Dream Destinations await you at Escapes! Second Home Expo. Explore all your options during a two-day extravaganza featuring second, vacation, and retirement home opportunities in locations from Austin to Australia. Check out views from beaches to the scenic Texas Hill Country, the spectacular Rockies to the Smoky Mountains, and hot sites south of the border. There will be speakers, specialty exhibits, and representatives from properties/developments throughout the U.S. and in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and across Central America from the Pacific to the Caribbean. Find luxurious golf communities to high-rise properties, peaceful lake living to planned retirement communities, to a romantic getaway with ocean views and surf at your doorstep—whatever you’ve dreamed, you’ll find it at Escapes! The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, 1601 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands. More info: call 832/274-3944 or send e-mail: [email protected]

Go Safari in Out of Africa: The Three Journeys . The 37th annual Houston International Festival, highlighting the rich history and cultural influences of Africa, will feature hundreds of internationally acclaimed artists on 10 stages throughout downtown, while entertainment zones showcase a world of cultures, cuisines, and customs. Venues include the National Dance Theatre of Ethiopia; Chicago blues guitar hero Buddy Guy; the Neville Brothers; and more. Six themed entertainment zones stretch across downtown parks and streets including City Hall, Bagby Street, and Tranquility and Sam Houston Parks. WaMu Out of Africa, the cultural heart of this year’s Festival, spans from City Hall to Upper Sam Houston Park; International Zone, featuring the Bud Light World Music Stage hosting many of the festival’s top performers; Target Kids Zone filled with family-friendly fun, including a “Mad Science Exhibit,” and “Around the World” miniature golf; Louisiana Zone: food and music from cajun, zydeco, blues, rock, gospel, and New Orleans jazz performers; Jamaica Zone features a Black Pirates of the Caribbean exhibit, puppeteers, steel drummers, and belly dancers; Latin Zone includes its own on-stage festival of regional rock en español performers, plus salsa, meringue, mariachi, and traditional conjunto. Saturdays, April 19 & 26, noon–10 pm; Sundays April 20 & 27, noon–8 pm. Early-bird tickets: $8.50 until April 16; advance tickets: $12.50 April 16–27; $15 at the gate; Target Kids Free: 12 years and under. Tickets: H-E-B stores or www.ifest.org .

22 (Tues.)

Picture the Weather at The John C. Freeman Weather Museum. The nation’s first and only museum of its kind will open its new exhibition, City on the Bayou: Houston’s History through Floods , with a grant from the Houston Arts Alliance and with sponsorship from Weatherford. The exhibition features vintage photographs of past historic Houston floods from the museum’s collection and contemporary weather photographs taken by local photographers to demonstrate how weather, specifically the Houston-area bayous’ propensity for flooding, has shaped Houston’s history and development as a community. Free. 10 am–4 pm. 5104 Caroline Street in the Museum District. More info: www.wxresearch.org .

23 (Wed.)

Danceology 101. The Houston Metropolitan Dance Company struts the stage in an energetic presentation of the history of popular dance, from the 1920s Charleston to today’s hip hop. 11 am. Free; no tickets necessary; seating is first-come, first-served. Miller Outdoor Theatre, Hermann Park, 100 Concert Dr. Info: www.milleroutdoortheatre.com or 713/533-3276.

Singer Johnny Mathis has captured hearts and imaginations with his silky, suave voice. This openly gay musician is one of only five recording artists to have Top 40 Hits spanning four decades and 10 consecutive years on the Billboard Top Albums chart. Hear favorites like “Chances Are,” “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late,” and “Gina.” $35–$115. 8 pm at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. Tickets/info: www.houstonsymphony.org or 713/224-7575

24 (Thurs.)

Cadillac Primavera featuring Simon Fashion Now is in full bloom for spring at The Galleria on the 24th through Sun., May 4. The lavish 11-day event will feature dramatic floral displays, runway fashion shows, and live mannequin modeling. See the hottest new looks in brilliant spring colors, stunning fabrics, lace and floral designs by Anne Fontaine, Carolina Herrera, Ann Taylor, Brooks Brothers Men and Women, Betsey Johnson, Saks Fifth Avenue, Guess, Marciano, Macy’s, Jimmy Choo, and many more. Public invited to view all runway shows from common areas around Polar Ice Galleria. Runway Fashion Show at Polar Ice Galleria, The Galleria, Thurs., April 24, 8 pm. Houston Symphony League and The Galleria hosts a fashion show luncheon benefiting The Houston Symphony, plus Neiman Marcus presents an exclusive fashion show on the ice rink, Fri., April 25, 11:30 am. Macy’s springs forward with an exclusive runway fashion show in the Galleria IV, Nordstrom wing on the street level, following a cocktail reception, on Fri., April 25 at 6 pm. The public will enjoy additional fashion shows throughout the event in celebration of spring’s sizzling new arrivals. Cadillac Primavera is taking bids. This incredible silent auction benefits the Simon Youth Foundation (SyF) Scholarship Fund. Simon Youth Foundation focuses on at-risk youth through educational, career, and life skills programs and initiatives. Auction includes items from distinctive fashion retailers such as Ferragamo and Saks Fifth Avenue. The Galleria, April 24–May 4. For info, call The Galleria, 713/622-0663.

A Delicious Proposition: Dining Out for Life to fight HIV. More than 35 of Houston’s best restaurants open their doors for the 2nd annual fundraiser benefiting AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc. (AFH). Dine out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at restaurants in the Houston area including Daily Review Café, Hungry’s in the Village, Max’s Wine Dive, Mingalone, and Riva’s, and they will donate one-third of their proceeds on April 24 to fight HIV. All funds raised through “Dining Out for Life” in Houston will help support AFH’s prevention education programs and the nearly 5,000 clients served annually through its 43 client-based programs. Eat out to fight HIV on the 24th during the entire operating hours of each participating restaurant. Restaurant list and more info: www.diningoutforlife.com or call Angela Dispensa at AFH, 713/623-6796 ext. 258.

25 (Fri.)

Enjoy Free Concerts at lunchtime to celebrate the 2008 Houston International Festival, Out of Africa, in the area around City Hall between 11 am–1:30 pm.

26 (Sat.)

Dance of Asian America presents East Meets West VI , a choreographic journey uniting new and award-winning authentic Chinese classical and folk dances from China’s renowned choreographers with the newest modern jazz and hip-hop works by Houston choreographers. Free; tickets required for covered seating. 8 pm. Miller Outdoor Theatre, Hermann Park, 100 Concert Dr. Info/tickets: www.milleroutdoortheatre.com or 713/533-3276.

26 & 27 (Sat. & Sun.)

Out of Africa: The Three Journeys. The 37th annual Houston International Festival continues, celebrating the cultural heritage of Africa. See April 19 & 20 for more details.

The Salt Grass Potters Guild Spring Sale. Approximately 25 artists show off their craftsmanship in handmade pottery work. Choose from a beautiful array of functional and decorative dishware, sculptures, and more. 10 am–5 pm. Clear Lake Park Meeting Room, 5001 NASA Parkway, Clear Lake. More info: www.saltgrasspotters.com or call Eileen at 713/306-0051.

Weekly (Mondays)

TG Support Group. The transgender support group, “HTGA,” is open to any transgender-identifying individual, friend, or family member. Free. 7-9 pm at the Haven’s Center, 1827 W. Alabama. More info: 713/526-0027 x 228 (ask for Cristan) or www.transhouston.com.

Grab Yer Partner, Doh-Si-Doh. The rhythmically awkward are welcome here. Have some fun gittin’ fit with non-strenuous aerobic square dancing. No partner required. Casual dress. $5. 7-9 pm at Eldridge Park Community Center, 2511 Eldridge Rd., Sugar Land. Please call ahead to verify time and place: Jan, 281/498-5301. More info: [email protected]

Weekly (Mondays)

TG Support Group. The transgender support group, “HTGA,” is open to any transgender-identifying individual, friend, or family member. Free. 7–9 pm at the Haven’s Center, 1827 W. Alabama. More info: 713/526-0555 x 228 (ask for Cristan) or www.transhouston.com.

Weekly (Thursdays)

TG Potluck Social. The “Transgender Potluck Social” offers friendship, support, fellowship, and a hot meal to transgender-identifying individuals, friends, and family. Please remember to bring food to share. Free. 7-9 pm, at the GLBT Community Center, 3400 Montrose, Ste. 207. More info: 713/526-0027 x 228 (ask for Cristan) or www.transhouston.com.

Depression & Bipolar Support Group. Don’t let depression or bipolar disorder dig its bleak claws into what little hope you’ve managed to hide from the shadows. Bering Support Network helps those in need to connect with others who are learning to cope. You are not alone and can benefit from the experience of others. Take a step away from the dark. GLBT friendly. Free. Groups meet at Bering Memorial United Methodist Church, 1440 Harold, Room 232, 7:15-8:30 pm. Info: 713/526-1018.

Weekly (Sun., Wed., Sat.)

Love and Rackets. Tennis players and enthusiasts of all levels are invited to join the Houston Tennis Club at Memorial Park tennis center. The club gathers Sundays from 9 am-noon, Wednesdays from 7:30-9 pm, and offers clinics every Saturday from 9-10:30 am. There are also social activities throughout the year. Annual membership $30, court fees $3 per session. More info: www.houstontennisclub.org

Semi-monthly (Wednesdays)

The D Word (Dinner). Come for a meal, stay for the camaraderie. The Lesbian Dinner Group welcomes womyn to build new friendships, enjoy conversation, network, and have a few laughs over an appetizing repast. Singles and couples welcome. The 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month, 7:30 pm, at Café Express, 1422 West Gray. More information: [email protected].

Monthly (Saturdays)

Second Saturdays at Winter St. Studios. It’s open-door policy at Winter St. Studios every second Saturday of the month (this month July 14). This is a great way to meet and hang with the varied artists working in many different media and styles in their studios. Participating artists have a large red dot on or near the door of their studio. All are welcome between 1 and 6 pm. At Winter St. Studios, 2101 Winter St. More information: 713/862-0082 or www.winterstreetstudios.net.

Monthly (Every 4th Saturday)

FTM TG Support Group. The Female-To-Male transgender support group, “STAG,” welcomes all female-to-male transgender-identifying individuals, friends, and family members. All new attendees must first contact Georges prior to attending. Free. 5-6 pm. More information (including location): 713/526-0027 x 228 (ask for Georges) or www.transhouston.com.

Monthly (Every 4th Saturday)

TG Support Group. The transsexual support group, “TATS,” welcomes all transsexual-identifying individuals, friends, and family members. All new attendees must first contact the Cristan prior to attending. Free. 4 to 5 pm. More information (including location): 713/526-0027 x 228 (ask for Cristan) or www.transhouston.com.

Monthly (Saturdays)

Danseparc. DJ’s Michael, Shoe, and Stacey (the latter two being openly gay) resolve to keep the grooves spinning in ’08 with an eclectic, exhilarating mix of punk and post-punk, electro-pop, new wave and indie, and more. 9:30 pm-2 am at Numbers, 300 Westheimer. $5, $3 until 11 pm. $1 draft beers and $2 wells all night. More information: www.myspace.com/danseparc.

Monthly (Saturdays)

Danseparc. DJ’s Michael, Shoe, and Stacey (the latter two being openly gay) resolve to keep the grooves spinning in ’08 with an eclectic, exhilarating mix of punk and post-punk, electro-pop, new wave and indie, and more. 9:30 pm-2 am at Numbers, 300 Westheimer. $5, $3 until 11 pm. $1 draft beers and $2 wells all night. More information: www.myspace.com/danseparc.

Monthly (Sundays)

Read On. Want to spend at least one afternoon each month sharing with other titillating women like yourself? The Exchange meets the first Sunday of each month, 2 p.m. at Baba Yega Restaurant. Bring your favorite nonfiction and/or fiction to this new book club to ruminate, and even cogitate, in public. Details: [email protected]

Monthly (Sundays)

Liberal Bible 101. If you’ve had enough of biblical quotes hurled your way without any form of theological reply, this is the discussion group for you. Resident scholar Laura Emerson teaches biblical literacy from a liberal point of view. Each class addresses a singular point, covering the Old Testament this Fall and the New in the Spring. This month’s discussion: the three versions of the Ten Commandments. Third Sunday of each month (the 18th this month), 10-11 am, at Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, 1900 Bering Dr. Info: 713/782-8250 or (for curriculum/suggested readings) www.emersonhouston.org/about/adultEd.html.

Monthly (Tuesdays)

The Houston SPCA Pet Loss Support Group provides a professionally facilitated, supportive, and safe environment for people to grieve the loss of a beloved companion. Free. First Tuesday of the month, 7 pm, at the Houston SPCA, 900 Portway Dr. Info: 713/869-7722, ext. 127, or www.houstonspca.org.

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PLANNING AHEAD

After Einstein: Music and the Relativity of Time. Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking, visionary studies of time, but he was also a passionate amateur violinist, who played Mozart’s chamber works throughout his life. Da Camera’s 20th anniversary season finale program presents the great scientist’s beloved Mozart, represented by the Quintet for clarinet and strings in A Major, K. 581 , alongside Olivier Messiaen, whose monumental Quartet for the End of Time transports the audience to a spiritual dimension far beyond ordinary time. Saturday, May 3 , 8 pm. $22–$38/students and seniors half price with ID. Cullen Theater at Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas Ave. at Smith St. Tickets/info: www.dacamera.com , Da Camera Music Center at 1427 Branard, or 713/524-5050.

Unleash Your Inner Power to build confidence and self-esteem from Denise O’Doherty, licensed professional counselor/therapist. Does your lack of self-esteem sabotage your success in life? How you feel about yourself is directly related to your health, relationships, work performance, and attitude toward others. Discover ideas, tools, and coping skills that create confidence and lead to success and personal well-being. Presented by Leisure Learning Unlimited. $30. Saturday, May 3 , 10 am–noon. Unitarian Universalist Church, 1900 Bering Drive. Info: www.llu.com or 713/529-4414.

Free Cultural, Musical, and Theatrical Entertainment is always on stage at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. One-hour daytime performances specially geared toward children offer an excellent opportunity to expose youngsters to the delights of performing arts. 11 am. No tickets necessary; seating first-come, first-served. Evening shows are family-friendly. Admission is free for all performances, but some evening shows require tickets for covered seating. For those performances, reserved tickets available on the day of performance only between 11:30 am and 1 pm at the Miller Theatre box office; any remaining tickets released one hour before curtain. Society for Performing Arts presents: Ritmo Latino, featuring the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, a Grammy Award-winning 13-member salsa and Latin music band. Free. Friday, May 2 , 8 pm. The Asian Pacific American Heritage Association invites you to the APAHA Heritage Festival all afternoon on Saturday, May 3 , followed by a free evening concert. On Sunday, May 4 , join Comité Patriótico Mexicáno de Houston for Cinco de Mayo festivities, with artists from Mexico, mariachis, folkloric dances, and more. The classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty comes to life in an adaptation from the Tchaikovsky ballet score in this enchanting opera for young people, where a Winter Fairy appears and puts all of Russia in a snowy sleep. Free. Monday, May 5 –Friday, May 9 , 11 am. For more info: www.milleroutdoortheatre.com or 281/373-3386.

A Little Day Music features the Fischer Duo. Da Camera’s free lunchtime series in May includes drawings for tickets to an upcoming Da Camera concert. Grab lunch to-go and enjoy live music in the Grand Foyer at Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas Ave. at Smith St. Wednesday, May 7 , noon. More info: www.dacamera.com or 713/524-5050.

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PERFORMING ARTS

All in the Timing. David Ives humorously explores a variety of complex situations experienced through an assortment of unusual characters, from awkward singles to philosophizing chimpanzees. The eccentric personalities usher the audience through a dizzying and absurd exploration of the English language. $5. Tues.–Sat., April 8–12, 8 pm; Sun., April 13, 2 pm. Hamman Hall, Rice University, 6100 Main St., entrance 21 (off Rice Blvd). Info/tickets: www.arts.rice.edu or 713-348-PLAY.

Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd. Hermann Melville’s nautical allegory, adapted by E. M. Forster and Eric Crozier, of murder and mayhem at sea. Billy Budd tells a timeless story of human inner conflict between personal morality and public duty. Last performed at HGO in 1998, the play returns to the Wortham Theater Center with Australian director Neil Armfield’s acclaimed version. The powerful all-male cast stars baritone Daniel Belcher as Billy; baritone Liam Bonner as Redburn, and bass-baritone Ryan McKinny as Flint. British tenor Andrew Kennedy sings Captain Vere and Canadian bass Phillip Ens as black-hearted John Claggart. Performed in English with English supertitles. $25–$205. Opens Fri., April 25, 7:30 pm; Sun., April 27, 2 pm. Brown Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas Ave. Tickets/info: www.houstongrandopera.org or 713-228-OPERA (6737).

Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. The performance of the Seventh Symphony was one of Beethoven’s most successful concerts. Hopefully awaiting a victory over Napoleon’s 1805 and 1809 occupation, Viennese audiences embraced the symphony’s energy and beauty. The Allegretto , one of the world’s best-loved pieces of music, has evoked inspiration and affection since its first performance in 1812. Despite Ravel’s failing health, his imagination was as powerful as ever, and he completed his scintillating Concerto for the Left Hand in D major . Hear Grammy-nominated pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, renowned worldwide for his sophisticated performances and poetic soul, as he joins conductor Kwame Ryan and the Houston Symphony for this memorable program. 8 pm, Thurs., April 3, and Sat., April 5; matinee 2:30 pm on Sun., April 6. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. T ickets/info: www.houstonsymphony.org or 713/224-7575.

Classical Superstars: Mozart & Haydn. Pianist Domonique Launey joins the orchestra’s artistic director and pianist Michael Lowe in W. A. Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos in E Flat Major . Launey performs chamber music in her hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, and has appeared with the Wilmington Symphony. The concert concludes with Franz Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 98 in B Flat Major . $30; $10 for students; 20% discount for seniors/KUHF members. Mon., April 28 at Zilkha Hall, The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. Tickets/info: www.uniquelyhouston.org or 713/315-2525.

Barrueco… Cuban guitarist Manuel Barrueco and Mexican string quartet Cuarteto Latinoamericano with an impassioned program that showcases works for solo guitar, compositions for string quartet, and the combination of the two. Latin American works include those by composers Silvestre Revueltas and Astor Piazzolla, a Houston premiere by American composer Gabriela Lena Frank, and a classical piece by Luigi Boccherini. $22–$38. Sat., April 12, 8 pm. Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas Ave. at Smith St. Tickets/info: www.dacamera.com , Da Camera Music Center at 1427 Branard, or 713/524-5050.

DanceBrazil from Bahia in Ritmo. The rhythmic beats of Africa and the mastery and skill of the martial arts of Asia meet the color, spice, and sensuality of Latin America and the urban invention of American break-dancing. Perfectly honed bodies perform a fusion of African and modern dance and capoeira, the Afro-Brazilian martial art, to live music played on traditional instruments. An IW Marks Dance Series presented by the Society for the Performing Arts. $20–$50. Thurs., April 10, 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. Tickets/info: www.spahouston.org or 713/227-4SPA.

Elliott Carter and Late Beethoven. In celebration of American composer Elliott Carter’s 100th birthday, Da Camera presents his complete string quartets over three days. Carter’s Quartet No. 1 –composed 11 years after Bartók’s last quartet–started a cycle that is now recognized as one of the great post-war achievements in American music. Hear the brilliant Pacifica Quartet, winner of a prestigious 2006 Avery Fisher Career Grant. String Quartet No. 1 is free; seating limited. Sun., April 13, 3 pm at Cy Twombly Gallery. String Quartets Numbers 2 and 3 and Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat Major, Op. 110, Sarah Rothenberg on piano. $30. Mon., April 14, 7:30 pm. String Quartets Numbers 4 and 5 and Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 11. $30. Tues., April 15, 7:30 pm. The Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross. Tickets/info: www.dacamera.com , 713/524-5050, or Da Camera Music Center, 1427 Branard. Students/senior citizens are half price with ID.

Houston Ballet ‘s Ben Stevenson Academy Spring Performance. The gifted young artists of the Houston Ballet’s professional training wing cap their studies with two stunning performances. Fri., April 18, 7 pm; Sat., April 19, 2:30 pm. Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas Ave. Tickets/info: www.houstonballet.org or 713/227-2787.

Itzhak Perlman , award-winning violinist. Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Israeli-born Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician, having received four Emmy and 15 Grammy awards. President Reagan granted him a “Medal of Liberty” in 1986, and President Clinton awarded him the “National Medal of Arts” in 2000. His heartrending violin solos in the John Williams soundtrack score for Schindler’s List is one of Perlman’s own proudest achievements. $25–$70. Thurs., April 24, 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. Tickets/info: www.spahouston.org or 713/227-4SPA.

Johnny Mathis thrills audiences with his smooth, expressive voice. Openly gay, he is one of only five musicians to have Top 40 Hits spanning four decades and 10 consecutive years on the Billboard Top Albums chart. Hear all your favorites like “Chances Are” and “Gina.” $35–$115. Wed., April 23, 8 pm at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. Tickets/info: www.houstonsymphony.org or 713/224-7575.

Love/Reflection/Protest: Julia Bronkhorst. Don’t miss the special engagement featuring this renowned soprano, who makes her first Houston appearance. Julia Bronkhorst invokes the cultures of The Netherlands and South Africa through thought-provoking song. She will perform in Dutch, Afrikaans, English, and French. Thurs., April 10, 7:30 pm at DiverseWorks, 117 East Frwy. Tickets/info: www.modernmusic.org/www.diverseworks.org or 713/223-8346 .

Motown’s Greatest Hits. Go back to the golden age of groups like The Four Tops, The Temptations, and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. Remember songs such as “My Girl,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” and “Just My Imagination.” Join the Houston Symphony and vocal quartet Spectrum to enjoy Motown’s soulful sounds, smooth harmony, and fancy footwork. $29–$106. 8 pm, Fri. and Sat., April 11–12; 7:30 pm on Sun., April 13. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. Tickets/info: www.houstonsymphony.org or 713/224-7575.

Moving Pictures , a dance performance. UH’s AURA Contemporary Ensemble teams with ENSEMBLE, the university’s pre-professional dance company, for an evening of live music and dance. Featuring work from special guest choreographer Jennifer Wood, artistic director of Suchu Dance in Houston, as well as that of composers Jennifer Higdon, Peter Sculthorpe, Don Grantham, Bill Ryan, Ken Booker, and David Lang. $15. April 11, 7:30 pm at Moore’s Opera House, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston. Tickets/info: 713/743-2929.

Pianist Vijay Iyer makes Houston debut. Dubbed one of the “new stars of jazz” by U.S. News & World Report , Vijay Iyer is a forceful, rhythmically invigorating performer who weds a cutting-edge sensibility to a unique sense for compositional balance. He draws from African, Asian, and European musical lineages to create fresh, original music in the American creative tradition. $26.50–$45; seniors/students half-price with ID. Sat., April 26, 8 pm, at Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas Ave. Tickets/info: www.dacamera.com , Da Camera Music Center at 1427 Branard, or 713/524-5050.

Puccini: La bohème. Love and heartbreak meet on the Left Bank of Paris, as four young bohemians test the boundaries of friendship and art. Ana María Martínez and Garrett Sorenson take the stage in James Robinson’s enchanting setting of Puccini’s verismo tour-de-force, a co-production of Houston Grand Opera, The New York City Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera. Sung in Italian with English surtitles. $25–$205. April 11–May 3; evenings 7:30 pm; Sun. matinée, 2 pm. Brown Theater in Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas Ave. Schedule/tickets/info: www.houstongrandopera.org or 713-228-OPERA (6737).

Sam Dinkins III Sextet family concert, first in the free concert series Stop, Look and Listen! Combine a visit to the Menil museum with an interactive and informative musical experience. The program consists of jazz, blues, and spirituals and is presented in conjunction with The Menil Collection’s exhibition Vivid Vernacular , which features photographs of the American South by William Christenberry, William Eggleston, and Walker Evans. Presented by Da Camera of Houston and The Menil Collection, the concert is for all ages. Free. Sat., April 19, 3 pm. The Rothko Chapel, 3900 Yupon at Sul Ross.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Six young awkward pubescents and a group of childish adults learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t mean you’re a loser. This Tony Award-winning musical comedy offers willing audience members the opportunity to become part of the action as on-stage spellers. $29–$93. Through April 6 at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. Info: 713/558-8887, 888/558-3882, or www.tuts.com.

Visual Music by the Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet. Expect the unexpected when this celebrated and influential ensemble returns to Houston with its ingenious multimedia performance. Featuring the music of Reich, Zorn, Penderecki, Herrmann, Nancarrow, Grey, and others, Visual Music incorporates video projections that give each piece a setting, a visual environment in which to live and breathe. $20–$50. Fri., April 11, 8 pm. Wortham Center’s Cullen Theater, 500 Texas Ave. Tickets/info: www.spahouston.org or 713/227-4SPA.

Young and Fertle. A class reunion sends members of the Fertle family reminiscing through their favorite moments of the ’70s. $22. Through May 10 at Radio Music Theatre, 2623 Colquitt. More info: 713/522-7722 or www.radiomusictheatre.com.

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PERFORMING ARTS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

The Merchant of Venice. Main Street Theater’s Youth Theater Program stages this contemporary version of Shakespeare’s tale of Portia, Bassanio, and the infamous, scheming Shylock. $20, $16 for students/seniors. Through April 11 at Main Street Theater–Rice Village, 2540 Times Blvd. Info/reservations: 713/524-6706, www.mainstreettheater.com, or www.ticketweb.com .

Peter Pan. Kids of all ages will enjoy HITS Theatre’s presentation of the beloved Broadway musical fantasy about the young boy who refuses to grow up. 8 pm on Thurs., Fri., and Sat., April 10–12 and April 17–19. Free. Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park, 100 Concert Dr. Tickets required for covered seating; available on the day of performance only between 11:30 am and 1 pm at the Miller Theatre box office; remaining tickets released one hour before curtain. Info: www.milleroutdoortheatre.com or 281/FREE FUN.

Peter Rabbit. The whimsical tale goes on stage, presented by Express Children’s Theatre. Peter Rabbit’s brothers and sisters try to keep him away from trouble and his mother warns him about going into Mr. McGregor’s garden, but he wouldn’t listen. The entire family will enjoy the exciting story, as Peter’s adventures teach him a valuable lesson! $8/group rates start at $6. 2 pm. Sat., April 5 and Sat., April 12. Express Theatre, 446 Northwest Mall. For info: www.expresstheatre.com or 713/682-5044.

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RADIO

After Hours. Sunday mornings, 1-4 am. Featuring the QMZ (Queer Music Zone) with Jimmy Carper. KPFT 90.1 FM, 713/526-5738.

Queer Voices. Mondays, 8-10 pm. Features, news, music, interviews, reviews, and commentary. KPFT 90.1 FM, 713/526-4000.

Reach Out in the Darkness. Houston’s only transgender radio host and her partner present selected music from the ’60s, played like it was in the ’60s, exclusively from vinyl pressings. Every Wednesday morning, 3-6 am, KPFT Pacifica radio (90.1 FM).

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HIV TESTING

Thomas Street Clinic is offering HIV testing free to the public, Mon.-Fri. 9 am-1 pm. There is no need to establish eligibility (“gold-card”), no donation will be asked of the person seeking testing, and the test is free. Thomas Street Clinic, 2015 Thomas, 713/873-4157 or 713/873-4026.

The Montrose Clinic offers free confidential HIV testing at these locations:
Decades, 1205 Richmond, 713/521-2224, Mon. 6-10pm (Dennis)

EJ’s, 2517 Ralph, 713/527-9071, Wed. & Fri. 10pm-1am (Rhonda & Lourdes)

Mary’s, Naturally, 1022 Westheimer, 713/527-9669, Wed. 4-8pm (Jack)

Midtown Spa, 3100 Fannin, 713/522-2379, Tues. 9pm-1am (Carlos), Wed. 10pm-1am (Juan), Fri. 10pm-1am (Quincy)

Ripcord, 715 Fairview, 713/521-2792, Wed. 9pm-12am (Matthew)

Inergy/Mango Lounge, 5750 Chimney Rock, 713/660-7310, Mon. 9pm-12am (Carlos)

1415 Bar & Grill, 1415 California, 713/522-7066, Thurs. 9pm-12am (Carlos)

611 Hyde Park Pub, 611 Hyde Park, 713/526-7070, Tues. 3-7pm & Sun. 2-6pm (Matthew)

All Star News and Video Emporium, 3415 Katy Freeway & Studewood, 713/869-7878, Mon. & Thurs. 4-8pm (Jack)

Brazos River Bottom, 2400 Brazos, 713/528-9192, Thurs. 8pm-12am (Matthew)

Cousin’s, 817 Fairview, 713/528-9204, Thurs. 8pm-12am (Jack)

Club Houston, 2205 Fannin, 713/659-4998, Tues. 8pm-12am (Dennis). For more info: 713/830-3000.

Planned Parenthood offers free anonymous or confidential testing at clinic locations throughout the area. To speak with an HIV counselor: 1-800-230-PLAN, Dickinson: 281/337-7725, Fannin: 713/831-6543, FM1960: 281/587-8081, Greenspoint: 281/445-4553, Huntsville: 936/295-6396, Lufkin: 936/634-8446 x223, Rosenberg: 281/342-3950, Stafford: 281/494-9848.

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Have an event to submit? [email protected].

Info needed for your event listing: a few lines of info about your event; date/time; cost; location/address; organization name; and two phone numbers—one for OutSmart to reach you for questions and one for OutSmart readers to get more info on your event (can be the same number). Mail info to: OutSmart Magazine, 3406 Audubon Place, Houston 77006.

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