COUGARS ARE ON THEIR WAY HOME

TECH DEFEATS UH IN SWC TOURNEY 110-86

by Jason Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

DALLAS – The 1994 Dr. Pepper Southwest Conference Classic was supposed to be the Cougar's chance to shine.

But they didn't last long enough to ignite even a spark.

In a game in which Houston was clearly outmatched and outclassed, the Texas Tech Red Raiders kindly disposed of any Cougar NCAA Tournament chances.

Tech ended the Cougars' season Thursday with a 110-86 decision in front of 9,675 fans at Reunion Arena.

The 110 points scored by the Raiders was the second highest total in SWC Tournament history and the most scored by a other than former conference member Arkansas since 1979.

Almost nothing went right for Houston (8-19), which committed 34 personal fouls and shot just 40.3 percent from the field.

Tech (17-10) took advantage of the physical play by converting 42 of its 58 shots at the charity stripe.

"You don't have a chance to win when a team goes to the free-throw line as much as Tech did," said Houston head coach Alvin Brooks.

The 42 Red Raider conversions at the line set a new tournament record, breaking the old record of 40 set by Texas in 1991.

The Raiders came into the Tournament shooting an average of 66.3 percent at the free-throw line, fourth worst in the conference.

But Tech junior forward Mark Davis scored 15 of his 27 points at the line while sophomore forward Jason Sasser was 9-of-11 from the charity stripe, with 23 points and 10 rebounds.

"We made 42 of our 58 free throws," Davis said. "I'd say our free-throw shooting has improved."

Houston did come out strong to start the game and led the contest 14-11 following a soft 14-foot baseline jumper by junior forward Hershel Wafer.

But the Raiders took over from there as the Cougars stopped pounding the ball inside. Tech went on a 30-7 run to break the game open at 41-18.

Houston was then forced to take the outside shot and Tech kept getting the rebound on missed Houston opportunities.

"We took too many perimeter shots," Brooks said. "That caused us to get away from our game plan and we didn't play well from there on out."

"I told my guys before the game," said Tech coach James Dickey, "that we needed to play better on the inside. Houston is very athletic and we needed to box them out on the boards."

When they were not playing great defense, the Red Raiders were hitting some big 3-point buckets, and their foul-shooting began to take effect through much of that stretch.

Tech was 19-of-23 from the charity stripe in the first half and nailed five shots from beyond the arc.

Junior guard Lance Hughes, who finished with 24 points, got off to a great start, scoring 13 first-half points on 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range.

Hughes elaborated on his career long success against the Cougars, against whom he has averaged almost 20 points per game in the last five meetings between the two teams.

"(My success) may be because they press and gamble so much," Hughes said. "It is a lot easier to shoot when a teammate is double-teamed down low and you're wide open on the outside."

Most of Houston's success, however, came when the game had already been decided, with Tech up 92-63 and 5:21 remaining.

Cougar senior guard led Houston with 23 points with eight of those coming during garbage time.

Goldwire left the game with 36 seconds remaining, having finished his illustrious career in a Houston uniform.

"It's kind of bitter that we have to end the season like this," he said. "But I just have to take it in stride."

 

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STUDENT POLLUTERS CAN'T BREATHE EASY

by Naruth Phadungchai

News Reporter

Many full-time employees of UH may soon have to carpool or take public transportation to work to reduce pollution as a result of an amendment to the federal Clean Air Act.

Those affected include faculty, staff, and all students who work full-time for the university.

According to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC), the 1990 Federal Clean Air Act Amendments identified Harris, Galveston, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Waller, Montgomery, Liberty and Chambers counties as having serious ozone pollution problems.

In response to the FCAA Amendments, Texas has revised its State Implementation Plan, requiring employers in the affected counties to work with the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) to "reduce the number of work-related trips during the morning peak travel period (6—10 a.m., Monday—Friday)."

In accordance with the FCAA Amendments, the H-GAC must increase the number of passengers per vehicle by 25 percent in the counties under its jurisdiction.

The plan that details how to achieve the specified Average Passenger Occupancy is called the Employer Trip Reduction plan (ETR). Each employer is responsible for formulating the plan for its employees.

Gerald Hagen, director of parking and transportation services, has been designated the Employer Transportation Coordinator for the university as required by the ETR program. Hagen said Houston's air pollution problem "is second worst in the country next to Los Angeles." He added that "California already has plans and implementation in place to reduce (their) pollution."

To comply with the ETR program, the university must submit a plan to the Texas Air Control Board by Sept. 15, 1994. The state extended this date from the original May 15 deadline. The plan must detail how the university intends to increase its APO.

The university must also determine its initial APO through a survey of its employees. Implementation and compliance with the plan must be achieved by Sept. 15, 1996.

Although the state has not yet sent him a guideline on how to formulate the survey, Hagen has already taken the initiative by creating his own preliminary survey. The five-page survey is designed to determine the transportation habits of university employees.

The Center for Public Policy is charged with developing the final version of the survey, which will be sent out on April 1. The survey period lasts from April 4 to 8. The survey will be printed in both English and Spanish. The state requires only a 75 percent response rate, whereas Mr. Hagen hopes to obtain a 90 percent response rate.

Lynn Benicker, data collection coordinator for UH, said, "given the university's financial picture, it is important that we comply because of the (possible) financial penalties."

Using the result of the survey and the training to be provided by the state within the next 30—60 days, Hagen said he will then "select individuals in key areas, including the Faculty Senate, to participate (in the formulation of the university's ETR plan)." Hagen said possible incentives in the plan are "car- and van-pooling, telecommuting or a four-day work week."

Professor of Mathematics Henry Decell said incentives should include "a shuttle service between the main Metro stop (and the university). With a shuttle provided, Decell said he would "ride the Metro every day."

However, Hans Staartjes, who teaches photography, said "the (public) transportation in this town is in an abysmal state. It would be impossible to expect anyone to catch the bus (to come to the university)."

Professor of Computer Science Ernst Leiss, president of the Faculty Senate, said the federal government is "brain dead" in enacting the legislation behind the ETR program. He said the government "misses the target" and if it wants to "truly reduce the pollution (it should) address the question of the students at least as much as the question of the faculty."

Hagen noted of the 30,000 vehicles arriving on campus daily, some 2900 belong to employees, while the remaining 27,100 belong to students. These figures were derived from the number of fall (annual) and spring semester parking permits issued.

Due to the high number of student-owned vehicles in comparison to those of the employees, Hagen said he believes that the TRNCC is looking into a program similar to the ETR that would target students.

 

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LOTTERY WINNERS DON'T TAKE AL

by Edward Duffin

News Reporter

It takes a relatively small amount of money and a lot of luck to become Texas' newest multi-millionaire by playing the state lottery.

Nevertheless, Texans spent close to $20.6 million hoping to cash in on Wednesday's $35 million jackpot. Since no one matched six numbers correctly, the jackpot climbs to a record $55 million.

Distinguished University Professor of Psychology Richard Evans said the chance of winning the lottery is extremely slim. "People rationalize their playing by believing someone has to win. They think they might as well be that person. Actually, people have a greater chance of contracting some sort of catastrophic illness than winning the lottery," Evans said.

Evans said people suspend reality. They begin to speculate and engage in dreams about their possible fortunes. "By purchasing a lottery ticket, people have a piece of the action for a short time. Some people who would never even think of betting in Las Vegas casinos or on horse races will bet on the lottery."

Buying a ticket allows people to fantasize, he said. "It lets them escape from life's problems, but unfortunately, some spend money beyond their means which could further compound problems," Evans said.

Keith Elkins, chief spokesperson for the Texas Lottery Commission, said, "As the jackpot grows, lotto fever gets hotter and hotter." Sales were at their wildest between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday when lotto tickets were selling at 30,000 per minute. These numbers are in sharp contrast to the $40 million game on Feb. 22, when tickets were selling at 60,000 per minute.

Elkins said he expects astronomical sales for Saturday's record $55 million jackpot. "This is really uncharted water for us, so we advise people to buy their tickets as early as possible to avoid the long lines," Elkins said.

Economics Professor Dan Levin said there are several inaccurate probabilities of winning the lottery floating around. "The actual chance of getting six correct numbers is 1/15,890,700," Levin said.

Levin said, "The money people receive if they win the jackpot is not equivalent to the amount they think they won."

The actual payout is dependent on the current interest rate, the 28 percent the Internal Revenue Service takes and the installments made over a 20 year period. "Clearly, this is not emphasized enough. The government knows better. Once people become aware of this, educating the public will become less important," Levin said.

Elkins said prizes less than $2 million are awarded in one lump sum. "Anything greater than that is not worth the paperwork involved in awarding the winner one large payment. Also, we simply don't have the money in our funds to give out large jackpots on the spot," Elkins said.

Once someone wins the lottery, they become instant fodder for news stories. "Winners lose their anonymity. People want to know what happens to the them. Winners may fulfill some of their fantasies, but they pay the price," Evans said. "We must remember that economic security is only one small facet to human existence."

Evans said disappointment in losing may result in a type of "morbid, wishful thinking" about the winner by some losers. This may explain the flurry of rumors about the Feb. 22, $40 million winner, Wanda Williams. A local radio station falsely reported that Williams was murdered in Dalllas over the weekend.

Elkins said the confusion came about after a Dallas newspaper obituary reported the death of a woman with the same name. He said the Lottery Commission contacted Williams and the rumors "disturbed her greatly."

The Texas Lottery is big business. The state raked in about $2.6 billion in 1993. Rene Rodriguez, a lottery specialist based in the Houston claim office said, "All money the state generates is divided in half."

Rodriguez said, "Fifty percent of the money goes to the production of tickets, retail commissions and administration. The remaining fifty percent goes into a general fund. This fund builds for a fiscal year and then the state legislators decide how the money will be spent when they pass the budget."

Despite the huge amounts of money the state generates, the Texas jackpots do not even rank in the top ten lottery jackpots across the U.S. California leads the list of payouts with a $118.8 million jackpot in April 1991.

 

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PROGRAM TRAINS VISITING SCHOLARS

by Jesse W. Coleman

News Reporter

The College of Education will bring foreign scholars to campus next week to begin the second stage of a $2 million contract with the Malaysian government.

The contract provides a master's program for 150 Malaysian scholars over Spring Break.

The second stage, which began March 19 and lasts until July 19, is part of a three stage, 12-month long program in which about 30 Malaysian post-graduate students study courses at UH and in Malaysia, a former Southeast Asian British colony. The courses are aimed at producing future educational leaders for the country.

In the first stage, the group studies courses – for four months in Malaysia – in instructional design and principles of curriculum development taught by UH faculty.

The second stage is at UH, where the students will study courses in research methodology, leadership concepts, multicultural education and other areas.

The final four-month stage will be in Malaysia, where the students work on educational research projects, after which they will receive their master's degree in curriculum and instruction.

Five groups of 30 students are expected to take part in the program over the next five years, and 10 to 12 UH faculty members will be involved.

The $2 million covers administrative costs and the full-time Malaysian students' university fees.

William Georgiades, dean of the College of Education, said the contract may be the most significant of its kind in the history of the university, along with a similar package with the Indian government. He said members of the department spent two years negotiating the contract, and the Malaysians chose UH because Houston is an international city.

"There are about five mosques here, and we are arranging food service early in the morning to accommodate the students," Georgiades said.

Dr. Sulaiman Duad, Malaysia's minister of education, said they chose UH's College of Education to initiate the program because it is among the top education colleges in the United States.

Georgiades said most of the students have a British degree and already speak English.

The student must have a U.S. or equivalent undergraduate degree and must pass a pilot entrance exam developed by the Educational Testing Service.

College of Education Associate Dean Allen Warner, who spent three weeks in Malaysia teaching and lecturing, said the students will get exposure to the U.S. educational system.

"The students will go to seminars and visit elementary and secondary school to see how they work," Warner said. "They get to see first hand how our system operates."

Georgiades said the development was "exciting," adding that other countries are showing interest in the program and the university.

 

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LADY COOGS ARE ALL SMILES

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

DALLAS – For some reason, coach Jessie Kenlaw was smiling.

Her Houston Cougars had lost to Southern Methodist 82-73 hours earlier in the first round of the Dr Pepper Southwest Conference Women's Classic Wednesday in a game that was much closer than the score indicated.

Yet here she was, enjoying the remainder of her day in the bleachers of Moody Coliseum, watching A&M face off against the Lady Bears of Baylor – and smiling.

"You can't linger on the losses too long," she said. "It's over and the only thing I'm telling myself is I can't let this happen to us again. I'm already mapping out next year and evaluating this season."

The year was a rollercoaster ride for the Cougars, who finished with 11 wins coupled with 15 losses. Marred by injuries to four different players, the team finished with eight healthy bodies to put on the bench.

As a result, Kenlaw was forced to play freshman sensation Pat Luckey out of her most productive small forward spot and use her in a roving forward-post combination.

Luckey's performance this year suggests her natural talent enough at any position. Luckey, an All-SWC first team choice, averaged more than 19 points and eight rebounds, leading the Cougars in both categories.

Those numbers become important to Kenlaw's team next season because Luckey <I> is <P> only a freshman <I> and <P> she played out of position. She's a commodity whose full potential has yet to realized.

"She's been consistent as a freshman," Kenlaw said. "That's a lot you have to ask of a freshman. That's a good example of how talented she is."

Luckey also has an attitude that would compliment a winning program, something Kenlaw craves with a passion and says she can achieve.

"We can build a program like Texas Tech's (currently ranked No.7 in the nation) in terms of talent, but in terms of fan support, that will take other factors," she said. "It's going to take the help of administration to build the fan support."

Kenlaw said she is anxiously awaiting the arrival of signees Nakia Hill, a 6-3 post from the University of Georgia, and Arizona State junior Stacey Johnson. Also expected to sign in mid-April is Tanda Rucker, a junior college player who played with Stanford from 1991—93 and was part of the 1991 Cardinal championship team.

Now all the Cougars are missing is a tall power forward, "someone like a Sharon Bennett," Kenlaw said. The 5-11 senior Willowridge product contributed 10 points and eight boards in her final game as a Cougar Wednesday.

Also lost to graduation are guards Michelle Harris and Gigi Gaudet and post Chontel Reynolds, who is tied for 21st in the nation in shot blocking with 2.2 a game.

"We're going to have a new look and a new attitude, so I'm looking forward to the next season," Kenlaw said, who has headed the Houston program for four years. "We'll be young, but we'll be talented. A lot of it has to do with the attitude of the players.

"(The transfers) are going to be used to winning and hopefully they can bring that attitude with them."

This year, the team has had its problems, but the characterization of youthfulness has been molded into one of experience – a necessary ingredient once tournament time comes full circle next year.

"We want to make it to the Final Four and you have to get good quality athletes," Kenlaw said. "I think we're a step (up) to doing that.

 

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HOUSTON'S COUGAR CLASSIC AT A FEVER PITCH

by Ryan Carssow

Daily Cougar Staff

The week-long Cougar Classic baseball tournament will reach its frenzied peak this weekend with six games in the final three days.

Houston, Creighton, Indiana State and Chicago State will play a round-robin format, beginning with Indiana State versus Chicago State today at 10:30 a.m. Games are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Houston is 3-3 in the tournament since it began last Friday. The Cougars split games against both Oklahoma (No. 8 in the nation) and Tampa, and defeated Creighton once. They also lost to McNeese State.

Houston coaches and players agreed the week-long tournament has been a good tune-up for the upcoming Southwest Conference season. Houston opens SWC play against Rice next weekend.

"Playing teams like these really gets you ready," said UH head coach Bragg Stockton. "We've played a good schedule."

Senior left-hander Matt Beech, the Cougars' staff ace, agreed.

"I think the teams are SWC caliber or better," he said.

Beech will start the Friday afternoon game against Creighton. Brad Towns and Bo Hernandez are scheduled to start the Sunday games against Indiana State and Chicago State.

Houston (14-10) started the season 8-1, but the Cougars have dropped nine of 15 games since. They are coming off back-to-back wins over Creighton and Oklahoma this week.

"We're starting to play better," Beech said.

During the first nine games of the season, the pitching staff only once gave up more than four runs in a game. They gave up 11 in a blow-out loss to Texas Wesleyan. Opponents averaged 3.1 runs per game in the first nine games.

In their last 15 games the Cougars have allowed more than four runs in 10 games and opponents have averaged 6.4 runs per game.

Hitting was the Cougars' problem early in the season. However, when the hitting improved the pitching faltered.

"We've had too many days when we didn't put the hitting with the pitching," Stockton said. "One area seems to take a day off.

"When we put the hitting, pitching and defense all together we've played well."

Stockton said the starting pitching staff of Beech, Towns and Hernadez looks solid. David Hamilton will also start when needed and Shane Buteaux is slated as the closer.

"The middle of the pitching staff needs to pick it up," Stockton said.

Buteaux, Ricky Freeman, Carlos Perez and J.J. Matzke have carried the team offensively.

"We're still looking for a more balanced attack," Stockton said.

Matzke, the starting third baseman, injured the thumb of his throwing hand last week and has been relegated to designated hitter because of the injury.

 

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UH AT THE UCAA'S

SIX COOGS TO BE AT THE NATIONAL EVENT

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

Whatever hurdles that happen to stand in the way of Ubeja Anderson, he is sure to clear them on his way to success.

Anderson will run the 55-meter hurdles in Indianapolis at the NCAA Indoor Championships March 11-12.

Dawn Burrell will be joining him there and will be entered in the women's 55-meter hurdles. De'Angelia Johnson, Drexel Long, Nicole Ates and Cynthia Jackson will compete in the 4x400 relay.

Anderson is considered one of the top collegiate hurdlers.

"I hope he can win, he's definitely good enough," head coach Tom Tellez said.

He added that if Burrell gets into the finals she should do well and that the mile-relay team has a good chance of winning.

As for the rest of the team, the men will be at the Rice Invitational 12 p.m. Saturday, the women have the weekend off.

With Anderson gone, and Sam Jefferson out with hepatitis, Shedric Fields will be the person to look for at Rice meet. Last week at the Carl Lewis Relays he qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the longjump with a leap of 26-7 1/4.

"As long as he's jumping correctly he should jump 25 feet anytime he wants," said Tellez.

UH diving towards NCAA's

The Houston diving team will be at the NCAA pre-qualifying meet in Oklahoma City March 11-13. Olivia Clark and Donnelle DuBois will be competing in the 1-and-3-meter events. The top seven point totals will advance to the NCAA meet.

Clark, a junior, has qualified every year.

"Both Olivia and Donnelle should be in the top seven," said diving coach Jane Figueiredo. "We should do very well at NCAA's."

Tennis takes on Texas

The Cougar tennis team played top ranked Texas Thursday in Austin.

The Longhorns defeated the Cougars 8-0 ending Houston's six game winning streak. The Cougars are 1-1 in conference play.

The Cougar's match against Southern Methodist on Wednesday was cancelled and has tentatively been re-scheduled for March 31.

The 19th hole

The UH golf team will be at the Golf Digest Invitational March 11-13 at the Woodlands TPC. They will be competing for the first time under the direction of interim coach Rookie Dickenson.

 

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STUDENT FEES FUND A VARIETY OF HELPFUL SERVICES

by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

Two words that always interest students – It's free. UH students have already paid for the the Learning Support Services through their student fees. Many universities make students pay for them.

LSS provides students with academic services ranging from tutoring in courses such as chemistry, math and English to note-taking techniques and exam preparation. In addition, self-improvement workshops and personal development groups are offered all through the semester.

"If students identify a need (for a particular counseling group), we do the best we can to offer that group," said Rosemary Hughes, associate director of counseling and testing and learning support services.

The Learning Support Services budget is $272,000 a year, funded by the student service fee. The student service fees allocated for the '93—'94 fiscal year were $6 million.

"This semester we have ongoing women's groups that focus on issues women commonly deal with," said Hughes.

The groups target women's issues because 65 to 70 percent of the participants are women.

One of these groups is for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. It is offered throughout the semester.

"We like to be able to offer anonymity, so we don't advertise the day or times," said Hughes.

Most of the groups have an average of five to eight participants. Counselors encourage group participants get to know each other so they can offer support to one another after counselling sessions. Although each group has a different degree of confidentiality, some groups stress confidentiality and not much personal information shared.

Other personal development groups include support for gay men and support for lesbian women.

"It is a place to talk about issues," said Catherine Ford, psychology intern. "We talk about relationships. Some are in the coming out process."

The HIV support group began in 1986 and since then, many of the members have become close friends.

"They give (each other) rides to get treatment," said Hughes. "We have had support groups at hospitals."

The personal development groups all require a screening interview with the individual before they can participate. To schedule a screening, call 743—5454.

 

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BALLET HISPANICO: DANCE WITH LATIN FLAIR

by Manuel Esparza

Daily Cougar Staff

In New York City's highly competitive dance scene, it can be difficult to stand out. However, attracting attention has never been a problem for Ballet Hispanico. The dynamic dance troupe will be making its Houston debut at the Wortham Center's Cullen Theatre this Friday and Saturday.

Their shows are nothing if not flamboyant. Bright costumes and creative choreography are standard fare. Tapping their talent and rich surroundings, Ballet Hispanico often uses respected artisans in the performing arts arena to design sets, costumes and choreography.

Under the guidance of founder Tina Ramirez, the company has grown both in size and respect. She stresses diversity in style, with a Spanish accent. Thus unbounded by style, the works become more bold and alive. This freedom gives the company room to be very expressive, which can be seen in the material they perform.

Their Houston show will consist of four works: two recent ones, <I>Farewell<P> and <I>Two By An Error<P>, and two of their showcase pieces, <I>Stages<P> and <I>El Nuevo Mundo<P>.

The show opener, <I>Stages<P>, is a well-developed piece that follows the growth of a dancer's life from the rigors and fun of dance class through rehearsing and ultimately the decisions of life. Broadway choreographer Graciela Danielle wrote the work as a tribute to Ramirez, who incidentaly makes a cameo.

The next two pieces have a more serious tone. <I>Farewell<P> deals with the delicacy of relationships. The company has just added this work to their repertoire, and it should enjoy a very fresh performance.

Forbidden love is always a good subject for dance. <I>Two By An Error<P>, loosely based on Eduardo Galeano's <I>Las Caras Y Las Mascaras<P>, is an emotional and strong piece.

Everyone loves a good tale and Ballet Hispanico will round out the evening with a modern telling of Christopher Columbus' epic voyage in <I>El Nuevo Mundo<P>. How modern is it? Columbus is a New York city youth finding life, liberty and differing cultures in his 'new world.'

Be sure to look at how the dance styles interact with the music. Ballet Hispanico is probably one of the more visually challenging companies to watch.

Performances are Friday and Saturday in Wortham Center's Cullen Auditorium. Tickets cost $18—$26. Hey kids, student-priced tickets are available starting at noon on the day of the performance. Call 227-ARTS for tickets and ticket info.

 

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JEFFREY SERIOUS YET LIBERATINGLY FUNNY

by shane patrick boyle

Daily Cougar Staff

Love conquers all. Even in the age of AIDS.

That's the message of Paul Rudnick's <I>Jeffrey<P>, currently in its last weekend at Stages Repertory Theatre.

Despite the AIDS-related theme, <I>Jeffrey<P> is a very positive, upbeat and funny play.

The first act focuses on the title character's awkward situation. Jeffrey (Joe Kirkendall) loves sex (although he choses not to classify himself as "promiscuous," preferring to think of himself as "cheap"), but he is both frustrated with safe sex and afraid of AIDS.

"Sex wasn't meant to be safe, or negotiated or fatal," he says.

He makes a decision to give up sex, even though his friends Sterling (Paul Hope), a nelly, fashion-conscious interior decorator and Darius (Adrian Walter), an actor and dancer who is HIV positive, recommend that he find a monogamous relationship.

In search of a substitute for sex – something like "Sex Lite" or "I Can't Believe It's Not Sex" – he chooses to start working out instead. But going to the gym to stop thinking about sex turns out to be as practical as getting a job in a bakery to stop thinking about food.

At the gym, he meets Steve (Kent Johnson) and it's lust at first sight, but Jeffrey manages to hold back his hormones. Yet he keeps running into Steve and at one point Darius and Sterling try to set him up with Steve.

Jeffrey almost caves in, but then finds out Steve is only interested in safe sex and he is HIV postive.

The second act deals with Jeffrey trying to come to terms with his emotions for Steve, and the loss of his friends with AIDS.

He feels himself falling in love with Steve, and he faces the loss of close friends with AIDS. He doesn't want to be around when Steve starts suffering, so he tries to deal with his feelings by running away to Wisconsin (a fate Steve refers to as "gay castration").

<I>Jeffrey<P>, is not only about learning to love some with HIV; it is also about living with HIV. Steve and Darius demonstrate that people with HIV still have a lot of living to do or, as Steve puts it, "Sometimes I get tired of being a red ribbon."

Another lesson Jeffrey learns is that in the eyes of bashers, all gays are the same whether they have AIDS or not. This lesson comes at the price of a very painful beating.

However, the play succeeds in being funny even with the serious subject matter. But what do you expect from the author of <I>Sister Act<P>, <I>Addam's Family<P> and <I>Addam's Family Values<P>?

In addition to commentary on sex, AIDS and gay-bashing, Rudnick's play also takes jabs at religion, the media and gay stereotypes.

A pre-operative transvestite and his/her mother, a gay priest, a new age evangelist, a troll, a Marvin Zindler-style newscaster and Mother Theresa are just a few of the colorful characters inhabiting Jeffrey's world.

Jeffrey is the best gay play since Larry Kramer's <I>The Normal Heart<P> and Stages' production of <I>Jeffrey<P> is as flawless as the play. It is directed by Michael Scheman, director of the original production in New York, and Paul Prince, a UH alumnus and veteran of Edward Albee's workshop, serves as his assistant.

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