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Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events

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Cutie and the Boxer Ushio and Noriko Shinohara
The film Cutie and the Boxer tells a tale of devout love and companionship despite  typical life struggles in anything but a typical existence. Cutie and the Boxer/Facebook
Andres Orozco-Estrada, Wortham, portrait
Andrés Orozco-Estrada's energy and passion take center stage in his efforts to electrify the Houston Symphony. Photo by © Julie Soefer
Preservation Houston Walking Tour: Rice University Architecture
A two-hour walking tour hosted by Architecture Center Houston explores the environs of Rice University and the campus' architecture, public art and historical landmarks. Photo by Jim Parsons
The Curio Show
A peek at BooTown's The Curio Show. Courtesy of BooTown
Cutie and the Boxer Ushio and Noriko Shinohara
Andres Orozco-Estrada, Wortham, portrait
Preservation Houston Walking Tour: Rice University Architecture
The Curio Show
Joel Luks, head shot, column mug, April 2013

Pencil in having more fun, getting the most out of life and enjoying Houston's full array of affairs in your bucket list of things to do in 2014. The city is teeming with everything from traditional concerts to wild fetes, and it's my job to boss you around and tell you what to do, what to see and where to be. You're welcome.

Off we go!

Film screening: Cutie and the Boxer

If you weren't at the opening of last year's Houston Cinema Arts Festival, you missed the opportunity to meet two charmingly candid artists who opened their hearts so that Houston filmmaker Zachary Heinzerling could tell their story, a tale of devout love and companionship despite typical life struggles in anything but a typical existence.

I am convinced that you will be captivated by the strength of Noriko Shinohara, whose career was mostly overshadowed by her capricious husband, the famed Ushio Shinohara, whose avant-garde art-making process includes using boxing gloves covered in paint as his main creative tools.

The skinny: Friday through Sunday; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; general admission tickets are $9.

Houston Symphony presents Mozart's Jupiter Symphony

It doesn't take much to fall for Houston Symphony music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, his energy and passion for sharing the experience of music-making taking center stage in his efforts to electrify the 100-year-old ensemble. The first performance of 2014 welcomes back the Colombian-born conductor for a concert of the classics plus a work that responds to such classics.

Haydn and Mozart symphonies plus a piece by Russian composer Alfred Schnittke written in 1977 . . . yesterday meets today(ish). Wasn't one of your new year's resolutions to try new things?

The skinny: Friday through Sunday; Jones Hall; tickets start at $25.

Architecture Center Houston Walking Tour: Rice University

How's your pledge to lead a more active life going so far? I thought so. Need a boost? Try this two-hour walking tour hosted by Architecture Center Houston that explores the environs of Rice University and the campus' architecture, public art and historical landmarks.

If you enjoy your walk-and-learn outing, know that there's a different walking tour almost every Saturday morning. Why not make it a habit?

The skinny: Saturday, 10 a.m.; meet on the front lawn of Lovett Hall; $10 general public.

Public Poetry Winter Series 2014 Kickoff

Public Poetry continues its series of readings with this gathering at Park Place Regional Library that launches the winter season. Among the presenting bards are author Anis Shivani, Texas Southern University journalism professor Michael Berryhill, singer/songwriter Dulcie "Digh" Veluthukaran and Chicano beat poet Christopher Carmona.

The skinny: Saturday, 2 p.m.; Park Place Regional Library; free event.

BooTown's presents The Curio Show

BooTown has established itself as an essential part of the city's art scene, adding a touch of whimsical and wacky inventiveness to Houston's cultural offerings. This next performance run, titled The Curio Show, finds inspiration in 16th century cabinets of curiosities, which were rooms that stored collections of interesting objects.

Through puppets crafted by co-artistic director Lindsay Burleson, The Curio Show brings to life the hidden stories of these trinkets, such as jawbones, crystal balls, narwhal horns and jewelry. Support from creatives Peter Zama, Larkin Elliott and Emily Hynds and a live score performed by a local musician craft a performance in which the secret personalities of these objects are revealed.

The skinny: Saturday through Jan. 18; Rudyard's British Pub and an empty storefront at 3603 Main St.; tickets are pay-what-you-can.

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