On tap this week is a combo of mostly art and some fruity retail therapy, including fantastic books, music of the muses, dance for the attention deficit folks, a powerful modern musical and a one-day shopping event that's good for you and good for the environment.
Antena @ Blaffer Opening Reception
I knew I had stumbled upon something remarkable when I first set foot into a temporary installation by John Pluecker at Project Row Houses a few years back. I wanted to touch everything that comprised Antena Books: Pop-Up Bookstore and Literary Experimentation Lab. On the shelves were books and magazines in which the art of the written word was as beautiful as the carrier itself. Some handmade, others from small and rare publishing companies, all illustrating that there's allure in holding something crafted with the utmost attention to detail.
You can imagine I couldn't leave without cashing in on my new discovery.
Antena is more than a shop. It's a collaborative founded by Pluecker and Jen Hofer that looks at language critically through a cultural lens. Through May 10, the experimental duo has a new home at the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston.
Houston Early Music Emerging Artists Series presents The Broken Consort in "Muse, Modes and Magic (and also Mary)"
Early music — understood by the cognoscenti as scores from the Baroque Era and before — sometimes gets a bad rap for indulging the tastes of gray-haired audiences. Not so for the Broken Consort, a Boston-based experimental group that dabbles in the melodies of the Dark Ages. The ensemble comprises energetic young musicians who offer more than a program of music. They curate thoughtful presentations that reframe what you think you know about the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
In "Muses, Modes, Magic (and Mary)," a concert hosted by Houston Early Music, the consort sketches the essence of nine muses in Greek mythology. These storied daughters of Zeus and the Titaness Mnemosyne, such as Clio, Thalia and Terpsichore, are much more interesting than their weighty names may imply.
For the record: The musicians aren't broken. The term is used to describe a band that includes instruments from different musical families. Now you know.
Dance Source Houston presents "12 Minutes Max! at The Barn"
Think of the program as the Twitter version of dance. Instead of messages limited to 140 characters or less, choreographers have 720 seconds or less to present a cohesive work. For those with short attention spans, this format is a dream, largely because one experiences a lot in a short period of time. Like speed dating art.
Think of the program as the Twitter version of dance.
Rebekah Chappell, Sara Draper, Laura Gutierrez, Cori Miller and jhon r. stronks contribute new work for "12 Minute Max at The Barn," a performance that showcases what's trending in the world of dance.
Urban Harvest's 14th Annual Fruit Tree Sale
Don't you just love living in a climate in which you can grow fruits and vegetables all year long? For those that take the concept of local food very seriously but haven't yet seeded their own, reaping the rewards of gardening isn't as difficult as it may seem, especially with Urban Harvest on your side.
This colossal sale of fruit trees is one of Urban Harvest's most popular shopping events of the year. The grounds of Rice University are transformed into a pop-up orchard where trees, rooted and grafted for Houston's conditions, are yours for the taking. Experts will be onsite to help you decide between all the varieties. And with prices starting at $14 (credit cards accepted), it has never been easier to get started.
Houston Grand Opera presents The Passenger
While the repertory of many opera houses is teeming with popular musicals of yore, this production is a reminder that the Houston Grand Opera has historically championed newer works that speak to contemporary audiences. Such is the case with The Passenger of 1968 by Polish-Jewish composer Mieczysław Weinberg, who orchestrated a story based on a radio play written by a concentration camp survivor.
The Passenger wasn't presented with full staging until 2010. Opera goers are just discovering how powerful the plot is. Now it's your turn.
Staff writer and resident gourmand Eric Sandler's picks: Pop-up dinner at The Flat and Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! on the 300 block of Main.
Eric says: "After a bit of a break during the holiday, this weekend features two food events I'm really excited about. On Thursday, Killen's Steakhouse chef de cuisine Teddy Lopez and Mr. Peeples pastry chef Johnny Wesley will unite for a pop-up at The Flat that shows what they can do when they're away from their respective steakhouses.
"Bone marrow risotto? Fried carrot cake Twinkies? Yes, I need that in my face.
"Then on Sunday, the bars on the 300 block of Main are hosting their monthly open air market with live music, ice cream from super-trendy newcomer Whipped & Licked, pickles by Goro & Gun executive chef JD Woodward and much more. Nothing like finishing up the weekend with a bang, right?"