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

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News_Mixers & Elixirs
The Houston Museum of Natural Science relaunches "Mixers & Elixirs" on Thursday. Blog/HMNS
Art opening: Georges Braque: A Retrospective
Georges Braque: A Retrospective is on view at MFAH through May 11. Photo © 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Houston Antiques Dealers Association's Spring Antiques Show & Sale
The Houston Antiques Dealers Association's Spring Antiques Show & Sale features more than 50 vendors from all over the country. Courtesy of Houston Antiques Dealers Association
News_Diane Tran_honor student_in jail
The story of Houstonian Diane Tran is the basis for Houston Grand Opera's Bound. Courtesy of KHOU Houston/Channel 11
News_Nancy_FUNdraising_Two Star Symphony octet
14 Pews inaugurates its artist-in-residence relationship with Two Star Symphony with a screening of Girl Shy. Photo by Sarah Prikryl
News_Mixers & Elixirs
Art opening: Georges Braque: A Retrospective
Houston Antiques Dealers Association's Spring Antiques Show & Sale
News_Diane Tran_honor student_in jail
News_Nancy_FUNdraising_Two Star Symphony octet
Joel Luks, head shot, column mug, April 2013

On tap this week — with plenty of options to save you from Valentine's Day last-minute planning — is the opening of a wild exhibition, a smarty pants party, a chamber opera about real life in the Bayou City, a mega antique sale and a film screening with live music at one of Houston's enterprising house cinemas.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston opens Georges Braque: A Retrospective

Even the cognoscenti of visual arts can't help but think of Georges Braque as a sidekick of Pablo Picasso. Their friendship influenced the development of Cubism and later inspired the birth of collage. But there's much more to discover about Braque — a stunningly handsome, tall, athletic chap — in his early post-Impressionist days doodling with the Fauvists (the "wild beasts"), the works that could easily by confused by those of Paul Cézanne and his highly symbolic paintings that he composed toward the end of his career.

Houston is the only destination to which the collection of some 75 oeuvres will travel to outside of Paris. Any way you look at it, this a great accomplishment for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and modern and contemporary art curator Alison de Lima Greene.

The skinny: On view through May 11; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; free with museum admission.

Houston Museum of Natural Science's "Mixers & Elixirs"

The popular HMNS smarty pants party series — I.Q. required, folks —  is here to stay at least through September. Think of these fun gatherings as part social, part education, in which a curious throng mixes, mingles, drinks and boogies while learning a thing or two about something interesting in the museum's exhibits.

At the heart of this relaunch, just in time for V Day, is the fascinating world of arthropods. If you've recently experienced the woes of a spineless former significant other, here's an activity that's sweet revenge: Name a roach after your ex and watch it race. For adventurous foodies, a chef will prepare a sampling of invertebrates for your noshing entertainment. Though if you aren't in love with that idea, know that a selection of food trucks will be onsite to offer more traditional eats.

The skinny: Thursday, 7 p.m.; Houston Museum of Natural Science; $20 general admission, $12 for HMNS members.

Houston Antiques Dealers Association's Spring Antiques Show & Sale

Those in search for a one-of-a-kind something or other for their home should look no further than the Houston Antiques Dealers Association's Spring Antiques Show & Sale. You'll find more than 50 vendors from all over the country showcasing furniture, jewelry, collectibles, fine art, rare books, prints, ceramics, art glass, cut glass, textiles, silver, Asian collectibles, Oriental rugs, lighting, architectural elements, clocks, Mid Century modern objects and on and on.

The skinny: Friday through Sunday; George R. Brown Convention Center; $10 for three-day admission.

Houston Grand Opera presents Bound

You may recall the story of Houstonian Diane Tran, who at 17-years-old was locked up in prison and fined for missing too many days of school. For what?

Because she was working two jobs to support her family. Way to go Judge Lanny Moriarty. Tran's story went viral, and many groups and independent citizens went out of their way to help Tran financially and by expressing outrage.

Bound, with music by Huang Ruo and libretto by Bao-Long Chu, sets her struggle in a chamber opera as part of Houston Grand Opera HGOco's East + West series. Unlike traditional opera, don't expect this tale to resolve in a satisfying conclusion. Rather, themes of assimilation and tradition frame a dialogue that's meant to incite introspective questions in the mind of anyone who lives between two worlds: The past and the present.

The skinny: Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, 2 p.m.; Asia Society Texas Center; $15 general public, $13 Asia Society Texas Center members.

Film screening with live music: Girl Shy plus Two Star Symphony performance

With this multimedia showcase, 14 Pews inaugurates its artist-in-residence relationship with Two Star Symphony. The indie film house, helmed by Cressandra Thibodeaux, has earned a reputation for being interested in not just films, but also in all genres of underground creativity. Two Star Symphony, whose projects have included many film with live music presentations, is the perfect partner to play along.

This 1924 film is a classic, one of the first romantic chick flicks ever made. Sounds like a lovely Valentine's Day outing, doesn't it? Especially as the screening/performance is complemented with plenty of bubbly and beer.

The skinny: Saturday, 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.; 14 Pews; tickets are $20.

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