On tap this week is theater in which lovers act like asses, a boat race that's one hell of a party, a one-day interactive installation that responds to violence, one holy cow of a hot food competition and the beginning of a film festival that has something for every type of movie buff.
Stark Naked Theatre Company presents A Midsummer Night's Dream
This wildly trippy Shakespeare work may be more than 400 years old, but it's still in the zeitgeist of many creative types. A silver screen version of Julie Taymor's live production served as the opener for the Houston Cinema Arts Festival last year, and an out-of-this-world adaptation (read that: There may have been aliens involved) was perhaps the pinnacle of Houston Ballet's current season.
It's Stark Naked Theatre Company's turn to play, and I'm betting on a good time as this tale is truly universal. Can we all agree that falling in love means feeling out of control, often encouraging us to act like asses?
43rd Annual Buffalo Bayou Partnership Regatta presented by Gillman Subaru
Whether you intend on participating in this yearly race or not, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership Regatta is a deluge of fun as who-knows-how-many boaters and their parties congregate at the starting line near the intersection of San Felipe and Voss and at the post-race bash at Sesquicentennial Park, which includes Zydeco tunes, rock climbing, awards and light bites.
Don't worry if you haven't signed up yet. You can do so on race day, but just be sure to arrive early to deal with the parking and registration mayhem.
Rothko Chapel hosts "Mending Bones: Walking a Bone Labyrinth"
Don't freak when you see a pile of what appears to be human bones arranged in a entangled web outside of the Rothko Chapel. What artist Joe Zider describes as a "unique labyrinth" is an installation composed of ceramic objects that offer pathways for walking contemplation in an effort to encourage participants to consider how one can end violence against women. The installation will be on view for one day only.
Fifth Annual Houston Kosher Chili Cookoff
Holy cow? I'm sure there will be plenty of meat and no swine in this blessed food event that pits some 30 teams against one another in a concoction that's perfect for the chilly weather we're currently enjoying in Houston. Of course there's more to do than stuffing yourself and kvetching "oy vei" at every opportunity. Family activities, live music, balloon artists and a jalapeno eating contest are among the attractions that engender 3,500 attendees to put their taste buds to the test.
Feel good about the calories because the event benefits three charities. Bonus points if you say hello to CultureMap food provocateur Eric Sandler — he's one of the judges.
11th Annual Houston Jewish Film Festival
Let's continue with the Jew theme, shall we? The 15-day film extravaganza has something for everyone — whether you are Jewish, Jew-ish or as far away from the culture as humanly possible. If you're into thrillers (The Art Dealer), a serious documentary (Above and Beyond) or a totes adorbs romantic comedy (Hanna's Journey), you'll encounter a thoughtfully curated selection of indie films that you won't find at mega movie theaters.