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Houston's hottest weekend happenings: Five (plus) don't-miss events

Houston's hottest weekend happenings: Five (plus) don't-miss events

Once Tour Company
Once is an introspective saga that's honest, beautifully painful and soulfully addicting. Photo © Joan Marcus
Houston Grand Opera Studio Spring Recital at Rienzi
The Houston Grand Opera Studio has nurtured quality singers such as Joyce DiDonato, Ana María Martínez and Albina Shagimuratova. Courtesy photo
Landing Theatre Company's 2015 New American Voices Play Reading Series
Landing Theatre Company's 2015 New American Voices Play Reading Series includes readings of works by Jake Arky, James McLindon, David Alan Brown and Catherine Rush. Photo by David Rainey
Yale Women's Slavic Chorus presents "Musical Interludes with Rubens"
The Yale Women's Slavic Chorus will have MFAH galleries alive with rich harmonies and exotic sounds typical of the choral traditions of the region. Courtesy photo
Zakir Hussain’s Pulse of the World: Celtic Connections
Indo American Association - Houston presents "Zakir Hussain's Pulse of the World: Celtic Connections." Courtesy photo
Once Tour Company
Houston Grand Opera Studio Spring Recital at Rienzi
Landing Theatre Company's 2015 New American Voices Play Reading Series
Yale Women's Slavic Chorus presents "Musical Interludes with Rubens"
Zakir Hussain’s Pulse of the World: Celtic Connections

On the itinerary this weekend is an honest musical that will rip your heart out, an elegant recital filled with promise, a reading series of new American theater, a choral performance that doesn't make much sense (but you'll love it anyway) and a musical journey that shows how two distinct cultures are joined in the most peculiar way.

Broadway at the Hobby Center presents Once

Sometimes you just aren't in the mood for the happily-ever-after musical that doesn't have even an inch of resemblance to reality. Life is complicated, messy and inconclusive, things hardly ever turn out as planned. And that's how Once is quintessentially perfect in its imperfection, as an introspective saga that's honest, beautifully painful and soulfully addicting (read my full review here).

The deets: Through Sunday; Hobby Center for the Performing Arts; tickets start at $40.

Houston Grand Opera Studio Spring Recital at Rienzi

You can't beat both the talent and the charming setting in this recital series. Rienzi, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's house museum dedicated to European decorative arts, is a graciously elegant milieu in which to bask in the luxurious voices of up-and-coming opera stars from the HGO Studio.

It doesn't really matter what's on the playbill. Just know that this HGO program has nurtured quality singers such as Joyce DiDonato, Ana María Martínez and Albina Shagimuratova.

The deets: Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m.; Rienzi; tickets are $40.

Landing Theatre Company's 2015 New American Voices Play Reading Series

Landing Theater Company executive artistic director David Rainey, a Juilliard School graduate, one of the hardest working men in local theater and a really nice dude, leads this theater troupe that champions American playwrights. The company's name, a nod to Allen's Landing as the birthplace of Houston, is a metaphor for how the nonprofit sees itself in the genre's landscape: As a port from which great work sails into the world.

With such a charge in mind, the fourth annual New American voices Play Reading Series culled 400 submissions to four with the help of a panel of experts. This three-day festival includes readings of My Friend Dahmer by Jake Arky, Ebenezer Creek by James McLindon, Lily's Blue by David Alan Brown and The Me Generation by Catherine Rush.

Each is followed by a talkback moderated by Landing literary associate Troy Loftin.

The deets: Friday through Sunday; Frenetic Theater; admission is free.

Yale Women's Slavic Chorus presents "Musical Interludes with Rubens"

Confession: I don't know if there's a connection between Slavic choral music and the Flemish painter Paul Peter Rubens — but I'll make a leap of faith here and propose: Who cares? Because these performances by the Yale Women's Slavic Chorus, held in the galleries that currently host the exhibition Spectacular Rubens, will have the reverberant space alive with rich harmonies and exotic sounds typical of the choral traditions of the region.

Don't question it too much. Just enjoy it.

The deets: Sunday at 2:30, 3 and 3:30 p.m.; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; free with museum admission.

Indo American Association - Houston presents "Zakir Hussain's Pulse of the World: Celtic Connections"

This just in: Apparently there's a strong connection between classical Indian ragas and Scottish dance tunes. Who knew?

Don't believe me? Then listen here or, better yet, score some tickets to this Bollywood-meets-River Dance (sans dancers) Indo American Association - Houston performance with Zakir Hussain in a show that was first seen at the 2012 London Olympics.

The deets: Sunday, 7 p.m.; Wortham Theater Center; tickets start at $31.