It's easy to feel overwhelmed when planning what to do, who to see and where to be when it comes to performing arts in Houston. With presenters such as Society for the Performing Arts, which year after year curates a wicked lineup of touring shows in every genre imaginable, Houstonians can easily fill their calendars with something spectacular to do every single night of the week.
Society for the Performing Arts has just revealed its 2014-15 season, which pledges to offer programs for all ages and tastes and includes many never-before seen groups and presentations in Houston.
We've tried to make your life a little easier by pointing out what's new and exciting in the Society for the Performing Arts schedule. Now all you have to do is mark your calendars, purchase your tickets, book the babysitter, sit back and enjoy the show.
Food obsession: America's Test Kitchen Live with Christopher Kimball (Aug. 21)
When bad foods happens to good people, the PBS television series is here to save the day. More than 40 toques test recipes and equipment, sometimes more than 80 times, to recommend what to use and how to execute fail-proof recipes so that more viewers are encouraged to cook at home. Christopher Kimball, founder of the mag Cook's Illustrated, takes audiences behind the operations of this popular show to unveil how it's put together.
Tell me a story: Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host (Sept. 20)
One may think that radio has nothing to do with dance. But on second thought, storytelling emerges as an element that's critical in both genres. This American Life host Ira Glass plus performance artists Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass tune into this intersection for a show that explores love, loss and the life of a performer.
Tickling the ivories: Pianist Rafał Blechacz in recital (Oct. 17)
This 28-year-old Polish pianist has garnered remarkable international attention in part courtesy of receiving top accolades at high profile competitions such as the 15th Frédéric Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw and the 2014 Gilmore Artist Award. Add to his resume six albums, a recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon and solo appearances with major orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw, Blechacz is surely someone to watch.
International harmonies: Senegal St. Joseph Gospel Choir (Nov. 7)
Comprising 15 singers and four drummers, this traditional ensemble from Dakar, Senegal, was formed to preserve and develop the cultural heritage of a region that's been in constant change. Expect to hear richly reverberant harmonies blended with gospel hymns familiar to local audiences.
Pretty ladies: The Hot Box Girls (Jan. 10, 2015)
Darling gals in titillating outfits — what's not to love? Society for the Performing Arts is capitalizing on the renewed popularity of the flirtatious art of burlesque by hiring this sassy company from New York. Yes, there will be feathered outfits and gratuitous shimming.
Bow to the dark side: Violinist Amadéus Leopold in recital (Jan. 23, 2015)
You must know that Amadéus Leopold isn't the violinists' birth name, right? Formerly known as Hahn-Bin, think of Amadéus Leopold as the Liberace of the violin. Don't mistake the showmanship, crazy hair and caked on makeup as just a schtick. Amadéus Leopold comes from the highest echelon of classical musicians. He studied with Itzhak Perlman and is a graduate of the Juilliard School.
For old time sake: Hilary Kole in Over the Rainbow: A Musical Tribute to the Artistry of Judy Garland (March 27, 2015)
Hilary Kole has the type of vocal timbre that rouses listeners to remember a time when things were simpler. It's her beautifully shaped melodies that render Kole a perfect choice to summon the spirit of an artist who means so much to so many people.
Dance party: Centre Chorégraphique National de Créteil et du Val-de-Marne / Compagnie Käfig (April 17, 2015)
Street hip hop, capoeira, samba, electronic music, bossa nova and contemporary techniques fuse in the choreography of this all male Brazilian dance troupe. Hot bodies groove to hypnotic rhythms that burst with energy in a story about water and renewal.
Scottish Ballet presents A Streetcar Named Desire (May 15, 2015)
You know the Tennessee Williams Pulitzer Prize winning story. This version by the Scottish Ballet places the timeless novel in the hands of award-winning theater and film director Nancy Meckler and choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, whose collective interpretation has been described as "heartbreakingly beautiful."
The Illusionists: Witness the Impossible (June 2-6, 2015)
Seven thrilling illusionists plus a company of 20 performers pull off unbelievable feats in levitation, magic, mind-reading and disappearance, plus a water torture escape that earns the show's title, "Witness the Impossible."