Austin | Dallas | Houston
Calendar Closeup

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — a love triangle in a bar included

Enlarge
Slideshow
Film screening benefiting Houston Area Parkinson Society: The Astronaut's Secret
Houstonian Zach Jankovic's film, The Astronaut's Secret, tells the story of Lieutenant Colonel Michael "Rich" Clifford's battle with Parkinson's disease. Courtesy of The Astronaut's Secret/Facebook
TUTS Underground presents Murder Ballad
Actor Steel Burkhardt plays the role of Tom in TUTS Underground's production of Murder Ballad. Courtesy of TUTS Underground
Yefim Bronfman
The Houston Symphony welcomes back pianist Yefim Bronfman for a performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4. Photo by Dario Acosta
Dance Salad Festival 2014
Choregrapher Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's m¡longa, one of the many works featured as part of the Dance Salad Festival 2014. Photo by Diego Franssens
10th Annual Houston Jewish Film Festival: The Attack
A scene from film director Ziad Doueiri's The Attack. Courtesy photo
Film screening benefiting Houston Area Parkinson Society: The Astronaut's Secret
TUTS Underground presents Murder Ballad
Yefim Bronfman
Dance Salad Festival 2014
10th Annual Houston Jewish Film Festival: The Attack
Joel Luks, head shot, column mug, April 2013

Here's to another week teeming with plenty of outings to enrich your life. Make your days ahead adventurous with a presidentially endorsed secret documentary, a musical about love and death, an elegant and vivacious concert, an international artsy fest and a film that's explosively dramatic.

Film screening benefiting the Houston Area Parkinson Society: The Astronaut's Secret

We all think of astronauts as invincible explorers whose métier automatically ranks them as heroes. Despite passing his health screening, Lieutenant Colonel Michael "Rich" Clifford, who served in missions aboard the Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis space shuttles, knew that something was wrong — a secret he, his doctor and a handful of NASA officials guarded for many, many years.

A film by Houstonian Zach Jankovic tells Clifford's story. The 30-minute documentary, titled The Astronaut's Secret, reveals the 62-year-old astronaut's battle with Parkinson's disease. For Clifford, the film is his opportunity to help change the public's perception of a condition that's generally misunderstood.

President George H.. Bush and Barbara Bush, as honorary chairs of this screening, are scheduled to be present. The event benefits the Houston Area Parkinson Society and Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic, Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Neurology.

The skinny: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Edwards Houston Marq'e 23 and IMAX; tickets are $50.

TUTS Underground presents Murder Ballad

Described as a long triangle gone wrong — is there any other kind? — the Off-Broadway production that adds to the arsenal of immersive, experiential theater presentations puts the audience in the middle of the action. With the stage of Zilkha Hall set up as a fully operational bar, contemporary-minded theatergoers will feel as voyeurs amid a sticky, sultry and ultimately fatal tryst filled with betrayal.

Needless to say, this story doesn't have a "happily ever after" conclusion. But just as it is in opera and theater — think Puccini and Shakespeare — death scenes make for orgasmic, if not happy, endings. The questions is: Who dies? I am not telling.

The skinny: Thursday through April 27; Hobby Center for the Performing Arts; tickets start at $24.

Houston Symphony presents "Bronfman Plays Beethoven 4"

Pianist Yefim Bronfman is built for Rachmaninoff, his big hands and fat fingers endowing him with the muscle power to dance romantically about the ivories. Equally, his interpretation of the Prokofiev Piano Sonatas — the second in D minor is by far my favorite — has me bouncing around in tuneful mischief.

To hear Bronfman perform Beethoven is to discover the Israeli-American virtuoso's alter ego. His ability to elegantly shape melodies renders this versatile artist mesmerizing. With the vivacious Andrés Orozco-Estrada on the podium, the musical chemistry promises to sparkle in a program that also includes Smetana's Overture to The Bartered Bride and Dvorák's Symphony No. 8.

The skinny: Thursday through Saturday; Jones Hall; tickets start at $25.

Dance Salad Festival 2014

Don't let the whimsical title of the three-day performance fest distract you from the attention to detail that goes behind curating this showcase of pioneering dance companies from around the world. Dance buffs go bananas when the Dance Salad Festival comes around, each night offering a different program of inventive choreography from ensembles such as the Paris Opéra Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, Spain's Elephant in the Black Box and China's Contemporary Dragon KungFu, among many.

The skinny: Thursday through Saturday; Wortham Theater Center; tickets start at $20.

Arab Worlds film screening: The Attack

Talk about drama: An Arab surgeon finds himself treating victims of a terrorist bombing only to learn that his wife may be implicated in the tragic incident. As the plot unfolds, he learns that she's been concealing much more than he could ever have imagined.

The screening, in conjunction with the FotoFest 2014 Biennial, will be followed by a Skype interview with director Ziad Doueiri.

The skinny: Saturday, 7 p.m.; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; $9 general admission. 

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Houston news, views + events

The Dining Report

News you can eat

Insider Offers

Curated experiences at exclusive prices

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address