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.
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.
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.
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.
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.