PIck Five (Plus)

Your weekly guide to Houston: A can't miss low-brow party, a 5K in the Zoo & a spacey Earth Day

Your weekly guide to Houston: A can't miss low-brow party, a 5K in the Zoo & a spacey Earth Day

In all seriousness, who wouldn't want a Celebritini? 

Whether it was name or the melange, it was the libation of choice for "Brasserie Beats Blood Cancer" at Narin's Bombay Brasserie. Ayna Sehgal's girls night out assemblage raised green via donations at the door, raffles, dinner and a Miss Hollywood Jewelry basket designed by Sehgal, who was kicking off her crusade for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Man & Woman of the Year title.

Grazing away at delightful gourmet nibbles by chef Gary Grewal were Sanjay Sehgal, Kim Padgett, Emma Duffin, Natalie Petrie, Catarina Cron, Divya Sehgal, John Pat Parsons, Cindy Yohe Lindsay, Michael Lindsay, LLS Man of the Year nominee Joe Francisco and campaign manager Helen Oettinger.

Has Boheme Cafe and Wine Bar become the place to be seen for artsy types?

It seems so on Thursdays when Cultured Cocktails gathers usual suspects like Nancy Wozny and her hubby Mark, Mandy Graessle, David Tong, Candace Kizer, Karen Ting and groupie newbie Devon Britt-Darby, who recently signed up to be a contributor for Arts + Culture Magazine Houston after his infamous departure from the Houston Chronicle a few months ago.

Check out the social this Thursday, when Arts + Culture hosts the weekly shindig as a fundraiser for the recently fused service organizations, Fresh Arts and Spacetaker.   

Over at Blue Tree Yoga, more than 200 yogis and friends kept organizers way past their bedtime. The re-opening fete was set to close the doors at 10 p.m., but grooved until after the witching hour. Be that due to flowing juice and low-cal adult cocktails, the donation-only studio put the "om" back in community.

It all began with a free yoga session with owner Jennifer Buergermeister. What happened after is anyone's guess: Komboucha and raw treats make people happy, really happy. 

Spotted spreading good karma were Lise Liddell, John Staehely, Adam Brackman, Blair Knowles, Justin Perry, Willy Collins, Phil DeBlanc, Manfred Jachmich, Sydney Strahan, Bridget Franklin, Stephen Klimas and Aimee Woodall.

This week continues with a Western style anything-goes party, a walk on the wild side, iFest, movies, art tours and a world premiere of a classical work I overheard someone nickname endearingly, "Who's your mamma."

Catastrophic Theatre's Gala "Hee Haw Hootenanny" at SPJST Lodge Pokrok

With a name like "Hee Haw Hootenanny," how could I resist? More than just a hilarious chicken-fried party sizzling with a coterie of crazies, anything by the Catastrophic Theatre troupe is worthy of a do-si-do. If you are seeking one of those stereotypical high-brow art parties, this isn't it.

Rather, you'll find an unhinged crowd of friendly fruitcakes in countrified themed threads, getting rowdy in support of a company that promises to "destroy you" every time.

And it does.

Chairs Catherine Anspon, Bevin and Dan Dubrowski, Sally and Bill Russ, Susanne and David Theis and Terry Demchak and a host committee of a thousand — and yours truly, CultureMap, as one of the media sponsors — also challenge you to a Blue-Ribbon Bake-Off. Register online, bring your goods in a disposable serving dish and hope the co-chairs like your sugary treats.

Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $50 in advance, $60 at the door. Tables start at $400.

Walk With Me Benefiting Easter Seals Greater Houston at Houston Zoo

Soon enough, it will be too hot to do anything outside. With the forecast on Saturday calling for 81 degrees and sunny skies, a morning walk waving hello at the lovely creatures that dwell at the Houston Zoo is what the doctor ordered. Better yet, you and the little ones can do so while raising funds for Easter Seals Greater Houston, a nonprofit that looks after children and adults with disabilities.

The 5K walk meanders through the giraffes, elephants, lions and bears before culminating in family-friendly party with live music, food and children's activities.

Saturday at 8 a.m.

2012 Houston International Festival (iFest) "Argentina" at Sam Houston Park

This year, iFest leans on the sultry traditions of Argentina for its motif. The tangofied outdoor festival hosts 10 music stages, six international art markets, seven entertainment zones, food vendors galore, artist demos and educational activities. Headlining bands and groups include Los Lonely Boys, War, Steel Pulse, Galactic, JJ Grey and MOFRO, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Los Amigos Invisibles, Chico Trujillo, SOJA, Hector Del Curto & Eternal Tango and many, many more.

Saturday, Sunday and next weekend, each day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If you are into the social scene, head to the Eternal Tango Performance Gala on Saturday night. The dance/music bash is part of an effort to broaden the festival's reach with off-site performances.

Tickets to the show run $25, $150 for entry to the after-party and $300 to also attend the Chairman's Reception prior to the show.

River Oaks Chamber Orchestra Season Finale Concert at The Church of St. John the Divine

Art provocateur Alecia Lawyer, ROCO's founder, artistic director and the ginger gal behind the oboe, is at it again. She is commissioning another new composition, this time putting to work Shepherd School of Music's Anthony K. Brandt and neuroscientist David Eagleman on a piece to be intoned by soprano Karol Bennett. 

Maternity – Women's Voices Through the Ages adds to the ensemble's world premieres. Also on the playbill are tunes by Wagner, Rossini and Kodaly. Go for the music or go for the company. Either way, you can't go wrong. 

Saturday at 5 p.m, a pre-concert lecture is at 4 p.m. Tickets are $25 general admission, $10 for students. 

Earth Day Celebration: "Bella Gaia: A Poetic Vision of Earth from Space" at Miller Outdoor Theatre

Remember Houston Symphony's Orbit - an HD Odyssey? The goose bumps, the butterflies, the blastoff? As if in a similar trajectory, violinist Kenji Williams collaborated with NASA to go beyond the music-plus-images experience. Bringing in world music performers and dancers, Williams' take promises to be a deeply moving "living atlas" with orbiting footage of Earth from the cosmos.

Bella Gaia means beautiful earth. And as Earth Day draws near, we all need a reminder of how breathtaking and fragile our planet and its ecosystems are. 

Saturday at 8 p.m. Admission is free, event is ticketed. 

Staff writer, architecture savant and totally awesome guy Tyler Rudick's pick: FotoFest Exhibition Expedition Washington Tour

Tyler says: "I'm all signed up for the FotoFest's Exhibition Expedition tour of galleries and participating spaces in the 2012 Biennial. An experienced art guide will focus on the Biennial sites in and around the Washington Avenue corridor, including the Winter and Spring Street studios that concentrate on Soviet works from the 1980s.

The evening ends with a full dinner at Beaver's — all for the low price of $55. Tickets are still available."

Thursday at 6 p.m. Tickets are $55.

Staff writer and CultureMap's most adorable Houston explorer Whitney Radley's pick: Screening of Man On Wire at 14 Pews

Whitney says: "If you haven't seen Man On Wire, you should — immediately. It's as exhilarating as a tight rope walk between the Twin Towers, and the man who completed the task is even more fascinating than you may expect.

"Watch it at 14 Pews this Friday at 7 p.m."

Arts smarty pants and lovable dance maven Nancy Wozny's pick: The Reconstruction of Asa Carter

Nancy says: "When Douglas Newman of Mouth Watering Media (the brother of CultureMap CEO Stephen Newman) first told me the story of Asa Carter, I couldn't believe such a thing could happen. You may not know Asa Carter by name, but you know his words, he penned George Wallace's famous outrageous uttering, 'and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.'

"Then, he pretended to be someone else entirely. To get the whole story you need to watch Newman and Laura Browder's dramatic documentary, The Reconstruction of Asa Carter, airing on Channel 8/Houston PBS on Tuesday at 8 p.m., with encore presentations on April 26 at 1 a.m. and April 29 at midnight.

"It will also be playing on the secondary channel KUHT2 on March 28 at 9 p.m."

Bella Gaia
In "Bella Gaia: A Poetic Vision of Earth from Space" at Miller, violinist Kenji Williams collaborated with NASA to go beyond the music-plus-images experience.
Catastrophic Theatre Gala "Hee Haw Hootenanny"
More than just a hilarious chicken-fried party boiling with a coterie of crazies, anything by the Catastrophic Theatre troupe is worthy of a do-si-do.
News_Houston Zoo_giraffe
The "Walk with Me" 5K walk meanders through the giraffes, elephants, lions and bears before culminating in family-friendly party with live music, food and children's activities. The event benefits Easter Seals Greater Houston. Photo by Adrian Gonzalez
News-Music-River Oaks Chamber Orchestra
Maternity – Women's Voices Through the Ages adds to River Oaks Chamber Orchestra's world premiers. Also on the playbill are compositions by Wagner, Rossini and Kodaly. Photo by David Brown
News_Reconstruction of Asa Carter_newspaper
The Reconstruction of Asa Carter airs on Channel 8/Houston PBS on April 24 at 8 p.m., with encore presentations on April 26 at 1 a.m. and April 29 at midnight. It will also be playing on the secondary channel KUHT2 on March 28 at 9 p.m. Courtesy of The Reconstruction of Asa Carter