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Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — new Main Street bar opening included

Your weekly guide: 5 (plus) don't-miss events with new Main Street bar

Ballet Barre
Ballet Barre Young Professionals' "Ballet & Bubbles" opens the doors to a private rehearsal led by Houston Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch. Photo by © Michelle Watson/CatchLightGroup.com
Texas Contemporary Art Fair, crowd, venue
More than 70 galleries will pop-up shop for the Texas Contemporary Art Fair, a four-day fest of progressive art. artMRKT Productions/Vimeo
TUTS Underground announcement July 2013 Lizzie Borden
TUTS Underground kicks off with Lizzie, a musical that delves into the life of the femme fatale whose gruesome deeds popularized the term ax murderer. Photo courtesy of Theatre Under the Stars
News_TEDxHouston_June 2011_Christine Tremoulet
It's not too late to participate in TEDxHouston, a day-long conference that has attendants' cerebral matter exploding with over-stimulating intel. Photo by Christine Tremoulet/TEDxHouston
Randy Evans, chef, Haven, April 2013
Chef Randy Evans hosts a food-a-thon of locally sourced edibles alongside craft beer, rum punch and sweets in an effort to raise funds for Urban Harvest. Haven/Facebook
Ballet Barre
Texas Contemporary Art Fair, crowd, venue
TUTS Underground announcement July 2013 Lizzie Borden
News_TEDxHouston_June 2011_Christine Tremoulet
Randy Evans, chef, Haven, April 2013

On the itinerary this week is a mishmash of events that are as intellectually quirky as this crazy city we call home. Drink up the spirit of Houston by attending an effervescent dance event, a four-day art binge, a musical about an acquitted ax murderer, a dinner for good and a sneak peek at an upcoming watering hole.

Be sure to click on the links below each event suggestion. You'll find a page with nifty information — such as where to eat, drink and shop around your stomping grounds — and a helpful feature that downloads the intel to your indispensable electronic toys. 

Ballet Barre Young Professionals hosts "Ballet & Bubbles"

One of the most active young professionals clique in the city, Houston Ballet's Ballet Barre manages to balance mixing and mingling with informative gatherings that connect supporters with the art form. "Ballet & Bubbles" does just that by opening the doors to a private rehearsal led by artistic director Stanton Welch, whose Play will be performed at the Joyce Theater in New York.

Bubbly and bites from Sambuca complement this show-and-tell event.

The skinny: Thursday, 5:30 p.m.; Houston Ballet Center for Dance; $25 for guests, free for Ballet Barre members with RSVP.

2013 Texas Contemporary Art Fair

More than 70 galleries will pop-up shop for this four-day fest of progressive art, an opportunity for collectors to add to their personal holdings and for art lovers to glean what's hot in the world of contemporary visual arts. The mega mart begins with a fundraising social that benefits the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, followed by three days of shopping, lectures, auctions and special tours.

The skinny: Preview and opening party on Thursday, 6 p.m., tickets are $100; fair continues Friday through Sunday, day passes are $20; George R. Brown Convention Center.

TUTS Underground presents Lizzie

When Theatre Under the Stars announced the launch of a new alter ego performance series that would devirginize the otherwise family friendly art presenter, dubbed TUTS Underground, I wondered: Over hype or will the vision hold water?

The time is now. The series kicks off with Lizzie, a musical that delves into the life of the femme fatale whose gruesome deeds popularized the term ax murderer.

The skinny: Thursday through Oct. 20; tickets start at $24; Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.

TEDxHouston 2013 "The Other Things"

If you didn't apply to attend this year's TEDxHouston's inspiring discourse marathon, it's not too late to participate in the day-long conference that leaves attendants' cerebral matter exploding with over-stimulating stories, stats and intelligence. Watch the live streaming here or attend one of the simulcasts.

The theme is aptly named after President John F. Kennedy's 1962 keynote at Rice University in which he referenced space travel. These "other things," he stated, are important not because they are easily attainable, but because they're indeed difficult to achieve. The lineup of speakers that will address this human impulse includes Marcos Pontes, Don Pettit, Anna Piper Whitmire, Sarah Cortez and Sehba Sarwar.

The skinny: Saturday, 8 a.m.; Rice University; admission by application.

"Bayou Fest" benefiting Urban Harvest

It's time for a rowdy, Louisiana-style shrimp boil with all the accouterments at Haven — Zydeco tunes included. Amicable chef Randy Evans hosts a food-a-thon of locally sourced edibles alongside craft beer, rum punch and sweets in an effort to raise funds for Urban Harvest. RSVP early for this event as seating is limited.

The skinny: Sunday, 6 p.m.; Haven; tickets are $125.

Staff writer and resident gourmand Eric Sandler's pick: Little Dipper Preview Party

Eric says: "As I've noted before, the corner of Main Street and Congress has boomed over the last year, and the movement shows no signs of slowing down. Now it's time for the folks behind Poison Girl, Antidote and Black Hole Coffee House to get in on the fun with Little Dipper.

"Although the new bar isn't quite ready, you can get a glimpse of the future when it opens for a preview party this weekend. Will Little Dipper match Poison Girl's top-notch bourbon selection? Will it feature craft beer? No idea, but Saturday nights on Main Street are fun regardless of the destination — and the crowd should be lively."

The skinny: Saturday, 6 p.m.; free event; Little Dipper.