I may not know the difference between a battement frappé and a battement fondu développé yet — albeit the dance junkies at Houston Ballet's Ballet Barre are surely working on refining my glossary of terms. But that didn't get in the way of delighting in every whirl, pirouette and physical feat offered by Stanton Welch's world premiere of Tapestry, despite the "interesting" sounds coming from the orchestra pit.
Set to Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5, the classic work opened the mixed repertory program alongside his Divergence and Christopher Bruce's Rooster, ushered by the tunes of The Rolling Stones. What I have a soft spot for is to digest how a master choreographer realizes physically in movement what I, as a musician, hear and describe as musical shapes.
A long program, yes. But no one was looking at their watch.
Call it karma: The fine arts department of Lamar Consolidated Independent School District is getting $4,000 richer.
When the grounds of Foster and Lamar High Schools became the backdrop for the film Apart, starring Richmond-native Josh Danziger and High School Musical celeb Olesya Rulin, the cast and crew resolved to donate 100 percent of the proceeds from Houston's opening weekend back to those that helped make this low-budget, indie movie with Hollywood-type values happen.
The limited engagement at Sundance Cinemas ends Thursday. But for those curious about folie à deux, Apart is available on iTunes and On Demand.
On tap for this week? Green beer, opera, blooming azaleas and gay comedy.
They had me at "a gay Mexican walks into a bar with a Jewish girl from Oklahoma . . . " Crazies Thai Rivera (Live at Gotham, One Night Stand Up), Shawn Pelofsky (Chelsea Lately, Community) and Texas local Dina Martinez promise a roar of an anything-goes comedy evening, as long as you are into something gay, something American and something Mexican, with a couple of matzo balls thrown in.
We all need a laugh and the organizers are really nice. What do you have to lose?
Thursday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15.
Auto-da-fé anyone? From the fumes of Medieval Spain rises an opera in four acts by one of the Italian greats. Giuseppe Verdi, who wrote 31 musicals in the European tradition, crafted melodies that are as delicious as paella valenciana and jamón serrano. One opera seems like a greatest hits album, but it isn't. As prolific as he was, tune after tune has infiltrated our vernacular, and many show up in Il Trovatore.
Since music director Enrique Carreón-Robledo took over the podium, there is a renewed energy at Opera in the Heights. That vibrancy is needed to pull off this tale of hot gypsy passion amid war, murder and yes, burnings at the stake. It's a castle opera gone to the dark side. The cast includes Dominick Rodriguez as Manrico, Michelle Johnson as Leonora and Sarah Heltzel as the gypsy Azucena.
Tickets start at $20. Il Trovatore opens Thursday and runs through March 25.
You know what's at the end of the rainbow? For Montrose Counseling Center, it hopes it's a pot-o-cash brought by the organization's favorite leprechauns. This St. Patrick's Day fete wants some green to underwrite the nonprofit's client services programs. Hosted at the home of John Danielson with hors d'oeuvres by Dwane Todd, the fundraising party gathers quite the playful assemblage sporting anything shamrock green.
Friday at 5:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door for $35; $30 for seniors.
Rain or shine, green will be the color du jour lining the streets from Minute Maid through Texas Avenue, Caroline and San Jacinto Streets. Sean Kearns, this year's grand marshal, has been bred for the job since he was 5 years old, handled the parade banner at 8 and worked as marshal by 12. He'll be among five generations of supporters who join in hoards to share in the tradition, wave at floats, walk along and enjoy the festive ambiance.
If you arrive early enough, park in the red zones on this map for $5. If not, try your luck at street parking, but be sure to feed the meter.
Saturday at noon. Free event.
Before too long, summer mugginess will deter most Houstonians from enjoying the outdoors. Why not seize the opportunity and bask in Rienzi's and Bayou Bend's loveliest time of the year?
Think pinks, fuchsia and whites adding colorful brushstrokes to charming pathways through waterways, bridges and formal landscaping. Whether you are a garden aficionado or just enjoy an al fresco stroll, there's much going on for everyone including guided tours and Q&A sessions with horticulture experts. Park at Bayou Bend and take the free shuttle to Rienzi.
Saturday (10 a.m. - 5 p.m.) and Sunday (1 - 5 p.m.). Tickets start at $10.
Whitney says: "I'm not spreading the love here, but it sounds really fun: Mattachine.
"I spoke with renowned actor/director/producer John Cameron Mitchell earlier this week, and his touring dance party Mattachine sounds like an undeniable blast. He described it as a giddy high school dance, complete with a mix of pre-1995 slow grooves and upbeat tunes spinning (mostly) on vinyl. At the Flat."
Thursday at 8 p.m., $10 at the door.
Tyler says: "The 14th International FotoFest Biennial officially kicks off this Friday with its always-popular opening party at the FotoFest Vine Street headquarters. While a number of the festival's 100-plus participating gallery spaces have opened their doors in recent weeks, this weekend marks the launch of FotoFest's three main curated exhibits examining contemporary Russian photography — a dynamic and relatively unexplored corner of modern visual art."
Friday at 8 p.m. to midnight. Event is free.
Nancy says: "As a Frederick Wiseman freak I'm jazzed about Crazy Horse opening at Sundance Cinemas new Screening Room, Friday through March 22. Wiseman's latest documentary takes us deep inside Paris most famous exotic review, Le Crazy Horse de Paris, which is known for the best nude dancing in the world. Amazing production values, thrilling theatrical elements and top notch choreography have characterized the club's famous shows since 1951. Now under the direction of Philippe Decouflé, Crazy Horse gets ready for a new show and Wiseman's camera takes us right there.
"Come to think about it, I'm jazzed about the opening of the screening room in general. Other upcoming films include Natural Selection, In the Land of Blood and Honey, This is Not a Film, Salt of Life and more."
Friday through March 22. Tickets start at $7.50.