A wild art fete. The Force. And young power. That was Houston's raison d'être in the recent past.
Imagine an art grab-a-thon where guests strategize and compete in an attempt to win their favorite works. Throw in good cocktails and a 15-second timer. The result was DiverseWorks' Luck of The Draw fundraiser chaired by Michael Coppens and Karen Niemeier. Luckily, I was high enough on the list and walked away with two delightful works, but not before a staged protest by Continuum reminded us of the after effects of purchasing prints in lieu of original art.
There's something about reliving anything related to Star Wars that brings the child in me. While perusing the Star Wars exhibit at the JP McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science, it's impossible not to quote your favorite lines and reminisce about the actors that morphed a science fiction story into a pseudo cult. What's better than The Force? Seeing the actual costumes and props used in the films. For real.
Add some unforgettable tunes and trailer trashy chic costumes, bad wigs and a bit of adultery and you have a musical that's every bit as American as apple pie, or ambrosia salad.
No worries if you missed the reception last week. The exhibit is on until September 18.
TEDx Houston did not end at the actual conference a few weeks past. In hopes of continuing the conversation, a regroup mixer at Caroline Collective brought new and old pals back in touch. Where do we go from here? There are definitely creative collaborations in the works.
Young Neighbors, Neighborhood Center's young professional leadership support group, launched at the new Microsoft retail store in the Galleria. With her impassioned pizzazz, executive director Angela Blanchard reminded us that the only way to connect with communities is to concentrate on areas of strength and ability rather than focusing on what's lacking.
Onwards. On deck this week ...
ARTcetera III Benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at Mosaic
The first one was great. The second was fabulous and this third edition of the popular fundraiser promises a great opportunity to observe the creative process in action while helping The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Yes, indeed. Over 20 established and emerging visual artists will paint live at the event where guests can bid on art in the making while enjoying a cocktail (or two). Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Movies at Miller: E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
It's not 3D. It doesn't have amazing effects by today's standards. The story is somewhat predictable. But none of that really matters. E.T. continues to be a great movie enjoyed by all generations. Maybe it's the music?
My favorite scenes: The bike ride across the moon, E.T. phones home and, of course, E.T. in drag. Thursday at 8:30 p.m.
The Big Show at Lawndale Art Center
Roughly 900 artists living within 100 miles of H-town submitted more than 400 works to be juried by a New Yorker. Larissa Harris of the Queens Museum of Art curates the largest exhibition hosted by Lawndale.
You'll get the opportunity to vote for the first ever People's Choice Award. The exhibition is on view through July 30, but you don't want to miss the opening reception Friday from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Round Top Festival Institute Texas Festival Orchestra Concert
It's a long weekend so why not hop in the car and catch an orchestra concert at the Round Top music festival? Houston favorite JoAnn Falletta — we saw her last with the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra — leads an ambitious concert including the sensual (and extremely difficult) Don Juan followed by one of the flute repertoire's most emotional concertos: Christopher Rouse Concerto for Flute and Orchestra.
Carol Wincenc comes down from New York to perform the piece — it was written for her. The third movement is an elegy to James Bulger, a 2-year old English boy murdered at the hand of two 10-year olds. Saturday at 3 p.m.
The Great American Trailer Trash Musical at Stages Repertory Theatre
A stripper on the run. Double-wides. And a tollbooth collector. Seems like a recipe for a tour de romp that belongs on the stage of Stages.
Add some unforgettable tunes and trailer trashy chic costumes, bad wigs and a bit of adultery and you have a musical that's every bit as American as apple pie, or ambrosia salad. Click here for show times.
And my colleagues suggest:
Assistant editor and nightlife expert Caroline Gallay's pick: Dock Dogs at Discovery Green
Caroline says: "I've been each year since 2009 and I can't think of a better way to spend Fourth of July weekend than witnessing the sheer glee of dogs in water. Come out and see us this weekend!" Friday through Sunday.
Photo editor and design junkie Barbara Kuntz's pick: First Saturday Arts Market
Barbara says: "I love The Heights, I love 19th Street and I love the great finds at First Saturday Arts Market. The summer scheduling with the market running 6-10 p.m. is perfect to beat the heat, making it an entire evening of shopping, dining, libations and great company of friends and fellow market-goers." Saturday evening.
Arts contributor and Dancehunter Nancy Wozny's pick: Step Afrika! at Miller Outdoor Theatre
Nancy says: "It's time the stomp the yard folks. Founded by Houston son Brian Williams, Step Afrika is the only professional step company in the nation. I was blown away by them last summer in Washington, DC. Combining chant and percussive footwork, step is an unique African American dance form." Saturday at 8 p.m.
Associate editor and resident gourmand Sarah Rufca's pick: Maná Concert at Toyota Center
Sarah says: "Shakira might be Latin music's honest-hip-shaking ambassador, but no musical act holds a higher rank in Mexico — and beyond — than Maná. The Latin version of U2, their music spans three decades and every genre from rock to pop to reggae. The new tour to support the Drama y Luz album shows the best rockers never retire — they just stage killer comeback tours." Saturday and Sunday at 8:30 p.m.
Managing editor Chris Baldwin's pick: Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park
Chris says: "This is the baseball series of the year — in Houston. Spring training games against the Red Sox at Minute Maid are rollicking affairs, just imagine how it will be when the games actually count and the stars play.
"Boston brings in plenty of stars, from American League MVP favorite Adrian Gonzalez to Spring High School's own Josh Beckett (who will start Sunday's game) and Houston native Carl Crawford, who hopes to return from the DL on Sunday. If you're not on a beach, or visiting an exotic, foreign country, Minute Maid is the place to be." Friday at 7:05 p.m., Saturday at 6:05 p.m. and Sunday at 2:05 p.m.