Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — pop-up brunch included
Yes, folks, it's already May. Where has the time gone? So they say that time flies when you're having fun. I suppose that means we're having the time of our lives.
Keep that going, why don't you? Enjoy this week's suggestions, which include a concert of renegade American composers, a wicked party for a wicked thespian throng, an artsy festival, an award-winning home tour and a pop-up brunch for a good cause.
Da Camera presents "Late Style NOW: Adams, Andriessen, Reich"
While the genre of classical music is an imported tradition from across the pond, American composers such as John Adams, Louis Andriessen and Steve Reich not only adopted it as their own, but also imparted a distinctive national voice that influenced the international trajectory of the art form. And they continue to do so.
Fitting for the Da Camera season that has focused on trailblazing tunesmiths, "Late Style NOW: Adams, Andriessen, Reich" presents Houston premieres that continue this journey. This is American classical music today, happening right now, as we speak. That's exciting.
The skinny: Friday, 8 p.m.; Wortham Theater Center; tickets start at $28.
Catastrophic Theatre Gala "Camp Catastrophic"
I suppose this Catastrophic Theatre affair is a gala in the traditional sense that it raises moola for one of Houston's most adventurous thespian throngs. But don't expect tuxes, long gowns or spendy accouterments of any sort. Instead, "Camp Catastrophic" takes you back to your carefree days of frolicking around in a bucolic wilderness far away from parental supervision as a rite of passage that builds character, especially when your heart is broken by a camp counselor — who's too old to be your summer romp anyway. Or of the other persuasion. Or both.
It's all happy memories at this party that wreaks havoc as an unsuspecting building that loves bingo is transformed into the quintessential camp experience you wish you had — alcohol included. Chairs Paul Brockman and Scott Greenwood, Chet and Erin Farmer and Jared LeBlanc and Caroline Starry LeBlanc request the attire to be "summer camp unhinged."
Yes. Be scared.
The skinny: May 2, 8 p.m.; SPJST Lodge Pokrok; individual tickets start at $50.
Sixth Annual MenilFest
So it seems that the outdoor gathering formerly known as the Menil Community Arts Festival, which includes the Houston Indie Book Fest, is getting with it. And by with it I mean coming up with a trendier, more en vogue name. Because MenilFest is so much easier to tweet, I am sure.
Whatever you decide to call it, it's still the same al fresco bash in which many nearby organizations come out of their charming bungalows to play along in the get together that includes music performances, spoken word, film, chakra tuning, literature and visual art. Why not make it a picnic?
The skinny: Saturday, 11 a.m.; Menil Campus; free event.
Preservation Houston's 2014 Good Brick Tour
Can we get a hooray for Houston's strapping real estate market? Although critics have always lambasted developers for tearing buildings down to erect something bigger (but not necessarily better), organizations such as Preservation Houston encourage the protection of the city's cultural and architectural identity.
The Good Brick Awards recognize those who have renovated, restored, adapted, maintained and restored buildings that speak to this heritage. For the first time ever, Preservation Houston offers a tour of nine properties that have earned these accolades. For one weekend only, docents, architects, contractors and property owners will be available to discuss how they made it happen.
The skinny: Saturday and Sunday, noon-4 p.m.; $25 in advance, $30 at the door.
Smither Park Topping out Party
As phase two of the building of Smither Park comes to a close, which means all the structural elements are perked up and ready to be beautified, it's time for locals to show support for a kaleidoscope of an environment, designed by Dan Phillips in honor of the late John H. Smither, that sparkles with the spirit of Houston, where residents are free to express creativity in their own way.
Organizers explain that a topping out party is one in which a tree or branch is placed atop the highest point. The ceremony welcomes the third and final phase, which includes festooning the concrete with colorful ceramics, shells, broken pottery, kitchen utensils, marbles and similar materials. Guests are asked to bring anything that can be used to do so, but nothing that can be affected by Houston's oh so heavenly weather.
The skinny: Sunday, 3 p.m.; Smither Park; free event.
Staff writer and resident gourmand Eric Sandler's pick: The Bull & The Pearl Brunch Pop-Up
Eric says: "As part of the Sunday Streets event that will close Westheimer from Yoakum to McDuffie, Paulie's will open on Sunday for a brunch pop-up by The Bull & The Pearl, the 'steak pub' concept from former Batanaga chefs Ben McPherson and Matt Wommack, plus pastry chef Rebecca Masson and food truck The Modular. All of The Modular's proceeds will benefit popular pastry chef Jody Stevens, whose house burned down late Wednesday night.
"At a Bull & Pearl dinner last Sunday, a group of friends and I enjoyed dishes such as smoked fried chicken, snapper tartare and prime rib. Expects Sunday's menu to be equally delicious, especially if its top-notch jalapeno cornbread is served."
The skinny: Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Paulie's Restaurant; pricing a la carte.