The second weekend of 2023 and the start of lunar new year events sees some cool art and music performances around town — and Captain Kirk. Some local groups and studios host intriguing art shows at Silver Street Studios, the Menil Collection, and Holocaust Museum of Houston.
Music comes via the Central Library, DACAMERA, and Houston Symphony. A groundbreaking, trend-setting movie gets the stage treatment in a New Jack way. And speaking of movies, one of our most treasured pop culture figures, William Shatner, comes town to take space, the final frontier.
Enjoy; here are your best bets for the weekend.
Thursday, January 12
Houston in Harmony: Featuring James Palmer
Come to Central Library and enjoy the melodies performed by James Palmer, a dynamic young musician. A prize winner and finalist in numerous international competitions, Palmer has produced innovative, social media projects such as the “Scriabin Preludes Project” (2019-2020) and the upcoming “What is a Piano Prelude?” series (2022). He is currently a doctoral student at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, studying with Dr. Robert Roux on full scholarship. 11 am.
Silver Street Studios presents Bogdan Mihai: "Nature Remembered" opening reception
Silver Street Studios will present the most recent solo exhibition from Romania-raised, Houston-based artist Bogdan Mihai. Do you remember how your grandmother always placed things of value on top of a hand-woven doily? Mihai has created a series of images of animal porcelain figurines, each with its own doily created from natural elements. The images remind us all of how we need to treat the natural world we live in with special care and attention. Through Saturday, January 28. 5 pm.
Mezclada Dance Company presents All of the Above
This new, evening-length dance work by Mezclada Dance Company fuses and celebrates a combination of cultures and art forms such as hip-hop culture, Latin culture, and traditional, concert dance styles. Through the practice of fusing these styles together, Mezclada Dance Company hopes to pay homage to the cultures that inspire the performance, while creating a blend of art that will speak to a wide range of audience members. 7:30 pm.
Friday, January 13
Holocaust Museum of Houston presents "Woman, the Spirit of the Universe" opening day
"Woman, the Spirit of the Universe," designed and created by artist Carolyn Marks Johnson, features stunning bronze collars inspired by 23 American heroines who fought bravely and tirelessly for equality. The collars are stitched by hand, using hand-worked cotton and then cast in bronze. For most of us, a collar is simply an adornment for a shirt or dress. In Johnson’s art, a collar symbolizes the struggle to establish women’s rights. Through Sunday, April 2. 10 am.
Czech Center Museum Houston presents Monarch Chamber Players
Monarch Chamber Players is a collective of Houston-based, professional musicians committed to taking classical chamber music out of the concert hall and into accessible community spaces. Monarch concerts provide a space for friends, neighbors, and communities to connect with each other and with the musicians, as well as an informal setting to become more intimately familiar with classical music. 6 pm.
DACAMERA presents Parker Quartet
Inspiring performances, luminous sound, and exceptional musicianship are the hallmarks of the Grammy-winning Parker Quartet. Renowned for its dynamic interpretations and polished, expansive colors, the group has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation, dedicated purely to the sound and depth of their music. The concert will include Bartók's Quartet No. 5, Sz. 102, Mozart's Quartet in E minor, K. 417d [fragment], and Dvořák's Quartet in F Major, Op. 96, “American.” 7:30 pm.
Je'Caryous Johnson presents New Jack City Live
Set to the soundtrack of some of the most classic songs from the film (“I Wanna Sex You Up” better be in this!), this stage production will give audiences an opportunity to experience a classical theater storytelling of their favorite '90s movie – which made action-movie stars out of Wesley Snipes and Ice-T – that can only be experienced the Je’Caryous Johnson way… live on stage. 7 pm (3 and 8 pm Saturday; 3 pm Sunday).
Saturday, January 14
14 Pews presents Ikiru
One of the greatest achievements by Akira Kurosawa, this 1952 film shows the director at his most compassionate—affirming life through an exploration of death. Takashi Shimura beautifully portrays Kanji Watanabe, an aging bureaucrat with stomach cancer who is impelled to find meaning in his final days. Presented in a radically conceived, two-part structure and shot with a perceptive, humanistic clarity of vision, Ikiru is a multifaceted look at what it means to be alive. 7 pm.
Noel Miller: Everything is F#&ked
Noel Miller's biting one-liners and topical social commentary has made him a force to be reckoned with in the comedy world. Between directing, touring, podcasting, music and streaming, Miller's rise has been nothing short of meteoric. In addition to starring in the popular YouTube series That's Cringe, and the comedy duo/podcast Tiny Meat Gang with fellow comedian Cody Ko, Miller has created a successful series on his own, including his format around the hit, British reality show Love Island. 7 pm.
Smart Financial Centre presents William Shatner and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Smart Financial Centre will have a night with the one-and-only William Shatner, the original Captain James T. Kirk (and the original T.J. Hooker — for all the ‘80s babies out there). Following a screening of the classic film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Shatner takes to the stage to share some behind-the-scenes stories from his career, including answering audience questions. A limited number of VIP tickets will be available, which include a post-show photo op with Shatner. 7:30 pm.
Houston Symphony presents Riots & Scandals Festival: Bartók Miraculous Mandarin + Rachmaninoff Third Piano Concerto
Prepare for an extraordinary concert experience when world-renowned virtuoso Yefim Bronfman tackles Rachmaninoff’s lush and legendary Piano Concerto No. 3—one of classical music’s most well-known and beloved masterpieces. And music director Juraj Valčuha leads the orchestra in Bartók’s fearlessly provocative Miraculous Mandarin, part of a two-week spotlight on music that caused an uproar. This combines a gritty urban setting, an explosive musical score, and a lurid plot rife with seduction, lust, and murder. 8 pm (2:30 pm Sunday).
Sunday, January 15
The Menil Collection presents Samuel Fosso: "African Spirits" closing day
Sunday is the last day to catch this exhibition of 14 large-scale, gelatin silver prints from Samuel Fosso’s African Spirits series, self-portraits with Fosso portraying Angela Davis, Martin Luther King Jr., Patrice Lumumba, Malcolm X, and other prominent figures from 20th-century, Black liberation movements. Fosso’s reinterpretations of these historic photographs pay homage to the figures in the original images and raise questions about individuality, celebrity, the media, and the complicated history of representation. 11 am.
POST Houston presents Lunar New Year Celebration
POST Houston is celebrating the Lunar New Year, which welcomes the Year of the Rabbit (Year of the Cat in the Vietnamese Zodiac). During the day, an Asian pop-up market will transform the northern docks at POST Houston into a carnivalesque atmosphere with food vendors serving traditional foods eaten at the Lunar New Year, games, arts and crafts, and other cultural activities. At night, the facility’s X Atrium will host a spectacular party headlined by DJ Phon and MC’ed by Washington Ho of the House of Ho. Noon.
Rothko Chapel presents "Images & Words: Media's Influence on the Struggle for Civil Rights" Annual MLK Birthday Observance
In partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) and The Gordon Parks Foundation, the 2023 Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Observance explores the role of the media in civil rights movements past and present. Inspired by the MFAH’s current exhibition "Gordon Parks: Stokely Carmichael and Black Power," panelists share their work and perspectives on how photographers and journalists shape narratives around social justice movements and leaders. 3 pm.