Calendar Closeup

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — special Scotch dinner included

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — special Scotch dinner included

Stomp, January 2013
STOMP sees potential for bang-on-a-can creativity where music making and choreography is courtesy of matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and hubcaps. Photo by © Steven McNicholas
Kristen Frankiewicz, Houston Choreographers X6, January 2013
Kristen Frankiewicz, "Houston Choreographers X6" is part of Dance Month at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston. Photo by © Kim Espinosa
Carrie Cook & Abi Semtner  Doing It Like Dolly Does...How Does Dolly Do It
Doing It Like Dolly Does...How Does Dolly Do It examines love and loss with the help of Dolly Parton's tunes. The work will debut at Lawndale Art Center's reception on Friday. Courtesy of Lawndale Art Center
Stomp, January 2013
Kristen Frankiewicz, Houston Choreographers X6, January 2013
Carrie Cook & Abi Semtner  Doing It Like Dolly Does...How Does Dolly Do It

This week is teeming with delightful outings, including much needed beer, burgers, a mixture of East and West, tree hugger activities, garbage music and tunes from the new world.

Heed my advice: Click on the links below each event to find more information in addition to helpful features, like the ability to download the details right to your electronic calendar alongside places to shop, eat and drink. Because I know how I get when I am hungry or thirsty.

Friends of Periwinkle's "An Evening of Hops and Hamburgers"

When I was studying at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, the Periwinkle Foundation sponsored student visits to Texas Children's Hospital. We had the privilege of performing for many little ones who were fighting all sorts of challenging ailments, an experience that shifted our attention from technical execution to experiencing how music contributed to a loving, healing environment. 

To kick off the organization's 30th year, a party of brews and burgers at Saint Arnold Brewing Company sets the stage for mingling with donors, volunteers and staff. 

The deets: Thursday, 6 p.m.; Saint Arnold Brewing Company.; free for members; membership dues start at $25.

Single Malt Scotch Tasting Dinner

You may find it strange that I enjoy a girly cosmopolitan or appletini as much as an old man's brawny potation. Yes, I love me a strong, robust single malt Scotch, neat, naked, unadulterated, nothing more.

My fixation for the spirit dates back to my childhood as it was the drink of choice of many members of my family. The aroma brings me back to those carefree years.

Can Indian food and this distilled liquid meld? That's a question that can be answered at this Single Malt Scotch Tasting dinner at Kiran's, where tandoor-roasted duck is served with Talisker, lobster bisque with Johnny Walker and methi-spiced sable fish with Glenkinchie.

The deets: Friday, 6:30 p.m.; Kiran's; tickets are $155.

The Museum Experience

The annual museum district open house has decided to be fruitful and multiply. Rather than one mega day when visitors attempt to hit every institution in a few hours, this new quarterly event focuses on one of each four walkable zones. The Museum Experience's inaugural event begins with the grounds around The Menil Collection, including Richmond Hall, Cy Twombly Gallery, Rothko Chapel and the Houston Center for Photography.

On the schedule are a photo scavenger hunt, a tai chi class, music by Da Camera of Houston's young artists and an iPhone photography workshop. So much to do, so little time.

The deets: Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.; Zone 1 of the Museum District; fee varies by venue, most are free.

27th Annual Arbor Day Celebration and Houston Arboretum's Arbor Day Celebration

Driving through Memorial Park reveals the tragic aftermath of the 2011 drought that claimed the health of the city's green canopy. Though many advocacy groups are doing their part to return Houston to its natural verdant state, Arbor Day offers denizens the opportunity to be a part of the reforestation efforts.

You can pre-register to plant trees at Hermann Park, Memorial Park, MacGregor Park, Montie Beach Park, De Zavala Park and Tuffly Park as part of the city's 27th Annual Arbor Day Celebration. Or for a family-friendly gathering, including stations for making crafts, live owls from Wildlife Center of Texas, reptiles and other critters from the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition, the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center fuses fun education with community service.

The deets: Sunday; Houston Arboretum and Nature Center; free event.

Society for the Performing Arts presents STOMP

Where others see refuse and banal objects, STOMP sees potential for bang-on-a-can creativity where music making and choreography is courtesy of matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and hubcaps. STOMP was revolutionary when it burst onto the scene in the 1990s.

The show is yet to slow down. In fact, it was one of the featured acts in the London 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony.

Above all this energetic show is tons of high-decibel entertainment.

The deets: Friday through Sunday; Jones Hall; tickets start at $32.

Aperio, Music of the Americas presents "Elevations - Music by Copland, Rochberg, Rzewski & Dzubay"

Aperio, Music of the Americas is the chamber music presenting troupe, headed by artistic director Michael Zuraw, that never fails to remind me that there's much classical music repertoire that isn't performed often — though it should. Zuraw tirelessly digs through stacks of partitures to curate thought-provoking programs whose sole purpose is to hone in on tunes that evince the zeitgeist of the Americas, north and south. 

Other than Copland's Piano Variations and Rochberg's Violin Sonata, works by David Dzubay and Frederic Rzewski will be fresh even for the most devout classical music listener. And that's why I am into Aperio.

The deets: Sunday 3 p.m.; Sicardi Gallery; tickets are $30 general admission, $20 for seniors and $10 for students with ID.

Staff writer and savvy Houston explorer Whitney Radley's pick: Art opening reception at Lawndale Art Center

Whitney says: "Like all Lawndale openings, Friday's — which marks the beginning of four exhibitions — is destined to be a raucous party in the midst of thought-provoking art. But I'm especially looking forward to Doing It Like Dolly Does...How Does Dolly Do It, a show (of works by, full disclosure, two close friends) that examines love and loss with the help of Dolly Parton's tunes."

The deets: Friday, artist talk at 6 p.m., reception from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Lawndale Art Center; admission is free.

Arts smarty pants and in-the-loop dance maven Nancy Wozny's pick: Dance Month 2013: "Houston Choreographers X6"

Nancy says: "Dance Month at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston is already in full swing, and one of its favorite programs, "Houston Choreographers x6," drops in at the Kaplan Theatre. With a mix of emerging and established choreographers, including Kristen Frankiewicz, Laura Gutierrez, Lydia Hance, Erin Reck, Sandra Organ Solis and jhon r. stronks, it will be the go to dance event of the weekend.

"With an emphasis on new work, this is a great way to find out what's on the minds of Houston's choreographers."

The deets: Saturday, 8 p.m., and Sunday, 3 p.m.; Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center; tickets are $22, $16 for members and $12 for seniors and students.