Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — plus Texas' Mardi Gras tips
On the itinerary this week is a healthy dose of great tunes, New Orleans-style parties, raucous galas and quirky science fiction love affairs — with lasers.
Do this: Click on the link below each event suggestion to find helpful features, like the ability to download the info to your electronic calendar and learn about restaurants, bars, shopping and places to crash for the night nearby your final destination.
Houston Symphony presents "Mahler & Mendelssohn"
Christoph König's previous engagement with the Houston Symphony evinced that this young dirigent knows how to fire up repertoire of Germanic provenance. He's back to lead the ensemble with an arrangement of Mendelssohn's Octet for full string orchestra and Mahler's Symphony No. 1 in D major.
Think opulent scoring for the Octet and highly descriptive textures for the symphony, which feels akin to a four-movement narrative, tuneful two-part poem that frolics about bucolic themes, from a springtime daybreak teeming with flora and fauna to peasant dances to stormy, raucous, virtuosic vignettes. It's that fabulous.
Mardi Gras! Galveston 2013
The funkiness of Mardis Gras has already occupied the streets of New Orleans with no apologies. This weekend, the beads debauchery begins in Galveston Island with a myriad of parades, dance parties, concerts and special events along 20th to 25th streets, Harborside Drive to Mechanic Street and Seawall Boulevard.
There's too much going on, but surely there's something here that tickles your fancy.
Fresh Arts' "Ball n' Chain" Gala
Spacetaker knew how to throw a wild party for the adventurous artsy type. Fresh Arts' legendary balls have been thronged by the who's-who of Houston's well-heeled echelon. Can you imagine what will happen at this fete, the first after the two groups joined forces?
Be somewhat afraid, but not enough to discourage you from partaking in this shotgun nuptials-themed carouse brimming with eccentric entertainment, including live armadillo races, burlesque showgirls, musicians and dancers. Chairs Eleanor and Dan Gilbane, Jennie and Justin Segal and Mark Sullivan honor George Lancaster and creatives Matthew Dirst, Sixto Wagan and Rich Levy.
Houston Young People for the Arts Gala "Bootlegger's Ball: A 1920s Prohibition Rendition"
As young professional pioneer and founder of Houston Young People for the Arts (HYPA) Heather Pray moved on from her role as leader of this active crowd, gala chairs Katy Pease and Hannah Thibodeaux opted to honor her accomplishments at this year's "Bootlegger's Ball: A 1920s Prohibition Rendition."
The eight-year-old philanthropic group time travels back to the roaring era, when jazz was hot, Art Deco climaxed and flappers ruled, fittingly held at the Majestic Metro. The party also lauds Da Camera of Houston's 25th anniversary season.
BooTown presents Love in the Time of Lasers
Table-top puppets, stop-motion animation and diverse puppetry techniques are employed to stage BooTown's Love in the Time of Lasers, a modern day, science fiction romantic romp that tells the tale of a couple struggling to love, be loved and stay in love. Double feature bonus: Funny man Joe Wozny will debut his original puppet show, Sitcom, about a typical twosome who questions their respective roles.
Staff writer, arts savant and totally awesome guy Tyler Rudick's pick: An evening with The Residents
Tyler says: "As far as 1960s art-rockers go, The Residents are right up there with Captain Beefheart and Houston's own Red Krayola. In a rare Bayou City appearance, the mysterious masters of quirk will take to the stage at Fitzgerald's for an evening celebrating the group's four decades of bizarre (and ofter challenging) output.
To get everyone prepared, check out this 1983 concert in Madrid.
Arts smarty pants and in-the-Loop reel loving maven Nancy Wozny's pick: Young, Gifted and Black: Reflections from Black Alumni
Nancy says: "One of the highlights of the Rice Centennial Celebration for me was attending the screening of Young, Gifted and Black: Reflections from Black Alumni at Rice, created in honor of the centennial. It's time to set that DVR because you have another chance to see this film when it airs on HoustonPBS on Feb. 5 at 10:30 p.m. and Feb. 7 at 2 a.m.
"Directed by Douglas Newman of Mouth Watering Media, the film chronicles 15 Black alumni who tell their story about the challenges and opportunities they faced growing up in diverse communities, and how Rice contributed to shaping their careers and lives. It's both informative and moving, in addition to telling a part of the Rice story you might not know."