Pick Five (Plus)
Something feels differently.
Whether it is the time of the year when allergies reign, when humidity starts to kick our butts or when we come to the realization that indeed, a quarter of the year has gone by, some major happenings in Houston point to an imminent change of season.
The Bayou City Art Festival brought thousands of curious art lovers for this three-day art orgy. As passersby browsed through over 300 tents filled with art in a myriad of different genres, CultureMap folks were busy meeting and greeting old fans and making new friends. My new discovery was frozen rosé wine: a pink slushy that tingles. Then again, I am a cheap date.
And I love pink, a color that overwhelmed the senses at "Pink at the Brown." A benefit for the Pink Ribbons Project. The performance fundraiser showcased a myriad of Houston's fab art groups all working together to help improve the quality of life of those living and fighting breast cancer, with former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush present.
Many say that Houston Ballet stole the show, but HGO Studio's tropical and resort setting of Cosi Fan Tutte was light, cute and ridiculous.
Oddly curious, I did have a pink tie, imagine that.
The Aluminum show opened the Miller Outdoor Theatre season to an overwhelmingly loud crowd. Amidst shiny human sized slinkys, an interactive aluminum pillow fight and being surrounded by silver tubes, an all-familiar story of a cute slinky in search of its parents was filled with humor, dazzling moves and hot dancing.
Mercury Baroque celebrated its 10th anniversary welcoming guests to the stage of the Wortham Theater Center. Looking out in the vast sea of red seats, I recalled the butterflies one feels when getting ready to perform. The evening was beautifully filled with delightful people supporting a music ensemble that makes Baroque music rock hard (can I say bad ass?). It was Spanish splendor, classy and tasteful.
What's on this week? Since you asked...
Design Fair 2011 at Lawndale Art Center
It's all about learning, shopping and connecting with like-minded folks. This yearly multi-day fair brings lovers and collectors of midcentury modern art, craft, personal items, books, fashion and furniture all into one venue. A special committee curates the offerings, sifting through the noise and showcasing groovy objects of the highest quality.
A lecture with Sotheby's James Zemaitis kicks off the festivities, Wednesday at 7 p.m at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, followed by a Preview Party (you can get a sneak peek at the pieces), Friday at 6 p.m., open to everyone on Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m - 5 p.m.
Opera in the Heights' Pearl Fishers at Lambert Hall
Better known for Carmen, George Bizet's Pearl Fishers is full of memorable tunes, delicious arias and a plot full of love and angst. The opera traces the story of two friends quarreling over the love of a woman, past and present, ending up in tragedy.
NCAA Big Dance Concert Series at Discovery Green
Maybe basketball isn't your thing. The NCAA festivities are not just about the sport. It includes a weekend of free concerts (yes free) that feature major acts Sublime with Rome Friday night, Kings of Leon Saturday afternoon and Kenny Chesney Sunday night. Friday through Sunday.
DiverseWorks 2011 Gala "Retail Therapy" at Shops at Houston Center
The quirky artsy personalities behind the avant-garde presenting non-profit, DiverseWorks, have put together an equally zany evening whose motto is: Cash or charge?
"Retail Therapy" will raise funds while guests shop at the silent auction, toss back a few brews and pose for glamour photography. Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
French Fête at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Though you shouldn't need any reason to head over to MFAH to experience the amazing collection of 50 painting from the National Gallery of Art, this fabulous soiree adds French libations and bites to enhance the viewing ambiance. With crepes, bubbly and a little string quartet chamber music tagging along, stroll through the galleries and visit with Van Gogh, Cézanne, Degas, Manet, Monet, Renoir and friends. Saturday at 9 p.m.
My colleagues picks:
Assistant editor and nightlife savant Caroline Gallay's pick: Science on Screen Series at 14 Pews: Catfish
Caroline says: "It has nothing to do with actual catfish, but this movie, about social networking and its sometimes-bizarro effects on modern human interaction, is one I've been meaning to see forever. Mockumentary or documentary (it's been debated), it's one to see. All these people think so, too." Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Assistant editor and art expert Steven Thomson's pick: Menil Community Festival 2011
Steven says: "All of the neat non-profits in the gray-hued bungalows come out to play for the Menil Community Arts Festival. Just a few of the draws: an experimental film workshop and screening with SWAMP, garden tours and Houston Dairymaids' grilled cheese sammies at Mandell Park and readings by local literary luminaries on the Menil lawn." Saturday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Art contributor and Dancehunter Nancy Wozny's pick: Theater LaB Houston's Gone Missing
Nancy says: "Theater LaB Houston offers a rare chance to see what the renegade theater troupe The Civilians is all about in Gone Missing, which is culled from real life New Yorkers who have lost such things as their keys, a Gucci pump, a dog and well, their mind. It's a musical, but by no means a traditional one, and its directed and choreographed by Houston's dance/theater legend Linda Phen." Plays through April 10.
Managing editor Chris Baldwin's pick: Free Final Four practices
Chris says: "This is the biggest sports week of the year in Houston with the Final Four and the Shell Houston Open both going on. It's a good thing the Astros don't have their home opener until next Friday night."
"If the Houston Texans ever make the Super Bowl, you'll have a bigger week. Until that miracle, this week is it. Few families will be able to afford the prices ticket brokers are charging for the Final Four games, but everyone can get into Reliant Stadium to see the teams for free on Friday afternoon. Better yet, parking is absolutely free as well."
"Yes, this is the rare sports event with no fan gouging. The open practice Fridays have become bigger and bigger events every year. Last year, a record 29,000 people showed to watch the Final Four practices in Indianapolis. Houston will surely blow that number away." Friday from noon to 4 p.m.