Pick Five (Plus)
Your weekly guide to Houston: Grape stomping your own wine, chilling Ice BikeBaby style & getting French wise
What do trains, craft beer and American vaudevillian musicals have in common? They all gave me something to think about last week. Here is what was up.
Spacetaker opened another photography/multimedia exhibition at its Artist Resource Center. Pablo Gimenez Zapiola'sMeaning in Motion: Travelling Into Self Reflection explored the possibilities of words projected into moving objects — like trains — or a moving projector shining words onto passing buildings. Using long exposures, the images took on a ghostly aesthetic, imposing meaning onto the words — with the words adding commentary onto the objects.
Curious? Live train projection performances are scheduled throughout the rest of July and mid-August.
During Messina Hof Winery & Resort's 34th Annual Summer Harvest Festival, it's possible to be Lucy, well, in a more civilized fashion.
Nothing is sacred (thankfully) in Catastrophic Theatre'sThe United States of Tamarie: An All- American Revue (Made in China).Tamarie Cooper came back after a two-year hiatus from writing, starring in and producing her own shows to raise her daughter Rose — she's now 21 months — with a "patriotic" bang, sort of. Think of it as a musical variety show with plenty of penis jokes and international machismo (hello Germany!) where NASCAR could possibly not be a sport (the horror).
Kyle Sturdivant rocked his roles as Germany, a "Talk Like an American" talk show host and a born again Texas preacher, among a myriad of others. And Seán Patrick Judge, ridiculously French, gay and with a je ne sais quoi hint of noir, had most of us rolling in our own slobber. It's hard to explain, but it certainly lives up to the company's motto, "We will destroy you." Go see it.
The Tasting Room at Uptown Park gave me the opportunity to mingle and learn from craft beer savants. I didn't know much about the subject other than loving everything I tasted, from widely available Belgian beers to home brews courtesy of Brian Ingram. My new mentors — John Speights, Leslie Sprague aka LushtasticTX and Cathy Clark Rascoe — are also leading the charge to advocate for all things craft beer.
This week, expect to see me at these fab events:
Sixth Annual Word Around Town Poetry Tour
It's been going on since last Sunday and it ends this Saturday. So before this spoken word poetry bacchanal ends, get to it and meet Houston's most promising language artists. The festival started in 2006 with 10 poets and now presents 19 speakers through seven shows in seven venues for seven days.
Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with AvantGarden the setting Friday and Spring Street Studios the host site for Saturday.
34th Annual Summer Harvest Festival: Moonlit Harvest at Messina Hof Winery & Resort
One of my favorite I Love Lucy episodes is one where Lucy and Ethel find themselves in a winery stomping grapes. As with anything Lucy does, the scene turns into disaster, morphing into a hilarious choreographed dance and grape fight. During Messina Hof Winery & Resort's 34th Annual Summer Harvest Festival, it's possible to be Lucy, well, in a more civilized fashion.
It is a time to experience the tradition of making wine. Hand-pick grapes, stomp on them and enjoy food paired by Messina's wines. The festival begins on Friday at 6 p.m., but it runs through Aug. 17 and also includes Harvest Dinners, Murder Mystery Dinners and Harvest Daytime activities.
Open the Taps Launch Party at Moon Tower Inn
After spending a little time learning about craft beer from Open the Taps founders, I have gained a new respect for craft brewers and craft beer lovers. Anything that stands in their beer-loving way should, in my opinion, just go away.
That's the impetus behind this new nonprofit. Open the Taps strives to create a legislative environment where craft beer's specialized industry can thrive. You wouldn't believe the amount of antiquated laws and regulations getting in the way. Saturday at 4 p.m.
Workshop Houston's Ice Bike Baby Summer Social
What's not to love about what Workshop Houston does for our city's youth? The organization provides opportunities for students to be creative through different workshops including: Third Ward Bike Shop, a do-it-yourself bike repair; Chopper Shop for welding and metal fabrication; Beat Shop for hip-hop music production; Style Shop for fashion design; and the Scholar Shop, providing tutoring and academic enrichment.
At this frosty summer social, you can help out by partaking in the silent auction — showcasing items by Jamal Cyrus, Robert Pruitt, Robert Ruello, Amy Blakemore, Sam Jones and Beth Secor — enjoy light bites by Jill & Rob and El Meson, libations courtesy of 13 Celsius and Silver Eagle Distributing and sno cones by Yeti Sunshine. DJ Raul is providing the tunes and grooves. Saturday at 7 p.m.
Summer Family Programs: Early Music Southwest's "The Fantastic Fables of La Fontaine"at Rienzi
Parents, this pick is for you. Early Music Southwest is a cohort of fabulous baroque musicians and in this workshop, they will use their talents to teach about wisdom through fables from 17th century France. After the program, feel free to stick around for a cookies and lemonade reception.
Rienzi is the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston museum of European Decorative Arts and is an inspiring backdrop for a myriad of different education programs. You and your kids will love it. Sunday at 1 p.m.
Arts contributor and Dancehunter Nancy Wozny's pick: Mildred's Umbrella Theater presents Notions of Right and Wrong at Barnevelder
Nancy says: "What happens when a human is outnumbered by her ideas? Come see the Mildred's Umbrella production of Notions of Right and Wrong, a world premiere by Elizabeth A.M. Keel, to find out. In this rich, darkly funny world of a woman's life, right and wrong depends on who holds the cards.
"Keel is a local Houston playwright and novelist, and a recent summa cum laude graduate of the University of Houston's theatre department. She developed this play in Edward Albee's workshop at UH. This production also marks the directorial debut of Zachary Doss, a local dramaturg and frequent collaborator with Mildred's Umbrella."
Running through July 30th at Barnevelder Movement Arts Complex.