Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — a Seinfeld worthy Symphony moment included
On the schedule this week is a big as Texas art fair, the American premiere of a Shakespearean tale set to dance, a Seinfeld comedian, a centennial family celebration and a party that paints a downtown park with the colors of the Bayou City.
2014 Texas Contemporary Art Fair
An international who's who of the world of art descends onto Houston for the fourth annual artsy binge that has collectors, gallerists, artists, patrons and anyone with a penchant for visual arts flocking to the George R. Brown Convention Center. While the four-day event is pretty much the same year after year, needless to say the art on display is not, which renders this gathering an ideal venue to glean current trends in aesthetic expression.
The fair kicks off with a party on Thursday night that benefits, fittingly, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.
The skinny: Benefit reception is on Thursday, 7:30 to 10 p.m., at the George R. Brown Convention Center ($100); multi-day passes for Friday, Saturday and Sunday are available for $35; single day entry is $25.
Houston Ballet presents A Midsummer Night's Dream
Applause for the city's premier ballet corps as it becomes the first American troupe to embrace this production by Hamburg Ballet artistic director John Neumeier. The Shakespearean "fairy" tale that centers on love, jealousy and donkeys is whimsically set to dance through the incidental music of Felix Mendelssohn and György Ligeti plus the sounds of an organ grinder. Watch the video preview here.
Houston Symphony presents Jason Alexander in "An Evening of Comedy and Song"
Who knew that the funny dude who played George Costanza could sing? We should know better than to typecast this flexible performer who's better known for his idiosyncratic character in the comedy Seinfeld.
Alongside the Houston Symphony led by maestro Michael Krajewski, Jason Alexander offers a program of tunes and laughs that chronicles his career. With songs from Music Man, Pippin and Merrily We Roll Along, the evening kicks off the symphony's 2014-15 pops season.
Houston Ship Channel Centennial Family Festival
Fireboat water sprays, tug boat tug-of-war, vintage fire trucks and an appearance by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant are part of this centennial fest that celebrates the Houston Ship Channel and its communities, which city officials have described as the Ellis Island of Texas. The family-friendly event includes many fun, interactive displays that reveal the importance of the terminal in shaping the growth of Houston as a diverse and economic powerhouse.
Houston No Limits CityFest
As if we needed another reason to be proud of our Houstonian provenance — not that we won't take it — the campaign that dubbed our home as "The City With No Limits" hosts a festival that paints one of downtown's favorite destinations with the colors of the Bayou City. That means music by Nick Gaitan and The Umbrella Man, The Suffers and Los Skarnales, alongside representatives from the Astros, Rockets and Dynamo and local products from The Barkery, Small Bird Studio, Izzie's Jewels, Salinas Salsas Co. and Wiloje Soaps.
Staff writer and pastry obsessive Eric Sandler's pick: Fluff Bake Bar Pop-Up
Eric says, "While Houstonians wait for celebrated local pastry chef Rebecca Masson to make the brick and mortar location of Fluff Bake Bar a reality, Masson continues the pop-ups she's hosted at Southside Espresso to preview some of her wares. While she's frequently joined by Jason Hill and Matt Opaleski of the forthcoming Hugs & Donuts, this Saturday's pop-up gets a little extra heat from the appearance of Chicago pastry (and Houston native) Amanda Rockman, who, like Masson, was a contestant on season two of Top Chef: Just Desserts.
"I'll be there close to the 8 a.m. starting time to get a mix of Rockman's specialties like Kouign Amanns and chestnut coffee cake, as well as an old favorite or two from Masson's selections of pistachio pop tarts, funfetti cinnamon rolls and Cheddar-bacon scones. You should do the same. They'll sell out quickly."