Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — with crawfish fever
I made a pledge that I would avoid writing the tired old saying, "spring is in the . . . " You know how it goes. But as flowers bloom, birds chirp and weather warms, I can't help but feel like frolicking with a skip in my step while bathing in the attitudes of this season of renewal.
That's why this week's picks sing to that tune. On the schedule are the renaissance of a downtown complex, a festival for the little ones, puppets, dancing and many — and I mean many — crawfish boils.
Take the time to click on the links of each event suggestion. You'll find pages with more information and features to help you plan your outing to the max.
Houston Pavilions Relaunch Street Party "Sip and Socialize"
It's been a rollercoaster ride for the managers of the Houston Pavilions to keep its facilities bubbling with energy. Businesses have come and gone despite its central location and ease of access. Ownership has changed hands. But rather than sitting on a dead duck, the downtown landmark is about to be reborn — so we hope.
A new name and future plans will be revealed at this casual gathering where guests will sample cocktails, nibbles and activities offered by the tenants. Live music and dancing to Skyrocket! courtesy of the House of Blues, Wii Bowling and a basketball hoop-off are among the promised diversions.
Art opening reception at DiverseWorks: Liz Magic Laser: Tell Me What You Want to Hear
DiverseWorks' new digs in Midtown has truly come alive with a myriad of genre-defying installations, performances and exhibitions. Expect to be part of the artful action for Liz Magic Laser's video work, titled Tell Me What You Want to Hear, which comments on how theatricality has infiltrated communication techniques in politicians and news media.
Crawfish boils everywhere
These delightful crustaceans are here today, gone tomorrow as fast as a lustful spring fling. They also offer an excuse to party with many good doing groups mustering support for their causes.
Catch the Pearland Crawfish Festival (Friday-Sunday, $5 - $18) for a Cajun orgy with live zydeco, Texas country music and blues. The Crawfish Boil Benefiting Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (Saturday, 1 p.m., $20 - $30) at Jackson's Watering Hole includes country tunes by The Committeemen.
Over at the West Alabama Ice House, The Women's Home Crawfish Boil (Saturday, 1 p.m., $15 - $35) adds a raffle. Dinner for 20 at Armandos, tickets to Rockets games and an Audi weekend rental are up for grabs. Musicians Libby Koch and Deryl Dodd will entertain young professionals at the YUPES Crawfish Boil (Saturday, 2 p.m., $30) at Firehouse Saloon, an event that benefits Easter Seals Greater Houston.
Dance Houston Festival 2013
A cornucopia of locally-based dance troupes hit the Wortham Theater Center stage for a one-night binge of bollywood, flamenco, hip-hop, Chinese, salsa, modern, African and jazz. Think of the Dance Houston Festival as a bricolage of the city's best, which includes Ad Deum, Hope Stone, Collective Sound Cloggers, Hepcats, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Kucheza Ngoma Dance, Dance of Asian America, cori dances and Uptown Dance Company.
Houston Children's Festival
Spring is also about being fruitful and multiplying. Those who have done their duty and populated the earth with the next generation will find more than 50,000 guests taking in the sights and sounds at this year's Houston Children's Festival. Four stages and six adventures zones, comprising roughly 300 activities, should keep the whole family occupied.
Appearances by Victoria Justice of Nickelodeon's Victorious and Laura Marano of Disney Channel's Austin & Ally will surely be popular with the kiddos.
Arts smarty pants and in-the-loop happy gal Nancy Wozny's pick: Bobbindoctrin Puppet Theatre presents Puppetsploitation IX
Nancy says: "It's April, which means that puppets take over Houston at Puppetsploitation IX, Bobbindoctrin's mostly annual slam. Thanks to Bobbindoctrin founder and puppet guru Joel Orr, we have quite a puppet scene here in Houston. The slamstravaganza will include works by Orr, BooTown, Camella Clements, Joe Wozny, Sketchy Neighbors and more.
"It will be weird and fun and highlight the many kinds of puppetry going on in Houston."