Pick Five (Plus)
Great weather for outdoor festivities, not so much for crawfish.
At least they were delicious at the Fourth Annual YUPES Crawfish Boil at Firehouse Saloon last weekend. Springtime sunny skies brought out more than 350 young professionals in support of Easter Seals Greater Houston.
For some, like Greg Drouin, aka The Crawfish Man, who boiled the freshwater creatures, and Cooper Wade, a breakout country tunesmith, the gathering took on a personal meaning as they have close family coping with cerebral palsy.
Alongside Elizabeth DeLuca and her daughter Caroline, Katherine Dowdell, Dr. Aloysia Schwabe, Meredith Simonton, Sonia Soto and Kim Padgett, the hungry crowd raised funds to support the nonprofit's efforts to subsidize programs for those living with autism and other disabilities.
On a more serious note, this week we focus on dead people's cell phones, kicking cancer's behind, being good to Mother Earth, learning about Houston's diversity through art and watching Russian films.
Spicy crawfish were also the pièce de résistance at The Women's Home high-decibel food fete, the Second Annual Sunday Funday Crawfish Boil. Back at Firehouse Saloon, guests polished off 1,200 pounds of the steaming little suckers accompanied by corn on the cob and taters while grooving to acoustic guitar hits by Libby Koch, pop love ballads courtesy of Brant Lee Croucher and the Austin-esque songs of The Trishas.
Wearing bibs and gloves were Megan Hotze, Marie Flanigan, Semmes Burns, Jessica Sanders, Will Schorp, Lande Spottswood, Ashley Yates, Crystal Heydari, Sidney Laurentz, Greg Hatfield, Sommer Pool, Helen Carlson and Brent Shultz.
Survived April Fools? We were gullible enough to believe that Shelby Hodge is Madame S,Mayor Annise Parker has eyes for United, Fracking! The Musical is coming to Houston, the Ashby high rise reached a 78-story compromise and the Houston Astros exposed their players' best assets.
On a more serious note, this week we focus on dead people's cellphones, kicking cancer's behind, being good to Mother Earth, learning about Houston's diversity through art and watching Russian films.
Go for the company or go for the grits: Either way, you can't lose.
The overlord of ground corn kernels will be crowned when wicked chefs — Jonathan Jones of Beavers, Randy Rucker of conāt, David Guerrero of Samba Grille, Kevin Bryant of The Capitol at St. Germain, Philip Speer of Uchi, Mary Cuclis of Pondicheri, Joshua Martinez of The Modular, Ronnie Killen of Killen's Steakhouse, Michael Pellegrino of Max's Wine Dive, Ryan Hildebrand of Triniti and Gabe Medina of Kata Robata — fight to the culinary death while helping raise funds for Young Texans Against Cancer.
The group of young pros means business — this event raised $45,000 last year. The food orgy also includes cocktails by Buffalo Trace Distillery, Pura Vida Tequila, Dripping Springs Texas Vodka, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky and Saint Arnold Brewing Co.
Thursday, 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $85 for YTAC members and $100 for non-members.
Green: it's the word du jour. Let more than 30 eco-friendly nonprofit agencies show you the ropes on how to live environmentally conscious in Houston while enjoying music and themed performances by Hope Stone Dance Company and Chikawa Aztec Dancers.
The family-friendly gathering also offers hands-on workshops for children, led by City ArtWorks, and a H-E-B Kids Energy Zone. Rumor has it that Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl are making a special appearance.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
A Harlem musician, a rich mother and a Latvian immigrant walk into a bar . . . No, that's not the opening of a bad joke. Those are the characters of Ragtime: The Musical based on the E. L. Doctorow novel of the same title.
If anything the mishmash of personalities represent Houston's ethos of diversity, making this HITS Theatre performance quite apt for the Miller stage. Students ages five to 18 will take on most of the roles. While it may not be a Broadway touring production, the energy and passion the young actors bring forth exceeds the standards of most seasoned companies. That includes Austin Arizpe, Emily Clark and Dominique Watkins.
Thursday through April 14 at 8 p.m. Admission is free.
A "Tent Party Dinner in the Park" set for 5:30 p.m. April 14 honors the accomplishments of HITS alum and CultureMap founder Nic Phillips. Tickets start at $50; $35 for children.
Think about all the information we carry on our mobile devices, from loved ones phone numbers to emails to secret messages we don't want anyone to know. What if all that fell in the hands of a stranger . . . after you were dead?
When Jean answers a ringing phone from a dead man, she enters his life, meets his friends and family and falls in love with his brother. But what she discovers is more than she can handle. Written by Sarah Ruhl, Dead Man's Cell Phone promises to be delightfully dark, what you would expect from artistic director Jennifer Decker, who plays Jean, Mark Roberts and director Rob Kimbro.
The performance is the company's first in its new space at Spring Street Studios.
Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. General admission tickets are $15; seniors and students, $8.
More than just a photography bacchanal, FotoFest 2012 also ventures out into the realm of motion pictures. Three films makeup the series including Putin's Kiss, Khodorkovsky and Man with a Movie Camera.
Putin's Kiss hones in on a go-getter, middle-class student living in the suburbs of Moscow. When Masha Drokova joins a political youth group, she moves up the ladder and earns a scholarship, new digs and a talk show. Then, everything changes.
Based on a true story, Drokova now lives in the Russian capital and runs a public relations company focusing on social media.
Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $7. Discounts are available for MFAH members, seniors and students.
Nancy says: "Forget chocolate bunny ears, I have a dance festival to go to. Dance Salad cruises into the Wortham with a bounty of fabulous international dance. Director and curator Nancy Henderek has outdone herself with this year's lineup, which includes a rare appearance of the Stuttgart Ballet, Compagnie Pal Frenak, Quasar Cia de Danca, Spellbound Dance Company and more.
"Also Yonah Acosta (Carlos Acosta's nephew) of the English National Ballet, London, will be performing Le Jeune Homme et la Mort. It's an ideal way to get the pulse on international contemporary dance, and simply amazing that it all goes down in Houston. I never miss this festival and nor should you."
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20-$50.
Tyler says: "Codes of honor, superstition, man stuck in quicksand and a woman in a wicker cage . . . What doesn't Bride of the Earth have?
"Billed by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston as a 'rural revenge drama,' Turkish director Yilmaz Güney's classic 1969 film explores life in a small community under the thumb of a wealthy landholder. Güney himself is a icon of political resistance in Turkey, spending much of his career in jail for a variety of anti-government charges. From his cell, he wrote some of his most acclaimed screenplays examining the plight of working-class Turkish citizens."
Friday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 with discounts available for members, students and seniors.
Karen says: "Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, is the latest renaissance man to balance appearing on a hit sitcom, Community, and creating plenty of hype behind his musical project. The rapper/singer released Camp, his debut album to mixed reviews back in November.
"I personally think it's a testament to all of his inspirations that makes him stand out from the rest of the hip-hop scene. Prior to Camp's release, he produced free mix tapes and viral videos for his large Internet fan base. He'll be performing while recovering from a foot injury that made him cancel SXSW shows."
Friday at 8 p.m, doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $23.