Say hello to a week of socials for good, a naughty run almost sans clothes, a film fest fitting for those with short attention spans, gambling for good and authentic musical traditions of South America fused with hypnotic African rhythms.
Wish Upon a Wedding Houston's Happy Birthday Happy Hour at Valentino Vin Bar
It's often said that the greatest wealth is health, neither of which, wealth or health, we should take for granted. If there's anything that we've learned from the past five years is to treasure whatever worry-free days we have as circumstances can change on a dime.
Wish Upon a Wedding is a network of nonprofits that understands that love isn't affected by either wealth or health, that the human impulse to find love doesn't come to a halt because difficulties with money or wellness. Wish Upon a Wedding helps couples coping with terminal illnesses and life-altering situations arrange their nuptials in a style they've always dreamed of.
Celebrating the Houston chapter's second anniversary, this casual happy hour at Hotel Derek's Valentino Vin Bar is a meet-and-greet with those behind the scenes with complimentary tapas and happy hour specials.
Aurora Picture Show's 15th Annual Extremely Shorts Film Festival
What can you say in three minutes or less? That would be quite a lot for folks like me, who talk really, really fast, and for the artists whose quickies are part of Aurora Picture Show's annual Extremely Shorts Film Festival which includes three screenings and the award reception this weekend.
The two-day motion picture fest amasses 29 works curated by Andy Smith from the Indie Grits Film Festival and Nickelodeon Theatre in Columbia, S.C., and comprises pieces that explore subjects of sexual content in mass media, ethnicity, isolation, life as a koi fish, relationships, dying sharks and dreams, among others.
BooTown's River Bottom Rules at 1740 Harold St.
Perhaps you are better familiar with BooTown because of its comedic, mature-themed romps at Rudyards. Yet every once in a while the troupe of experimental performers puts on something a bit more meaningful, thought-provoking and a bit confusing, something that comments on the ridiculousness of modern societal conventions — beyond prostitution, revenge and conversations with fish.
River Bottom Rules belongs in that category. The performance follows a little girl growing up in Highlands, Texas, as she learns to "never love a pet, always count on a flood and always wear white underwear." With shadow puppetry by Camella Clements, projections, video and photography, this show is based on accounts of children growing up in Highlands, including the memories of director Lindsay Burleson.
Texas Hold 'Em Poker Tournament benefiting The Women's Fund for Health Education and Research at Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse
The only thing I know about poker is how to dance to Lady Gaga's catchy chart-topping hit. I am a horrible gambler, often play out of turn and everyone and anyone can call my bluff — though I do feel at home with a dirty martini on one hand, a cigar on the other.
I am not sure about the cigar part for this game of chance, but I am certain about the charity that will benefit from your wager. Cash in with a minimum $50 donation. If you need further instruction, double down with a crash course before the party starts. Chaired by Anna Bailey and Lauren Nolasco.
El Festival de la Salsa, presented by Flamart, at Jones Plaza
If you have ever seen Strictly Street Salsa's Raúl Orlando Edwards bust one of his Latin saucy moves, you'll know that he puts the same passion in putting together events that laud Houston's international tenor. One of those three-day gatherings starts on Friday.
El Festival de la Salsa is all about sharing the love for an art form that makes hip sway, shoulders wiggle and arms gyrate. Performances by Pedro Brull, Grammy Award-winner Ramón Dario Benitez, The Houston All Stars, directed by Jorge Orta "Cro-Cro," will do just that, alongside nine bands, 10 concerts and more than 75 musicians with tributes to Rubén Blades, Celia Cruz, Oscar D'Leon y Joe Arroyo.
There's plenty of south-of-the-border inspired good eats and frosty suds, also.
BON Running Club 2012 "Hot Undies Run"
As if Brian O'Neill Running Club joggers need yet another excuse to lose layers of clothing in this blistering weather, here's one more: The Muscular Dystrophy Association. This annual 2-mile fun fitness event raises funds with competitors running semi-naked — no thongs, please, but "accessories" are encouraged — a raffle and prizes for best naughty duds. Suds along the way add to the fun.
Don't worry if you're skin shy. Clothed goody-goody runners will not be turned away or forced to strip. The first 400 registered participants will take home a free T-shirt. Meet at Brian O'Neills Traditional Irish Pub.
La Sardina de Naiguata in Concert at Miller Outdoor Theatre
If you think of typical Latin music as that of Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony or JLo, you need a tuneful reality check from La Sardina de Naiguata at Miller Outdoor Theatre on Sunday. The group's Afro Venezuelan beats are an authentic representation of the fusion roused by African immigration to the new world.
The music is rhythmically addictive. If you must, shake your tush. Trust me when I say that you won't be alone in doing so.
Arts smarty pants and in-the-loop and sassy, creativity-loving maven Nancy Wozny's pick: 35 Years of Printmaking at Glassell at Tradition Bank Gallery
Nancy says: "It's hard to imagine this city being the print mecca it is without the Glassell School's Suzanne Manns and her influence on the printmaking scene, which is why you should not miss 35 Years of Printmaking at Glassell, on view at Tradition Bank Gallery. The show was curated by Patrick Palmer and highlights work by former students and faculty, including Trenton Doyle Hancock, Beth Secor, Francesca Fuchs, Charlie Sartwelle, Charlotte Cosgrove, Arthur Turner, Philip Renteria and others. The show includes two of Mann's fine prints, both of which unapologetically source nature in a way that fuses image with process."