Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events
On tap this week are events that strive to keep Houston verdant, the premiere of an opera written more than a century ago, a dirty adventure race, walking tours, a whimsical costumed race and contemporary ballet introduced by one of CultureMap's dance authorities.
Here's how we make things easier for you: Click on the link below each event to find a page that has further details and helpful features. There, you will be able to add the information right to your calendar and learn of places near your destination. Just in case you find yourself in need of a beverage, a nibble or a place to crash for the night.
RedBuds Date Auction
This yearly happening combines two of my favorite things: Reforestation efforts and love — for money. (You didn't think I was that sappy, did you?)
On the auction block for a tête-à-tête are chemical engineer Katrina Elliot, who's nuts for breakfast tacos from El Rey and tried out for the Houston Texans Cheerleaders, business analyst Elva Franco, who loves a Starbucks soy peppermint white chocolate mocha and is something of a scary driver, independent film dude Cid Espejel, who's often spotted at the Houston Polo Club, and real estate pro JB McGhan, whose favorite hangouts are Boheme and Memorial Park, among other notable local singles.
Best of all, monies raised will support the planting of trees and seedlings in areas of Houston that could use a big green hug. Because that's what RedBuds young professionals do for Trees For Houston.
Opera in the Heights presents Otello
The story isn't new and neither is the opera. That is if you are familiar with the more popular setting by Italian opera mogul Giuseppe Verdi. But this Shakespearean interpretation by Gioachino Rossini — whose style is lighter, more virtuosic and allows more room for coloratura improv — has never been performed in Houston.
What I am curious about is this: Whether Opera in the Heights maestro Enrique Carreón-Robledo will opt for the traditional tragic ending or the alternative happy finale. It's the tradition in 19th century opera to keep listeners guessing until the conclusion.
Green Film Series presented by Chipotle Mexican Grill: Fresh
"Watch what you eat" has a new meaning in the 21st century. It used to be an adage that suggested being cognizant of calories, fat and the intake of bad stuff, but nowadays, we are communally more interested in the nutritional prowess of foods and the larger implications of what goes into our mouths.
Fresh documents a societal push to demand newly-picked, crisp foods on our plate. Not as a novelty, but as an everyday practice. The film features Will Allen, Joel Salatin, Michael Pollan, George Naylor and Diana Endicott.
Racing Humans 5K Obstacle Course Mud Run
Though the idea of rolling around on the ground, covered in mud and sweat alongside other people is something we all dream of — maybe I am the only one who does? — this isn't the type of race to take lightly.
Twenty obstacles will test adults, youth and little ones in this action packed adventure race. With prizes and medals at stake, do you think you are the toughest, fittest and most extreme? Prove it.
We all want to do our part to keep to keep our city verdant and our environmental footprint as insignificant as possible. But let's be honest: Aren't we all overwhelmed with how to do so? With so many choices and information out there, it's easy to give up and retreat to behavior we know and are accustomed to. Bad habits are hard to break, so they say.
ecoLicious Houston solves that problem by gathering speakers, vendors, restaurants, artists and DIYers for an afternoon of eco-education.
Staff writer, architecture savant and totally awesome guy Tyler Rudick's pick: Architecture Center Houston Museum District Walking Tour
Tyler says: "Get yourself a crash course in modern architecture with this Saturday's AIA Houston walking tour of the Museum District, a part of town that boasts work by some of the biggest names in 20th and 21st-century design — Rafael Moneo, Isamu Noguchi, Yoshio Taniguchi, Robert Venturi and, of course, Mies van der Rohe.
"Starting at the MFAH's Cullen Sculpture Garden, the two-hour tour will not only explore the city's top architectural gems, but also look at the landscape designs and public art that make these buildings come alive. The tour meets at the MFAH's Cullen Sculpture Garden. Advanced reservations are recommended."
Staff writer and in-the-know Houston explorer Whitney Radley's pick: Brian O'Neill's Running Club's Third Annual Green Dress Run
Whitney says: "Like the weekly running club, the route for the Third Annual Green Dress Run follows the 3-mile loop around Rice and ends with brews and mingling at Brian O'Neill's Pub. Unlike that Tuesday evening ritual, all of the runners will be wearing their most outrageous green outfits. A $40 registration comes with beer tickets, post-race snacks and partying, and funds go to Girls on the Run Greater Houston."
Arts smarty pants and in-the-loop dance maven Nancy Wozny's pick: Society for the Performing Arts presents the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
Nancy says: "Based in two cities, this niche company doesn't go near a story ballet. Instead, they focus on fabulous work by leading contemporary choreographers, such as Jorma Elo, Juri Kylian and Alejandro Cerrudo. Directed by Tom Mossbrucker and Jean-Philippe Malaty, two former Joffrey Ballet dancers, ASFB is an American dance success story. Come early and hear me give the pre-show talk."