Pick Five (Plus)
Your weekly guide to Houston: Rothko Chapel turns 40 and a major film festivalscreens
I survived my first week at CultureMap without any major blunders, mishaps or embarrassing moments. I managed to show up on time, produce a healthy amount of content allowing myself time to partake in some cool events this past week.
All and all, I have to say my colleagues make the days quite entertaining.
Last week had a lot to offer — there was no easing into January. It arrived, unapologetically, giving Houstonians a myriad of things to do.
Where were you?
The River Oaks Chamber Orchestra presented a riveting account of Amahl and the Night Visitors. I even cried at “I walk mother,” when the protagonist's selfless act of giving away a prized possession turned into a miracle healing. Anyone else have “thank you, thank you, thank you kindly, thank you” stuck in their heads?
It’s perhaps the asymmetry in the meter that makes this short but repetitive riff addicting.
Red Bull brought to Discovery Green Illume, a curated exhibition of the best action and adventure sports photography. After receiving 22,764 submissions from 4,773 photographers in 112 countries, 250 semi-finalists were weaned down to 50 finalist, 10 category winners (energy, close-up, experimental, illumination, culture, new creativity, playground, sequence, spirit and wings) and one overall winner.
Illume is on view from 6 - 10 p.m. every evening through Monday.
CultureMap’s own Joe Leydon gave an entertaining introduction to Lena Dunham’s Tiny Furniture, revealing the idiosyncrasies of trying to date after posing nude in your own movies. Moral of the story? Don’t do it.
So, what is on the schedule for this week? As the days go by, it will be more and more difficult to only feature five events. From time to time, I will enlist the help of my savant group of editors to give their insights as they gallivant their way through Houston happenings.
Lecture and Book Signing: James D. Wolfensohn, former president of the World Bank
A rare opportunity to hear an influential man with a global economic view, Wolfensohn served as president of the World Bank through the good, the bad and the ugly. As chairman emeritus of Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, he brings an interesting perspective.
For overachievers, read his latest book, A Global Life: My Journey Among Rich and Poor, from Sydney to Wall Street to the World Bank. Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Concert: Texas Noise and Ambient Environment
Anything at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is thought provoking. If you have ever wondered where music ends and noise begins, this presentation, inspired by Benjamin Patterson: Born in the Statue of FLUX/us, challenges and experiments with music improv through acoustic instruments, auxiliary percussion, electronics and devices. Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Rothko Chapel’s 40th Anniversary Kickoff
Time flies when you are either having fun or not paying attention. Either way, the Rothko Chapel turns 40 this year.
With remarks by The Reverend Forbes and music by New Orleans Hustlers Brass Band, Barnett Newman’s Broken Obelisk will be dedicated to the human rights leader. Saturday at 11 a.m.
Divergence Vocal Theater’s “Voix et Harpe”
Doesn’t everyone need a little Frenchiness in their lives? Misha Penton, artistic director, knows how to program music in a way that’s captivating and thought-provoking. Fusing with other artistic genres, “Voix et Harpe” is inspired by Belle Époque barefoot icon Isadora Duncan. Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
48th Annual Ann Arbor Film Festival
Doesn’t it seem like Aurora Picture Show is behind a lot of cool happenings in Houston? In collaboration with MFAH, the longest running independent film festival in North American, the Ann Arbor Film Festival presents avant-garde works in high quality format. Saturday at 7 p.m.
And what does the rest of the CultureMap team think?
Managing editor Chris Baldwin's Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder & Kevin Durant at the Houston Rockets
Chris says: "With the Rockets fading in the standings, their big games are becoming about star power. Opposing star power. And few bring more of that than former University of Texas star Kevin Durant."
"The NBA's leading scorer is arguably now the biggest must-see in pro basketball outside of the Miami Heat. Sorry Kobe." Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Indie music guru Jennifer Patterson's Pick: No Age at Fitzgerald’s
Jennifer says: “I admit that I first got into them at an especially tipsy SXSW ’09 because I thought the singer was a babe."
"There’s more to this duo than eye candy though. What started out as a fiery explosion of noise has been tamed down to a steady rumble, which isn’t to hate on their first album. They stay true to their roots with an added layer of sophistication.” Wednesday at 8p.m.
Arts lover Nancy Wozny’s Pick: Broadway Across America’s West Side Story
Nancy says: "Something's coming, and it's going to be good. West Side Story changed the course of musical theater. Combine a classic story, (Romeo and Juliet), a gorgeous score by Bernstein and Sondheim, street savvy choreograph by Jerome Robbins, and you get one timeless musical."
"Musical theater dance doesn't get much better than this." Opens Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and runs through January 23.
Assistant editor Caroline Gallay’s Pick: Girl Talk
Caroline says: “I'm pumped about Girl Talk at the House of Blues. Although I'll have to miss him this year due to traveling (I caught him this summer at Free Press SummerFest) his concerts are always a great time. I saw him once in college when he just stripped naked and hopped around — not a lot to do onstage when you're a mash-up artist."
"Don't forget the glowsticks!” Thursday at 8 p.m.
Social media editor Fayza Elmostehi’s Pick: Wine and Cheese Night Hike at the Houston Arboretum
Fayza says: “What goes together better than coagulated milk protein and the great outdoors? Nothing, that's what. And adding a little vino to the mix is icing on the cake."
"So pick up your phone. It's the Arboretum calling.” Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Assistant editor Steven Thomson's Pick: Opening of Chicago 7
Steven says: “This group exhibition features artists with ties to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, most of whom have lived or worked in Texas. An opening reception for the artists, including Jonathan Leach, Fatima Haider and Jesse Avina, will be held from 6 - 9 p.m. The exhibition, which has been curated by Joshua Reames, is on view through Feb. 26. Friday at 6:00 p.m.