The annual, indie-movie extravaganza known as the Sundance Film Festival happens in Park City, Utah should be currently underway. Unfortunately, the festival isn't taking place due to the pandemic. However, there will be some Sundance satellite screenings (held Thursday through Tuesday) going on at theaters and drive-ins across the country, like The DeLUXE Theater and the Moonstruck Drive-In right here in H-Town.
Meanwhile, look for an art opening, fun theater, a gumbo cookoff, and some riotous standup comedy. Here are your best bets for the weekend.
Thursday, January 28
Community Artists' Collective presents Ricardo Osmondo Francis: "2020" opening reception
Community Artists' Collective presents this exhibition, a solo show of new original paintings, a series deeply inspired by the Roman writer Ovid and his collection of myths called The Metamorphoses, by the Houston-born, New York City-based artist and curator. It's an allegorical reflection of mankind’s response and reality to the unprecedented COVID-19/Coronavirus worldwide pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. The exhibition will remain on display through Saturday, March 27. 5 pm.
Stages presents Ann
Ann Richards was a real one, wasn't she? The late, former Texas governor led a life that was both groundbreaking and hella amusing. So, of course, someone did a one-woman show about her life. Written by Emmy winner Holland Taylor, Ann is a no-holds-barred look at Richards. Following Stages' hit production in 2018, fan favorite Sally Edmundson reprised the role in a new production in Arkansas last year. After the pandemic shut them down, they produced a film version. It'll run through Sunday, February 7. 7:30 pm.
Friday, January 29
Da Camera presents Mendelssohn Portrait
This virtual concert is Felix Mendelssohn's rousing octet for strings, one of the most beloved works in all of classical music, composed when the wunderkind was just 16 years old. It includes a newly commissioned performance by the Brentano Quartet of two rarely-heard Mendelssohn pieces — for string quartet from the last year of his life, Theme and Variations and Scherzo — and a conversation with the Brentano’s Mark Steinberg about the Mendelssohn Octet. 7 pm.
Society for the Performing Arts presents Jaston Williams: I Saw the Lights
Austin favorite Jaston Williams (Greater Tuna) is back with this darkly funny, solo performance. When mysterious lights appeared over Lubbock in 1951, people wondered aloud whether they were part of some government plot, an invasion by the Russians or just seeing space aliens out to abduct Francine Whitharrel’s Persian cat. Viewers will hear from the preacher with too much sense of humor, a socialite from Connecticut who holds grudges against trees, and the cowboy with a chronic fear of water. 7 pm.
Saturday, January 30
Cedar Creek Bar & Grill presents 3rd Annual Gumbo Cookoff
Find out who has "the Best Roux in Hou" at this event, which is benefitting Summerhouse Houston. It will be a socially distanced, outdoor shindig, where more than 15 teams will be serving up the city's best amateur gumbo. Guests can sample the goods, vote for their fave and enjoy specials on beer and booze. The grand prize is $500, a trophy, and all the damn bragging rights. There will also be live music from Snits Dog and Pony Show. 1 pm.
The Riot Standup Comedy Show — Women Take Over the Show
Over at Rudyard's, this show will feature standup comedy from some of the funniest female comedians in Texas. Headliner Monna will bring along Kerry Smith, as they are the co-hosts of the podcast Claws Out Comedy. Houston’s own De De T will also be performing. Social distancing will be in place throughout the experience, including tables 6 feet apart, mask requirements, temperature checks at the door, and protective glass at the bar. 8 pm.
Sunday, January 31
The Creatives Market & Foodies Park at Axelrad
Well, this looks cute. Axelrad Beer Garden and Shop Local Market will be setting up a big lot, filled with vendors and food trucks, so people can shop and sample all the livelong day. Labels Vintage Streetwear, Pop Soap, High Sadity Hippie, and the White Magnolia Boutique are just a few of the local businesses that’ll be getting their hustle on, while Planet Churro, Southern Slider Co. of Texas and Orleans Seafood Kitchen will provide the grub. Noon.
Pulp Fiction at The Drive In off Navigation
The Drive In off Navigation will be open this weekend, so you might as well head over there and check out a movie. And what better movie to see than the 1994 movie that officially set off Tarantino-mania. That's right — the film that gave us '70s icon John Travolta as a heroin-hooked hitman, Samuel L. Jackson as his Bible-quoting partner, a dozen-or-so references from other movies and about a thousand ripoffs (anybody remember 2 Days in the Valley?) will play on Sunday night. 9:15 pm.