Photo courtesy of NobleMotion Dance

NobleMotion Dance's pre-professional company, NMD2, will present Final Inning, featuring works by NMD directors Colette Kerwick and Lauren Serrano, as well as choreographers Hayden Stark, Travis Lake, and Kyle Craig-Bogard.

The concert will also highlight NMD's latest performance programming, Accelerate, featuring a cast of 14 dancers and six master choreographers, including Andy Noble, Brittany Deveau, Evelyn Toh, Francisco Graciano, Justin Curry, and Lindsey McGill.

NMD2 is a group of young artists who are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of contemporary dance.

Photo courtesy of Express Children’s Theatre and Dance of Asian America

Express Children’s Theatre and Dance of Asian America present The Legend of the Lantern Festival

A mischievous fairy’s trick endangers an ancient Chinese village – but is her magic strong enough to save them? This performance will feature 40 dancers from Dance of Asian America; based on myths about the concluding celebration of Chinese New Year.

Photo courtesy of Express Children’s Theatre and Dance of Asian American

Express Children’s Theatre and Dance of Asian American present Legends of The Lunar Festival

The Legend of the Lantern Festival tells the story of an ancient Chinese village that struggles to ward off an invading dragon until they take the advice of a wise child. The performance will feature 30 dancers from Dance of Asian America based on myths about the origins of Chinese New Year.

Photo courtesy of Houston Contemporary Dance Company

Houston Contemporary Dance Company presents Restore

Houston Contemporary Dance Company will present Restore, featuring new and signature dance works from the past four seasons with guest performances from McKinley Willis, Peter Chu, and Alexander Anderson. The evening length program also features choreography by Kia Smith and Carmen Cage.

Photo by Dario Calmese

Performing Arts Houston presents Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

When Alvin Ailey and a small group of African American dancers took the stage on March 30, 1958 at New York City’s 92nd Street Y, the engagement was for one night only, but it turned out to be the start of a new era in the arts.

Sixty years later, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater continues its reign as an American “cultural ambassador to the world” - having performed live for an estimated 25 million people in 48 states, 71 countries, and six continents.

The gifted and gorgeous Ailey dancers infuse energy and emotion to classics and new works alike. Guided by the visionary artistic director Robert Battle, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater remains the nation’s leading modern dance company.

Photo courtesy of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Performing Arts Houston presents Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, the world’s foremost all-male comic ballet company, famed for performing en travesti and on pointe, is back with another sensational program spoofing some favorite works. The company’s 50th anniversary season showcases the virtuosity of these dancers, who amaze even as they send the audience into stitches by exaggerating the foibles, accidents, and underlying incongruities of serious dance.

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River Oaks-area Japanese restaurant set to shutter after 4-year run

sayonara shun

A popular Houston Japanese restaurant will soon serve its last meal. Shun Japanese Kitchen will close its doors on Saturday, June 10.

Chef Naoki Yoshida opened Shun in October 2018 to serve his Texas-influenced take on traditional Japanese cuisine such as lamb barbacoa gyoza and smoked miso baby back ribs. Yoshida is a second generation restaurateur, as his family owns staple Montrose sushi spot Nippon.

Over time, the restaurant became known for a number of initiatives, including serving Japanese-style soufflé pancakes, launching the Hako Bento Box Company ghost kitchen, and hosting a Christmas Day fried chicken dinner that paid homage to Japan’s love for KFC. Yoshida also created events such as the Tokyo Night Festival and Tokyo X to celebrate Japanese culture.

"We are very thankful for all the support over the last five years," Yoshida said in a statement. "Although I am saddened to close this chapter of Shun Japanese Kitchen, I am excited to open another chapter for the future. We have some thrilling events and concepts planned in the future with the same goal to continue promoting Japanese culture in Houston."

Those “thrilling events” start with the Tokyo X festival, which will be held at NRG Center on June 17-18. The festival will feature more than 200 vendors, a Japanese car show, a $1,000 cosplay contest, martial arts demonstrations, and more.

After the festival, the chef plans to travel to research his next restaurant, described as the first Japanese-owned omakase restaurant in Houston. It’s expected to open in the fall of 2024.

Starry style: Where to score the most fashionable summer color trends for every zodiac sign in Houston


Summer is here, which means it's time to start thinking about the perfect outfits to make a statement all season long. With so many hot trends on the horizon, it can be overwhelming to decide where to begin.

Not to worry, we've curated this summer's wardrobe essentials using power colors related to each zodiac sign. By aligning summer attire with zodiac signs, fashionistas can find outfits that perfectly match specific personality traits and energy, helping to radiate positivity and, who knows – maybe even manifest summertime goals.

So why wait? Dive into the latest summer trends, and discover the perfect look based on the stars — and where to find them in Houston.

Capricorn: Brown and gray

Body-con dresses are everywhere this summer; this color combo is neutral enough to go from summer to fall. Capricorns love to feel beautiful without drawing extra attention to themselves, and this summer drop from Veronica Beard in River Oaks District does the job.

Brown and gray are power colors for Capricorns who like to go under the radar. Photo by Veronica Beard

Aquarius: Blue

Associated with water, thoughtfulness, serenity, and tranquility, blue is perfect for channeling your inner zen while watching the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in this Baseball Y'all tee from Julia Morales.

The Baseball Y'all shirt is the perfect blue for summer and a Houston Astros game. Photo by Julia Morales

Pisces: Light green

Pretty and fresh, the light color green is associated with nature, relaxation, and vitality. This Orite Choker from Houston designer Susana Vega is a classic piece to wear with just about everything this season.

Houston designer Susana Vega designed Orite Chocker in a great shade of green for Pisces. Photo by Susana Vega

Aries: Red

Known for passion, determination, and leadership abilities, the power color for Aries is red. Every Aries will be ready for adventure in Kick Pleat'sJersey Dress in color Poppy.

Visit Kick Pleat on Kirby for this relaxed dress in the color poppy. Photo courtesy of Kick Pleat

Taurus: Green

Green is linked to being dependable and consistent, just like a Taurus who likes to feel grounded in their earthy power color. This flouncy green dress from the brand ASOS is available at Nordstrom in the Galleria and is a great pick for spring and summer events.

Taurus can feel confident in this party dress by ASOS. Photo by ASOS

Gemini: Yellow

Yellow is known for happiness and optimism, which is exactly what you'll feel wearing the Christy Lynn Parker Top embroidered in just the perfect shade of lemon.

Gemini can wear this yellow top by Houston designer Christy Lynn Lee on repeat all spring and summer. Photo courtesy of Christy Lynn

Cancer: Silver

Shine bright like a diamond all summer in Aquazzura's Sundance Plateau Sandals from Tootsies. Wearing silver helps Cancers feel calm, comforted and hopeful – all the ingredients for a fantastic warm weather season.

Stand tall in these sky high heels from Tootsies. Photo courtesy of Tootsies

Leo: Gold

Feel like a star in a shimmering gold bikini by famed swimsuit designer Shoshana. The color gold is typically associated with confidence, wealth, success, and extravagance – yes, please! Available at Saks Fifth Avenue, the bikini is giving ultra-luxe mermaid vibes.

Bring ultra-luxe mermaid vibes in this bold gold bikini by Shoshana, available at Saks Fifth Avenue. Photo courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

Virgo: Brown

Even earth signs have to protect themselves from the sun, and this Panama Hat from Freya is an excellent combination of sand and neutral colors for any summer outfit. The color brown is often found in nature and is the power color for Virgos, who are known to be reliable and wise.

Virgos can protect themselves from the sun and wear a power color in this hat by Freya. Photo by Freya

Libra: Pink

Libras are lovers of balance, peace, generosity, and indulgence. Their power color is pink which is linked to love, femininity, optimism, and kindness. This Taffy Rainbow Zinnia Crystal Paillette Knotted Headband from Lele Sadoughi in River Oaks District is the ideal way to incorporate Libra's power color into a fun summer style.

Lele's store in River Oaks is brimming with pink for Libras. Photo by Lele Sadoughi

Scorpio: Black

Scorpios can channel their sophistication and power vibes in this Black Sweetheart Strapless Vinyl Jumpsuit from Chloe Dao. It is an eye-catching outfit made for a night out on the town this summer.

Scorpios will turn heads in Chloe Dao's vinyl jumpsuit. Photo by Chloe Dao

Sagittarius: Purple

Wearing purple can make a Sagittarius feel even more optimistic, funny, open, and social. That's at least four reasons to pick up this lovely Irene Recycled Vegan Crossbody Bag from Edit in Memorial.

Purple in any shade is perfect for Sagittarius.Photo courtesy of Edit

Ken Hoffman catches up with the Houston face of famed American Gladiators series now focus of 2-part ESPN doc

houston gladiator

As longtime Houstonians know, Lisa Malosky has been a media trailblazer since joining Channel 2 in 1991, as the first female sports anchor in Houston and going on to host the Houston Rockets studio show. She also covered college football and the WNBA for several networks.

But for all Malosky’s accomplishments in “serious” sports, her most memorable, certainly wildest and wooliest, role was hosting the runaway hit show American Gladiators for two seasons in the early ’90s.

A two-part documentary on the American Gladiators is airing this month on ESPN as part of its 30 for 30 series. The documentary also is streaming on ESPN+.

American Gladiators aired seven seasons debuting in 1989 and quickly becoming a global sensation. The sports-entertainment show pitted everyday contestants against musclebound superheroes with names like Gemini, Malibu, Thunder, and Ice in perilous games including Joust, Powerball, the Gauntlet and the Eliminator.

Basically, it was like watching your neighbors get the daylights knocked out of them by genetic freaks with biceps the size of bowling balls.

Sure, on TV it was all fun and games (until somebody gets their block knocked off), but behind the scenes the show was a tangle of deceit and greed involving a former Elvis impersonator who stole (let’s say took credit) for the idea of American Gladiators and didn’t mind stabbing his best friend in the back.

Malosky is all over the documentary. Since she lives only a few blocks from me, just over the border into Southside Place, it wasn’t hard catching up with her.

CultureMap: So how does a weekend sports anchor in Houston get to host one of the most popular shows in the world?

Lisa Malosky: They came to Houston, to The Summit back then, to have tryouts. I did a story for Channel 2 about them looking for new competitors for the show. So I got out there and did a couple of the events, you know, that’s what we do, reporter involvement. I remember doing the event where contestants had to slam dunk a ball into a cylinder while dodging the Gladiators.

Anyway, I shot the ball like a basketball and it happened to go in. (It wasn’t a fluke shot – Malosky had been a star hoopster at St. Olaf College in Minnesota.)

A month or two later, I got a phone call at the station. It was from the American Gladiators. I thought they were looking for footage we shot at the tryouts. No, they were looking for me.

Samuel Goldwyn, the studio boss, saw an interview I did on PBS about being a female sportscaster and how Title IX had affected my career. The American Gladiators were looking for a new host for the 1994 season and they wanted a female. That’s what got the ball rolling. I called my agent and we went off to Los Angeles for an interview. That’s how I got the job.

CM: You continued to anchor sports at Channel 2 during those years. How did it work – did you use your Channel 2 vacation time to tape American Gladiators?

LM: Channel 2 let me take the month of June off. I went to Los Angeles and we taped the entire year’s worth of shows during that one month. We taped two shows a day. We’d work four days, then have a day or two off, and then work four more days.

CM: Raise your right hand. How much of American Gladiators was fake?

LM: It was absolutely real. None of it was staged, 100-percent swear on the Bible. Clearly there were times when the Gladiators lost their temper, but no one got hurt.

I never witnessed anybody trying to hurt someone intentionally. I remember if someone knocked off a Gladiator in Joust, I felt sorry for the next contestant who had to face that Gladiator.

CM: Who were your favorite Gladiators to hang out with?

LM: I have to be honest with you. I approached this job like I did my sportscasting job. Which is that I didn't fraternize with the people I covered and that's the truth. I didn’t spend much time with them, but I would say that Siren made the biggest impression on me. She was the young Gladiator who was deaf. I enjoyed her because she was just lovely and kind and sweet. Laser was a really good guy. He's a former football player from Montana State. We're Facebook friends now.

CM: American Gladiators reruns played for years after it was canceled in 1997. Did you get residuals? Was there a Lisa Malosky action figure?

LM: Ha! Maybe I should check to see about that action figure. Sorry, no residuals.

CM: So what are you doing now? How do you follow a phenomenon like American Gladiators?

Lisa Malosky American Gladiators

Photo courtesy of Lisa Malosky

Malosky quickly became a face of the American Gladiators as the Houston-based host.

LM: I have my own video production company, Lisa Malosky Productions. I work mostly with nonprofits, doing videos for their galas and websites. It’s extremely gratifying work.