HIV Testing. HCHD Thomas Street Clinic is offering HIV testing free to the public, 9 am–1 pm. There is no need to establish eligibility (“gold-card”), no donation will be asked of the person seeking testing, and the test is free. Thomas Street Clinic, 2015 Thomas, 713/873-4157 or 713/873-4026.
HIV Testing. The Montrose Clinic offers free confidential HIV testing at these locations. Monday: Bricks, 617 Fairview, 4–8 pm; O, 710 Pacific, 9 pm–1 am. Tuesday: The 611, 611 Hyde Park, 4–8 pm; Club Houston, 2205 Fannin, 8 pm–midnite. Wednesday: Mary’s, 1100 Westheimer, 4–8 pm; Ripcord, 715 Fairview, 9 pm–1 am; EJ’s, 2517 Ralph, 10 pm–1 am; Midtowne Spa, 3100 Fannin, 10 pm–1 am. Thursday: All-Star News, 3415 Katy Frwy, 4–8 pm; BRB, 2400 Brazos, 8 pm–midnite; Cousins, 817 Fairview, 8 pm–midnite. Friday: EJ’s, 2517 Ralph, 10 pm–1 am; Midtowne Spa, 3100 Fannin, 10 pm–1 am; The Meatrack, 2915 San Jacinto, 10 pm–2 am; Rich’s, 2401 San Jacinto, 10 pm–1 am. The clinic offers classes for those newly diagnosed with HIV or Hepatitis C. For more info: 713/830-3000.
6 & 7 (Fri. & Sat.)
Margaret Cho. On her last few tours, Margaret Cho has entertained crowds both GLBT and straight from a distance at huge rooms like The Verizon Theater. This time, she returns to a more intimate club setting at The Improv, Houston’s new branch of the famous chain of national comedy A-rooms. • Why return to a comedy club? She’s developing material for a new tour, like The Notorious C.H.O. The new subject matter will not be as ribald as the last tour. “I don’t even know what it’s going to be yet,” she told OutSmart magazine. “It’s going to be pretty topical, according to what’s happening in the news,” especially the war in Iraq. This subject has become the hot topic. Henry Rollins’s current spoken-word tour covers it, too. But Cho’s new show will not be 100% political. “Why can this heterosexual girl [Britney Spears] get married and have it annulled immediately as a joke? Yet gay couples want that and have wanted it for years and don’t see it as a joke.” Feb. 6 at 8 & 10:30 p.m., Feb. 7 at 7 & 9 p.m. at The Improv, Marq*E Center, 7620 Katy Fwy @ Silber. $27. More info: 713/333-8800, www.improvhouston.com, or www.margaretcho.com. Also at The Improv in February: February 12–15: Jake Johannsen with special guest Maria Bamford, with OutSmart’s own Eric A.T. Dieckman as the opening act. The show on the 12th is a special fundraiser arranged by Dieckman to benefit Pink Ribbons Project, a locally based breast cancer awareness group. • February 19–22: Paul Rodriguez. • February 26–29: Earthquake.
6 & 7 (Fri. & Sat.)
All in the Family. Looking for a way to change your family from dysfunctional to functional? Maybe Terrence Real can help. The best-selling author of I Don’t Want to Talk About It and How Can I Get Through to You, Real is a family therapist and couples counselor who’s been on NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, Oprah, and 20/20, among others. His two-day workshop centers on creating healthy family relationships. $50. Friday, 7 pm; Saturday, 9 am–12:30 pm at Christ Church Cathedral’s Great Hall, 1117 Texas Ave. Information/reservations: 713/222-2593 or www.christ churchcathedral.org or www.relational recoveryinstitute.com.
Beachy Homes and Gardens. The 16th Annual Galveston Home and Garden Show benefits the Animal Shelter and Adoption Center of Galveston. Learn about fine crafts, home and garden accessories, blooming plants, and gourmet foods. Friday night offers a sneak preview for $40 with samples from area restaurants and a large silent auction. The first 200 DIY’ers to enter Saturday morning receive a free tropical blooming plant from Moody Gardens Horticultural Therapy Program. $4 in advance, $5 at the door, kids under 12 get in free. Saturday: 10–6 pm; Sunday: 11–4 pm. Exhibit Hall C at Moody Gardens. Info: 409/763-0263 or www.galveston.com/homeandgardenshow/.
Peking Tuck (and Roll.) Performing unbelievable and nearly impossible acts of physicality, this gaggle of graceful athletes recreate acrobatic splendor from the 2,000-year-old tradition of their homeland. Sword balancers, unicyclers, contortionists, dancers, and physical comedic performers leave audiences spellbound. 7 pm at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. For information and tickets: 713/227-4SPA or www.spahouston.org.
Eggs-ultation. Bayou City Boys Club brings “Rise Up,” a gospel and all-you-can-eat brunch that includes bottomless Mimosas and live gospel entertainment. Proceeds benefit the Center for AIDS in memory of community activist Joel Martinez who founded the center and passed away this November. $35. 11:30 am–2 pm at 1415 California St. For tickets/information: www.bayoucityboysclub.org.
Owl of the Desert. Ida Swearington has worn a few hats in her day. NYC cabbie, beet shoveler, family therapist, novelist. She currently lives in Minnesota (where she used to shovel beets) with her partner. Whether her partner ever shoveled a beet is unknown. Her novel, Owl of the Desert, follows kate Porter after she gets out of jail. Recruited to track down her father who runs a right-wing militia. Pitted against personal danger, she decides to use her training as a soldier to battle her father’s armed disciples and finally face the man she has hated so long. Swearington signs copies of her novel, discusses her work and (maybe if you ask politely) the meditative joys of shovleing beets. 6 pm at Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. Info: 713/524-8597 or www.murderbooks.com.
The Whore’s Child’s Father. Named “the architect of stories you can’t put down” by the New York Times, Richard Russo is considered the best writer about small-town America since Sinclair Lewis. His Nobody’s Fool was made into a feature film with Paul Newman. His Empire Falls, which he is currently adapting into a screenplay, won him a Pulitzer Prize. His most recent work, The Whore’s Child, is a collection of short stories full of wry wit. The Inprint Brown Reading Series presents Russo to read from his work. $5, free to students and seniors. 7:30 pm at the Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Ave. For more information: 713/521-2026 or www.inprint-inc.org.
Dig This, Mister Fix-It. The 18th Annual Spring Texas Home & Garden Show presents everything you could ever want to know about gardening, décor, and fixing up your home to make it a more lovely, liveable space. Added to the list of things to do and see are the Annual Vacation, Leisure and Outdoor Show and pet info. Find out how to make your critters more cozy or adopt one altogether. Gourmet cooking and samples are also there to satiate the epicure in you. $8.50, kids 12 and under get in free. Friday: 2–9 pm; Saturday:10 am–9 pm; Sunday: 11 am–6 pm. Reliant Center. Information: 713/529-1616 or www. TexasHomeandGarden.com.
Orchestrated Birthday Party. It’s the 90th birthday of the Houston Symphony! This special concert honors all members of the symphony family with Hans Graf conducting the orchestra. Free to subscribers. Subscriptions: 713/224-7575 or www.houston symphony.org.
Classic Romance. Johannes Brahms is considered the last of the great classical-romantic composers. Dr. Clifton Evans of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society and the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts conducts Brahms’ Tragic Overture, three of his Hungarian Dances, and Symphony No. 3 in F Op. 90. Brahms’ Symphony No.3 has been called the most perfect of his symphonies. Free. 7:30 pm at Talento Bilingue de Houston, 333 S. Jensen at Navigation. For information: 281/586-2100.
20 & 21 (Fri. & Sat.)
Get Stupid. Her second presentation in Texas, Claude Wampler blurs the boundaries between visual and performance art with a new project—Stable (Stupidity Project Part 10)—tailor made for the Lone Star State. Dance, sculpture, photography, and sound combine and reflect upon each other to create an interdependent experience. Performances at 8 pm at DiverseWorks, 1117 East Fwy off Main at Naylor. For information: 713/223-8346 or www.diverseworks.org.
Peace Out. “Renewing our Connections: Exploring the Spirituality and Practice of Active Nonviolence” examines violence, nonviolence, social change, community building, and methods of fostering local action planning. The workshop is endorsed by Decade of Nonviolence-Houston and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Tution to the workshop includes six vegetarian meals and snacks, lodging, and a From Violence to Wholeness course book. $200 (schalorships available). 1 pm Friday through 4 pm Sunday at Blackwood Retreat Center, six miles north of Hempstead. For information: 713/699-8424, 979/830-5210, [email protected], or [email protected].
Compulsion. Directed by Richard Fleischer, this 1959 film is based on a novel about the infamous Leopold and Loeb case of the ’20s wherein two wealthy Chicago men, played by a young Dean Stockwell and Bradford Dillman, murder a young boy for sport. The two confess to the police and the papers, then find an attorney who struggles to keep them out of capital punishment. Represented by Clarence Darrow in real life (famous for his work in the Scopes “monkey trial”), the killers’ onscreen mouthpiece is the flamboyant Jonathan Wilk (Orson Welles). John M. Clum examines this film in chapter five of his book He’s All Man: Learning Masculinity, Gayness, and Love from American Movies. The title of the chapter is “Gay Killers.” 6 pm at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts. $6. Info: 713/639-7515 or www.mfah.org/films.
Heinz 57. Noted conductor and composer and world premiere oboist Heinz Holliger has a zeal for both baroque and contemporary works. Among Holliger’s setlist are a few sonatas from Czech Baroque master Jan Dismas Zelenka, a contemporary of Bach known for his harmonic inventiveness. $30. 7:30 pm at the Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross St. For information: 713/524-5050 or www.dacamera.com.
Run for the Bulls. Hey cowboyz and cowgrrls, who’s up for a fun-run? The 17th annual ConocoPhilips Rodeo Run includes a 10K race and a 5K fun run and walk and is expected to lead the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Parade with 6,000 participants from around the country. Both races begin together in downtown Houston and end at Minute Maid Park. Race entry fees benefit the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Educational Fund. Race ya. $20 ($25 for late entries). Race starts at 9:50 am at the corner of Louisiana and Texas Ave. For information: 281/293-2447 or www.conocophil lipsrodeorun.com.
Musical Stereotypes. Baroque composers had a penchant for musically encapsulating countries and cultures. The Mercury Baroque Ensemble’s Parade of Nations takes a look at some composers’ dulcet impersonations of Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the Americas. Composers on the list include Corbett, Rameau, Couperin, and Telemann. 7:30 pm at the Hobby Center’s Zilkha Hall. For tickets and information: 713/315-2525 or www.MercuryBaroqueEnsemble.org.
28 & 29 (Sat. & Sun.)
Hints from Eloize. In the relatively new tradition of artsy acrobatic circuses with French names and themed shows, Cirque Eloize presents Nomade. This surreal carnival for the soul journeys along the highways, byways, and (farm-to-market) roads of the imagination. The timeline of this physically whimsical fantasy begins at dusk and ends at dawn. Singing, juggling, tumbling, dancing. All in a day’s work. $18.50–$72. Saturday 3 pm and 8 pm, Sunday 3 pm at the Grand 1894 Opera House, Galveston, 2020 Postoffice St. For tickets: 409/765-1894 or 800/821-1894 or www.thegrand.com.
You See Your Gypsy . . . apologies for the Stevie › Nicks lyrics. Part of the Society for the Performing Arts International Series, Gypsy Spirit, Journey of the Roma takes the audience down the historic route of the Gypsy, from India through Europe, in a celebration of passionate dance, legendary music, and mysterious traditions. A people reviled for ages in Europe presents itself in a heartwarming evening of cultural exchange. 7 pm at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information and tickets: 713/227-4SPA or www.spahouston.org.
Music and Memory. Da Camera seems to always be there for impoverished music lovers, with free music events hither and thither. The first of their two free events at the Menil, Charles Ives: Music and Memory, finds the award-winning Miro’ Quartet exploring Charles Ives’ concepts of remembering through musical “snapshots” in his String Quartet No. 1 “From the Salvation Army.” Anthony Brandt , professor of composition and theory at Rice University, precedes the quartet’s open rehearsal with a brief talk. 3 pm at The Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross St. For information: 713/524-5050 or www.dacamera.com.
PLANNING AHEAD FOR MARCH
March 6 (Sat.)
H.M.S. Pinafore. Let your ship sail the ocean blue and remain and Englishman. Gilbert and Sullivan’s comedic opera sets sail in the Galveston harbor one night only. For whom will the lovely Josephine pledge her troth, the noble Sir Joseph Porter or the lowly seaman Ralph? $18.50–$63. 3 and 8 pm at the Grand 1894 Opera House, Galveston, 2020 Postoffice St. For tickets: 409/765-1894 or 800/821-1894 or www.thegrand.com.
March 9–14 (Tue.–Sun.)
Rent. The rockin’ youthful musical based loosely on the century-old opera La Boheme returns to Houston for just under a week. Join the Greenwich Village gaggle of bohos and starving artists as they struggle with their dreams and embrace life. $24.25–$56.25. At Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For tickets: 713/629-3700 or www.broadwayacrossamerica.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
• Birthday from Hell. The uproariously funny Fertle family faces more travails. About to turn 40, Bridgette Fertle finds herself stuck in midlife crisis. To make things worse, none of the Fertles seem to remember her birthday. To make things spooky, Mama Fertle believes she’s been visited by her late husband, Ned. On a brighter note, the Fertle family simp, Earl, is inducted into The High Order of Little Baby Owls. The amazing thing is that all these characters, and countless more, are played—seamlessly—by a cast of three. $18. Through May 15. Thursday and Friday at 8:30; Saturday at 8 and 10:30 pm at Radio Music Theatre, 2623 Colquitt (off Richmond & Kirby). Tickets: 713/522-7722.
• Dancing in Harlem. Aaron Callies’ story, a song-and-dance celebration of Harlem’s early days, promises loads of gut-level entertainment. Through February 14, 7 pm, at The Musical Theatre of Houston, 311 W. 18th St. For more information, call 713/868-2566 or e-mail [email protected]
• Fallen Angels. Noel Coward wrote this bold tale about Julia and Jane, best friends and former sweethearts of the dreamy Frenchman Maurice. Whilst their hubbies are away playing a round of golf, the two friends wait for their beloved Maurice to make an appearance. February 6–March 13 at the Company OnStage, 536 Westbury Square. For tickets: 713/726-1219 or www.companyonstage.org.
• House of Yes. In Wendy McLeod’s story of family dysfunction, eccentricity, and kink, Marty Pascal brings home his new fiancée for Thanksgiving. But what’s going on between Marty and his jealous sis, Jackie O? Brotherly-sisterly love goes a little too far in this darkly hysterical show. Directed by Joe Angel Babb, who directed The 8, a sickly humorous Christmas story last year about lesbian reindeer and a Santa consumed with pedophiliac bestiality. February 6–29 at Stages, 3201 Allen Parkway, Thursdays at 7:30 pm., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 3 p.m. For tickets: 713/547-0440 or www.u-p.org.
• The Jury. This musical written by local authors Diana Howie and Anna Fay Williams places 12 angry citizens in that hated seat of public service, jury duty. Howie has had nine plays presented locally as well as in Chicago, Edinbugh, and Vienna. Director John Garrett has spent the past three years studying under and working with Stuart Ostrow at the University of Houston’s renowned Musical Theatre Lab. $10. February 20–March 6 at The Country Playhouse, 12802 Queensbury (Town and Country Village Shopping Center near Beltway 8). For tickets: 713/467-4497.
• The Last Five Years. This intensely personal look at the relationship between a writer and an actress is told from both points of view, goes against the grain of the usual musical theater formulas and ushers in a unique musical score. Through February 14, 5 & 8 pm at Theater LaB Houston, 1706 Alamo. Tickets: 713/868-7516.
• The Magic Flute. Mozart’s captivating favorite tells the story of Princess Pamina and Prince Tamino, who falls in love with her. $19 and up. Through February 15 @ Wortham Theater Center’s Brown Theater, Texas Ave. at Smith St. For information: 713/228-OPERA, 1-800-62-OPERA, or www.houstongrandopera.org.
• Our Country: The History of Country Music. The history of America and the history of country music are both documented and paralleled in this visually stunning IMAX film. Historical footage is edited with breathtaking images of the mountains of Appalachia, the Grand Ole Opry, and the deserts of California. Featured artists include Dolly Parton, retro-country boys Asleep at the Wheel, Guy Clark, Loretta Lynn, and Houston’s own Lyle Lovett. Through June 7 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. For information: 713/639-4629 or www.hmns.org.
• The Producers. Mel Brooks’s hilarious film cum hysterical (and most awarded in Broadway history) musical makes its way to Houston with some new cast members. Lewis J. Stadlen returns from his run on Broadway to play Max Bailystock, the role he originated for the national tour. Alan Ruck, who played alongside Matthew Broderick as Cameron Frye in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, assumes the role of Leo Bloom, originally played by Broderick on Broadway. $36.25–$71.25. Showtimes vary. February 3–22 at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For tickets: 713/629-3700 or www.broadwayacrossamerica.com and www .ticketmaster.com.
• Red Scare on Sunset. McCarthy’s regime black-balled more celebs than Marilyn Monroe blueballed adolescent moviegoers. Hollywood was shaken like an unruly child in a search for fascist acting coaches, communist screenwriters, and sympathizing actors. All the while, fanatic flag-waving radio personalities cried for bigger and bigger witchhunts. Charles Busch’s satire finds the relevance of this era of paranoia in our current age of fear of terrorists and diminished personal security. $10 ($5 for students). February 13–21 at Rice University, Hamman Hall. For tickets: 713/348-PLAY.
• Symphony of Rats. Richard Foreman, the undisputed inheritor of Eugene Ionesco’s legacy of the absurd, can be described as hysterical yet devastating, nonsensical yet completely honest. In this particular play, Infernal Bridegroom Productions presents a U.S. president who cannot think or speak for himself (relevance, anyone?) who receives his instructions from outer space or maybe God. Who knows. Nonetheless, robots, spacemen, and presidential advisors indulge in moments of psychic outburst and deflation. $10–$15. February 19–March 13 at The Axiom, 2524 McKinney. Tickets: 713/522-8443 or www.infernalbridegroom.com.
• TEXAS: The Big Picture. Anyone who’s Texas-proud and is looking to convert a few unbelievers will find this Texaccentric film handy. Narrated by native Texan Colby Donaldson (of Survivor: The Australian Outback) who grew up on a ranch in the small town of Christoval in West Texas, TEXAS portrays the Lone Star State in all its cinematic beauty, from her rugged mountains to her serene plains to her majestic city skylines and all her diverse inhabitants therein. Through June 7 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. For information: 713/639-4629 or www.hmns.org.
• Three Mo’ Tenors. While listening to the famed Three Tenors venture beyond the classical genre, Broadway director Marion J. Caffey felt inspiration. The abilities of black operatic tenors to sing pop, gospel, blues, Broadway showtunes, and scat through jazz (not to mention opera) is breathtaking. An African American himself, Caffey assembled Victor Trent Cook, Rodrick Dixon, and Thomas Young to span over four centuries of music. February 27 & 28, 8 pm, at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information and tickets: 713/227-4SPA or www.spahouston.org.
• Topdog/Underdog. Lincoln and Booth are brothers, named by their father as a poorly chosen joke. The Pulitzer Prize-winning story of these two brothers, both three-card monte hustlers, digs deep into the existential dilemmas of being African-American and male in the United States. In this dizzying dance of brotherly love and hate, the balance of power keeps changing, with their ability to harm each other unending—they aren’t named Lincoln and Booth for nothing. Through February 15 at The Alley’s Neuhaus Stage, 615 Texas Ave. For tickets and information: 713/228-8421 or www.alleytheatre.org.
• Twelfth Night. Some of Shakespeare’s most memorable characters and moments are found in this romantic comedy. Gender-bending, mistaken identity, duplicity, love discombobulated, and high comedy abound in this classic tale. February 20–March 14 at the Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Ave. For tickets: 713/228-8421 or www.alleytheatre.org.
PERFORMING ARTS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
• From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Claudia Kinkaid and her brother Jamie run away from home. And where do they go? The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Wha?) When Claudia and Jamie discover a statue titled Angel, their adventurous research to learn its origin leads them to the door of a strong-willed, eccentric lady. See this one with your kids, then regale the wee ones with tales of your own childhood escapades in various museums of fine art (and hope they don’t decide you’re a geek). $5 for kids under 12, $6 for everybody else. Thursday, February 26, 7 pm, at the Grand 1894 Opera House, Galveston, 2020 Postoffice St. For tickets: 409/765-1894 or 800/821-1894 or www.thegrand.com.
• The Snow Queen. The iniquitous Snow Queen has separated Gerda and Kai. Gerda risks everything to rescue Kai from the Snow Queen’s ice palace in this tale of love and redemption adapted from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. Through March 6 at The Company Onstage, 536 Westbury Square, 713/726-1219.
• After Hours. Saturdays, midnight to 3 am. Featuring the QMZ (Queer Music Zone) with Jimmy Carper. KPFT 90.1 FM, 713/526-5738.
• Queer Voices. Mondays, 8-10 pm. Features, news, music, interviews, reviews, and commentary. KPFT 90.1 FM, 713/526-4000.
• Grass. Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey use grass as a photographic medium, so much that they collaborated with the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research to develop a genetically engineered strain of grass called SO-GREEN (copyright) that can hold the artists’ work for years rather than a few weeks like standard grasses. The two will use this untraditional medium to create a site-specific installation at Rice University Art Gallery. Through February 29 at Rice Gallery, Sewall Hall, Entrance 1. Info: 713/348-6069 or www.ricegallery.org.
• In Pursuit of the Absolute. Monochrome and non-objective works of greats such as Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko are featured in this exploration of abstract art of the 20th century. The focus of these artists is on an art free from the constraints of narrative and recognizable imagery. Through February 29, 2004, @ the Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross. Info: 713/524-9400 or www.menil.org.
• Painting an Empty Sky. A mural was created to commemorate the Space Shuttle Columbia astronauts who died February 1, 2003. The mural is the work of children of the astronauts and art students from Clear Creek I.S.D. who began working on it in the early summer. The preliminary sketches and plans are also on display. February 9–March 12, 9–5 pm Monday-Friday, at the Glassell Junior School, 5100 Montrose Blvd. For information: 713/639-7700.
• Passport to the Universe. This is not the dinky star show you went to as a kid. Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks narrates this full-dome, high-definition video at the Burke Baker Planetarium. Passport to the Universe brings you close-up views of star fields and planets through a virtual re-creation of our universe. Take the kids, bring the visiting relatives, or treat yourself to something just as entertaining as it is educational. $5 ($3.50 kids 3–11 & seniors 62+). At the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Info: 713/639-4629 or www.hmns.org.
• Print Auction. Need to enliven those walls with art? Houston Center for Photography presents its annual auction of print photography. View their electronic auction catalog at their website to find your picks, or pics, in advance. With over 100 photos to choose from—abstracts, portraits, still lifes, and famous fine-art photographers like William Wegman—there’s probably something you’ll want to take home. $35 in advance, $40 at the door. Tuesday, February 10. Buffet and preview at 6 pm, live auction begins at 7 pm at SP Martel Auditorium, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 3511 Yoakum Blvd. For tickets and information: 713/529-4755 or www.hcponline.org.
• Splendid Creatures. This exhibition of oil on canvas by Larry Knapp is full of vibrant color and representations of nature’s creatures. If you’re looking for something big, this show might do the trick. Knapp’s paintings average 50×60. February 6–March 6 at Gallery 3, 1101 E Fwy. For information: 713/236-8535.