Plus Hot Ticket:
HOT TICKET: The Art of Troppy
Born in the tiny farming community of LaSara, Texas (population 369) in the Southwest Texas Valley area, both Darrell Ray Troppy and his only brother, Danny, left the soil to be tilled by others and became artists. In 1984, Darrell Troppy moved to Houston. Soon thereafter, he found work at the legendary club, Heaven, as art director, creating sets for icons such as Grace Jones and Divine. Continuing to paint, his work found its way into local galleries and was eventually featured on Good Morning Houston. The transition from small town to metropolis finally lost its spark, goading Troppy to move to the quieter but still creatively thriving community of Beaumont. There he could focus on creating art in earnest. Drawing inspiration from many a source, memories of friends lost to AIDS
frequently motivates Troppy to put brush to canvass. Many of his paintings are related to one or more friends who fought the battle but didn’t make it. Among his varied media is a process that is over two millennia old, encaustic. Putting his own spin on the age-old method, Troppy combines the ancient wax with space-age polymers and digital photography. The results are vivid flashes of color, sometimes metallic, often incorporating familiar symbols such as the Valentine heart, communicating an overall sense of positivity. January 8-February 8 at One Allen Center, 500 Dallas St. More information: www.dtroppy.com.
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JANUARY DAY BY DAY
L is the Word. Catch the season premiere of The L Word on a 52″ plasma screen with a bar full of like-minded souls. Have a drink, some dip, and whatever’s cooking up in the kitchen. It’s a new season; make a party of it. Show starts at 9 pm (get there early) at Ranch Hill Saloon, 24704 I-45, Ste. 103, Spring. Info: 281/298-9035 or www.MySpace.com/ranchhillsaloon.
12 & 13 (Fri. & Sat.)
Desi Dance Fever. Fresh from Broadway, The Color Purple choreographer Donald Byrd leads Seattle-based Spectrum Dance Theater as its artistic director with “Bhangra Fever.” Dramatic movement and music from all over the world blasts the stage, techno-electronic sounds thrust into traditional Indian music weaving modern urban culture seamlessly with ancient south Asia. Pre-performance discussion at 7 pm in the Cullen Theater West Alcove; performance prelude featuring local talent at 7:30 p.m. in the Wortham Center’s Grand Foyer. $32-$38. 8 pm at Cullen Theater, 501 Texas at Smith. Info/reservations: 713/227-4SPA or
Galveston AIDS Benefit. Undercurrent and the Gulf Coast Drag Mafia present Misty Valdez’s 20th annual AIDS benefit kickoff party, with special guest Kofi. All proceeds benefit Misty’s tour 2007 for AIDS Coalition of Coastal Texas. Food at 10 pm, showtime at 11 pm, at Undercurrent, 2409 Market.
Girls’ Night Out. Mukuru “Arts for AIDS” series presents this aptly titled concert benefiting AIDS Foundation Houston’s Community Partnerships in HIV Prevention program. Julia Kay Laskowski, Patricia Rabaza, and other singers perform 150 years of works by female composers and songwriters including Clara Schumann, Sarah McLachlan, and Indigo Girls. Boys welcome. $20. 7 pm at Ovations Night Club, 2536 Times Blvd. Info/reservations: 713/623-6796 ext. 278.
Fruit Bering. Urban Harvest holds its annual fruit tree sale, offering trees that fare well in our sultry Houston clime. From the conventional to the exotic, included are apples and oranges (but don’t compare them) to star fruit and guava. Proceeds benefit Urban Harvest programs in schools, donation and therapy gardens, and other programs. 8 am-1 pm at Emerson Unitarian Church, 1900 Bering Dr. Info: 713/880-5540 or
Plaaaaaaay Ball! Why not? If you’ve been wishing you were on a softball team, longing to be more fit, or yearning for some fun outdoor playmates, here’s your chance. Meet the folks of the Montrose Softball League this recruitment day and make your sporty dreams come true. 10 am-3pm for check in, clinics, and lunch, at Memorial Park fields 4 and 5. (Rain out January 28.) Ages 18 and over welcome. More info: [email protected] or
Julie Who? Da Camera presents Juilliard String Quartet’s 60th Anniversary: Legends and Legacies, joined by the Brentano String Quartet, whose members studied with and were mentored by the Juilliard. 8 pm at Cullen Theater, 501 Texas at Smith. Info/reservations: 713-524-5050 or www.dacamera.com.
Get Inside Your Head. What brain disorder afflicted Abraham Lincoln? Is there really a fine line between genius and mental illness? Learn the facts at Brain: The World Inside Your Head, an interactive exhibit. Take a virtual reality “brain cruise.” Immerse yourself in 3-D displays that put you in the midst of an electrical “brainstorm.” $6, $4 for seniors. Grand opening at 9 am at The Health Museum, 1515 Hermann Drive. Info: 713/521-1515 or www.thehealthmuseum.org.
Daily (Sundays thru April 22)
Fighting Fur with Fur. Buffalo Exchange encourages everyone to give your furs back to the critters. Coats For Cubs! takes donated fur and uses it to make bedding for orphaned and injured wildlife. Simply bring in your fur coats, accessories, and whatever else and let the kids at Buff-Ex know it’s a donation for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). (To claim a tax deduction, mail your fur directly to The HSUS, Attn: Coats for Cubs, 2100 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20037.) Information: 1-866-235-8255, www.coatsforcubs.org, or www.buffaloexchange.com.
Grab Yer Partner, Do-Si-Do. The rhythmically awkward are welcome here. Have some fun gittin’ fit with non-strenuous aerobic square dancing. No partner required. Casual dress. $5. 7-9 pm at Eldridge Park Community Center, 2511 Eldridge Rd., Sugar Land. Please call ahead to verify time and place: Jan, 281/498-5301. More info: [email protected]
Depression & Bipolar Support Group. Don’t let depression or bipolar disorder dig its bleak claws into what little hope you’ve managed to hide from the shadows. Bering Support Network helps those in need to connect with others who are learning to cope. You are not alone and can benefit from the experience of others. GLBT friendly. Free. Groups meet at Bering Memorial United Methodist Church, 1440 Harold, Room 232, 7:15-8:30 pm. Info: 713/526-1018.
Saving Animals partners with the City of Houston to save loving, adoptable animals from the pound and find them permanent homes. Adoptions take place at Northwest Mall every Saturday from 10:30 am-4:30 pm near entrance B. Information or to volunteer: 713/527-4490 or www.savinganimals.org.
The Houston SPCA Pet Loss Support Group provides a professionally facilitated, supportive, and safe environment for people to grieve the loss of a beloved companion. Free. First Tuesday of the month, 7 pm, at the Houston SPCA, 900 Portway Dr. Info: 713/869-7722, ext. 127, or www.houstonspca.org.
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February 6 (Tues.)
Art, Music, and the Politics of Race. In late February, innovative composer and jazz pianist Jason Moran brings to Houston his multimedia concert, Milestone. The concert is inspired by the work and writings of provocative African-American visual artist Adrian Piper. Leading up to the event, Da Camera of Houston presents this panel discussion featuring Jason Moran, Da Camera artistic director Sarah Rothenberg, Community Artists’ Collective director Michelle Barnes, and The Menil Collection’s curator of modern and contemporary art Franklin Sirmans. 7:30 pm at the Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross. Info: 713-524-5050 or www.dacamera.com.
February 7 (Wed.)
A Little Day Music. Da Camera of Houston’s free lunchtime performance series features pianist Timothy Hester and Friends. Go for the music, stay for the ticket drawings for an upcoming Da Camera event. Free. Noon in the Grand Foyer of the Wortham Theater Center, Texas at Smith. More info: 713/524-5050,
February 10 (Sat.)
Second Annual Fund for Teachers Fund Run. Show support for Houston-area teachers by running till your sole’s content. The run benefits Fund For Teachers, a Houston nonprofit that provides grants to teachers for summer professional development opportunities. $20 early registration for 5K race, $25 late registration; $10 early registration for runners 17 and under, $15 late registration for runners 17 and under. Free registration for Kids K Race. Early registration ends Jan. 26. Registration begins 7 am. Races begin at 8 am at Post Oak and Ambassador Way in the Galleria area. Due to city ordinances, pets are not allowed. Info/registration: 800/681-2667 or www.fundforteachers.org.
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365 Days/365 Plays. In 2002, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks determined to write a play every day for a year. Always at the forefront, Infernal Bridegroom Productions is participating in the largest simultaneous theater collaboration ever, with roughly 700 other groups around the U.S. and elsewhere producing a play a day for an entire year. Since each individual play is exceptionally short (no more than two pages), Parks wrote a triad of accessory plays called “The Three Constants.” Each day, one of Parks’ daily vignettes will be accessorized by the aforementioned trio. Look for cameos by local celebs. Free. Jan. 15-21, 8 pm, at The Axiom, 2524 McKinney. Info/reservations: 713/522-8443 or www.infernalbridegroom.com.
Amy’s View. Amy is caught between her aging mother, a fading grande dame of London’s West End, and her husband, who is scaling the heights of television fame in this bitter British comedy. Jan. 17-Feb. 4 at Stages Theatre, 3201 Allen Pkwy. Reservations: 713/527-0220 or www.stagestheatre.com.
Barefoot in the Park. Neil Simon’s comedy pits young newlyweds against an eccentric neighbor and a crappy Manhattan apartment. Can love endure a leaky skylight and a bedroom too cramped to fit a double bed? Jan. 10-Feb. 16 at the Company OnStage, 536 Westbury Square. Tickets/info: 713/726-1219 or
La Cenerentola ( Cinderella ). Rossini’s tale of the young lady and the prince who rescues her sounds even more romantic in Italian (with English surtitles). $20-$275. Jan. 27-Feb. 11 at the Wortham Center, Texas Ave. at Smith. Info/reservations: 713/228-OPERA, 800/62-OPERA, or www.HoustonGrandOpera.org.
Concertos, Early to Modern. Houston Chamber Orchestra spans the history of music from baroque to contemporary compositions that narrowly escaped Hurricane Katrina. One such example of the latter is “Concerto for Double Bass,” composed by New Orleanian Dave Anderson. Portions of the composition were reconstructed for this performance. $30, $10 for students. Jan. 29, 7:30pm, at Zilkha Hall, 800 Bagby. Information/reservations: 713/315-2525 or
Faust. Samuel Ramey sings the part of opera’s most famous devil, who takes Faust’s soul in exchange for another chance at youth and love. (Sung in French with English surtitles.) $20-$275. Jan. 20-Feb. 3 at the Wortham Center, Texas Ave. at Smith. Info/reservations: 713/228-OPERA, 800/62-OPERA, or www.Houston GrandOpera.org.
Homebody/Kabul. The opening act of Tony Kushner’s eerily relevant play centers on the Homebody, a matronly British wife and mother in a monologue about alienation from her family and an enchanting foreign land. The remaining two acts are the story of the Homebody’s husband and daughter, who travel to Afghanistan in search of their lost matriarch. (Adult and sexual situations, strong language, graphic content.) $20-$35. Jan. 27-Feb. 25 at Main Street Theater-Rice Village, 2540 Times Blvd. Info/reservations: 713/524-6706,
www.mainstreettheater.com, or www.ticketweb.com.
A Moon for the Misbegotten. Eugene O’Neill reprises the character of James Tyrone, the failed alcoholic actor from Long Day’s Journey into Night but focuses on his tenant neighbors, a shady father and his daughter Josie. Josie, not a portrait of grace by any means, schemes to swindle Tyrone. Her plans fail, twisting her fate and opening her up to love. Tickets start at $19. Jan. 12-Feb. 4 at Alley Theatre’s Hubbard Stage, 615 Texas Ave. Info/reservations: 713/228-8421 or www.alleytheatre.org.
Subject to Fits: A Response to Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot.” The Russian Prince Myshkin, labeled an “idiot” by 19th-century society, is not feeble in any way, but is simply an epileptic. As he struggles to fit in, he crosses paths with a world of lunatics and a universe of black comedy befitting Dostoevsky’s writing. Tickets start at $19. Jan. 19-Feb. 18 at Alley Theatre’s Neuhaus Stage, 615 Texas Ave. Info/reservations: 713/228-8421 or www.alleytheatre.org.
Swing! Jump, jive, and wail to an eclectic mix of Jive, Latin Swing, West Coast Swing, Hip-Hop Swing, and Country Western Swing. In addition to several original songs, the Tony Award-nominated show features such classic swing tunes as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” and “Harlem Nocturne.” $29-$92. Jan. 30-Feb. 11 at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby at Walker. Info/reservations: 713/558-8887 or www.tuts.com.
Urinetown, the Musical. The award-winning, much-talked-about irreverent musical satire returns to Houston, this time in a smaller setting (so you can really soak it up—get it?). In a drought-stricken future in which water use is controlled by powerful interests, one must “pay to pee.” A hero arises to rally the miserable, downtrodden citizenry to revolt against the corruption that control the city’s toilets—along the way, he finds love. $10-$35 (Pay-What-You-Can Sunday, Jan. 7). Through Jan. 27 at Main Street Theater-Chelsea Market, 4617 Montrose. Reservations: 713/524-6706, www.mainstreettheater.com, or www.ticketweb.com.
Yo Yo Ma. Have cello, will travel. The world’s most renowned artist in classical music visits Houston. Hans Graf conducts Dvorak’s “Cello Concerto,” Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” and other compositions. $55-$70. Jan. 18, 20, and 21, 8 pm Thursday and Saturday, 2:30 pm Sunday, at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. Information and reservations: 713/224-7575, www.houstonsymphony.org.
PERFORMING ARTS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Humphreys School of Musical Theatre. Theatre Under The Stars’ Humphreys School of Musical Theatre begins its spring curriculum. Beginning in mid-January, the school offers a variety of musical theater classes through The Studio. Open to students ages 2-adult, The Studio includes highlights such as “Broadway Babies,” “Musical Theatre Performance Workshops,” “Acting Studio with Justin Doran,” and “Swinging with TUTS.” No audition is required. Class cost, days, and dates may vary. All classes will be held in the TUTS Studios, Hobby Center, 800 Bagby at Walker. Registration/info: 713/558-8801 or www.tuts.com to download a registration form.
Winnie the Pooh. Eeyore, Roo, Rabbit, and Owl join the little bear in his search for honey and adventure. Jan. 13-Feb. 17 at the Company OnStage, 536 Westbury Square. Tickets /info: 713/726-1219 or
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After Hours. Sunday mornings, 1-4 am. Featuring the QMZ (Queer Music Zone) with Jimmy Carper. KPFT 90.1 FM, 713/526-5738.
Reach Out in the Darkness. Houston’s only transgender radio host and her partner present selected music from the ’60s, played like it was in the ’60s, exclusively from vinyl pressings. Every Wednesday morning, 3-6 am, KPFT Pacifica radio (90.1 FM).
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11th Annual Museum Educators Open House. Visit nine museums and listen to representatives from over 40 museums and cultural organizations. Free for all Houston-area teachers, student teachers, school administrators, and home schoolers. Jan. 20, 10 am-4 pm. Info/registration: 713/715-1939 or www.Houston
Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World. America’s first international celebrity is celebrated with this exhibition that explores the extraordinary life and astounding accomplishments of one of this country’s greatest citizens—a celebrated scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, diplomat, philanthropist, and humanitarian, who was also one of this country’s most-quoted and affable humorists. $5-$15. Through Jan. 21 at the Museum of Natural Science, One Hermann Circle Drive. Info: www.hmns.org or 713/639-4629. Información en Español: 713/639-4603.
Black Holes. Nothing escapes them, not even light. Not even irony. Totally invisible, they hold the power of a million suns and devour entire stars without so much as an “Excuse me.” See this new film that explores the dark mystery of the Black Hole. Opens Jan. 5 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, One Hermann Circle Dr. Info: 713/639-4629 or www.hmns.org.
Book of Fire. Using printmaking, painting and mixed media, American-born college professor Murray Zimiles captures the emotional experience of the Holocaust and violent destruction of Eastern European Jewry during the period. The Book of Fire is a 25-page, large-format book installed accordion-style. Free. Through Jan. 28 at Holocaust Museum Houston, 5401 Caroline St. Info: 713/942-8000 or www.hmh.org.
The Cat’s Meow. In an attempt to prevent caninus envy, this exhibit of the place of the cat in art balances out the Best in Show exhibit. Through Jan. 21 at the Museum of Fine Arts’ Beck Building, 5601 Main St. Info: 713/639-7300 or www.mfah.org (en Español: 713/639-7379).
Frogs! A Chorus of Colors. Since before the dawn of the dinosaur, frogs have hopped and crawled across the globe, developing characteristics more diverse than the cities of New York and San Fran combined. Find out which of these fascinating little critters are poisonous, tropical, and even cannibalistic. Jan. 19-May 6 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, One Hermann Circle Dr. Info: 713/639-4629 or www.hmns.org.
God Sleeps in Rwanda. This story was nominated for Best Documentary Short Film at the ’05 Academy Awards. The 1994 Rwandan Genocide left the country 70 percent female. The doc follows five women as they rebuild their lives and struggle to restore hope in their wounded nation. Jan. 30, 7 pm, at the Herzstein Theater in the Holocaust Museum, 5401 Caroline St. Info: 713/942-8000, ext. 105, [email protected] (Christina Vasquez), or www.hmh.org.
Hélio Oiticica: The Body of Color. One of the 20th century’s most innovative artists, Oiticica refused to sell his work. As a result, the exhibit of this artist concerned with liberating color into space is quite extensive. Documentaries and films accompany approximately 220 of his works. Through April 1 at the Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet St. Info: 713/639-7300 or www.mfah.org (en Español: 713/639-7379, TDD/TYY for the hearing impaired, call 713/639-7390).
The Lester and Sue Smith Gem Vault,
a new permanent exhibit hall, completes the collection begun by the now world-renowned Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals. Intensely hued jeweled masterpieces float wondrously in utter darkness. Look for the 2,765-carat Boulder Opal, the world’s finest of its kind, and the stunning centerpiece, a 1,869-carat natural emerald crystal, the largest and most spectacular ever recovered in North America. $9, $6 kids/students/seniors. Houston Museum of Natural
Science, One Hermann Dr. Info: 713/ 639-4629 or www.hmns.org (en Español: 713/ 639-4603).
The Modern West: American Landscapes, 1890-1950. For the first time in a major museum exhibition, the crucial role played by the western landscape in defining American Modernism will be explored in over 110 paintings, works on paper, and vintage photographs by artists including Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Jackson Pollock, and will reveal the connections between the West, Modernism, and ideas about national meaning. Through Jan. 28 at the Museum of Fine Arts’ Audrey Jones Beck Building, 5601 Main St. Info: 713/639-7300 or www.mfah.org (en Español: 713/639-7379).
David Novros. A contributor to the history of modern abstraction, Novros’ shaped monochromatic paintings are based on European frescos, mosaics, and cave paintings. Through Mar. 4 at the Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross. More info: 713/525-9400 or www.menil.org.
Pipilotti Rist. How many times can you say that name before you start to giggle? About three times for us. Her work in video, however, is nothing to titter at. Sensual, feminist, and emotional, the Swiss artist’s feature film and video installations dissolve the line between artist and audience. Through Jan. 28 at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 5216 Montrose Blvd. Info: 713/284-8257 or www.camh.org.
The Target Collection of American Photography: A Century in Pictures. The evolution of photography is examined in this exhibition featuring significant works by prominent photographers of the 20th century. See works produced from 1877 to 1998 by such celebrated American photographers as Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Imogen Cunningham, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Joel Sternfeld, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Catherine Wagner, and Edward Weston. The diverse selection of about 90 photographs provides insight into the historical and creative uses of photography. Through Feb. 25, at the Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet St. Info: 713/639-7300 or www.mfah.org (en Español: 713/639-7379; TDD/TYY for the hearing impaired: 713/639-7390).
Through the Eyes of Children: The Rwanda Project. Stunning images of children from post-1994 genocide Rwanda are the subjects of a new photo exhibit. What is so unusual about the exhibit is that the photos were taken by children—survivors and orphans of the Rwandan genocide—most of whom never saw a camera before the project started. Free. Through Feb. 18 at Holocaust Museum Houston, 5401 Caroline. For more information: 713/942-8000, www.hmh.org, or www.RwandaProject.org.
Wandjinas: Spirits of the Dreamtime. This collection of new works depicts the creation spirits believed by Aboriginal people to have traveled Western Australia for thousands of years. Through Jan. 31 at Booker-Lowe Gallery, 4623 Feagan St. Info: 713/880-1541 or www.bookerlowegallery.com.
Yale Street Arts Market is an exciting Heights market created for local artists to display and sell original works of art. Local musicians entertain all day. It’s a mini art festival in the Heights! Every month on 1st Saturday. Now at 548 West 19th at Wind Water Gallery’s parking lot. Info: www.YaleStreetMarket.com. Be sure to visit The Artful Corner at 3423 White Oak Blvd., 713/426-4ART.
Thomas Street Clinic is offering HIV testing free to the public, Mon.-Fri. 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.
The Montrose Clinic offers free confidential HIV testing at these locations:
Decades, 1205 Richmond, 713/521-2224, Mon. 6-10pm (Dennis);
EJ’s, 2517 Ralph, 713/527-9071, Wed. & Fri. 10pm-1am (Rhonda & Lourdes);
Mary’s, Naturally, 1022 Westheimer, 713/527-9669, Wed. 4-8pm (Jack);
Midtown Spa, 3100 Fannin, 713/522-2379, Tues. 9pm-1am (Carlos), Wed. 10pm-1am (Juan), Fri. 10pm-1am (Quincy);
Ripcord, 715 Fairview, 713/521-2792, Wed. 9pm-12am (Matthew);
Inergy/Mango Lounge, 5750 Chimney Rock, 713/660-7310, Mon. 9pm-12am (Carlos);
1415 Bar & Grill, 1415 California, 713/522-7066, Thurs. 9pm-12am (Carlos);
611 Hyde Park Pub, 611 Hyde Park, 713/526-7070, Tues. 3-7pm & Sun. 2-6pm (Matthew);
All Star News and Video Emporium, 3415 Katy Freeway & Studewood, 713/869-7878, Mon. & Thurs. 4-8pm (Jack);
Brazos River Bottom, 2400 Brazos, 713/528-9192, Thurs. 8pm-12am (Matthew);
Cousin’s, 817 Fairview, 713/528-9204, Thurs. 8pm-12am (Jack);
Club Houston, 2205 Fannin, 713/659-4998, Tues. 8pm-12am (Dennis). For more info: 713/830-3000.
Planned Parenthood offers free anonymous or confidential testing at clinic locations throughout the area. To speak with an HIV counselor: 1-800-230-PLAN, Dickinson: 281/337-7725, Fannin: 713/831-6543, FM1960: 281/587-8081, Greenspoint: 281/445-4553, Huntsville: 936/295-6396, Lufkin: 936/634-8446 x223, Rosenberg: 281/342-3950, Stafford: 281/494-9848.
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