Day-By-Day Events, Performance, Performance for Young People, Radio, Art/Photography, HIV Testing. Spotlight: Korean ‘Brokeback’ and Gendermyn
May Day-to-Day and Weekly/Monthly• Planning Ahead • For the Summer • Performing Arts • Performing Arts for Young People • Radio • Art/Photography • HIV Testing
TEARS OF A CLOWN
‘The King and the Clown’ join forces at the museum.
Dubbed the Korean Brokeback Mountain because of its homoeroticism, The King and the Clown, which screens on June 1 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is actually more chaste than the Ang Lee-directed American film. An intimate relationship between one of two itinerant male clowns and the tyrannical 16th-century ruler who takes a fancy to him is never depicted but definitely implied (and there is a king-on-clown kiss). Even that suggestion created a sensation upon the 2005 premiere of the film. Loosely based on historical events, the film is part of Korean Cinema Now (and Then) at the museum. $7 general admission; museum members, seniors, and students with identification receive a $1 discount. More info: 713/639-7515, www.mfah.org/film. — Tim Brookover
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Gendermyn’s Summer Lovin’: One Decade at a Time, plays Numbers on June 7.
The benders of gender are back. Houston’s own gender performance troupe, Gendermyn, is staging another fine show, lovingly called Summer Lovin’: One Decade at a Time. • “Don’t let the title fool you—this is not a throw-back to Grease,” says Gendermyn co-founder Jessica Mays. “Instead, this show challenges the gender spectrum along a space/time continuum. One Decade at a Time presents period pieces throughout different decades; contemporary music with historical looks is the vision.” • Expect performances from GM member Rufio (pictured here) and the rest of crew depicting Victorian genderqueers, ’20s-era’s Josephine Baker’s banana dance, ’30s queer glamour, and everything in between. • More than 500 people packed into Numbers for Cirque du SoGay, the GM’s last show; expect no less for this next foray scheduled June 7, 9 p.m., at Numbers Nightclub, 300 Westheimer. • When they aren’t busy “challenging the gender continuum,” Gendermyn members devote time to community projects, including helping out last month with the transgender Unity Banquet. The ‘myn also perform May 18 for Planned Parenthood’s Purple Party at Meteor, and travel to Austin on May 30 to play the Kings N Things’ birthday show at the Elysium, 705 Red River. Details: www.myspace.com/bayoucitygendermyn. — Nancy Ford
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TG Support Group. The transgender support group, “HTGA,” is open to any transgender-identifying individual, friend, or family member. Free. 7–9 pm at the Haven’s Center, 1827 W. Alabama. More info: 713/526-0555 x 228 (ask for Cristan) or www.transhouston.com.
TG Potluck Social. The “Transgender Potluck Social” offers friendship, support, fellowship, and a hot meal to transgender-identifying individuals, friends, and family. Please remember to bring food to share. Free. 7–9 pm, at the GLBT Community Center, 3400 Montrose, Ste. 207. More info: 713/526-0555 x 228 (ask for Cristan) or www.transhouston.com.
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.
Love and Rackets. Tennis players and enthusiasts of all levels are invited to join the Houston Tennis Club at Memorial Park tennis center. The club gathers Sundays from 9 am–noon, Wednesdays from 7:30–9 pm, and offers clinics every Saturday from 9–10:30 am. There are also social activities throughout the year. Annual membership $30, court fees $3 per session. More info: www.houstontennisclub.org
Monthly (Every 4th Saturday)
FTM TG Support Group. The Female-To-Male transgender support group, “STAG,” welcomes all female-to-male transgender-identifying individuals, friends, and family members. All new attendees must first contact Georges prior to attending. Free. 5–6 pm. More information (including location): 713/526-0555 x 228 (ask for Georges) or www.transhouston.com.
Monthly (Every 4th Saturday)
TG Support Group. TS Support Group. The transsexual support group, “TATS,” welcomes all transsexual-identifying individuals, friends, and family members. All new attendees must first contact the Cristan prior to attending. Free. 4 to 5 pm. More information (including location): 713/526-0555 x 228 (ask for Cristan) or www.transhouston.com.
Second Saturdays at Winter St. Studios. It’s open-door policy at Winter St. Studios every second Saturday of the month. This is a great way to meet and hang with the varied artists working in many different media and styles in their studios. Participating artists have a large red dot on or near the door of their studio. All are welcome between 1 and 6 pm. Winter St. Studios, 2101 Winter St. More info: 713/862-0082 or www.winterstreetstudios.net.
Read On. Want to spend at least one afternoon each month sharing with other titillating women like yourself? The Exchange meets the first Sunday of each month, 2 p.m. at Baba Yega Restaurant. Bring your favorite nonfiction and/or fiction to this new book club to ruminate, and even cogitate, in public. Details: [email protected].
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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Ritmo Latino , featuring the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, a Grammy Award-winning 13-member salsa and Latin music band, presented by Society for Performing Arts. 8 pm, Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. Free. Info: www.milleroutdoortheatre.com or 281/373-3386.
Express Yourself. Learn how to build inner confidence and self-esteem from Denise O’Doherty, licensed professional counselor/therapist. Techniques that help improve your health, relationships, work performance, and attitude toward others. $30. 10 am–noon. Unitarian Universalist Church, 1900 Bering Dr. Info: www.llu.com or 713/529-4414.
After Einstein: Music and the Relativity of Time. Nobel winner Albert Einstein’s studies of time and passion for the violin inspired Da Camera’s 20th anniversary season finale. The great scientist’s beloved Mozart, represented by the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A Major, K. 581 , alongside Olivier Messiaen, whose monumental Quartet for the End of Time transports the audience to a spiritual dimension far beyond ordinary time. 8 pm. $22–$38. Students/seniors half price with ID. Cullen Theater at Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas Ave. Tickets/info: www.dacamera.com or 713/524-5050.
3 & 4 (Sat. & Sun.), 10 & 11 (Sat. & Sun.)
34th Annual Galveston Historic Foundation’s Homes Tour. Ten houses dating from 1839 to 1912 will be on view, with seven special events and, for the first time, a showcase house featuring the work of professional interior designer teams in The Williams House, the island’s second-oldest home. $25. 10 am–6 pm. Tickets/info: www.galvestonhistory.org or 409-765-7834/1-877-772-5425.
Brad Sayles’ Echoes of Invention . Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens is the quintessential setting for River Oaks Chamber Orchestra’s world premiere of this Houston composer, featuring narration by NPR host John Lienhard. In the last two years, the historic 14-acre estate has hosted outdoor jazz and opera performances under the stars in its elegant Diana Garden. The 40-piece orchestra will perform under a tent with seating for 500. Preview reception, 5:30 pm; concert, 6:30 pm. $25; $20, MFAH/ROCO members; $10, students. Tickets/info: www.rocohouston.org or 713/665-2700. Bayou Bend is located at 1 Westcott Street off Memorial Drive.
A Little Day Music features the Fischer Duo. Da Camera’s free lunchtime series includes drawings for tickets to an upcoming Da Camera concert. Grab lunch to-go and enjoy live music. Noon. Grand Foyer, Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas Ave. Info: www.dacamera.com or 713/524-5050.
ActOUT at The Alley: The Gershwins’ An American in Paris . Houston’s premiere theater group for GLBT fans and friends celebrate the hilarious new musical comedy. Hear some of the best-loved songs by George and Ira Gershwin including: “’S Wonderful,” ”They All Laughed,” “Stairway to Paradise,” and many more. Tickets start at $40. 7:30 pm. Hubbard Stage at Alley Theatre, 615 Louisiana St. More info: www.alleytheatre.org or 713/220-5700 and mention ActOUT.
Alley Theatre Ball 2008, An American in Paris , with a special performance by Frank Sinatra Jr. Enjoy a night of dinner and dancing to benefit the Alley Theatre. The extravagant event celebrates the world premiere of the Gershwin comedy musical An American in Paris . 7 pm, University Business Park Movie Studios, An American in Paris Set #7, 5000 Gulf Freeway, Bldg. #7. Reservations/tickets/info: e-mail s[email protected] or call Sheri Forman at 713/315-3332.
Kara Hearn: A Problem of Courage. Artist opening reception at DiverseWorks displays video and other works that examine how travesties large and small, imagined and real, mediated and lived hang about. Free. 6–8 pm. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Frwy. Info: www.diverseworks.org or 713/223-8346.
Stephen Vitiello’s Four Color Sound. An artist known for creating powerful, beautiful, and immersive installations that transform incidental atmospheric noises into mesmerizing soundscapes, Vitiello’s latest project transform the gallery space into a virtual meditation chamber. Free. Opening reception 6–8 pm. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Frwy. Info: www.diverseworks.org or 713/223-8346.
OUT at the Opera : Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd . An all-male cast performs Hermann Melville’s nautical allegory, which tells of the destruction of innocence at sea. A timeless tale of the inner conflict between personal morality and public duty, Billy Budd features British tenor Andrew Kennedy as Captain Vere. Stars Daniel Belcher as Billy, baritone Liam Bonner as Redburn, bass-baritone Ryan McKinny as Flint, and Canadian bass Phillip Ens as black-hearted John Claggart. Performed in English with English surtitles. Tickets start at $20. 7:30 pm. Brown Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas Ave. Tickets/info: www.houstongrandopera.org or 713-228-OPERA (6737).
Wine and Dine fundraiser for Brazos Abiertos. “Comida y Amigos” features special guests of honor, Oscar de la Rosa and La Mafia. Event includes a silent auction. Proceeds benefit Brazos Abiertos, whose mission is to provide AIDS education and health services to HIV+ persons in Merida, Yucatan, México. Benefit dinner will be held in an Afton Oaks private home, 7–11 pm. $100 per person. Tickets/more info: www.hivyucatan.org or [email protected].
One Shot. Inspired by the beauty, sense of community, and legacy captured by the great African-American artist, photographer, and Pittsburgh native, Charles “Teenie” Harris, nicknamed “One Shot,” Brown blends African, modern, ballet, and contemporary dance styles to tell stories of the African Diaspora. One Shot delves into the essence of family, hope, dignity, and celebration at the heart of Teenie’s art in seven sections: “First Glance,” “Bellows,” “Free Spirits,” “The Meeting Room,” “Faith & Decadence,” “Poinciana,” and “The Crossroads.” Part of a citywide collaboration: The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston, DiverseWorks, Society for the Performing Arts, Blaffer Gallery, and Project Row Houses. 8 pm at Cullen Theater, Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave. Info: www.diverseworks.org. Tickets: www.spahouston.org.
Duelling Divas , presented by Ars Lyrica, is an experimental mix of old and new, with an American Idol -style singing contest and an instrumental concerto likewise conceived as a competition between multiple soloists. See Performing Arts category for more details. $25/$20 seniors/$15 students. 5 pm at Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. Tickets/info: www.thehobbycenter.org or 713/315-2525.
14, 16, & 17 (Wed., Fri., & Sat.)
Tree Care and the Environment. The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center presents an adult class designed to teach the basic biology of woody plants, pruning practices, and to explore current and historical myths and philosophies related to tree care. Saturday outdoor session includes discussion on proper tree selection, planting techniques, and maintenance practices. Instructor: Phil Coker, certified arborist. $75 members; $95 non-members. Pre-registration required. Wed., May 14 and Fri., May 16, 7–9 pm. Outdoor class: Sat., May 17, 10 am–11:30 am. 4501 Woodway Dr. Info: www.HoustonArboretum.org or 713/681-8433.
POZ Social for Gay Men invites you to socialize in a relaxing atmosphere. Organized as an opportunity for conversation and friendship for HIV+ and gay men at a designated local bar, planned monthly every third Thursday. Upon arrival, ask for hosts Kevin or Albert. Time/location/info: [email protected] or 713/529-8864 and leave message.
Canoe Down the Bayou. Spend the afternoon in a canoe on Buffalo Bayou and explore its natural history. This stretch of bayou flows between I-610 and Shepherd Dr., one of the wildest portions of the bayou, and includes the Arboretum and Memorial Park. Attend pre-trip mandatory Thursday evening orientation at the Arboretum, 4501 Woodway Dr., and then plan for an incredible learning experience. $85 members; $95 non-members. Pre-registration required.1–5 pm. Info: www.houstonarboretum.org/canoetrip.asp or call Bill Eley at 713/681-8433.
A Push to End Poverty. Annual 5K Run/Walk-a-Thon benefits the nonprofit Gulf Coast Community Services Association, the largest community action agency in Texas. GCCSA operates 25 head-start centers and 12 community outreach centers, helping to transition individuals and families out of poverty. Pre-registration until May 14, $15; late/race-day registration, $20. Register online: www.active.com/event_id=1562775. Race begins at 8 am. MacGregor Park, 5225 Calhoun St. More info: 713/393-4703 or 713/393-4741.
Grand Re-Opening benefit for Houston Central Public Library. The renovations have lifted Central Library up for future generations with the most up-to-date technology for accessing information. The event includes a progressive dinner with food, drink, and entertainment surprises throughout the building. Preview all the new amenities, including a larger children¹s room, teen loft, cafe, and park-view meeting space, plus a collection of books in more languages than ever. Glimpse behind-the-scenes operations and chat with local authors. Regular ticket: $250; Next Chapter ticket: $100 (ages 35 and under). 7 pm at Houston Central Library, 500 McKinney. Tickets/info: Susan Bischoff, president of Houston Public Library Foundation at 832/393-1450 or e-mail [email protected].
Power of Puccini. Hear the United Nations Association International Choir (UNAIC) celebrate the sesquicentennial of the birth of composer Giacomo Puccini, with a program of some of his choral, operatic, and orchestral music. The 90-voice choir and professional orchestra thrills the audience with Puccini’s seldom-heard masterpiece, Messa a Quattro Voci con Orchestra ( Mass for Four Voices with Orchestra ), sung in Latin. Additional works include arias from many of his operas, such as La Bohème and Tosca . The program is produced with support and encouragement from the Honorable Cristiano Maggipinto, consul general of Italy in Houston, and that of the Italian Institute of Culture, Los Angeles. The consulate hosts a post-performance wine reception, included with admission. 5 pm. Advance Tickets: $20–$30 ($5 discount for kids under 6/students/seniors). Concert day: $25–$35. Rice University’s Stude Concert Hall, 6100 Main St. Info/tickets: www.tix.com or www.unahouston.org/unachoir.
Ride On! The Montrose Bicycle Club hits the pedals at 11 am from 611 Club, returning at 2 pm, where you cook your own burgers! 611 Hyde Park Blvd.
Finely Orchestrated in Contrasting Moods: Shostakovich & Bizet . The Houston Chamber Orchestra presents Dmitri Shostakovich’s introspective Cello Concerto in a stark contrast with Georges Bizet’s light and lively Symphony in C Major . Popular among local audiences, Houston Symphony cellist Jeffrey Butler is soloist in the Shostakovich piece. $30; students, $10; seniors/KUHF members: 20% discount. 7:30 pm in Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. Tickets/info: www.houstonchamberorchestra.org or 713/315-2525.
Pernicious Pink Wrestling. Who will claw their way through the ropes into the steel-cage match against the head-to-toe pink-clad, gender-neutral fiend Precious Jules? In this wildly comedic scream-fest of audience participation, who’s to say? It could be Herschel Moskowitz, aka The Kosher Killer. Then again, it could be go-go boy tag team The Adonis Explosion. Or maybe Frenchy, who unabashedly bashes his foes with a baguette. At time of publication, ticket prices estimated at $15. Doors open 9 pm at Fitzgerald’s, 2706 White Oak Dr. Info/reservations: 713/862-7469, www.doomsdaywrestling.com, or www.fitslive.com.
Assert Yourself. Denise O’Doherty, licensed professional counselor/therapist, presents a class on Personal Boundaries and Effective Confrontation. Discussion includes effective communication methods, identifying ways to overcome being manipulated, controlled, and intimidated due to differences in personalities, and how personal boundaries are essential to healthy relationships. $30. 10 am–noon. Unitarian Universalist Church, 1900 Bering Dr. Info: www.llu.com or 713/529-4414.
Last Weekend to tour historic Williams House in Galveston. Twelve teams of designers worked on the dwelling and will show it off as the Spring Designer Showcase, a community service project of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). $15. Tours Sat.–Sun., noon–4 pm. Tickets/more info: www.galvestonhistory.org or 409-765-7834/1-877-772-5425.
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PLANNING AHEAD: June
Attorneys on Stage: Law of the Sea. This year’s hilarious production of Night Court , HBA’s annual all-lawyer musical comedy, will have the audience laughing hook, line and sinker. Don’t wait to get tickets—they’re going fast! Benefits the Houston Bar Association charitable works. Wed., June 4, 8 pm, $21 (free commemorative pirate stein); Thurs., June 5, 8 pm, $29 (Buy 3, get 1 free); Fri., June 6, 8 pm, $29; Sat., June 7, 8 pm, $29; Sat, June 5, 2 pm, $15 (dress like a pirate matinee). Tickets/info: www.hba.org.
Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston. The third installment of the musical trilogy by contemporary composer Robert Seeley, Metamorphosis will leave you mesmerized. The second half features a mix of contemporary choral pieces from composers like Steven Sondheim, Ronald Nelson, and Cole Porter. Metamorphosis is an emotionally powerful work written in eight movements and follows a young man’s journey from early childhood to young adulthood and his first love. Torn between the expectations of his family and his true identity, he comes out, learns self-acceptance, and reconciles with his family. $19–$39. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. Tickets/info: www.bayoucityperformingarts.org.
Free Polka Party at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Celebrating the Czech, German, and Polish heritage of South Texas, the evening’s performances will be tied together by polka music, performed live by Harry Czarnek & The Texas Dutchmen. Several Dancers Core choreographer and artistic director Sue Schroeder will also collaborate with the dancers of CORE Performance Company and members of the “Red and Whites,” the local chapter of the Polka Lovers Klub of America. Join in pre-show polka lessons, 7:30 pm; performance, 8 pm. Have fun with bingo and prizes during intermission, and dance the polka afterward! Fri., June 6. Info: www.severaldancerscore.org or 713/862-5530.
Bravissimo ’08 includes a dinner concert featuring famous arias and duets presented by some of the nation’s finest young operatic voices. Take part in an incredible silent auction, and enjoy an evening among museum quality art, while benefiting Opera in the Heights. Fri., June 6, 6:30–10 pm at The Houston Club, 811 Rusk Ave. Invitation/info: email [email protected] or call 713/861-5303. More: www.operaintheheights.org.
History in Motion. Houston Ballet caps its 2007-2008 season by pairing one of the oldest ballets in existence with one of the newest. Celebrated Danish ballet master Johnny Eliasen brings his staging of August Bournonville’s 1836 masterpiece, La Sylphide , one of the landmark works of the Romantic era, to Houston Ballet’s repertoire. Set in Scotland in the 1830s, the ballet dramatizes the romance of the farmer James and the Sylph, an ethereally beautiful, winged, fairy creature who visits him in his dreams. Inspired by the distinctive Japanese anime style, Stanton Welch’s A Doll’s House depicts a pitched battle that breaks out between the dolls in a toy store after the owner of the shop leaves, a reflection in futility. 7:30 pm on June 5, 7, 13, and 14; 2 pm on June 8, 14, and 15. Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas Ave. Tickets/info: www.houstonballet.org or 713/227-ARTS(2787).
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FOR THE SUMMER
City Critters Class for Kids. The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center has a fun week-long workshop for students ages 5–12, designed to give him/her knowledge on ecology with an urban twist. Learn about the creatures who manage to live close to humans while still staying wild. You’ll see how everyone can make their yard a miniature wildlife preserve to attract some of these intriguing critters. Mon.–Fri., 9 am–9 pm on June 9–13 or July 14–18. $230 members; $270 non-members. Half-day mornings, $120 members; $150 non-members. Pre-registration required. 4501 Woodway Dr. Info: www.houstonarboretum.org or 713/681-8433.
Hike Amid Botanicals and Wildlife. The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is home to more than 160 species of birds and 33 kinds of butterflies, where you can explore five miles of trees, botanicals, and native wildlife along walking trails. Located in Memorial Park, 4501 Woodway Dr. Arboretum grounds open to the public, 7 am–7 pm; the Nature Center hours 9 am–5 pm; the Discovery Room houses interactive educational exhibits such as aquariums, touch screens, a 15-ft. model learning tree, and microscopes with video monitor displays, open 10 am–4 pm (closed Mon.). Free admission. Info: www.houstonarboretum.org or 713/681-8433.
Volunteer to Teach Dangers of Hate. Holocaust Museum Houston depends on the assistance of volunteers to help teach the dangers of prejudice and hatred against the backdrop of the Holocaust. In preparation for this fall’s busy tour schedule, HMH needs tour guides, commonly called docents, to help with those tasks. Docents must commit for a one-year period; weekday docents generally give one 2-hour tour per week; weekend volunteers typically give one tour every other week. Held at Holocaust Museum Houston’s Morgan Family Center, attend a 7-week class in Holocaust history and tour-training: Aug. 12–Sept. 25 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 am–noon. Applications due by June 15. Info: contact Suzanne Sutherland at [email protected] or 713-942-8000, ext. 102. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, the museum teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice, and apathy. Holocaust Museum Houston is free and open to the public and is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline St. More: www.hmh.org.
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Duelling Divas , presented by Ars Lyrica. The 2007-2008 grand season finale features two major works from the Baroque era premised on the idea of an American Idol -style singing contest, plus an instrumental concerto likewise conceived as a competition between multiple soloists. G. F. Handel’s Il duello amoroso involves two lovers, each of whom claims to be superior at both love and song, while J. S. Bach’s Dispute between Phoebus and Pan calls for six mythological characters, who engage in a battle of wits over the best style of music. An authentic preface: Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 , in its first local performance on period instruments. $25/$20 seniors/$15 students. 5 pm at Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. Tickets/info: www.thehobbycenter.org or 713/315-2525.
Billy Budd is Hermann Melville’s nautical allegory, a timeless tale of moral conscious versus public duty. When Billy, an enthusiastic new sailor who is liked by his crewmates, is falsely accused of mutiny by the evil master-at-arms Claggart, there is only tragedy for Billy, and Captain Vere is conflicted with the decision he must make. Powerful all-male cast stars baritone Daniel Belcher as Billy, baritone Liam Bonner as Redburn, bass-baritone Ryan McKinny as Flint, British tenor Andrew Kennedy as Captain Vere, and Canadian bass Phillip Ens as black-hearted John Claggart. Performed in English with English surtitles. Tickets start at $20. Fri., May 2, 7:30 pm, Sun., May 4, 2 pm, and Fri., May 9, 7:30 pm (OUT at the Opera). Brown Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas Ave. Tickets/info: www.houstongrandopera.org or 713-228-OPERA(6737).
Cemetery Club. Three elderly Jewish women who have lost their husbands visit the cemetery together, and all is just dandy until a widower is thrown into the mix. A delightful blend of humor and pathos that shouldn’t be missed! $14; $12 students/seniors. Fri.–Sat., 8 pm; Sun., 2:30 pm., May 30–June 15. Clear Creek Community Theatre, Nassau Bay. Reservations/info: 281/335-5228.
Dido and Aeneas. Passion, evil plots, tragedy, and sorrow are told as baroque music, contemporary ballet, and theater merge in an innovative opera production. The tale of Dido and Aeneas comes to life with the magical sound of the Mercury Baroque ensemble led by Antoine Plante and breathtaking choreography of Dominic Walsh performed by the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater dancers. $22–$47. Sat., May 17, 8 p.m. at Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas Ave. Tickets/info: www.MercuryBaroque.org or 832/251-0706. Also in concert version: Sun., May 18, 2 pm, at the University of Houston, Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Blvd. Tickets to Sunday’s concert: 281/283-2560.
The Drowsy Chaperone. The new musical comedy swoops into Houston with tons of laughs and the most 2006 Tony Awards of any musical on Broadway! When a die-hard musical fan sets the hi-fi needle on his favorite album, a 1928 smash hit called “The Drowsy Chaperone,” the show magically bursts to life. Be instantly immersed in the glamorous, hilarious tale of a celebrity bride and her uproarious wedding day, complete with thrills and surprises that take both the cast (literally) and the audience (metaphorically) soaring into the rafters. May 20-June 1. Sarofim Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St. Tickets/info: www.tuts.com or call 713.558.TUTS(8887).
Houston Ballet Spring Repertory Program. World premiere by acclaimed Canadian choreographer James Kudelka, who created the program for the Houston Ballet Hans van Manen’s Five Tangos (1977) is a unique mix of the power and sensuality of tango and the cool abstraction of classical ballet. And Stanton Welch’s Falling (2005) is a showcase for five couples, a delight in shades of pastel set to Mozart’s Salzburg Symphonies. 7:30 pm, May 22, 24, 30, and 31; 2 pm, May 25, June 1. Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas Ave. Tickets/info: www.houstonballet.org or 713/227-ARTS(2787).
Miller Outdoor Theatre. Free cultural, musical, and theatrical entertainment is always on stage at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. One-hour daytime performances specially geared toward children offer an excellent opportunity to expose youngsters to the delights of performing arts. 11 am. No tickets necessary; seating first come, first served. Evening shows are family-friendly. Admission is free for all performances, but some evening shows require reserved tickets for covered seating, available only on day of performance, 11:30 am–1:00 pm at the Miller Theatre box office. • The Asian Pacific American Heritage Association invites you to the APAHA Heritage Festival all afternoon on Sat., May 3, followed by a free evening concert. • On Sun., May 4, join Comité Patriótico Mexicáno de Houston for Cinco de Mayo festivities, with artists from Mexico, mariachis, folkloric dances, and more. • The classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty comes to life in an adaptation from the Tchaikovsky ballet score in this enchanting opera for young people, where a winter fairy appears and puts all of Russia in a snowy sleep. Free. Mon., May 5–Fri., May 9, 11 am. • Houston Ballet presents Madame Butterfly . Set to Puccini’s memorable score, this full-scale story ballet chronicles the tragic love story of the beautiful geisha Cio-Cio San and American Lt. Pinkerton. Free. Fri., May 9–Sun., May 11, 8 pm. • Houston Grand Opera presents an encore engagement of The Refuge , the acclaimed oratorio chronicling stories of immigrants from seven different communities who journeyed to Houston in search of a new home and better life. Free. Fri. & Sat., May 16 & 17, 8:30 pm. • Dancin’ in the Street…Motown & More Revue . Explosive soul production features the legendary music of the Motown era, by Midtown Arts Center and BACE Productions. Free. Thurs.–Sun., May 22–25, 8:15 pm. • Tribute is an energetic cross-cultural performance by the MECA Mariachis and the Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Free. Fri., May 30, 8 pm. • Best in Ten , by the Sandra Organ Dance Company, reprises the best of 10 years of contemporary ballet programming. Sat., May 31, 8:15 pm. • Info: www.milleroutdoortheatre.com or 281/373-3386.
The Wedding Singer is the new romantic comedy based on the hit movie. It’s1985 and every night is a totally rad reception for rock-star wannabe Robbie Hart and friends, until he’s left at the altar. Enter the girl of his dreams—only she’s about to marry a Wall Street shark. Can Robbie win her heart? Go back to a time when hair was big, greed was good, collars were up, and a wedding singer sporting a mullet might be the coolest guy in the room. May 16–18. Sarofim Hall, Hobby Center, 800 Bagby St. Tickets/info: www.thehobbycenter.org or 713/622.SHOW (7469).
Young and Fertle. A class reunion sends members of the Fertle family reminiscing through their favorite moments of the ’70s. $22. Through May 10 at Radio Music Theatre, 2623 Colquitt. More info: 713/522-7722 or www.radiomusictheatre.com.
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PERFORMING ARTS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
Hansel and Gretel. Getting lost in the woods is only the start of Hansel and Gretel’s adventure. When they find a delicious gingerbread house and begin to eat it, a silly witch shows up to spoil their snack. An unexpected turn of events teaches them about jumping to conclusions and how to treat others. $8. Sat., May 3, 10, 17, and 24 at 2 pm. Express Theatre, 446 Northwest Mall. Tickets/info: www.expresstheatre.com or 713/682-5044.
Sleeping Beauty. The classic fairy tale comes to life in a vocal adaptation from the Tchaikovsky ballet score in this enchanting opera for children, where a winter fairy appears and puts all of Russia in a snowy sleep. Produced by Houston Grand Opera. Free, no tickets necessary; seating first come, first served. Mon.–Fri., May 5–9, 11 am. Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. Info: www.milleroutdoortheatre.com or 281/373-3386.
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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).
City on the Bayou: Houston’s History through Floods. Take a visual tour of Houston’s historic weather events through vintage photographs of past floods from the museum’s collection and contemporary weather photographs taken by local photographers. John C. Freeman Weather Museum. Mon.–Sat., 10 am–4 pm. $5 adults, $3 children/seniors. Free for all on Thursday afternoons, noon-4 pm. Guided tours available. More info: www.weathermuseum.org or 713/529-3076.
Class Pictures: Photographs by Dawoud Bey is comprised of large-scale portraits of American teenagers that refute false stereotypes and reveal the individual strengths of this age group. Bey photographed young adults from all economic, racial, and ethnic spectrums in both public and private high schools in major cities including Detroit, Chicago, Orlando, San Francisco, and New York City. To complement Bey’s exhibition, The Teen Council, a select group of high school students employed by the museum to design public programs specifically for young people, organized an exhibition of Polaroid photography by local teenagers. Polarized is on view in the Cullen Education Resource Room. See both exhibitions through May 11. Contemporary Arts Museum, 5216 Montrose Blvd. Info: www.camh.org or 713/284-8250.
Eye on Third Ward: Jack Yates High School Photography. The annual exhibition of works by students from the Magnet School of Communication at Jack Yates High School in collaboration with Museum of Fine Arts is designed to express the distinctive identity of Houston’s historic Third Ward and focuses for the first time on photographs from the teens’ personal lives. The project was founded in 1995 to encourage students to hone their talents, skills, and powers of observation to capture the world around them, documenting this historic neighborhood and its residents. $7 adults; $3.50 kids 6–18/students/seniors. Through May 26 at the Caroline Wiess Law Building, 1001 Bissonnet St. Info: www.mfah.org or 713/639-7300 (en Español: 713/639-7379, TDD/TYY for hearing impaired: 713/639-7390).
Folklore Art: The Old, Weird America is the first museum exhibition to explore the resurgence of folk imagery and mythic history in recent art from the U.S., featuring 18 artists who explore native, idiomatic, and communal subjects from America’s past. From the first Thanksgiving in 1621 to the beginning of the Space Age in 1957, colorful story-telling works illustrate the creative composition of fact and myth. Opening reception Fri., May 9, 9–11 pm; through July 20. Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 5216 Montrose Blvd. Info: www.camh.org or 713/284-8250.
Form, Color, Illumination: Suzan Frecon Painting. Approximately 10 oil paintings and 30 watercolors ranging from the ’90s to now demonstrate the prowess of this oft-overlooked artist. Through May 11 at the Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross. More info: www.menil.org or 713/525-9400.
John Alexander: A Retrospective. This Texas native’s evocative oil paintings and drawings convey humor, rage, and an intimate appreciation of nature, habitat, and ecology. Through June 22 at The Audrey Jones Beck Building, 5601 Main St. $7 adults; $3.50 kids ages 6-18/students/seniors. More info: www.mfah.org or 713/639-7300 (en Español: 713/639-7379, TDD/TYY for hearing impaired: 713/639-7390).
Kara Hearn: A Problem of Courage. The artist uses video and other works to build intimate and absurd narratives, animating the ways that fear, regret, grief, horror, and humiliation play themselves out before and after the fact, shifting in and out of consciousness, repeating endlessly, and being re-made along the way. May 9–June 14; opening reception, Fri., May 9, 6–8 pm. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Frwy. Info: www.diverseworks.org or 713/223-8346.
LAUNCH: Rice Student Art Exhibition 45. View a collection of outstanding works by undergraduate art students, selected by the Department of Visual and Dramatic Art and reviewed by guest curator Nancy Hixon. Mon.–Fri., 11 am–5 pm, in the VADA Gallery at the Rice Media Center, located at Rice University, entrance 8, intersection of University Blvd. and Stockton St. Info: www.rice.edu.
Making the Unfamiliar Familiar: A Program for High School Students. Twenty students who participated in an ongoing education program at the Museum of Fine Arts exhibit artworks that include canine portraits inspired by Best in Show: The Dog in Art and geometric compositions inspired by the work of Brazilian artist Helio Oiticica. $7, $3.50 kids 6–18/students/seniors. Through June 29 at the Audrey Jones Beck Building, 5601 Main St. Info: www.mfah.org or 713/639-7300, ( en Español: 713/639-7379; TDD/TYY for hearing impaired: 713/639-7390).
Max Neuhaus: Circumscription Drawings. A pioneer in the use of sound in the visual arts, Neuhaus invented the term “sound installation” to describe his practice based on the creation of unique sounds for specific locations. As opposed to the temporal experience of hearing a piece of music, his work presents sound as a continuous material used to engage our perception of the physical space around us. The Texas native has been invited to create a site-specific work for the exterior of The Menil building, and will be the artist’s second permanent installation at a museum in the U.S. View his collection of drawings for this and earlier projects May 4–Aug. 10 at The Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross. Info: www.menil.org or 713/525-9400.
Observer’s Event Horizon: Glass Art by Stacey Neff. An exhibition of sculptural souvenirs from a fancifully imagined territory of malleable time and space, this is Neff’s first opening in Houston. Her unusual glass works pair supplies found in automotive and nautical factories with the ancient material of glass, combining multiple units hand-blown in a traditional glass style into singular large forms. Through June 13 at Art League Houston, 1953 Montrose Blvd. Info: www.artleaguehouston.org or 713/523-9530.
Of Winter to Spring: New Works by Suzanne Manns. Manns’ newest work is influenced by her garden and the landscape directly surrounding her Houston Heights bungalow. Recording bits and fragments from this environ of which she is so intimately familiar, Manns creates highly individualized imagery that result in her works becoming like a visual diary of intimate experience. Through June 13 at Art League Houston, 1953 Montrose Blvd. Info: www.artleaguehouston.org or 713/523-9530.
The Poetry of Process: A Celebration of Drawing. Some of the greatest drawings at the Menil commingle with a selection of exceptional works from private collections. Look for intriguing works from the likes of Jasper Johns, Mark Rothko, Georgia O’Keefe, among others. Through May 25 at the Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross. Info: www.menil.org or 713/525-9400.
Pompeii: Tales from an Eruption. In their final terrifying hours on Aug. 24 and 25, A.D. 79, residents of Pompeii and the nearby coastal towns of Herculaneum, Oplontis, and Terzigno in southern Italy gathered objects precious to them and tried to escape the fury of Mount Vesuvius. The thriving, prosperous communities lay buried—silenced and forgotten for 1,700 years. The exhibit’s bronze and marble sculptures, large-scale frescoes, jewelry, tools, table silver, armor, coins, skeletons, and plaster casts of the bodies of the victims now tell the stories of life at the Bay of Naples in the days of the early Roman Empire. See the exciting 58-minute documentary In the Shadow of Vesuvius in Brown Auditorium Theater; check museum schedule for viewing times. Admission to this film is free with an MFAH Pompeii exhibition ticket stub. Pompeii requires special admission: tickets range from $7–$25. Through June 22 at the Museum of Fine Arts’ Caroline Wiess Law Building, 1001 Bissonnet St. Tickets/info: www.mfah.org or 713/639-7300 (en Español: 713/639-7379, TDD/TYY for the hearing impaired, call 713/639-7390).
Stephen Vitiello: Four Color Sound. Sound pioneer Vitiello, known for creating powerful, beautiful, and immersive installations, has combined modulated light and audio that subtly morph and shift, transforming the gallery space into a virtual meditation chamber . May 9–June 14; opening reception, Fri., May 9, 6–8 pm. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Frwy. Info: www.diverseworks.org or 713/223-8346.
Sterne and Steinberg: Critics Within. Romanian-born artists Saul Steinberg (1914–1999) and Hedda Sterne (b. 1910), who met in New York City in 1943 after the Nazi occupation forced them to flee Europe, became U.S. citizens and married in 1944. The couple exhibited at the same gallery, yet as artists had little aesthetic ground in common: most art historians and critics would be hard pressed to trace stylistic influences between the two. Still, they shared an important artistic perspective: each questioned the ability of an artist’s personal aesthetic style to communicate a stable identity. By placing a small number of works by Sterne and Steinberg in dialogue with one another, this exhibition amplifies the artists’ joint (and unique) position as critics within their artistic milieu. May 23–Sept. 7 at the Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross. Info: www.menil.org or 713/525-9400.
Tales. Imaginative local artist Constance Braden draws around a story—a fairy tale, myth, or dream. From there, the works tend to take on lives of their own, seemingly creating worlds inside the edges of the paper. Six pieces in Tales were inspired by fairy-tale poems Braden’s friend Stella Brice has collected in her new book Outgrow ; two were influenced from the biblical story of the annunciation and veer considerably from traditional iconography. Her vision is magical, as also seen in five charcoal drawings derived from the Hindu myths of Kali and Sati. Through May 24. Gallery 1724, 1724 Bissonnet. Info: www.gallery1724.com.
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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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Info needed for your event listing: a few lines of info about your event; date/time; cost; location/address; organization name; and two phone numbers—one for OutSmart to reach you for questions and one for OutSmart readers to get more info on your event (can be the same number). Mail info to: OutSmart Magazine, 3406 Audubon Place, Houston 77006.