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Houston Area Events – December

AnniseByDaltonCompiled by Marene Gustin

Performing ArtsArt/PhotographyRadio • On the Big ScreenAnd Other Fun Things • OngoingHIV Testing


Holidays in Houston
Light up

Tis is the season, and this month’s calendar has plenty of holiday cheer. Everything from perennial favorites like Houston Ballet’s The Nutcracker and Alley Theatre’s The Santaland Diaries. Oh, and there are light displays and ice skating at Discovery Green and one of our favorite events, the Mayor’s Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 6. Held downtown at Hermann Square park by the Art Deco City Hall starting at 6 p.m., this annual event is full of fun. Costumed characters, carolers, fireworks, music, and then newly re-elected Mayor Annise Parker throws the switch on the towering holiday tree with tons of sparkling LED lights and pretty ornaments. This is a wonderful family-fun event that is absolutely free, so come on down and enjoy the joy of the season. See more at www.houstontx.gov/mayorsholiday.



• Through December 1

Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience—A Parody by Dan and Jeff. All seven Harry Potter books in seventy madcap minutes, aided only by multiple costume changes, brilliant songs, ridiculous props, and a generous helping of Hogwarts magic. Presented by Brilliant Lecture Series, brilliantlectures.org.

• Through December 1

Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony brings you back to nature with its musical depiction of the countryside, punctuated with sweet birdsongs, the first drops of an unexpected storm, violent thunderclaps, and the joyous return of the sun. See houstonsymphony.org.

• Through December 14

Marie and Bruce. Not exactly a holiday party, this Wallace Shawn play will make you rethink marriage. At Catastrophic Theatre, see catastrophictheatre.com for details.

• Through December 21

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Main Street Theater’s family fun holiday production will leave you laughing with holiday cheer. See mainstreettheater.com.

• Through December 22

World Premiere Holiday Show. A new holiday play at The Ensemble Theatre, ensemblehouston.com.

• Through December 22

Chéri. Planning a holiday trip to NYC? Check out this new play about the French author Colette featuring pianist Sarah Rothenberg, artistic director of Houston’s Da Camera. Info at signaturetheatre.org.

• Through December 22

A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration. Main Street Theater’s Christmas musical by musical Pulitzer Prize–winner Paula Vogel. See mainstreettheater.com.

• Through December 26

A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas. Alley Theatre’s holiday classic of Christmas past, present, and future. See alleytheatre.org for more information.

• Through December 29

The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical. A world premiere of a new Trailer Park musical with holiday fun and beer at Stages Repertory Theatre. See stagestheatre.com for details.

The Nutcracker. No troupe does this holiday classic better than the Houston Ballet. Get your tickets at houstonballet.org.

• Through December 31

The Santaland Diaries. One of our favorite traditions, David Sedaris’s hilarious cult classic featuring comic encounters during the height of the holiday crunch. At the Alley Theatre, alleytheatre.org.

• December 5

John Williams Joins Yo-Yo Ma. Special guests at the Houston Symphony. See houstonsymphony.org.

• December 5–7 and 12–14

Museum of Dysfunction VI: A Showcase of Shorts. Mildred’s Umbrella’s annual festival of short plays. See mildredsumbrella.com for details.

• December 6–19

There Is No Answer as to Why Me: A Dance Tribute to David Rakoff. A FrenetiCore performance based on the writings of NPR’s Rakoff. For more information, visit freneticore.net.

• December 6–22

A Christmas Story. The Crighton Theatre in downtown Conroe presents the stage version of the holiday movie classic. See crightontheatre.org for details.

Elf: The Musical. You know you’ll watch the movie, like, five times this month, why not go see it live at Theatre Under the Stars? See tuts.com for more.

• December 6, 2013–January 3, 2014

The Jew Who Loved Christmas. This multi-media installation and performance explores the high cost of Christmas cheer through laughter and tears. See spacetaker.org for more.

• December 7

Gerald Clayton Trio. A three-time Grammy nominee for Best Improvised Jazz Solo, Best Instrumental Jazz Composition, and Best Jazz Instrumental Album for Bond: The Paris Sessions, Gerald Clayton makes his first Houston appearance. See dacamera.com.

• December 8

Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour. Road trip! Openly gay Dave Koz returns to Plaza Theatre in El Paso, see davekoz.com for details.

• December 9

The King’s Singers. The two-time Grammy Award-winning group bring their British wit and impeccable vocal blend to Houston. See houstonfriendsofchambermusic.org/home for more details.

• December 13–15

Very Merry Pops. The Houston Symphony plays holiday classics. See houstonsymphony.org.

• December 13, 2013 and January 3, 2014

What Time Is It? Site-specific work with musical performances at Market Square Park. For more information, visit houstonartsalliance.com.

• December 14

How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Houston Symphony, Reginald Smith Jr., and a high school choir take you away to Whoville. See houstonsymphony.org.

• December 17–22

50 Shades! The Musical. TUTS’s next Underground production promises fifty shades of raunchy fun! See tuts.com for details.

• December 19–22

Handel’s Messiah. Another holiday classic by the Houston Symphony. See houstonsymphony.org.

• December 26 & 27, 2013, and January 2 & 3, 2014

TUTS’s Humphreys School of Musical Theatre. A two-weekend session for ages 4 to 6 and 7 to 12 where kids take center stage. Visit tuts.com to sign up.

• December 31

Ars Lyrica New Year’s Eve. It’s a Venetian affair for New Year’s Eve at the Hobby Center. Visit arslyricahouston.org for details.

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• Through December 5

Dreams, Conversations and Empty Thoughts. An exhibition by artists Anita and Mark Nelson at Archway Gallery, archwaygallery.com.

• Through December 7

Box 13 Artspace Exhibits. Multiple visual art exhibits opening this month at Box 13, box13artspace.com.

• Through December 8

Gaia. Rice University Art Gallery’s fall season opens with a new installation by street artist Gaia, in which painting, drawing, printmaking, and collage come together to express the artist’s larger-than-life impression of Houston’s sprawling urban landscape and increasingly international demographic. For more information, visit ricegallery.org.

• Through December 14

TX BI 2013. Fascinating art exhibit focusing on bisexuality. Visit gallery1724.blogspot.com.

• Through December 15

Calaveras Mexicanas: The Art and Influence of José Guadalupe Posada. This exhibit marks the 100th anniversary of the death of José Guadalupe Posada, “the father of Mexican printmaking,” whose prints of calaveras (skulls) and Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) imagery have become icons. At the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, mfah.org.

The Empty Spaces. Bret Harmeyer’s series of a collection of three-dimensional illuminated boxes, simulating rooms. At FrenetiCore, freneticore.net.

• Through December 17

Lighthouse in the Sea of Time. For her first solo exhibition in the United States, Zineb Sedira’s Lighthouse in the Sea of Time features a series of video installations and photographs documenting the artist’s journeys to two lighthouses in Algeria. At the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, blafferartmuseum.org.

• Through January 10, 2014

Colombia: Transformed/Architecture=Politics. An exhibit of eleven recently built socially conscious projects by six leading voices in contemporary Colombian architecture. Visit aiahouston.org for more details.

• Through January 11, 2014

Skywriting by Daniel Anguilu and Aaron Parazett. See this beautiful mural at Lawndale Art Center. Visit lawndaleartcenter.org for more details.

• Through January 12, 2014

Koloman Moser: Designing Modern Vienna, 1897–1907. The first museum retrospective in the U.S. to explore Moser’s career features a wide variety of art forms—ceramics, furniture, graphic design, jewelry, and designs for architectural interiors at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. See mfah.org for details.

WOLS: A Retrospective. An exhibit devoted to the famous European postwar artist at The Menil Collection, menil.org.

• Through January 19, 2014

The Maker’s Archive:  Works by Tybre Newcomer. Featuring large sculptural work and intimate wall pieces, Newcomer’s ceramic installation captures the transcendental relationship between craftsmen and their tools. See crafthouston.org for details.

SPRAWL features of the work of sixteen emerging artists and their takes on Houston expansion. See crafthouston.org for details.

• Through January 20, 2014

American Adversaries: West and Copley in a Transatlantic World. This unprecedented exhibition spotlights two of the eighteenth century’s most celebrated artists—Benjamin West and John Singleton Copley—friends turned bitter rivals in London’s art scene. At the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, mfah.org.

• Through January 26, 2014

Antonio Berni: Juanito and Ramona. Exhibition of works by Argentine artist Antonio Berni at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, mfah.org.

• Through January 31, 2014

20 Square Feet: An Exhibition of Large Artworks is a group exhibit of large artworks by Arts Brookfield; each piece is at least twenty square feet in size. This is the first group exhibit devoted to large works of art in Houston, held at 1600 Smith Street Gallery. See artsbrookfield.com for details.

• Through February 9, 2014

Weavers’ Stories from Island Southeast Asia and Between History and New Horizons: Photographs of Women, Work and Community in Laos. Two exhibitions highlighting the creative labor of women textile makers from Southeast Asia at the Asia Society Texas Center. See asiasociety.org/texas.

• Through March 23, 2014

Outside the Lines. An exhibit at the sixty-five-year-old Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, this six-part exhibition series is an evolving dialogue on contemporary abstraction. See camh.org for details.

• Through March 29, 2014

What Time Is It? Public art installation downtown at the Market Square Clock Tower. By the Blaffer Museum of Art, blafferartmuseum.org.

• Through April 30, 2014

Joseph Havel: Endless. A new site-specific installation made of books cast in bronze at Contemporary Art Museum Houston. See camh.org for details.

• December 7, 2013–January 11, 2014

Future Perfect. Michael Guidry’s new exhibit of paintings and works on paper at McMurtrey Galley. See mcmurtreygallery.com for details.

• December 19, 2013–March 9, 2014

Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, mfah.org.

• December 22, 2013–March 23, 2014

The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Clark. This exhibit spans the nineteenth century and culminates with superb Impressionist canvases by Manet, Degas, Renoir, Monet, and Morisot. The MFAH is only the second U.S. museum to host the exhibition. At the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, mfah.org.

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After Hours: Queer Radio with Attitude features the QMZ (Queer Music Zone) with Jimmy Carper. Saturday nights, midnight–3 am. KPFT 90.1 FM. kpft.org • 713/526-5738.

Queer Voices. Features, news, music, interviews, reviews, and commentary. Monday nights, 9–11 pm. KPFT 90.1 FM. kpft.org • 713/526-4000.

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• December 2

Elf Free Movie Screening. Theatre Under the Stars presents this holiday film at Bayou Place Sundance Cinemas. Visit tuts.com for more details.

• December 5

Touring Taste of Dance Salad. Film premiere of 2013 performances at the MFAH. See dancesalad.org for details.



• Through December 31

Moody Garden’s Festival of Lights. Head to the island for tons of holiday fun and beautiful light displays. See moodygardens.org.

• Through February 2, 2014

Ice at Discovery Green. Lace up those skates and hit the frozen lake at Discovery Green park downtown. For more details see discoverygreen.com.

• December 6

Mayor’s Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting Ceremony. Head to downtown Houston at Hermann Square at City Hall to see Mayor Parker throw the switch on the city tree! See article above and view details at houstontx.gov/mayorsholiday.

• December 14

5th Annual Gingerbread Build-Off. Come see some of the most amazing gingerbread houses you’ll ever see in this competition downtown at Hermann Square. See aiahouston.org for more.

• December 15

2013 Total Jingle Bell Run and Walk. YMCA Houston gets you moving. Visit ymcahouston.org/jingle-bell-run.

• December 31

New Year’s Eve Houston. Head down to Discovery Green Park for live music, dueling DJs, food courts and beverage booths, and a lighted Art Car parade. Then there’s the countdown to midnight and a fabulous fireworks display to welcome in 2014. See newyearsevelive.com for all the details.

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HIV Testing

• Daily (Sun.–Fri.)

HIV Testing. 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.

• Daily (Mon.–Fri.)

HIV Testing. Free HIV testing, with no Gold Card or donation required or requested. 9am–1pm. HCHD Thomas Street Clinic, 2015 Thomas St. • 713/873-4157 • 713/873-4026.

• Daily (Mon.–Fri.)

HIV Testing. Houston Area Community Services (HACS) offers free, confidential HIV testing with results in less than one minute on a daily basis (Mon–Thurs: 9 am–6 pm, Fri: 8 am–5 pm). No appointment necessary. 2150 West 18th St. (Heights area). HACS Testing Calendar with additional outreach locations: hacstxs.org/testing.html. Contact HACS about testing: [email protected] or 713/426-0027.

• Daily (Mon.–Fri.)

HIV Testing. Legacy Community Health Services provides free rapid HIV testing with results in 20 minutes at the following locations on a weekly basis. MONDAYS: Legacy Montrose Clinic (1415 California St.), 11am–6pm; Legacy Lyons Clinic (502 Lyons Ave.), 1–5pm; George Sports Bar, 6–9pm; EJ’s, 9pm–12am • TUESDAYS: Legacy Montrose Clinic, 11am–6pm; Legacy Lyons Clinic, 1–5pm; Midtowne Spa, 5–9pm; 611 Hyde Park Pub, 6:30–9pm • WEDNESDAYS: Legacy Montrose Clinic, 11am–6pm; Legacy Lyons Clinic, 1–5pm; Walgreens–Montrose, 4–8pm; Club Houston, 6–10pm; Crystal Night Club, 10pm–2am • THURSDAYS: Legacy Montrose Clinic, 11am–6pm; Legacy Lyons Clinic, 1–5pm; Walgreens–Lyons, 2–5pm; Midtowne Spa, 5–9pm.; Guava Lamp, 6:30–9pm; Ripcord, 6:30–10pm • FRIDAYS: Legacy Montrose Clinic, 11am–4pm; Club Houston, 1–4pm; Legacy Lyons Clinic, 1–5pm; TC’s Showbar, 4–8pm Tony’s Corner Pocket, 4:30–8:30pm. • Legacy Testing Calendar: http://www.calendarwiz.com/calendars/calendar.php?crd=legacytestingservices&.

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• Weekly (Sundays)

The Women’s Group, a feminist group for all women. 10:15am. First Unitarian Universalist Church’s Sojourner Truth Room, 5200 Fannin St. • 713/529-8571.

• Weekly (Mondays)

EMBody: Whole Health, Wellness and Resiliency peer group. 2pm. Montrose Center, 401 Branard St. • montrosecounselingcenter.org • 713/529-0037.

LBT Breast Cancer Survivors Support Group. 5pm. Montrose Center, 401 Branard St. • montrosecounselingcenter.org • 713/529-0037.

EMBody: Introduction to Yoga. 6pm. Montrose Center, 401 Branard • montrosecounselingcenter.org • 713/529-0037.

Depression Bipolar Support Group. 7pm. Montrose Center, 401 Branard St. • montrosecounselingcenter.org • 713/529-0037.

Helping TransGenders Anonymous, a facilitated support group for all transgenders, supporters, family, and significant others. 7pm. 604 Pacific St. • tgctr.org.

Fathers First. Houston’s original gay fathers group supports gay dads who are dealing with coming-out issues, and family and life challenges after being married to a woman. Meets every Monday except holidays. 7:30pm. Bering Memorial United Methodist Church, 1440 Harold St., Room 230 • fathersfirstofhouston.com.

• Weekly (Tuesdays)

EMBody: Mindfulness, Well-Being, Stress Reduction. 11am. Montrose Center, 401 Branard St. • montrosecounselingcenter.org • 713/529-0037.

HIV Support Group Lunch Brunch. 11am. Bering Memorial UMC, 1440 Harold, Room 214 • 713/526-1017, ext. 202.

HATCH’s Transgender Support Group and Speak Out for Youth. 5pm. Montrose Center, 401 Branard St. • montrosecounselingcenter.org • 713/529-0037.

• Weekly (Wednesdays)

Gulf Pride for Youth, a support group for GLBTIQA youth ages 13–20. 6–9pm. 707 23rd St., Galveston • gulfprideforyouth.org.

HIV Support Group BSSG. 6:30pm. Bering Memorial UMC, 1440 Harold, Fellowship Hall • 713/526-1017.

Zumba exercise class with Crystal Wall. 6:45pm. House of Deréon Media Center, 2204 Crawford St. • 713/772-5175.

Houston Pride Band seeks all brass, woodwind, and percussion players of all skill levels for rehearsal. 7:30pm. Bethel UCC, 1107 Shepherd Dr. • 713/315-2525 • houstonprideband.org.

• Weekly (Thursdays)

Center HIV Support Group. Facilitated support group for HIV-positive individuals. 6pm. Houston GLBT Community Center, Historic Dow School, 1900 Kane St. • houstonglbtcommunitycenter.org • 713/524-3818.

Southern Country, a country-and-western dance troupe, offers free dance lessons. 8:30 p.m. EJ’s Bar, 2517 Ralph St. • southerncountryhouston.com.

• Weekly (Fridays)

HATCH Youth Group. 7pm. Montrose Center, 401 Branard St. • montrosecounselingcenter.org • 713/529-0037.

• Weekly (Sundays)

HATCH Youth Group. 6pm. Montrose Center, 401 Branard St. • montrosecounselingcenter.org • 713/529-0037.

• Semi-monthly (1st and 3rd Fri.)

Positive Brothers United, a social/support group for GLBT, HIV-positive men of color. 6 pm. Montrose Center, 401 Branard St. • [email protected] • 713/454-7548.

• Monthly (1st Sun.)

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Houston provides educational presentations of LGBT topics, small-group confidential discussions, and supportive fellowship. 2pm. St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 5501 S. Main St. • pflaghouston.org.

• Monthly (1st Sat.)

First Saturday Arts Market. Local artists display and sell original works of art. 11am–6pm. Wind Water Gallery, 548 West 19th St. Free admission. yalestreetmarket.com.

First Saturday Queer Bingo benefits Houston GLBT Community Center. 4:30pm. Houston GLBT Community Center, Historic Dow School, 1900 Kane St. • houstonglbtcommunitycenter.org • 713/524-3818.

• Monthly (2nd Tues.)

Free Legal Consultations for PWAs. AIDS Foundation Houston and Katine & Nechman L.L.P. offer 30 minutes of free legal consultation on any legal issue to persons with HIV and AIDS, by appointment. Katine & Nechman, 1111 North Loop West, Suite 180 • lawkn.com • [email protected]  • 713/808-1000.

• Monthly (2nd Thurs.)

Ryan White Planning Council. 11:30am. 2223 W. Loop South • rwpchouston.org • 713-572-3724.

SPRY Potluck for Seniors. 4pm. Montrose Center, 401 Branard St. • montrosecounselingcenter.org • 713/529-0037.

National Leather Association–Houston. Movie night. 7pm. Montrose Center, Room 106 • 832/744-8607.

• Monthly (2nd Sat.)

AssistHers helps lesbians coping with life-threatening illnesses by providing non-medical assistance. Volunteers meet for fellowship and education followed by lunch at a local restaurant. 9:30am–noon. Bering Memorial United Methodist Church, 1440 Harold St. • assisthers.org • 713/521-4628.

National Leather Association–Houston. Leather craft class. Noon. $20+materials. Locations vary. [email protected]

• Monthly (3rd Sun.)

LOAF Meet and Greet. Lesbians Over Age Fifty meet for munchies and fellowship. 2–4pm. Montrose Center, 401 Branard St. • loafhouston.org • 281/467-2578.

• Monthly (3rd Tues.)

Affected Community Committee of the Ryan White Planning Council. Noon. rwpchouston.org • 713-572-3724.

• Monthly (3rd Wed.)

Log Cabin Republicans. Theo’s Restaurant, 812 Westheimer • facebook.comgroups/102199491979/?fref=ts.

• Monthly (3rd Thurs.)

HIV Testing. 1pm. Houston GLBT Community Center, 1900 Kane St. • houstonglbtcommunitycenter.org • 713/524-3818.

SPRY Counseling Center, 401 Branard St. • montrosecounselingcenter.org • 713/529-0037.

EMBody: Understanding Mental Health Issues. Rotating topics: addiction, depression, anxiety, bipolar. 5pm. Montrose Center, 401 Branard St. • montrosecounselingcenter.org • 713/529-0037.

EMBody: To Cook or Not to Cook. Demystifying raw foods. 6pm. Montrose Center, 401 Branard St. • montrosecounselingcenter.org • 713/529-0037.

Share with PFLAG Houston in a safe, confidential setting. 7:30–9pm. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church’s Chatham Room, 1805 W. Alabama • pflaghouston.org.

• Monthly (3rd Fri.)

Triple D: Dykes, Dinner, and Discussion offers dinner and conversation about health, family, dating, equality, community awareness, and freedom of speech. 7pm. Houston GLBT Community Center, 1901 Kane St. • houstonglbtcommunitycenter.org • 713/524-3818.

• Monthly (3rd Sat.)

Discovery Green Flea by Night. Local music, kids’ activities, bicycle repair workshop, and 40+ vendors selling vintage clothing, antiques, collectibles, jewelry, and more. 6–10pm. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St. • discoverygreen.com • 713/400-7336.

• Monthly (4th Sun.)

Share with the Clear Lake satellite of PFLAG Houston in a safe, confidential setting. 2–4pm. Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Church Fellowship Hall, 17503 El Camino Real, Clear Lake • pflaghouston.org.

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Have an event to submit? [email protected].

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.



Marene Gustin

Marene Gustin has written about Texas culture, food, fashion, the arts, and Lone Star politics and crime for television, magazines, the web and newspapers nationwide, and worked in Houston politics for six years. Her freelance work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle, Austin-American Statesman, Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Texas Monthly, Dance International, Dance Magazine, the Advocate, Prime Living, InTown magazine, OutSmart magazine and web sites CultureMap Houston and Austin, Eater Houston and Gayot.com, among others.

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