Local News

Calendar: March 2004


Daily (Mon.–Fri.)

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.

Daily (Mon.–Sat.)

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.

Weekly (Fri. & Sat.)

Midnight at the Oasis. The Landmark River Oaks midnight movie series has become an oasis for film buffs, both classic and kitsch. This month’s funtime revivals begin with Hitchcock’s eerie classic The Birds on the 5th and 6th. Next, on the 12th and 13th is Cheech & Chong’s ode to the hempophiliac, Up in Smoke. The 19th and 20th bring the Coen brothers’ (The Big Lebowski, Fargo) debut pic, the Southern-fried film noir, Blood Simple. Ending the month on the 26th and 27th is the Beatles’ rock-n-roll comedy classic, A Hard Days Night. $8. Midnight at Landmark River Oaks Theatre, 2009 W. Gray between Shepherd & McDuffie. For information: 713/866-8881 or www.landmarktheatres.com.

6 (Sat.)

H.M.S. Pinafore. Let your ship sail the ocean blue and remain an 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. For tickets: 800/821-1894 or www.thegrand.com.

6 & 7 (Sat. & Sun.)

Everything’s Coming Up Violets. The Spring Branch African Violet Club hosts their 25th annual show and plant sale. Plants big and small, violet and not-so violet, variegated and not-so variegated are available for purchase, with club members on hand to answer all your violet questions. Free. 9 am–5 pm Saturday and 10 am–4 pm Sunday at the Houston Garden Center, 1500 Hermann Dr. Info: 713/462-4257.

8 (Mon.)

Powerful Poetry. Martin Espada, the “Pablo Neruda of North American authors,” is considered by many a master of language, a pioneer of poesy. Much of his writing is inspired by his Puerto Rican heritage and his work experiences, ranging from bouncer to tenant lawyer. Ellen Bryant Voigt’s six books of poetry have received recognition from the National Book Awards and the Teasdale Prize. The Inprint Brown Reading Series presents Espada and Voight to read their verse. $5, free to students/seniors. 7:30 pm at the Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Ave. Info: 713/521-2026 or www.inprint-inc.org.

12 (Fri.)

Bringin’ in the Green, the Montrose Counseling Center’s 16th annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration, brings entertainers Jerry Atwood and Julie Link. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres are provided. But if you let the bartenders from the Four Seasons Club fill you so full of libations after the silent auction that you think the resident Leprechaun (Jack G. Jackson) really is hiding a pot of gold, have the valet to call you a cab instead of giving you your keys. $35 donation. 5:30–8 pm at 3618 Burlington St.

12 & 13 (Fri. & Sat.)

I Wanna Live Forevah! Fame–The Musical hits the Galveston bay with all the splendor of a precocious teenage prodigy. Follow the kids at New York’s High School for Performing Arts through the trials, the romance, the break-ups, and the triumphs. $18.50–$72. Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, with a Saturday matinee at 3 pm at the Grand 1894 Opera House, Galveston, 2020 Postoffice. For tickets: 800/821-1894 or www.thegrand.com.

12–14 (Fri.–Sun.)

Campy Fun. Lace up those butch hiking boots. The Houston Outdoor Group is going to Nails Creek on the south side of Lake Somerville State Park. Get in some R&R in March before it gets so bleeding hot you wake up pre-dawn in a puddle of sweat. Gross. For info: 713/KAMP-OUT or www.geocities.com/houstonoutdoorgroup.

14 (Sun.)

Steppin’ Out. Or lace up those sporty kix. AIDS Foundation Houston, in partnership with JP Morgan Chase, presents the 15th annual AIDS Walk Houston. The Walk raises crucial funds for local HIV/AIDS service organizations that provide education, research, housing, food, medical care, counseling, pediatric programs, and job training to more than 100,000 Houstonians each year. Last year’s walk raised over $550,000. Let’s outdo ourselves this year and celebrate at Post Walk Party at the finish line. No registration fee. Registration at 8 am, strating time at 10 am at Sam Houston Park, 1000 Bagby. Info: 713/623-6796, ext. 278, or www.AIDSwalkhouston.org.

15 (Mon.)

The 411 on 611. 611’s big 20th Anniversary Party features a buffet, giveaways, drink specials, door prizes, and God knows what else. A wee tidbit of trivia: Did you know 611 has a 1920’s pipe organ? It’s somewhere in there. Have some fun trying to find it. 6–11 pm at 611 Hyde Park. For information: 713/526-7070.

18–21 (Thu.–Sun.)

The Kinsey Sicks. The premise: Alfred Kinsey’s 1948 book Sexual Behavior in the Human Male shaped American rhetoric on sexuality, with a six-point scale measuring sexual preference. • The setup: A Kinsey zero, for example, is only interested in the opposite sex, 100% straight. A Kinsey three is 50-50 bisexual (like the white Bengal tiger or the Black Republican, they are very, very rare). A Kinsey six is only interested in the same sex, 100% homosexual. • And finally, the punch line: The Kinsey Sicks. The Kinsey Sicks formed in San Fran when a group of friends thought it would be fun to see Bette Midler in drag. The friends in drag that is, not Midler. (Well, from some perspectives they were all in drag.) These compatriots were sure they wouldn’t be the only dragaboos (dressed as the Andrew Sisters) at the show. Wrong. Alienation. Eek. Nonetheless, the friends were approached and asked to perform at an upcoming event. Opportunity. Hoorah. The Kinsey Sicks were born. Performing uniquely as a dragapella beautyshop quartet, the K-Sicks put on a hilarious and titillating show, with astonishing harmonies and comically subversive lyrics. $17–$25. The Improv, Marq*E Center, 7620 Katy Fwy @ Silber. Tickets/info: 713/333-8800, www.improvhouston.com, or www.kinseysicks.com. Also at The Improv this month—Dave Attell (from Comedy Central’s Insomniac): March 4–7 • Cruz Comedy (a Latino comedy showcase): March 10 • Brian Regan: March 11–14.

19 (Fri.)

Let’s Get Sleuthing. Laurie R. King, author of the Edgar Award-winning series of crime novels featuring lesbian homicide cop Kate Martinelli, discusses and signs her new Mary Russel/Sherlock Holmes novel, The Game. 6 pm at Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information: 713/524-8597 or www.murderbooks.com.

20 (Sat.)

La Musica La Mas Jazzisissimo. David Sanchez joins Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band for The State of Latin Jazz. This Da Camera production brings some of the most highly acclaimed Latin jazz musicians to one stage for a night of rhythmic freeform excitement. $25–$40. 8 pm at the Wortham Center’s Cullen Theater, 500 Texas St. For tickets and information: 713/524-5050 or www.dacamera.com.

20 (Sat.)

If I Were a Rich Man. The sing-along version of Fiddler on the Roof offers the opportunity to sing along with Topol and Molly Picon as special guests lead the audience through this classic musical. Don’t go to the screening stag. Just sing, “Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match…” $6. 6 pm at the Museum of Fine Arts. For information: 713/639-7515 or www.mfah.org/films.

20 & 21 (Sat. & Sun.)

Shutterbug Heaven. The Photographic Collectors of Houston hosts the 55th semi-annual Houston Camera Show and Sale, with new, used, and collectible photographic equipment a’hoy. As one of the founders put it, “This is like a mall where every store deals in photography.” $5/day. Saturday 10 am–5 pm, Sunday 10 am–4 pm at the Mariott Hotel (formerly the Radisson), Hobby Airport, 9100 Gulf Fwy at the Airport exit. For information: 713/868-9606.

20 & 21 (Sat. & Sun.)

Carmina Burana, by Carl Orff, is based on poems from a 13th-century manuscript. Orff takes these centuries-old words and creates a full theatrical spectacle. At Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. Info/tickets: 713/224-7575 or www.houstonsymphony.org.

21 (Sun.)

Songs of the Oscars. Celebrated singer and Native Houstonian Rob Landes performs songs that were either nominated for or won an Oscar. Oscar Winning Songs—and those that Weren’t! promises an afternoon of musical grandeur. $12. 2 pm at Galveston’s Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Post Office. For tickets/info: 800-821-1894, or www.thegranbd.com.

23 (Tue.)

Miss Nelson Is Missing. Galveston’s Grand 1894 Opera House’s Serious Fun series continues with this adaptation of a children’s book of the same name. When Miss Nelson is taken ill, her students must cope with the lousy ol’ sub, Miss Viola Swamp. In their struggle to get Miss Nelson back, the students learn a lesson about themselves. $5 for children under 12, $6 for adults. 7 pm at the Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice. Tickets: 800/821-1894 or www.thegrand.com.

25 & 26 (Thu. & Fri.)

Mo Mix, Please. Momix takes dance to its surreal pinnacle. Artistic director/choreographer Moses Pendleton’s Opus Cactus creates images of the varied plants and animals of the desert using costumed dancers. Vibrant colors and the lush music of Bach, Brian Eno, and traditional music of aboriginal American tribes bring the imagery together. 8pm at Wortham Center’s Cullen Theater, 500 Texas St. For information and tickets: 713/227-4SPA or www.spahouston.org.

26 & 27 (Fri. & Sat.)

Maybe We Should Leave. Experimental music duo Last Bastions presents Houston:Why Are We Still Here? This tribute to the home of this duo (Mike Switzer and Charlie Naked) incorporates improvisation, found sound, interviews, guest appearances, and video in a rich, slowly shifting soundscape. The ultimate goal of the piece: to cause us to ponder our love-hate/love-love relationship with the fattest, smoggiest, most fascinating city in the country. $15. 8 pm at DiverseWorks, 1117 East Fwy off Main at Naylor. For information: 713/223-8346 or www.diverseworks.org.

27 (Sat.)

Chicks Rawk! GoGirls presents yet another estro-rockin’ show to the Rhythm Room. The lineup features Sean Wiggins from L.A., Honey Tongue from Seattle, and Eden Automatic and Mosaic Minds from Dallas. Why should you put this show on your calendar? ‘Cuz chicks rock! At the Rhythm Room, 1815 Washington Ave. For tickets and information: 713/863-0943 or www.gogirlsrock.com.

27 & 28 (Sat. & Sun.)

The Bayou City Goes Hard CORE. Several Dancers Core and the Art Colony Association, Inc. present CORE Performance Company at the Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park. Their show, And the Band Played On uses the environment of the park as its stage, integrating sound and noise-making throughout the festival. Free with admission to the festival. 2 pm Memorial Park, 6501 Memorial. Info: www.bayoucity artfestival.com. For information on Several Dancers Core: 713/862-5530 or www.severaldancerscore.org.

27 & 28 (Sat. & Sun.)

Wha? Interpreting Anthropogeomorphology is a mixed presentation from the archives of the Center for Land Use Interpretation. Based in Los Angeles, the group produces exhibits, tours, publications, and the like to interpret the landscape of the U.S. This FotoFest 2004 screening takes a look at various forms of video (documentary, industrial, government, and artistic) that deal with their A-number-one fave topic, land. $5. 8 pm Saturday, 3 pm Sunday at Aurora Picture Show, 800 Aurora St. For information: 713/868-2101 or www.aurorapictureshow.org.

28 (Sun.)

Galway or the Highway. Sir James Galway is a legendary flautist, both as a musician and as an entertainer. For over three decades, Galway has dazzled audiences with fierce interpretations of Bach and Vivaldi, fresh renditions of folk and world music, pop hits, and beyond. In addition to playing alongside symphonies, he’s performed with the Muppets. 3 pm at the Grand 1894 Opera House, Galveston, 2020 Postoffice St. For tickets: 800/821-1894 or www.thegrand.com.


April 2 (Fri.)

The Art of Guitars. The guitar is not just for rock, jazz, and the blues. Grammy-nominated Los Angeles Guitar Quartet plays classical and chamber music with intricate arrangements and an adventurous nature. $20–$35. 8 pm at Cullen Theater, 500 Texas. Tickets and info: 713/524-5050 or www.dacamera.com.

April 2 (Fri.)

Eleemosynary. Lee Blessing’s play explores the relationship among three independent women, a strong-willed, eccentric grandmother, her brilliant but emotionally unavailable daughter, and her intelligent and sensitive granddaughter. Through May 8 at the Company OnStage, 536 Westbury Square, 713/726-1219.

April 3 (Sat.)

Messiah. Handel’s most famous masterpiece was completed in 24 days, an incredibly short time for a work that takes nearly three hours to perform in concert. Though many identify the work with Christmas, it actually celebrates both Christmas and Easter. It begins with the nativity, but continues on into the second section with the Crucifixion and the Redemption, with the third section an affirmation of faith. The Mecury Baorque Ensemble will perform Messiah on period instruments. Cantare, one of Houston’s premiere choral groups, provides the vocals. 7:30 pm, Hobby Center, Zilkha Hall, 800 Bagby at Walker. Tickets/info: 713/315-2525 or www.mercurybaroqueensemble.org.

April 4 (Sun.)

Spring Fieldwork Showcase. In conjunction with The Field, a New York-based artist service organization, Several Dancers Core and Houston Community College’s Central Dance Department present this culmination of 10 weeks of development of dance pieces. The works-in-progress by local artists is followed by a meet-n-greet where audience may discuss the evening’s recitals. $7. 7 pm at Studio A, 3517 Austin, on the Houston Community College Central campus. For information: 713/862-5530 or www.severaldancerscore.org.

April 6–14 (Tue.–Wed.)

The Foreigner. Joe Sears and Jaston Williams of Greater Tuna fame have yet another tickler for us. The helplessly shy Charlie arrives in Georgia and asks his friend Froggy to help him avoid social anxiety. The plan: Tell people he’s foreign and unable to understand English. As a result, people spill all sorts of beans, assured the foreigner can’t understand a word. $11–$48. Tuesday-Saturday at 8 pm, Sunday at 7 pm, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 pm at the Grand 1894 Opera House, Galveston, 2020 Postoffice. For tickets: 800/821-1894 or www.thegrand.com.

April 7 (Wed.)

A Little Day Music. Karen Wylie (saxophone), Timothy Hester (piano), and the Moores School Saxophone Quartet perform at DaCamera’s free concert series. Take a break from work, bring a lunch, and enjoy selections from Bach, Bozza, Rimsky Korsakov, and others. Free. Noon in the Grand Foyer of The Wortham Center. Info/reservations: 713/524-7601.

April 8–10 (Thu.–Sat.)

Dance Salad. Houston’s premiere dance festival celebrates its 12th year with performances from the greatest dancers, choreographers, and companies from around the globe. North and Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia are represented. Students of dance (and multiculturism) will find the program’s master classes and lectures of interest. At Wortham Center’s Cullen Theater. Info/tickets: www.dancesalad.org, 713/629-3700, or www.ticketmaster.com.

April 8–11 (Thu.–Sun.)

Jungle XII. Thursday, April 8: Kickoff party, Meteor, 2306 Genesee @ Fairview, 9 pm–2 am (no cover). Friday, April 9: Welcome party “Gather the Tribe,” Rich’s, 2401 San Jacinto, DJ Mark Tarbox (L.A.), plus surprise performance artist, 9 pm–4 am, $15. Saturday, April 10: Main party “Tribal Heat,”Verizon Wireless Theater, 520 Texas Ave. @ Bayou Place, DJ/producer Manny Lehman (N.Y./Miami), plus surprise entertainment, 10 pm–4 am, $45 advance, $55 door (cash bar). Sunday, April 11: After-hours party “Tribal Communion,” Boaka Bar & Mercury Room, 1008 Prairie @ Main St., DJ Dawna Montel (L.A.), plus surprise performance artist, 3:30–10 am, $25. Sunday, April 11: Closing party “Tribal Lust,” South Beach, 810 Pacific, DJ Roland Belamres (L.A./N.Y.), 9 pm–4 am, $10. Bayou City Boys Club, Inc. (BCBC) will produce the Jungle XII annual fundraising event on April 10. Advance tickets are available online at www.circuitticket .com or from M2M Fashions, JR’s Bar & Grill, and Houston Buyers Club. Weekend events are scheduled from Thursday through Sunday. 100% of proceeds from the main event plus donations from all other events benefit AIDS Foundation, Houston’s Stone Soup Food Pantry, Casa de Esperanza de los Ninos, Montrose Clinic, and The Assistance Fund. Weekend VIP passes, sponsorship opportunities, and more info: www.bcbc.info.


• Always … Patsy Cline. This is a first for Stages, an open-ended run, but audience demand has been overwhelming. The story centers on Cline (Julia Kay Laskowski) and Louise Seger (Susan O. Koozin), a Houston housewife and devoted fan. Seger meets her idol after one of Cline’s shows in Houston. The two become friends until Cline’s death in ’63. Another bonus is the casting of steel guitar legend Herb Remmington, who played with country icon/prototype Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. Always includes over 20 of Cline’s songs performed live and retells—through Cline’s letters and Seger’s commentary—the joys, pains, and mutual respect these two women shared. $25. Begins Thursday, March 4 at Stages, 3201 Allen Pkwy. For tickets: 713/527-0123 or www.stagestheatre.com.

• Astoria. The prolific Suchu Dance troupe has been known to make a stir, namely with the titlilating Naked Show. Revived and updated from 2001, Astoria now has three additional dancers (including out psychologist Luis Pena), boosting its cast to a dozen. Described by choreographer/artistic director Jennifer Wood as one of the troupe’s most entertaining productions, the recital ranges widely, wildly, and unpredictably in mood and movement. $10–$16. March 4–13, 8 pm at Barnevelder Theater, 2201 Preston @ Hutchins in east downtown. For tickets and information: 713/529-1819, or www.suchudance.org or www.barnevelder.org.

• 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/ more info: 713/522-7722.

• Brigadoon. Based on a German tale, Lerner and Loewe’s first big hit musical finds two American tourists, Tommy Albright and Jeff Douglass, in the little Scottish town of Brigadoon. Tommy falls love in the local lass Fiona MacLaren, but the two visitors soon discover the misty and mysterious town is under a spell. The entire village is only awake one day every hundred years and Fiona cannot leave without breaking the spell and dooming everyone else in Brigadoon. If Tommy stays, he must leave everything behind and join the bewitched. Brigadoon? More like bring the doom. $25–$68. March 11–28 at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby at Walker. Tickets: 713/558-8887 or www.tuts.com.

• Dirty Story. In this regional premiere of Oscar-winning screenwriter John Patrick Shanley’s play, a graduate student meets her idol, a sexy novelist named Brutus. Brutus is blocked, but that’s the least of the problems here when global conflict takes over. $25. March 17–April 11 at Stages, 3201 Allen Pkwy. For tickets: 713/527-0123 or www.stagestheatre.com.

• 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. Through March 13 at the Company OnStage, 536 Westbury Square. For tickets: 713/726-1219 or www.companyonstage.org.

• Life x 3. Even the best-laid plans sometimes go astray. Take Henry and Sonia. They’ve planned their dinner party down to the most meticulous detail to impress Henry’s boss, Hubert. One problem, the night before, just as Henry and Sonia have put their difficult son to bed, Hubert and his wife show up thinking the party is one day earlier than planned. The story is told three times, with the headstrong child, lack of food, and several bottles of wine all contributing to the narrative. March 26–April 18 at the Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. Tickets: 713/228-9341 or www.alleytheatre.org.

• Lucia di Lammermoor. There’s something inherently funny about an Italian-born composer writing an opera about the Scots (how can an Italian tongue handle a Scottish brogue?). However, this closing work of Opera in the Heights’ season is a tragic romance. In Gaetano Donizetti’s famous “Bel canto” opera about a family’s struggle for power, Enrico (Lord Henry Ashton of Lammermoor) has already bested Edgardo (Edgar of Ravenswood). But now he must unite his family with that of Arturo (Lord Arthur Bucklaw) to gain political favor. Enrico’s best bet is to force his sister, Lucia (Lucy Ashton) to marry into the family. $20–$30. March 25–April 3 at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For tickets: 713/861-5303 or www.operaintheheights.org.

• Our Lady of 121st Street, by one of theater’s most celebrated up-and-coming playwrights Stephen Adly Guirgis, centers on a group of former schoolmates. Reunited after 15 years, the kids gather for the funeral of the beloved Sister Rose, only to learn her body has been stolen. In their search for answers, these vivid characters revisit the past and rekindle friendships. This dark comedy comes from the same author who has penned episodes of The Sopranos and NYPD Blue. March 19–April 18 at the Alley Theatre. Tickets: 713/228-9341 or www.alleytheatre.org.

• Parallel Lives: The Kathy and Mo Show. If you missed the opportunity to see this insightful and hilarious sketch show in January, here’s your second chance. The series of vignettes originated by Kathy Najimy and Mo Gaffney returns to Theatre New West with a varied cast of characters. Two goddesses at the dawn of creation whimsically decide what makes a male and a female; a frat boy and his dingy gal sup at a bistro frequented by trannies and gays; two womynists exalt their female genitalia. It’s a slice of life not served often enough. $20. Fridays and Saturdays through March 13 at 8 pm at Theatre New West, 1415 California St. Tickets/info: 713/522-2204 or 281/224-3170.

• Pure Sterling—The Music of Cole Porter. The Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston sings the best songs of this great singer/composer, with tunes from Broadway to Hollywood, including “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.” Expect a musical ensemble as delightful as the chorus. March 20, 21, and 23 at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Zilkha Hall. Tickets/info: 713/521-7464, tickets@gmch.org, or www.gmch.org/tickets.

• Rent. Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Boheme is over a century old. Critics argue that, while it’s a beautiful opera, the 1896 piece is outdated and no longer holds any relevance. Jonathan Larson’s rockin’ youthful musical based loosely on the opera is set in the 1990s and adds modern characters and elements (a stripper, a drag queen, and AIDS, for instance) relevant to life today. The vibrant musical returns to Houston for just under a week. Join New York’s East Village gaggle of bohos and starving artists as they struggle with their dreams and embrace life. March 9–14 at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. $24.25–$56.25. Tickets/info: 713/629-3700, www.ticketmaster.com, www.broadwayacrossamerica.com.

• 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. Through 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.

• 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. Through March 14 at the Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Ave. For tickets: 713/228-8421 or www.alleytheatre.org.

• Urinetown, the Musical. It’s difficult to stave off the curiosity piqued by such a title. A phantasmagoric city is torn apart by ecological disaster. A severe water shortage has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets, transforming the ability to have a tinkle into a costly privilege. Amidst all this bladder-torturing hell, love is still in the air. March 30–April 11 at the Hobby Center, Sarofim Hall, 800 Bagby. Tickets: 713/629-3700 or www.broadwayacrossamerica.com and www.ticketmaster.com.


• Rapunzel & the Frog Prince. Princess Rapunzel has been locked away by that mean ol’ forest witch, Gruesomella! An offbeat group of princes try to save her without success. Who can save her? In this play based on two beloved Brothers Grimm tales, sometimes the least likely candidate is the most likely frog for the job. March 20–May 1 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.


• The 9-lb. Vase: Recent Works by John S. Whitman. Houston Potter’s Guild Shop and Gallery present this solo show of wheelthrown and altered stoneware. March 15–28, with artist reception Saturday, March 20, 2–6 pm, at Houston Potter’s Guild Shop and Gallery, 2433 Rice Blvd. For information: 713/528-POTS.

• The Annual Spring Show at the Watercolor Art Society-Houston (WAS-H) features water-media in a range of styles from abstract to realistic. Do some Spring cleaning and make room on your wall-space for some new art. March 13–April 2 at the Watercolor Art Society, Houston gallery, 1601 W. Alabama. Info: 713/942-9966 or www.watercolorhouston.org.

• Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective of Drawings. Widely considered the most critical link between European Surrealists and American Abstract Expressionists, Arshile Gorky’s linear, organic imagery influenced a generation of important painters, including Pollock and Menil fave Rothko. This is the first comprehensive overview of Gorky’s works on paper, looking at how they relate to his paintings. March 5–May 9 at the Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross. Info: 713/525-9414 or www.menil.org.

• The Banality of Terror. Lori Nix gets a little exposure through FotoFest with this exhibit. Her exquisitely executed photographs of miniature model depictions of fabricated disasters give the viewer a glimpse of an uncertain moment. Has tragedy just stricken or is it about to strike? The notion communicated has obvious relevance in a post-911 environment. Free. Sunday, March 13, 6–8 pm, through May 1 at DiverseWorks, 1117 East Fwy off Main at Naylor. Info: 713/223-8346 or www.diverseworks.org.

• Bayou City Art Festival. Three hundred artists from around the country exhibit and sell their work in this juried festival. An eclectic mix of music, food, and activities for kids and adults make this an event for the senses. Plus, a number of local nonprofits benefit from ticket sales. $8 for adults, free for kids under 12. March 26–28, 10 am–6 pm at Memorial Park, Memorial Dr.

• Bird Brain—Ducks and Geese Tour. Bessie Award-winning choreographer Jennifer Monson draws relationships among humans, the environment, and migrating birds through improvised dance. Free. March 20: 11 am at Hermann Park, 4 pm at Houston Museum of Natural Science, and panel discussion at 5 pm; March 21: 2 pm at Houston Arboretum. Info: 713/223-8346 or www.diverseworks.org or www.birdbraindance.org.

• Bugs and Butterflies: A Rainforest Adventure. The movie A Bug’s Life is a big dirty lie. Bugs don’t sing and dance. They fight. They kill. They rip your heart outta your chest and show it to ya before ya die. Wait, that was Bruce Lee. This particular IMAX picture features a cast of real insects, starring Papilo the butterfly and Hierodula the praying mantis. The film follows the two from their birth to their inevitable encounter in a rainforest of Southeast Asia. Predator meets prey. This ain’t Pixar, baby. This ain’t pretty. At the Houston Museum of Natural Science, One Hermann Circle Drive. Tickets/info: 713/639-4629 or www.hmns.org.

• Chocolate: The Exhibit. Chocolate. This universal treat is made from the seeds of the cacao tree whose scientific name Theobroma means “food of the gods.” Bring the kids for cool hands-on programs March 15–19. Complimentary weekend tastings (beginning at 1 pm) offer samples from some of Houston’s finest boutique retailers. Wear a floppy khaki hat, speak in an Aussie accent, and insist you’re the Chocodile Hunter. Crikey! Through May 19 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, One Hermann Circle Drive. For tickets and information: 713/639-4629 or www.hmns.org.

• Evelyn and Herbert Frensley Hall of African Wildlife. Did you know the Houston Museum of Natural Science is the fourth most heavily attended museum in the nation? (The pride is back.) Visitors to the new African Hall can see in eight seconds what a safari explorer might see in eight weeks, if she/he is lucky. And no series of vaccinations, either. Displays that set this exhibit apart from most include the Congo Basin, primate coexistence of the West African Tropical Forest, and predator-prey dynamics of the Serengeti Grassland. At the Houston Museum of Natural Science, One Hermann Circle Drive. For tickets and information: 713/639-4629 or www.hmns.org.

• Luis Barragán: An Unbuilt House for the Menil. He only produced a dozen structures in 60 years. But what he did was otherworldy. Luis Barragán utilized natural materials and brilliant color and light, creating metaphysical landscapes. Moved by his work, Dominique de Menil commissioned Barragán to build an intimate space between the Menil collection and the Rothko Chapel. It never happened. For the first time, the completed model, blueprints, presentation boards, correspondence, and other materials have been moved from the archives to public display. At the Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross. Info: 713/525-9414 or www.menil.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, Loretta Lynn, and Houston’s own Lyle Lovett. Through June 7 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Info: 713/639-4629 or www.hmns.org.

• 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.

• PG-13/Male Adolescent Identity in the Age of Video Culture. There’s nothing easy about adolescence. Video artists Janet Biggs and Barbara Pollack look at how gender is constructed and enacted by pre-adolescent boys mimicking and embodying the paradigms of masculinity set by sports, video games, and music videos. March 13–May 1, opening reception March 13, 6–8 pm at DiverseWorks, 1117 East Fwy off Main at Naylor. For information: 713/223-8346 or www.diverseworks.org.

• Photo Takes. In this more-reverent-than-irreverent send-up of the internationally acclaimed fine art photography festival FotoFest, artists exhibit non-photographic works dealing with photography. The cheeky show features paintings of photos, an abstract collage done on photo paper, and (at a whimsical height) a 3-D rendition of a photograph. That’s like an impression of an impression. Through March 27 at 2013 W. Gray, River Oaks Shopping Center. For information: 713/522-2409 or www.archwaygallery.com.

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