Updated: Opera in the Heights and Conductor Enrique Carreon-Robledo Part Ways

Categories: Breaking News

Courtesy of Opera in the Heights
Enrique Carreon-Robledo, the now former Artistic Director of Opera in the Heights
Update: We've spoken with both Enrique Carreón-Robledo and David Douglas, chair of the Opera in the Heights Board of Directors. Jump to the end of the story to see what they have to say.

We've just confirmed that Opera in the Heights and Artistic Director/Conductor Enrique Carreón-Robledo have parted ways. An official announcement has not been made as of yet, but one is expected soon. OH! Manager of Operations Mariam Khalili confirmed Carreón-Robledo's departure and said simply:

"The organization and Enrique decided to part ways, going in different directions."

Khalili declined to make any further statement.

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American Horror Story: Freak Show: Ladies and Gentlemen, Naomi Grossman

Categories: Film and TV

I had seriously contemplated asking my editor is maybe covering American Horror Story this season was worth continuing. Since the end of the Edward Mordrake story arc the show has stumbled through its second act neither being particularly scary or especially riveting drama-wise. For the first half of "Orphans" I found about as much pleasure playing with my phone as I did on the screen.

Sure, Esmeralda showing off the massacre of freaks that her partner Stanley has been masterminding was good for some shock value, including a rather obvious twist ending that was powerful for all that it was predictable. Still, it was at least a little horrifying.

And then there was Pepper.

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Marion Cotillard Wins -- Twice -- in Our 2014 Film Critics' Poll

Categories: Film and TV

Sundance Selects
Marion Cotillard, was voted best actress in this year's film critic's poll.
What kind of circle is time again? A year after blowing the doors off our annual critics’ poll, golden boy Matthew McConaughey won just a single vote for his turn in the loudest movie of the year, Christopher Nolan’s tears-in-space effort Interstellar, which has tied with the unprescient Transcendence as 2014’s worst film. (Transcendence dreamed that Johnny Depp’s character would take over every screen in the world — that didn’t happen.) But his margin of victory lives on, this year in the form of Marion Cotillard, who wins best actress twice: first for the Dardenne brothers’ vote-gathering drama Two Days, One Night, then besting second-place Scarlett Johansson (Under the Skin) with her turn in James Gray’s glorious melodrama The Immigrant, available now on Netflix streaming because Harvey Weinstein doesn’t believe Oscar voters will bite.

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The Colbert Report's Greatness Arrived With Its Very First Episode

Categories: Film and TV

Colbert in the opening of the very first Colbert Report.
The funniest and most incisive show on television is ending this week -- so let's look back at how it began. On October 17, 2005, a power-suited Stephen Colbert furrowed his eyebrows and showed off highlights of his new set. Red letters above him shouted, "The Colbert Report." The title of his show was silhouetted in back of those letters, so it appeared twice. The host's last name was also proclaimed by a plasma-screen on the front of his desk, and it flashed four times on a ticker that ran below it, and was even spelled out on either side of that desk -- "which," he pointed out, "is itself shaped like a giant C." There were nine "Colbert"s in all, not counting the initial he sat in.

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Fashion Houston Makes a Wise Decision For Its Future With New Partnership

Categories: Fashion

Photo by Fashion Houston and courtesy of Vivian Wise
Fashion Houston is officially past its infancy and, like all toddlers, may be searching for its footing as it moves into the next stage of its growth. The team's recent announcement of a new partnership with Houston fashion heavy hitter Vivian Wise, may be their first step toward improvement. Wise is known to have an eye for style and heart for community, so she may be just what Fashion Houston needs.

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The Ten Best TV Shows of 2014

Categories: Film and TV

"My Dream Breakup" on Inside Amy Schumer.
TV continued to unmoor from its origins and transform into something else this year. No longer tethered to a specific appliance, a particular kind of storytelling, or even commercial concerns, "television" now feels like an increasingly obsolete word.

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Kids From TUTS' Humphreys School of Musical Theatre Get Ready For Atlanta Theater Festival

Categories: Stage

Photo courtesy of Theatre Under the Stars
It's rehearsal time at the Humphrey's School
A select group of students at Theatre Under the Stars' Humphreys School of Musical Theatre have been working for the past several weeks to perform a number from Lion King JR in the 2015 Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta in January.

iTheatrics and Disney Musicals picked the kids to appear in the New Works Showcase at the festival on Martin Luther King weekend, after which the musical will be released into the Broadway Junior Collection to be performed by schools all over the country.

Several weeks ago, Steven Kennedy, vice president of publishing for iTheatrics and Broadway Junior's Resident Choreographer, came to Houston to give the kids some tips while they practiced.

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10 Best Houston Cosplayers

Photo by Long Thai (Mineralblu Photography)
Titan as Colossus
The rise of the Houston cosplay scene has been fantastic to watch. Every year at the increasing number of geek conventions you find more and more people pulling out all the stops to bring characters to wonderful life. Today we look at the ten most amazing examples of cosplay brilliance H-Town produces.

As his name suggests Titan is a mountain of a man. He got into cosplay in 2012 after he left the army. His first costume was bane from The Dark Knight Rises. He made a splash at the Halloween party he was attending, but putting together so elaborate a set-up for just one night didn't feel worth it. In 2013 he started taking his creations to Comicpalooza and has been an avid cosplayer ever since. His other works include Colossus and the armored version of Hulk seen in Planet Hulk. The latter involved an 800-piece handmade chainmail armor and leather war kilt requiring hours of work.

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Reality Bites: Chug

Photo courtesy of National Geographic
"So, Austrians *weren't* Nazis?"
There are a million reality shows on the naked television. We're going to watch them all, one at a time.

Who doesn't like to drink? Recovering alcoholics, I guess. Also people who are allergic to it. Oh, and those of you who don't like the way it makes you feel, or the taste, or the fact you flunked out of college because you discovered tequila your freshman year and spent the next two years in a haze of keg stands and impromptu road trips to Señor Frogs.

Come to think of it, that sounds a lot like *my* freshman year.

So fine, plenty of you don't like to drink, but plenty still do, and for those people (who also have ample disposable income), there's Chug, National Geographic's new travel drinking show. Because what could possibly go wrong when you get drunk overseas?

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Reviews For The Easily Distracted:
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

Title:The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

Peter Jackson Is Done With Middle Earth, Right? So he says. Here's a little exercise in masochism for you: once BotFA is released on DVD, watch all six movies back to back (special editions, of course). That's probably close to 30 hours.

Rating Using Random Objects Relevant To The Film: Two-and-a-half Orson Beans out of five.

Brief Plot Synopsis: Short person tries to prevent war, mostly gets in the way. Like they do.

Tagline: "Witness the defining chapter of the Middle Earth saga."

Better Tagline: "What Would Legolas Surf?"

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