Top Four Things to Do This Weekend: "Portrait of Spain", NSFW, HBO Boxing Championship and A Beatles Holiday
We're going to do this a little bit out of order and start with our suggestion for Sunday first. the not-to-be-missed exhibit "Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado" opens to the public this Sunday (museum members get a sneak peak on Saturday.) Spain's Prado has been called "not so much a museum of paintings as it is a museum of painters." Along with treasure troves of works by El Greco, Titian, Rubens and Velázquez, it holds 140 paintings by Goya as well as some 1,200 of his drawings and prints. In the exhibit we see some of Goya's most famous works, including María Antonia Gonzaga, Marchioness Widow of Villafranca, a formal but unusual portrait of the dowager. (The painting shows her in an intimate, private setting.) The family continued its relationship with Goya over several years, and he painted portraits of other family members. Among the most evocative images by other artists is Francisco de Zurbarán's Agnus Dei, a straightforward painting of a sacrificial lamb lying on a windowsill with its feet tied together. The votive image, its reference to Christ's sacrificial death obvious, was extremely popular in Spain during the 17th century.
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid Agnus Dei by Francisco de Zurbarán
Admission to the exhibit requires a separate timed-entry ticket. Viewing hours are 12:15 to 7 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, . Through March 31. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information,visit the museum's website or call 713-639-7300. $12 to $18.
For Friday, we suggest NSFW: The Office Plays. The collection of short plays tackle different aspects of cubicle life...most of which would make Dilbert blush. Leighza Walker of Big Head Productions, which is producing NSFW, notes that more than 100 play submissions were received from around the country for consideration. That was whittled down to just 11 for staging. "We wanted plays that were out of the norm and extreme, something gritty. We're not producing Neil Simon here," Walker tells us. Plots include an office shooting, a secret office romance, four angels given the directive to "work" on creating the universe and -- Walker's favorite -- one in which a woman, unable to quit her job, begins disrobing in an effort to get fired.
See NSFW: The Office Plays at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through December 22. Obsidian Art Space, 3522 White Oak. For information, visit Obsidian's website or call 832-889-7837. $10 to $15.
On Saturday, catch all the blood and sweat at the HBO World Championship Boxing at Toyota Center. The main event features WBO World Super Bantamweight Champion and Top Five in Boxing's Pound-for-Pound World Ratings Nonito Donaire as he takes on Challenger and 4-Time World Champion Jorge Arce for the World Junior Featherweight Championship.
The action starts at 6 p.m. at the Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. For information, visit the Toyota Center website or call 866-446-8849. $30 to $200.
Beatles fans (and we know you're out there), give yourself a Christmas treat with The White Christmas Album: A Beatles Holiday, our suggestion for Sunday. As a group, the Beatles always had a warm spot in their randy Liverpudlian hearts for Christmas. Each year, Paul, John, George and Ringo would record a special holiday message filled with goofy antics for fan club members. One Apple Records office party featured John and Yoko as Father and Mother Christmas. The Music Box Theater combines Christmas tunes, Beatles music and fun comedy sketches (featuring special guest John Gremillion) in the ensemble show . Hear the talented troupe perform "The Christmas Song" and "I Saw Her Standing There," along with a "Hey Jude"/"All You Need Is Love" medley and a "Drummer Boy"/"Come Together" mash-up.
The White Christmas Album is on stage at 2 p.m. on Sundays and 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through December 29. Music Box Theatre, 2623 Colquitt. For information, visit the theater's website or call 713-522-7722 or . $25 to $35.
Bob Ruggiero contributed to this post.
1001 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX