Top Four Things to Do This Weekend: MFAH Mixed Media, Ezra Washington, Under the Streetlamp and More
December 21, according to the Mayan calendar, is supposed to be the end of the world. Or at least the end of the world as we know it. And if there's only time for one more party, it better be a good one -- like the MFAH Mixed Media Designed by IKEA blowout Friday night at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "I agree with Forbes," DJ Ceeplus Bad Knives says. "I think [Houston is] the coolest city." And the coolest city deserves the coolest party possible, right? To that end, Mixed Media organizers embraced the end-of-the-world sentiment and decided on "Let's Party Like There's No Tomorrow" as a theme. "The whole place is completely transformed, not into a nightclub exactly, but certainly a party. And there's tons of stuff to do, all at the same time. We've got DJs, live acts, dancing, cocktails, live art demonstrations, gallery exhibits. We have a photo booth, and there's always a giveaway," Ceeplus, who curates the music, tells us. "This time we have the Ton Tons playing. They've been gaining a lot of national and even international press. Then we have BOAN, a band that plays sort of synthesizer, electronic music." Also on the program is artist TKNY, who will be creating new work on the spot. Ceeplus shares DJ duties with Jessica Lozano, who will be making one of her final Houston appearances before moving to New York City early next year. "If it really was going to be the end of the world, this would be the perfect party to celebrate."
8 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, visit the museum website or call 713-639-7300. $12 to $14.
Houston comedian Ezra Washington has lost more than one gig because he works clean. "The number one reason I decided to change my approach to comedy," Washington says, "was so that my mother could come and see me perform. One day I listened to the other comics on the show and I knew that I didn't want my mother to come and sit through a show full of profanity just to see me." After acting as MC at a church event, Washington was asked to perform a profanity-free version of his stand-up act. "I ended up putting on a 45-minute show, clean; I realized that was harder than doing stand-up at a regular comedy club." The change in approach cost Washington a spot on Def Comedy Jam. Producers reminded him that it was a late-night show on HBO and profanity would be expected. Initially Washington agreed, but when he hit the stage, he changed his mind. "I went out and did a clean set, got a standing ovation and...they didn't air it." The Comedy Showcase, where Washington will perform this Friday and Saturday, has no such concerns.
Hear Washington's F-bomb-free act at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 11460 Fuqua. For information, visit the club's website or call 281-481-1188. $15.
The men from Under the Streetlamp stop off in Houston for a two-show stint at the Hobby Center on Saturday. These guys might be Generation X'ers, but they have a real love for music more often associated with Baby Boomers. The quartet, made up of four lead singers from the popular Chicago cast of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys, have a set-list that's an amalgamation of pop tunes from the 1940s to the 1960s. (To get a good idea of what to expect, think The Beach Boys meet The Drifters.) The ensemble -- Michael Ingersoll, Michael Gunio, Shonn Wiley and Chris Jones -- touches on almost every hit from the "American Radio Songbook," a term they coined to encompass their style of music. Expect to hear some classic Christmas tunes thrown in as well.
Catch Under the Streetlamp at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday at Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, or visit the center's website or call 713-315-2525. $62.75.
Read our story about an Austin teacher who outed Santa Claus to her class of five-year-olds.
If you've got a kid who's on the fence about the whole Santa issue -- is he real, is he not -- a stop at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Mason Park presents Alamo Kid Party: The Polar Express on Saturday might help. Writer/director/producer Robert Zemeckis's 2004 motion capture computer-animated fantasy film follows a young boy who has his doubts about Santa as he takes a magical train trip to the North Pole in search of the truth. Tom Hanks stars as the narrator, the train's conductor and a bunch of smaller roles, while Daryl Sabara voices the disbelieving boy. This is an all-ages screening (including toddlers and babies).
Climb on board The Polar Express at noon on Saturday. Alamo Drafthouse Mason/Katy, 531 South Mason. For information, visit the theater's website or call 281-492-6900. $5.
Allison Wagoner contributed to this post.
1001 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX