The Top Five Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Pam Ann: Cockpit!, the Houston Press BrewFest 2013 and More
Thankfully ameliorating the perils of modern flight with her Mad Men-era attendant's cap and saber-sharp punch lines, that gorgeous standup stew from Australia jets back into Houston this Friday with the appropriately titled Pam Ann: Cockpit! The title is appropriate in that you'll see more gay men in her audience than on a junket to San Francisco for the Folsom Street Festival. (Google it.) Pam Ann, played by the charming and, dare we say, even demure Australian, Carolyn Reid, has worked this gig for more than 16 years, delighting earth-bound and in-flight audiences alike with an array of in-flight hostess characters. Hopefully this staging will include a visit from Lufthansa's dominatrix-like Helga and American Airlines' Valerie, whose years in the air have resulted in an unusual relationship with Osama Bin Laden.
Some of her sky-high audience members have included Madonna, Cher and Sir Elton John. "He's Rocket Man, although I don't know how many times you can hear that song," she snarks with full-on down-under flair, adding with a wink and a nod to her mainstay constituents: "He likes to tickle the ivories in first class."
8 p.m. Friday. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit the Hobby Center website. $42.75 to $62.75.
Abraham Lincoln (you know, that tall guy who was married to the Flying Nun) may have said it best: "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer." Words to live by on all counts, we at the Houston Press believe.
We also like boisterous love music to dance to and a wide selection of food trucks to gnosh at while consuming mass quantities of the foam, after a hard day of bringing the people real facts. Ergo, Saturday's inaugural Houston Beer Festival, the Houston Press BrewFest 2013 is a no-brainer. More than 30 brews are on tap, including the wildly monikered Hookibah IPA from Crazy Mountain Brewing, and Big Sky Brewery's Moose Drool Brown Ale and Trout Slayer Wheat Ale. Spoetzel, Texas' favorite brewery son, also brings along Shiner Wild Hare, Shiner Premium, and Shiner Ruby Redbird. Cheers.
3 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Silver Street Station, 1500 Silver St. For information, call 713-280-2400. $30 to $70.
The 9th Annual Empty Bowls Houston, happening this Saturday, attempts to bridge the gap between good taste and something that actually tastes good. The altruistic collaboration among artists, organizations and festival-type participants aids the "many people in our community who have 'empty bowls,'" Tom Perry, Empty Bowls' chair, says.
For a reasonable $25 donation, each patron receives one of 1,200 works of art filled with soup courtesy of Whole Foods Market and prepared by Houston Food Bank Community Kitchen. One of the 1,200 bowls is formed from old vinyl records, Perry shares. "It really is a neat event, though I'm a bit biased," he adds. "With that $25, the Houston Food Bank can provide 75 meals; or from another perspective, it can feed 25 people in need three nutritious meals for a day." Because man cannot be nourished by soup alone, the soupy benevolence all goes down to the tasty tunes of Andyrooniverse, Kevin Bakos of Sound Exchange, Travers La Ville and The Wandering Bufaleros.
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main. For information, 713-223-3700 or visit the Food Bank website. $25.
"Keep calm and curry on" might be an appropriate welcoming line for restaurant's Chef John Sikhattana as he hosts the 2nd Annual Curry Crawl on his home turf, Straits Asian Bistro. On Saturday, Sikhattana once again introduces fellow chefs from at least 11 top Houston restaurants, each eager to snatch the 2012 "Best Curry" title from The Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen's Chef Shiva Patel. Last year, Chef Patel also won the event's "People's Choice" award for her crab balls. Who knew? This year, patrons may again expect inspired spicy tastings from competing chefs hailing from Ambrosia, Latin Bites, Nosh Bistro, Rasoi, RA Sushi, Restaurant CINQ, Soma Sushi, Sparrow Bar + Cookshop, Straits Asian Bistro, The Tasting Room and The West End. But this is no "masala on a stick," Food Network knock-off competition. One supremely notable delectable form last year's Curry Crawl was Uchi's Chef Philip Speer foie gras-curried, cotton candy, prompting Houston Press's own Sapna Patel to write: "Duck liver never felt so much like a Ferris wheel of fun." Benefits PULSE, a new group for young professionals supporting Houston's St. Luke's Episcopal Health System.
4 to 7 p.m. Saturday. STRAITS Asian Bistro, 800 W. Sam Houston Pkwy N. For information, call 713-365-9922 or visit the event website. $55.
Texas All-Star Wrestling, the oldest independent professional wrestling promoter in the state, has helped launch the careers of people like Necro Butcher (Seen in The Wrestler). It's hosted champions like Booker T and Samoa Joe, and legends like "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and Abdullah the Butcher. (There seem to be lots of butchers in wrestling.) The card this Sunday includes two title defenses by "Sexy" Steve DeMarco and Gustavo Mendoza, as well as a lucha libre match and an over-the-top-Battle Royal.
1:30 p.m. Sunday Traders Village, 7979 N. Eldridge Parkway. For information, call 281-548-5856 or visit the TASW website. Free ($3 parking).
Nancy Ford and Jef with One F contributed to this post.