Top 5 Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Theater for Millennials, the Benefit Betties and More
Jordan Jaffe, founder of Black Lab Theatre, tells us he hopes the company's newest production, Paul Downs Colaizzo's provocative he-said/she-said drama Really Really, draws in 20- and 30-somethings audience members. "My aim is to bring younger people into theater in Houston," Jaffe, who directs the show, says. "Really Really is one of the most important, provocative dramas that has been written about millennials by a millennial. To get millennials to put down their phones and come to the theater, the play has to be relevant to their experiences."
Photo by Jordan Jaffee Really, Really
Really, Really, one of our picks for Friday, has been called the Lord of the Flies for the millennial generation. The comparison might not be strong enough. Really Really seems a much more blistering indictment of society, perhaps because the circumstances are so familiar. Set at an ivy league college, the drama centers on a group of students as they try to piece together what happened the night before at a wild keg party. It's clear that two of the friends had sex -- Davis and Leigh (she's Jimmy's girlfriend). But was it an ill-advised hookup or rape? No one is sure, not even, it seems, Davis and Leigh.
The students, overachievers on track to early and brilliant success, each respond differently. From outrage to doubt, sympathy to indifference, the responses reflect not so much compassion or concern as self-centered conceit. ("How will this affect me?" each student seems to be asking.) Jaffe says the play examines the "gray area between ambition and selfishness." Jaffe tells us, "I don't know many people in my generation who have not had to navigate some horror story related to party/hookup culture."
8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and April 21. Through May 4. Frenetic Theater, 5102 Navigation. For information, call 713-515-4028 or visit blacklabtheatre.com. $25.
The artwork created by George Reynolds may look like advertisements, but the subtle difference is that they are pseudo-ads, not intended to sell anything. On Friday, Fresh Arts opens "Post Persuasion," an exhibition of print and video ads created by Reynolds, who has already convinced publishers to run 26 of these print "ads." In an era when pitchmen hawk their products vociferously and advertising pops up willy-nilly on our laptops, there's something refreshing about this.
Sarah Schellenberg, program manager of Fresh Arts, says, "One of the most surprising things is that George's work is not 'anti-advertising.' When I first saw his semi-absurd ads for kneecaps and watermelon paintings, I thought it was critical commentary on the barrage of marketing messages we are all inundated with daily, like, they were subtly subversive 'anti-ads.' But after speaking with him about it, I was surprised that he likes advertising; he just wanted to make art, too."
There is an opening reception with the artist at 6 p.m. on April 18. Regular viewing hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Through May 30. Spacetaker Gallery at Fresh Arts, 2101 Winter Street. For information, call 713-868-1839 or visit spacetaker.org. Free.
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