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Courtesy of Sound Hive
On Saturday, three new works premiere at the Composers of Space City concert by Sound Hive, a local contemporary music ensemble. The program is built around the newly commissioned work Lost Signals from Moonbase 14 by Josh Vinci. With a background in film scoring, Vinci has created a piece about a boy's journey around the galaxy to find an alien girl. "Josh often likes to begin the composition process with a poetic image or story," the group's clarinetist, Amy Glover, tells us. "In Lost Signals, this image is the various phenomena -- distant planets, blinding lights and shimmering nebulae -- experienced by a lonely interstellar wanderer. The music, therefore, is expansive and colorful, with the sort of evocative orchestrations you might hear in a movie."

Glover contributes Dream Forest ("the musical expression of a vivid dream that I experienced several years ago"), while George Heathco adds Hammerballet ("rhythmically charged, it was written under the incessant pounding of nearby carpenters").

The Composers of Space City concert is at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. 14 Pews, 800 Aurora. For information, call 927-989-0045 or visit $15 to $20.

Photo by Chad Batka
Hands on a Hardbody
A group of people stand around a truck. They're in Longview, Texas, and the summer sun is burning. There are rules. "You can't lean on the truck. You have to keep one hand on it at all times. Each person in the competition has to wear a glove on their hand so you don't mess up the truck," says Betty Marie Muessig, who plays one of the contestants, Kelli. Based on a documentary film, the musical Hands on a Hardbody is the final inaugural season offering for TUTS Underground and our choice for Sunday. It tells the story of people competing to win a truck, sure that by doing so, they'll have a way out of their circumstances (by either driving it away or selling it). Kelli Mangrum is a 22-year-old UPS employee who dreams of leaving Texas and figures this is her ticket out. One of her competitors won two years before and she doesn't think it's fair that he's in the competition again, says Muessig.

Muessig, a graduate of Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and now a rising senior and musical theater major at Texas State University in San Marcos, says she can relate to a) her character's determination and b) her desire to leave Texas (Muessig plans to move to New York City after college) but that she doubts that she would last very long in a competition like this. Complete with music by Phish's Trey Anastasio, the two-act show also features a Nissan pickup truck center stage.

Hands on a Hardbody runs at 7 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 3 and 8:30 p.m. Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays. Through June 22. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713‑558‑8887 or visit $24 to $49.

Jim J. Tommaney, Bob Ruggiero and Margaret Downing contributed to this post.

Location Info


Jones Hall For the Performing Arts

615 Louisiana St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

800 Bagby St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

BLUEorange Contemporary

1208 W. Gray St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Silver Street Studios

2000 Edwards St., Houston, TX

Category: General

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