The Best 5 Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Rainbow on the Green, The Normal Corporation, Juneteenth and More
The annual Land Rover Houston Central's Rainbow on the Green is a dance party of fabulous proportions celebrating GLBT-pride and its set for Friday. Chad Pitt, from radio station MIX 96.5, emcees a program filled with GLBT and GLBT-friendly performers. Fans of reality television will recognize America's Got Talent contestant Derrick Barry, who wowed judges and viewers alike with his spot-on embodiment of gay icon Britney Spears (see photo). Out vocalist Michelle Chamuel, runner-up on the fourth season of The Voice, will also take the stage. Known for her quirky androgynous styling and rich vocal ability, the Usher-mentored Chamuel impressed voters with her powerhouse renditions of David Guetta's "Titanium," Pink's "Raise Your Glass" and Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors." Also on tap is American Idol alum and season seven runner-up Blake Lewis. The soulful crooner gained an avid following for his impressive beat-boxing skills, which he expertly weaved into his renditions of pop standards.
Five years ago, comedian Gabriel Iglesias attracted just a few hundred fans to a stand-up stint in a Houston comedy club. Last year he played to more than 10,000 fans in the Toyota Center. It was Iglesias's biggest crowd ever. On Friday, he's back and looking to break last year's attendance record. The plus-size comic, known as Fluffy to fans ("I'm not fat; I'm fluffy!"), steers away from issues such as politics and racism, common fodder for many comedians. "I have a clean show; I don't use a lot of profanity," Iglesias told us last year just before his Houston show. "I don't get political; I don't get controversial; I don't come up with any radical statements."
Much of Iglesias's humor focuses on relationships (including bits about the unexpected changes autocorrect makes to his messages when he's drunk and trying to argue with his girlfriend via text) and life on the road (such as getting frisked by cops while leaning against a tour bus covered with his photo and name). There's also the now obligatory chocolate cake bit (early on Iglesias mentioned that he likes chocolate cake, prompting fans to bring him some at every show -- a practice Iglesias wholeheartedly encourages).
See Gabriel Iglesias at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. For information, call 866‑446‑8849 or visit houstontoyotacenter.com. $29.50 to $67.50.
One of the trends sweeping the hipster nation is normcore, the practice of dressing in purposefully bland garments to blend in with average people. This seeking of normalcy is choreographer Jennifer Wood's latest preoccupation. Suchu Dance's newest evening-length work, The Normal Corporation, explores what it means to be normal, how it looks, sounds and moves. The Normal Corporation is one of our choices for Saturday.
Photo by Jennifer Woods
Suchu regular Sarah Leung and Prudence Sun are set to perform, as are some new faces, including Somya Gupta, Anastasiya Kopteva, Lena Silva and Jessica Stewart. With the premiere of The Normal Corporation, Suchu Dance is also unveiling the inaugural edition of its print journal, PAJAMA. Wood and company have a penchant for satire, so it's not surprising that the first edition will poke a little fun at the normcore aesthetic. Presented in catalog form, PAJAMA features dancers modeling normcore fashion that's for sale.
Get normal at 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and June 23. Through June 28. 3480 Ella. For information, call 832‑377‑8248 or visit suchudance.org. Pay-what-you-want to $20.
In these days of instant news, it can be hard to imagine waiting for word of world events. In the mid-19th century, delays were common, although we think the two-and-a-half-year delay in word of the Emancipation Proclamation reaching Texas was excessive, even by pre-20th-century standards. It was June 19, 1865 -- two and a half years after the fact -- that Union soldiers landing in Galveston told Texans that the Civil War had ended and President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves.
Fast-forward to today, and "Galveston Celebrates Juneteenth," a nod to the island's prominent role in the holiday's history, offers a slate of festivities including art exhibits, author signings, concerts, films and re-enactments (including one of the actual proclamations in front of the Juneteenth monument). The centerpiece will be the Juneteenth Parade on Saturday with the usual complement of marching bands, drill teams, decorated cars, waving politicos and performers.
1 p.m. Saturday. 22nd and Harborside Drive, Galveston Island. For parade route information, call 409‑763‑8676 or visit galveston.com. Free.
On Sunday, the Jazz on Film series continues with Sixties Jazz Films by Dick Fontaine, a trio of short films made between 1966 and 1968 by documentary filmmaker Dick Fontaine. He captures interview and performance footage of four of the most adventurous musicians of the time: Ornette Coleman, John Cage, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Sonny Rollins. Of the three films, Who Is Sonny Rollins? may be the most interesting, as it finds the sax giant (now 83 and still touring) during one of his several reclusive periods. Who Is, made in 1968, shows him playing with Harlem-area students, in the countryside and on the Williamsburg Bridge in New York, a site that looms large in his story and where he would practice nightly. "I've always been fascinated in Sonny because he was one of those people who is capable of saying no to what he was 'supposed' to do," Fontaine told the website musicfilmweb.com recently. "By doing that, he has carved out his own space, and he's won the game, in the sense that he's survived, which many of his colleagues did not."
David, Moffett, and Ornette (from 1966) shows free-jazz innovator Ornette Coleman working with his mid-1960s trio in Paris as they score a film, while Sound?? (1967) shows footage of two very different musicians, the experimental composer John Cage and jazz multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk.
Bob Ruggiero and Adam Castaneda contributed to this post.
1500 McKinney, Houston, TX
3480 Ella Blvd., Houston, TX
1001 Bissonnet, Houston, TX