The 5 Best Things to Do This Weekend in Houston: George Lopez, Brooklyn - The Musical, the Spaghetti Code World Premiere and More
|Detail from a work by K. C. Collins|
West is excited for the public to see the finalists and for the participating artists to see the public. "As an artist, being able to share their work and experience viewers responses to their work is a huge part of creative expression," she adds. "I feel strongly that experiencing art brings the creative process full circle, influencing both the artist and the viewer."
There's an opening reception with the artists starting at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. Award winners will be announced at 7 p.m. Regular viewing hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Through August 9. 4912 Main. For information, call 713‑528‑5858 or visit lawndaleartcenter.org. Free.
Playwright and frequent Houston Press contributor Abby Koenig tells us her latest work, the black comedy Spaghetti Code, was inspired by but not exactly based on her own life. Koenig and her husband struggled for years with infertility. It was, she says, rough going. "You spend most of your waking moments thinking about babies and you start to blame yourself. Every little thing you did or do, you question if it is affecting your fertility. You become kinda crazy. It's a slow boil, though, but all of a sudden I found myself trying anything. Like drinking fertility shakes with bee pollen; I'm not kidding."
In Spaghetti Code, which has its world premiere on Saturday, a woman arranges for her husband and best friend to conceive a child the natural way (with sex and everything). Nothing could go wrong with that plan, right? Koenig and her husband had eventually started talking about adoption and surrogacy. "My family and friends were all very supportive and offered their eggs or to be a surrogate, etc.
"And it got me thinking, how far would I go? If I would be willing to adopt a baby that was someone else's and if I could give my husband the opportunity to have the baby have his DNA, and...If I could pick the woman he would have the baby with? Would I do that? That's where this play came from. How far would you go to have a baby? Would you ask your husband and best friend to sleep together? I wouldn't, for the record!"
Thankfully she didn't have to. Less than a month after finishing Spaghetti Code, Koenig found out she was pregnant with twins. Both boys are happy and healthy...and keeping their mom up late at night.
Two women in the late 1920s are living their expected upper-class lives as wives when they get word that a man from their past is coming to see them. And not just any man, but a French charmer named Maurice whom each of the women had a fling with at different times in their prior lives. The two best friends spend the day together waiting while their husbands -- described as passionless -- are out playing golf.
Courtesy of Main Street Theater
In Noel Coward's Fallen Angels, our choice for Sunday, the behavior of the friends, Julia and Jane, played by Crystal O'Brien and Lisa Villegas respectively, gets increasingly hilarious as the women apply themselves to champagne in increasing amounts during the wait, quarreling and making up, and then, of course, the husbands arrive back early.
This is a play that Claire Hart-Palumbo and Main Street Theater have been wanting to do for a long time -- "12 years, in fact," according to the director. It took them that long to get and keep the rights (taken away once by another theater company with more pull, Hart-Palumbo says). "Of all of Coward's plays of the upper class behaving badly, this is the only one whose two leads are women," she says.
The director is considered something of an authority on Coward's work and says she likes it so much because of his clever language. "I prefer to be entertained by people who are smarter than I am," she says. The three-act play comes in at around two and a half hours total running time and also boasts a maid, Saunders (played by Elizabeth Marshall Black), who has a lot of advice to hand out.
See Fallen Angles at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays. Through August 10. Main Street Theater, 2540 Times Boulevard. For information, call 713‑524‑6706 or visit mainstreettheater.com. $20 to $39.
Margaret Downing and Bob Ruggiero contributed to this post.