The 5 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Dark Matter: Evidence of Things Unseen and More

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Photo by Lynn Lane
On Friday, NobleMotion Dance, one of our favorite performing arts companies, premieres its latest evening-length program, Dark Matter: Evidence of Things Unseen. Inspired by Einstein's theory of relativity, Darwin's theory of natural selection and the Holy Bible, Dark Matter explores such lofty ideas as our place in the universe, the human condition, and the intersection of science and faith. Promotional materials say, "The theater [will be] transformed into a planetarium...and the dancers [will] test the limits of gravity." The athletic, accomplished dancers of NobleMotion have often tested the limits of gravity, and we're excited to see what promises to be a dramatic and bold performance in Dark Matter.

See Dark Matter: Evidence of Things Unseen at 8 p.m. August 29 and 30, September 4 to 6. The Barn, 2201 Preston. For information, call 832‑627‑9963 or visit noblemotiondance.com. $20 to $25.

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The Five Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Quench and More

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Photo by Lynn Lane
From Quench
Can't make it to the beach? Not to worry, starting this Friday, FrenetiCore Dance is bringing the water to you in Quench.

Choreographer Rebecca French and her collaborators are reportedly set to explore "the dynamic depths and transcendent nature of water." (Believe us, it's going to be much, much wilder than it sounds!) Some 14 dancers perform in Quench as glamorous mermaids, lovely water sprites, bathing beauties and aquatic gods. Using water as a symbol of life,

French and company dive into the deep end of the pool with live music by Spike the Percussionist, costumes and site-specific dance film by Ashley Horn and lighting by Frank Vela. Expect funny and serious presentations of invented mythology and new legends, some silliness and some profound truths. And most of all, expect to get wet.

Quench runs at 8 p.m. August 22, 23, 25, 28, 29 and 30. Frenetic Theater, 5102 Navigation. For information, call 713-447-7624 or visit freneticore.net. $16 to $25.

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The 5 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Jerry Seinfeld and More

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On his hit television series, Jerry Seinfeld was a Superman-loving, breakfast cereal-eating, hard-to-please Master of His Domain. In real life, he's probably...the same. Maybe just a little older. The beloved sitcom just celebrated the 25th anniversary of its debut (can it really be that long ago?), and Seinfeld isn't just sitting around cashing his massive, humongous royalty checks. He continues a standup career spouting his signature observational humor about quirky people and even quirkier situations and he's stopping in Houston on Friday. He also hosts his popular web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee which is...well, exactly what it sounds like.

Seinfeld admits being alone onstage armed with nothing but a mike and facing an audience he has to amuse and entertain for more than an hour isn't a cakewalk even after all his years in comedy. "I feel sweat rolling down my back for about a half hour. Droplets just going all the way down! There are nights when it's easy, and there are nights when it's not easy and you got to make it look easy," he told Scott Raab of Esquire earlier this year. Even then, Seinfeld thinks what he does isn't so hard as compared to other, say, possibly more exotic performing arts. "I saw these guys in Cirque du Soleil, these two bald-headed guys. And they balance [on] their heads. One guy balances on the other guy. And it gets only a polite round of applause. Why is that guy not the most famous guy [ever]? It's so much harder than what I do!"

Jerry Seinfeld goes into his routine at 7 p.m. Friday. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 832-487-7041 or visit houstonfirsttheaters.com. $51 to $150.

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The 5 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Stop the Pounding Heart, Saturday Pop-Up Burlesque and More

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Sara Carlson in Stop the Pounding Heart
Meet Houston-based filmmaker Roberto Minervini on Friday at a preview screening of his latest project, Stop the Pounding Heart. Three members of the film's nonprofessional cast -- Sara, LeeAnne and Tim Carlson -- will also be in attendance. Minervini, who has spent the past ten years filming in Texas, teaching in the Philippines and working toward his doctorate in Spain (yes, all at the same time), has crafted an offbeat coming-of-age story. At the center of the film is teenage Sara (played by Sara Carlson), the eldest of 12 children in a devout Christian family of goat farmers. Taught that she should be chaste and submissive, Sara has met Colby (played by Colby Trichell), a rodeo rider who lives nearby. Her growing attraction to him throws into doubt everything she's been taught.

Minervini is careful not to comment on the validity of the conservative Christian doctrine Sara's family lives by. Stop the Pounding Heart is not an examination of theology or feminism, but rather a quiet look inside the heart of one young woman who is becoming aware of a world that's larger than the confines of her family farm. Stop the Pounding Heart is the third in a trilogy of movies Minervini has filmed set in Texas with the Carlson family and their neighbors playing barely altered versions of themselves.

Minervini and the Carlsons will be in attendance only at the Friday screening. See Stop the Pounding Heart before it hits the art-house circuit. 7:30 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713‑639‑7515 or visit mfah.org. $9.


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The 5 Best Things to Do This Weekend in Houston: The Air Sex Championships, Houston Shakespeare Festival and More

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Photo by Patrick Michels/Dallas Observer
The Air Sex Champhionships
Sex has always been a competitive sport. It just took people awhile to organize a league and have championships with rules and judges and actual prizes. The Air Sex World Championships took care of all of that. Now we have official fuck-offs (contests between finalists) in cities around the country and competitors who vie for the privilege of calling themselves Fucker of the Year. The Air Sex Championships -- Houston is set for a one-night stand this Friday at Fitzgerald's. Hosted by comedian Chris Trew, the Championships are first-come, first-served. They're like an open-mike night but with imaginary genitals instead of guitars. You sign up, do your thing onstage and get judged by a group of supposed sexperts. Competitors air-sex in teams or alone, in any scenario with any partner they like (humans, aliens, monsters, animals and inanimate objects are all fair game).

Trew talked to our sister paper the Dallas Observer when the Championships came through Texas a couple of years ago. He shared stories about previous contestants, including a woman named Slut Truffle who pushed a power drill in her crotch and screamed in pretend pleasure while sparks went flying. (Ms. Truffle is a past champion.) There was also once a mother/daughter team that was a fail on a spectacular level. Competitors are as imaginative with their names as they are with their gyrations, so you can expect folks like Jack the Dripper, Colin Oscopy and Rick Ramrod onstage (yep, those are actual stage names used by past Air Sexers).

Get sexed up at 9 p.m. Friday. Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak Drive. For information, call 713-862-3838 or visit airsexworld.com. $10 to $12.

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The 5 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Tommy Davidson, Q-Fest, the H-Town Sneaker Summit and More

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While other alumni of In Living Color went on to bigger fame (Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans, David Alan Grier, Jamie Foxx), Tommy Davidson was perhaps an even more valuable all-around utility player, the Phil Hartman of the ensemble. Davidson is in town for a weekend run at the Houston Improv, with two shows on Friday.

"It was really funny -- it was genuinely funny," he told GapersBlock.com about the groundbreaking sketch comedy show, still popular online. "It was one of the funniest things ever that will stand the test of time because it was just pure."

Davidson released a DVD of his standup comedy last year, Chocolate Sundaes. But right now he's also riding high as the voice of "Cream Corn" on the highly rated Adult Swim Blaxploitation satire cartoon Black Dynamite. And he enjoys the experience of letting just his voice make people laugh. "I like that I don't have to worry about how I look on camera," he continues. "I can just express myself and make whatever sounds and voices I need to make and not worry about how I look." He also hopes to complete a project in the near future that uses his amazing Sammy Davis Jr. impression, which will surely make an appearance in Houston.

8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Improv Comedy Showcase, 7620 Katy Freeway. For information, call 713‑333‑8800 or visit improvhouston.com. $20 to $32.

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The 5 Best Things to Do This Weekend in Houston: George Lopez, Brooklyn - The Musical, the Spaghetti Code World Premiere and More

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George Lopez
Good comedians do more than just string together a bunch of punch lines. Good comedians give audiences something to laugh at and think about. George Lopez is a good comedian. He's also one of our choices for Friday with a two day run at Bayou City Music. Much of the Mexican-American comic's material early in his career focused on his contentious relationship with his hard-as-nails grandmother and growing up Latino. (Those routines spawned Lopez's well-known taglines "Why you crying?" and "I can't have nothing!" and inspired his successful television sitcom.) As Lopez's career took off, he developed new concerns and new routines. (He often imitated his California rich-kid daughter: "Oh, my gwad, Dad, you sound soooooo Mexican.)

After a health scare and then a divorce, Lopez seemed to dedicate himself to talking shit and naming names. Anti-immigration sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County, Arizona, made for an easy target. (In his HBO special, It's Not Me, It's You, Lopez blasted the closed border advocate: "Sheriff Joe, in California, fuck you! Fuck that puto!") Lopez has a two-night run in Houston during which he'll no doubt share more about his personal life and political views.

See George Lopez at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas. For information, call 713‑230‑1600 or visit bayoumusiccenter.com. $49.50 to $61.

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The 5 Best Things to Do This Weekend in Houston: Celebrate 4th of July with Cannons, the Beatles and Cocaine and Ethel Merman

Categories: Top 5

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In honor of the nation's freedom, the Houston Symphony presents "ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights: Star-Spangled Salute," a Friday night performance where children and families are welcome to come and hang out under the stars as conductor Michael Krajewski and the Houston Symphony put on a show. There'll be patriotic, heartfelt performances of everything American, and the end -- which will close with the 1812 Overture -- should be quite a note on which to celebrate. If you're so inclined, seats to the show will be available, but they're definitely not required. All you'll need is a blanket and perhaps a picnic basket, and the hill above Miller Outdoor Theatre should provide the rest.

Let freedom ring at 8:30 p.m. Friday. 6000 Hermann Park Drive. For information, call 713‑224‑7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. Free.

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The 5 Best Things to Do This Weekend: "Lights of Houston," Author Ingrid Thoft, the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix and More

Categories: Top 5

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Photo by Matt Crawford and Che Rickman
The Brazilian Arts Foundation Cultural Center says, "Thank you, Houston!" on Friday with the "Lights of Houston," an interactive light painting art exhibit. Mauricio Campos, president and founder of the foundation, says "We are celebrating the transformation happening in the Buffalo Bayou by using light painting in several spots along the bayou, our way of thanking a city and community that has always supported us." The talented husband-wife team Matt Crawford and Che Rickman photographed Brazilian dancers and capoeira practitioners at familiar Houston landmarks, using "light painting" to capture their energy and power. (Light painting is a photographic technique dating back to the late 1880s, basically capturing moving light in a still photograph.)

See "Lights of Houston" 7 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Brazilian Arts Foundation Cultural Center, 1133 East 11th Street. For information, call 713-862-3300 or visit brazilianarts.org. Free.

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The Best 5 Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Rainbow on the Green, The Normal Corporation, Juneteenth and More

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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.

The party starts at 7 p.m. on Friday at Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. For information, call 713-400-7336 or visit discoverygreen.com. Free.

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