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

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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

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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.

This story continues on the next page.

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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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The 5 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Joseph Reinholtz's Homage to Yves Klein, "SUGA," Ben Folds and More

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Photo courtesy of Joseph Reinholtz
Yves Klein and model in performance
Houston-based painter Joseph Reinholtz is a longtime admirer of the works of the artist Yves Klein, and he'll honor that now-deceased artist by re-creating Klein's most famous painting in Joseph Reinholtz: Homage to Yves Klein's FC 1 in front of a live audience on Friday. (Klein's painting, titled Fire-Color Painting FC 1, sold at auction for $36.7 million in 2012.) Attempting to re-create the work is no easy matter since Klein believed in "dangerous painting." He worked with live models who imprinted themselves on the canvas, and used fire and gas to burn the images in place. Reinholtz will follow the same process, including dousing live models with paint and then using a blow torch to scorch the wet canvas. The performance/painting is followed by a live auction of the work with proceeds benefiting the Houston Food Bank.

See Joseph Reinholtz: Homage to Yves Klein's FC 1 at 8 p.m. Friday. Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards. For information, call 732-781-8900 or visit josephreinholtz.com. Free.

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The 5 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Art by Moe Profane, Jazz on Film, the Last Production at the Alley (For Now) and More

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Schadenfreude and Shiner Bock by Moe Profane
Artist Moe Profane is a self-described recovering Catholic, cancer survivor and heart disease patient. Building on the idea that "nothing is sacred because nothing is absolute," Profane's art is filled with forthright candor. That's plainly seen in his work in the exhibit "Moe Profane: Nihilism and Nanner Puddin," which is open and our suggestion for Friday.

Profane, who was selected as San Antonio's Raw Artist of the Year in 2012, has a finely honed sense of humor and a keen sense of irony. He manages through layering and artistry to add the impression of age to signboards, and sometimes to illustrations on used white picket fences. The works shown include Relativist Pop Art Icons and Shrines to the Mundane.

There's an opening reception at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Regular viewing hours are noon to 5 Wednesdays to Sundays. Through June 29. Redbud Gallery, 303 East 11th. For information, call 713-862-2532 or visit redbudgallery.com. Free.

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Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Historic Heights Buildings

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All photos courtesy of AIA Houston and Gerald Moorhead, FAIA
The Heights area, now a mixed use neighborhood just north of downtown, was originally Houston Heights, a working-class suburb to the nearby city of Houston. Nebraska investors, the Omaha & South Texas Land Company, developed the area in 1891 and despite its blue-collar roots, the area boasted several large, expansive homes including several along Heights, the area's main thoroughfare. The remaining grand homes and bungalows are being rapidly replaced by new home construction, which means that what's there today might not be there tomorrow. Before the Heights landscape changes any further, we want to point some of our favorite historic buildings.

10. Heights City Hall and Fire Station
107 W. 12th Street, 1915

The Heights City Hall and Fire Station, designed by A. C. Pigg and completed in 1915, is an early example of consolidated municipal office buildings that were common in Texas in the 1920s. The two-story brick building (seen above) currently houses the Houston Heights Association. After leasing the building for a time, the Association purchased the building from the City of Houston and rehabilitated the structure in the late 1990s.


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The 5 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Comic-freakin'-palooza 2014, Woolgathering and More

Categories: Top 5

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Photo by Digital Asylum Studios
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Houston's Comicpalooza 2014 has four Doctor Who Doctors -- Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann, and comic-book legend Stan Lee is set to make his first appearance ever at the pop culture expo. It's an unheard-of coup for Comicpalooza, which has some 1,500 hours of programming spread over four days, including Friday.

Celebrities set to appear include comic book theorist Scott McCloud (left, below), John Barrowman (Torchwood, center, below), Tricia Helfed (Dark Blue, right, below), Clark Gregg (S.H.I.E.L.D), James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Cary Elwes (From the Earth to the Moon). Former WWE world champions Bret Hart and Kevin Nash will also be on hand.

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Activities include Dalek Races (new this year), celebrities vs fans laser tag, performances, concerts and gaming sessions. Panels, workshops and classes cover everything from sexism in comics to costume crafting (there are even daily Comicpalooza 101 sessions for first-timers).

Local pop visual artists Lane Montoya, Chris Foreman and Mark Nasso will be among the dozens displaying work in the Artists Alley. And Tech displays cover some 27,000 square feet, which makes for a sizable gearhead heaven.

Comicpalooza 2014 runs 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. For information, visit comicpalooza.com. $10 to $55.

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The 5 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: The Best of Fringe, Feeling Alright, Hitchcock Silents and More

Categories: Top 5

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Can't wait until next fall to get your annual Houston Fringe Festival fix? You don't have to. Starting Friday, festival organizers have something to tide you over - The Best of Fringe.

Some of the most-appreciated events of last year's festival are being restaged. There's Alexandria Gurley in Passport to Womanhood, a one-woman show fusing poetry and dramatic monologues, and China Cat Dance's Aquaria, an "underwater" journey in dance to a mysterious realm where you encounter mermaids, urchins, fish and other denizens of the deep. Cirque La Vie, an innovative circus troupe, presents Daring to Be Different, with high-level acrobatics and movement (see right).

Other events include Nicolay Dance Works, where Dana E. Nicolay creates dances that speak clearly and truly of the human experience, and This Infinite Closet, which performs improv -- get ready for this -- in complete darkness. After the performances, there'll be live music on the patio.

8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Frenetic Theater, 5102 Navigation. For information, call 832-387-7440 or visit houstonfringefestival. $20 to $25.

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