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

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Photo by Digital Asylum Studios
LanaCosplay
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

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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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Five Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Alonzo King LINES Ballet, "The Waiting Room," Houston Art Car Parade and More

Categories: Top 5

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Photo by R.J. Muna
Alonzo King LINES Ballet company member Michael Montgomery in Resin
The San Francisco-based Alonzo King LINES Ballet makes its Houston debut on Friday with two works that epitomize King's interest in creating movement that explores the real and the tangible, as does much of the company's work. "The term LINES alludes to all that is visible in the phenomenal world," King says via press materials. "There is nothing that is made or formed without line. Straight and circle encompass all that we see. Whatever can be seen is formed by line."

The program opens with 2011's Resin, a dance that alternates between duet and quartet work. The movement is seamless, the bodies of the dancers more liquid than solid mass, just like the trancelike Sephardic music it is set to. An exciting feature is King's suggestion of genderless pas de deux work, as men partner men and women partner women. The real showcase becomes the human body, dressed in minimal garments, and all of its beautiful permutations.

Then there's the 2009 Scheherazade, a reimagining of One Thousand and One Nights and the 1888 music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The original music is an unmistakably Russian creation with digressions into Eastern motifs, but King uses a score that has been reworked by Zakir Hussain. Hussain, a master of the tabla, brings new life to Rimsky-Korsakov's music with the addition of traditional Persian instrumentation. Both pieces place specific importance on the real and the tangible, in the vein of much of the company's work.

See the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Houston debut at 8 p.m. Friday. Wortham Center's Cullen Theater, 500 Texas. For information, call 713‑227‑4772 or visit spahouston.org. $23 to $58.

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Five Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Latin Wave, Pedrito Martinez, MenilFest and More

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Samuel Lange in Mariana Rondón's Pelo malo (Bad Hair)
Nine spectacular films make up the 9th Annual Latin Wave: Films from Latin America festival. Among our favorites is Carlos Federico Rossini's El alcalde (The Mayor), a revealing look at Mauricio Fernández Garza, the millionaire mayor of San Pedro Garza Garcia in Mexico (see the film trailer below). El alcalde screens on Friday.

Rossini will be on hand to discuss Fernandez's controversial anti-crime policies for the city (basically, he fights the violence on the streets with bigger, better violence). Fernandez's tactics have worked. Street violence has, in fact, been radically reduced in the area. Oh, and the head of his security and several other key members of his team have been murdered.

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Five Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Dominic Walsh's New Film, The Walking Dead Escape Tour and More

Categories: Top 5

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Gabriella Nissen Photography
Choreographer Dominic Walsh (far right) oversees the filming of a scene in Malta Kano, TX
Houston choreographer Dominic Walsh, a 2011 Houston Press 100 Creatives, makes his first foray into dance for film with Malta Kano, TX, which receives its premiere screening on Friday at the Asia Society Texas Center. Welsh, who co-conceived the project with frequent collaborator Belgian artist Frédérique de Montblanche, couldn't completely make the break from having a live audience for the project. The screening at Asia Society Texas Center is followed by a live performance by Sakal and Luciano that will be filmed and added to the final version of the project.

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Gabriella Nissen Photography
Domenico Luciano, Hana Sakal and Dominic Walsh
The narrative film reunites Japanese ballerina Hana Sakal and Italian dancer Domenico Luciano, last seen together in Walsh's 2012's Uzume.

French director of photography Romain Ferrand and Belgian composer Loup Mormont also collaborated on the project. ("I'm the token American in the bunch," Walsh jokes.) The storyline was inspired by the novel The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami and follows a man who is in transition.

See the premiere of Malta Kano, TX at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. 1370 Southmore. For information, call 713-496-9901 or visit asiasociety.org/Texas. $25.


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Top 5 Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Theater for Millennials, the Benefit Betties and More

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Photo by Jordan Jaffee
Really, Really
Jordan Jaffe, founder of Black Lab Theatre, tells us he hopes the company's newest production, Paul Downs Colaizzo's provocative he-said/she-said drama Really Really, draws in 20- and 30-somethings audience members. "My aim is to bring younger people into theater in Houston," Jaffe, who directs the show, says. "Really Really is one of the most important, provocative dramas that has been written about millennials by a millennial. To get millennials to put down their phones and come to the theater, the play has to be relevant to their experiences."

Really, Really, one of our picks for Friday, has been called the Lord of the Flies for the millennial generation. The comparison might not be strong enough. Really Really seems a much more blistering indictment of society, perhaps because the circumstances are so familiar. Set at an ivy league college, the drama centers on a group of students as they try to piece together what happened the night before at a wild keg party. It's clear that two of the friends had sex -- Davis and Leigh (she's Jimmy's girlfriend). But was it an ill-advised hookup or rape? No one is sure, not even, it seems, Davis and Leigh.

The students, overachievers on track to early and brilliant success, each respond differently. From outrage to doubt, sympathy to indifference, the responses reflect not so much compassion or concern as self-centered conceit. ("How will this affect me?" each student seems to be asking.) Jaffe says the play examines the "gray area between ambition and selfishness." Jaffe tells us, "I don't know many people in my generation who have not had to navigate some horror story related to party/hookup culture."

8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and April 21. Through May 4. Frenetic Theater, 5102 Navigation. For information, call 713-515-4028 or visit blacklabtheatre.com. $25.


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Top 5 Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Cakeless Dancers, Magical Doors, Killer Puppets and More

Categories: Top 5

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Courtesy of Hope Stone Dance Company
Hope Stone dancers Alonzo Lee Moore IV, Jacquelyne Jay Boeand Shohei Iwahama
Fresh off their uplifting arts-for-all children's program say please and thank you, Hope Stone Dance Company presents i was told there would be cake, one of our choices for Friday. Fans of the video game Portal might have more insight than the average dance-goer about the cake in question. As the catchphrase goes, the cake is a lie. "We are told there's going to be cake," explains Artistic Director Jane Weiner. "But what if there is no cake?"

One of the new works is fandango, a piece for the company's male contingent. It's a multilayered dance, one that's been in gestation for nearly 15 years. "Joe Modlin, who's danced for me forever, remembered years ago that I wanted to do a [male] quintet. One guy broke his knee and another went into rehab, so the piece ended up being two men and a woman. The first day of rehearsal, Joe told me that I wanted to do this in 2000, so it's been in my psyche," explains Weiner.

8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Houston Ballet Center for Dance, 601 Preston. For information, call 713-526-1907 or visit hopestoneinc.org. $20.

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Top 5 Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: The Wayne Shorter Quartet, John Wiese, Jo Koy and More

Categories: Top 5

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Photo by Dorsay Alavi
The Wayne Shorter Quartet
For those who want to see a genuine giant of jazz's golden era in live performance, time isn't on your side. Sure Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor and Jimmy Heath still perform occasionally, but seeing them on stage is probably going to require a trip to New York or a pricey ticket to a major music festival. Luckily, Da Camera of Houston gives us an opportunity to see Wayne Shorter perform in Houston when the Wayne Shorter Quartet celebrates the legendary saxophonist's 80th birthday on Friday.

Shorter, who led groups under his own hard-bop leanings, was a leading light in jazz fusion, co-founding the ensemble Weather Report. He often played in other men's bands (Art Blakely's Jazz Messengers, Miles Davis's Second Great Quintet). He also penned classics like "Nefertiti," "E.S.P." and "Footprints" (all for Davis). "Wayne is a real composer," the famously skinflinty-with-compliments Davis wrote in his autobiography. "He knew that freedom in music was the ability to know the rules in order to bend them to your satisfaction and taste." Shorter's current quartet -- which features Danilo Perez on piano, John Patitucci on bass, and Brian Blade on drums -- released the well-received Without a Net last year.

See the Wayne Shorter Quartet at 8 p.m. Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas. For information, call 713-524-5050 or visit dacamera.com. $40 to $65.

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