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Houston Performing Arts and Events June 2010

Dancers Sara Webb and Ian Casady in La Fille mal gardée.


Houston Ballet, June 10 – 20
Capping off the 40th season is Sir Frederick Ashton’s glorious romantic comedy, La Fille mal gardée, hailed by The New York Times as “the most enchanting ballet in existence.”
La Fille mal gardée tells the story of Lise, a young maiden who must choose between the handsome, penniless farmer Colas and the wealthy simpleton Alain whom her meddling mama wishes her to marry. In La Fille mal gardée, folk dance and classical ballet meet in a joyous celebration of love and life that is perfect for the entire family.
For tickets or more information, go to www.houstonballet.org.



Charles M. Russell, American, 1864-1926 Meat’s Not Meat Till It’s in the Pan, 1915. Oil on canvas, mounted on Masonite Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Okla.


Museum of Fine Arts houston, Beginning June 6

Painter, sculptor and humorist of the American West, Charles M. “Charlie” Russell is familiar to millions around the world. Virtually self-taught, Russell began to paint early in his career as a cowboy. Later on, as a full-time artist, he provided inspiration to Hollywood’s first filmmakers.

Russell presents an uparalleled view of a bygone American culture, rich in authentic detail and infused with personal passion.

This first major retrospective of Russell’s work illustrates that his variety of subject matter and range of expression reveal a much more complex artist than typically recognized, one who was in many ways dedicated to depicting the marginalized people of the time.

For more information, go to www.mfah.org or call 713-639-7300.



(L-R) Donna Vivino as Elphaba and Chandra Lee Schwartz as Glinda in Wicked.


Broadway Across America, June 30 – July 25

Long before that girl from Kansas arrives in Munchkinland, two girls meet in the land of Oz. One—born with emerald green skin —is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good makes for “the most complete—and completely satisfying—new musical in a long time” (USA Today).

Winner of 35 major awards, including a Grammy and three Tony Awards, WICKED is “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster” and “the defining musical of the decade” (The New York Times).

For tickets, go to www.broadwayacrossamerica.com.



Houston Ballet, Through June 6

Created by the legendary George Balanchine for New York City Ballet in 1978, Ballo della Regina is a virtuoso set of variations, comparable to the bel canto style of opera, set to ballet music that was cut from the original production of Verdi’s Don Carlos. Set to a specially commissioned score by Matthew Pierce, Stanton Welch’s vibrantly theatrical Pecos Bill dramatizes the poignant romance between the legendary Texas hero Pecos Bill and the gutsy tomboy Sluefoot Sue. Modern dance legend Mark Morris’ Sandpaper Ballet contains the hallmarks of his work: wit, humor and inventive movement, along with whimsical green and white costumes by noted fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi.

Purchase tickets by phone at 713-227-2787 or go to www.houstonballet.org.



Broadway Across America, Through June 6

Have a monstrously good time at this spectacular production of Young Frankenstein, winner of the 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award and the Broadway.com Audience Award for Best Musical.

This wickedly inspired re-imagining of the Frankenstein legend follows bright young Dr. Frankenstein as he attempts to create a monster—but not without scary and hilarious complications.

To purchase tickets, go to www.broadwayacrossamerica.com.



Company onStage, June 12

When a mild mannered C.P.A. mistakenly picks up a briefcase full of money on his way home from work, he assumes it is illicit cash. Deciding to keep it, he tells his wife they must leave immediately for Barcelona. His wife, the friends booked for dinner, and two police detectives are obstacles to his plan. Never has this master of farce been frenetically funnier.

For more information, go to www.companyonstage.org or call 713-726-1219.



Company OnStage, June 12

The Broadway smash hit Rent finally comes to Masquerade Theatre on June 12. Follow a year in the life of eight friends living in the dying post-Bohemia of New York’s East Village at the end of the millennium, and learning to cope with themselves adrift in the chaos of modern life and the ties that bind them all together.

Songs such as One Song Glory, La Vie Bohéme, Seasons of Love and I’ll Cover You will rock your soul and shake your heart with laughter and tears. By the end of the show, you will come to understand that when it comes to living, there is truly “no day but today.”

Call 713-726-1219 for more information on how to purchase tickets.



Contemporary Arts Museum Houston through July 11

San Antonio-based artist Cruz Ortiz employs a broad range of media—prints, paintings, sculptures, video, installation and performance—to talk about life, love and the struggle for equality. Through his alter ego the Spaztek, a post-punk, post-Chicano holy fool who continually throws himself into quixotic quests for romance and self-realization, Ortiz uses humor and heart to call for companionship and community.

For his first in-depth museum exhibition, Ortiz will present a selection of the Spaztek’s work, including a hybrid siege tower and performance platform on the CAMH front lawn, a tent city in the gallery, and launch a guerrilla art campaign in Houston’s neighborhoods.

For more information about the artist, go to www.camh.org.



Houston Symphony, July 17

If you missed the sold-out January world premiere of The Planets—An HD Odyssey, or want to relive the experience, now is your chance for one night only.

This must-see multimedia event features an HD film of planetary images—projected on a giant screen over the stage—paired with a live performance of Gustav Holst’s The Planets. Plus, enjoy the celestial-inspired works of John Williams as the orchestra performs musical selections from Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T.

Tickets are available at www.houstonsymphony.org.



Museum Fine Arts, Houston through July 18

Liquid Lines surveys the innovative range of metal art in the Museum Fine Arts Houston collections. Furniture, jewelry, hollowware and sculpture highlight the optical and flowing properties of metal achieved through techniques such as casting, constructing, forging and hand-raising.

The exhibition includes work by international artists, craftsmen and designers such as Ron Arad, Chunghi Choo, Georg Dobler, Arline Fisch, Gego, Joseph Havel, Bruce Metcalf, Albert Paley, Hiroshi Suzuki, Tone Vigeland and Jonathan Wahl.

For more information, visit www.mfah.org or call 713-639-7300.



Blaffer Gallery, Through July 31

This summer, Blaffer Gallery presents Tomás Saraceno’s first large-scale museum exhibition in the United States. Showcasing 20 installations, sculptures and photographs made since 2003, Tomás Saraceno: Lighter than Air is on view through July 31.

Trained initially as an architect, Saraceno follows in the tradition of visionaries such as R. Buckminster Fuller by looking to scientific principles and advances in technology to develop ideas for future sustainable communities. But instead of utopia on land, Saraceno looks to the sky for his inspiration.

For more information, go to www.blaffergallery.org or call 713-7434-9528.



Rice Gallery, Through Aug. 8

Andrea Dezsö, an artist known for astonishingly intricate one-of-a-kind books, paper cuttings and embroideries, will turn Rice Gallery’s glass facade into a series of life-size three-dimensional scenes that portray an imaginary lunar world.

Sometimes in My Dreams I Fly is inspired by Dezsö’s childhood dreams of space travel and will expand upon a technique she uses to make her distinctive “tunnel books.”

Dezsö’s tunnel books will become life-size, with tunnels as wide as six feet. The individual “tunnels” will be placed just behind Rice Gallery’s large front glass wall, creating portals a viewer can peer into but enter only with their imagination.

Go to www.ricegallery.org or call 713-348-6069 for additional information.



The Menil Collection, Through Aug. 8

Leaps into the Void draws from the Menil’s strong holdings of work and material from the archives and collection that document through film, photographs and works of art, the movement’s ephemeral and performance-based projects, perhaps most famously epitomized by Yves Klein’s Leap into the Void. The photograph by Harry Shunk, capturing the artist hurling himself from a Parisian rooftop, will be exhibited alongside other documents of the jump, including Klein’s publication emulating the Sunday edition of a daily newspaper, which he inserted into newsstands as a guerrilla intervention on the streets of Paris.

Archival photo documentation of Jean Tinguely’s self-destructing sculpture that went up in flames in a square in Milan, to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the founding of Nouveau Réalisme, will also be on display, alongside a 1966 film by Francois de Menil of the construction and deconstruction of HON, a monumental sculpture installed at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm by Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely and Per Olof Ultvedt.

The show highlights the temporality of a lesser-known avant-garde movement. Go to www.menil.org for more information.



The Menil Collection, Through Aug. 15

Contemporary Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan (b. 1960) is known for his witty embrace of semantic shifts that result from imaginative plays with materials, objects and actions. In his work, contradictions in the space between what the artist describes as softness and perversity wage a sarcastic critique on political power structures, from notions of nationalism or the authorities of organized religion to the conceit of the museum and art history.

The exhibition focuses on recent large-scale works that premiered in Europe in 2007, and features sculptures that range in tone from the melancholic and politically contentious to the decidedly irreverent.

For more information, go to www.menil.org or call 713-525-9400.

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