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The Arts & Happenings January 2016

Winter Celebrations: Exploring Lunar New Year. photo - PIN LIM/FOREST PHOTOGRAPHY

Winter Celebrations: Exploring Lunar New Year. photo – PIN LIM/FOREST PHOTOGRAPHY


Houston Arts Alliance’s Folklife + Tradi­tional Arts program presents Winter Cele­brations, a trio of installations, along with live performances and interactive events centered on the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Lunar New Year and the African-American trail riders who help kick off the annual Livestock Show and Rodeo.

These distinctive traditions share more than a season — they are all public, participatory, festive events involving parade-like processional activities, music and dance, and fancy garb or costume.

This season, all events associated with Winter Celebrations will take place at Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston , 3400 Main Street, Houston’s newest, innovative art space. All events are free and open to the public. They include:

January 13-19 – Winter Celebra­tions: Exploring Lunar New Year

The Chinese and Vietnamese Lunar New Year is based on a lunar cycle that falls between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20 on the Gregorian calendar. Its celebration incites spectacular preparations, performances and displays at temples, businesses and personal residences throughout the city. A weeklong evocation of the spirit of this complex cultural event will be presented. Open­ing reception is Jan. 14, 6-8 p.m. with food, drink, lion dancing and more.

Monday, Jan. 18, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. – Winter Celebrations Family Day

A special celebration with mariachi music, devotional dance, zydeco, lion dancing, calligraphy and paper cutting demonstrations and more.

Feb. 10-16 – Winter Celebrations: Honoring Houston’s African-American Trail Riders

Every year, as winter draws to a close, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo opens with more than a dozen trail ride associations traversing the region and meeting in downtown for the opening parade. This presentation will unpack the city’s rural heritage, its role in the black cowboy story and the art of the ride. Opening reception is Feb. 11, 6-8 p.m. with food, drink and a zydeco dance.

Bank of America is the lead presenting sponsor for the entire Winter Celebrations series and for the free Family Day on Jan. 18. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Houston Endowment. Visit houstonartsalliance.com/folklife/ for more information.


Miguel, a native Texan by birth and a Maine Coon Cat by breed, is the Fifth Best in the World . photo - LARRY JOHNSON

Miguel, a native Texan by birth and a Maine Coon Cat by breed, is the Fifth Best in the World . photo – LARRY JOHNSON


Celebrate the Houston Cat Club’s 63rd Annual Charity Cat show on Saturday, Jan. 9 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 10 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Humble Civic Center (8233 Will Clayton Parkway). Enjoy free parking and DJ Pringle’s famous brisket for lunch.

More than 200 pedigreed cats and kittens and household pets will compete for awards given by eight judges from the Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc, the world’s largest and most prestigious cat registry. Forty breeds of pedigreed cats will be judged on standards of conformation, which are written for each individual breed. Household pets (non-pedigreed) are judged on health and beauty. Spectators enjoy watching the judges handle and talk about each cat. Visit with the Pet Me cats – beautiful cats at the show that you can snuggle with. Free admission is available for individuals with disabilities.

The Ask-the-Vet Kiosk will be manned each afternoon, and The Meow Mall will feature a variety of toys, treats, accessories and gifts for cats and those who love them.

The Houston Cat Club Charity Cat Show is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that supports the Houston SPCA, The Houston Humane Society, Citizens for Animal Protection and Homeless and Orphaned Pet Endeavor (HOPE). In addition, animal shelters from Harris, Fort Bend and Galveston counties receive free space at the show to present their beautiful cats available for adoption.

All Cats Veterinary Clinic, Westbury Animal Hospital, Houston SPCA, Animal Avian Hospital of the Village, and Houston Animal Acupuncture and Herbs are sponsors. Visit houstoncatclub.org for more information.


Kerstin Anderson as 'Maria Rainer' and the von Trapp children (from left): Svea Johnson , Audrey Bennett, Quinn Erickson, Mackenzie Currie, Maria Knasel, Erich Schuett and Paige Silvester. photo - MATTHEW MURPHY

Kerstin Anderson as ‘Maria Rainer’ and the von Trapp children (from left): Svea Johnson , Audrey Bennett, Quinn Erickson, Mackenzie Currie, Maria Knasel, Erich Schuett and Paige Silvester. photo – MATTHEW MURPHY


The brand new production of The Sound of Music, directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brienon, will make its Houston premiere Feb. 16-21 at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts as part of a North American tour.

Ben Davis (Broadway’s Violet, A Little Night Music, La Bohème) will play Captain Georg von Trapp and Ashley Brown (Broadway’s Mary Poppins, NBC’s The Sound of Music) will play The Mother Abbess with Merwin Foard as Max Detweiler, Teri Hansen as Elsa Schraeder, Dan Tracy as Rolf and Paige Silvester as Liesl. The von Trapp children will be played by Erich Schuett (Friedrich), Maria Knasel (Louisa), Quinn Erickson (Kurt), Svea Johnson (Brigitta),Mackenzie Currie (Marta) and Audrey Bennett (Gretl).

The musical introduces Jack O’Brien’s brand new discovery, Kerstin Anderson, as Maria Rainer. A student at Pace University, Anderson won the coveted role from hundreds who auditioned. This is her first national tour.

The Sound of Music enjoyed extraordinary success as the first live television production of a musical in over 50 years when “The Sound of Music Live!” aired in Decem­ber 2013; 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the film version, which continues to be the most successful movie musical in history. The beloved musical story of Maria and the Von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with such songs as “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Edelweiss” and the title song.

Tickets are available at the Hobby Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets and online at BroadwayAtTheHobbyCenter.com or TheHobbyCenter.org. For more information, visit TheSoundOfMusicOnTour.com.



The American Heart Association (AHA) with Houston Heart Ball chairs Lacey and Matthew Goossen are all set to transform the Hilton Americas ballroom at 1600 Lamar Street into a swanky and romantic Cuban-infused destination at the 2016 “Hearts in Havana” Heart Ball on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 7 p.m. – midnight.

Each year, this themed event celebrates culture, the arts and the philanthropic spirit of the Houston community. With their commitment as chairs of the Heart Ball, the Goossens have set a goal of raising $2.2 million, the highest goal in the event’s 33-year history.

Individual tickets to the event are $1,000 with tables beginning at $10,000. The Heart Ball is one of Houston’s most anticipated social events of the year. For ticket information, contact 832-918-4015 or go to houstonheartball.heart.org.



The Houston Civil War Round Table is an organization that hosts authors and historians who present the history of various events during the American Civil War. Meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month, except for the summer months (June, July and August). The group meets at the Hess Club, 5430 Westheimer Rd. Networking begins at 6 p.m, dinner at 7 p.m. and the speaker at 7:45 p.m. There is a charge for dinner. For information and to RSVP, visit houstoncivilwar.com.



The start of a new year brings the opportunity for many people to work on personal transformation. BIG Power Yoga, with two Houston studios (3115 Allen Pkwy and 1014 Wirt Rd.), is hosting its popular 40 Days to Personal Revolution beginning on Monday, Jan. 18. The orientation session is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 16 from 5:15 -6:30 p.m. BIG invites everyone, whether you’ve ever done a yoga class in your life, to come and check it out.

The program is a yoga and mindfulness challenge that takes place twice a year at the Houston-based studio’s two locations. Nearly 400 yoga practitioners finished the studio’s sixth semi-annual 40 Days program, which wrapped on Oct. 30. The first 40 Days program took place in 2012, and now happens twice a year.

The program is based on the book by Baron Baptiste, 40 Days to Personal Revolution. The program requires six yoga practices a week for 40 days, daily meditation, mindful eating (including a three-day cleanse), weekly group meetings, reading of the book, and “a willingness to have a whole new kind of experience, both in yoga and in your life,” according to Nathan Herrington, 40 Days program manager and head of human development at BIG. The program is completely free — participants pay only for their yoga classes.

A total of 675 people enrolled in 40 Days: Practice last fall; 396 people completed the program and celebrated with a party at BIG’s Memorial location on Nov. 1.

“The 40 Days is a program designed to make profound changes in your body, your mind and in your life,” said Herrington. “The results that people produce are far beyond what anyone might imagine. The unique kind of empowerment that people get out of the program leads to all kind of changes in people’s lives, such as starting new careers and getting into relationships and rekindling existing ones.”

Follow BIG on Instagram @bigpoweryoga for updates.





As part of its 50th Anniversary Season, the critically acclaimed and award-winning Roundabout Theatre Company is proud to present, direct from Broadway, the national tour the Tony Award-winning production of Cabaret, playing March 21-27, as part of the 2015-2016 Season of Broadway at the Hobby Center Sponsored by Bank of America.

John Kander, Fred Ebb and Joe Masteroff’s Tony-winning musical features some of the most memorable songs in theatre history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.” Cabaret is set in the infamous Kit Kat Klub, where the Emcee, Sally Bowles and a raucous ensemble take the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd – and to leave their troubles outside.

Tickets are available at the Hobby Center Box Office (800 Bagby), all Ticketmaster outlets, TheHobbyCenter.org or BroadwayAtTheHobbyCenter.com.



The Metro Go Texan Cypress Fairbanks Committee of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is once again hosting its annual cookoff on Jan. 22-24 at Trader’s Village, 7979 N. Eldridge Road.

At the heart of the Show is the scholarship program which directly benefitted the Cy-Fair school district in 2015 with 25 scholarships worth $450,000. Monies raised will support this program.

Join the fun by entering the contests or by purchasing some BBQ, including brisket, ribs, chicken, dutch oven, fajitas or cooks choice (no desserts). Concessions will be available for purchase.

The entry fees are as follows:

BBQ – $150 (40 x 40 Space), FMV—no donative value; extra spaces are available for an additional $50; Chili – $20; Junior Chili – $5; Margarita/Bloody Mary $10.

Underwriter opportunities are available at the following levels: Gold – $1,000 event underwriter, (fmv $375); Silver – $500 Pit underwriter (fmv $250); or $100 Award underwriter.

To register or donate, visit eventbrite.com­/e/­­17784201024. For more information, call Tammy Faber at 713-899-7975 or email metrogotexancyfair@gmail.com.



Mardi Gras! Galveston, the third-largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States, offers the unique chance to experience sand between your toes and gorgeous beach sunsets while taking in the revelry and lavish parades known to dominate Galveston Island during carnival season.

The island’s 105th Mardi Gras celebration, to be held Jan. 29-Feb. 9 is expected to draw more than 350,000 attendees for 30+ concerts, 24 parades, 20 balcony parties and several elegant balls.

Highlights include:

Classic Revelry – Galveston’s historic downtown entertainment district will put you in the center of classic Mardi Gras revelry complete with big crowds and plenty of beads. Nearly all parades go through downtown, where you can enjoy the view from the street or from above at a balcony party. Main concert stages are also located downtown, where the event’s headline performances will take place. The festival’s largest parades also run along the beachfront on Seawall Boulevard.

Upscale Mardi Gras – If you’re looking to catch any of the colorful beads to be thrown from parade floats and downtown balconies, you don’t have to stand in the streets to do it. Mardi Gras! Galveston’s elegant side will feature several masked balls where black-tie attire, lavish buffets, live performers, dancing and parade viewing invoke the evening festivities. Popular events include the San Luis Salute hosted by Tilman and Paige Fertitta and The Tremont House’s A&M Mardi Gras Parade Viewing Party.

Family Gras – Sunday, Jan. 31 is Family Gras, featuring live family entertainment, two kids parades, a kids coloring contest and more. Donations will be taken at the gate to benefit The Sunshine Kids and Shriners Hospitals for Children. The family friendly activities will continue Sunday, Feb. 7 with the Krewe of Barkus & Meoux pet parade and Mardi Gras Children’s Parade on the Seawall among other events.

Electric Mardi Gras – Electric Mardi Gras will return in 2016 with an expanded area at 21st and Mechanic streets in downtown Galveston. This area will provide one big party for lovers of electronic dance music, with continuous concerts, beat-thumping DJs and laser light shows on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the celebration.

For details, visit mardigrasgalveston.com.

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