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The Arts & Happenings May 2015

Lang Lang performing at the Houston Symphony.

Lang Lang performing at the Houston Symphony.


The Houston Symphony is celebrating May with a varied and innovative lineup of classical, Pops and community concerts.

British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor and German-Japanese conductor Jun Märkl are both expected to make their Houston Symphony debuts on May 1-3. Märkl, who guest-conducts regularly in Europe, Japan and North America, will lead the young pianist in Beethoven’s lively and bold Piano Concerto No. 1. The program concludes with the rafter-shaking effect of Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3, Organ Symphony.

On May 7-10, Canadian violinist James Ehnes returns to Jones Hall to interpret Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, one of the most profound works of the violin repertoire. This program, led by Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, also includes Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. The Thursday, May 7 program is part of the Musically Speaking with Andrés series at Rice University’s Stude Hall, which features a live orchestral performance and musical commentary.

For a one-night-only performance, pianist extraordinaire Lang Lang descends on Jones Hall on May 12 for Lang Lang Joins Andrés to delight audiences with his astounding technique and charisma. Lang Lang was recently seen performing on the stage of the 57th Grammy Awards alongside Grammy Award-winner Pharrell Williams.

On May 15-17, Orozco-Estrada conducts Mahler’s monumental third symphony in the final concert of his inaugural season. This majestic choral concert will feature the Parker Elementary School Chorus, the Women of the Houston Symphony Chorus under the direction of Betsy Cook Weber, and Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, whose sophisticated voice and innate dramatic artistry have elated audiences across the world.

Unless otherwise noted, all concerts take place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana St. For tickets and a complete list of events call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org.


Houston Ballet’s production of Giselle.

Houston Ballet’s production of Giselle.


Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park is unique in the United States, offering an 8-month season of professional entertainment that is artistically excellent, culturally diverse and always free to the public. This is the largest “always free” program of its kind in the country.

Miller offers the most diverse season of professional entertainment of any Houston performance venue. Classical music, jazz, ethnic music and dance, ballet, Shakes­peare, musical theatre, classic films, and much more are included in this year’s outstanding line-up. Relax in the covered seating area or enjoy a pre-performance picnic on the hillside. All performances at Miller are family-friendly.

The May line-up:

Pablo Ziegler Trio for New Tango – May 1, at 7:45 p.m.;

H-Town Get Down – May 2, at 8 p.m.;

Cinco de Mayo featuring Los Lobos – May 3, at 8 p.m.;

Our Feet Can Tell a Story: An African-American Cultural Celebration – May 4, at 11 a.m.;

The Pastry Prince – May 6, 7 and 8 at 11 a.m.;

Movies at Miller – Houston

Ballet’s Sons de L’âme – May 8 at 8:30 p.m.;

Day of Europe Celebration – May 9, at 8 p.m.;

Houston Ballet’s Giselle – May 15, 16 and 17 at 8 p.m.;

Houston Grand Opera’s The Magic Flute – May 22 and 23 at 8 p.m.;

Golden Dragon Acrobats – May 27 at 8 p.m.;

Cassandra Wilson’s Coming Forth By Day: a Celebration of Billie Holiday ­– May 29 at 8:30 p.m.;

and Karma: The Wheel of Life – May 30 at 8:30 p.m.

For show descriptions, tickets and more information, visit milleroutdoortheatre.com.


The Apollo Chamber Players’ program features the world premiere of a new work based on Turkish folk music .

The Apollo Chamber Players’ program features the world premiere of a new work based on Turkish folk music .


On May 1 at Rice University, the Apollo Chamber Players’ season-finale program showcases music inspired by Roma (Gypsy) folk traditions, featuring the world premiere of “Thracian Airs on Besime Sultan,” a new work for string quintet, clarinet and percussion by 25-year-old Turkish-born composer Erberk Eryilmaz. Eryilmaz was the winning composer of Apollo’s 2014 International Commissioning Contest, which drew an incredible response of 254 submissions from 30 countries and 36 U.S. states. The new work is the third of the ensemble’s multi-year commissioning project, 20×2020. Additional works on the program include Bartók’s “Third String Quartet,” Beethoven’s “String Quartet in C minor, Op. 18 No. 4,” and a contemporary piece by Ithaca College faculty composer Dana Wilson, “Hungarian Folk Songs.”

Guest artists for “Thracian Airs on Besime Sultan” include virtuoso Turkish/Roma clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski, founder of the New York Gypsy All-Stars; bassist Timothy Pitts, former principal of the Houston Symphony and currently professor at the Shepherd School of Music (Rice University); and percussionist Matthew McClung, professor at Texas A&M University (Corpus Christi). In addition, University of Houston ethnomusicologist Barbara Rose Lange assists in research and presents a pre-concert lecture.

“We are thrilled to have found such an inventive, talented composer through our commissioning contest, ” says Matthew J. Detrick, artistic director. “His creative spirit and love of folkloric music dovetail perfectly with the mission of Apollo.”

Visit apollochamberplayers.org for more information.



Darling Homes will host a citywide tour of its finest model homes, 23 fully furnished, exquisitely decorated luxury homes with thousands of design ideas, during the Houston homebuilder’s Luxury in Bloom Home Tour, May 1-31.

The outstanding homes on the month-long tour are located in the Houston area’s most sought-after master-planned communities where they will be open daily, Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from noon-6 p.m. Tour maps to all homes are available at DarlingHomeTour.com.

The Luxury in Bloom Home Tour features Darling Homes’ award-winning designs with inspiring gourmet kitchens, spacious family rooms, amazing media rooms with state-of-the-art home theater systems, fantastic game rooms, spacious master suites, glorious master baths, guest casitas, private courtyards and more.

Homes on the tour are conveniently located throughout the greater Houston area – to the northeast in Kingwood and Atas­cocita; to the north in Spring, Montgomery and The Woodlands; northwest of Houston in Cypress; to the west in Fulshear and West Memorial; and to the southwest in Sugar Land and Missouri City.

Those attending the Home Tour also can visit with Darling Homes’ sales team members and register for a chance to win a Pottery Barn or Williams Sonoma shopping spree. Restrictions apply. See a Darling Homes Sales Associate for complete details.

Darling Homes offers new homes from the $250’s to over $1 million in several of the most sought-after master-planned communities of Fort Bend, Kingwood, Spring, The Woodlands, Montgomery, Humble, Cypress, Fulshear and Richmond. Established in 1987, the company builds high-quality homes combining custom details, home design options and flexible floor plans.

Go to DarlingHomes.com for more information, and “like” Darling Homes at Facebook.com/DarlingHomes.




The award-winning Houston Youth Symphony (HYS) presents its Spring Concert on Sunday, May 3 at 4 p.m. at Rice University’s Stude Concert Hall. The concert features two 2015 HYS Concerto competition winners, violinist Jiakai Pan and cellist Lauren Mathews. They join Concerto Competition winner Sarah Meidel, piccolo, who was featured in performance on the HYS Winter Concert.

Pan, 15, performs the first movement of Samuel Barber’s “Violin Concerto” with the HYS Symphony conducted by Michael Webster. A sophomore at Bellaire High School, Pan is a member of the school’s orchestral music program led by Laurette Reynosa. Pan has also recently won the Clear Lake Symphony concerto competition. Pan studies privately with Kenneth Goldsmith, professor of violin at the Shepherd School of Music. This is his third year with HYS.

Mathews, 11, performs the third movement of the “Cello Concerto in C Minor” by J.C. Bach/Henri Casadesus with the HYS Philharmonia led by Conductor Michael Alan Isadore. Mathews is a sixth-grade student at Beckendorff Junior High in Katy ISD, where she participates in the orchestra program under the direction of Karel Butz. A private student of Donna Rogers, this is Mathews’ third year with Houston Youth Symphony.

The HYS Spring Concert program also includes performances by the Symphony, HYS’s most advanced orchestra; the Philharmonia; the String Orchestra, co-conducted by Carolyn Vandiver and Ann Victor; and the intermediate full orchestra, the Sinfonia, conducted by Michelle Blair.

Tickets are $15 and available online at HoustonYouthSymphony.com or on the afternoon of the concert at the Shepherd School box office. For additional information, call 713-785-2422.




They delivered the papers, until they made the headlines. Direct from Broadway comes Newsies, the smash-hit, crowd-pleasing new musical from Disney, and winner of the 2012 Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Choreography. Filled with one heart-pounding number after another, it’s a high-energy explosion of song and dance. Based on true events, Newsies tells the captivating story of a band of underdogs who become unlikely heroes when they stand up to the most powerful men in New York. It’s a rousing tale about fighting for what’s right…and staying true to who you are.

Performances are on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St. Tickets start at $30. For more information, visit BroadwayAtTheHobbyCenter.­com or TheHobbyCenter.org.




Twenty backyard ponds and water gardens will be open to the public Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3,10 a.m. – 6 p.m., for the annual Houston Pond and Water Garden Tour. Ponds run the gamut from small owner-built “puddles” designed to attract wildlife, to interconnected ponds with streams and waterfalls that cover the entire backyard, to high-tech tanks that house imported Japanese koi. The beautifully landscaped yards are as enticing as the ponds.

Pond owners will be on hand to answer questions about pond construction, fountains, filters, fish care, water lilies, koi show competitions, gardening and more. Pond Tour Weekend is a perfect opportunity to gain firsthand insight into the fascinating water gardening hobby.

For more information or tickets visit houstonpondsociety.org or lonestarkoi.com.



DASH (Design Antique Show Houston) opens May 1-3 in a beautiful 11-acre outdoor setting at 6000 Westview at N. Post Oak. With the charm of Round Top antique markets, DASH features all types of home decor in an urban setting. DASH highlights 60 local and national vendors and also features jewelry, gourmet foods, gifts and more!

Hours are Saturday 9-5, Sunday 9-4. Admission is $10. A First Dash Priority Shopping and Preview Party will be held May 1 from 5-8 p.m; tickets are $25.

For more information go to designantiqueshowhouston.com.




Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, May 26–June 7 at The Hobby Center for Performing Arts–Sarofim Hall, 800 Bagby St.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella is the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical that delights audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love — the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more — plus some surprising new twists. Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” in this hilarious and romantic Broadway experience for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream… or a really great pair of shoes.

For tickets and information, visit tuts.com or call 713-558-TUTS (8887).


MET Dance of Houston will perform at the inaugural Barnstorm Dance Fest.

MET Dance of Houston will perform at the inaugural Barnstorm Dance Fest.


Dance Source Houston (DSH) is bringing an exciting lineup of artists and dance companies to its first annual Barnstorm Dance Fest, which will take place at The Barn – Dance Source Performing Arts Space, 2201 Preston St. from May 28 to June 13. Featuring 21 different dance artists over three unique weekends of dance, the Barnstorm’s frenzy of activity will please dance enthusiasts of all kinds.

For more information, visit dancesourcehouston.org. Tickets begin at $20 and are available at dancesource­houston.secure.­­force.com/ticket.




TXFest 2015, the festival that celebrates everything that is great about the Lone Star State, will debut at Hermann Square Park in Downtown Houston on Saturday, May 9.

The inaugural festival will showcase the best in Texas music across three stages along with a variety of Lone Star cuisine and culture. The goal? To showcase local art and artisans, businesses, charities and more.

Texas country superstar Kevin Fowler will headline the festival alongside more than 25 Texas bands, including Jamestown Revival, Wild Child, Scooter Brown, Wild Moccasins, thelastplaceyoulook, Not in the Face, Midnight River Choir, We Were Wolves and Downfall 2012.

In addition to hours of great live music, festival patrons will have access to local vendors, shopping and sampling more than 100 brands of Texas beer, food, wine and spirits.

“TXFest is a festival for everyone who wants to experience all the great things Texas has to offer. Texas has gone through a Renaissance in the last several years with incredible variety across the music and art scene, along with an explosion of creativity producing craft beer, spirits and wine,” said festival producer Anthony Wegmann. “Of course Texas has always been known for its amazing food, and this event offers patrons the opportunity to sample a wide variety of culinary options!”

General admission tickets are available for $20; sampling ticket packages are $35 and include admission, 10 tasting tickets for food, beer, wine or spirits; and VIP ticket packages are $75 and include admission, VIP drink tickets and food voucher, VIP restrooms access, VIP bar with shaded seating, gift bag and official TXFest t-shirt. Attendees must be 21 or older to purchase or consume alcohol; valid ID is required. For tickets and additional information, visit TXFest.com.




With events running from Saturday, May 16 through Monday, May 18, the Impact A Hero Weekend offers a variety of ways to honor wounded heroes and their families.

On May 16, Impact A Hero and KPRC Channel 2 Sports Director Randy McIlvoy will host the 11th Annual Impact A Hero 5K Walk, Run and Wheel starting at 7:30 a.m. at NRG Park. This year, Impact A Hero anticipates more than 2,500 runners, including 50       wounded heroes and their families. Special guests Houston Texans Coach Bill O’Brien and a few of his players will participate with the wounded heroes.

The Kids’ 1K Race will take place during the 5K Walk, Run and Wheel, also from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at NRG Park. Children will have fun running with the Texans mascot Toro. Other children’s activities include Houston Texans Kid Zone featuring inflatables; meeting Toro and theTexans Cheer­leaders; getting Texans autographs; rock climbing and a kids’ train ride.

On Sunday, May 17 at 5 p.m., at NRG Stadium on the 50-yard line, attend the Impact A Hero Hall of Fame Gala Dinner, Diamonds & Denim with Master of Ceremonies McIlvoy.

On Monday, May 18 at 10 a.m. at the Champions Golf Club the Impact A Hero Golf Challenge will be held. The honorary chairman is Jackie Burke, master champion.

Impact A Hero Weekend gives Texans an opportunity to join national celebrities in thanking severely wounded servicemen and women for sacrificing their minds, bodies and sometimes lives. Visit impactahero.org for more information or to purchase tickets for any of the events.



SpongeBob SquarePants comes alive at Moody Gardens in a new submarine adventure.



Moody Gardens guests can visit iconic destinations and meet their favorite underwater characters from Nickelodeon’s phenomenon SpongeBob SquarePants when the SpongeBob SubPants Adventure debuts in the Discovery Pyramid this Memor­ial Day weekend.

The SpongeBob SubPants Adventure will take guests through all the stages of a submarine voyage, complete with live animals and their captain, Patrick Star, who takes them on a wild and silly deep-sea adventure where they help choose their path through the underwater experience.

The doors open to a pier-themed pre-show area filled with hands-on activities and tanks full of remarkable sea life. Guests will be transported back in time through L’Oceanauts Submarine Explorations’ vintage “mission briefing” film to learn about sea-life conservation and explore the beauty of coral reefs and highlight the animals in the tanks, encountering real sea stars, jellyfish, sea sponges and squids.

Guests will be part of the experience as they have improvised, real-time interaction with Patrick while he takes them to destinations of their choosing through Bikini Bottom. They can have their fortune read by Patrick in Goo Lagoon, try the jellyfish dating call in Jellyfish Fields or learn a special dance from Sandy Cheeks. Guests will also try to stop Plankton from taking over the sub in his evil plan to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula.

Only at Moody Gardens, the SpongeBob SubPants Adven­ture is a whirlwind of surprises and family fun. For more information, call 800-582-4673 or visit moodygardens.org.


Glenn Dicterow

Glenn Dicterow


Violin virtuoso Glenn Dicterow, celebrated concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra from 1980-2013, will headline the Grand Celebratory Opening of the 26th Annual Immanuel and Helen Olshan TEXAS MUSIC FESTIVAL (TMF) Saturday, June 6 at the University of Houston (UH) Moores Opera House. The TMF Orchestra Series concert launches Houston’s summer international music residency where classical music’s rising stars perform in concert with world-class soloists, distinguished conductors and faculty artists June 6 – 27 at UH Moores School of Music and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.


KSD dancers Jerrica Mark and Bryan Peck in rehearsal for “Drench,” part of the Water Festival.

KSD dancers Jerrica Mark and Bryan Peck in rehearsal for “Drench,” part of the Water Festival.


Discovery Green welcomes the return of MARAVILLOSO! A contemporary circus and dance event featuring talent from all over the world and Houston. The two-day event returns as a Water Festival on June 5-6 with a graceful performance on Kinder Lake by Belgium’s and Netherlands’ artistic company Chanson d’Eau.

With original music and art works by Chanson d’Eau in its first U.S. appearance, the performance features floating, glowing “flowers” that open to reveal graceful dancers on Kinder Lake. The festival will also include a new commissioned dance performance in celebration of water by Karen Stokes Dance (KSD).


Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Fire, 1566, oil on panel, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Fire, 1566, oil on panel, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.


The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) brings masterworks amassed by one of the longest-reigning European dynasties to the U.S. from June 14–Sept. 14 to the Law Building, Second Floor, 1001 Bissonnet St. Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna’s Imperial Collections showcases masterpieces and rare objects from the collection of the Habsburg Dynasty — the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and other powerful rulers who commissioned extraordinary artworks now in the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The exhibition, largely composed of works that have never traveled outside of Austria, will be on view at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MFAH and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

Habsburg Splendor explores the dramatic rise and fall of the Habsburgs’ global empire, from their political ascendance in the late Middle Ages to the height of their power in the 16th and 17th centuries, the expansion of the dynasty in the 18th and 19th centuries to its end in 1918 with the conclusion of World War I. The 93 artworks and artifacts that tell the story include arms and armor, sculpture, Greek and Roman antiquities, court costumes, carriages, decorative-art objects, and paintings by such masters as Correggio, Giorgione, Rubens, Tintoretto, Titian and Velázquez. Key masterpieces that have never before traveled to the U.S. include The Crowning with Thorns (c. 1602/04) by Caravaggio; a portrait of Jane Seymour (1536), Queen of England and third wife to Henry VIII, by Hans Holbein the Younger; and Jupiter and Io (c. 1530/32) by Correggio. For more information, visit mfah.org.


Maestro Eiki Isomura

Maestro Eiki Isomura


Opera in the Heights (OH!) has announced its 2015-2016 20th anniversary season, presenting a smorgasbord of delectable operas that should appeal to a wide range of patrons. The season kicks off with Leoncavallo’s, I Pagliacci. Next is a Menotti 1940s double-bill, The Medium and The Telephone. Following is Rossini’s La Cenerentola, the perfect Cinderella opera. The season will end where opera began, with Gluck’s 1762 composition, Orfeo ed Euridice, which is an OH! world premiere. All will be conducted by Maestro Eiki Isomura.

“We are thrilled with the selections for our 20th anniversary season because they are truly a celebration of operatic history that will delight art lovers of all ages,” says Mariam Khalili, OH! executive director.

As with last season, OH! presents two Sunday matinees for each opera. Every production will feature seven performances, with the first week consisting of Friday and Saturday evening performances and a Sunday matinee, while the second week will feature Thursday, Friday and Saturday night performances and a Sunday matinee.

The exciting season opens on Sept. 18 with I Pagliacci, (The Clowns) a one-act opera that takes place in Calabria, Italy, in 1860 and focuses on a commedia dell’arte troupe that comes to town to present a comedy which turns into a real-life tragedy. Performances will start at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26; Sept. 20 and 27 are the 2 p.m. Sunday matinees.

Single tickets go on sale Aug. 1. Prices are $35-$67 for regular tickets, $32-$58 for seniors and $15-$17 for student tickets in limited seating areas. Call 713-861-5303 or visit operaintheheights.org to buy tickets or to become a subscriber. All performances take place at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd., in the Houston Heights.

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