Houston Lifestyles & Homes February 2009
Houston Lifestyles & Homes February 2009
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Iestyn Davies plays Oberon in Britten’s
A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

MidSummer Night’s Dream
Wortham Center, Through Feb. 6
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was last performed at HGO in 1993, returns to the Wortham Theater Center in a new production by Australian director Neil Armfield, who also directed HGO ’s Billy Budd. Welsh counter tenor Iestyn Davies will make his company debut as Oberon, king of the fairies, and his queen, Tytania, will be sung by Houston favorite soprano Laura Claycomb. Studio alumni Norman Reinhardt will sing the role of Lysander, Liam Bonner will sing Demetrius and Marie Lenormand will sing Hermia. Making their company debuts, soprano Katie van Kooten sings the role of Helena and British bassbaritone Matthew Rose will sing his much-acclaimed role of Bottom.  
HGO music director and conductor Patrick Summers leads the cast with the HGO orchestra and chorus. For more information, go to www.houstongrandopera.org or call 713-228-OPERA.

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Hélène Grimaud’s Beethoven 4
Jones Hall, Feb. 20 - 22
The exquisite French musician, Hélène Grimaud, while known for her expressive pianism and impeccable technique, has also written two books, including Wild Harmonies: A Life of Music and Wolves. Hear her with Chinese conductor Xian Zhang, recently named the first Arturo Toscanini Associate Conductor of the New York Philharmonic.
For more information, call 713-224-7575 or go to www.houstonsymphony.org.

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Wotham Theater Center, Feb.26 - March 8
Houston Ballet presents the world premiere of Marie by Stanton Welch. This new  three-act narrative ballet inspired by the life of the legendary French queen Marie Antoinette, who was born an Austrian arch duchess in 1755, married the future French King Louis XVI at the age of 15 and was executed by guillotine at the height of the French Revolution in 1793.
Houston Ballet Music Director Ermanno Florio will arrange the score, featuring music by Dmitri Shostakovich.
Tickets may be purchased by calling 713-227 2787 or by visiting www.houstonballet.org.
Hélène Grimaud
Melody Herrera in Marie
chitty chitty bang bang
Hobby Center, Feb. 24 - March 7
Presented by Cadillac Broadway Across America-Houston, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the most fantasmagorical Broadway musical in the history of everything, flies into Houston Feb. 24-March 7 at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.  
Based on the timeless novel by Ian Fleming, the production features the music and lyrics by the legendary Sherman brothers, composers of Mary Poppins. The national tour boasts an entirely new creative team, original script and fresh adaptation directed by Ray Roderick.  
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang features a lush score, dazzling costumes, and stunning sets. For tickets, visit www.broadwayacrossamerica.com or call 713-629-3700.  

imaginary spaces: Selections
from the Menil Collection
The Menil Collection, Through March 1
Drawn from The Menil Collection’s diverse holdings, Imaginary Spaces examines three centuries of paintings, sculpture and works on paper that depict invented landscapes and hypothetical or “built” environments.  
The exhibition will locate common thematic threads through approximately 30 works, including, among others, Giorgio de Chirico ’s “metaphysical” paintings of haunting cityscapes, architectural sketches for an unrealized museum from the “New York Five” architect John Hejduk and Michael Heizer’s 1969 pen-and-ink drawing for sculptural space in the deserts of the American West.
For more information, call 713-525-9400 or go to www.menil.org.

Alley Theatre, Feb.4 - March 1
Author of the Alley’s outstanding success The Clean House, Sarah Ruhl creates a tale based on the Greek myth of Orpheus that is “exhilarating” as “we enter a surreal world, as lush and limpid as a dream” (The New Yorker). On the day Eurydice is to marry her true love Orpheus, a misstep sends her to the surreal depths of the underworld, where she has a surprising reunion and ultimately must decide whether to follow Orpheus back to the land of the living. Recommended for mature audiences.
For more information, go to www.alleytheatre.org or call 713-228-8421.

Perspectives 164: Stephanie Syjuco
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Through Feb. 22
In her first solo museum show, San Francisco-based artist Stephanie Syjuco uses bootlegging, counterfeiting and re-appropriation tactics in her photographs, videos and sculptures.
By confronting the limitations, proliferations and nuances of today’s global economy and digital technologies, Syjuco investigates, interrupts and reinvigorates sites of transcultural communication, international capitalism and modern aesthetics.
Prospectives 164: Stephane Syjuco features the artist’s photographic series The Village (Small Encampments), in which she takes viewers on a journey through the Philippines and her apartment by inserting diorama-like cutouts she ’s constructed from tourist photos posted on the Internet into her domestic space, as well as video and sculpture.
For more information, call 713-284-8250 or go to www.camh.org.

The Puppet show
Contemporary Arts Museum, Through April 12
International in scope, The Puppet Show brings together contemporary artworks in a variety of media that explore the imagery of puppets. From actual puppets, to works that evoke topics associated with puppetry and others that introduce new variations to this historical and global form of theater, The Puppet Show features works that are, in various ways, movable and/or moving objects that perform as alter-egos for the artist or as human surrogates —often with wicked good humor.
For more information, go to www.camh.org or call 713-284-8250.

arms and the man
Company OnStage, Through Feb. 14
When an idealistic young lady from Bulgaria duels with a Swiss mercenary soldier, can romance be far behind? In George Bernard Shaw ’s enchanting comedy, concepts of honor, valor, war and romantic love are challenged with surprising results. A timeless play.
For more information, call 713-726-1219 or go to www.companyonstage.com.

Texas Oil: Landscape of an Industry
Blaffer Gallery, Through March 28
Texas Oil: Landscape of an Industry at Blaffer Gallery will be the CLUI’s first major exhibition in Texas
and one of its most ambitious projects to date. The exhibition will include photographs and informational texts on approximately 50 Texas sites that the CLUI has framed as discrete anecdotes in the overarching story of how oil has sculpted the state ’s terrain. In addition to the Blaffer exhibition, the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts in collaboration with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership is organizing various public
events in conjunction with this project.
For more information, go to www.blaffergallery.org or call 713-743-9530.

Legally Blonde The Musical
Hobby Center for Performing Arts Feb. 10 - 22
Legally Blonde The Musical follows sorority star Elle Woods, an underestimated blonde, who doesn ’t take “no” for an answer.
When her boyfriend dumps her for someone more serious, Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books and sets out to go where no Delta Nu has gone before —Harvard Law. Along the way, Elle proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style.
The New York Magazine hails this show as the “Feel-good song and dance juggernaut” and “The best new musical around!”
For more information, go to www.tuts.com or call 713-558-TUTS.

The Odd Couple
Texas Repertory Theatre, Feb. 4 - 22
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Neil Simon created a comedy masterpiece when he imagined those two most unlikely of roommates, Felix and Oscar. Now these beloved characters make their appearance on The Texas Repertory Theatre Company stage, and the results are sure to be hilarious.
For more information, go to www.texreptheatre.org or call 281-583-7573.

Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures
From the National Museum
Museum of Fine Arts, Feb. 22 - May 17
Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul explores the rich cultural heritage of ancient Afghanistan from the Bronze Age (2500 B.C.) through the rise of trade along the Silk Road in the first century A.D.
The exhibit features some 228 objects ranging in date from 2200 B.C. to the second century A.D. Drawn from four archaeological sites, they belong to the National Museum and include fragmentary gold bowls with artistic links to Mesopotamia and Indus Valley cultures from the Bronze Age site of Tepe Fullol; bronze and stone sculptures and a gilded silver plaque from the former Greek colony at Ai Khanum; and bronzes, ivories and painted glassware that has been imported from Roman Egypt, China and India and excavated from ancient storerooms discovered in the 1930s and 1940s in Begram.
For more information, go to www.mfah.org or call 713-639-7300.

Wortham Theater, Through Feb. 13
Chorus!, a new work conceived by award-winning director David Poutney, features various composers in a fully costumed and staged production. It is on the scale of the grandest of grand operas (over 450 costumes and more than 80 voices), and stars the world-renowned Houston Grand Opera Chorus. With the highly acclaimed Houston Grand Opera Orchestra under the baton of Music Director Patrick Summers, Chorus! is an unforgettable evening of music and spectacle.
See and hear some of opera’s most heart-stopping choruses performed alongside selections from operetta, oratorio and musical theater.
Chorus! features solo performances by bass-baritone Ryan McKinney, tenor Shon Sims and HGO Studio artists soprano Caitlin Lynch and baritone Octavio Moreno.
Call 713-228-OPERA or go to www.houstongrandopera.org for more information.
The Arts
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