Victoria Jackson's home page says, "Jackson was raised in a Bible-believing, piano-playing, gymnastic home with no TV." How'd she get from this wholesome start to slumming on Saturday Night Live with Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman and Dennis Miller? Two things: The Rifleman and Jackson's uncanny ability to hold a handstand for over a minute in nearly any circumstance. The Rifleman's Johnny Crawford brought her to Hollywood to be in his nightclub act, and her French maid-clad handstands at the Variety Arts Center (where she worked as a cigarette girl) caught talent scouts' eyes. Hopefully, she'll feel like getting back to her roots this weekend at the Laff Stop. 8 p.m. Also, Friday and Saturday, January 22 and 23, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. 1952-A West Gray. Call (713)524-2333 or go to www.laffstop.com for more information. $13.75.
"Here's our new crop," says Diverse-Works Artist Board Member Jane Weiner. She's talking about the dancers, musicians and actors trying their hands at choreographing, writing and directing in this year's Oh la Vache! ("Holy Cow!") version of 12 Minutes Max!, curated by Weiner and Guest Curator Jason Nodler. Liz Gilbert wrote a script for eight women about breast cancer. Troy Schulze will do a performance piece based on the writings of radio personality Joe Frank. Joe Kartaba puts an old blues player and a young rap artist on stage together to discuss and play their music. And Houston Ballet student Victor Eric Ray, Suchu Dance's Dana Wassale and Chrysalis's Nicole Williams each have choreographed new dances. We offer no guarantees, but remember, each piece is less than 12 minutes long. 8 p.m. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway, (713)223-8346. $12; $10, students and seniors.
Back in 1976, Keith Grimwood played bass in the Houston Symphony by day, but he followed the rock band St. Elmo's Fire through Houston's music clubs late-night. Happily, it turns out, the symphony went on strike, and Grimwood joined his favorite band. Elmo's guitarist Ezra Idlet explains that he and Grimwood were thrown together "because we were the only two who could drive the equipment truck ... We would leave a few days early and stop and fish." Thus, the award-winning, folk-rock power duo Trout Fishing in America was born. Known for their strong dual lead vocals, solely string-based percussion, and smart and funny songs about everything from first love to picky eaters, TFIA has performed everywhere from the Kennedy Center to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Now they're at Rice University's intimate Hamman Hall for a Writers in the Round concert. 8 p.m.; 3 p.m. kids' show. Hamman Hall, Rice University entrance no. 14 off University Blvd. Call (713)629-3700 for tickets. $15 evening performance; $10, student discount; $8, matinee performance.
The Museum of Fine Arts begins its "disillusioned youth" film series On the Edge with the popular 1997 Russian movie, Brat ("Brother"). A distant cousin to the American gangster movies of the 1930s, Brat offers an insider's view into the new wild, raw and capitalistic Russia. Our unlikely tour guide through the back alleys, drug scenes and rock clubs of St. Petersburg is Danila. The pimple-faced and excessively violent Russian Army veteran is hired by his con-man brother to do a hit on a Chechen gangster. Between pummeling people who piss him off and plugging others for money, Danila is a regular Russian youth, listening to CDs and trying to pick up women. The series continues next weekend with the 1997 French film, La Vie de Jesus ("The Life of Jesus"), about a disenchanted epileptic who falls madly in love with a supermarket cashier and then loses her to a young Arab immigrant. Brat plays at 7 p.m. Also, Friday and Saturday, January 22 and 23, at 7:30 p.m. La Vie de Jesus plays Saturday, January 30, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, January 31, at 7 p.m. Brown Auditorium, 1001 Bissonnet, (713)639-7531. $5.
What does Liberace have to do with Galveston? Frank Ortiz. The Galveston tailor designed much of the pianist's flamboyant wardrobe in the 1950s and 1960s. The Galveston County Historical Museum's "Liberace: Glitter, Glamor and Galveston" displays costumes and miniature pianos from the Las Vegas Liberace Museum plus memorabilia from Ortiz's collection. You can see the diamond-studded duds Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. through March 1. 2016 Strand, Galveston, (409)766-2340. Free.
The son of an illegal immigrant, Luis Jimenez grew up working in his father's El Paso neon-sign shop and spending summers immersed in the public art of Mexico City. Both influences come together in his trademark spray-painted fiberglass monuments to popular mythology about Chicanos in America. Jimenez explained his artistic philosophy to Cite magazine in 1996: "I have tried to focus on what I thought were cliched images that were cliched because they struck a nerve with a lot of people ... If you see one more bronze cowboy, it doesn't register anymore because you immediately classify it as bronze cowboy. I wanted to do something that not only made you look at the cliche again, but look at it in a new way." Jimenez's "Working Class Heroes: Images from the Popular Culture" is on show at the University of Houston's Blaffer Gallery Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. January 22 through March 28. University of Houston entrance no. 16 off Cullen Blvd. Call (713)743-9528 for more information. Free.