Thursday, March 25
Move over, Footloose, and make room for Rise: The Story of Rave Outlaw Disco Donnie. This time it's a club promoter who's fighting for the inalienable right to shake his booty, but he's got a lot more than an uptight preacher on his back. Four years ago, Disco Donnie became the fall guy for the government's crackdown on ecstasy use at raves. Even though no drugs were found on the premises of his events, the feds threatened to give Donnie and his boys life sentences if they threw any more parties. Will they go gentle into that not-so-good night? Filmmaker Julie Drazen will be at the screening to lead a discussion of the issues surrounding the film. 8 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse, 1000 West Oaks Mall. For information, call 281-556-5621 or visit www.drafthouse.com. $7.
Friday, March 26
And if one party movie isn't enough to satisfy your inebriated tastes, then you've got to check out Confessions of a Burning Man at the Angelika. This feature-length documentary follows four first-timers to the Burning Man event in Nevada. For those of you who've never heard of Burning Man, all we can say is that it's the mother of all parties. People from across the world travel to the dusty plains of Black Rock City in order to live in self-sufficient camps and, well, party their asses off. At the end of the whole shebang, they set a giant wooden guy on fire. It might seem crazy, but that's what makes it so much fun. The film opens today at the Angelika Film Center, 510 Texas. For showtimes, call 713-333-3456 or visit www.angelikafilmcenter.com. $8.
Or maybe the whole Burning Man thing is a little too hippie-fied for your tastes. If you'd rather chill out and have a less dusty (but just as dirty) time, then peek under the covers and give Dick Talk: Cold and Deep a look-see. Producer Wayne DeHart swears the comedy show is "not an answer to the Vagina Monologues," but we know a retort when we see it. DeHart and his cohorts talk about, well, just what you'd expect a bunch of guys to talk about: their willies. And if you're wondering about the show's title, then we should tell you that it comes from a classic joke. Two guys, the story goes, are taking a piss off a bridge when one of them turns to the other and says, "Man, this water sure is cold." To which the other replies, "Yeah, and it's deep, too!" Enough, already! 7 p.m. today and Saturday, March 27. Silver House, 1107 Chartres. For information, call 713-547-0126. $10.
Saturday, March 27
Now that the weekend's in full swing, you might as well keep your blood pumping at the Houston People Exchanging Power's S&M Ball. Whips, chains, leather and latex will be in full effect during performances by some of this city's masters (and slaves) of BDSM, which, in case you're pretending like you didn't know, stands for bondage & dominance, sadism & masochism. And if you're still playing dumb, here's a preview of what you can expect: "Bowling on the Dark Side," "Sapphism Unbound" and everyone's favorite, "Gangbang with Whips." We're not making this up. 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. 610 Arena, 5515 South Loop East. For information, call 713-734-7469 or visit www.smball.com. $25.
Sunday, March 28
Whew! After all that freaky shit last night, you probably want to take it a little slower today. Why not head over to the Bayou City Art Festival for a day of leisure? The semiannual fest features over 300 artists showcasing their work on the grassy expanses of Memorial Park, not to mention oodles of booths serving up vittles and cold beverages. You'll walk through the park, peruse some paintings and munch on sausage-on-a-stick. And, come Monday, hopefully you won't feel so dirty about yourself. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, and Friday and Saturday, March 26 and 27. Memorial Park, off Memorial Drive. For information, call 281-924-4345 or visit www.bayoucityartfestival.com. $8.
Monday, March 29
Emanuel Ax has the surname of a guitar god. Problem is, he plays the piano. But we doubt a one-time winner of the International Piano Competition cares much about such things. The Ax-man joins the Houston Symphony for a program titled "Ax and the Emperor," in which he'll jam out on Beethoven, one of the unrecognized originators of the rock and roll lifestyle. As Ax tickles the keys for Piano Concerto No. 5, please resist the urge to throw your panties on stage. 8 p.m. today and Saturday, March 27. 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 28. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. $25 to $82.
Tuesday, March 30
Perhaps Kurt Cobain said it best: "Nature is a whore." We pillage nature's bounty, and, just like the smudged lipstick of a post-coital prostitute, the end result usually ain't much to look at. Hell, even when we try to regain our lost Eden, hoping to make a pretty woman out of a downtrodden streetwalker, all we usually end up with is a box full of tulips on a smoggy windowsill. Environmental artist Nils-Udo (yep, that's how he spells his full name) is well aware of these concerns, and he makes clever use of them in his work. His latest piece, Landscape with Waterfall, is an ironic comment on our foolhardy attempts to reinsert natural elements into the urban landscape. With the help of local artists, he has created a faux natural setting -- complete with potted plants and artificial streams -- on the banks of the Buffalo Bayou. His work is on view for as long as nature will allow at the Sunset Coffee Building, Allen's Landing, 1019 Commerce. For information, call 713-520-0152 or visit www.bbap-houston.org. Free.