Writer and activist Sehba Sarwar co-founded Voices Breaking Boundaries in 1999 as a forum for progressive art, intelligent protest and alternative discussion of world events. Now, in celebration of its fifth anniversary, VBB presents "High Voltage," a night of storytelling featuring three of its founding members: Sarwar, Marcela Descalzi and Donna Perkins. Sarwar will read from her first novel, Black Wings, which follows the struggle of a Pakistani mother and daughter in post-9/11 Houston. Descalzi, who heads Rice University's School Writing Project, will read travel writings from her visit to Tibet, while Perkins, a playwright and visual artist, will offer up some sensual poetry. The evening also features performances by other VBB members, so join the ladies as they push the boundaries at 8 p.m. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway. For information, call 713-524-7821 or visit www.voicesbreakingboundaries.org. $6; portions go to tsunami aid.
Friday, Feburary 4
We're aware of the myriad of South Asian-American stereotypes: They're always cab drivers, doctors, IT workers, hotel and convenience store owners. But here's one that you have to be immersed in the culture to know: the DAP. Yes, the "Desi-American princess" is the South Asian community's version of the spoiled, self-centered, immature, materialistic teenage or college-aged young lady who "whatevers" her way through life. Shunya Theatre's Queen of the Remote Control follows Shilpa, a 17-year-old DAP who's jealous of her brother's fiancťe and sick of her wealthy mother and father's domineering, condescending parenting. So she escapes by watching TV and fantasizing about using a remote control to skip around her life -- which, to her surprise, helps her gain some insight into her family. Truthfully, every culture has its DAP, and credit goes to Shunya for making the show applicable to everyone. Watch Shilpa, you know, whatever, with her family at 8 p.m. Show continues at 8 p.m. Saturday, February 5, and 3 p.m. Sunday, February 6. Ensemble Theatre, 3535 Main. For tickets and information, call 713-412-8478 or visit www.shunyatheatre.org. $10 to $15.
Saturday, February 5
Ever walked by a giant mural on a downtown building and wondered just how long it took to create that urban masterpiece? Today, you can watch a mural in the making at the Yale Street Arts Market. Last month a group of artists started a wall painting on the back of the Heights-area Kaplan's Ben-Hur building as part of "Turning Spaces into People Places." The project aims to make the neighborhood more pedestrian-friendly. When finished, the mural will resemble a turn-of-the-century downtown street market. You can check out the painting, shop for arts and crafts at the market and take a Heights trolley tour starting at 10 a.m. 210 West 21st Street. For information, call 713-802-1213 or visit www.yalestreetmarket.com. Free.
Now that you've spent your day in the fresh Heights air, it's time to shake your thing in a smoky Montrose club with the ladies of Danseparc. While we love all H-town's turntablists equally, we've got a special place in our heart for the trio's clever theme nights at Numbers. This evening, they'll be paying tribute to sweet '60s Motown and the disco-funky-fresh Atlantic and Casablanca Records. (Anyone who doubts the ass-shakin' appeal of the Four Tops, the Supremes or the Jackson 5 has clearly never been to a wedding reception.) Add $1 beers to the mix and you've got a show that promises to be Supreme. 9 p.m. 300 Westheimer. For information, call 713-526-6551 or visit www.danseparc.com. $3 before 10:30 p.m.; $5 afterward.
Sunday, February 6
There's something delightfully cheesy about checking out a car show on a Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! And while you may yawn at the 2005 Volkswagen Jetta or the new Saturn Aura, we're guessing your inner pimp will be tempted by the $325,000 Maybach 57 and the $440,000 Porsche Carrera GT at this weekend's Houston Auto Show. Hot rods, Hummers, fuel-efficient hybrids and -- for the shadier crowd -- van conversions will be on display for car junkies, future record-label execs and pro athletes. Check out the automotive action this"well, you know the rest. Noon to 7 p.m. Reliant Center, 8400 Kirby. For information, call 832-667-1400 or visit HoustonAutoShow.com. $10; free for kids 12 and under.
Monday, February 7
We're not sure if it's her sultry, come-hither grin or just the sight of her dress blowing up in the air, but we doubt there'll ever be a big-screen bombshell as captivating as Marilyn Monroe. Today, you can admire the lady with the original blond ambition in The Misfits, a 1961 flick starring Monroe as ex-stripper Roslyn Taber (imagine!) and Clark Gable as Gay Langland, a burned-out cowboy looking to rustle up a herd of horses to sell for dog food. Roslyn is horrified and tries to thwart the nefarious scheme, but Gay, frankly, doesn't give a damn. Gregory Boyd, artistic director of the Alley Theatre, will introduce the screening, which is part of an ongoing tribute to American stage legend (and Monroe ex) Arthur Miller, who wrote the Misfits screenplay. Monroe and the gang horse around at 6 p.m. Brown Auditorium Theater, 1001 Bissonnet. For tickets, showtimes and information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org/films. $6.
Tuesday, February 8
If you've done it right, any mention of Mardi Gras should trigger your gag reflex and that familiar hangover headache throb. But if you haven't engaged in the rampant hedonism on the coast, you can catch one last party at the Mystic Krewe of Aquarius Annual "Fat Tuesday" Parade. A sort of annual closing ceremony, the parade toasts the final hours of Mardi Gras each year with floats, marching bands and plenty of beads. It's a favorite of the locals, as it's put on by one of the oldest Mardi Gras social groups in Galveston. We're not sure how many people will be pulling up their tops at this point, but we do know that everyone will be singing along to "When the Saints Go Marching In," the Mystic Krewe's official theme. The end begins at 6:30 p.m. Downtown Strand District. For information, call 888-425-4753 or visit www.mardigrasgalveston.com. Free.