The brothers Rothbart take their memento show on the road
Something special happens when you find a memento of someone else's life. Whether it's a journal or a grocery list, it makes you wonder about the life you've glimpsed. Davy Rothbart knows all about these moments of intense intimacy. Since 2001, the co-creator of FOUND magazine and author of the book of the same name has been amassing a huge collection of lost, tossed and forgotten pieces of others' lives. Now Rothbart is debuting a different collection of stories -- they're officially dubbed fiction but, he explains, "might very well have happened" -- in The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas. The title story was inspired by a highway sighting Rothbart had of a boy on a surfboard in the cornfields of Kansas. Other real-life moments were the basis of all the stories, according to Rothbart, who says he's endlessly inquisitive about strangers. He explains his voyeurism without apology. "Part of being human is to be curious about what other human beings are like," he says.
Travelling along with Rothbart is his younger brother Peter, whom Rothbart describes as "the highlight of the show" with his rousing musical takes on material sent to FOUND headquarters. One such hit is a folksy cover of a song with the repeating lyric "Damn the booty don't stop, girl" from a found mixtape. Rothbart the elder promises that between his readings and Peter's songs, it will be a "rowdy music and literary event." Bring your FOUND submissions and see the Rothbarts at 8 p.m. Sunday, November 13. Aurora Picture Show, 800 Aurora. For information, call 713-868-2101 or visit www.aurorapictureshow.org. $5. -- Mary Templeton
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
I never thought I'd say this, but stitching's a real bitch.
I'm ambling around the George R. Brown Convention Center on a Saturday afternoon, watching the thousands of frenzied ladies who've shown up for Houston's annual quilt show. I've heard people come to the show from around the world, and that this thing gets a little crazy. But it's not until I walk by a few chatty journalists -- from England -- and see women who are actually weeping at the sight of some of these quilts that it really sinks in.
Admittedly, the quilts look like works of art; they're priced like them, too (we're not even allowed to take pictures of the really nice ones). These ain't Grandma's snuggly blankets, but rather abstract and Warholian paintings on fabric. As I pause and check out a quilting fashion show, I start to complain about how girly the whole thing is to my fiancée and her mom, aunt and friends (all quilting fans, lucky me). I'm then directed to "Men of Biblical Proportions," a series of quilts that pays tribute to men of the Holy Book. (Great.)
I finally have my moment when I take a quilting lesson, showing my companions how I can bump and roll the needle. They may be the quilting pros, but thanks to my prowess -- or lack thereof -- I can say I've bled for the art. -- Steven Devadanam
Why should you catch the Houston Film Commission's Texas Filmmaker's Showcase 2005? The eight film shorts received rave reviews at recent screenings in L.A. and at the Austin Film Festival, so you'll want to hobnob with these filmmakers before they go all Hollywood. Watch for standouts like Houstonian Gary Watson's noirish, politically charged After Twilight, or Scott Calonico's kooky documentary about acid, LSD A Go Go. Meet the future stars at the screening at 7 p.m. Friday, November 11. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For tickets, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org/films. $4 to $6. -- Steven Devadanam
The latest permutation of 12 Minutes MAX!, the DiverseWorks series, finds local and visiting artists breaking the proverbial fourth wall in 12-minute-long skits. Look for a piece involving brooms, one featuring a visiting high school cheerleading squad, and our fave, the work of artist Kathryn Williamson, who'll be "wrestling inanimate objects," according to curator Rachel Cook. Williamson has been known to wrestle futons on stage, so we can only imagine what she'll be squaring off against this weekend. 8 p.m. Friday, November 11. 1117 East Freeway. For information, call 713-223-8346 or visit www.diverseworks.org. $10 to $15. -- Steven Devadanam