The 5 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Art by Moe Profane, Jazz on Film, the Last Production at the Alley (For Now) and More
Schadenfreude and Shiner Bock by Moe Profane
Artist Moe Profane is a self-described recovering Catholic, cancer survivor and heart disease patient. Building on the idea that "nothing is sacred because nothing is absolute," Profane's art is filled with forthright candor. That's plainly seen in his work in the exhibit "Moe Profane: Nihilism and Nanner Puddin," which is open and our suggestion for Friday.
Profane, who was selected as San Antonio's Raw Artist of the Year in 2012, has a finely honed sense of humor and a keen sense of irony. He manages through layering and artistry to add the impression of age to signboards, and sometimes to illustrations on used white picket fences. The works shown include Relativist Pop Art Icons and Shrines to the Mundane.
There's an opening reception at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Regular viewing hours are noon to 5 Wednesdays to Sundays. Through June 29. Redbud Gallery, 303 East 11th. For information, call 713-862-2532 or visit redbudgallery.com. Free.
Another of our choices for Friday is Psophoina Dance Company's Intrepid. Guest choreographers Estela Tejeda and Leslie Scates join Psophoina's Artistic Director (and 2013 Houston Press 100 Creative) Sophia L. Torres in an evening length program of new work. Torres contributes The Way Station, which explores the emotions and situations travelers often find in train stations. Tejeda's contribution is Edge of My Dreams, which as its name implies is a look at the meaning of dreams, and Scates presents "i came in like a..." or "rehearsing small" about cloning improvisational movement. Performers include Haylee Voogt, Kristina Prats, Stephanie Beall, Vi Dieu, Danielle Koblinski, Kendall Kramer, Taylor McAnulty, Tory Pierce and Arielle Tesia Rojas.
See Intrepid at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. City Dance Studio, 1307 W. Clay. For information, call 713-834-4162 or visit psophonia.com. $15 to $20.
The Long Night directed by Emma Penaz Eisner, San Fransisco
Local filmmaker Stephanie Saint Sanchez once told us that one reason she liked the short film format was if the film was bad, you didn't have to wait too long for it to be over, and if it was good, you could watch it again right away. If experience is any guide, the films screening on Friday and Saturday at the Aurora Picture Show's Extremely Shorts Festival are all going to be worth repeating.
Austin's Zellner Brothers have been tapped as judges for this year's competition. The filmmaking duo selected some 25 short films, each under three minutes long. Topics range from silly to serious and formats include comedies, dramas and fantasies. Among the films are Emma Penaz Eisner's The Long Night, a stop motion animation featuring a sequence of surrealistic images and Rachel Cunningham's Knitmare Before Christmas, a stop-motion short that chronicles the adventures of an ugly Christmas sweater that, when rejected, get's its feelings hurt and wants revenge. There are two screenings on Friday and another one on Saturday. At Saturday's screening, Audience Choice awards will be handed out (along with cash prizes).
Catch the 7 and 9 p.m. Friday; 7:30 p.m. Saturday. 2442 Bartlett. For information, call 713‑868‑2101 or visit aurorapictureshow.org. $5 to $25.
Elevator to the Gallows
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents three weekends of boppin' documentaries, concerts, animated flicks and feature films, (some rarely seen other than in grainy bootleg versions) in this year's Jazz on Film series starting on Saturday. "Like cinema, jazz has been an ever-evolving mix of different elements and influences," says series curator Peter Lucas. "And, I think, more than any other music in the past century, jazz and its subcultures have profoundly inspired and influenced filmmakers around the globe."
Among the films is Louis Malle's 1958 Elevator to the Gallows, which features an improvised score by Miles Davis. There's also Let's Get Lost, the bittersweet portrait of Chet Baker and the ravages of his drug addiction, and Space Is the Place a sci-fi musical about the real-life "intergalactic" jazzman Sun Ra. But Lucas's favorite entry is 1966's A Man Called Adam, in which Sammy Davis Jr. appears as a troubled trumpet player (ghosted on soundtrack by Nat Adderley) in a plot that involves music, civil rights and racism. "I believe," Lucas says, "that the archival film print we'll be showing may be the only one in existence!"
Screenings times and dates vary. June 7 to June 21. For a full schedule, call 713-639-7515 or visit mfah.org. $10.
Our pick for Sunday is the Alley Theatre's final production on the Neuhaus Stage, before everything is packed up and moved over to the University of Houston for a year while home base is being retrofitted, the Alley Theatre presents David Lindsay Abaire's Good People, a bitingly funny and ultimately serious look at the class divide.
Alley Company members Elizabeth Bunch and Chris Hutchison, married in real life, will play opposite each other; she's the suddenly unemployed Margie Walsh, who contacts her former lover, Mike, and Hutchison is that old flame, who is now a successful doctor. James Black directs and Jennifer Harmon (August Osage County) is back to play Margie's friend Dottie. Another friend, Jean (Melissa Pritchett) urges Margie to tell Mike that her child, who was born prematurely, is his as a way of getting his help.
Nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play, Good People will have audience members divided about who they should be rooting for. "These characters are so intricately wrought," Hutchison says. "All of these characters have pieces of each audience member that they will recognize. So I think sympathies change pretty dramatically from scene to scene and even moment to moment in allegiances and alliances. I would like to be a fly on the wall in the lobby." And Bunch says: "It challenges the audience to admit you can't be resolute in your allegiances. If you stick to that, you're going to miss the story. You have to be willing to go where the story keeps ping-ponging you back and forth."
Good People runs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays. Through June 29. 615 Texas. For information, call 713-220--5700 or visit alleytheatre.org. $26 to $65.
Jim J. Tommaney, Margaret Downing and Bob Ruggiero contributed to this post.
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