Where in Texas do you get a house-sized rooster made out of a truck, candy coated paint jobs and cars that no longer look like cars? In Houston of course, at the 30th Annual Art Car Parade this Saturday. It's here and your chance to see all of these wildly ornamented cars in one place as well as exchange waves with grand marshall Cheech Marin. . Think of it as a concept car show where the concepts are whatever your H-Town influenced Dr. Seuss-esque ideas come to life and are welcomed year after year. Who knows maybe you didn't know there was a market for these and now you can finally unveil that truck that's no longer a truck but a What-a-burger on wheels with real life soda-dispensers. Not that I have one, just mentioning it for a friend. Keep reading to check out Houston Press's best bets for you this weekend.
They say comedy is seldom pretty, and Steve Martin and Martin Short are masters of exposing the uglier side of showbiz at its most fatuous and absurd. Their own humor is often sarcastic and juvenile, with nothing sacred except the laugh. The two seem to have little else in common other than a long friendship with SNL honcho Lorne Michaels and a tolerance to share the stage, which they do in this standup tour dubbed. Expect Short to revive obsequious TV host Jiminy Glick and the banjo-toting Martin to bust out a tune or two with Grammy-winning bluegrass boys the Steep Canyon Rangers, but mostly a flurry of one-liners at the other’s expense. As seen in the ’80s near-classic or 1991’s Father of the Bride remake (but not its best-forgotten sequel), neither man has any reservations about upstaging the other; who knows, maybe Franck might even show up this Friday night to give a consultation or two, but remember he is not cheap.
8 p.m. Friday. Smart Financial Centre, 11811 Lexington, Sugar Land. For information, call 281-207-6278 or visit smartfinancialcentre.net. $89.50.
Cirque du Soleil has fascinated us for decades. This time it’s back with more, and its newest show,, promises the same high-flying, death-defying acts that will leave everyone’s jaws floor-bound. Dawn Wilson, assistant artistic director, says, “We are pushing it much higher, much more original, and we’ve added more theatrical surprises to the acrobatics. It is new, it is high-energy and it is not what they’ve seen before. From its opening act, I think the audience is already asking, ‘How are they going to top that?’ and we do. It only gets more unexpected and outstanding as the show goes on.”Catch Cirque's newest show this Friday night and witness for yourself the height-defying tricks that push your comfort zone to the limit all while the performers keep their cool and execute trick after trick.
4:30 and 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and April 11-12, 18-19 and 26, and May 2-4, 9-10 and 17 (no matinee April 21 and May 6, 12 and 19); 1:30 and 5 p.m. Sundays. April 6 through May 21. Sam Houston Race Park, 7575 North Sam Houston Parkway West. For information, call 1-877-924-7783 or visit cirquedusoleil.com/kurios. $35 to $175.
Theis celebrating its 30th year, and we might see a few sandy-haired oranges on wheels vying for best political statement. “We’re anticipating some very interesting entries this year due to our political climate,” says Jonathan Beitler, spokesperson for the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, which organizes the annual event. Of the estimated 250 entries in this year’s parade, more than 100 are first-timers, and they’ll all be competing for attention plus a chance at cash prizes in 13 categories, including low-riders, slabs, painted cars, cyclists and contraptions that no longer resemble a vehicle, like last year’s hospital bed on wheels. Get an up-close look at Thursday’s sneak peek at Discovery Green or Friday’s The Legendary Art Car Ball, a ticketed shebang hosted by Kam Franklin of The Suffers. The viewing party starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, so come early, pick your spot, and get ready to watch cultural icon Cheech Marin lead the parade as grand marshal.
2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Smith Street, downtown. For information, visit thehoustonartcarparade.com/about-the-art-car-parade. Free.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, what’s the most gruesome story of them all? It turns out those fairy tales didn’t go quite like the Disney movies suggest: Birds pecked out the eyes of Cinderella’s stepsisters, and Sleeping Beauty’s father raped her. That brings us to the other princess,
8 p.m. Saturday. Also 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. April 7 through May 6. The Catastrophic Theatre, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-522-2723 or visit catastrophictheatre.com. Pay what you can; suggested price is $35.
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Whenever we’re having a bad day, we can always take the sage advice of our favorite redheaded orphan by lifting up our chin to grin and say the sun will come out tomorrow. And that youngster, Annie, is back to remind us once again that optimism — plus animal adoption — is always in style. Tony Award-winning lyricist Martin Charnin says, “It’s about family. It’s about love. There are universals. There are things that are iconic and have been around since Sophocles. We wanted a universal story that could last for a length of time, and we’re all very proud that it’s been around, and my instinct is that it will be around for a long time after this production.” We agree. You can bet your bottom dollar thatwon’t disappoint in this Society for the Performing Arts production this Sunday night.
1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. April 8. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-227-4772 or visit spahouston.org. $33 to $78.
Sam Byrd, Chris Gray and Susie Tommaney contributed to this post.