Top Five Things to Do This Weekend: Hapa Photos, Moody Gardens Festival of Lights, Anthony Bourdain, Les Miz & More
Artist/filmmaker Kip Fulbeck is what's popularly known as a Hapa, that is, a person who has a mixed ethnic heritage that includes Asian roots. Starting in 2001, Fulbeck traveled the country taking photographs of fellow Hapas in order to create a book that he wished he had had as a child. The result was Part Asian, 100 percent Hapa. Growing up, Fulbeck longed to see more people who looked like him, or rather that, like him, didn't look exactly like anyone else in his family. Not exactly white and not completely Asian. The book led to "kip fulbeck: part asian, 100 percent hapa," a traveling exhibit, which has just opened at Asia Society Texas. In Houston, the exhibit includes 36 images. The portraits are stark, with each person shown from the shoulders up, with no clothes, no makeup and no expression, standing against a white background. Each is accompanied by a handwritten answer to Fulbeck's question "What are you?" One young woman with blond hair writes, "I am not half-white. I am not half-Asian. I am a whole other," in small, neat handwriting. A dark-skinned young man writes, "I am 100% Black and 100% Japanese" in large, bold writing. Visitors may add their own portraits and handwritten answers to an interactive display that accompanies the exhibit.
See "kip fulbeck: part asian, 100% hapa" 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Through April 14. 1370 Southmore. For information, visit the center's website or call 713-496-9901. Free to $5.
Photo courtesy of Moody Gardens
It's that time of year again -- the holidays, which means we're on our way to Moody Gardens for the annual Festival of Lights. More than 1 million lights decorate the complex, and the 100 sound-enhanced animated displays spread out among the grounds. The festival includes an outdoor ice-skating rink (rentals are available, or you can bring your own), strolling entertainers, a holiday buffet, photos with Santa, and a slew of holiday films in a variety of mediums -- 3D, 4D Special FX and Ridefilm. New this year is snow tubing, riding on inner tubes down a long frozen slide.
Hours vary. Moody Gardens, One Hope Blvd., Galveston Island. For information, visit the center's website or call 800-582-4673. Prices vary, including $6.95 for Festival of Lights admission.
The celebrity chef, author and television personality, publisher and recent Texas barbecue convert Anthony Bourdain is headed to Houston on November 10 for a one-night-only speaking engagement with fellow chef and friend Eric Ripert, in a show called "Good vs. Evil: An Evening with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert." Anyone familiar with the Bourdain-Ripert dynamic should be able to discern which is which in that equation. It's one of only four Good vs. Evil shows that Bourdain and Ripert will be doing across the United States.
Even if you don't snag tickets to the show, head down to Jones Hall that night for a pre-show food truck tailgate featuring four of Bourdain's favorite cuisines served from one of his favorite dining mediums. In cooperation with the Society for the Performing Arts (SPA is hosting the Good vs. Evil event), the Houston Press has invited L'es-Car-Go, the Eatsie Boys, Coreanos, The Waffle Bus and Bernie's Burger Bus to set up camp outside the venue. We can't positively say that either Bourdain or Ripert will stop by the food trucks, but you never know.
Food truck tailgate starts at 5 p.m. and is a free event. Visit our website for information. Good vs. Evil: An Evening with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert starts at 8 p.m. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana. For information, visit the SPA website or call 713-227-4772. $43 to $73.
Check out our review of I Capuleti e I Montecchi (The Capulets and the Montagues) and our interview with Oh! Artistic Director Enrique Carreón-Robledo.
Our critic D. L. Groover attended last night's performance of I Capuleti e I Montecchi (The Capulets and the Montagues) and pronounced it "sung and conducted with passion." All of the main cast members in Opera in the Heights' production of Bellini's take on Romeo and Juliet are making their debuts in their roles. Camille Zamora and Julia Ebner appear for the first time ever as Giulietta (Shakespeare's Juliet) while Sarah Heltzel and Brandy Lynn Hawkins take on the trouser role of Romeo. Yes, you read that right, Sarah and Brandy Lynn will be Romeo. "That's the way Bellini intended the role to be," Oh! Artistic Director Enrique Carreón-Robledo tells us. "It's to give the impression that this is a very young man, young to the point that the voice isn't low enough to be a tenor and at the same time maturity from every standpoint. This is not the typical Romeo. In this case, Romeo is not the young boy that is just another member of the family. He is the leader. He is presented as a full-fledged soldier that has incredible authority and maturity. These two singers, they are both mezzo-sopranos, are really fantastic in that sense. It's hard sometimes to accept that a woman is playing a man, but in the realm of sound, which is where this opera lives first and foremost, they have each done an excellent job at impersonating a young man."
Oh! presents I Capuleti e I Montecchi (The Capulets and the Montagues) at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, 2 p.m. November 18. Through November 18. Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights. For information, visit the Oh! website or call 713-851-5303. $10 to $55.
The reviews have come in and the 25th-anniversary production of Les Misérables in Houston courtesy of Gexa Energy Broadway, is a smash. Our critic D. L. Groover said "Time hasn't dimmed the power of Les Mis ... The mega-musical grabs you from the first scene of the fast-paced Prologue and never shakes loose." He went on to say, "As a juggernaut of contemporary musical theater in all its grandeur, this 25th anniversary production, with its sterling showbiz know-how, enlightens, elevates -- and superbly entertains." Kinda sounds like he liked it, doesn't it?
Broadway veteran Andrew Varela has switched roles for this version -- on Broadway he played Jean Valjean, the man who spent 19 years in prison for stealing food; now he plays his nemesis, Inspector Javert, who has dedicated himself to locking Valjean in prison again. Even though 60 million people have seen this musical, Varela (who's been on national tour now for two years) says all the shows are selling out. "From the very beginning you know that the show is different because they've reorchestrated it, they've relit this show. We have state-of-the-art high-definition projectors that take the back wall of the stage and turn it into another actor. For a show that's as epic as this one, the projectors allow you a cinematic quality that's never been done before."
Dream the dream at 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Through November 11. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, visit the Hobby Center's website or call 713-315-2525. $50 to $150.
Katharine Shilcutt, D. L. Groover and Margaret Downing contributed to this post.
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