Things To Do

Best Bets: Lady Day, Sabrina, and Pancakes & Booze

Watch live art be created and eat pancakes at the Pancakes & Booze Art Show.
Watch live art be created and eat pancakes at the Pancakes & Booze Art Show. Photo by Ray Kuglar
We’re back with another list of best bets. Whether you want to watch theater from your couch or shovel pancakes in your face at a socially distanced party, we’ve got some suggestions of things to do this coming week.

On July 2, the Catastrophic Theatre opened 30 Ways To Get Free, three Afrofuturist micro-films written by Candice D'Meza and directed by Nate Edwards. D'Meza describes the trio of micro-films are “a very fantastical way to imagine how we might free ourselves from any number of things we might experience in life,” which apply fantasy and sci-fi to real life experiences such as “teen pregnancy, the emotional overwhelm of being a Black female-identifying person, men in prison.” And fantasy and sci-fi you will get, with things like spontaneous combustion, mermaids, and alien abduction making appearances. As is the way with Catastrophic, tickets are pay-what-you-can with a suggested price of $35. You can purchase a ticket to view the video on demand here. 30 Ways To Get Free will be available to view through July 25.

Good news for fans of Billie Holiday and live theater performance: Last week, Stages announced that they were extending the run of Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill through August 8. Lanie Robertson’s “elegiac lament” is set in 1959, mere months before Holiday died at the age of 44, in the city of Philadelphia, where Holiday was tried and convicted for drug possession. Between renditions of Holiday’s classic songs, performer DeQuina Moore – a “beguiling avatar” who “gets the off-beat phrasing, that whiskey-infused rasp, that throaty vibrato which are Holiday's signature style” – delivers an autobiographical monologue that “touches on most of the familiar highs and lows of Holiday’s life.” You can catch the show at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Limited in-person tickets are available for $25 to $64 (masks and social distancing are required), or you can buy a ticket to view a livestream for $25.

Think of Melvin Van Peebles and you’ll likely think of his 1971 “Blaxploitation anthemSweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. Or maybe Watermelon Man, released a year earlier. But starting this Friday, July 9 (and for one week only), Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Virtual Cinema and the Houston Cinema Arts Society will co-present Van Peebles’s first feature – a debut he had to go to France to makeThe Story of a Three Day Pass. The film “looks starkly, intimately, and imaginatively at the double life of a Black soldier in the U.S. Army,” stationed in France, who finds romance with a white French woman. The film – “an intimate love story and an examination of the tensions and contradictions of a Black agent of empire,” as well as “a moving portrait of isolation” – is available to rent here for $10.

In reviewing Sydney Pollack’s 1995 remake of Billy Wilder’s 1954 classic Sabrina, Roger Ebert mused on why the plot – about a chauffeur's daughter who has two super rich men, one a young playboy and one his serious older brother, vying for her attention – is so powerful. Between giving us “the myths of Cinderella and the Ugly Duckling,” with “some powerfully murky Freudian impulses,” all wrapped up in a rom-com, he said, “if it's halfway well done, it can hardly fail.” And considering the original’s director (Wilder) and cast (Audrey Hepburn, William Holden and Humphrey Bogart) failure clearly wasn’t an option. But grab a lawn chair or blanket and judge for yourself this Friday, July 9, at 8:30 p.m. when the 1954 film is screened at Market Square Park. This event is free and you can find more information here.

If you have not yet had a chance to experience the Holocaust Museum Houston’s first juried exhibition, “Withstand: Latinx Art in Times of Conflict,” there’s no better time than on the museum’s Summer Free Day scheduled for Saturday, July 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to viewing the 100 artworks that are part of the exhibit (with or without a curator), you can enjoy special performances, story times in English and Spanish, and you will also get free admission to additional museum galleries. Giveaways for the first 100 guests are also promised, including gifts such as a Mi Tienda tote bag, conchas, and more. Free and open to the public, but registration is required here. (And if you can’t make it, rest assured that “Withstand” will be on display through October 17, 2021.)

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If you're a Southerner who likes to enjoy your pancakes and art tipsy, the Pancakes & Booze Art Show is for you.
Photo by Ray Kuglar
If Science Channel can be believed (and it certainly sounds right), then Southerners eat the most pancakes in the U.S. If you’re one of those pancake eaters – as well as an alcohol enthusiast and art connoisseur – you might want to check out the Pancakes & Booze Art Show on Saturday, July 10, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at The Ballroom at Warehouse Live. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the adult only (18+) show, which promises more than 100 artists, live body painting and music, and (of course) an all-you-can-eat pancake bar. If you want to celebrate 10 years of gorging on pancakes and checking out art, you can pick up a general admission ticket, which is socially-distanced and standing-room-only, here for $15.

Over on the Rice University campus, in a temporary, open-air structure next to Baker Hall, you’ll find ribbons – many, many ribbons. Inspired by the American tradition of barn raising, the “Ribbon Pavilion,” conceived by Dutch collective We Make Carpets (comprised of Marcia Nolte, Stijn van der Vleuten, and Bob Waardenburg), was brought to colorful life in March by volunteers following the artists’ instructions sent straight from their studio in the Netherlands. On Wednesday, July 14, at 7 p.m. dancers from Hope Stone Dance, along with a couple of musicians, will respond to We Make Carpets’ creative intervention with a little “strategic frolicking.” The work, titled "in the stillness of July," will hosted by the Moody Center for the Arts and will be free to view.
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Natalie de la Garza is a contributing writer who adores all things pop culture and longs to know everything there is to know about the Houston arts and culture scene.