Free for All: Art Without a Price Tag

Just because the economy is in the toilet doesn't mean you should miss out on all of the performing and visual arts happenings in town. Even the most expensive productions have some cheap seats, right? Trouble with cheap seats is you generally get a really lousy view. How about getting a great view to a wonderful event without having to shell out any money at all? Yeah, we thought you'd like that (we know we do). Here are three great events that are free:

On Friday and Saturday, enjoy free screenings of Monga and Rebels of the Neon God, two contemporary films from Taiwan showing at Rice. Monga is director Niu Chen-Zer Doze's action-packed story of five young gang members who have to fight for everything they want. But as they get deeper into gang life, the fights -- and the stakes -- get bigger and bigger.

Rebels of the Neon God, by director Ming-liang Tsai, follows a directionless teen. Looking for some action in downtown Taipei, he runs into a bully from the old neighborhood and decides to settle some scores in a circle of attack/revenge/attack.

Monga screens on Friday at 7 p.m. Rebels of the Neon God screens on Saturday at 7 p.m. For information, visit www.ricecinema.rice.edu.

On Saturday, you'll find lots of free fun at A Night at Market Square. Enjoy samples of Saint Arnold's beer, Cafe Luz Soda Fountain's soda cocktails, and music by the Jitterbug Vipers. The highlight is the Glow N Go Illuminated Art Car Procession.

A Night at Market Square runs 6 to 10 p.m., Travis at Congress. For information, visit www.downtownhouston.org.

On Sunday, Pseudonymous Bosch, the best-selling author, appears at a rare reading at Johnston Middle School. Bosch's identity is secret; the only thing his bio confirms is that "he has a passionate love of chocolate and cheese and an equally passionate hatred of mayonnaise."

He (or at least someone who claims to be him) will read from You Have to Stop This, the latest book in the Secret Series. Bosch's books have been called "equal parts snarky and delightful" by Booklist, while Publishers Weekly said they were a mixture of supernatural whodunit, adventure and coming-of-age stories.

Pseudonymous Bosch appears at 3 p.m. at Johnston Middle School, 10410 Manhattan Drive. For information, visit www.imprint.org.

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