On his hit television series, Jerry Seinfeld was a Superman-loving, breakfast cereal-eating, hard-to-please Master of His Domain. In real life, he's probably...the same. Maybe just a little older. The beloved sitcom just celebrated the 25th anniversary of its debut (can it really be that long ago?), and Seinfeld isn't just sitting around cashing his massive, humongous royalty checks. He continues a standup career spouting his signature observational humor about quirky people and even quirkier situations and he's stopping in Houston on Friday. He also hosts his popular web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee which is...well, exactly what it sounds like.
Seinfeld admits being alone onstage armed with nothing but a mike and facing an audience he has to amuse and entertain for more than an hour isn't a cakewalk even after all his years in comedy. "I feel sweat rolling down my back for about a half hour. Droplets just going all the way down! There are nights when it's easy, and there are nights when it's not easy and you got to make it look easy," he told Scott Raab of Esquire earlier this year. Even then, Seinfeld thinks what he does isn't so hard as compared to other, say, possibly more exotic performing arts. "I saw these guys in Cirque du Soleil, these two bald-headed guys. And they balance [on] their heads. One guy balances on the other guy. And it gets only a polite round of applause. Why is that guy not the most famous guy [ever]? It's so much harder than what I do!"
Jerry Seinfeld goes into his routine at 7 p.m. Friday. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 832-487-7041 or visit houstonfirsttheaters.com. $51 to $150.
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The critically acclaimed El verano de los peces voladores (The Summer of Flying Fish) makes its Houston premiere during Friday and Saturday screenings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The Chilean-French film by former documentary filmmaker Marcela Said premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. By focusing on one family, El verano reflects the current political situation in Chile, the increasing division between wealthy whites and poverty-stricken indigenous natives. Manena (played by Francisca Walker) is a teenage girl vacationing with her well-to-do family in southern Chile. She has become friendly with a young man from the area, an indigenous Mapuche. Manena's father, a privileged landowner, spends his time dynamiting his "private lake" in an effort to rid it of unwanted carp. He's completely unaware of the rising resentment towards him among the local Mapuches, who consider the lake and the family estate to be native land. An examination of privilege and entitlement wrapped in a coming-of-age story, El verano screens in Spanish with English subtitles.
El verano de los peces voladores (The Summer of Flying Fish)screens at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit mfah.org. $9.
Anything can happen in the madcap, imaginative world of Tamarie Cooper, who tackles the excesses of the holiday spirit during her annual original summer musical extravaganza, A Very Tamarie Christmas which includes a Saturday performance. Cooper says: "If you're more of a humbug, have no fear: A Very Tamarie Christmas takes a satirical stab at many different holiday traditions. This show is certainly no wholesome Hallmark experience. It's an over-the-top, ridiculous, lewd, silly romp through our holiday calendar."
The show is an annual favorite with Houstonians, with a large fan base. Written by Tamarie Cooper, Patrick Reynolds and friends, Tamarie Christmas skewers all the holidays you know -- Armistice Day, President's Day, Arbor Day, Flag Day, Mother's Day, Secretary's Day -- and some you've never heard of, such as Great-Uncle's Day. All this merry mayhem is supported by a live band.
Jingle bells start ringing at 8 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays. Through August 30. Catastrophic Theatre, 1119 East Freeway. For information, call 713-522-2723 or visit catastrophictheatre.com. Pay-What-You-Can.
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Surrealist Salvador Dalí painted a pocket watch that seemed to be melting in his The Persistence of Memory, one of the most famous paintings of the 20th century. But Dalí did more than just paint that image. He also made several equally mind-bending sculptures of it. The exhibit "Salvador Dalí: The Sculpture Collection" is touring the United States and is in town for a quick two-week run at Houston's Off the Wall Gallery, including Sunday showings. Gallery founder Mimi Sperber-Wasserberg calls the collection of rare Dalí sculptures "extraordinary." Several important artworks from Spanish masters Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Francisco Goya are also on exhibit at the gallery.
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Learn more about one of the most influential artists of the 20th century when Frank Hunter, director of the Salvador Dalí Archives and noted Dalí expert, gives two public talks during the exhibition's run (6 p.m. on August 23 and 1 p.m. on August 24).
Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Through September 1. 5015 Westheimer. For information, call 713‑871‑0940 or visit offthewallgallery.com. Free.
Think of UniverSoul Circus which closes its Houston run on Sunday, as a Caribbean carnival meets African B-boys meets a Brooklyn house party, just with elephants and trapeze artists. Oh, and some seriously hip clowns. Sure, there are the usual acts (acrobats, elephants, dancing girls, strongmen, daredevils and a ringmaster to watch over it all), but adds a healthy dose of funk to the mix. Among our favorites are the Queens of Sheba, a troupe of incredible teenage contortionists from Ethiopia. There's also the Caribbean Callaloo dance troupe from Trinidad, the Men of Steel from Cuba and the Soul Illusion act from Trinidad. The single ring circus, founded by Cedric Walker of Atlanta, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Originally a showcase for black performers, it has expanded its roster to include artists from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Eastern Europe. See a different kind of circus at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday, noon, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 12:30, 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Joe Butler Stadium, 13755 South Main. For information, call 800‐745‐3000 or visit universoulcircus.com. $20 to $45.
Bob Ruggiero and Jim J. Tommaney contributed to this post.