Art imitates life when father and son Justin and Ty Doran play father and son in Black Lab Theatre's production of Tigers Be Still, a black comedy by Kim Rosenstock and our choice for Friday. Joseph is a high school principal; Zach is his son, who's still reeling from losing his mother in a car accident. Joseph hires Sherry, a newly graduated art therapist, to work with his son but since Zach's range of emotions is limited to snark, she doesn't make much headway.
Sherry (Samantha Slater) has her own problems. She's moved back home, which rather resembles a psychiatric ward. Her sister Grace (Lindsay Ehrhardt) is permanently entrenched on the living room sofa, wallowing in depression; her mother, who's upstairs in her bedroom and won't come out, talks to her daughters only by phone.
Oh yeah, and a tiger has escaped from the zoo and is roaming the neighborhood streets. Tigers is directed by Jordan Jaff, Black Lab's artistic director.
See Tigers Be Still 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and January 19. Through January 31. Wildfish Theatre, 1703 Post Oak Boulevard. For information, call 713‑515‑4028 or visit blacklabtheatre.com. $25.
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Houston-born artist Mel Chin expands upon his practice of vigilant self-evaluation as he takes on none other than himself in his first retrospective, "Mel Chin: Rematch," opening on Saturday. Works by Chin appear in four different locations in Houston during the exhibition's run. The pieces at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston highlight Chin's discrete works -- many of which explore the artist's career-long interest in surrealism and in the social milieu of violence.
CAMH begins with several of Chin's earlier works, such the Eastern-inspired pseudo-artifact Western Dynasty Urn, as well as Bird in a Cage and Homage to Cornell, after Mallarmé -- four flat sculptures that pay tribute to surrealists Cornell and Marcel Duchamp. A sampling of the artist's multifunctional weaponry is also on display, including an ax made from an encyclopedia and a policeman's baton outfitted with a microphone -- objects with potent physical capabilities as well as clever political symbolism. Chin's dignified exploration of violence is also highlighted by the well-studied Cluster series: jewelry that re-purposes the repulsive yet remarkable patterns created when armaments connect with human flesh. (Previous works include a two-sided amulet based on the entry and exit wounds made by bullets during the Civil War and a brooch inspired by the wound made by a Vietnam-era M-16.)
As CAMH Senior Curator Valerie Cassel Oliver puts it, the show's debut in Houston is a "collective and communal approach" to celebrating this native artist. Yet CAMH's works possess a special self-contained elegance, which may not be as potent in Chin's monumental or temporal projects. This is a rare in-depth look at this remarkable artist.
CAMH hosts an opening reception with the artist at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Regular viewing hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays; and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Through April 19.
For information, including openings and viewing hours at the exhibit's additional sites, visit rematchhouston.com. Free.
On Saturday, burlesque entertainer KiKi Maroon shares her passion for the tantalizing and strange at the inaugural Bayou City Burlesque & Circus Arts Festival. The show's producer, Maroon is bringing talent from across the country to Houston for this first-of-its-kind-in-the-city show. On the wild and weird bill are Kristina Nekyia (a contortionist/belly dancer/burlesque artist from Los Angeles) and little person Viva La Muerte (Miss Exxxotic Chicago from Chicago).
There's also Le Strange Sideshow (a burlesque/circus sideshow/vaudeville female trio from San Antonio) and Zamora the Torture King (a body-skewering, sword-swallowing, fire-eating, mind-over-matter sideshow performer from Las Vegas). Local artists include Houston's own ms YET (a belly dancer/performance artist who performs with swords) and Maroon (a circus burlesque clown). The festival also features silk acrobatics, contortion, trapeze and more. "We're working hard to make [the festival] successful so that in the future we can make it a multi-day event," KiKi told us.
The first ever Bayou City Burlesque & Circus Arts Festival starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Warehouse Live, 813 Saint Emanuel. For information, visit bcbcfestival.wordpress.com. $20 to $50.
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Critics have noted that pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton often sound as if they are one person rather than two at the piano. The sisters, identical twins who have been performing around the world for the past seven years, agree; Christina has said she sometimes forgets they are two different people when at the piano.
In town for the weekend with appearance on both Saturday and Sunday, to perform Mozart's Piano Concert for Two Pianos and Orchestra during the Houston Symphony's Mozart & Shostakovitch program, the sisters are making their debut with the orchestra. Mozart's three-movement concerto is an ideal vehicle for the sisters. It's a spirited, sometimes playful work that allows them to showcase their stylish artistry as well as their impeccable technique. The program also includes Mendelssohn's The Fair Melusina and Shostakovitch's Symphony No. 12, The Year 1917.
See Christina and Michelle Naughton at 8 p.m. Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $25 to $125.
Comedian Chris Tucker became a $25 million man in 2006's Rush Hour 3 when he got what was then the largest actor's salary ever. You can see him on Sunday for less than $100. That's a pretty deep discount.
Tucker, an Atlanta native, became popular on the comedy circuit in the 1990s for his stand-up work on HBO's comedy series Def Comedy Jam. In 1995, he gave a hilarious performance as Smokey in Friday with co-star Ice Cube. In 1997, he appeared as Ruby Rhod, an over-the-top, gender-bending radio show host, in The Fifth Element, in which he worked with Bruce Willis. Audiences loved his performance, but critics were a little harsher; he earned a Razzie Award nomination for Worst New Star of 1997. (We're not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that he didn't actually win the Razzie.)
Then he made the commercial blockbuster Rush Hour with action star Jackie Chan. Playing an American cop who partners with a Hong Kong police detective to find a kidnapped little girl, Tucker earned nods from The Image Awards, MTV Movie Awards and Kid's Choice Awards for his performance. Rush Hour 2 and Rush Hour 3 -- and that $25 million salary -- followed.
Tucker returns to his stand-up roots for a one-night stop in Houston on Sunday. 8 p.m. Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas. For information, call 713-230-1600 or visit bayoumusiccenter.com. $55.50 to $75.50.
Alexandra Irrera and Ashley Clos contributed to this post.
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