The Top 5 Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: A Burlesque Valentine's, Bobby Lee and More

Looking for sexy, sensual Valentine's Day fun for Friday? It doesn't get any sexier than VauLt Houston's 3rd Annual Valentine's Day Burlesque Show. Now in its third year, the show features aerial and classical burlesque with all the skin, dance moves and sass Houston has come to expect from its burlesque acts.

Performers include Lady Lush (who also doubles as the Dem Damn Dames costume designer), Tifa Tittlywinks (Tifa's previous performances include Kiki's Sordid Sideshow and the Texas Tease-a-thon) and Dem Damn Dames. This is sophisticated, adult entertainment with a flirty, fun attitude with two performances on the schedule.

See our story on the status of burlesque in Houston by Brittanie Shey.

See the Valentine's Day Burlesque Show at 7 and 9 p.m. on Friday. Gyrotonic, 1824 Spring. For information, call 713‑880‑8161 or visit gyrotonichouston.com. $25.

It's the last weekend to catch The Good Thief at Stark Naked Theatre. The final performance is on Saturday. It's the story of a no-name criminal who is hiding out not only from two different crime bosses but from charges of kidnapping and murder as well. The spotlight is on actor Santry Rush as his character becomes the prey, rather than the hunter, leading him to review his life in Conor McPherson's one-man show.

John Tyson, who was with the Alley Theatre Company for 14 years as an actor and sometime director, was in the director's chair for The Good Thief and Faith Healer, which ran in repertory. Tyson has done The Good Thief with Rush before in another venue, and thought it would pair well with playwright Brian Friel's Faith Healer -- something he performed 20 years ago. Rush even wrote to McPherson with a question about a plot point and got a nice note back, he says, which didn't answer the question and encouraged him "to explore it the way you want to explore it," Rush says.

See our review of The Good Thief by Jim Tommaney.

Tobin says both plays have beautiful, lyrical writing in them. Regular attendees at Stark Naked's home stage at Spring Street Studios will be surprised to learn that they're bringing the audience even closer for these shows. "We've made the space even more intimate. It's tighter in an intensely intimate experience," Lehl says, likening it to sitting across a kitchen table from someone.

The Good Thief runs at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For information, call 832-866-6514 or visit www.starknakedtheatre.com. $20.

"As an older guy," former MadTV favorite Bobby Lee starts, "my body is changing. It's getting scarier. I look like a scallop. I look like a mythological creature. I look like Pikachu with diabetes." Comedy lovers are in for a treat on Saturday when Lee returns to the Houston Improv this weekend.

"Audiences from Texas are the best because their comedy palates are very evolved," the comic flatters. "You guys are sophisticated in that way." After spending eight years on the unfortunately canceled MadTV, Lee has renewed inspiration to perform live. "While I was on Mad, I didn't do stand-up. I didn't really want to be known as a stand-up, which is stupid. [But] stand-up is the only thing where you have complete control of your franchise. You're the boss of your own destiny."

In the coming year, Lee has his sights on filming his first one-man special (this tour is a tune-up of that material.) Lee, whose film credits include The Dictator, Pineapple Express and the Harold and Kumar movies, says getting back to stand-up been a process of becoming comfortable. "It took me years to get comfortable again. [It doesn't matter if] it's ten people. I've performed in front of 20,000 people! You gotta get comfortable." Despite his successes, Lee remains focused, humble and dedicated to his craft. "I'm still hungry. I'm still trying things. Stand-up is all about walking through fear, taking chances and failing. The more you fail, the better you'll get." See Bobby Lee at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Improv Comedy Showcase, 7620 Katy Freeway. For information, call 713-333-8800 or visit improvhouston.com. $22 to $32. This story continues on the next page.

The women of the Houston Roller Derby league soundly defeat visiting teams with so much regularity that the city's known to field one of the toughest flat-track leagues in the country. So when league members take on each other this Saturday, things get real crazy real fast. Today's all-Houston bout opens the 2014 season, and fans can expect some surprises.

"Our fall tryouts brought back some HRD retired players and quite a few skilled players from other teams," said media spokeswoman Enocha "Eenie Meanie" Edenfield. "It will be interesting to see how these players change the way home teams play. Fans can expect hard hits and wily jammers." Some of that can easily be chalked up to Speed O', one of Houston Roller Derby's most amazing jammers, who recently came out of retirement to join the warrior ranks of the Valkyries. Lightning-quick, she always makes for white-knuckle action. The Psych Ward Sirens take on the Brawlers, while the Bayou City Bosses face the Valkyries. Once they were the new kids on the block, but the Valkyries have become a dominant force in the league using a fast-and-loose style that often has them toppling their opponents with triple-digit leads (Think Mike Leach football on skates).

6 p.m. Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas. For information, call 713-230-1600 or visit houstonrollerderby.com. $15.

It's been 50 years since the death of artist Georges Braque, but his work continues to impress and influence. A friend and colleague of Picasso (the two are credited with the invention of Cubism), Braque is often under-recognized for his contributions, but in "Georges Braque: A Retrospective," now on exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and our pick for Sunday, the importance and impact of his work is undeniable.

"Georges Braque is unquestionably one of the finest and most influential painters of the 20th century, yet he remains less recognized than his friend and collaborator, Pablo Picasso," said MFAH Director Gary Tinterow. "This exhibition...reveals his genius to new audiences."

The show, a condensed version of an exhibition that just closed at the Grand Palais in Paris, is the first U.S. survey in 25 years to focus on Braque, and MFAH is the only U.S. venue for the exhibition.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 12:15 to 7 p.m. Sundays. Through May 11. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit mfah.org. Free with paid museum admission (free to $13).

Margaret Downing, Vic Shuttee and Jef with One F contributed to this post.

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