Along with fields of bluebonnets, alliteration is popping up all over the Bayou City. We've got burlesque rapper Boyfriend headlining the Legendary Art Car Ball, a Bollywood extravaganza at Miller Outdoor Theatre, an evening of dance titled Better Together, a chance to go shopping with the Houston Ballet, and an afternoon of ogling battle-scarred warbirds. Keep reading because some of these events are free.
Don't expect to find Cinderella at The Legendary Art Car Ball, but you just might spot a few mermaids, stilt-walking socialites in zebra-patterned spandex, Warhol doppelgängers, crazy hats and even crazier costumes. Part of the Houston Art Car Parade weekend, this Friday night grants everybody a night off from safe and sane, giving full license to let that freak flag fly for one glorious night of decadent debauchery. NOLA burlesque rapper Boyfriend headlines, then trip the night fantastic with interactive installations by BamBull Black, INPUT/OUTPUT, and Moon Papas.
The Legendary Art Car Ball is scheduled for April 12 at 7 to 11 p.m. Friday at Hermann Square at City Hall, 900 Smith. For information, visit thehoustonartcarparade.com. $30 to $35.
Attending one of METdance's big nights at The Hobby Center can be humbling. Audience members will feel cursed with two left feet in comparison to what's happening on stage, but it's worth it to witness the pure physicality of the contemporary dance artists as they seemingly defy gravity. This weekend includes a world premiere by longtime collaborator Katarzyna Skarpetowska, the New York-based choreographer who introduced the mesmerizing Snow Playground in 2016. Also on the program for Better Together are works by Robbie Moore (HSPVA, Juilliard), New York's Kyle Abraham, and touring project company IMEE.
Performances are scheduled for April 12 through April 13 at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at The Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-522-6375 or visit metdance.org/season-events/better-together. $21 to $39.
The nutcrackers are on hiatus and filling the void in this springtime version of the popular Nutcracker Market are seasonal gifts for warmer climes: handmade straw tote bags, baseball-themed memorabilia, grill pans in all sorts of shapes (Texas!, pig!), gourmet foods for summer menus, and some oh-so-fab Mexican blanket upholstered patio furniture by Karma Living. And, just like the holiday event, the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market Spring Spectacular serves as a fundraiser for the Houston Ballet Foundation, its Academy and scholarship programs. Let the shopping begin.
The Spring Spectacular is scheduled for April 12 through April 14 at 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at NRG Center, One NRG Park. For information, call 713-535-3231 or visit NutcrackerMarket.com. $13 to $30.
When we last checked in with Bollywood insider Mahesh Mahbubani, he told us that many of the dancers in Houston's Got Bollywood got their costumes direct from Mumbai. "Growing up my parents knew a lot of people. One of my family’s best friends has done all the costumes for Bollywood," Mahbubani told us before last year's event. This year we'll be taking a trip down memory lane with a four act dance spectacular titled Houston’s Got Bollywood: Blast from the Past. It's presented by MOKSH Community Arts Inc. (Mahbubani serves on the board) in tandem with Naach Houston (Mahbubani is artistic director), and will be a literal feast for the eyes with lights, visuals, themes of love, and celebrations of Bollywood's greatest superstars.
A performance is scheduled for April 13 at 8:15 p.m. Saturday at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive. For information, visit milleroutdoortheatre.com/performance/houstons-got-bollywood-blast-from-the-past-2. Free.
Selfies and iconic photographs are always permitted, but please don't pick the bluebonnets. With all the winter rains, wildflower season is through the roof this time of year, and there's no better place to celebrate the Texas state flower than in the sleepy town of Chappell Hill. Organizers at the Chappell Hill Historical Society are quick to point out that theirs is The Official Bluebonnet Festival of Texas, and being just an hour outside Houston (traffic permitting) it makes for a nice day trip. Expect tons of children's activities, more than 250 arts and crafts vendors, and hopefully some lovely springtime weather.
The Bluebonnet Festival is scheduled for April 13 through April 14 at 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For information, call 979-836-6033 or visit chappellhillhistoricalsociety.com/bluebonnet-festival. Free (parking is $5).
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How best to remember the men and women who built, maintained and flew airplanes during WWII? For the Commemorative Air Force, their legacy is best honored by maintaining those warbirds and keeping them flight ready. Don't miss the upcoming CAF Houston Wing Warbird Weekend with a chance to view aircraft from different conflicts in United States history, plus 6th Cavalry weapons, equipment and uniforms. Two dozen warbirds will be there, including the B-17 Texas Raider, a Beech JNB Little Raider, the SB2C flying Helldiver, the DH-46 Sea Knight and the venerable T-6 Texan.
Warbird Weekend is scheduled for April 13 through April 14 at 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at West Houston Airport, 18000 Groschke Road, Hangar B-5. For information, visit houstonwing.org. $20 per car at the gate.