They all turned out for the opening: clowns, artists, drunks, Santa Clauses, strippers…and none of those categories was mutually exclusive. Organized by Paul Horn and Dolan Smith (sporting a ringmaster costume), the one-night-only Vegas-meets-Ringling Bros. art extravaganza/bacchanal took over the entire 80th floor of the Holiday Inn Select, except for the rooms occupied by one unfortunate and horrified wedding party. In a staggering act of faith, the hotel rented the artists suites and blocks of rooms, saying, "Well, you can't be any worse than the drag queen pageant." It was a hell of a party, with art in the bathtubs, art hanging from the chandeliers and stolen art. Clowns played strip poker, pillow fights broke out, DJs spun and people watched porn in the art-filled guest rooms, all accompanied by inordinate amounts of drinking and smoking. Aurora Picture Show's Carlos Lama had a digital karaoke machine wired to his wheelchair and fronted a motley chorus line of bombed Kris Kringles, fat guys in streaked clown makeup and scantily dressed women with his inspired rendition of "I Love Rock and Roll" -- and that was all before 10 p.m.
They all turned out for the opening: clowns, artists, drunks, Santa Clauses, strippers…and none of those categories was mutually exclusive. Organized by Paul Horn and Dolan Smith (sporting a ringmaster costume), the one-night-only Vegas-meets-Ringling Bros. art extravaganza/bacchanal took over the entire 80th floor of the Holiday Inn Select, except for the rooms occupied by one unfortunate and horrified wedding party. In a staggering act of faith, the hotel rented the artists suites and blocks of rooms, saying, "Well, you can't be any worse than the drag queen pageant." It was a hell of a party, with art in the bathtubs, art hanging from the chandeliers and stolen art. Clowns played strip poker, pillow fights broke out, DJs spun and people watched porn in the art-filled guest rooms, all accompanied by inordinate amounts of drinking and smoking. Aurora Picture Show's Carlos Lama had a digital karaoke machine wired to his wheelchair and fronted a motley chorus line of bombed Kris Kringles, fat guys in streaked clown makeup and scantily dressed women with his inspired rendition of "I Love Rock and Roll" -- and that was all before 10 p.m.
The level of local contemporary dance rose several notches when Jane Weiner came to town in 1997. She brought with her ten years of dancing with Doug Elkins's company and gave generously of her art and talent. She danced, she taught, she networked with other artists. She created her own company, Hope Stone, to perform original works of her own. Somehow, in between all that, she also helped care for her sister, Susan, who was recovering from breast cancer. Then the two of them started Pink Ribbons: Dancers in Motion Against Breast Cancer. They put the fun back in fund-raising, throwing galas at the Wortham Theater Center with fabulous dancers and fairy-tale decorations. Thus far, they've raised a half-million dollars for breast cancer awareness, testing and treatment. Art and saving lives: It's all in a day's work for Weiner.
The level of local contemporary dance rose several notches when Jane Weiner came to town in 1997. She brought with her ten years of dancing with Doug Elkins's company and gave generously of her art and talent. She danced, she taught, she networked with other artists. She created her own company, Hope Stone, to perform original works of her own. Somehow, in between all that, she also helped care for her sister, Susan, who was recovering from breast cancer. Then the two of them started Pink Ribbons: Dancers in Motion Against Breast Cancer. They put the fun back in fund-raising, throwing galas at the Wortham Theater Center with fabulous dancers and fairy-tale decorations. Thus far, they've raised a half-million dollars for breast cancer awareness, testing and treatment. Art and saving lives: It's all in a day's work for Weiner.
Native Dubliner Robert Cremins is an English teacher at Strake Jesuit College Prep, and likely the sort of man of whom his alter ego, Tom Iremonger, would not have approved. Iremonger, the protagonist in Cremins's A Sort of Homecoming, is a pill-popping, hard-drinking, womanizing, inheritance-squandering young nihilist fresh back in Celtic Tiger Ireland after six months' debauchery on the Continent. According to an Irish ad campaign, he is also "Ireland's greatest resource." The first face Iremonger sees on his return from Europe is his own on a poster. Nevertheless, his swollen ego soon takes a battering as he realizes that he is not as sophisticated as he thinks, nor is his country as provincial as he believes nor his long-suffering girlfriend as faithful as he had assumed. Cremins's novel is among the first in a new subgenre in Irish fiction that concerns itself not with rural starving drunkards nor Dublin's huddled masses but rather with freshly minted Dublin high society. The Times of London said that the author has "the smart touch of a young Martin Amis."
Native Dubliner Robert Cremins is an English teacher at Strake Jesuit College Prep, and likely the sort of man of whom his alter ego, Tom Iremonger, would not have approved. Iremonger, the protagonist in Cremins's A Sort of Homecoming, is a pill-popping, hard-drinking, womanizing, inheritance-squandering young nihilist fresh back in Celtic Tiger Ireland after six months' debauchery on the Continent. According to an Irish ad campaign, he is also "Ireland's greatest resource." The first face Iremonger sees on his return from Europe is his own on a poster. Nevertheless, his swollen ego soon takes a battering as he realizes that he is not as sophisticated as he thinks, nor is his country as provincial as he believes nor his long-suffering girlfriend as faithful as he had assumed. Cremins's novel is among the first in a new subgenre in Irish fiction that concerns itself not with rural starving drunkards nor Dublin's huddled masses but rather with freshly minted Dublin high society. The Times of London said that the author has "the smart touch of a young Martin Amis."
This bar is located in the heart of River Oaks, and we're always leery of anyplace called a "saloon" that sits amid so much gentrification. But our doubts vanished the moment we saw the sign off San Felipe boasting a "large TV." Next, when the barmaid announced, "What can I get you, honey?" like an oral history of the South itself, we knew this place was genuine. The clientele isn't all River Oaks, either, but a mix of folks from all walks of Houston life who know a good thing when they drink in it. If you wanna play pool, though, you may have to wait; the Roll'N runs a bit short on tables (there's only one). But folks go there for the relaxed mood, the friendly staff and the great atmosphere. The drinks are pretty good, too.
This bar is located in the heart of River Oaks, and we're always leery of anyplace called a "saloon" that sits amid so much gentrification. But our doubts vanished the moment we saw the sign off San Felipe boasting a "large TV." Next, when the barmaid announced, "What can I get you, honey?" like an oral history of the South itself, we knew this place was genuine. The clientele isn't all River Oaks, either, but a mix of folks from all walks of Houston life who know a good thing when they drink in it. If you wanna play pool, though, you may have to wait; the Roll'N runs a bit short on tables (there's only one). But folks go there for the relaxed mood, the friendly staff and the great atmosphere. The drinks are pretty good, too.
Choreographer Jennifer Wood set out to be boring, and instead created her most provocative piece of the year. Go figure. Midway through Suchu's The Dirty Show, the dancers simply stood facing the audience for a full two minutes. Wood says she had to force herself not to throw in any of her signature energetic, explosive moves. But it's not as if nothing was going on: The intensity of the dancers' facial expressions, the properness of their curiously colonial costumes and the large mound of dirt in the middle of the stage all contributed to an eerie sense of anticipation. Finally, the dancers did what the audience was waiting for: They got their nice clothes dirty, sliding and rolling through the mound, scattering the dirt all over the stage. The storm was engaging, to say the least, but not nearly as much as the calm before it.

Choreographer Jennifer Wood set out to be boring, and instead created her most provocative piece of the year. Go figure. Midway through Suchu's The Dirty Show, the dancers simply stood facing the audience for a full two minutes. Wood says she had to force herself not to throw in any of her signature energetic, explosive moves. But it's not as if nothing was going on: The intensity of the dancers' facial expressions, the properness of their curiously colonial costumes and the large mound of dirt in the middle of the stage all contributed to an eerie sense of anticipation. Finally, the dancers did what the audience was waiting for: They got their nice clothes dirty, sliding and rolling through the mound, scattering the dirt all over the stage. The storm was engaging, to say the least, but not nearly as much as the calm before it.

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