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Last Call For Art: Mack The Knife, French Film And Invisible Billboards

Get ready for the closing curtain of Rice University's production of Threepenny Opera. The grand story by Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weill is being touted as "a musical of murder, mayhem, and matrimony!" Meant to satirize traditional opera while creating an new kind of musical theater, Threepenny is set in London just before Queen Victoria's coronation. Characters include Jonathan Jeremiah Peachum, a mob-boss of local beggars; Polly, his headstrong daughter; Mack the Knife, Polly's new husband and an infamous bandit; and Chief of Police Tiger Brown, Mack's old friend. Polly's father isn't pleased with the match and determined to break up the marriage, even if he has to send his outlaw son-in-law to the gallows. (Ouch.) 8 p.m. Rice University, 6100 Main. For information, call 713-348-7529 or visit www.rice.edu. $5 to $10.

This Saturday's screening of Entre Les Murs (The Class) is the last installment of The Tournées Festival, a series of French films. Focusing on a classroom of multicultural students in a tough Parisian neighborhood, Entre Les Murs is the story of Francois Begaudeau, a real-life teacher and author. Not content to take center stage in the classroom, Begaudeau also stars -- as himself -- in the film. Apparently he doesn't do too badly, since the film won the Palme d'Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. In an atmosphere where class, culture, and expectations not only clash but sometimes crash and burn, teachers and students alike face a seemingly insurmountable challenge -- to change a system that has little sympathy for kids and even less respect for the adults charged with their education. (In French with English subtitles.) 7 p.m. University of Houston-Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Boulevard. For information, call 281-283-3560 or visit www.uhcl.edu. $3.75.

Drivers have spent the last month doing double takes as they passed "Inbound: Houston," Karyn Olivier's series of non-billboard billboards. Olivier, a photographer and artist-in-residence at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston, created images of what was behind selected billboards around the city. Replacing ads with life-sized photos of the buildings, sky, or trees that stand directly behind the billboard, Olivier made the billboards blend into the backgrounds that surround them. At least for the times that the real-time lighting conditions and weather match those of the time during which the photos were taken. Other times, the contrast -- of a photograph of a building at noon standing in front of that same building at midnight, for example -- makes the billboard even more noticeable than usual. Everything comes down on Sunday, so this is your last chance to see "Inbound Houston." For locations, call 713-743-5548 or visit karynolivier.blogspot.com. Free.

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