Houston’s second annual CounterCurrent Festival comprises six days of daring, cutting-edge performance art sponsored by UH's Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. While the fest is headquartered at the FlexSpace gallery in Montrose, performances will take place at locations across the city, from Project Row Houses to 13 Celsius, the Midtown wine bar. See our preview of one of the works, a multimedia installation by artist Ibrahim Quraishi, here.
Thru April 19. Free. Various locations. countercurrentfestival.org
Last spring, Spanish theater company La Fura dels Baus’s spectacular production of Das Rheingold wowed Houston audiences with special effects as impressive as the singing in the first chapter of its daring interpretation of Richard Wagner’s four-part Ring Cycle. The saga continues this month with Die Walküre, arguably the most popular work in the cycle. And if you missed Rheingold, here's a plot recap to get you up to speed.
April 18–May 9. $25–339.25. Brown Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-228-6737. houstongrandopera.org
An Evening with Branford Marsalis
Although sometimes overshadowed by his famous brother Wynton, Branford Marsalis has cut his own distinctive career path as a Grammy-nominated saxophonist and composer, performing frequently with both classical and jazz ensembles, in addition to his solo appearances. In 2010 he won a Tony Award for his score to the Broadway revival of August Wilson’s play Fences.
April 18 at 8. $42.50–72.50. Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. dacamera.com
Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty
Minter is a veteran multimedia artist who creates paintings, photographs, and videos that examine the fraught issues of femininity and the body. This retrospective, co-organized by CAMH and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, features pieces Minter made between 1976 and 2013, beginning with her earliest work, a harrowing photo series she made of her drug-addicted mother.
April 18–Aug 2. Free. Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 5216 Montrose Blvd. 713-284-8250. camh.org
Taking place near Hermann Park’s beloved Japanese Garden, this long-running festival features the country’s cuisine, taiko drums, ikebana flower arrangements, tea ceremonies, martial arts demonstrations, children’s activities, and even anime cosplay. With around 25,000 annual attendees, the festival is one of the most popular celebrations of the Land of the Rising Sun in the US.
April 18 & 19. Free. Hermann Park, 6001 Fannin St. 713-963-0121. houstonjapanfest.org