Dance Salad Festival
An annual highlight of the Houston dance calendar, the Dance Salad Festival brings choreographers and dancers from around the world to Houston for three carefully programmed evenings of performance. Sponsored by the Houston International Dance Coalition, this year’s event features seven American premieres, including works by Beijing Dance, the Royal Danish Ballet, Spain’s Elephant in the Black Box, and many more companies.
April 17–19. $20–50. Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 877-772-5425. dancesalad.org
Bronfman Plays Beethoven 4
Soviet-born, Israeli-raised, and American-trained piano virtuoso Yefim Bronfman joins Houston Symphony Music Director Designate Andrés Orozco-Estrada for Beethoven’s celebrated Piano Concerto No. 4. Filling out the program are Bedrich Smetana’s Overture to The Bartered Bride and Dvorák’s Symphony No. 8. Come early for a pre-concert talk by musicologist Ira J. Black.
April 17–19. $25–117. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. 713-224-7575. houstonsymphony.org
Kingdom of Gold: Photographs of Ghana
In 2000, globe-trotting photographer Ellen Kaplowitz was invited to document a coronation ceremony—known as an enstoolment—in the Ashanti Kingdom of interior Ghana. She then toured the rest of the country, taking breathtaking shots of coastal towns such as Accra that served as major ports for the slave trade. Having previously been shown at the Museum of African Art in New York, the work now comes to Houston. See our review here.
Thru May 15. Free. 4807 Caroline St. 713-526-1015. hmaac.org
9th Annual Frida Festival
This popular East End event, inspired by the work of beloved Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, began last weekend and concludes on Saturday with an afternoon of art, music, food, and drinks, highlighted by regional Mexican dances by Martha De La Paz, El Son de la Negra, Las Amarillas, and others. (See our story about last year's festival here.) For the kids, there's a Frida look-alike contest at 4, and for the adults there's the East End Arts Market, featuring crafts and wares from local vendors. Viva la Frida!
April 19 noon–5. Free. East End Studio Gallery, 708 Telephone Rd., Ste. C. eestudiogallery.com
A young woman renounces her rowdy East Village past to settle down in a quiet Upper West Side apartment with her new boyfriend, only to find herself drawn back to a former flame, with predictably bloody results. (It is called Murder Ballad, after all). Reminiscent of Chicago and Rock of Ages, this latest musical in Theater Under the Stars's Underground series was an Off-Broadway hit last year and features lyrics by Julia Jordan and music by Juliana Nash. Buy a VIP ticket and you'll get a seat at the fully operational on-stage bar.
April 17–27. $24–49. Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St. 713-558-8887. tutsunderground.com