Houston International Festival
Having ended its sponsorship of the Thanksgiving Day parade last year to free up funding (the City of Houston stepped in at the last minute to save the parade), the financially beleaguered Houston Festival Foundation can now concentrate on what it does best: iFest. Founded in 1971, the annual four-day festival celebrates music, art, dance, and food from around the world. This year’s featured country is Australia, but the performers come from all over, including British soul singer Laura Mvula, Mexican ska band Los Malditos Cocodrilos, and, closer to home, festival headliner Asleep at the Wheel.
April 26–May 4. $12; children 3–12 $2. Hermann Square, 900 Smith St. 713-654-8808. ifest.org
Trenton Doyle Hancock: Skin & Bones, 20 Years of Drawing
Inspired by the action figures and mythical creatures that fired his childhood imagination, Hancock has achieved international recognition for his series of paintings populated by "Mounds"—strange half-animal, half-plant creatures. This is the first in-depth exploration of the Houston artist's drawings, including his sketchbooks, early doodles, and even the comic strip he drew for a college newspaper.
April 26–Aug 3. Tue, Wed, & Fri 10–7; Thu 10–9; Sat 10–6; Sun noon–6. Free. 5216 Montrose Blvd. 713-284-8250. camh.org
FotoFest (Final weekend!)
Don't miss your last chance to check out one of the Houston art world's biggest events. Every other year the FotoFest Biennial attracts an international array of artists, curators, gallerists, and collectors. This year’s organizing theme is contemporary Arab video, photography, and multi-media art, and the event features approximately 48 artists hailing from 13 Arab countries. Accompanying the show—which is spread out among multiple venues—are a host of partner exhibitions, talks, and events around Houston. See our full story here.
Thru April 27. Check website for locations and hours. fotofest.org
During his revolt against Wagner, Nietzsche controversially declared Bizet’s Carmen superior to the Ring Cycle. Decide for yourself this month, when the French conductor’s magnum opus, about a Spanish gypsy whose lascivious charms drive a naïve soldier crazy with jealousy, goes head-to-head with the German master’s Das Rheingold in a battle between charm and profundity, Mediterranean lightness and Teutonic gloom. Featuring Puerto Rican soprano Ana María Martínez in the title role.
April 25–May 10. $35–373.50. Brown Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-861-5303. houstongrandopera.org
Anne Carson is a nonpareil in the Republic of Letters. A poet, essayist, translator, classicist, and scholar, Carson made her reputation in the 1990s with two volumes of achingly sharp verse: Plainwater and Glass, Irony, and God. Since then, she has published translations of Sappho, Euripides, and other ancient Greek poets, burnishing her reputation as one of the most erudite writers of her generation, as well as one of the most inventive—Carson enjoys breathing life into dead genres like the verse essay and the verse novel. She comes to Houston as part of Inprint’s Margarett Root Brown Reading Series.
April 28 at 7:30. $5. Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St. 713-521-2026. inprinthouston.org