Top Things To Do This Weekend: Jan 16–19 (MLK Weekend Edition)

Featuring Mel Chin, Gladys Knight, dueling MLK parades, and two zoo-related events

By Michael Hardy January 14, 2015

Visual Art

Mel Chin, The Funk & Wag From A to Z (Installation View), 2012: excised printed pages from the Universal Standard Encyclopedia, 1953-56, by Wilfred Funk, Inc., archival water-based glue, paper, 524 collages

Mel Chin: Rematch

Born in the Fifth Ward in 1951, Chin, one of the country's leading conceptual artists, is the son of Chinese immigrants who ran a neighborhood grocery store. Like his hometown, the artist's work resists easy categorization. He's perhaps known here for his large-scale sculptures, such as the steel palm tree behind the Contemporary Arts Museum, but he also works in painting, video, installation art, and other media. This multi-venue retrospective examines the full range of his practice.   

Asia Society Texas Center. Jan 17–April 19. Free. 1370 Southmore Blvd. 713-496-9901.

Blaffer Art Museum. Jan 17–March 21. Free. 120 Fine Arts Building, The University of Houston. 713-743-9521.

Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Jan 16–April 19. Free. 5216 Montrose Blvd. 713-284-8250.

Station Museum of Contemporary Art. Jan 17–April 19. Free. 1502 Alabama St. 713-529-6900.


MLK Day Parades

For decades, Houston has played host to two MLK Day parades—the Original MLK Parade and Holiday Celebration and the MLK Grande Parade. Some people say it makes no sense to have dueling parades, that the organizers should get together, set aside their differences, and create a unified event. Others say Houston is big enough for two parades. At Houstonia, we don't really care which parade you march in—just as long as you march. As usual, both parades will be preceded by a weekend of high school band competitions and other related events. 

Original MLK Parade. Jan 19 at 10am.  Free. Starts at corner of Chartres St. and Texas Ave.

21st Annual MLK Grande Parade. Jan 19 at 10am. Free. Starts at corner of San Jacinto St. and Elgin St.


Tigers Be Still

Even by contemporary drama standards, the characters in this play by Kim Rosenstock are unusually dysfunctional. The protagonist, Sherry, is an art therapist emerging from a deep depression; her sister is a lovelorn alcoholic obsessed with the movie Top Gun; their mother, who lives upstairs, communicates with her daughters only by telephone. Next to all that, the fact that a tiger recently escaped from the local zoo doesn’t seem like such a big deal. “This is the story of how I stopped being a total disaster and got my life on track,” Sherry announces in the play, which is being staged by Black Lab Theatre. 

Jan 15–31. $25. Wildfish Theater, 1703 D1 Post Oak Blvd. 713-515-4028.


Gladys Knight

As anyone who saw her at last year’s Alley Theatre Ball can attest, Knight can still command the stage at 70 years of age. The legendary singer began performing gospel music with her church choir as a child in Georgia, went on to become a guest soloist with her college choir, and ended up winning the grand prize onTed Mack’s Amateur Hour. The following year Knight, her brother, her sister, and two cousins formed the The Pips, which soon became Gladys Knight and the Pips—and the rest is history. 

Jan 16 at 8:30. $55–75. Arena Theatre, 7326 Southwest Fwy. 713-772-5900.



Peter and the Wolf at the Houston Zoo

The River Oaks Chamber Orchestra teams up with the InterActive Theater Company to stage Prokofiev’s classic children’s symphony at the Houston Zoo. Originally commissioned by Moscow’s Central Children’s Theatre, the composition, which uses different instruments to represent each character and animal in the story, failed to garner much attention when it debuted in 1936 but has since been used to introduce countless children all over the world to the joy of orchestral music.

Jan 18 at 2, 3, & 4. Free with zoo admission. Houston Zoo, 6200 Hermann Park Dr. 713-665-2700.

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