Feb. 9–May 18 | Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
Always here to show Houston the beauty in the banal, HCCC debuts its exploration of the neon aesthetic that goes far beyond the flashing gas station "OPEN" signs we know and love. This group show explores the science behind neon—things like chemistry and electricity—as well as the craft of glass blowing that yields intricate, artisanal designs.
Free. Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, 4848 Main St. 713-529-4848. More info at crafthouston.org.
Feb. 9 | Discovery Green
Pairing the talents of Suffers singer Kam Franklin and composer Lisa E. Harris, PAUSE places the performers at either end of the park's interactive Hello, Trees! installation, which captures voices and transforms them into light and modulated sound. Spectators are invited to pause along the Brown Promenade as the dueling performances mingle and morph into a song for the trees.
Free. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney St. 832-393-1375. More info via Facebook.
Thru Feb. 10 | Rec Room
METdance borrows Rec Room's intimate space for an up-close-and-personal evening of duets just in time for Valentine's Day. And if the idea of bodies twirling and tangling together indeed sounds romantic, you're not alone—the group will offer special discounts for couples in attendance.
Tickets from $18. Rec Room, 100 Jackson St. 713-522-6375. More info and tickets at metdance.org.
Feb. 10 | Various locations
The countdown to Fat Tuesday is nearing zero, and the Mardi Gras festivities kick off in earnest this Saturday. Many locals swear by Galveston-based affairs such as the Momus Grand Night Parade, but there's a growing selection of festivities in Houston proper, many of which are compiled in a handy list here. For the lazy partier, there's a pre-planned Mardi Gras pub crawl here that will guide you to 9 bars, with most offering special drink deals.
More info via Facebook.
Feb. 11 | House of Blues
This trio of liberal rednecks—yes, you read that right—are here to deliver whip-smart political humor and combat the bigotry and intolerance often attributed to country folk.
Tickers from $29. House of Blues, 1204 Caroline St. 888-402-5837. More info and tickets at houseofblues.com/houston.