Theater should be accessible for all. That's the belief espoused by UpStage Theatre, a non-profit, volunteer-run company that welcomes everyone from experienced attendees to newcomers who still expect Godot to show up. Each season places an emphasis on works that are as professional in their staging as they are family-friendly in their content. To that end, UpStage produces children's plays—which have included Alice in Wonderland and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown—alongside all-ages classics such as On Golden Pond and Blithe Spirit.
When thinking of a wine collection, minds often spring to dark, dank caverns filled to the brim with dusty bottles deep beneath the earth. At The Corkscrew, however, potential pours are on full display out in the open, their labels proudly peering out from the sprawling wine wall. While oenophiles sip on their glass of chosen wine, they can dig into a menu of tasty snacks, including paninis, thin-crust pizza, and cheese plates. Resident pianist Nick Greer takes the stage every Thursday through Saturday to sweeten nights out with the dulcet strains of his keyboard ministrations.
Twenty seconds of laughter gives the heart the same workout as three minutes of hard rowing. Today’s Groupon gets you all the benefits of a bumps race without pelting you with verbal harassment through the Cox Box. For $10, you’ll get two tickets to a Friday Night Family Improv show at Third Coast Theater, a $20 value. (Note: Value applies to regular adult tickets only; student and child tickets are regularly $5.)To avoid this common improv pitfall, print out this handy list of suggestions by clicking Print, located under the File menu in most browsers.
Flatironing a corner in historic Houston Heights, Obsidian Art Space was cofounded by Leighza Walker and Tom Stell, whose artistic prowess spurred the Houston Press to herald the theater as 2011’s Best New Arts Venue. The company stays true to its dedication to new work with "Motel Tropicana: An Adult Series of Short No-Tells," 10 short, edgy plays written by 10 scribes from around the country, all taking place under the seedy roof of a motel. Tension slowly tightens its vice in Piercing the Skin, and an array of twisted, yet colorful characters fill out the rest of the vignettes, making for stories seedier than a watermelon wearing a trench coat. Steering the dramaturgical decathlon of avant-garde vignettes and intermission pole-vaulting heats are six directors, including Walker, the managing director.
Barefoot students sway to the music, moving their arms rhythmically, punctuating the flow every so often with martial-arts-style punches and kicks across the sprung wood floor. The low-impact, low-pressure practice nourishes the body, mind, and spirit alike—as co-owner Helen Tracy told Great Day Houston, “I fell in love with my body through Nia.” The instructors at NiaMoves specialize in Nia’s aerobic workouts, in addition to an eclectic assortment of other group fitness classes. The instructors lead students in everything from body-stretching and mind-calming yoga sessions to aerobic hoop-dance workouts. Many of the classes are holistically refreshing, including the healing drum-and-dance-circle sessions, which begin with a tension-relieving meditation session. Instructor Emilia then leads students in expressing themselves through movement and thumping drum beats, both of which are effective during most job interviews.
Popular globetrotting pop collective Architecture in Helsinki transforms the upstairs stage of Houston's Fitzgerald's into a throbbing, futuristic discotheque as its latest tour storms American shores. Formed in Melbourne, the ambidextrous dance band stirs fans with a tornado of flamboyant sounds, infectious anthems, and commitment-free instrument swapping. With hits such as “Do the Whirlwind” and latest single “Contact High,” lead crooner Cameron Bird and his cakewalking team of tunesmiths tickle ear bones and rehabilitate ankles in support of its latest album, Moment Bends. During the kaleidoscopic performance, the band seduces dance floors with 10-foot hooks and sounds culled from hypnotic synths, romantic glockenspiels, and strummed chest hairs. Filling out the bill, Swedish dance wizards Lo-Fi Fnk enchant with instant club hits and songs for strobe-light campfires, and pop enthusiasts Dom charm with stargazing Casios.