Sunday, August 29, 2010

Merriwether: cultural for a day

I really think you should go.

Of course, any married man knows "should" actually means "must", even if it's something he considers to be on par with a yearly physical after the age of forty. In this case it was the Houston Theater District Open House. This is a full day of free cultural activities such as opera, dance, symphony, ballet, and thankfully sword fighting. There's also plenty of free activities for the kids such as face painting, be a pirate, and acting lessons.

I went anyway. It made Misseswether happy. Plus someone had to carry stuff.

Sidenote, as far as I could see there were no 30-06 signs anywhere, so carrying is allowed.

As usual, Houston downtown was a maze of construction, one way streets, and random flashing lights. We eventually (though pretty much accidentally) found an entrance to the huge underground parking complex that tunnels beneath Houston streets and buildings. I have no idea how deep this parking cave goes, but the red glow and smell of brimstone seeping up from below suggested we stick to the upper levels.

First stop: Wortham Center.

This theater was built in the late 1980's and cost somewhere in the upper $70,000,000's. Those of you who know anything about Houston history will realize this was at the low point of the oil crash which turned Houston into an 80's version of modern day Detroit. Yet somehow they built this magnificent theater.


The main stage is home to ballet, operas, plays and coming this May, the Blue Man Group!!

I love the Blue Man Group. Too bad they weren't there today.

We did see this opera singer. He was good. I don't know his name.

We also saw this ballet. I don't know what it was called. They jumped a lot.

I probably could have asked her but I didn't.

This modern dance troupe was pretty good. They didn't actually glow like that. It would have been cool if they did...unless it involved radioactivity or something like that.

Backstage at the Wortham was pretty cool. You discover that most of the beautiful things you see are actually hacked together out of duct tape, plywood, and gold-colored paint.

The fire escape isn't 3D, just drawn on the wall but it's an amazing illusion!

Miniwether loved dressing up in the costumes.

I liked taking pictures of myself with the techno/industrial backdrop.

Very techno/industrial. Each of these is a rope which controls a prop, backdrop, or scrim. Do NOT grab jump up onto one with a Tarzan scream. The guides get really upset if you do that.

I have no idea what this is about, but it looked cool so I took a picture.

Leaving the Wortham theater.

Next stop: the Alley Theater.

The Alley Theater is a world-class venue for amazing plays and musicals. Also, they have wonderful violence.

Violence!! This was the coolest part of the day.

They also had free acting lessons for kids there. You can't see it in this picture, but Mambowether does and excellent interpretation of a malfunctioning machine. I was laughing too hard to take a picture of it.

The final stop: Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts.

By this point Mini and Mambo were getting a bit tired and cranky, but how often does one get to hear the Houston symphony for free?! Okay, multiple times throughout the year at the Cynthia Woods Pavilion, but here was another chance and Misseswether wasn't going to miss it!

They started with Ride of the Valkyries, so that was cool. They also did this song and this song which continued the coolness.

The ceiling of Jones Hall was an techno/industrial marvel of sound control. Miniwether was afraid a giant skeleton would come crashing through it during Danse Macabre. Sometimes she's afraid of weird stuff.

So that was today's adventurer. No woods, no bugs, no sweat, no blood. Sorry about that, I'll try and do better soon. I know how y'all like it when I return from an adventure all bloody and broken!

Adventure! Excitement! Culture!


KG2V said...

Culture? Isn't that what you use to make yogurt?

73 de KG2V (aka KC2IXE)

Anonymous said...

It looks like a heck of a fun time!!! I raised my girls getting dressed up in different colored towels (costumes) before bedtime and they would act out different fairy tales. It's one of their earliest memories.

Anonymous said...

Picture second one down from your mug is a fire hazard in progress that's for certain.