Skip to content
Carlos Cruz-Diez, among others

Carlos Cruz-Diez, Double Physichromie: University of Houston, 2008. Metal, Paint, 59 1/16 x 601 9/16 in.

Arts Picks: Nicole Heaston, Alley Theatre’s ‘Man.Kind’ are top fine-arts choices
Here are the choices from our critics for fine-arts entertainment this week.

Andrew Dansby, Amber Elliott April 8, 2021Updated: April 8, 2021, 9:59 am


1. ‘Man.Kind’

A cave man and a cave woman are making great progress, both having created fire. Does a union create progress or problems? That’s at the heart of “Man.Kind,” a new short play by Don X. Nguyen directed by Brandon Weinbrenner, presented as part of the Alley Theatre’s digital season.

When: Through July 4

Details: Free, registration required at

Andrew Dansby

2. Nicole Heaston 

Chicago native Nicole Heaston holds a tight connection to Houston, where she was a rising star in Houston Grand Opera’s HGO Studio program. The soprano has become an international draw since, and always finds time to return to where she got her start. She’ll enter the HGO Digital Season with a recital accompanied by HGO’s director of artistic operations Richard Bado on piano.

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, available through May 9

Details: Free; register at

Andrew Dansby

3. ‘Drama Squad’

Among the more joyful and creative pandemic pursuits last year was the Catastrophic Theatre’s Drama Squad, which had two teams bringing theatrical shows to people’s driveways and yards, with singing, acting, some puppets and a lot of dark humor. A return to the old days of theater in the theater remains in the future, so the Catastrophic just launched Drama Squad 2, with new theatrical pieces to entertain in a socially distant manner . . . in your yard.

When: 1 and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through May 9

Details: Pay what you can, $100 suggested;

Andrew Dansby

4. ‘Art on Screen’

Take your weekend movie binge on a field trip. On Saturday, Public Art of the University of Houston System hosts its annual film series. This year’s lineup focuses on blockbusters with cinematic and cultural significance through their use of color: “The Wizard of Oz,” “Pleasantville,” and “Dark Side of the Moon.” As an added bonus, public art tours of select works will be offered throughout the day-long event, which also includes the Houston premiere of “Free Color,” a documentary about Carlos Cruz-Diez, the late artist whose piece “Double Physichromie” is centered in the UH Arts District.

When: 10 a.m. April 10

Where: Cullen Performance Hall, 4300 University

Details: UH faculty, staff, students and children under age 12: free. Movie passes $5 - 10;

Amber Elliott

5. ‘Pearls of Art Gala’

The theme of this year’s Pearls of Art Gala, “Our Heroes: Portraits of Courage,” salutes the heroic efforts of medical professionals, teachers, first responders and front line workers who persevered and remained steadfast during the pandemic. Saturday night’s virtual program coordinated by A.D. Players and the George Theater lists Lyle Lovett and Walter Suhr and Mango Punch! as entertainers. Fund raised benefit the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts.

When: April 10

Details: Tickets from $250;

Amber Elliott

6. Roberto Rossellini’s ‘Paisan’ 

In conjunction with the Menil Drawing Institute’s exhibition, “Silent Revolutions: Italian Drawng from the Twentieth Century,” which closes April 11, the Menil Collection and Rice Cinema partnered up to co-present an al fresco screening of Roberto Rossellini’s “Paisan.” The neo-realist war drama made in the aftermath of World War II rolls at the Menil on Friday; the following evening, Rice Cinema will host a screening of rare archival footage featuring Rossellini speaking at Rice Media Center in 1970.

When: Friday, April 9 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 10 at 7 p.m.

Where: Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross; Rice Cinema, 6100 Main

Details: Reservations required for Rice Cinema,

Amber Elliott