Friday, May 20, 2011

Arts and theatre

Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
The Houston Theater District, located downtown, is home to nine major performing arts organizations and six performance halls. It is the second-largest concentration of theater seats in a downtown area in the United States. Houston is one of few United States cities with permanent, professional, resident companies in all major performing arts disciplines: opera (Houston Grand Opera), ballet (Houston Ballet), music (Houston Symphony Orchestra), and theater (The Alley Theatre).Houston is also home to folk artists, art groups and various small progressive arts organizations. Houston attracts many touring Broadway acts, concerts, shows, and exhibitions for a variety of interests. Facilities in the Theater District include the Jones Hall—home of the Houston Symphony Orchestra and Society for the Performing Arts—and the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.
The Museum District's cultural institutions and exhibits attract more than 7 million visitors a year. Notable facilities the include The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Holocaust Museum Houston, and the Houston Zoo. Located near the Museum District are The Menil Collection, Rothko Chapel, and the Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum.
Wortham Center in the Theater District of Downtown
Bayou Bend is a 14-acre (5.7 ha) facility of the Museum of Fine Arts that houses one of America's best collections of decorative art, paintings and furniture. Bayou Bend is the former home of Houston philanthropist Ima Hogg.
Venues across Houston regularly host local and touring rock, blues, country, dubstep, and Tejano musical acts. While Houston has never been a widely renowned for its music scene, Houston hip-hop has become a significant, independent music scene, influencing some larger Southern hip hop communities. Houston is also the home of chopped and screwed music.
Prominent artists from Houston include rock bands King's X and ZZ Top, sixties psychedelic rock band Red Krayola, folk-country singer/songwriter Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen, country and western singers Kenny Rogers and Clint Black, actors Hilary Duff, Randy and Dennis Quaid, Jo Beth Williams, Shelley Duvall and Patrick Swayze, and indie piano rock band Blue October. Houston also had fledgling blues and folk scenes in the sixties and seventies. Notable blues performers included Lightnin' Hopkins, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, "Texas" Johnny Brown, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland, and Joe "Guitar" Hughes; many of whom recorded with hometown music label Peacock Records. Folk artists playing at Anderson Fair and the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe in the sixties and seventies included longtime residents Townes Van Zandt, Mickey Newbury, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle and Guy Clark. The eighties and nineties produced punk and alternative rockgroups The Judy's, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, AK-47, Verbal Abuse, Really Red, Culturcide, Dresden 45, the Pain Teens and the outside musician Jandek. The new millennium has seen a continuance of Houston Noise Bands with contemporary performers Jana Hunter and Indian Jewelry.

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