Preview Picks: Houston Fringe Festival, ‘Somebody Feed Phil’ among highlights this week

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“Likeness,” Simon Fujiwara’s custom-made wax figure of Anne Frank, was inspired by several wax recreations of the girl at various tourist attractions.

Photo: Courtesy of the artist / Blaffer Art Museum

1. ‘Hope House’

Here’s a different kind of creep-out. Part of Anne Frank’s hiding place comes disconcertingly to life in this new version of artist Simon Fujiwara’s evolving, immersive “museum within a museum” to explore how capitalism and consumer culture have turned the tragic young Holocaust victim into an ultimate influencer. Frank herself is there to add to the sense of unease — or at least an uncanny model of her, enhanced with a robotic camera for the piece “Likeness.”

Where: Blaffer Art Museum, Univ. of Houston, 120 Fine Arts Building; opens Oct. 31; noon-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays through March 13; free

Molly Glentzer

2. Houston Fringe Festival

As it has for a dozen years, the Houston Fringe Festival will present live performances of outside-the-mainstream art. Unlike previous versions of the festival, this one will be virtual because of the pandemic. The Houston Fringe Festival draws performers from near and far. Representing for the hometown are adventurous singer-songwriter Aurum Son will present a mix of jazz and international music, and Thomas Helton, an innovative bassist and composer.

Performances run Nov. 2-8 and will be streamed live on Zoom and Facebook Live. More information at

Andrew Dansby

3. The Pogues

The new “BBC Sessions 1984-1986” captures the punk-folk band the Pogues during their leanest and meanest years. It includes a pair of spirited takes on “Sally MacLennane” and some beautiful downers with “The Old Main Drag” and “A Pair of Brown Eyes.” Considering the limited nature of the band’s discography, anything new is welcome.

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Where: Available at record retail and streaming services

Andrew Dansby

4. Songwriters in the Round

Anderson Fair hasn’t gotten to enjoy its 50th anniversary quite as planned this year. But the city’s venerable venue will take some baby steps back to normal next week with its Songwriters in the Round staple, which returns after a long pandemic-induced slumber. Ken Gaines and Wayne Wilkerson return for the song swap, with guest Brian Kalinec. The show will also be livestreamed.

Where: 8:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at Anderson Fair, 2005 Grant; $15;

Andrew Dansby

5. ‘Somebody Feed Phil’

With foreign locales generally off limits right now, the best way to cross borders these days is through TV. And one of the most entertaining ways to do that is with the Netflix food/travel series “Somebody Feed Phil,” hosted by Phil Rosenthal who — with his childlike excitement about his adventures — is sort of the un-Anthony Bourdain. But, as with Bourdain’s show, expect delicious food and wish-you-were-there cinematography. The five-episode new season will take you to Hawaii, the Mississippi Delta, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco and Singapore.

Where: New season begins streaming Oct. 30 on Netflix.

Cary Darling

  • Houston Chronicle Contributor



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