21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Romeo & Juliet and Wham City Comedy

Dancers from Susanna Leinonen Company perform in Romeo & Juliet, choreographed by Artistic Director Susanna Leinonen and Jouka Valkama, part of this year's Dance Salad Festival.EXPAND
Dancers from Susanna Leinonen Company perform in Romeo & Juliet, choreographed by Artistic Director Susanna Leinonen and Jouka Valkama, part of this year's Dance Salad Festival.
Photo by Jonas Lundqvist

Tuesday, April 11

The friends who joke together, stay together. That’s been Adam Sandler’s theory of comedy, and it has served him well since 1990. With his latest goofy offering, Sandy Wexler, due on Netflix April 14, the box-office-smashing joker hits Houston with longtime pals David Spade, Nick Swardson and Rob Schneider as part of Netflix Presents: Sandy Wexler’s Here Comes the Funny Tour. Each one of these killers could host a night on his own, but when the “Bad Boys of SNL” connect, there’s no getting off the giggle train. In the new film, Sandler plays Wexler, a past-his-prime talent scout who seems to have one last star in singer Jennifer Hudson’s amusement-park performer. There’s love in the mix, sure, but Sandler never does these projects solo — the film is said to have cameos by fellow comedy stars Conan O’Brien, Judd Apatow and Chris Rock. 8 p.m. April 11. Smart Financial Centre, 11811 Lexington, Sugar Land. For information, call 281-207-6278 or visit smartfinancialcentre.net. $89.50 to $99.50. — Vic Shuttee

A pond away from the London Underground, the term Mind the Gap takes on new meaning. This time around it's the second installment by Dance Source Houston, which brings five choreographers and dancemakers to the stage in a mixed bill. Jacquelyne Boe is presenting Freewill — which eventually will be coupled with Birthright to create an evening-length dance — in an exploration of movement and choices. The program also includes a duet by Kalee Irwin titled You and Me, Me and You; Concatenation, choreographed by Tony Pierce; supplicant, an ode to helplessness by Jacqueline Nguyen; and a new work by Houston choreographer (and Houston Fringe Festival alum) Emily Roy-Sayre titled XX, about the ability of women to sustain throughout the cycles of life. 7:30 p.m. April 11. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit matchouston.org. $15. — Susie Tommaney

Wednesday, April 12

Whether believer or skeptic, most of us have heard at least one of Jesus’s seven miracles from the Gospel of John (water into wine, anyone?), but the A.D. Players are willing to bet you haven’t heard them from the perspective of John, His Story — that is, the standpoint of the average Joe. “This comes at that story through the back door,” says Kevin Dean, associate artistic director and one of four actors in this year’s Easter production. “So, you’re able to get a picture of Jesus that you might not normally get on Sunday morning.” Since premiering in 1985, Jeannette Clift George’s play has popped up everywhere, from the back of a pickup to off-Broadway; Dean attributes this to George’s ability to mine humor from the Bible, which makes it relatable “regardless of your religious bent.” 7:30 p.m. April 12-14, 2 and 7:30 p.m. April 15. 5420 Westheimer. For information, call 713-526-2721 or visit adplayers.org. $25. — Natalie de la Garza

Thursday, April 13

Dance Salad is old enough to vote, drink and die for its country, so at this point, any produce-related metaphor would be as fresh as the jicama in your day-old Salata bowl. This year’s festival is more like “We Are the World.” Memphis Jookin, the traditional Indian dance Kuchipudi, classical ballet and contemporary dance share space on the same program. “People are coming together whether people like it or not,” says Nancy Henderek, director and founder of Dance Salad, in a thinly veiled rebuke to the current U.S. president. “I travel to many places in the world to gather the beautiful dances that are seen in Dance Salad Festival,” says Henderek, who has curated the festival the past 22 years. “And dancers from around the world consider it an honor to be invited to Houston to perform.” 7:30 p.m. April 13-15. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For information, call 832-487-7041 or visit dancesalad.org. $19.50 to $52.50. — Katricia Lang

This ain’t your granddad’s puppet show. “A lot of people think puppetry is just Bert and Ernie, or The Muppets, or even Avenue Q on Broadway,” says New York-based puppet artist Tom Lee. “But puppetry is a huge tradition throughout the world.” Developed on a retreat in Japan, Shank’s Mare led the American actor-turned-puppet craftsman to working with one of the international authorities on the form, Koryu Nishikawa V. “Once I met this master puppeteer, I didn’t want to just train with him,” Lee says. “I thought: How can we make a show together that might speak to audiences in Japan as well as audiences in America?” The result is a full production mounted using multimedia projections, a live score and the traditional Kuruma Ningyo form of puppet theater. Thursday’s performance, presented under the Performing Asia umbrella of Asia Society Texas Center, caps off the tour’s successful two-year run. 8 to 9:30 p.m. April 13. 1370 Southmore. For information, call 713-496-9901 or visit asiasociety.org/texas. $15 to 25. — Vic Shuttee

The Houston Symphony plays Spanish travel guide with Falla & España, a musical journey that takes us all the way from French composer Emmanuel Chabrier’s España to Manuel de Falla’s complete score from The Three-Cornered Hat. In between, Principal Cello Brinton Smith presents Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s lost Cello Concerto in the first professional performance since its 1935 premiere. Being a “lost” concert isn’t so bad — Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony were all “lost” before they became concert-hall staples when rediscovered by later generations. Guest conductor Kazuki Yamada expects people to fall in love with this style of music. “Spanish music is full of passion and energy,” he says. “Especially de Falla’s Three-Cornered Hat is brimming with intense rhythms. The audience can surely look forward to a very special and exciting concert evening.” 8 p.m. April 13-15. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $25 to $136. — Sam Byrd

Horrible acting, ridiculous fight scenes and cheesy music — it's all on deck when Los Angeles police detectives Joe Marshall and Frank Washington try to stop a deadly Yakuza gang of drug dealers. The '90s crime thriller Samurai Cop, with those flowing locks of hair that would make Fabio proud, could only be made better by the hilarious jokesters and Mystery Science Theater 3000® veterans Mike Nelson (host and writer), Kevin Murphy (robot Tom Servo) and Bill Corbett (writer/performer). Come laugh at the decapitations, explosions, banana hammocks and more when Fathom Events presents RiffTrax Live: Samurai Cop for a night of cutting commentary and spoof-tastic laughs. 7 p.m. April 13 (live), 7:30 p.m. April 19 (encore). Edwards Houston Marq*E Stadium 23 & IMAX, 7600 Katy Freeway. Price varies by location; visit fathomevents.com for participating venues. $13.53. — Susie Tommaney

Upcoming Events

Friday, April 14

Sebastian Maniscalco has kept the faith and is now reaping the rewards. Reflecting back on when he was “barely surviving in 1999,” the Chicago-born stand-up is now headlining his own Sebastian Maniscalco: Why Would You Do That? Tour. “I watched Johnny Carson growing up,” he reflects, “and was always enthralled when the comedians came on. How do they remember all this? How do they nail the timing?” For the 43-year-old, those unknowns were admittedly captivating. Since going full time in 2005, he’s released four hourlong specials, hosted his own Sirius XM series and will publish a memoir this year. But stand-up remains his passion, he says, even as Maniscalco’s tastes have shifted. “As I grow older, I tend to laugh at things that seem more dramatic than comedic. I think that’s something I notice more in comedians, this ability to laugh hardest at the serious tone.” 7 p.m. April 14. Revention Music Center, 520 Texas. For information, call 713-230-1600 or visit sebastianlive.com or reventionmusiccenter.com. $43 to $253.25. — Vic Shuttee

While not busy playing Santa Claus and doling out the vacation of a lifetime to deserving families on CW's Vacation Creation, longtime funnyman Tommy Davidson (In Living Color) can be found bicycling the backlots between television and feature film productions. Davidson parlayed early success as a Washington, D.C.-based comic to stints as The Tiny Warrior on Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Oscar on the animated series The Proud Family, and the malt liquor-loving character Cream Corn from the animated action-spoof Black Dynamite. Now Davidson is stepping off Carnival Cruise Line for a weekend run at Houston Improv, making this your destination for laughs. 8 p.m. April 13, 8 and 10:30 p.m. April 14, 7 and 9:30 p.m. April 15. 7620 Katy Freeway. For information, call 713-333-8800 or visit improvhouston.com. $20 to $32. — Susie Tommaney

Important enough to find its place in the Library of Congress's National Film Registry, the 1930s classic King of Jazz starring legendary jazz bandleader Paul Whiteman has been restored to its original Technicolor glory in one of the most expensive film restoration projects ever undertaken. Full of highs ("The Stars and Stripes Forever" is played on a bicycle pump) and lows (the film includes a very non-PC cartoon of Whiteman taming an African lion into shouting "Mammy"), the musical revue has long had a cult following, documenting early jazz greats as well as budding superstar Bing Crosby. Come view this long-lost time capsule when the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, screens the colorized flick as part of its ongoing Restorations & Revivals series. 7 p.m. April 14, 5 p.m. April 16. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit mfah.org/films. $7 to $9. — Susie Tommaney

Comedian, actor and producer Mike Epps (The Hangover, Resident Evil: Apocalypse) has been touring the country headlining the Festival of Laughs, bringing a different posse with each stop. For the Houston show at NRG Arena, expect to hear Epps joke about his grandmother (who goes from non-ambulatory to Speed Racer upon the sight of a casino), plus laughs from Sommore (Something New), Bruce Bruce (Think Like a Man), Arnez J. (All Star Comedy Jam: Live from South Beach) and F Esperza. With the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo just ending, NRG is no stranger to large animals, but we don't think Epps will be trying to bring a boxing kangaroo on stage this time around (he's since apologized for that stunt in Detroit). 7:30 p.m. April 14. 1 NRG Park. For information, call 800-745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com. $59 to $125. — Susie Tommaney

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