21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Space Vixens and Video Game Music

Tuesday, July 11

If you can tell a story, The Moth wants you. Even after 20 years of prodding normal folks to rise up and share their tales, Houston producer Elizabeth Bailey never tires of the process. “Houston’s had Moth StorySLAM since September 2013, and for those who don’t know, it’s all about true stories, told live, without notes. It’s about homing in on the ancient craft of sharing your own experiences and connecting.” Under the hosting expertise of local comic Dusti Rhodes, the cast is decided that night, as names are literally picked out of a hat. “Ten lucky people are picked, and the best stories are considered for The Moth Radio Hour and podcast, which is on hundreds of stations across the country,” says Bailey. So far six Houstonians have made it to air — could you be lucky number seven? 7:30 to 10 p.m. July 11. Warehouse Live, 813 Saint Emanuel. For information, call 844-321-9797 or visit themoth.org. $10. — Vic Shuttee

We're big fans of TV's Bones, about the cucumber-cool forensic anthropologist played by Emily Deschanel. The brains behind character Temperance "Bones" Brennan, Ph.D., television producer and author Kathy Reichs, is mixing things up with a new standalone novel. This time main character Sunday Night draws from her dark past to help find justice for a missing girl. The multi-talented forensic anthropologist and author is in town for HMNS Distinguished Lecture Series: Conversation with Author Kathy Reichs and Book Signing of Two Nights, presented by HMNS and Murder By The Book. Admission gets you a just-released copy of the book and an inside look into the world of Dr. Reichs, who has consulted with medical examiners, trained FBI agents and assisted with the identification of victims in mass graves. 6:30 p.m. July 11. HMNS, 5555 Hermann Park Drive. For information, call 713-639-4629 or visit hmns.org. $40. — Susie Tommaney

Last summer's concert in London's Hyde Park was the stuff of music legend. When singer/songwriter Carole King took the stage in front of a sold-out stadium of more than 65,000 fans, reeling off hit after hit from Tapestry, it marked the first time the GRAMMY Award®-winning album had ever been performed in its entirety. And the cameras were rolling, capturing hits like "I Feel the Earth Move," "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" and "You've Got a Friend." The consummate performer was joined by actress/vocalist Cassidy Janson and the London cast of Beautiful The Carole King Musical, and now Houston audiences can view this moment in time on the big screen courtesy of Fathom Events. As with all things Fathom, lagniappe extras for Carole King: Tapestry include an introduction from iconic DJ Scott Shannon and a special interview with King. 7 p.m. July 11. Cinemark Memorial City, 310 Memorial City Mall. Price varies by location; visit fathomevents.com for list of participating venues. $13 to $15. — Susie Tommaney

Wednesday, July 12

On our list of must-see installations this summer is the site-specific “The Ephemeral Beauty in Nature” by Harumi Shimazu. What the Tokyo-based artist has done with floating glass balls, brass and wax fragments is sublime, transforming these fragile materials into a swaying dreamscape of light and reflection. There’s an opening reception this Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m., but our eyes are on the prize when Shimazu discusses her view of nature as a vast living organism during an artist talk this Wednesday. “[She] is interested in coming to the U.S. and having a dialogue about her work and really having that cross-cultural exchange,” says gallery owner Nicole Longnecker, adding that Shimazu also wants to hear about our interests and how we view her work. 6 to 8 p.m. July 12. Also 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. July 8 through August 19. Nicole Longnecker Gallery, 2625 Colquitt. For information, call 346-800-2780 or visit longneckergallery.com. Free. — Susie Tommaney

Giuseppe Verdi received the equivalent of a “thumbs down” when he premiered his second opera, King for a Day, in 1840. Depressed after the deaths of his wife and children, the Italian composer was ready to give up writing when he bumped into Bartolomeo Merelli. The La Scala impresario was flush with excitement about a new libretto and talked Verdi into taking a look; inspiration struck when he opened the pages to “Va, pensiero, sull’ali dorate” (“Go, thoughts, on wings of gold”). The emotional chorus sung by Hebrew slaves has gone on to become a favorite of operagoers, and The Metropolitan Opera chorus gave it their all this season with Plácido Domingo as the title character. The cameras were rolling, and now we can see the glory on the big screen with The Met: Live in HD’s summer encore of Nabucco. 7 p.m. July 12. Cinemark Memorial City, 310 Memorial City Mall. Price varies by location; visit fathomevents.com for list of participating venues. $10.50 to $12.50. — Susie Tommaney

Thursday, July 13

Get ready for a mind-twisting space ride. The summer sizzler, Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens, comes to Space City courtesy of Obsidian Theater and Standing Room Only Productions. Saucy Jack is the name of a bar where murder is afoot, but the rest is an interactive rocket-fueled romp. Director Chris Patton fills in the gaps: “There are three vixens who hear about the murders happening, and once that happens, love starts to flourish in all sorts of forms and it ends up being a fairy tale.” Patton adds, “To say a lot more would give away surprises, and to say less would leave people confused.” Too late – we’re already confused, but it does pique our curiosity because this show sounds too spaced out to miss. 8 p.m. July 13. Continuing 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and July 24; 11:59 p.m. July 22. July 13 through August 5. Obsidian Theater, 3522 White Oak. For information, call 832-889-7837 or visit obsidiantheater.org. $30 to $37.50. — Sam Byrd

Upcoming Events

“If you’re a self-respecting brewery that serves food, you better have damn good french fries,” says Lennie Ambrose, marketing and events director for Saint Arnold Brewing Company, “[and] we unabashedly say we have the best fries in Houston.” But come taste for yourself this Thursday as the brewery celebrates National French Fry Day. The $25 ticket price includes beer, unending servings of Saint Arnold's Belgian-style frites and a gigantic buffet of house-made toppings, cheeses and flavored ketchups. You name it, they’ll have it: the garlic aioli they traditionally serve, chili, Santo queso, bacon, duck fat, pulled pork, remoulade, gravy and cheese curds (to make your own poutine), plus new menu addition Fire Emoji (fries made with the brewery's Fancy Lawnmower sriracha and blue cheese crumbles). “Or you can eat them plain,” says Ambrose. “That’s okay too.” 6 to 8 p.m. July 13. Saint Arnold Brewing Company, 2000 Lyons. For information, call 713-686-9494 or visit saintarnold.com. $25. — Natalie de la Garza

Over the years Houston has become home base for poets far and wide, showcasing their talent and supporting the world of spoken-word poetry. And while local poetry slams in which wordslingers go head-to-head onstage are nothing new, the battle royal, group-style slam format is taking place here for the first time. It requires verbal dexterity, timing and the bringing together of different poetry styles. The 1st Annual Bayou City Poetry Group Slam features 20 of the A-list poets who have touched national stages, and the team that wins gets a cash prize. “A group slam takes a lot of work, the writing and performance, because basically they are writing and performing the poems together,” explains organizer and slam show creator Savannah Blue. 7 to 10 p.m. July 13. Indigo at Midtown, 2117 Chenevert. For information, call 832-396-9547 or visit bayoucitypoetryslam.org. $5 to $10. — Camilo Hannibal Smith

Group Acorde, the newest kids on the Houston dance block, are inviting audience members to become part of the performance during their two-night run at Nicole Longnecker Gallery. “It won’t be sit-down, which is really interesting,” says Nicole Longnecker, gallery owner. “The audience becomes part of the show; it’s much more interactive. People will be incredibly close to the dancers.” Roberta Paixão Cortes (director, choreographer, dancer) will be joined by Thomas Helton (composer, bassist), Lindsey McGill (associate director, choreographer, dancer) and Seth Paynter (composer, musician) as they perform in front of the ethereal, nature-inspired installation by Japanese artist Harumi Shimazu. Pro tip: These events tend to sell out, so reserve your tickets now. 7 p.m. July 13 and July 14. 2625 Colquitt. For information, call 346-800-2780 or visit longneckergallery.com. $15. — Susie Tommaney

Long before social media documented our every memory, mood and activity — only to remind us of those moments on subsequent anniversary dates — we relied on diaries and correspondence to chronicle our lives. Now award-winning director Phil Grabsky has mined more than 2,500 letters written by impressionist Claude Monet, finding gems like "My head is bursting — I want to paint it all." Armchair Travel: Exhibition on Screen: I, Claude Monet juxtaposes these excerpts with the paintings Monet was working on at the time, giving us a look into the artist's feelings of depression, loneliness and suicide, as well as his abilities to find joy in humor, gardening and love. The documentary is narrated by Henry Goodman; modern audiences know him as Dr. List in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron and TV's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2 p.m. July 13 and July 16. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit mfah.org/films. $7 to $9. — Susie Tommaney

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