21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Meteor Showers and a Splash Bash

Tuesday, July 25

A husband-and-wife couple with an exotic past (she was born in Russia and he denies allegations of being a spy) write under the pseudonym Ilona Andrews and are out with the third paranormal romance in the Hidden Legacy series. “At some point we sat around and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun if there were magical families, dynasties of people, like the Kardashians?’” says Andrew Gordon. Things are only getting hotter for main characters Nevada Baylor and billionaire Connor “Mad” Rogan after shadowy forces almost destroyed Houston in the last tome. Ilona Gordon tells us there are plenty of fans who will point out factual errors about Houston traffic, or its guns, including offers to fact-check from local cops. “We don’t want to be in trouble with the Houston Police Department,” says Ilona. The Austin-based duo will brave 290 construction to read from their book and sign copies of Wildfire at Murder By The Book. 6:30 p.m. July 25. 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit murderbooks.com. Free. — Susie Tommaney

So brand-spanking new, the paint isn't even dry. Local comedy purveyors Gabe Bravo, Zahid Dewji, Gavin Burr and Radu Bondar are out with a new cultish tradition and — never fear — you won't be asked to drink the Kool-Aid. C.U.L.T. is just a nifty little acronym for See You (on the) Last Tuesday (of the month), and they say it's the perfect outing for date night (or its polar opposite, hate night), bachelorette parties or just because "the crushing weight of being human is keeping you down." So turn Tuesday into an upper and give C.U.L.T. night a chance. 6:30 p.m. July 25. Sterling House, 3015 Bagby. For information, visit facebook.com/htxcomedyofficial. No cover. — Susie Tommaney

Wednesday, July 26

Upcoming Events

She stole our bohemian hearts in Rent, and left us all humming the tunes of Frozen for months. Now Idina Menzel (or is it Adele Dazeem?) is taking her Tony Award-winning pipes on the road, and making a stop in Sugar Land to grace us with her gilded vocal cords. Dubbed “the Streisand of her generation,” she has captivated audiences around the world with her irresistible charm, wit and unparalleled vocal prowess. Throughout the tour, Menzel will lead audiences through a special journey of songs from classic pop, musical-theater favorites and her own catalog. This is one Wicked experience that will fill the crowds with Glee, so don’t “Let It Go” and miss this chance to see a living legend in concert. 8 p.m. July 26. Smart Financial Centre, 18111 Lexington Boulevard, Sugar Land. For information, call 281-207-6278 or visit smartfinancialcentre.net. $48 to $142. — Sam Byrd

When English music pioneer Brian Eno was approached by Microsoft developers to compose the six-second start-up music sound for the Windows 95 operating system, he fell down a rabbit hole into a world of tiny little bits of music and ended up composing 84 pieces. On a Mac, no less. Eno-heads and fans of alt music will want to check out Liminal Space at Rec Room when the Houston-based contemporary chamber music ensemble performs the music of Eno, John Cage, David Lang and local composer Chapman Welch. 7:30 p.m. July 26. 100 Jackson. For information, call 713-344-1291 or visit recroomhtx.com. $15. — Susie Tommaney

Thursday, July 27

After running in NYC, Lauran Yee’s touching dramedy In A Word makes its way to the Bayou City at Mildred’s Umbrella. Two years after Fiona and Guy’s young son’s disappearance, the married couple chooses to revisit that agonizing afternoon in an attempt to unravel each moment in hopes of finding previously unobserved clues. Director Troy Scheid says the script attracted her quickly. “Having the language almost be a character itself, with a poetic quality that’s not exactly heightened the way Shakespearian language is, but in how conflict is handled,” she says, “it’s not ‘protagonist versus wilderness’; it’s more ‘protagonist versus language,’ and how maddeningly disobedient it can be. There are misunderstandings with a snowball effect, and phrases that return again to haunt our characters — every time a character says ‘nothing’ or ‘later’ or ‘difficult,’ that’s a shorthand for a whole lot else going on.” 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through August 12. July 27 through August 12. 1824 Spring. For information, call 832-463-0409 or visit mildredsumbrella.com. $15 to $25. — Vic Shuttee

Shirtless men, a lingeried Rumer Willis and steamy bedroom scenes run through Hello Again like surging hormones through a teenager. The opening-night flick of QFest 2017: The 21st Annual Houston International LGBTQ Film Festival also reunites Glee cast members Cheyenne Jackson (Dustin Goolsby), Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang) and Nolan Gerard Funk (Hunter Clarington) in a lust-fueled romp through the Big Apple. Before it’s over, you’ll be pinning posters of Tyler Blackburn on your bedroom wall like the rest of us. Artistic director Kristian Salinas tells us this 2017 release breaks away from the traditional narrative as it weaves together stories from various decades. The festival continues through July 31 with screenings at six locations, including the anything-but-traditional Ripcord. “We have the responsibility to be community-minded, community-focused. You can go into a leather bar and show a film,” says Salinas. 7:30 p.m. July 27. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit q-fest.com. $12. — Susie Tommaney

For too long, doctors, counselors, language interpreters and therapists lacked healthy options when undergoing vicarious trauma, a condition of mental and emotional distress experienced by some healing professionals while they’re helping others. “Ten years ago, an interpreter was a translator for a family from Mexico when their child was in a horrible accident and had to be disconnected from life support,” says Mila Golovine, president of MasterWord Services. “The interpreter still cried over it.” The event “Vicarious Trauma: Healing From Within,” presented by the Rothko Chapel and the global language service provider MasterWord Services, will feature a presentation by Rothko executive director David Leslie, who will demonstrate how physical spaces can help folks attain inner peace, as well as a group meditation led by Dr. Alejandro Chaoul, an advisor and presenter at the Rothko. 6 p.m. July 27. 3900 Yupon. For information, call 713-524-9839 or see rothkochapel.org. Free. — Steve Jansen

A few folks from the Houston Astronomical Society are bringing their telescopes for viewing the Delta Aquarids meteor shower at Brazos Bookstore this Friday, as well as Saturn and Jupiter (which are at their peaks).
A few folks from the Houston Astronomical Society are bringing their telescopes for viewing the Delta Aquarids meteor shower at Brazos Bookstore this Friday, as well as Saturn and Jupiter (which are at their peaks).
Photo by Bill Ingalls / NASA

Friday, July 28

Space rules, but it sometimes feels inaccessible “because it’s so far away, especially in a city like Houston with so much light pollution,” says Brazos Bookstore’s Laura Graveline. “That’s why meteor showers are so wonderful…All it takes are some clear skies and maybe a pair of binoculars, and you’re all set.” During the Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower Party, Brazos will livestream the annual bling-blinging of the star Delta in the Aquarius constellation during an event that includes a meteor-showers chit-chat by Dr. Christopher Johns-Krull of Rice University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. “The Delta Aquarids meteors are medium-speed, so they’re easy to catch,” says Graveline. “They’re also pretty steady through the end of July, peaking around July 28 to 30, so there’s always a good chance you’ll be able to see them no matter what day you’re out.” As an added bonus, a few folks from the Houston Astronomical Society are bringing their telescopes for viewing the shower as well as Saturn and Jupiter (which are at their peaks this July). 7:30 p.m. July 28. 2421 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit brazosbookstore.com. Free. — Steve Jansen

A young woman ends up shipwrecked on a foreign coast, her twin brother presumed dead in the disaster. This being a William Shakespeare play, she disguises herself as a boy and goes to work for Duke Orsino. She falls in love with Orsino but he (a) thinks she’s a boy and (b) is himself in love with another woman. That other woman, Olivia, in turn falls in love with Viola thinking she is really a man. “Twelfth Night is both joyful — in many ways it’s a delightful romp — and quite dark,” says Tracie Thomason, a University of Houston graduate and experienced Shakespearean actor now at Juilliard in New York City. Thomason, who has returned home for this year’s Houston Shakespeare Festival, will be playing Viola and says she finds all the play’s intricacies fascinating. “There’s this unrequited love, and it becomes about what isn’t said instead of what is. These people are in these really complex predicaments, and I think we just really identify with the extreme.” 8:15 p.m. July 28. Also 8:15 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. July 28 through August 5. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive. For information, visit houstonfestivalscompany.com or milleroutdoortheatre.com. Free. — Margaret Downing

Vacationers planning on road-tripping down to the valley might want to make a pit stop at The Nave Museum in Victoria. Their new Texas Contemporary Glass Exhibition opens to the public this Friday and features work by 22 glass artists, including Houstonian Michael Crowder. The movement actually began in the 1940s when Robert Willson ventured to Murano, Italy for production of his solid glass sculptures. Of course today's pieces include hot sculpting, blown glass, flame-working (and who doesn't love fire?), sand-casting and sand-blasting, engraving and the friend-to-all-taverns, glorious neon. Noon to 6 p.m. July 28. Continues Noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. July 28 through September 17. For information, call 361-575-8227 or visit navemuseum.com. Free. — Susie Tommaney



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