21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Fun Home and the 150+ Beers at BrewFest

In Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, lesbian author recounts her childhood, growing up with a funeral-director father who was afraid to come out.
In Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, lesbian author recounts her childhood, growing up with a funeral-director father who was afraid to come out.
Photo by Joan Marcus

Tuesday, May 16

In 2006, Alison Bechdel, a lesbian cartoonist and author, wrote an autobiography in graphic-novel form about coming to terms with herself and her overbearing father, a closeted gay man in a small town in the 1970s when people weren’t so willing to declare their sexual orientation. Her father, Bruce, is an English teacher and operates the family business, a funeral home — which Alison and her brothers call Fun Home. With passages both poignant and humorous, Bechdel’s book was made into a musical that went on to win five Tony Awards in 2015, including Best Musical. Theatre Under the Stars brings that production (book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, music by Jeanine Tesori) to Houston, starring former Miss America Kate Shindle as the adult Alison (who we also see as a young girl and a college student). Shindle says, “The show to me is about the fictionalized character version of Alison looking back at her life in the process of trying to write a book about her life and having to deal with her memories and experiences in a way that she didn’t expect to.” 7:30 p.m. May 16. Continuing 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday May 28. May 16 through May 28. For information, call 713-558-8887 or visit tuts.com. $46.50 to $125. — Margaret Downing

Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and thumping beat in the latest from the Transitory Sound and Movement Collective. This time around the collaborative artists have invited Danielle Georgiou, a dance artist from Dallas, to provide the movement during the premiere of Freaks, Geeks, Beats and Feets or Feats; earlier this year Georgiou shocked Big D audiences with her sexy, nightmarish, Facebook feed-inspired War Flower performance piece. With sound and multi-media artist (and world-class photog) Lynn Lane at the helm, this time on guitar with a soupçon of electronics and field recordings, and joined by 3G Percussion (brothers Sarek, Jacob and Zach Gutierrez), the whole shebang comes alive with images from New York City film artist Ron Kiley. Get ready for an intense evening of improvisational art at this trendy downtown hot spot. 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. May 16. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. For information, call 713-344-1291 or visit recroomhtx.com. $10 to $15. — Susie Tommaney

Wednesday, May 17

The RAW brand, an indie arts organization that works with up-and-comers during the first ten years of their creative careers, is in 70 different cities around the world. What makes Houston’s RAW artists stand out? “I love the energy. All the artists are extremely confident in the best way, and they’re not afraid of failing,” says Kimberly Barbosa, director of RAW: Houston, which throws the art-filled Verse party. There will be visual artists, photographers, accessory booths, musicians, dancers, comedians, fire breathers, LED light hula-hoopers, hair and makeup artists and, at the close of the eve, a fashion show. As far as an artist roster, there’s just too many to list in this modest space, but we can say that the event host, H-Town born-and-bred Pennie Anassi, will have her hands full with what Barbosa describes as a big ol’ one-night-only pop-up art gallery. 7 p.m. May 17. Stereo Live, 6400 Richmond. For information, call 832-251-9600 or visit rawartists.org/houston. $22-$30. —  Steve Jansen

Thursday, May 18

You know Cleo, but how about Hatshepsut, the woman who successfully ruled ancient Egypt as a king? How about Merneith, Sobekneferu or Twosret? The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Houston Society of the Archaeological Institute of America will present Mysteries and Myths of Egypt’s Female Kings, a lecture by UCLA’s premier Egyptologist, and late-night talk show regular, Dr. Kara Cooney, to make sure you do. “Why is a powerful woman threatening to people?” asks Becky Lao, AIA executive director. “We think the issues that we’re facing today are contemporary for us, but humans throughout time have faced these issues.” Lao sees her organization as a memory keeper for much of this lost history (Hatshepsut’s nephew, her successor, erased much of her legacy after her death), which reminds us that victors write the stories and, even in today’s political world, memory can still be deliberately erased. 6:30 p.m. May 18. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit mfah.org. Free. — Natalie de la Garza

The fourth wall comes crashing down and Shakespeare might just turn over in his grave before it's all over and done. Intrepid Fringe recognized that the Bard's Measure for Measure, with its many references to human bondage, was actually the first "50 Shades of Shakespeare," and they're giving the classic lust triangle of Duke Vincentio, Lord Angelo and Isabella a modern twist with Steampunk garb, a soundtrack inspired by Nine Inch Nails and television's Mad Men, and acted out in the Makeshift Theatre at The Black Labrador Pub. In what they're labeling "meta-cognitive theater," audience members become characters in the play (spect-actors) in this fast-paced tale of burning lust. 7:30 p.m. May 18. Continuing 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and May 28. May 18 through June 10. 4100 Montrose. For information, call 830-370-5907 or visit intrepidfringe.com. $20 to $35. — Susie Tommaney

We got a glimpse of Daughters of the Moon, a new work by playwright Reginald Edmund and the first of a series of nine plays in his City of the Bayou collection, when The Landing Theatre Company held a staged reading a couple of years ago. Now the story of a runaway slave girl and a former plantation mistress (and accused murderer), fleeing for the safety of the North and guided by an ancient African goddess, is making its world premiere courtesy of the TSU Players Alumni Association. Timothy Eric directed that 2015 staged reading and he's directing again, this time at the historic Fifth Ward venue, The DeLuxe Theater. 7:30 p.m. May 18. Continuing 7:30 p.m. May 19, 2 and 8 p.m. May 20, 3 p.m. May 21. 3303 Lyons. For information, call 713-581-4846 or visit thedeluxetheater.tix.com. $5 to $15. — Susie Tommaney

There should be surpluses of inspiration for the participating designers of Fashion Fusion, considering the heft of the “Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuba Art Since 1950” exhibition. The fashion show — a co-production of exhibition host Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Houston Community College — will be inspired by “Adiós Utopia,” which is the first showing of modern and contemporary Cuban art since the 1940s in the United States. As Mari Carmen Ramírez, Wortham curator of Latin American art, points out, this is one of the first instances of a major U.S. institution working with Cuba since diplomatic relations were re-established in 2015. Ramírez adds, “Social justice, history, sports and art had an important role…but design wasn’t necessarily developed during the time of the Cuban revolution. It will be very interesting to see what the [fashion-show designers] come up with.” 7 p.m. May 18. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit mfah.org. Free to $25. — Steve Jansen

Friday, May 19

Poor Brahms. Unlike his contemporaries who started writing in their childhoods and in their twenties, he didn’t compose his first symphony until he was in his mid-forties. Plus, his most famous work is used to help babies doze off at night, yet the Houston Symphony’s Shaham Plus Brahms is shaping up to be no snoozer. First the orchestra will play Schumann’s Overture to Genoveva, op. 81. Then violinist Gil Shaham will take us on a thrill ride in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in g minor, op. 63, which darts between melody, mischief and mystery. Finally, guest conductor Marc Albrecht will wrap up the season with Brahms’s heroic Symphony No. 1 in c minor, op. 68, which showcases the swelling music and thunderous battle between the string, woodwind and percussion sections. 8 p.m. May 19-20, 2:30 p.m. May 21. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $25 to $136. — Sam Byrd

Brother-and-sister hoofers Derek and Julianne Hough were on the go last year: Between her stint as Sandy in Grease: Live and his turn in Hairspray Live!, the talented duo never stopped moving. Now the two-time professional champion of Dancing With the Stars is sitting in as a judge for season 24 (Mr. T had heart and warmth but couldn’t go the distance) and reteaming with six-time champ Derek for the 46-city Move — Beyond — Live On Tour. Houston audiences get to see this rock concert for dance when it stops in Sugar Land. “We had Dancing With The Stars about a month and a half ago and it was a sold-out show. Really fantastic,” says Andrew Huang, director of marketing for host venue Smart Financial Centre. He labels the Houghs’ choreography “high-energy” and says their tour is based on the elements of earth, wind, fire and water. 8 p.m. May 19. 18111 Lexington Boulevard, Sugar Land. For information, call 281-207-6278 or visit smartfinancialcentre.net. $55 to $300. — Susie Tommaney

Friday marks the opener of a short four-game run against York Revolution, pitting the Sugar Land Skeeters against the steely-eyed gaze of The Rev's eagle. One of our favorite things about Constellation Field (besides Swatson) is that it lets us customize the fan experience. Get all fancy with the $55 tickets in the Imperial Box and bask in air-conditioned glory while noshing on the fabulous buffet. Or bring all the kids and chow down on the barbecue buffet in the Wells Fargo Picnic Pavilion while the rugrats splash around in the pool. If you're trying to eke out those last few days till payday, bring your lawn chairs and blankets and do it up casual on the lawn. Let's put the bite on this yankee team and be sure to stay for the postgame fireworks on Friday. 7:05 p.m. May 19. Continuing 12:05 and 6:05 p.m. May 20, 2:05 p.m. May 21. Constellation Field, 1 Stadium Drive, Sugar Land. For information, call 281-240-4487 or visit sugarlandskeeters.com. $8 to $55. — Susie Tommaney



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