21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Dancing With the Stars and the Batmobile

"A Tribute to George Barris" opens this Wednesday at the National Museum of Funeral History and features a replica of the 1966 Batmobile designed by the "original" King of Kustomizers, George Barris.EXPAND
"A Tribute to George Barris" opens this Wednesday at the National Museum of Funeral History and features a replica of the 1966 Batmobile designed by the "original" King of Kustomizers, George Barris.
Photo courtesy of the National Museum of Funeral History

Tuesday, January 31

Singletary, Dickerson, Campbell — Texas boasts 30 NFL Hall of Famers in total, many represented in “Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame” at Texas Southern University. The 6,000-square-foot traveling exhibit includes more than 200 artifacts, ranging from an 1892 accounting sheet dubbed pro football’s “birth certificate” to the Texans’ $700 million invoice and everything in between — like Knute Rockne’s leather helmet and an elevator switch from the lift Art Rooney was in when he missed the Immaculate Reception. “It’s surreal in some places,” says Eva Pickens, vice president of University Advancement. “[Football’s] come a mighty long way.” Pickens says not to miss “Let’s Hear It for the Hometown,” a section dedicated to the Oilers, Texans and, of course, TSU Tigers, such as HOFer Michael Strahan. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. January 30 through April 30. University Museum, 3100 Cleburne. For information, call 713-313-1361 or visit sites.tsu.edu/gridiron. Free to $20. — Natalie de la Garza

For the greatest of composers — those who both advanced the form and produced a body of work — it’s become tradition to recognize those who came before. “Mozart wrote a set of string quartets, dedicating them to Haydn, who was considered the master of the form. Beethoven picked up the torch from Mozart,” says Ab Sengupta, general manager for Da Camera, which is bringing back the London-based Elias String Quartet for In Beethoven’s Footsteps. Bartók stayed true to the tradition of looking back while trying to contribute to the evolution of the form. “We hear colors and sounds in the Bartók string quartet that we never heard before: Violins, viola and cello; it’s still the four instruments. It’s an incredible exercise,” says Sengupta. The quartet (Sara Bitlloch, Donald Grant, Martin Saving and Marie Bitlloch) honors the greats while performing Beethoven’s Quartet in f minor, Bartók’s dramatic Quartet No. 4 and Brahms’s lyrical A Minor Quartet. 7:30 p.m. January 31. The Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross. For information, call 713-524-5050 or visit dacamera.com. $60. — Susie Tommaney

The colossal face-off between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots has the entire city vibrating with excitement. Houston upped its party game with tons of celebrations around town — some exclusive and private, some not. If you didn’t get the invitation to the Big Game Big Give party, hosted by Josh Brolin at the plush estate of Michael and Lisa Holthouse, or if you didn’t find yourself on the short list for some of the swankier hooplas around town, fret not. We’ve got you covered with tons of super events lined up for the big week. Check out our Super Bowl Guide in the January 26 print edition of the Houston Press (or online as a flipbook), or visit houstonpress.com/calendar. Game on. — Sam Byrd

Wednesday, February 1

Without George Barris, the "original" King of Kustomizers, we wouldn't have the Munster Koach or the 1966 Batmobile. Genius when it came to custom cars, this American designer and builder also was responsible for the casket-turned-dragster Drag-U-La for The Munsters, a truck for The Beverly Hillbillies and one of the more updated KITTs for the later seasons of Knight Rider. Sadly, this larger-than-life designer passed away in 2015, and now the National Museum of Funeral History is celebrating his life and work through a new exhibit, "A Tribute to George Barris." We'll get to see a replica of that 1966 Batmobile (the actual car auctioned for $4.6 million in 2013). The exhibit also includes a replica of the casket in which he was buried, personal memorabilia, and a memorial card from his funeral. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. February 1 through December 31. 415 Barren Springs. For information, call 281-387-3063 or visit nmfh.org. Free to $10. — Susie Tommaney

As Houston readies for Super Bowl Sunday, VIP Comedy Events is bringing in its own heavy hitters, including headliner Rickey Smiley, host of his hip-hop morning show and a reality TV star, plus comedy powerhouse Earthquake, a veteran stand-up and actor known for memorable spots in Ice Cube’s The Longshots and Kevin Smith’s Clerks II. “What we wanted to do for this Super Bowl was to give back while having a lot of fun,” says Velma Trayham, producer of the Super Bowl Comedy Bowl Explosion, adding that a portion of the proceeds benefits Texas Southern University’s scholarship fund and the Mack Performing Arts Collective. Rounding out the bill are comics Tony Roberts, Michael Blackson and Houston’s own Billy Sorrells and Ali Siddiq. “This is a welcome-to-Houston kickoff,” says Trayham. “While I’m excited for everybody, it’s really special to get some Houston comics on a stage of this magnitude.” 7:30 p.m. February 1. Texas Southern University, H&PE Arena, 3100 Cleburne. For information, call 800-745-3000 or visit vipcomedyevents.com. $55 to $125. — Vic Shuttee

While we're knee-deep in football fandom, it helps to pause for a moment and step back to see how Houston and football have evolved over the last 100 or so years. Take a trip down memory lane with The Heritage Society and its timely exhibit, "Bayou City Blitz: The History of Houston Football." It's chockablock with iconic photographs, video, vintage equipment, trophies, uniforms, programs and other memorabilia covering our favorite moments from NFL to colleges and from high schools to pick-up games in the park. In addition to obvious moments from the Astrodome, the Luv Ya Blue Oilers years, and the Houston Texans, they also have rare historical items like a photo of an early Rice Owls game, circa 1914, showing the steeple of Antioch Baptist Church. The steeple was destroyed the following year in a hurricane and rebuilt in a different style. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Through April 29. The Heritage Society Museum Gallery, 1100 Bagby. For information, call 713-655-1912 or visit heritagesociety.org. Free. — Susie Tommaney

Thursday, February 2

Whether you know him for his parade of charming roles in box office hits like Hot Tub Time Machine and Sausage Party, his turns as the prankster master criminal on Brooklyn Nine-Nine or his defining role as the deadpanning warehouse foreman Darryl from The Office, you know that Craig Robinson’s got the formula for funny down. But, according to the man himself, you haven’t seen his best until you’ve seen his stand-up. “This is home base; this is what I do. I love meeting the people, touching the people, getting that immediate response,” says Robinson. As to who the real Craig is, Robinson says he probably hedges on the side of his This Is the End depiction. “You’ve got me on the keyboard, doing a bit of call-and-response, singing about taking yo panties off,” he laughs. “It’s a bunch of silliness; we don’t get too serious — but there’s some heart attached.” 8 p.m. February 2, 8 and 10:30 p.m. February 3, 7 and 9:30 p.m. February 4. Houston Improv, 7620 Katy Freeway. For information, call 713-333-8800 or visit improvhouston.com. $25. — Vic Shuttee

Forget the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week; the Houston Symphony is presenting its own version à la West Side Story, under the baton of Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada. Whether you’re #TeamShark or #TeamJet, you’ll “play it cool” with the familiar rhythms of Leonard Bernstein’s timeless retelling of Romeo and Juliet. The production spent multiple years on Broadway before earning ten Academy Awards for its film adaptation, and now it’s surging again. Don’t miss a special pre-show double bass solo performance from Principal Bass Robin Kesselman; he’s playing Serge Koussevitzky’s bass concerto from opus 3. “A lot of audiences have seen the symphony, but this is a different connection. They get to hear the individual sounds, and it’s a different connection with the soloist than with the whole symphony,” says Kesselman. 8 p.m. February 2 and 3. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $25 to $136. — Sam Byrd

Art, fashion, music and sports will collide for this quintessential event, The Houston Power Party, which features multiple interactive areas throughout The Houston Museum of Natural Science. Gain access to one-of-a-kind exhibits, celebrity appearances, theatrical lighting, concert-level sound and several unique experiences at this swanky extravaganza. Featuring Kid Capri, Go DJ Hi-C and DJ Supastar in the mix, this electrified party benefits the Santana Dotson Foundation and the Moran Norris Foundation, both of which are centered around youth enrichment. Leave the baggy jeans, sneakers and ball caps at home and put on your finest gear for this one, because Mayor Sylvester Turner will be in the house. 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. February 2. 5555 Hermann Park Drive. For information, visit houstonpowerparty.com. $100 to $250. — Brooke Viggiano

“It’s not like your typical Broadway show,” says Melvin Childs, producer of Love Jones: The Musical. “It’s more like an R&B concert.” The cast boasts Billboard staples Chrisette Michele, Raheem DeVaughn, Marsha Ambrosius, MC Lyte and Musiq Soulchild, and he says it’s this union of the music and theater worlds that makes the show, inspired by the 1997 film about the fine line between love and friendship, fresh. Childs says Love Jones resonates, particularly among Gen X black women, for its portrayal of modern black courtship. It’s not the film onstage and it’s not a sequel: There are new characters and (of course) new songs, but Childs guarantees audiences will still see the coupling of Nina and Darius. 7:30 p.m. February 2 and 3; noon, 4 and 8 p.m. February 4. The Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit lovejonesthemusical.com. $55 to $110. — Natalie de la Garza



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