21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Doctor Who, Sherlock and Anything Goes

Fathom Events presents Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio at select theaters in and around the Houston area.EXPAND
Fathom Events presents Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio at select theaters in and around the Houston area.
Photo courtesy of Fathom Events

Tuesday, December 27

The Doctor is back, or at least the Twelfth Doctor, and he's joining forces with an investigative reporter and the mysterious figure known only as The Ghost to fight brain-swapping aliens before they attack.
It's Peter Capaldi's third time at bat as the alien Time Lord, and early reports say that this Doctor Who Christmas special does not disappoint. Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio aired on BBC Christmas night, but the TARDIS doesn't drop down in Houston until Tuesday and Thursday, when we get to see it on the big screen, courtesy of Fathom Events. There's always an upgrade with these folks; this time we get not one but two bonus programs: The Doctor: A New Kind of Hero (which delves into why he does what he does) and Doctor Who Christmas Extra (a behind-the-scenes making of Season Twelve, episode three with appearances by Capaldi and showrunner Steven Moffat). Cosplay is encouraged but let's not get dangerous people: Masks, fake weapons and costumes that could conceal nefarious activities are strictly prohibited. 7 p.m. December 27 and 29. Edwards Houston Marq*E Stadium 23 & IMAX, 7600 Katy Freeway. Price varies by location; visit fathomevents.com for participating venues. $13.53 to $16.24. — Susie Tommaney

Now in their 91st season, the Harlem Globetrotters are tipping off their 2017 world tour in Houston, and nine-year vet William “Bull” Bullard makes it clear that between travel and training, the job is 24/7 — you don’t enjoy that kind of longevity without hard work and a little innovation, like the four-point line debuting this tour — but Bullard wouldn’t have it any other way. “When you hear the name, you can’t do nothing but smile,” he says. Bullard says Houston audiences can expect a lot of energy, high-flying dunks and enough sleights-of-ball-handling to make David Blaine jealous and send you home whistling “Sweet Georgia Brown.” If that’s not enough, Bullard still has an ace up his sleeve. “We all look good,” boasts Bullard. “I know I look good.” Stick around post-game for autographs, pictures and high-fives. 2 and 7 p.m. December 26, 7 p.m. December 27. NRG Arena, 1 NRG Park. For information, call 800-745-3000 or visit harlemglobetrotters.com. $19 to $408. — Natalie de la Garza

Robert “Doc” Morgan is a difference-maker. Just ask Grammy Award-winner Robert Glasper and nominees Jason Moran and Everette Harp, all students of his who attended Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts during the years he was director of jazz studies (1976-99). Now one of those students — renowned jazz pianist and Houston native Moran — is giving back by headlining at the 3rd Annual DocFest this Tuesday, joined by bassist Chris Walker and drummer Denardo Coleman. The concert benefits the Helen and Bob Morgan Jazz Scholarship Fund at New York’s New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, a worthy cause indeed. It's also shaping up to be a reunion of sorts: There's a 6:30 p.m. meet and greet before the concert with music by the HSPVA Jazz Combo, and a post-concert HSPVA Alumni Jam Session where the neckties come off and the smooth jazz starts flowing. 7:30 p.m. December 27. The Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit thehobbycenter.org. $30 to $102. — Susie Tommaney

Wednesday, December 28

Upcoming Events

The recently rediscovered and rehabbed underground Cistern at Buffalo Bayou Park lends itself to “Rain: Magdalena Fernández,” the debut exhibition inside the former water reservoir. The video installation by Fernández – a Venezuelan abstract-constructivist artist who has transitioned from sculptural works to digital media and animation – showcases a conceptual video projection entitled 2iPM009 that mimics a rain-soaked night and features a minimal musique concrète-like soundtrack. Starting with a geometric unit, she multiples the line exponentially and adds in light, sound and movement until the underground space feels like a rainy night sky. Hollywood SFX designers should take note: her raindrop sound comes from a cappella Slovenian choir members who snapped fingers, stomped heels, and slapped their hands against their legs. This time rain doesn't come from the sky; it's co-presented by Buffalo Bayou Partnership and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 3:30 to 7 p.m. December 28. Continuing 3:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. December 10 through June 4. The Water Works, 105 Sabine. For information, call 713-752-0314 extensions 301 or 401, or visit buffalobayou.org. Free to $10. — Steve Jansen

The pregame shenanigans for the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl’s TexFest will be impossible to miss. That’s because the good ol’ Texas A&M Aggies are among the participants in the college football postseason game. Which means Gig ‘em Nation, Reveille, the Yell Leaders and all of that gung ho Aggie spirit will certainly come out in full force to the before-kickoff festivities that include live Texas yee-haw music and $2.50 Bud Lights. Oh, boy. “During the TexFest, both teams will conduct their spirit walks through the area,” says Katie Karsh of the Houston Texans. “They will get off the bus and walk straight through all of the fans at Bud Light Plaza. Both of the team bands will perform, and cheerleaders and mascots will also be there.” A&M’s opponent is the Kansas State Wildcats, an old Big 12 Conference foe still led by its bionic head coach, the 77-year-old Bill Snyder. 4 p.m. December 28; kickoff is at 8 p.m. NRG Stadium, 1 NRG Park. For information, call 832-667-2000 or visit advocaretexasbowl.com. Free to $200. — Steve Jansen

Tradition dies hard, but sometimes it's helped along by a change in national policy, especially when the old ways are viewed as a threat by the Communist Party. This seems to be the case with Shen Yun, created ten years ago by a group of elite Chinese artists who came together in New York to revive the ancient principles of harmony with the universe. They've updated the classical Chinese dances and folk traditions for modern audiences, weaving in animated backdrops and technological innovations along with historically authentic costumes. A few warnings come with this one: The organizers recommend opera or ballet performance attire, caution against online ticket scalpers, and won't allow children younger than four. 7:30 p.m. December 28. Also 7:30 p.m. December 27 and 29, 2 and 7:30 p.m. December 30, 1 p.m. December 31, 2 and 7 p.m. January 1, 1 and 6 p.m. January 2. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 800-380-8165 or visit shenyunperformingarts.org. — Susie Tommaney

Thursday, December 29

Impressionist Pablo Francisco can’t control the voices in his head. “Everybody just comes out all at once,” the ex-MADtv star says. His gallery of spot-on impressions of Mark Wahlberg, Chris Rock and Christopher Walken might appear during his annual pass through Houston, but he’s also mixing in some cartoons. Working with animator Steve Kramer, Francisco describes the new act as a unique blend of live material and on-screen animation. “I’ll talk about Dog the Bounty Hunter, then you’ll see a cartoon of Dog the Bounty Hunter. It’s really cool.” He’s also delving into politics. “I’m learning Trump, so get ready,” he laughs. “You gotta pull out the words he loves, like ‘huuuuuuuge.’ Everything’s huuuuuuuge! And since Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken over The Apprentice, you can get them switching jobs and all that.” 8 p.m. December 29. Continuing 8 and 10:30 p.m. December 30, 7:30 and 10 p.m. December 31. Houston Improv, 7620 Katy Freeway. For information, call 713-333-8800 or visit improvhouston.com. $22 to $70. — Vic Shuttee

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Dorothy and her little dog are back for another romp through the wonderful land of Oz, this time as a panto. Based on L. Frank Baum’s beloved story, Panto Wonderful Wizard gives families the chance to relive the magic with a comedic twist in a presentation that only Stages Repertory Theatre can deliver. Written by Rutherford Cravens and directed by Carolyn Johnson, the production has been earning overflowing accolades from critics and theatergoers alike. Don’t miss the chance to see this gem during its last weekend in Houston. Actor Ryan Schabach says everyone will love the show. “It’s meant for children, but the parents who bring their children will hear these double entendre jokes that only the adults would understand. And, of course, the children’s story comes out when the villain gets [its] comeuppance.” 7 p.m. December 29, 2 and 7 p.m. December 30, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. December 31. 3201 Allen Parkway. For information, call 713-527-0123 or visit stagestheatre.com. $33 to $55. — Sam Byrd

Friday, December 30

It was 50 years ago this August when the most influential act of the rock era said no más to touring. The ranks of those lucky enough to see the Beatles live are dwindling, but true fans keep the flame alive with mementos, books, photos and ticket stubs. As for all those amateur and professional videos floating around, it took a literal army of archivists and producers to pull it together, but the Ron Howard-directed documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week—The Touring Years, is out and screening at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Apparently even die-hard fans will discover something new: The doc includes interviews with 50 people who had a connection with the Fab Five (including Elvis Costello, Whoopi Goldberg, Larry Kane and Kitty Oliver), as well as interviews with Starr and McCartney. 4 p.m. December 30. Also 5 p.m. December 29 and 4 p.m. January 7. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit mfah.org/calendar/eight-days-a-week. $7 to $9. — Susie Tommaney

Hell hasn’t frozen over but, through the magic of Christmas, Typhoon Texas has. It’s been transformed into a 25-acre winter wonderland with miles of lights, synchronized light shows, train rides and even a workshop where little ones can make crafts and take photos with characters while elves build Santa’s toys. The wave pool has been transformed into a 4-D light show, and WinterFest even has outdoor ice skating. “We’ve transformed our picnic area that we have out by the pavilion, Jack Frost Field,” says Evan Barnett, general manager. He says visitors can bring their own skates or rent a pair for $5. “We’ve added some holiday highlights: hot chocolate, hot cider, apple dumplings, doughnuts and caramel apples,” says Barnett. “We’re really hoping to make this a tradition in west Houston. There’s so much activity for the young at heart to the very young, something for everyone.” 6 to 9:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 6 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays. Closed Christmas Day. Through December 31. 555 Katy Fort Bend Road, Katy. For information, call 832-426-7071 or visit typhoontexas.com/WinterFest. Free to $24.95. — Susie Tommaney

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