The dog days of summer may officially be coming to an end, but tell that to the sun. This week, we’ll keep you indoors for a few films, author talks and an art exhibit, and only ask that you consider leaving the comfort of air-conditioning at dusk, for a couple of movies at Miller Outdoor Theatre and a hike under the full moon. Keep reading for ten of our favorite events that won't cost you more than $10 — and six of them are free! Check out the Houston Press calendar for even more things to do.
The Princess Bride
Houston Museum of Natural Science
7:15 p.m. Friday, $5
From the endlessly quotable lines (like “Inconceivable” or “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”) to the charming story and clever humor, to count the ways The Princess Bride is classic would take too long, so we’ll turn it over to Peter Falk, the film’s storytelling grandpa, who tells his grandson, played by The Wonder Years’ Fred Savage, the fairy-tale adventure has “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles.” What more could you possibly ask for? How about seeing it in the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre? “As you wish,” says the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
Hands-On Houston: Pressed-Flower Necklaces
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
11 a.m. Saturday, free
You bring yourself, and HCCC will bring the flowers. Design and create your very own pressed-flower necklace Saturday with one of HCCC’s current resident artists, metalsmith Rebecca Lynn Hewitt. Hewitt uses sustainable materials like pressed and dried flora to create wearable and handheld objects – she even has her own jewelry line, Flora and Grain – through which she explores various environmental issues. Before starting, you can draw inspiration from the Craft Garden or while sitting in Annie Evelyn’s “Oshibana” chair, crafted from handmade paper flowers, silk flowers, foam and wood, but allow yourself about 25 minutes to make your necklace and come early – this one’s first-come, first-served.
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
4 p.m. Saturday, $9
If you haven't been out to the MFAH’s summer-long celebration of Alec Guinness, dubbed “An Actor for All Seasons” and featuring screenings of eight of his best films, this is your last chance. The Bridge on the River Kwai, set in a Japanese P.O.W. camp, won Guinness the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Colonel Nicholson, a man who becomes so singularly fixated on building a bridge he loses sight of his role as a British officer. Guinness’s performance, his chemistry with co-star Sessue Hayakawa, and the film’s complexity and memorable ending make it one of the best war movies ever made, and a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Full Moon Hike
7:30 p.m. Monday, free
Howl at the full moon with HTXoutdoors as they take advantage of the first full moon of August (and the miles of hiking trails in Memorial Park) for a Full Moon Hike this Monday. Meet at the rugby fields in Memorial Park and be sure to bring a headlamp or light source (because it will get dark), water (or you will get dehydrated), and bug spray (or you will get bit – and not by a werewolf). The hike should come to an end around 8:45 p.m., but make plans to join your fellow hikers for a bite to eat after. You’ll probably be hungry.
The Second Time Around
Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center
5 p.m. Monday, $8
Katherine Mitchell, played by Linda Thorson, is a formerly independent woman having to adjust to living in an assisted-care facility after she breaks her hip. Isaac Shapiro, played by Stuart Margolin, is a grumpy resident who still mourns the death of his wife. You can probably guess what’s going to happen here. It may be sentimental, but The Second Time Around, screening at the ERJCC to celebrate the end of Tu B’av (the Jewish holiday of love), is a charming story set to a soundtrack of operatic masterworks about two senior citizens (and how often does that happen) who realize that it’s never too late to fall in love.
"The Art of Celebration" opening reception
The Center for Art and Photography at Celebration Company
6 p.m. Monday, free
One of the coolest features at the Celebration Company, a Jewish Family Service-established social entrepreneurial program for adults with disabilities, is the Center for Art and Photography. Participants are not only trained to use adaptive cameras, but they regularly go out into the community to do photo shoots. A curated exhibit of their work will go on display in the Celebration Company gallery tonight, but if you can’t make it out for the opening reception, plan to stop by 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays or 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays to get a little peek at the world through these artists’ eyes. The exhibit will remain on display until October 6.
History in Print: Dan M. Worrall's Pleasant Bend
Congregation Emanu El
6:30 p.m. Tuesday, $5
In 400-plus pages, author Dan M. Worrall shines a light on an underappreciated aspect of local history: those rural, frontier communities that settled the areas around Houston. From European settlement in Piney Point, to German immigrants heading west, Texian families fleeing east from Santa Anna and emancipated African Americans flocking to Freedmen’s Town, geologist and historian Worrall will discuss his research into the importance of the San Felipe Trail, the route that connected Stephen F. Austin’s settlement to the Buffalo Bayou community that would become Houston, and how it shaped his book, Pleasant Bend: Upper Buffalo Bayou and the San Felipe Trail in the Nineteenth Century.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Miller Outdoor Theatre
8:30 p.m. Tuesday, free
It’s hard to believe, but this year is the 20th anniversary of the release of the first Harry Potter book, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The film adaptation, directed by Chris Columbus, launched an eight-film series that’s grossed almost $8 billion worldwide and tonight Miller Outdoor Theatre is offering the chance to relive the magic. Come out and see if the film Roger Ebert called “a red-blooded adventure movie, dripping with atmosphere, filled with the gruesome and the sublime, and surprisingly faithful to the novel” still holds up. Spoiler: It does, so make plans this week to binge-watch all the other films too.
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The Paris Spy book signing
Murder By The Book
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, free
Susan Elia MacNeal's Maggie Hope returns for the seventh time in The Paris Spy, a book sure to please both fans of mystery and fans of World War II-era intrigue once again. This time around, the spy and code-breaker goes to Nazi-occupied Paris to look for her half-sister, a Resistance fighter, and a fellow agent who’s gone missing, all while dangerously mingling with German officers and working (unbeknownst to her) with a double agent. Like previous mysteries, where Maggie encountered historical figures like Winston Churchill and Eleanor Roosevelt, a chance encounter with Coco Chanel drags her even further into the world of Nazi occupation, much too close for comfort.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Miller Outdoor Theatre
8:30 p.m. Wednesday, free
If you’re still in a Harry Potter-mood after Tuesday’s showing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, make the trip back out to Miller Outdoor Theatre for a showing of 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first entry in J.K. Rowling’s planned prequel spin-off series. Set in New York City 1926, Eddie Redmayne’s magizoologist Newt Scamander, a textbook author in town to study fantastic beasts, finds himself caught between magic-caused destruction and an anti-Muggle extremist group when some of his creatures are accidentally released. If you haven’t seen Fantastic Beasts yet, you’ll want to see it soon; Jude Law has been cast to play Dumbledore in the sequel, set for a November 2018 release.