There's so much going on this week in Houston that we're not sure where to look first. Film is on tap with a David Lynch documentary and a screening of Cameron Crowe's Say Anything, there's the belt buckle-loosening food at the Houston Greek Fest, and summer officially kicks off in Galveston with the vintage swimwear bathing beauties contest. 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.
Vincent Who? - Birth of the Asian American Civil Rights Movement
Center for the Healing of Racism
7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, free
With the clarity of 20/20 hindsight, we can actually pinpoint the moment in time that gave birth to the Asian-American civil rights movement. It was the beating and subsequent death of 27-year-old Vincent Chin, a Chinese American who lost his life in 1982, though the two white autoworkers got off with a probationary hand-slap and $3,000 fine. It's Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which means it's a good time to revisit the documentary, Vincent Who?, and discuss the broadening of federal civil rights protection. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-520-8226. Donations are encouraged.
Historic Market Square Park
6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, $10
Winning is great – there are cash prizes, gift certificates and other giveaways – but really everybody wins with this popular monthly event. Come early (on sale at 6 p.m., tickets sometimes sell out within 30 minutes), spread out your blanket or lawn chair, and grab a cold one from Niko Niko's. Feeling extroverted? They’re always looking for volunteers to hold up letters and numbers. A sawbuck gets you one bingo packet (usually nine games), and they begin calling out numbers and letters at 7 p.m. Street parking is free after 6 p.m., so no more excuses.
Extremely Shorts Film Festival 2017
Aurora Picture Show
7 and 9 p.m. Friday, Free to $10
2 p.m. Saturday, Free to $10
It's a banner year for the Extremely Shorts Film Festival, celebrating its 20th year of three-minutes-or-less filmmaking. Don't miss Turkish filmmaker Ramadan Kilic's Penaber (Refugee), as a displaced mother tries to share memories of home with her daughter the only way she knows how. This year's guest jurors are M.M. Serra of Film-Maker's Cooperative and Marian Luntz of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Audience members have the honor of picking the winners at Friday's screenings, and again on Saturday during the Extremely Young youth program.
"A Better Yesterday"
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, free
We can't rewrite history, but some creative souls have found a way to fashion alternative realities for their own personal origin stories. JooYoung Choi – the current darling of Houston galleries and museums – acts, composes music and composites digital films that call on audience members to save the day. Also on view are life-sized pillow sculptures and a multimedia installation by Jack Early, as well as large-scale wall paintings by Lily van der Stokker. Can't make it to opening night? The exhibit stays up through September 3.
eVenti Verticali (The Vertical Theater)
9 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, free
Gravity is for the birds, and the performers of eVenti Verticali have taken the laws of physics into their own hands, choosing to dance, run, jump and perform against the vertical spaces in front of George R. Brown Convention Center, supported only by harnesses and ropes. Music and lighting technology turn it into a spectacle, so don't miss this two-night-only run as The Vertical Theater performs "Wanted."
Friday Flicks on the Lawn, Say Anything
8 p.m. Friday, free
The scene where John Cusack's lovestruck Lloyd Dobler stands outside the window, boom box held high, is one of the most romantic and iconic scenes from '80s cinema. Also memorable are Dobler's misguided career aspirations, courtesy of writer/director Cameron Crowe: "I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that." Relive this high-school classic at GreenStreet's Friday Flicks on the Lawn.
The Elixir of Love
Miller Outdoor Theatre
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, free
Yes, opera can be funny, and The Elixir of Love delivers up the laughs in this presentation by Houston Grand Opera. It's a case of "be careful what you wish for" when a smitten man purchases a love potion to try to win over the village beauty. With music by Gaetano Donizetti and libretto by Felice Romani, this comic opera has stood the test of time it's back for a two-night-run on the hill. It's sung in Italian with projected English translation; Friday's show is captioned and Saturday's is audio-described.
Galveston Island Beach Revue
Seawall Boulevard, Galveston
6 to 9 p.m. Friday, free
2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, free
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
Let's get ready for summer, because the Galveston Island Beach Revue kicks off the season in Galveston. Dig deep into those closets and don your coolest vintage wear, then head out to the Hotel Galvez & Spa for a Friday Night Revue Prevue. Come back on Saturday to view the retro swimwear during the Bathing Beauties Contest from 5 to 7 p.m., plus the Galveston Island Beach Hot Rod + Classic Car and Vintage Trailer show from 2-4 p.m. Not free, but consider returning for Sunday Brunch at the Galvez, followed by a vintage, sandlot-inspired baseball game between the Gulf Coast Sugar and the Texas Playboys. Surf's up!
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David Lynch - The Art Life
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
7 p.m. Saturday, $7 to $9
5 p.m. Sunday, $7 to $9
5 p.m. June 18, $7 to $9
Rarely do we see ourselves as others view us. Now that David Lynch is in the spotlight again thanks to Showtime's much-anticipated continuation of Twin Peaks, there's also a brand-new documentary about the filmmaker. Come along for the ride as Lynch takes us on a coming-of-age journey through the early decades of his life, a period spanning his years in an East Coast art school, his time at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, and the making of his first feature, Eraserhead. Bonus for those who can wait a few more weeks: They'll be showing Eraserhead after the June 18 screening of this documentary.
Houston Greek Fest
St. Basil The Great Greek Orthodox Church
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, free
2 to 10 p.m. Friday, Free to $5
11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, free to $5
Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, free to $5
Last year's epic rematch between defending champion Matthew Stonie and former title holder Joey Chestnut set a new world record in the Niko Niko's World Gyro Eating Championship. Chestnut regained his title after wolfing down 30 gyros in just ten minutes. So come out and enjoy the taste of Greek culture (in modest amounts), watch the dancers in traditional costume and celebrate this lively culture. Opa!