“We really wanted to…have an immersive environment,” says Jacey Little, Horse Head Theatre Company’s producer, who’s helming what can only be called an original take on Melville’s magnum opus The Whale; or, Moby-Dick, which is one of our picks for Friday. The story of Captain Ahab and his quest for the great white whale, Moby-Dick has fascinated, and occasionally frustrated, readers and scholars since its publication in 1851. There have been no shortage of stage, radio and screen adaptations for the literary classic, but there’s never been one quite like this.
Part of Horse Head’s ambition has always been to create environments for its audiences, often producing plays in places you’d never think of seeing them, as well as giving voice to extremely new works. The Whale does both: It’s conceived, developed and performed by Philip Hays, and Horse Head is setting the piece inside the Buffalo Bayou Partnership Silos, a newly constructed great white (modestly air-conditioned) dome.
“We’re really destroying that fourth wall,” says Little. “The audience gets to experience this show along with Philip, who plays a character named Philip, who discovers he’s inside this whale. He’s not sure why he’s there. He’s not sure why the audience is there, and chronicles how that happened.”
Little says this isn’t only the story of a journey and where we’re going; it’s an opportunity for Houston audiences to be part of something special. The play incorporates the bayou’s outdoor setting, combining it with impressive lights and projections. “We pared this down to the very heart of the story,” says Little. “And I think it’s a fairly unique version.”
8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, performance begins at sundown. Through August 15. 351 North Saint Charles. For information, visit getswallowed.com. $24 to $35.
The King of Pop gets a nod this Friday during the Houston Symphony’s Summer Series at Jones Hall with Music of Michael Jackson. For the high-energy production, the Houston Symphony orchestra shares the stage with singer/dancer James Delisco and a full rock band. Brent Havens conducts the family-friendly concert. The show’s set list features favorites from Jackson’s childhood performances with his brothers as the Jackson 5 such as “ABC” and “I’ll Be There.” Later hits from Jackson’s adult solo releases such as “Thriller,” “Rock with You” and “Black or White” are also on the program.
The Music of Michael Jackson is 7:30 p.m. this Friday at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $29 to $93.
Houston plays host to some sci-fi royalty during Space City Comic Con 2015. Topping the list is the legendary William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk on the Star Trek television series. Though Shatner has traveled to Houston to perform concerts and visit the rodeo, he hasn’t appeared at a Houston convention in 22 years; but he'll be there this Saturday. Other members of the Star Trek franchise will also appear including actors Kate Mulgrew and Tim Russ and designer Rick Sternbach as the Con celebrates the 20th anniversary of Star Trek: Voyager. Doctor Who companions Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill will also be on hand, and the convention will feature the first ever full cast reunion of Power Rangers Time Force. Lori Petty, star of the cult classic Tank Girl and cast member of Orange Is the New Black, will appear.
“We’re all big sci-fi nerds,” says convention organizer George Comits, who has been helping put together fan gatherings since college. “We’ve gotten to know a lot of these people over the years, and now it just seems like we can finally get them all to come down.”
Gamers can look forward to a massive -exhibition of video games headed by SuperCon 2K as well as dedicated tabletop gaming guided by the Ettin Games Expo. “There’s nobody that takes care of gamers better than Ettin,” says Comits. “If you have a heart problem, you go to a cardiologist. If you have a game problem, you go to Ettin.”
Space City Comic Con 2015 runs noon to 8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. NRG Center, 1 NRG Park. For information, visit spacecitycomiccon.com. $30 to $60.
“[The U.S.-Mexican War] is one of America’s forgotten wars, but it determined what America would be,” says Larry Spasic, president of the San Jacinto Museum of History Association. The 1846 to 1848 action is the focus of “A Destined Conflict: The U.S.-Mexican War,” a new exhibit at the San Jacinto Monument Museum, which we think is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Several things are notable about the war, Spasic says. “It was the first war that was fought almost completely on foreign soil. It cost a lot in terms of both money and blood. It took almost $100 million and 13,000 lives before it was over. But most importantly, in my opinion, is the fact that at the end of the war, Mexico lost approximately half of its nation and the United States was instantaneously a bicoastal nation. That was a huge turning point for both countries.”
Politician cartoons, photographs, newspaper reports from embedded journalists, paintings and artifacts are among the items on display in the exhibit. “People will see items they’ve never seen before, especially in this comprehensive of a narrative. There are items that uniquely express the conflict, things that have never been on display before. They’re just extraordinary.”
Visit the museum this Saturday; regular visiting hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The San Jacinto Museum of History, 1 Monument Circle, La Porte. For information, call 281?479-2421 or visit sanjacinto-museum.org. $5.
Nine years ago, the H-Town Sneaker Summit started out with a few collectors showing off their best shoes in local bars and other small venues. Today, it’s the biggest event of its kind in the country, and you can see it for yourself this Sunday.
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“We try to provide a celebration for the sneaker enthusiast community,” says founder and manager Bryan Angelle. “A lot of people found appreciation for sneakers through different avenues, be it hip-hop, break dancing, art design or skateboarding. Everyone has a shared passion.”
Expect to see the latest sneakers, such as the all-red Air Jordan 11Lab4, the Nike Classic Cortez NM SP “Big Tooth,” the UBIQ x Brooks Fusion “Reserve” and the Nike Kobe X. Attendees can buy, sell and trade sneakers during the summit as well as view private collections. Celebrity guests include rapper Trae tha Truth, who debuts cuts from his new album in one of the first public performances of the material.
H-Town Sneaker Summit is 3 p.m. Sunday, NRG Center, 1 NRG Park. For information, call 713-893-4877 or visit sneakersummit.com. $25.
Holly Beretto, Olivia Flores Alvarez and Jef Rouner contributed to this post.