The 5 Best Things to Do This Weekend in Houston: George Lopez, Brooklyn - The Musical, the Spaghetti Code World Premiere and More

George Lopez
George Lopez

Good comedians do more than just string together a bunch of punch lines. Good comedians give audiences something to laugh at and think about. George Lopez is a good comedian. He's also one of our choices for Friday with a two day run at Bayou City Music. Much of the Mexican-American comic's material early in his career focused on his contentious relationship with his hard-as-nails grandmother and growing up Latino. (Those routines spawned Lopez's well-known taglines "Why you crying?" and "I can't have nothing!" and inspired his successful television sitcom.) As Lopez's career took off, he developed new concerns and new routines. (He often imitated his California rich-kid daughter: "Oh, my gwad, Dad, you sound soooooo Mexican.)

After a health scare and then a divorce, Lopez seemed to dedicate himself to talking shit and naming names. Anti-immigration sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County, Arizona, made for an easy target. (In his HBO special, It's Not Me, It's You, Lopez blasted the closed border advocate: "Sheriff Joe, in California, fuck you! Fuck that puto!") Lopez has a two-night run in Houston during which he'll no doubt share more about his personal life and political views.

See George Lopez at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas. For information, call 713‑230‑1600 or visit $49.50 to $61.

Another choice for Friday is the Bayou City Theatrics production of Brooklyn: The Musical. The show has been called a "sidewalk fairy tale" and since all fairy tales have happy endings, we're not giving anything away when we say the show's lead character, an orphaned Parisian teen in search of her wayward father, gets her happily-ever-after. It just doesn't look like the happily-ever-after that audiences might expect.

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The cast is led by 14-year-old Houstonian Mallory Bechtel, a vocal powerhouse who already has years of experience onstage. Bechtel plays Brooklyn, a girl all alone in the world with nothing to her name but the unfinished lullaby that her mother used to sing to her. She sets out to find the one person who can help her complete the song, her long-missing dad. After she lands in New York (her name is the only clue she has to find her father), the singing starts.

Brooklyn is a musical inside a musical: The show is set on a street corner at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge where a ragtag group of performers known as the City Weeds tell the Parisian girl's story during a sidewalk performance. Brooklyn is also something of a fairy tale inside a fairy tale.

See our 100 Creatives profile of Mallory Bechtel.

The show's creators, Barri McPherson and Mark Schoenfeld, had worked together on an album more than 25 years ago. The two lost touch until 2002, when McPherson, by then a mom and club singer, spotted Schoenfeld singing on a street corner in Brooklyn. She took him back to her home in Massachusetts, invited him to live with her family and the two started turning out songs about his life on the streets of New York. Those songs grew into Brooklyn: The Musical, which eventually made its way to Broadway. We're sure Bechtel will eventually make her way to Broadway, too.

The Bayou City Theatrics production, being performed at the company's new downtown home The Kaleidoscope, has a very short run so make your plans accordingly.

See Brooklyn, the Musical at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Through July 19. The Kaleidoscope, 705 Main. For information, visit $30.

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