Thursday, September 30
The local masters of puppets, Bobbindoctrin Puppet Theatre, are kicking off their new season with The Puppet Liberation Front, and they promise to break new ground -- as puppets go. "For the first time in Bobbindoctrin history," says BPT artistic director Joel Orr, "human actors with masks will share the stage with puppets." In PLF, billed as a "mask drama," six actors play 15 roles, portraying a modern puppet troupe gone horribly awry. The puppet leaders attack elementary schools where they perform, betray each other and generally run amok. The show is a tribute to the Parisian Theatre du Grand Guignol, a '60s theater troupe that specialized in demented live shows that weren't considered successes unless audience members were puking on their shoes. If you're up for some hard-core puppet-on-human action, grab a barf bag and catch PLF at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays through October 23. Barnevelder Movement/ Arts Complex, 2201 Preston. For information, call 713-526-7434 or visit www.bobbindoctrin.org. $6 to $12.
Friday, October 1
Fridays are always good for shakin' your thang, but before you do, stop by the Children's Museum of Houston for a feel-good free show. As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, pop singer-songwriter Soraya will be performing "No One Else," a tune she wrote and produced exclusively for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The Latin-American musician survived stage-three breast cancer and is touring the country sharing her experiences and promoting breast-cancer education. Meet Soraya at 6:30 p.m. 1500 Binz. For information, call 713-787-3911. Free.
If you're still jonesing for some live tunes, head over a few blocks to Miller Outdoor Theatre for the Houston Grand Taiko Festival. Thousands of folks will converge to lounge on the grass and watch Taiko drummers showcase the ancient Japanese drumming tradition. The boom from the five-foot-wide O-Kaido drums is louder than the woofers in every dropped Honda on the Richmond Strip, so if you're up for some real bass, check these beats from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. today and Saturday, October 2. 100 Concert Drive. For information, call 713-284-8350 or visit www.ilovetaiko.org. Free.
Saturday, October 2
Provided you don't find yourself assaulted by hurricanes or bobbing through floodwater, today should be a perfect day to spend outdoors. Head to the Heights for the Yale Street Arts Market. Browse through the Halloween-themed crafts, Christmas gifts (yes, it's that time again) and other trinkets as you're serenaded by jam duo Asch & Abrams. At noon, the Historic Heights First Saturday Trolley Tour stops by to offer patrons a ride through the neighborhood. And local artists will be showing their stuff all day long. Starts at 9 a.m. 210 West 21st Street (a half-block off Yale). For information, call 713-802-1213 or visit www.yalestreetmarket.com. Free.
Or, you can keep shopping at "Rock, Paper, Scissors" at Commerce Street Artists Warehouse. The exhibition features works on paper by University of Houston professors, students and alumni. Proceeds from the sale go to various art and sculpture programs at UH, and plus, the stuff is said to be "ridiculously priced," so we're guessing you won't have to break the bank to replace that Britney poster hanging in your living room. 7 p.m. 2315 Commerce Street. For information, call 713-226-7897 or visit www.commercestreet.org. Free.
Sunday, October 3
We all know how much fun a day at the beach can be, but what do you do when the sun's gone down and the junkies have hit the seawall? We suggest injecting some culture into your sunburned self. Dust off the sand and head to the Grand 1894 Opera House for the Galveston Symphony Orchestra. Tonight's performance features Mozart's Symphony No. 35 in D, Schumann's Concertpiece Opera 86 and Enigma Variations by Elgar. Afterward, you and your honey can take a moonlight walk on the beach humming the classics (and dodging hobos). 7 p.m. 2020 Post Office Street in Galveston. For information, call 800-821-1894 or visit www.thegrand.com. $12 to $15.
Monday, October 4
If you're looking to get spooked, check out some "haunted" spots on the Discover Houston Tours Ghost Walks. The two-hour, one-mile strolls and METRORail rides feature urban legends and stories of Houstonians who've long since croaked. Will you meet a specter at Houston's oldest haunted business space or, perhaps, most-haunted restaurant? Doubtful, but you will get some swag and a stop at the Spaghetti Warehouse. Scare up some cash and meet the tour at 7 p.m. in the Courtyard by Marriott hotel lobby, 916 Dallas. For information, call 713-222-9255 or visit www.discoverhoustontours.com. $5 to $10.
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Tuesday, October 5
If you're still hyped from all the murder and mayhem from last night's ghost tour, pay a visit to Lady Death. The goth/anime flick follows a young girl named Hope who lives in a 15th-century Swedish village. Her dad just happens to be Lucifer, the Lord of Lies, Devil, whatev. Dear ol' Dad has Hope burned at the stake when he convinces villagers she's a witch (Satan always was the disciplinarian). Hope is reborn as a fearless killer (Lady Death) bent on kicking Dad's ass. 8 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse, 1000 West Oaks Mall, 281-556-0204, www.drafthouse.com. $6 to $7.50.
Wednesday, October 6
Watch any old-timey cartoon and you'll see what a great gag an exploding cigar can be. But what's funnier is that CIA agents in the '60s actually devised one they hoped to use to off Fidel Castro. Even better tactics they tried were a mob hit and poisoned shoes. See the insanity in Castro's Beard, a tale about four bumbling intelligence agents trying to liberate Cuba. The story may be based on historical fact, but that was then. After all, our governmental intelligence would never bumble the liberation of another country now, right? Through October 24. Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Parkway, 713-527-0220, www.stagestheatre.com. $10 to $35.