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21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Romeo & Juliet and Wham City Comedy

Dancers from Susanna Leinonen Company perform in Romeo & Juliet, choreographed by Artistic Director Susanna Leinonen and Jouka Valkama, part of this year's Dance Salad Festival.EXPAND
Dancers from Susanna Leinonen Company perform in Romeo & Juliet, choreographed by Artistic Director Susanna Leinonen and Jouka Valkama, part of this year's Dance Salad Festival.
Photo by Jonas Lundqvist
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Tuesday, April 11

The friends who joke together, stay together. That’s been Adam Sandler’s theory of comedy, and it has served him well since 1990. With his latest goofy offering, Sandy Wexler, due on Netflix April 14, the box-office-smashing joker hits Houston with longtime pals David Spade, Nick Swardson and Rob Schneider as part of Netflix Presents: Sandy Wexler’s Here Comes the Funny Tour. Each one of these killers could host a night on his own, but when the “Bad Boys of SNL” connect, there’s no getting off the giggle train. In the new film, Sandler plays Wexler, a past-his-prime talent scout who seems to have one last star in singer Jennifer Hudson’s amusement-park performer. There’s love in the mix, sure, but Sandler never does these projects solo — the film is said to have cameos by fellow comedy stars Conan O’Brien, Judd Apatow and Chris Rock. 8 p.m. April 11. Smart Financial Centre, 11811 Lexington, Sugar Land. For information, call 281-207-6278 or visit smartfinancialcentre.net. $89.50 to $99.50. — Vic Shuttee

A pond away from the London Underground, the term Mind the Gap takes on new meaning. This time around it's the second installment by Dance Source Houston, which brings five choreographers and dancemakers to the stage in a mixed bill. Jacquelyne Boe is presenting Freewill — which eventually will be coupled with Birthright to create an evening-length dance — in an exploration of movement and choices. The program also includes a duet by Kalee Irwin titled You and Me, Me and You; Concatenation, choreographed by Tony Pierce; supplicant, an ode to helplessness by Jacqueline Nguyen; and a new work by Houston choreographer (and Houston Fringe Festival alum) Emily Roy-Sayre titled XX, about the ability of women to sustain throughout the cycles of life. 7:30 p.m. April 11. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit matchouston.org. $15. — Susie Tommaney

Wednesday, April 12

Whether believer or skeptic, most of us have heard at least one of Jesus’s seven miracles from the Gospel of John (water into wine, anyone?), but the A.D. Players are willing to bet you haven’t heard them from the perspective of John, His Story — that is, the standpoint of the average Joe. “This comes at that story through the back door,” says Kevin Dean, associate artistic director and one of four actors in this year’s Easter production. “So, you’re able to get a picture of Jesus that you might not normally get on Sunday morning.” Since premiering in 1985, Jeannette Clift George’s play has popped up everywhere, from the back of a pickup to off-Broadway; Dean attributes this to George’s ability to mine humor from the Bible, which makes it relatable “regardless of your religious bent.” 7:30 p.m. April 12-14, 2 and 7:30 p.m. April 15. 5420 Westheimer. For information, call 713-526-2721 or visit adplayers.org. $25. — Natalie de la Garza

Thursday, April 13

Dance Salad is old enough to vote, drink and die for its country, so at this point, any produce-related metaphor would be as fresh as the jicama in your day-old Salata bowl. This year’s festival is more like “We Are the World.” Memphis Jookin, the traditional Indian dance Kuchipudi, classical ballet and contemporary dance share space on the same program. “People are coming together whether people like it or not,” says Nancy Henderek, director and founder of Dance Salad, in a thinly veiled rebuke to the current U.S. president. “I travel to many places in the world to gather the beautiful dances that are seen in Dance Salad Festival,” says Henderek, who has curated the festival the past 22 years. “And dancers from around the world consider it an honor to be invited to Houston to perform.” 7:30 p.m. April 13-15. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For information, call 832-487-7041 or visit dancesalad.org. $19.50 to $52.50. — Katricia Lang

This ain’t your granddad’s puppet show. “A lot of people think puppetry is just Bert and Ernie, or The Muppets, or even Avenue Q on Broadway,” says New York-based puppet artist Tom Lee. “But puppetry is a huge tradition throughout the world.” Developed on a retreat in Japan, Shank’s Mare led the American actor-turned-puppet craftsman to working with one of the international authorities on the form, Koryu Nishikawa V. “Once I met this master puppeteer, I didn’t want to just train with him,” Lee says. “I thought: How can we make a show together that might speak to audiences in Japan as well as audiences in America?” The result is a full production mounted using multimedia projections, a live score and the traditional Kuruma Ningyo form of puppet theater. Thursday’s performance, presented under the Performing Asia umbrella of Asia Society Texas Center, caps off the tour’s successful two-year run. 8 to 9:30 p.m. April 13. 1370 Southmore. For information, call 713-496-9901 or visit asiasociety.org/texas. $15 to 25. — Vic Shuttee

The Houston Symphony plays Spanish travel guide with Falla & España, a musical journey that takes us all the way from French composer Emmanuel Chabrier’s España to Manuel de Falla’s complete score from The Three-Cornered Hat. In between, Principal Cello Brinton Smith presents Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s lost Cello Concerto in the first professional performance since its 1935 premiere. Being a “lost” concert isn’t so bad — Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony were all “lost” before they became concert-hall staples when rediscovered by later generations. Guest conductor Kazuki Yamada expects people to fall in love with this style of music. “Spanish music is full of passion and energy,” he says. “Especially de Falla’s Three-Cornered Hat is brimming with intense rhythms. The audience can surely look forward to a very special and exciting concert evening.” 8 p.m. April 13-15. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $25 to $136. — Sam Byrd

Horrible acting, ridiculous fight scenes and cheesy music — it's all on deck when Los Angeles police detectives Joe Marshall and Frank Washington try to stop a deadly Yakuza gang of drug dealers. The '90s crime thriller Samurai Cop, with those flowing locks of hair that would make Fabio proud, could only be made better by the hilarious jokesters and Mystery Science Theater 3000® veterans Mike Nelson (host and writer), Kevin Murphy (robot Tom Servo) and Bill Corbett (writer/performer). Come laugh at the decapitations, explosions, banana hammocks and more when Fathom Events presents RiffTrax Live: Samurai Cop for a night of cutting commentary and spoof-tastic laughs. 7 p.m. April 13 (live), 7:30 p.m. April 19 (encore). Edwards Houston Marq*E Stadium 23 & IMAX, 7600 Katy Freeway. Price varies by location; visit fathomevents.com for participating venues. $13.53. — Susie Tommaney

Friday, April 14

Sebastian Maniscalco has kept the faith and is now reaping the rewards. Reflecting back on when he was “barely surviving in 1999,” the Chicago-born stand-up is now headlining his own Sebastian Maniscalco: Why Would You Do That? Tour. “I watched Johnny Carson growing up,” he reflects, “and was always enthralled when the comedians came on. How do they remember all this? How do they nail the timing?” For the 43-year-old, those unknowns were admittedly captivating. Since going full time in 2005, he’s released four hourlong specials, hosted his own Sirius XM series and will publish a memoir this year. But stand-up remains his passion, he says, even as Maniscalco’s tastes have shifted. “As I grow older, I tend to laugh at things that seem more dramatic than comedic. I think that’s something I notice more in comedians, this ability to laugh hardest at the serious tone.” 7 p.m. April 14. Revention Music Center, 520 Texas. For information, call 713-230-1600 or visit sebastianlive.com or reventionmusiccenter.com. $43 to $253.25. — Vic Shuttee

While not busy playing Santa Claus and doling out the vacation of a lifetime to deserving families on CW's Vacation Creation, longtime funnyman Tommy Davidson (In Living Color) can be found bicycling the backlots between television and feature film productions. Davidson parlayed early success as a Washington, D.C.-based comic to stints as The Tiny Warrior on Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Oscar on the animated series The Proud Family, and the malt liquor-loving character Cream Corn from the animated action-spoof Black Dynamite. Now Davidson is stepping off Carnival Cruise Line for a weekend run at Houston Improv, making this your destination for laughs. 8 p.m. April 13, 8 and 10:30 p.m. April 14, 7 and 9:30 p.m. April 15. 7620 Katy Freeway. For information, call 713-333-8800 or visit improvhouston.com. $20 to $32. — Susie Tommaney

Important enough to find its place in the Library of Congress's National Film Registry, the 1930s classic King of Jazz starring legendary jazz bandleader Paul Whiteman has been restored to its original Technicolor glory in one of the most expensive film restoration projects ever undertaken. Full of highs ("The Stars and Stripes Forever" is played on a bicycle pump) and lows (the film includes a very non-PC cartoon of Whiteman taming an African lion into shouting "Mammy"), the musical revue has long had a cult following, documenting early jazz greats as well as budding superstar Bing Crosby. Come view this long-lost time capsule when the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, screens the colorized flick as part of its ongoing Restorations & Revivals series. 7 p.m. April 14, 5 p.m. April 16. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit mfah.org/films. $7 to $9. — Susie Tommaney

Comedian, actor and producer Mike Epps (The Hangover, Resident Evil: Apocalypse) has been touring the country headlining the Festival of Laughs, bringing a different posse with each stop. For the Houston show at NRG Arena, expect to hear Epps joke about his grandmother (who goes from non-ambulatory to Speed Racer upon the sight of a casino), plus laughs from Sommore (Something New), Bruce Bruce (Think Like a Man), Arnez J. (All Star Comedy Jam: Live from South Beach) and F Esperza. With the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo just ending, NRG is no stranger to large animals, but we don't think Epps will be trying to bring a boxing kangaroo on stage this time around (he's since apologized for that stunt in Detroit). 7:30 p.m. April 14. 1 NRG Park. For information, call 800-745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com. $59 to $125. — Susie Tommaney

Cult favorite comedy collective Wham City is bringing its alt-version of funny to Walters Downtown this Monday. Turn off Adult Swim and see the cray cray in person.EXPAND
Cult favorite comedy collective Wham City is bringing its alt-version of funny to Walters Downtown this Monday. Turn off Adult Swim and see the cray cray in person.
Photo by Brightest Young Things

Saturday, April 15

With an abusive father, a self-deluded mother and an autistic brother, 15-year-old Julie already has a lot on her plate. Then, when she finds herself accidentally pregnant, what should she do? That’s the struggle at the heart of Where’s Julie?, presented in Houston by Cone Man Running Productions. “I think Julie’s emotions are what I connect with when I think back to being 15,” says actor Cindy Lou Parker, who portrays the protagonist in Daniel Guyton’s melodramatic comedy. “I think of that girl who wanted acceptance and who wanted to know it was okay, even when you’re going through those trials — to know her friends like her, that her parents approve of her. The language reflects that, and the intent lends itself to honest feelings and not just the superficial feelings you see in some 15-year-old characters.” 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays (dark April 16). April 13-29. Obsidian Theater, 3522 White Oak. For information, call 281-972-5897 or visit conemanrunning.com. $18. — Vic Shuttee

With the ornate costumes, flavorful dance styles and eye-popping visuals, it’s easy to fall in love with Bollywood. It’s a good thing the weather is warming up because Miller Outdoor Theatre’s lush green lawn and covered seating sound perfect for a night al fresco with Houston’s Got Bollywood — The Red Carpet, coproduced by NAACH Houston and India House. NAACH artistic director Mahesh Mahbubani says the show is about “exploring the different seasons of love and exploring different moods. Bollywood is really musical theater, and they explore a global musical format. The dance format is a fusion of different dance forms.” In four acts, the dances showcase the four seasons, a tribute to Bollywood cinema, Indian paintings and the sheer essence of being a Bollywood superstar. 8:15 p.m. April 15. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park. For information, call 281-373-3386 or visit milleroutdoortheatre.com. Free. — Sam Byrd

Whoot! It's doubleheader day this Saturday, with the Houston Dash kicking off the season in a heated match-up with the Chicago Red Stars at 1, followed by a Houston Dynamo vs. Minnesota FC battle at 7:30 p.m. (though separate tickets are needed to attend both). Sounds like it's time for a party, and that's just what's happening when the Dynamo and Dash host an East End Block party near BBVA Compass Stadium. Look for the doors to open in the Dynamo Beer Garden at 2:30 p.m. with plenty of suds, grub and jams, plus a crawfish boil and big-screen viewing. Consider upgrading to the Bud Light Beer Garden ticket package for game entry plus two pregame brewskis. 1 and 7:30 p.m. April 15. 2200 Texas. For information, call 713-276-4625 or visit houstondynamo.com/houstondash/tickets/individual-tickets (Dash) or houstondynamo.com/tickets/single-game (Dynamo). $17 to $107. — Susie Tommaney

Let's get ready to rumble, because the skating powerhouses of Houston Roller Derby are bringing the action to Revention Music Center with a double header of crowd-pleasing action. We'll get another look at last year's championship rematch when The Valkyries (co-captained by Hot Assets and Slayer Moon) go up against the Psych Ward Sirens (led by Jekyll & Heidi and Mad Milkshake). The rough and tumble continues when the Bayou City Bosses (with captain and co-captain Betty Watchett and Dropkick Betty) pit brain and brawn against The Brawlers (led by Payo Dues and Hellen Killer). Doors open at 6; each bout has two 30-minute periods with breaks in between. 7 p.m. April 15. Revention Music Center, 520 Texas. For information, call 713-230-1600 or visit reventionmusiccenter.com. $15 to $30. — Susie Tommaney

Dieting is for the birds, and especially when it comes to a calorie-busting event as tempting as the HTX Dessert Crawl. Join organizer Houston Dessert Crawl for bite-sized samples of sweets and treats, plus a swag bag, at some of your favorite eateries in the River Oaks and adjacent areas. Don't worry, you've got four hours to complete the task, making self-driving stops at Araya Artisan Chocolate, Crave Cupcakes, Amy's Ice Creams and Pondicheri Bake Lab + Shop. 3 to 7 p.m. April 15. River Oaks Shopping Center, 1964 West Gray. For information, call 832-597-0026 or visit facebook.com/HTXDessertCrawl. $20. — Susie Tommaney

What if a literal skeleton, like, literally flew out of the closet and into your face? (Might as well assume the fetal position for life, right? Because that would be terrifying.) That’s one of the bizarro scenes in Dead Giveaway, a new play by Houston playwright Pat Cook. Theatre Suburbia’s 13-member cast and crew presents the murder mystery by Cook — author of The Legend Of Robin Hood, Sort Of and The Marquis Crossing Ladies Society’s First Attempt At Murder — via five fictitious “elderly spinsters” who are under investigation by an undercover police officer for hoarding dark secrets. Oh, and there’s this: Everyone keeps dying. Dead Giveaway, directed by Glenn Dodson with assistant-director touches by Dennis Porsnuk, was previously performed in Iowa in 2011. 8:30 p.m. April 15. Also 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. April 30 and May 7. April 14 through May 13. For information, call 713-682-3525 or visit theatresuburbia.org. $13 to $16. — Steve Jansen

Like all good fairy tales, the story doesn't end with "and they lived happily ever after." Come see the latest and greatest from the talented warbling actors over at The Music Box Theater, this time featuring a hilarious take on those time-honored childhood fables. Longtime fans will remember the group's first fairy tale-themed show from five years ago; and for this updated night of spoofs audience members can hum along to classics like "When You Wish Upon a Star," "Runaround Sue" and "What a Wonderful World," plus newer hits like "Agony" and "Royals." The cast features founders Rebekah Dahl and Brad Scarborough, along with mainstay performers Luke Wrobel, Cay Taylor and Kristina Sullivan. So turn the page and come along for the ride; if past performances are an indicator, Happy Ever at the Box should be a wickedly funny good time. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. April 23. April 14 through May 13. 2623 Colquitt. For information, call 713-522-7722 or visit themusicboxtheater.com. $27 to $37. — Susie Tommaney

Sunday, April 16

They were the hippest of the hip, this micro-colony of midcentury intellectuals, writers, filmmakers and poets who set up shop in an old seaport on the lower tip of Manhattan. With the Brooklyn Bridge outside their windows, these artists often looked to the water for inspiration. Now The Menil Collection showcases 27 aesthetically distinct works in “Between Land and Sea: Artists of the Coenties Slip,” featuring early pieces by Chryssa, Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, Jack Youngerman, Agnes Martin and Lenore Tawney. “I was thinking about the connection between artists working with an abstract vocabulary in the ’50s and ’60s outside of the dominant school of Abstract Expressionism. It’s fascinating to think about how this diverse group of artists worked in such close proximity,” said curator Michelle White in her email to us. “I hope our visitors will share in my delight of encountering these moments, when compositions, palettes and subject matter come together.” Dig deeper with a pair of public programs from 7 to 8 p.m. May 11 and 24. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 16. Continuing Wednesdays through Sundays. April 14 through August 6. 1533 Sul Ross. For information, call 713-525-9400 or visit menil.org. Free. — Susie Tommaney

Monday, April 17

Doctor Who, the beloved BBC science-fiction drama about a man traveling through time and space in his TARDIS, returns for its tenth season since it was rebooted in 2005 (season 36, if you count from the original). Now you can watch the premiere on the big screen with a room full of Whovians, plus all those interview-packed extras that Fathom Events always provides. Join the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, as he and new companions Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas) prepare for Capaldi’s adventures against The Master, the Ice Warriors and, of course, the Daleks. Come Christmas, fans will be saying farewell to a regenerating Capaldi and hello to a new Doctor, and you don’t want to miss the chance to see one of the greatest Doctors of the modern era in all the glory the cinema experience has to offer. 7 p.m. April 17 and 19. Studio Movie Grill — Copperfield, 8580 Highway 6 North. Price varies by location; visit fathomevents.com for participating venues. $15. — Jef Rouner

Bizarro comedy collective Wham City has been crisscrossing the country this spring, bringing their absurdist presentational performances to Texas before heading back east to home base Baltimore. Fans of Adult Swim will remember their horrifying viral hits Unedited Footage Of A Bear (a nature film morphs into an ad for allergy medicine before things turn doppelgänger surreal) and This House Has People In It (where what looks to be footage from a security camera soon documents lurking monsters while a baby wanders off and a teenager melts into the floor). Now the brains behind it all — who apparently will do almost anything for attention — are bringing the laughs to Houston for one night of crazytown in Wham City Comedy Tour. Members of Wham City include visual artists Jimmy Joe Roche, Dina Kelberman, Connor M. Kizer, Robby Rackleff, Alan Resnick and Ben O'Brien, plus musicians Dan Deacon and Ed Schrader. 8 p.m. April 17. Walters Downtown, 1120 Naylor. For information, visit waltersdowntown.com. $10. — Susie Tommaney

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