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21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Mix at the Match and Finding Neverland

Da Camera presents two shows a night with its eclectic Mix at the Match, April 25-29. Dance Party with Red Baraat is April 27.EXPAND
Da Camera presents two shows a night with its eclectic Mix at the Match, April 25-29. Dance Party with Red Baraat is April 27.
Photo by Shervin Lainez
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Tuesday, April 25

If a second line parade out of N'awlins had a baby with a South Asian wedding (sans groom on white horse), the offspring just might sound like Red Baraat. The New York City-based octet may be hard to categorize, but the resulting fusion of hip-hop, rock, funky go-go, jazz and scathingly hot bhangra is enough to get us out of our seats and dancing to the beat of the dhol by frontman Sunny Jain. NPR labeled the group "The best party band in years" and now that party is moving to H-Town on April 27, part of the very eclectic line-up in Da Camera's Mix at the Match. The choice is yours: Check out one or both nightly acts, say yes to the full buffet with an all access pass, or supersize the culture with a Mixologist Pass (comes with swag and drinks). Headliners include Sarah Rothenberg, the James Francies Trio, Conor Hanick, Sonia Wieder-Atherton, Theo Bleckmann and the Ben Monder Duo. 7 and 9 p.m. April 25 through April 29. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit matchouston.org. $20 to $250. — Susie Tommaney

James Washington admits there’s a lot of interest in Sex in the Fossil Record, but the paleontologist promises this next HMNS Distinguished Lecture Series isn’t clickbait. During the 75-minute lecture at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the staff trainer will talk about sexual selection, courting and mating; show “risqué” slides from the museum’s paleontology collection (two flies having sex! Worms are hermaphrodites!); and wrap it up with a Q&A and mini-tour. “There are a couple of specimens that show injuries,” says Washington. “Part of it will be focusing on the idea of this large, 70-plus-foot animal and imagining how the strain of mating would have been.” Pointing to bite marks, hip displacement and the stress on females when mating goes on for hours, Washington says this lecture should appeal to everybody. “Broad strokes; I want to make it fun.” 6:30 p.m. April 25. 5555 Hermann Park. For information, call 713-639-4629 or visit hmns.org. $12 to $18. — Susie Tommaney

It's all about breaking through those glass ceilings for comic Chonda Pierce, current title-holder for best-selling female comedian in history. The queen of clean comedy is ready to give back, inviting some special guests to join her for a one-night-only film event in Chonda Pierce: Enough. "Honey, there are times in our lives when we never think we're going to measure up," says Pierce in the flick's trailer. We'll be sure to hear about the recent widow's attempts to dip her toe into the dating waters, laugh at modern-day dilemmas about whether or not to Instagram highlights from a date, and share the pain of hurled insults from rude and uncensored digital bullies. It's an inspirational 90-minute documentary, pointing towards acceptance through faith, and a sequel to her 2015 hit, Chonda Pierce: Laughing In The Dark. 7 p.m. April 25. Edwards Houston Marq*E Stadium 23 & IMAX,7600 Katy Freeway. Price varies by location; visit fathomevents.com for participating venues. $15.16. — Susie Tommaney

Wednesday, April 26

Mind-blowing isn't usually how floral arrangements are described, but it seems to hold true for Florescence, one of the nation's largest competitive flower shows. Past entries for this biennial event were inspired by paintings, objects and dresses on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, including Frederic Remington's Episode of the Buffalo Gun and the Roman sarcophagus panel depicting the Indian Triumph of Dionysus. This year's theme is "Waves" and it's paired with a special conservation exhibition that demonstrates how native plants are better able to survive Houston's flooding. The flower show is co-presented by the Garden Club of Houston, River Oaks Garden Club and MFAH. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 25 and April 26. 5601 Main. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit flohouston.org or mfah.org/florescence. Free to $15. — Susie Tommaney

Binge-watchers take note. This fall Houston Public Media TV 8 will be airing an epic documentary (we're talking 18 hours), titled The Vietnam War, by award-winning filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Timing is everything, and with the United States finding reasons to reach into its arsenal more often these days, perhaps it's time for another conversation about exactly what happened in Vietnam, what went wrong and if there are any lessons to be learned. Six years in the making, the doc includes archival footage, photographs, home movies, audio tapes from the oval office and some of the most iconic music hits from the era. Houstonians get a sneak peek this Wednesday in "An Evening with Ken Burns and Lynn Novick," hosted by Houston Public Media, with selected previews, moderated discussion and a question-and-answer period. 7 to 9 p.m. April 26. Cullen Performance Hall, 4800 Calhoun. For information, visit houstonpublicmedia.org/vietnam/ken-in-houston. $75. — Susie Tommaney

Thursday, April 27

Buenas noches mi gente de Cuba,” said Mick Jagger after the red tape was lifted and the Rolling Stones were allowed to perform a historic free concert. His segue into “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)” is documented in The Rolling Stones Olé, Olé, Olé!: A Trip Across Latin America, on the slate for opening night of Latin Wave 12: New Films From Latin America, presented by Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in association with creative partner Fundación PROA, Buenos Aires. “You hear from the Stones themselves about their experiences, how they weren’t allowed to go to certain countries,” says Marian Luntz, MFAH film curator. The fest also features a quasi-fictional documentary in Jeffrey, about a boy who dreams of breaking out of the streets of Santo Domingo to become a professional reggaeton singer. Luntz labels him “charismatic” and says “we’re all rooting for him.” 7:30 and 9 p.m. April 27. Continuing 5:30, 7 and 9:30 p.m. April 28; 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 p.m. April 29; 1, 3:15, 5 and 7 p.m. April 30. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit mfah.org/films. $8 to $10 (free for students on Sundays). — Susie Tommaney

Fire up the imagination and get your taste buds in sampling shape — celebrity chef Alton Brown is popping in to give your palate a cleanse. “We’ve had Anthony Bourdain, [Buddy Valastro] the Cake Boss and Ina Garten for our speaker series,” says Lee Strickland, the general manager of the Society for the Performing Arts. “But we missed Alton before, so when he announced his new Eat Your Science Tour, we jumped at the chance to have him. In fact, I’ve been to Alton’s show…and it was honestly one of the best shows I’d ever seen from a speaker. Best I’ve seen in years.” Expect some comedy, guitar-accompanied music and even a couple of new contraptions. Last time Brown toured, Lee says, he perfected a new gadget — the pizza oven made of theatrical stage lights. “He trained someone from the audience to operate it, and the whole first row got a slice!” It looks like this one is a sell-out, but third-party sellers still have a few tickets. 7:30 p.m. April 27. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-227-4772 or visit spahouston.org. — Vic Shuttee

Friday, April 28

It’s that time of year for the young artists at the Houston Ballet Academy to shine in the Academy Spring Showcase. Among them is Caroline Perry, 17, an HBII company member who next year will join the Houston Ballet itself. She’ll be dancing Bolero from Stanton Welch’s Brigade as well as joining the whole academy in Studies, which has the older dancers “helping the younger kids do their dances.” Perry, who came to Houston from Orange County, California, says she loves dancing not only for the constant activity (she used to play soccer, golf and softball) but even more for the performance experiences. She and the other dancers will be giving the audience a look at their present talents as well as their potential for future stardom. Asked if she comes from a dancing family, Perry says no, adding, “My mom does have very nice feet and I get them from her.” To see all those nice feet and a whole lot more, come to one of only two performances scheduled for these students. 7 p.m. April 28 and 1:30 p.m. April 29. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For information call 713-227-2787 or visit houstonballet.org. $35 to $55. — Margaret Downing

In the second act, she does two back-to-back arias, singing for 17 nonstop minutes. But Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova is nothing but happy about her return to the Houston Grand Opera as Konstanze in The Abduction from the Seraglio, Mozart’s 1782 three-act comedy. “It’s one of the dream roles,” says Shagimuratova, an HGO Studio alumna who is now in demand all over the globe and admits to being very picky with the productions she accepts anymore. Abduction is the story of a woman captured by pirates and awaiting rescue by her fiancé. In this version, resettled in the Orient Express railcars of the 1920s, Shagimuratova is the Spanish noblewoman who is being held by Pasha Selim (Christopher Purves) while her lover Belmonte (Lawrence Brownlee) makes his way to her. She is accompanied in her captivity by her English servant Blonde (Uliana Alexyuk) and her husband’s servant Pedrillo (Chris Bozeka). The costumes and wigs (complete with spit curls for the women) are chic and wonderful, Shagimuratova says; in a highly unusual move in opera, “We’re smoking [vaping] onstage.” 7:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturday and Wednesday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. April 28 through May 12. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For information, call 713-228-6737 or visit houstongrandopera.org. Sung in German with English projections. $15-$325. — Margaret Downing

Do you prefer your music shaken, not stirred? If so, you’re in luck. The Houston Symphony’s BBVA Compass POPS series will highlight all things 007 during Bond & Beyond. The international spy, originally created by novelist Ian Fleming, has defeated bad guys for more than five decades, been played by six actors, generated 24 films and loved hundreds of women. How’s that for a job description? Tony Award-winning vocalist Debbie Gravitte will join the orchestra to perform familiar song favorites from the franchise’s films, including Goldfinger, From Russia with Love, Diamonds are Forever, Casino Royale and Skyfall. “Anyone who has seen a Bond film can’t help but have a reaction,” she says. This weekend will see one of the last performances for Principal POPS conductor Michael Krajewski, who will retire at the end of the season. 8 p.m. April 28 and April 29. 7:30 p.m. April 30. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $38 to $155. — Sam Byrd

The closest thing we have to royalty is the Kardashian family, so it's fun to hop the pond every once in awhile to see what all the fuss is about. Some of us have been watching Doctor Who's Jenna Coleman put on the crown for PBS's Masterpiece series about the teen queen, and now we've got a chance to view the historic flick from 2009 starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend. They're showing Rienzi Reels: The Young Victoria outdoors in the beautiful Camellia Garden over at Rienzi, the house museum for European decorative arts owned by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. So put on your finest hat, pack a picnic and purchase your drinks onsite. But before you settle down, be sure to stroll through the galleries and catch the exhibition, "Decorative Arts in the Age of Victoria," with porcelain, glass, jewelry and the oh-so-cute miniatures. 7 to 9:30 p.m. April 28. Rienzi, 1406 Kirby. For information, call 713-639-7800 or visit mfah.org/calendar/rienzi-reels-the-young-victoria. $12 to $15. — Susie Tommaney

Finding Neverland, the musical, inspired by the 2004 movie of the same name, comes to Houston courtesy of BBVA Compass Broadway at the Hobby.EXPAND
Finding Neverland, the musical, inspired by the 2004 movie of the same name, comes to Houston courtesy of BBVA Compass Broadway at the Hobby.
Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Saturday, April 29

Before the classic story of Peter Pan, there was Scottish author J.M. Barrie, who happened to meet a widowed mother and her four boys in Kensington Gardens and form a lasting friendship with them. Later, Barrie incorporated his adventures with the Davies boys into his play about the boy who never grows up. Inspired by the 2004 movie of the same name, the musical Finding Neverland is now on its way to Houston courtesy of BBVA Compass Broadway at the Hobby. In the national touring cast, Billy Harrigan Tighe (Book of Mormon) plays Barrie and says he likes his character “for what he inspires in others.” He also identifies with him to a certain extent, since as an actor who gets paid to appear onstage for two hours at a time, “in a lot of ways I’m sort of feeling like a kid who’s never grown up.” In some ways it’s like old home week for Tighe, since Christine Dwyer (playing mother Sylvia Llewelyn Davies) was Elphaba to his Fiyero in a production of Wicked. Even without the Peter Pan aspect, this musical attracts audiences drawn by its focus on relationships, Tighe says. “It illuminates the importance that people have in each other’s lives.” 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. April 25 through April 30. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information call 713-315-2525 or visit thehobbycenter.org. $30-$150. — Margaret Downing

Take a trip from Skid Row to “Somewhere That’s Green” with EaDo Playhouse’s Little Shop of Horrors. The Tony-nominated musical depicts the love triangle between mild-mannered florist Seymour; Audrey, the ditzy object of his affection; and Orin, the meanest dentist ever to wield a drill. Once Audrey 2 enters the picture, though, the Venus Fly Trap with a killer appetite changes everything — and not exactly for the better. This brand-new adaptation of the beloved spoof features a book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, and teaches the ups and downs of amore as well as the importance of having a good plant fertilizer. Whether you have a green thumb or can’t raise weeds, don’t miss this chance to see horticulture’s most memorable musical. 8 p.m. April 29. Also April 28 through May 14. 2619 McKinney. For information, call 832-210-5200 or visit eadoplayhouse.com. $25. — Sam Byrd

Bring your own what? In this case, the BYOB invite means to bring your own 16mm films, slide shows, shorts and videos and project them onto The Menil Collection’s exterior. Originally inspired by Rafaël Rozendaal in Berlin, Bring Your Own Beamer becomes a viewing party with lawn chairs and picnic baskets. Mary Magsamen, curator of co-presenter Aurora Picture Show, says the projections can be “whatever people bring” and all the organizers ask is that contributors sign up for the 20-minute slots. “The Bat-Signal would work. [Last time] we had eight or ten stations set up for people to plug into,” she says. Fingers crossed for good weather; last year’s event rained out, as did the makeup date. “I figure we have some rain credit,” adds Magsamen. It’s free to beam; a Google Doc signup sheet is on Aurora’s website. 8:30 p.m. April 29. 1533 Sul Ross. For information, call 713-868-2101 or 713-525-9400 or visit aurorapictureshow.org or menil.org. Free. — Susie Tommaney

Ballroom, ballet and classical Chinese dance meet in Dance of Asian America’s East Meets West XV, a collaborative performance featuring selections from Texas Ballet Theatre, under the artistic direction of Houston Ballet founder Ben Stevenson; Revolve Dance Company; Houston Ballroom Company; Ad Deum Dance Company; Artisan Ballet Company; FLY Dance Company; and Dance of Asian America. However, when it comes to artistry, East and West aren’t so far apart, says Janie Yao, director of Dance of Asian America. Both Chinese dance and many ballroom steps are very intricate and eye-catching. As with ballet, the basis of Chinese dance is very technical, says Yao, adding that modern choreography is becoming common in contemporary Chinese dance. “They just complement each other,” says Yao, who calls East Meets West XV an event that “showcases the diversity of not just the world through dance, but the world of diversity within our own city.” 8:15 p.m. April 29. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park. For information, visit danceaa.org. Free. — Katricia Lang

Todrick Hall has been a YouTube sensation, American Idol contestant, Broadway performer and guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Now, he’s taking his slightly off-kilter Disney-esque brand of music and entertainment and making a run for the money with his third studio album, Straight Outta Oz. The full-length album serves as a double entendre linking Hall’s life in Los Angeles and the beloved story of The Wizard of Oz. The cast, just north of a dozen people, help us explore the drama, excitement and bewilderment Hall experienced as he packed his bags and moved from Plainview to the City of Angels. Strap on the ruby red slippers — or, in Hall’s case, the crimson Timberland boots — and take a trip down his yellow brick road. 7:30 p.m. April 29. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit thehobbycenter.org. $34 to $91. — Sam Byrd

Beat-boxing, a Bollywood showstopper and Johann Strauss's The Blue Danube waltz (sung in German) are all part of the dance rhythm-themed program when the 140-voice choir, International Voices Houston, presents ¡Baila, Baila! Toes will be tapping when they throw in a few Argentine tangos, Eastern European folk songs and even a few Irish reels. They're also doing "Nyon Nyon" by American composer Jake Runestad. "This is a wildly creative and rhythmic piece sung on wordless syllables that features vocal percussion and beat-boxing," says Mark Vogel, the choir's director. As for that Bollywood hit? They're also performing "Jai Ho!", the upbeat, catchy tune made even more famous in Slumdog Millionaire, presented here with a little help from two percussionists and a Bharatnatyam dancer. 8 p.m. April 28, 3 and 7 p.m. April 29. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit matchouston.org or voiceshouston.org/baila-baila. $15 to $25. — Susie Tommaney

Sunday, April 30

Anybody who has stopped while reading fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm to think, "this is some dark stuff," will appreciate the latest improvisational score from dance-maker jhon r. stronks, whom we named one of our MasterMind Award-winners in 2014. Once upon a time in the land of green skies, blue grass, and red bottom shoes … is described as an allegorical fairy tale that mixes mythology with modern-day concerns of identity, accountability and political chaos. It's also our last chance to take a literal tour through the space at 5102 Navigation before parts are divvied up and sold off; stronks is asking audience members to take an interactive journey through the dance studio, workshop, exhibit hall, outdoor patio and black box. 7:30 p.m. April 28-30 and May 5-7. The Pilot on Navigation, 5102 Navigation. For information, call 281-979-4982 or visit freneticore.net. $16 to $20. — Susie Tommaney

Roll out the red carpet and loosen your purse strings. The brightest lights of the Malayalam cinema are headed to the Smart Financial Centre of Sugar Land for the noblest of causes, Dileep Show 2017. “We’ve been planning this for a long time. This night belongs to our church, and we are doing this event to help raise funds for our community center,” explains Johnson Varghese, one of the organizers on the board of the St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Cathedral Community Center Construction Project. The event, which Johnson expects will last three to four hours, is a “variety show” featuring music, comedy and appearances by beloved Bollywood actors and actresses. But no doubt the star of the night will be 49-year-old impressionist Dileep, who will serve as the night’s emcee and celebrity judge, offering witty remarks between show pieces. “We’re expecting between 2,000 and 3,000 people to attend,” says Varghese. “And this is about building our community center, for us to have a new chapel, a basketball court and to be a recreation center for all.” 5:30 p.m. April 30. For information, call 800-745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com. $50-200. — Vic Shuttee

How do we deal with Cuba? It’s a question we thought was pretty much resolved for us last year with Obama’s first-in-decades presidential visit to Havana and accompanying photo ops with Raúl Castro. In some ways, it’s a question that seems so last century. But here it is again, raised anew by the exhibition “Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950,” curated by Gerardo Mosquera, René Francisco Rodríguez and Elsa Vega, all based in Havana, now on view at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. There are works in the show that are Cuban Pop, Cuban Minimalist, Cuban whatever was going in the 60-plus years covered — though the arrangement isn’t chronological, but rather thematic, with sections titled “Cult and Deconstruction of the Revolutionary Nation,” “The Imposition of the Words: Discourse, Rhetoric, and Media Controls” and “Sea, Borders, Exile” among others. There is a section of colorful, pointed posters that are particularly vigorous — as is so often the case in revolutions everywhere. And many of the photographs — these may be the most engaging works in the show, especially the early ones — are ironic, amusing, beautiful, stirring. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 12:15 to 7 p.m. Sundays. Thorough May 21. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit mfah.org. Free to $15. — Randy Tibbits

Monday, May 1

Bitter American League West rivals the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers are both supposed to be pretty good this year, but we can predict at least one winner at the teams’ first matchup of the 2017 regular season: educators. It’s Teacher Appreciation Night at the ballpark, which means discounted tickets on premium-ish seating and a freebie item for the first 500 buyers. Hot-dog freaks can also win on Wednesday night with $1 hot dogs presented by Nolan Ryan Beef. Compare that to the $27 foot-long tamale hot dog (not a misprint; it’s 27 smackers) sold at Arlington’s Globe Life Park, and the hot dogs at Minute Maid are $26 cheaper. In other words, another one of the million reasons H-Town tops DFW. 7:10 p.m. May 1. Series continues at 7:10 p.m. May 2 and May 3 and 1:10 p.m. May 4. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. For information, call 713-259-8000 or visit houston.astros.mlb.com. $8-$86. — Steve Jansen

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