21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: The Bodyguard and World of Dance Tour

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Tuesday, August 15

She’s a pop star in danger so a bodyguard is hired to protect her. They get closer and closer until shazaam, it’s not just a business arrangement anymore. Yes, the 1992 hit movie The Bodyguard has been made into a musical of the same name, because why wouldn’t a love story with good songs work well as a musical, especially if even more Whitney Houston songs were piled on? Now on its way to the Hobby Center courtesy of BBVA Compass Broadway Across America, the story has been moved up to present day and focuses on the singer (Canadian singer Deborah Cox in the Rachel Marron role) rather than the bodyguard. Judson Mills (TV’s The Icarus II Project), who plays Frank Farmer, says, “People love it. People are on their feet every night. We got people hollering the whole show.” Watch for many special effects and lights — “It takes eight semis to carry us around,” Mills says — so prepare to be dazzled. And start working on those songs, which now include — in addition to “I Will Always Love You” — “Saving All My Love For You,” “How Will I Know” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” And many more. “It’s a celebration,” Mills says. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Through August 20. 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit thehobbycenter.org. $30 to $110. — Margaret Downing

With one soubresaut off Wortham's main stage, Houston Ballet Principal Dancer Connor Walsh has landed in an intense sonic world created by sound and multi-media artist Lynn Lane. The Transitory Sound and Movement Collective has once again transformed the Rec Room into its own collaborative playground, mixing in music (Ingrid Gerling on electric violin, Brandon Bell on percussion, Lane on synthesizer) while Walsh moves in response in this saturated, visual environment. So make your own grand jeté downtown and check out this unusual and immersive experience, Hi-Fi? Lo-Fi? Don't Ask Why! 7:30 p.m. August 15. 100 Jackson. For information, call 713-344-1291 or visit recroomhtx.com. $15. — Susie Tommaney

Wednesday, August 16

One of Hollywood’s most-discussed recent blockbusters is returning to rekindle the passion and heartbreak between Emma Stone’s Mia and Ryan Gosling’s Sebastian. Winner of six Academy Awards (and, for a split second, winner of seven Academy Awards), La La Land swept the country off its feet and made us fall in love with musical films again. The story follows an aspiring actress and a jazz musician pursuing the ups and downs of their Hollywood dreams as they also fall in and out of love. Of course, it wouldn’t be a musical without the singing, music, dancing, costumes and elaborate scenery — all with the gorgeous Hollywood Hills as the backdrop. Note for parents: The movie carries a PG-13 rating for language. 8:30 p.m. August 16. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive. For information, call 832-487-7102 or visit milleroutdoortheatre.com. Free. — Sam Byrd

The abundance of reality television proves that all the world's a stage, and courtroom dramas make up a good portion of our unscripted guilty pleasures. Now local attorneys and judges are stepping out of the courthouse and into the world of musical theater for Night Court 2017: Con Law - From the Beginning, trading in their briefcases and gavels for an evening of singing, dancing and rapping. The charity show parodies hits from DNCE, Amy Winehouse, Pat Benatar and Broadway's Hamilton as it takes us on a musical journey through law, politics and history. Expect to see a few suits in the audience, too, as legal professionals can pick up a couple of CLE credits just for attending. 7:30 p.m. August 16-19. The Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit nightcourt.org. $35 to $43. — Susie Tommaney

With our nation divided about whether immigration contributes to the richness of our country or its downfall, more than a few of us are reminded of the 12 million immigrants who came through Ellis Island and helped make America great. For those lucky enough to get in, the sight of the Statue of Liberty must have been a relief after the long transatlantic voyage. Now Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble is taking another look at the meaning behind Lady Liberty during its performance of What Will You Do When You Feel Their Absence?, a new work for dancers, trumpet, bass and vocals. Brangwen was burning the midnight oil on this one, developing the choreography, costumes and text; Thomas Helton wrote the music and Peter Josyph contributed to the text. The second half of the evening features all new music, in the style of 1920s New Orleans jazz, performed by the Boomtown Brass Band. 8 p.m. August 16. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 832-659-5096 or 713-521-4533 or visit brangwendance.org or matchouston.org. $15 to $20. — Susie Tommaney

Thursday, August 17

Raise your hand if you've indulged in a bit of schadenfreude at some point in your life. Now Fragments, a new play by Michael Weems making its regional premiere with Cone Man Running Productions, plays to the humor found in witnessing the misfortune of others. Three roommates throw an impromptu party and their worst fears are realized: Elizabeth (Whitney Zangarine) seems hell-bent on robbing men of their cojones, George (Zachary Braver) is both infatuated with and fearful of the goddess Cassandra and Ryan (Andraes Hunt) has a girlfriend straight out of your worst nightmare. Stir in some alcohol and watch the sparks fly. It's the second main-stage production in Cone Man's new digs on Navigation, so come see what they've done with the space and try not to laugh too hard at the sad destinies of these fated characters. 8 p.m. August 17. Continuing 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and August 21. August 17 through August 26. The Beacon Theatre, 5102 Navigation. For information, call 281-972-5897 or visit conemanrunning.com. $15 to $20. — Susie Tommaney

For two nights only, Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett, the Peabody-winning funny voices behind Mystery Science Theater 3000 and more, will be broadcasting a live audio commentary to sci-fi cultural touchstone Doctor Who’s famed 20th-anniversary special, “The Five Doctors,” with RiffTrax Live: Doctor Who. Launched in 2006 after MST3K ended (but before its recent Netflix revival), RiffTrax has released the commentaries to more than 200 films directly to its ravenous fans on its website. With this Fathom Events-sponsored broadcast, the Film Crew will be riffing live in Nashville and beaming to theaters across America. 7 to 10 p.m. August 17 and August 24. Edwards Marq*E, 7600 Katy Freeway. 844-462-7342. Price varies by location; visit fathomevents.com for participating venues. $13.53. — Vic Shuttee

Actor Keith David’s love affair with Nat King Cole was cemented with a dreamed-up affair he had as a child. “There was a guy who wanted to date my mother and he was a great impersonator, including of Nat King Cole,” says David, an Emmy-winning narrator who has appeared in the films The Thing, There’s Something About Mary and Armageddon, among many others. “I would have a reoccurring dream that he ran away with my mother and into a crimson room.” Too Marvelous for Words: A Celebration of Nat “King” Cole features David and a trio of musician friends paying tribute to the crooner whose megahits include “Mona Lisa” and “Unforgettable.” Says David, “There isn’t an occasion in my life where I can’t find a Nat King Cole song to fit.” 8:30 p.m. August 17. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park. For information, call 281-373-3386 or visit milleroutdoortheatre.com. Free. — Steve Jansen

The playwrights participating in the 27th annual ScriptWriters Houston 10X10 Festival of Original Ten Minute Plays have a lot on the minds — topics ranging from sex trafficking to the present political scene. “The issues are couched within these pieces that are about bigger things,” says Rachel Dickson, president of ScriptWriters Houston and co-artistic director of the festival with Bob Inger. “The shows are responding to our current climate through futuristic world development, ethnic understanding, relationship with technology, betrayal, corporatism and grief and loss.” The yearly event brings together theater folks from across the city to perform ten, ten-minute plays each night. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, August 17 through August 26. Also 3 p.m. August 20; 7:30 p.m. August 24. The DeLuxe Theatre, 3303 Lyons. For information, call 713-674-0175 or visit scriptwriters-houston.org. $17. — Steve Jansen

Downtown Houston is about to get a little cooler. Literally. A new art installation will provide both colorful beauty and some very welcomed shade to the outdoor park and events hub. Texas-based duo The Color Condition is building three separate installations, collectively titled Arcade, for the public area between Discovery Green and the George R. Brown Convention Center. The group will create the art from strips of tablecloths, shower curtains and painters’ drop cloths. “We wanted an installation that would have [a] longer shelf life, that could sustain the rain and could provide shade. So this ticked off all those boxes,” says Discovery Green’s marketing manager, Ren Mitchell. And it’s huge. “We’ve got 400-500 feet of the installation that will hang from above.” August 17 through November 15. 1500 McKinney and 1001 Avenida de las Americas. For information, visit discoverygreen.com or grbhouston.com. Free. — Sam Byrd

Paul Mitchell Presents: World of Dance Tour 2017 touches down in the Bayou City this Saturday afternoon.
Paul Mitchell Presents: World of Dance Tour 2017 touches down in the Bayou City this Saturday afternoon.
Photo by Jordan Abrantes

Friday, August 18

The bey Mustafà is the boor to trump all boors. To punish his complaining wife Elvira, the Algerian ruler makes plans to give her away like chattel and commands his captain in service to find somebody more interesting; apparently he's already bored by all the women in his harem. The good news for L'Italiana in Algeri, an Italian opera (composer Gioachino Rossini, librettist Angelo Anelli), is that the women triumph in the end — using a little bit of trickery, deceit and good old-fashioned ingenuity — making for a very satisfying happy ending. Local performance group Operativo Houston is presenting a fully-staged, partial orchestra performance of this Rossinian comedy in a fresh, new minimalist take in a chamber theater environment. 7:30 p.m. August 18-19. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit operativohouston.com or matchouston.org. $10 to $27. — Susie Tommaney

Riding the wave of success from last fall’s explosively thrilling production of Becky Shaw, Firecracker Productions is back in the saddle, kicking off its fourth season with the regional premiere of Catherine Trieschmann’s Crooked. The New York Times had high praise for the script during the play’s off-Broadway run almost ten years ago. “There are a lot of deep, heavy things that happen in the play,” says Danielle Bunch, making her directorial debut for Firecracker. “The mental illness is not brought in until very late.” Arianna Bermudez (Dollface) plays the mother, with Anna Maria Morris and Emily Beth Lange as the dystonia-afflicted daughter and her Bible-thumping friend, respectively. Thursday performances benefit Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Greater Houston. 8 p.m. August 18. Continuing 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and August 21. August 18 through September 2. Obsidian Theater, 3522 White Oak. For information, call 832-889-7837 or visit firecrackerproductions.org. $10 to $40. — Susie Tommaney

Noel Coward was posh personified, flamboyantly so. Not to the manor born, he wanted the high life so badly that by 11 years old, he was acting professionally on the London stage, taking to theater life as if drawn to the footlights like a firefly. He did it all: composing, writing, acting, directing, singing (of a sort). His frothy operettas, his revues and those sparkling sex comedies of manners from the ’30s (Private Lives and Design for Living) cemented his place among the top echelon of boulevardiers; he never stopped entertaining. There was no one quite like him on either side of the Atlantic. As a tasty fundraiser, Main Street Theater presents Cocktails & Coward in tribute to this distinguished auteur. For MST, having presented definitive performances of many of his works, Coward is like a second skin. The company’s loyal talent will present scenes, sketches and those delightfully droll songs. Attire is ’30s chic or cocktail casual; white dinner jacket is optional, or wear silk pajamas if you’d like. Noel would approve. 7:30 p.m. August 18 and 19. Main Street Theater, 2540 Times Boulevard. For information, call 713-524-6706 or visit mainstreettheater.com. $125 to $175. — D.L. Groover

Despite the name Comedian Trump, don’t show up to Warehouse Live expecting a bash-fest. “Comedian Trump” is the alter ego of Mexican-American Houstonian Juan W. Lopez, who alleges he has used the moniker since 2009. “Comedian Trump is a name that came up before this whole [President] thing happened,” the comic says. “My comedy is real edgy and borderline hilarious. It started with a skit where we had a character that exaggerated everything he said, and we started doing the Rich and Famous guy [Robin Leach]. We thought that voice needed a code name, someone rich. So we called him Trump, ’cause he had the money and he was big on YouTube.” Despite the intervening eight years, the name stuck and Comedian Trump is headlining his own night of laughs with the Laugh Out Loud Worldwide Comedy Tour. 10 p.m. August 18. Warehouse Live. 813 St. Emanuel. For information, call 713-225-5483 or visit warehouselive.com. $20. — Vic Shuttee

Saturday, August 19

Whether you think Keone and Mari were robbed or are on board with the judges’ decision to name Parisian hip-hop duo Les Twins top act in NBC’s World of Dance, judge and executive producer J-Lo has tapped into something fierce with her Ne-Yo/Derek Hough/Jenna Dewan Tatum dance-competition vehicle. Now’s our chance to feel the excitement live in H-Town with Paul Mitchell Presents: World of Dance Tour 2017. “You can’t just watch. The crowd is part of the performance. The crowd gives the passion,” says David Gonzalez, WoD founder. “It’s amazing seeing the dancers bring their A game.” Ricky Cole and Bboy Morris host this afternoon of urban dance and mind-blowing choreography with performances by Luka and Jenalyn, Diana Pombo and Nick Daniels, plus the all-styles battle Headbangerz Brawl. 3 p.m. August 19. Revention Music Center, 520 Texas. For information, call 713-230-1600 or visit reventionmusiccenter.com. $23.50 to $43.50. — Susie Tommaney

Who cares if the starters might only play a quarter or two — or maybe just a handful of snaps? It’s officially the return of football when the Houston Texans host the New England Patriots in the Texans’ preseason home opener. Brock Osweiler is out of here, leaving Tom Savage and rookie Deshaun Watson to battle it out for the starting QB position, and J.J. Watt will test his superhero-esque motor that suffered through two back surgeries, all of which means that this game matters quite a bit for the hometown heroes. Of course, the last time Tom Brady set foot on the NRG Stadium turf, the now-40-year-old QB led the Pats back from a 28-3 deficit and defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 34-28 in overtime, in what many believe was the greatest Super Bowl ever played. 7 p.m. August 19. 1 NRG Park. For information, call 832-667-2002 or visit houstontexans.com. $44 to $349. — Steve Jansen

Poetry from around the world — with themes of new beginnings, wanderlust, nostalgia, woman, loss and inclusion — takes on new meaning when these ancient and contemporary texts are interpreted by the Silambam Houston Dance Company. Although the poetry is read in its native language during Kavya: Poetry in Motion, the meaning will become clear through the expressive Indian dance forms of Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Odissi, as well as through modern interpretations. Come crack the code of this mysterious culture and remember what new love feels like, as in this excerpt by Indian philosopher and poet Sri Aurobindo: "I have tried to save my soul alive from your snare, I will strive no more; let it flutter and perish there. I too will snare your body alive, O my dove, And teach you all the torture and sweetness of love." 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. August 19. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-635-9382 or 713-521-4533 or visit silambamhouston.org or matchouston.org. $17. — Susie Tommaney

Sunday, August 20

With the Houston Astros humming along with the help of future legends Dallas Keuchel, José Altuve and Carlos Correa (though he’s injured at the moment), it’s easy to forget about the old-school VIPs. Fans attending the final contest of the ’Stros’ Legends Weekend series against division rival Oakland Athletics can pick up a 1997 National League Central Division championship replica pennant, presented by Houston Methodist. Then they should go home, scream out the names of Hall of Famers Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio as well as closer Billy Wagner and manager Larry Dierker, slap that puppy up on the wall, and remember that magical season that sent the team to their first playoff berth in 11 years, where they fell to the Atlanta Braves in the NL Division Series. Boo-hoo. 1:10 p.m. August 20. Also 7:10 p.m. August 18; 6:10 p.m. August 19. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. For information, call 713-259-8000 or visit astros.com. $9 to $95. — Steve Jansen

We're hard-pressed to think of anything good that came out of 2015's Memorial Day and 2016's Tax Day flooding, but two positive examples come to mind: the heroism that resulted as neighbors worked to help those in need and a new composition by former Houstonian Desmond Ikegwuonu. The piece, which is accompanied by text from community members at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston, is being performed during an afternoon concert in ERJCC's "everything but the kitchen sink" Celebrate the New Year the J Way event. In preparation for the upcoming high holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the center is also offering educational opportunities, an opening reception for a new art exhibit featuring works by The Women in the Visual and Literary Arts, and the closing concert, One Voice, One Vibe, One Community. 1:15, 2, 3:30 and 4 p.m. August 20. 5601 South Braeswood. For information, call 713-729-3200 or visit erjcchouston.org. Free. — Susie Tommaney

Monday, August 21

We know better than to stare at the sun, but occasionally something really cool happens that makes us want to turn our eyes to the sky. In this case, the Houston Museum of Natural Science is here to help us enjoy the solar event with The Great Eclipse. Both the museum and its satellite station in Sugar Land will host six special, 15-minute programs explaining the aspects of the eclipse and what it looks like from Houston, the so-called “line of totality” and even from the Moon. Additionally, volunteers will be on hand to help viewers safely observe the celestial event. “You must project the sun onto a screen or use a filter especially made for looking at the sun,” warns HMNS astronomer James Wooten. Noon to 2 p.m. August 21. 5555 Hermann Park and 13016 University. For information, call 713-639-4629 or visit hmns.org. $4 to $9. — Sam Byrd

The Starship Troopers franchise keeps on keeping on, with numerous video games, TV episodes and movies under its belt, and now our space adventurers are headed to the red planet, but things don't look good. The just released Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars pits Federation trooper Johnny Rico against giant bugs, picking up where 2012's Starship Troopers: Invasion left off. Casper Van Dien voices the part of Rico who soon realizes he's in trouble during what should have been a routine training mission for new recruits on a satellite station. Everybody join in now and recite, "The only good bug is a dead bug!" The flick premieres this Monday and, in this Fathom Events presentation, we'll get to see an exclusive introduction by Van Dien and writer Ed Neumeier, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the filmmakers. 7:30 and 10 p.m. August 21. AMC Willowbrook 24, 17145 Tomball Parkway. Price varies by location; visit fathomevents.com for list of participating venues. $13.53. — Susie Tommaney

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