Things To Do

21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Deathcopter and an Arts Open House

The dancers label this circular structure the "deathcopter." NobleMotion Dance presents Catapult: Dance meets Design this Friday and Saturday at The Hobby Center.
The dancers label this circular structure the "deathcopter." NobleMotion Dance presents Catapult: Dance meets Design this Friday and Saturday at The Hobby Center. Photo by Lynn Lane

Tuesday, August 22

A full decade after its release, Hot Fuzz remains just as kooky and cultish as ever; its 10th anniversary gives Alamo Drafthouse ample reason to screen the film once again. In it, top cop Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is so good he makes everyone else look bad. So, after a little shuffling of paperwork, he’s off the London force and assigned to the sleepy British town of Sandford, where nothing ever happens…until people’s heads start falling off. “It’s a group of cops who find out there is a dark conspiracy, and it becomes a parody of American action films,” says the theater’s programming director, Robert Saucedo. To add to the fun, a curated pre-show 30 minutes before the film will provide gags and props to use throughout the movie. 7:30 p.m. August 22. 531 South Mason. For information, call 281-492-6900 or visit $12. — Sam Byrd

Wednesday, August 23

Yoga, craft beer and the breweries that produce that craft beer are all a big part of the Houston social scene. Why not combine all three into one? That’s exactly what Yoga & Hops has done, bringing yoga and beer to a number of local breweries, including Karbach and 8th Wonder. Entry includes one hour of vinyasa-based yoga, which focuses on movement and breath, and a craft beer to help wind down afterward. “Yoga & Hops is a chance to do something outside of the studio and maybe bring yoga to people who might not initially be drawn to that sort of environment,” says Cindy Agnew, who co-founded Y&H with college friend Angie Currell in 2014. “It’s a really friendly community setting.” 7 p.m. August 23. 8th Wonder Brewery, 2202 Dallas. For more information, call 832-930-0391 or visit $20 to $25; bring your own mat or rent one for $3. — Clint Hale

With President Trump making progress pulling out of the Paris climate accord and global warming deniers growing louder by the day, it’s good to know there are folks who’ve got our back. When not busy keeping track of the pollution released each year in the Bayou City (more than 68 million pounds in 2015), Air Alliance Houston also helps organize the Houston Green Film Series. Next up is Wild About Houston 2017: Short Films Screening, and it’s being held, fittingly enough, at the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion at Hermann Park. “Just based on what’s going on politically, people have kind of opened their eyes a little bit to seeing what’s going on around them. How their lives are being affected,” says Ryan Small, communications director. Come immerse yourself in nature, breathe in the (hopefully) fresh air and catch half a dozen shorts about wildlife and ecosystems. Stay after for a panel convo about our region’s conservation needs. Co-presenters include Katy Prairie Conservancy, Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, Coastal Prairie Partnership and Houston Native Prairies Association of Texas. 7 to 8:30 p.m. August 23. 1500 Hermann Drive. For information visit Free. — Susie Tommaney

Thursday, August 24

It’s hard to imagine a world without smiley faces, LOLs or other emoticons that describe our current state of mind. Newest kid on the Houston dance block Group Acorde is premiering a work that explores how technology has become so intertwined with our interactions. After developing a hashtag for a performance last year, Director Roberta Paixao Cortes said the troupe began talking about how we communicate with hashtags, emojis, emails and Facebook, which all fed into the title of this new work: Unemojional. “It’s a full collaboration. All of the music is original and performed live,” says Cortes. She describes their dance as contemporary, though both Cortes and Associate Director Lindsey McGill are classically trained. They also seem to have tapped into the zeitgeist with the timely release of The Emoji Movie. 8 p.m. August 24-25. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. For information, call 713-344-1291 or visit or $15 to $20. — Susie Tommaney

The Wayans are an entertainment dynasty, but how has Shawn Wayans kept his career satisfying? Diversity! Besides starring in and sometimes writing box-office hits like Little Man, White Chicks and the first two Scary Movie films, he’s kept his stand-up comedy a priority by hitting the clubs for more than 20 years, a tradition that continues with a weekend headlining the Houston Improv. “Stand-up’s not easy!” Wayans explains. “It’s never boring, there’s always excitement with new people coming to see you. The high you get from making people you don’t know laugh is impossible to explain, this jolt of energy. You’ll get out of shape if you don’t do it – you’ll go from being Kobe when he’s in shape to now Kobe with his shirt on.” 8 p.m. August 24, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. August 25, 7 and 9:30 p.m. August 26, 7:30 p.m. August 27. Houston Improv, 7620 Katy Freeway. For information call 713-333-8800 or visit $25. — Vic Shuttee

Friday, August 25

Imagine a door becoming a see-saw, a 12-foot-tall stone mill morphing into a Ferris wheel or a tunnel that narrows your point of view like a telescope. Now factor in a company of dancers, leaping and swinging, climbing and twisting against these transformable set pieces, and you’ve got NobleMotion Dance’s Catapult: Dance meets Design. Husband-and-wife artistic directors and choreographers Andy Noble and Dionne Sparkman Noble agree that it would have been easy to make the five dance works mechanical, and therefore less human, but, adds Dionne Noble, “I think music and lighting and the dancers themselves soften the edges throughout, but it is true that these are real structures – there’s steel onstage, there’s a largeness, a grandness to the structures. I think we can only be human against them.” 7:30 p.m. August 25-26. The Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit $25 to $35. — Natalie de la Garza

The premise is simple: A couple has invited another couple over for a dinner party, but the guests show up on the wrong night. What makes Yasmina Reza’s Life X 3 ominous and/or funny, depending on which of the three outcomes the audience is watching, is how protagonists Henry and Sonia respond when there’s no food and no way to calm their unhinged six-year-old child. “It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you respond,” says Trevor Cone, executive director of Dirt Dogs Theatre Co., producing the French playwright known for Art and God of Carnage for the first time. “It’s a very philosophical yet scientific look at who we are in the universe,” adds Cone, who’s directing the play. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. August 25 through September 9. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-561-5113 or visit $22. — Steve Jansen

Sure, card-carrying designers get first crack at The Houston Design Center’s Designer Sample Sale during a day before preview but — trust us — there are still plenty of couture furnishings to be had for a song. Sheri Roane, marketing director for the center, tells us they keep raiding designer storage areas throughout the event, even Sunday. “It’s really good stuff; designer furnishings, things that go into beautiful homes and condominiums all over Houston.” Look for rugs, case goods, accessories, lighting and one-of-a-kind pieces. Time it right (the early bird finds the bargains), refuel at the food trucks (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), and attend one of the free lectures about mastering luxury (10:30 a.m. August 25), remodeling tips (10:30 a.m. August 26) and escaping the clutter (11:30 a.m. August 25-26). 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 25-27. 7026 Old Katy Road. For information, call 713-864-2660 or visit Free. — Susie Tommaney

The Waiting Room follows the spirit of a Bengali-British housewife who has just died but has three sunrises remaining to eavesdrop on her family and find closure before she moves on to await reincarnation. Her spirit guide? Bollywood heartthrob and legendary actor Dilip Kumar, who reached his peak with audiences in the 1950s and '60s yet remains crush-worthy for Priya even in death. British dramatist Tanika Gupta garnered attention (and the John Whiting Award) in 2000 for this sentimental comedy that takes us through the stages of denial, outrage and acceptance as long-held secrets are revealed. Bree Bridger, who just finished a stint directing for Mildred's Umbrella's Museum of Dysfunction IX, directs this production for presenter Shunya Theatre, a Texas-based South Asian theater troupe. 8 p.m. Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. August 25 through September 3. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit or $20. — Susie Tommaney

Anybody who has ever wondered about the glamour of the greasepaint and the prestige of hanging out backstage will think again after witnessing the door-slamming British farce, Noises Off, where everything that can go wrong, does. Playwright Michael Frayn got the idea for the play after realizing that behind-the-scenes hijinks are sometimes funnier than what the audience members are watching, and his play-within-a-play debuted in London in 1982. Stageworks Theatre is opening the season with this classic romp and updating the piece by setting it in 1971, the same year that No Sex, Please, We're British debuted. Costumer Ellen Girdwood has her work cut out for her, outfitting the cast in the groovy bell-bottoms and bright, psychedelic colors of the early '70s. Sean Thompson (As You Like It) directs. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. August 25 through September 17. 10760 Grand Road. For information, call 281-587-6100 or visit $19 to $28. — Susie Tommaney

click to enlarge Learn more about an exciting season in Houston arts during the 24th annual Transcanada Theater District Open House this Sunday. Shown: Da Camera will present the Robert Glasper Experiment on October 6. - PHOTO BY MATHIEU BITTON
Learn more about an exciting season in Houston arts during the 24th annual Transcanada Theater District Open House this Sunday. Shown: Da Camera will present the Robert Glasper Experiment on October 6.
Photo by Mathieu Bitton
Saturday, August 26

Imagine a local, one-night-only megaevent that unified Day For Night, the fantastical Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, New Mexico, artist Brion Gysin’s hallucinatory Dream Machine, and a few clandestine goings-on. That’s what artist Bambull Black, the collective made up of artists Hannah Bull, Dom Bam and Black Cassidy, is after in their homegrown production, Dream Machine 2017, which this year invited 15 artists to create interactive, tech-inspired and digital installations that anchor the nightlong art party. The crux and namesake of the event is a reimagined Dream Machine by Noah Wight and Cactus Bath. Much like Gysin’s piece that was made popular by William Burroughs, this version is supposed to simulate an alpha brain-wave state that eventually generates sober hallucinations. “The idea is to give a platform for tech-inspired and digital installation artists,” says Bull. 6 p.m. August 26. The Grove, 215 Grove. For information, visit $20 to $40. — Steve Jansen

Lift your soul and start each day off right with the Texas Poetry Calendar, compiling the work of 15 renowned wordsmiths (including Houston attorney Stan Crawford, octogenarian Jean Donaldson Mahavier and 2018 Texas Poet Laureate Carol Coffee Reposa) for a celebration of the written masterpieces that capture the elegance of our fair state. The calendar will be available to purchase at a public reading of selected works by the authors and editors of the Dos Gatos publication at Blue Willow Bookshop. “The calendar is subtitled Editor’s Selections,” says David Meischen, Dos Gatos’ managing editor, “which means we personally read every poem from the last nine years of the calendar to select the final 128 included within. You might call it a ‘Best Of’!” 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. August 26. 14532 Memorial. For information call 281-497-8675 or visit Free. — Vic Shuttee

This isn’t the costume-clad “fighters” you see on WWE, a bunch of screaming muscleheads and barely-dressed bikini-beasts. Instead, Fathom Events’ Mayweather vs. McGregor will be the knock-em-out showdown of the year. When boxing legend Floyd “Money” Mayweather faces off against UFC’s “The Notorious” Conor McGregor, it will mark the first time boxing and MMA will meet in a sanctioned match. Gather with other fighting fans at a movie theater near you, for a full-screen experience, and find out who brings home the glory and who goes home defeated. 8 p.m. August 26. Various theaters including Edwards Houston Marq’e Stadium 23, 7600 Katy Freeway. For information, visit Prices vary by location. $43. — Sam Byrd

It seems as if everybody's looking for a place to watch the big fight, and for those who'd like to do so while pulling some 12-ounce curls should step up to their neighborhood Little Woodrow's for the Mayweather vs McGregor Watch Party. They're ponying up the big bucks for this pay-per-view fight, screening it on multiple high-def televisions in Houston, Austin, Midland and San Antonio. While the outcome seems predictable, insiders are chattering about the controversial decision to allow both men to fight in eight ounce gloves when the undefeated 11-time, five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. goes head-to-head with UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor, leveling the playing field (somewhat) and making for a more interesting — and more dangerous — match. 6 to 11:45 p.m. August 26. 2019 Walker, 22225 Katy Freeway, 2306 Brazos and 720 Shepherd. For information, visit $20 to $350. — Susie Tommaney

Have you ever imagined if an AK-47 and M-16, two high-powered military-style guns, squared off against one another? Somebody has. As part of “The Propeller Group” art exhibition, the Ho Chi Minh City and Los Angeles-based art collective is presenting screenings of AK-47 vs. M16, The Film. The group’s debut feature-length motion picture pieces together footage from Hollywood blockbusters, newsreels, YouTube videos and promotional pieces to create a montage film in which the rifles become the main characters. “The guns become the foreground,” says Javier Sanchez Martinez, the curatorial fellow responsible for overseeing “The Propeller Group” installation, which includes war-centric multi-media pieces. “In this way, they represent the ways we have been thinking about both sides of the world, which is very important.” 6 p.m. August 26. Continuing 6 p.m. Thursdays September 7 through 28. Blaffer Art Museum, 120 Fine Arts Building. For information, call 713-743-9521 or visit Free. — Steve Jansen

Kids and kids at heart will get the chance to fly to the moon with Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Rocket Day. The event, hosted at the museum’s George Observatory in Brazos Bend State Park, allows people to pretend to be astronauts on a simulated spaceship mission. Then, afterward, build your own water rocket and launch it into the sky. Josh Ronh, operations director, tells us, “The exhibition is an activity that builds teamwork and problem-solving skills. That’s the main part. The Rocket portion is educational. You learn how rockets work, and it’s just fun. Any time you can combine entertainment with education, we think that’s great.” Note: Entry into the state park is $7 for adults and children over 12. 10 a.m. to noon, August 26. 21901 F.M. 762. For information, call 281-242-3055 or visit Free to $30. — Sam Byrd

While we're all still coming down from the high that was Big Eclipse Monday, here's one more chance to fly a little too close to the sun. Local artist James Ciosek has an interesting relationship with his neighbors. They don't call the cops when he shoots off fireworks in his yard, and he promises to use only the pyrotechnics "you can get away with in Houston" when making his speckled, veined and bubbled "opal skinned" light sculptures. It's closing night for his "Moth To The Flame" exhibit over at Zoya Tommy Gallery, giving us one more chance to ogle his sculptures where the flames call the shots, yielding surprising and unpredictable results. It's an interactive exhibit, and the viewer gets an added bonus while ambulating through the space, so come check out this show before it closes. Special viewing shades and glasses are not required. 7 to 9 p.m. August 26. 4102 Fannin. For information, call 832-649-5814 or visit Free. — Susie Tommaney

Revention's got a no-weapons policy at the door but, no worries, because all the action — and plenty of violence — is in the ring when the toughest female athletes in town go into battle for the Houston Roller Derby's 2017 Championship double header event. Things don't look good for the Bayou City Bosses, coming in to the match with a 0-5 record, but Captain Betty Watchett and Co-Captain Dropkick Betty are bringing their A-game when they go up against The Valkyries, doing much better this season with a 3-2 record. As long as they don't veer from their winning strategies, Valkyries' Captains Hot Assets and Slayer Moon should take this one for the distance. Game two pits The Brawlers (2-3) against the undefeated The Psych Ward Sirens. Brawlers' Captain Payo Dues and Co-Captain Hellen Killer are preparing for the fight, but will they have enough to defeat the indomitable Psychs helmed by Captain Jekyll & Heidi and Co-Captain Mad Milkshake? Don't miss the inevitable victory laps during the after party at Christian's Tailgate White Oak. 7 p.m. August 26. Revention Music Center, 520 Texas. For information, call 713-230-1600 or visit or $15 to $25. — Susie Tommaney

Sunday, August 27

The magic of theater will go beyond the stage and into the streets with the Transcanada Theater District Open House. This family-friendly extravaganza spans five venues and includes free performances from 11 different arts organizations. Enjoy backstage tours, demonstrations, performer meet-and-greets, calligraphy lessons, photo ops and more. Finish the day with your choice of two performances at 4 p.m.: a concert by the Houston Symphony or an onstage class and rehearsal by the Houston Ballet II. Theater District CEO Kathryn McNiel is keeping things fresh this year. “There’s going to be a couple of surprise pop-up performances. I don’t want to give too much away because it’s going to be great fun.” Noon to 5 p.m. August 27. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas; Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby; Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana; Revention Music Center, 520 Texas; and Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For information, visit Free. — Sam Byrd

They're wet, they're wild, and now one of our favorite Houston-area water parks is starring on television when the Travel Channel rebroadcasts an episode of Xtreme Waterparks from season seven. The thrill-seeking producers went on a hunt for the most wild, most over-the-top and exhilarating water rides around the world and two of the rides from Wet’n’Wild SplashTown made the cut in episode five. Whoop! Be sure to tune in to the Travel Channel this morning to catch the in-depth coverage on Brain Drain, the seven-story, 333-foot, 360-degree floor dropping ride, as well as the seven-story Texas Freefall. 9 a.m. August 27. For information, visit Free. — Susie Tommaney

Monday, August 28

Long-dead civilizations, greedy pirates and a mysterious crystal pendant set the tone for Castle in the Sky, one of Studio Ghibli’s earliest films and a testament to the power of animation over CGI, puppetry or live action. Director Hayao Miyazaki takes us on a stunning visual journey as our heroes search for a floating island while the army closes in. Continuing with its GKIDS Presents Studio Ghibli Fest 2017, Fathom Events is delivering this anime classic to the big screen with a lagniappe of award-winning shorts from around the world. Hear the original dialogue with English subtitles this Monday, or check out the August 27 screening dubbed in English by Anna Paquin, Cloris Leachman, Mark Hamill, Mandy Patinkin and other big names. 12:55 p.m. August 27, 7 p.m. August 28. Edwards Greenway Grand Palace Stadium 24 & RPX, 3839 Weslayan. Price varies by location; visit for listing of participating venues. $13.53. — Susie Tommaney
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