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

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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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