Tuesday, May 23
Become part of something big and join Los Angeles-based musician, filmmaker and visual artist Colette Miller's phenomenon-gone-viral, the Global Angel Wings Project
. Three of the artist's wings are on view in downtown Houston (two outside and one indoors), courtesy of Arts Brookfield, so it's time to get your selfie on, post it to social media and see if you can get more than 1,000 likes, topping other Instagrammers in Los Angeles, Mexico, Kenya and Australia. It's a great message – we can be the good of this earth and we can be the angels of this earth – so head downtown and find a little inner peace. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. 1600 Smith. May 1 through July 30. For information, visit artsbrookfield.com/event/angel-wings. Free.
– Susie Tommaney
Take a trip to the Earth’s most remote places with Mike Libecki, one of Men’s Journal
’s “World’s 50 Most Adventurous Men” and a National Geographic
2013 “Adventurer of the Year.” Climbing Dreams
will round out the Houston Symphony’s final installment of its National Geographic
Live series as it shows us why Libecki earned those distinctions. “Essentially, I’m a climber, and I specialize in places where people haven’t been before,” he says. “They’re untouched virgin Earth. Rescue can be almost impossible — despite technology. I climb, and I explore places no one has been to before.” For this talk, he’ll describe his experience tackling mud and mayhem on the massive Poumaka Tower in French Polynesia; encountering fear and friendship on the Bamiyan slopes of Afghanistan; and dodging polar bears in Greenland’s icy waters. Whether Arctic cold or Polynesian jungles, it all sounds vividly entertaining. 7:30 p.m. May 23. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $15 to $65.
– Sam Byrd
In what has to be the ultimate in cerebral strip shows, history buff John Keahey keeps audience members in rapt attention by peeling off clothing and armor, telling the purpose and meaning behind each piece, before re-donning another character's garb. For this new HMNS Distinguished Lecture Series: Roman Legionnaires - The Soldiers of the Roman Empire by John Keahey
, the talented extrovert will examine the armor, weaponry and equipment of a typical Roman legionary solder and of a Roman auxiliary soldier. We'll also hear about their living conditions (training was key to survival) and daily lives (most of the fighters were vegetarian) through presentation and discussion. 6:30 p.m. May 23. Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive. For information, call 713-639-4629 or visit hmns.org. $12 to $18.
– Susie Tommaney
We've been watching Houston artist Adela Andea for a while now; her fusions of technology with imagination and fine art result in brightly colored, often illuminated, pulsing bioluminescent sculptural masterpieces. For the current site-specific installation courtesy of Arts Brookfield, she carted along boxes full of LED lights, electronics, wires, gizmos and gadgets and whipped it all together to create It's Unreal!
at downtown's Total Plaza. By day the Romanian-born artist trains future artists in 2-D and 3-D media at Lone Star College and Houston Community College; during weekdays Houstonians and technology fanatics can come check out the amazing blend of the organic with geometric in this Sally Reynolds-curated installation. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. May 15 through September 8. 1201 Louisiana. For information, visit artsbrookfield.com/event/its-unreal. Free.
– Susie Tommaney
Wednesday, May 24
A young attorney moves to a Wild West frontier town, stands up to the local bad guy and is promptly beaten half to death. Set in the late 1800s and early 1900s, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
is a 2014 play (by a Brit, no less) made from the same Dorothy M. Johnson short story as John Ford’s 1962 film starring John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. Kenn McLaughlin, artistic director of Stages Repertory Theatre, read the script and says he jumped at the chance to tell the story onstage of Ranse Stoddard and the people who befriended him: the young woman named Hallie and the broken-down cowboy Tom Doniphon. “It’s rare that you see a hardcore Western onstage,” says McLaughlin. “I love the kind of black-and-white epic nature of these good-versus-evil kind of ideas. But what I really love about this play is that it suggests there’s no such thing as black and white when it comes down to how a community comes together.” In keeping with that, McLaughlin has decided to have his two male leads periodically switch roles, meaning actors David Matranga and Adam Noble will take turns being Ranse or Liberty. “We’re all capable of good and evil. At what point in time are we the villain and at what time the hero?” McLaughlin says. An intriguing idea, one that may have audience members going twice. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Through June 25. 3201 Allen Parkway. For information, call 713-527-0123 or visit stagestheatre.com. $21 to $65.
– Margaret Downing
Publicists would kill for another situation like this one. In the olden days, and we're talking the 1970s, Coors beer was a regional product not sold east of the Mississippi, making for a sweet plot point in an action-packed adventure drama with plenty of sex appeal on screen (Burt Reynolds), fast cars (Pontiac Trans Am), stunts (it was written and directed by Hal Needham, the highest paid stuntman in the world) and the challenge of delivering 400 cases of beer from Texarkana to Atlanta in 28 hours. Why? It's all to appease wealthy Big Enos Burdette and his son Little Enos, with complications by a rabid Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason) and his son, who was spurned by runaway bride Carrie (Sally Field). Fathom Events is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Smokey and the Bandit
during this two-day big screen event. 2 and 7 p.m. May 21 and May 24. Edwards Houston Marq*E Stadium 23 & IMAX, 7600 Katy Freeway. Price varies by location; visit fathomevents.com for participating venues. for $13.53.
– Susie Tommaney
Thursday, May 25
The “Thrill on the Hill” is back, delivering four nights of classic Motown hits, though the Dancin’ in the Street...Motown & More Revue
has expanded its groovy trip down memory lane to include other eras. “[We added] acts from the ’90s, kind of encompassing more of the R&B eras, [and] a tribute to Stevie Wonder,” says Dalilah Whitmore, one of the co-producers for presenter Bacement Foundation for the Arts. Before all is said and done, she adds, the 20 singers, 10 dancers and 23-piece orchestra will perform more than 30 tunes from Marvin Gaye, the Four Tops, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Prince, Michael Jackson and more. She admits it can get a bit chaotic backstage with all the people and costume changes but, being that this is their 22nd year at Miller Outdoor Theatre, all we’ll see is smooth and cool. 8:15 p.m. May 25 through May 28. 6000 Hermann Park. For information, call 281-373-3386 or visit milleroutdoortheatre.com. Free.
– Susie Tommaney
After 9/11, as society’s dominant rhetoric claimed that her religion was oppressive to women’s rights, Asma Uddin found herself in the midst of a crisis. She almost lost her faith completely, but that very questioning led to the work she does today as a lawyer specializing in religious freedom. Now the founder of a web magazine exploring gender and Islam, Uddin will share her story in Feminist Perspectives of the Divine in Islam
, the final installment in the Rothko Chapel’s “Concept of the Divine” series. “The topic is less an academic or legal approach to women’s rights in Islam [and] more so the experience of contending with gender issues in the context of a relationship with God,” says Uddin. “[I hope the audience can] see through my story how everything they thought was so black and white isn’t; it’s quite nuanced, and quite human and relatable.” 7 p.m. May 25. 3900 Yupon. For information, call 713-524-9839 or visit rothkochapel.org. Suggested $10 donation.
– Natalie de la Garza
When Kemah Boardwalk Rock the Dock
is in full swing, “you know that summer is here,” says Jim Doering, general manager of Kemah Boardwalk. He’s right. But don’t think of the summer as a bummer, because this weekly live-music showcase takes place in a waterfront entertainment district. And it always feels cooler by the water, even in the Houston area, right? Right?? The entertainment for this week’s edition is Rat Ranch, a country and western/rock/’80s cover band that plays around 200 gigs a year. The set list by “Houston’s Favorite Rock & Roll” band, which can be enjoyed while destroying Gulf Coast grub and brewskis, includes tunes by George Strait and Metallica as well as originals such as “Two Stop Signs” and “Long Legs Walk On.” “It’s an early kickoff to everyone’s weekend,” says Doering. 7 to 10:30 p.m. May 25. Continues Thursdays through August 24. 215 Kipp Avenue, Kemah. For information, call 281-535-8100 or see kemahboardwalk.com. Free.
– Steve Jansen
Child abduction was never funnier than in this first offering out of the chute by filmmaking powerhouses Ethan and Joel Cohen. Repeat offender H. I. McDunnough (Nicolas Cage) and prison officer Ed (Holly Hunter) meet cute, get married and realize they can't have kids. So when local furniture tycoon Nathan Arizona has quintuplets they think, "it won't hurt to take just one," and soon the chase is on as Nathan Jr. falls victim to a feral bounty hunter and a cast of characters including John Goodman, William Forsythe and Frances McDormand. If you're in the mood for black comedy, inventive dialogue and lots of laughs, then hop on down to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema because they're turning this one into a Raising Arizona Movie Party
with quote-alongs, props (combs, cap guns and Woody Woodpecker tattoos) and other crazy surprises. 7:30 p.m. May 25. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - Mason Park, 531 South Mason Road, Katy. For information, call 281-492-6900 or visit drafthouse.com/houston/theater/mason-park. $12.99.
– Susie Tommaney