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21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Angel Wing Selfies and Magical Tempest

Artist, dreamer and musician Colette Miller (DayGlo Aborigines, GWAR, Milk, Blest) wants you to share your angel wing pics @colettemillerwings and join this global phenomenon.
Artist, dreamer and musician Colette Miller (DayGlo Aborigines, GWAR, Milk, Blest) wants you to share your angel wing pics @colettemillerwings and join this global phenomenon.
Photo by Jarrad Seng
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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

The Houston Ballet presents The Tempest, May 24 through June 4. Shown are Chun Wai Chan and Artists of Houston Ballet in rehearsals for The Tempest, choreographed by David Bintley.
The Houston Ballet presents The Tempest, May 24 through June 4. Shown are Chun Wai Chan and Artists of Houston Ballet in rehearsals for The Tempest, choreographed by David Bintley.
Photo by Amitava Sarkar

Friday, May 26

Between the Women’s March on Washington and controversial health care fight, 2017 sometimes feels like quite the work in progress. And yet, as explored in Theatre Southwest’s production of Sarah Treem’s period piece, When We Were Young and Unafraid, progress has been made. The Bob Maddox-directed drama stars longtime Houston performer Lisa Schofield as Agnes, the matriarch of a family-run bed and breakfast that takes in domestically abused women, and Houston Theater Award-winning actress Jenna Morris as Mary Anne, her latest runaway with an ear for the feminist revolution. If this all sounds intimidating, the director is quick to assuage any fears. “It’s not as political as it may sound,” he says, laughing. “But it’s really about the people we intersect with and how they shape our lives.” The production also serves as a bit of a homecoming for Maddox, who has been away from Theatre Southwest. “Honestly, I haven’t directed there in several years because I’ve been off teaching high-school theater,” he says. “But I’m retiring this month and I’m trying to get back in the game!” 8 p.m. May 26. Continues Fridays and Saturdays through June 17. Also 3 p.m. June 4. 8944 Clarkcrest. For information, call 713-661-9505 or visit theatresouthwest.org. $16. – Vic Shuttee

Mr. Tap Dance, a.k.a. Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, is a big deal. Then-president George H.W. Bush made May 25, his birthday, a national holiday in 2004. Since then, cities all over the country have celebrated National Tap Dance Day with performances, workshops, panel discussions and jam sessions. The Houston-based True Sound Rhythm Productions, led by artistic director Tony Merriwether and executive director Emile Koenig, will present its second annual National Tap Dance Day with a three-act performance featuring some of Texas’s top tappers as well as saxophone accompaniment by Stephen Richard. “With the original films playing in the background, audience members will be walked through the amazing history and legacy of tap dance in America,” says Koenig, “watching it be re-created right in front of their eyes, including Robinson’s ‘King for a Day’ and the Nicholas Brothers’ ‘Lucky Numbers,’ among many, many others.” 7:30 p.m. May 26. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit matchouston.org/events/national-tap-dance-day-celebration-0. $15-$20. – Steve Jansen

Known cheekily to his crew as Smooth-E, California-based comedian, YouTuber and parody musician Eric Schwartz will make his Bayou City debut with the Eric Schwartz: Gringo De Mayo tour. The bald, bespectacled jokester is prepping for his second hourlong special after releasing his first, 2015’s Surrender to the Blender, on his social-media accounts for free. “It’s like offering samples at a food court,” the comic explains. “You want people to watch the whole thing, but some people will come to the show after just watching a minute, which is fine with me!” Between pitch-perfect impressions like Blender’s T-Pain and Justin Timberlake, and full-on parody songs like Rick Ross spoof “Everyday I’m Hustlin’,” about the confidence his buffed dome lends him while out clubbin’, Schwartz is tuned up and ready to blend. 7:30 p.m. May 26. The Secret Group, 2101 Polk. For information, call 832-999-9999 or visit thesecretgrouphtx.com. $12-25. – Vic Shuttee

Saturday, May 27

For the first time ever, the Houston Ballet will perform The Tempest, Shakespeare’s classic tale of magic, revenge and forgiveness in a two-hour, full-length co-production with Birmingham Royal Ballet. Prospero, the rightful duke of Milan, and daughter Miranda have spent the last 12 years stranded on an island after his brother, with help from others, usurped his position. He’s passed the time perfecting his magical powers and plotting revenge, and the story opens with a storm Prospero conjures to shipwreck his brother and King Alonso of Naples, who happen to be in the area. As Prospero, Houston Ballet principal Ian Casady says the role has been fascinating. “There’s so much to pull from. The story is all there and there’s such great poetry and imagery to use as inspiration. The storm in the beginning is really fantastic.” Casady, partnered with fellow principal Karina Gonzalez as Miranda, also relishes the fact that his character has a narrative arc and by the end abandons extracting vengeance from all who’ve done him wrong. Caliban and Ariel will be there as well in a telling that sticks fairly close to the Shakespeare original, Casady says. Choreography is by the acclaimed David Bintley, artistic director of the Birmingham company. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. Through June 4. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For information, call 713-227-2787 or visit houstonballet.org. $25 to $195. – Margaret Downing

“No birds, no boxes, no rope. None of that cheesy, corny, hokey stuff,” says master magician Caesar Magic about his act, Moments of Wonder. He believes many magic shows are done wrong, with too much emphasis on dancing and comedy. Earlier this year, Caesar was spotted wandering around Super Bowl LIVE at Discovery Green, challenging visitors to guess the amount of change in his pocket and freaking them out when they got it right. At this show at The MATCH, he promises a combination of magic and mentalism, with tons of audience participation. “Everybody is chosen at random by the Frisbees and stuff like that. I don’t want people coming up and saying I have stooges and actors and plants,” says Caesar. “I structure this show to give people moments that they will never forget the rest of their life.” 6 and 8:30 p.m. May 27. 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit matchouston.org. $40 to $55. – Susie Tommaney

The flightless bird is the star this summer at Moody Gardens’ Humboldt penguins exhibit as the organization reveals its $37 million, newly renovated Aquarium Pyramid. These birds are black and white yet pink all over — thanks to the patches of featherless bare skin that allow them to thrive in warmer climates — and sure to be a hit with parents and kiddos alike. “You’ll be able to get right up to the glass and see them. They have distinct personalities,” says PR coordinator Ashley Tompkins. Always the wise woman, Mother Nature designed these creatures to endure a desertlike habitat since most are found in the coastal areas of Peru and Chile.10 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 27 through May 29; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 30 trough June 2, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from June 3. Moody Gardens, One Hope Boulevard, Galveston. For information, call 1-800-582-4673 or visit moodygardens.org. $31.95 adults; $25.95 seniors age 65 and older and children ages 4-12; children 3 years and younger free. – Sam Byrd

It's prom night, but forget the cheesy corsages, themed decor and prying eyes of adult chaperones. It's time to let your freak flag fly when The Royal Mystic Order of Chaos celebrates one of the greatest midnight movies ever known to grace the big screen, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. While Dr. Frank-N-Furter toys with innocence about to be lost, the performers make it real with chaos, lights and lasers. So come out in costume (who knows, you might end up being in the show), purchase a Rocky prop bag for two bucks, or supersize your fun with a $15 official chaos SWAG bag. Leave the rice, toast, squirt guns and inhibitions at home and "Let's Do the Time Warp Again." 11:59 p.m. May 27. Landmark River Oaks Theatre, 2009 West Gray. For information, call 713-524-2175 or visit rockyhorrorhouston.com. $7.50 to $10.50. – Susie Tommaney

It's not so much a hangover cure; this time "Hair of the Dog" refers to animal photography by Helen Altman, which is then thermal transferred onto everyday textiles like baby blankets, handkerchiefs and quilts. Her oeuvre also includes several freaky-looking plaster arm/hand sculptures topped with open-jawed dog heads and snakes, torch drawings of wildlife, wall-mounted bird sculptures crafted from wire, and a whimsical speckled egg tableau nestled in a cigar box. Altman, who lives in Fort Worth, builds on earlier works that demonstrate the natural beauty of flora and fauna. Open 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. May 20 through June 24. Moody Gallery, 2815 Colquitt. For information, call 713-526-9911 or visit moodygallery.com. Free. – Susie Tommaney

Sunday, May 28

DL Hughley doesn’t exactly do subtlety. The comedian, who rose to fame as one of the “Original Kings of Comedy” and with his own sitcom, has opened up about everything from his past infidelities to his adult son’s struggle with autism. This is also a man who recently said “f**k respecting President Trump” when questioned by TMZ. Yeah, it’s gonna get real at the Improv, where Hughley will play five gigs in three days. “He’s been working the club for many years, and it’s always a show you don’t want to miss,” says Raymond Cook, the venue’s general manager. Expect plenty of hot-button talk from one of the more socially and politically conscious entertainers in the game today. 8 and 10:30 p.m. May 26, 7 and 9:30 p.m. May 27, 7:30 p.m. May 28. 7620 Katy Freeway. 18 and over. For information, call 713-333-8800 or visit improvhouston.com. $35. – Clint Hale

The Houston Symphony’s Michael Krajewski is retiring after 17 years with the organization, and will go out with a bang during Classic Broadway. “With this being my final program as the principal POPS conductor, I thought this would be a good one to focus on the orchestra and the chorus, which is important to me,” he says. And that he will. Guests Lisa Vroman, Doug LaBrecque and Rachel York will join the ensemble to feature the best of the Great White Way — Julie, Judy, Barbra and all the favorites from the Golden Age of musicals that endure throughout the decades. From holiday concerts to July 4 celebrations and everything in between, Krajewski has done Houston proud; let’s all give him one last curtain call. 8 p.m. May 26 and May 27, 7:30 p.m. May 28. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $35 to $152. – Sam Byrd

Monday, May 29

It seems some stars burn so brightly that they belong to the world and not just Hollywood. Which is how prize-winning Portuguese playwright Armando Nascimento Rosa came to write The Real Mother of Marilyn Monroe – a psychological thriller set during the last few days before her death, which had its world premiere in Portugal last October. “He brilliantly constructed plots where we deal with different layers of identity,” says Clara Ploux, who directs the just-translated English version, now making its American premiere courtesy of Luciole International Theatre Company. “With each answer there is a new question arising; that keeps the plot going.” Ploux says Rosa did a lot of research about Monroe and blends historical facts with his own fiction, which leaves audience members desperately trying to figure out which parts are true and rushing home to Google for answers. Or ask Rosa yourself during talkbacks on May 26-28 and June 2-3. 8 p.m. May 29. Also 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and May 31; 3 p.m. Sundays. May 26 through June 4. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit matchouston.org. $15 to $45. – Susie Tommaney

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