Space Center Houston welcomes the landing module from Apollo 11 – the first time it's been away from the Smithsonian since 1971 – in the "Destination Moon" exhibit.EXPAND
Space Center Houston welcomes the landing module from Apollo 11 – the first time it's been away from the Smithsonian since 1971 – in the "Destination Moon" exhibit.
Courtesy of Space Center Houston

21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: A Battle of the Sexes and Italian Fest Fun

October 10
Originally published in 1911, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel would go on to be read by generations of children and taught in countless schools. It told the story of ten-year-old Mary Lennox, whose home had been India up until the time she is orphaned in a cholera outbreak and sent to England, a land that is foreign to her. Eventually, a movie was made about this and more recently a musical was written, and it is that musical, The Secret Garden, that Theatre Under the Stars is bringing to Houston audiences. Lizzie Klemperer plays Lily Craven, the ghost and deceased wife of the British uncle, Archibald Craven, who takes in Mary. With the aid of a young friend, Mary eventually works through her grief by tending a neglected garden that once belonged to her Aunt Lily. “[Lily] comes in and out to sort of draw the living characters back to the garden,” Klemperer says, adding that the timing of this musical is especially appropriate given the hardship Houston has been through with Hurricane Harvey. “I think it will be a great time to bring some hope.” 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Continuing 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and Sundays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. October 10 through 22. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713?558-8887 or visit tuts.com. $30 to $108. – Margaret Downing

October 11
Staged right here in Houston’s Astrodome in 1973, the famous “Battle of the Sexes” pitted the young Billie Jean King against an older Bobby Riggs in a tennis match that was as much theater as sport. In Kevin Armento and Bryony Lavery’s Balls, a co-production of the One Year Lease Theater Company and Stages Repertory Theatre, actors delve into the meaning of this high-stakes event while the sounds of tennis balls fly through the air and land on the court. This will be the first time the New York City-based theater company known for the physicality of its performances will be doing a world premiere in a city other than its home, says co-director Nick Flint. “We didn’t need people who were professional tennis players, but we needed actors who were very versatile in their bodies in terms of working with theatrical movement,” Flint said. “A big part of the presentation is how do we embody tennis in a theatrical context. And also having to learn an inordinate amount of very specific choreography.” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Continuing 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. October 11 through 29. Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Parkway. For information, call 713-527-0123 or visit stagestheatre.com. $25 to $55. – Margaret Downing

October 12
Who doesn’t love a good swing dancer? The style was all the rage in the 1920s through the ’40s, before eventually fizzling out in favor of hip thrusts and dirty dancing. But just like clothing, everything eventually comes back in style, especially with Swing, Baby, Swing! Inspired by the life and times of the original Lindy Hoppers of the Savoy Ballroom — the first integrated public ballroom in the United States — Norma Miller and Dance Houston’s new musical is all about love, joy and bringing people together. Those toes will keep tapping all night as the song list includes “Swing, Baby, Swing,” “Swingin’ Frankie’s Way,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” and “Stompin’ at the Savoy.” 7:30 p.m. Thursday and October 13. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive. For information, call 281-373-3386 or visit milleroutdoortheatre.com. Free. – Sam Byrd

Deputy sheriff Constance Kopp was not only a real-life crime-fighter, she also fought the societal biases against female law-enforcement officers in the early 20th century. California-based author Amy Stewart has immersed herself in Kopp’s world through newspaper clippings and rabbit holes of research, and her latest, Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions, picks up in the spring of 1916 where Lady Cop Makes Trouble left off. Stewart — who obsessively fact-checks the language, researches home furnishings in vintage catalogs and tries to divine the truth between the reporting of the Bergen County Democrat and the Hackensack Republican — will bring photos of Kopp to the book-signing event at Brazos Bookstore. “The interesting thing about 1916 is it seems so long ago, not yet World War I, still the Victorian era in terms of how we dressed and the morals and expectations. Women didn’t get the vote until the ’20s. It seems antiquated but still a lot of the same issues are what people are grappling with today,” says Stewart. She says it’s fascinating to look at what it was like for a woman to be a police officer a century ago, and we should expect to see more than a few female law-enforcement officers in the audience. 7 p.m. Thursday. 2421 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit
brazosbookstore.com. Free.
– Susie Tommaney

Mona Hatoum’s roots are in a part of the world whose popular narrative is shaped by conflict and torn by violence. And while this informs her art, sculptures that are shaped through minimalist optics, it adds to the layers of meaning. Her more than two dozen works will be showcased in Houston for the first time in 20 years. “The themes that Hatoum addresses in relationship to ideas of placelessness and disbelonging are so relevant to our contemporary moment, and my hope is that the exhibition will provide a compelling and provocative way of initiating conversation for our visitors,” says Michelle White, the senior curator who helped bring the collection to the Bayou City. The public is invited to Thursday’s opening reception of Mona Hatoum: Terra Infirma. 7 p.m. Thursday. Hatoum will talk about her works at 7 p.m. Friday, October 13. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. October 13 through February 25. The Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross. For information, call 713-525-9400 or visit menil.org. Free. – Camilo Hannibal Smith

The United States spends more than $80 billion a year to incarcerate 25 percent of the world's inmates, despite having only 5 percent of the world's population. The socially minded and politically aware Ensemble Pi will address mass incarceration, its emotional effects and racial disparities head on during the Art and Incarceration: Poetry, Theatre and Music in and about Captivity Concert. The program includes Frederic Rzewski’s “Coming Together,” which includes text written by an inmate two years before he was killed in the 1971 Attica riots; Eleanor Cory’s “Rikers Island,” inspired by an anthology of written works from female inmates at the notorious New York prison; an excerpt from Joseph Assadourian’s one-man play, The Bullpen, based on Assadourian’s own incarceration; and Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, written and performed in a German POW camp. 7 p.m. Thursday. Rothko Chapel, 3900 Yupon. For information, call 713-524-9839 or visit rothkochapel.org. Suggested donation $20. – Natalie de la Garza

Saint Anthony is the patron saint of things lost, whether they be objects, people or even souls. In Querido San Antonio (Dear Saint Anthony), set amidst a changing society during the early 1900s, award-winning Argentinian playwright Patricia Suárez follows three women as they look for love, look to find small possessions and look to break free from their prescribed societal and gender roles while attempting to reshape the world in their image. After a successful premiere back in April at Rice University, Gente de Teatro is once again staging the comedic play and again, all performances of the show, directed by Marcela Salas, will be in Spanish. English surtitles will be provided during Friday and Saturday's performances. 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Also 7:30 p.m. October 13 and 14; 3:30 p.m. October 15. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit gentedeteatro.org. $25 to $35. – Natalie de la Garza

October 13
Roger Hodge left Texas just as fast as he could at age 18, eventually making a splash in New York as a writer and editor. He had not returned to his native soil for decades when something pulled him back: a fascination with the bad men and bad deeds haunting the Lone Star State’s southern borderlands over the course of its history. Part Texas history, part modern investigative journalism, and part memoir of his seven-generation ranching family, Texas Blood is a tome unlike any other. Hodge, who will sign and discuss his book Friday at Brazos, has a lot to say about the border with Mexico, where he spent a lot of time talking to people; the “political fantasy” of Trump’s Wall; and the state of state politicos in general. “How Texas came to be dominated by its most retrograde and backwards elements is a fascinating story,” he says in a publisher’s Q&A. “The yahoos eventually triumphed in Texas, but the story didn’t have to end up that way.” 7:30 p.m. Friday. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit brazosbookstore.com. Free. – Bob Ruggiero

Houston’s third poet laureate, Deborah Mouton, kicks off Houston Poetry Fest 2017, leading a gathering of 21 juried poets and four guest poets that will celebrate the art of poetry at the three-day festival. But Houston’s love and appreciation of poetry can’t be contained by one weekend; satellite events will continue around the city at places like MECA, Brazos Bookstore and Nuestra Palabra Arts & Books through October 20, adding even more diversity of style and content, according to fest president Robert Clark. “To hear people speak their mind, to find what they want to say, put it in words and get up in front of everybody and tell them,” says Clark, “I find that very exciting.” 2 p.m. Sunday. Also 7:30 p.m. October 13; 10 and 11 a.m. and 1 and 7:30 p.m. October 14. 3rd Floor, Girard Street Building, University of Houston — Downtown, 201 Girard. For information, visit houstonpoetryfest.info. Free. – Natalie de la Garza

At Hocus Pocus Pops, the Houston Symphony’s horrifying horns, bewitching bassoons and chilling cellos will play treats instead of tricks. Conductor Lucus Waldin will lead the orchestra in an evening of festive music from iconic films such as Star Wars, Spider-Man and Sleepy Hollow, featuring narration by Jimmy Phillips. Mummies and daddies, be sure to dress up all the little ghosts and goblins; the first 100 fully costumed children have a chance to march in the Goblin Parade. “Hocus Pocus Pops is an annual tradition for both the Houston Symphony and The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion,” says Ashley Gravois, public relations and educational outreach manager for the Pavilion. “Every year thousands of attendees come to the show to kick off the Halloween season.” 7:30 p.m. Friday. 2005 Lake Robbins Drive. For information, call 281-364-3010 or visit woodlandscenter.org. Free to $20. – Sam Byrd

The Houston Italian Festival, now in its 39th year, knows not to mess with a good thing. The four-day celebration of all things Italian still boasts meatballs, Italian classes and wine tasting, but 2017 sees the addition of a new Spaghetti Western Night, featuring a Sergio Leone double feature and live country music (plus $2 off admission if you don a cowboy hat). There’s always a lot to do, but festival spokesperson Margaret Bannon encourages everyone to check out the grape stomp and pasta-eating contest, and to “do your homework so you know what you would like to do, what you would like to see and which food you would like to try!” 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and October 14; 5 to 10 p.m. October 12; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. October 15. Campus Life Mall, University of St. Thomas, 3800 Montrose. For information, call 713-524-4222 or visit houstonitalianfestival.com. Free to $25. – Natalie de la Garza

Dress to the nines for your own red-carpet moment during this Friday’s MFAH Mixed Media, because board shorts just won’t do when you’re mixing and mingling around the fabulous sculpted dresses by Dominican designer Oscar de la Renta. DJ Sun always looks for just the right music when curating these events, but he upped his game for this one. “We try to center it around dance music to keep it energized,” says Sun. “This time I wanted to do a DJ that personified fashion and stylishness. I finally landed on Miguel Migs. He’s got great house tracks, great dance music; very stylish as well.” Sip specialty cocktails, grab a bite from the food truck and remember the moment with free snaps in the Smilebooth. Tix include admission to “The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta.” 8 p.m. to midnight Friday. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For infor-mation, call 713-639-7300 or visit mfah.org. $22 to $25. – Susie Tommaney

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston continues to bring the best of Turkish cinema to town during the 5th Houston Turkish Film Festival. This year’s program includes Iftarlik Gazoz (61 Days), about a young boy’s hallucinations as he pedals soda under the hot sun while secretly fasting for Ramadan; Mavi Bisiklet (Blue Bicycle), about a boy facing multiple injustices while saving up for his dream bicycle; and The Turkish Way, a documentary about the three Roca brothers – owners of Restaurant Magazine’s "Best Restaurant in the World" title – on a culinary road trip across Turkey. There will also be a Centerpiece Reception on October 14 at 6 p.m. in the North Foyer of the Caroline Wiess Law Building for all of Saturday’s ticketholders. 7 p.m. Friday. 4 and 7:30 p.m. October 14; 5 and 7 p.m. October 15. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit mfah.org/films. $8 to $10. – Natalie de la Garza

Fathom presents a revival of Julie Taymor's audience-pleasing Metropolitan Opera production of Die Zauberflöte on screens across the country.
Fathom presents a revival of Julie Taymor's audience-pleasing Metropolitan Opera production of Die Zauberflöte on screens across the country.
Photo by Ken Howard

October 14
Since moving to Houston ten years ago, mover and shaker Tony Paraná seems to have collaborated with just about everybody in the local art scene, including Fresh Arts, Houston Arts Alliance, War’Hous, Spring Street and Cultured Cocktails. The Montrose Art Society insider also is the featured artist at this year’s Bayou City Art Festival Downtown. Bridget Anderson, executive director of presenter Art Colony Association, Inc., tells us Paraná channels memories and experiences from his time growing up in Brazil, using mixed media to paint flavorful foods and landscapes. A walking feast for the eyes, the festival includes food trucks, vendors, more than 300 artists and tons of musical entertainment. Plus the weather should be nice, as Anderson says she’s been doing her non-rain dance. Insider tip: Tickets are just $10 when purchased at Randall’s. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and October 15. 901 Bagby. For information, call 713-521-0133 or visit artcolonyassociation.org. Free to $15. – Susie Tommaney

Imagine a local one-night-only mega-event unifying Day For Night, Santa Fe’s fantastical Meow Wolf, artist Brion Gysin’s hallucinatory Dream Machine and assorted clandestine goings-on. That’s what Bambull Black, the collective 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 to 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 popularized 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 about the event. 6 p.m. Saturday. The Grove, 215 Grove. For information, see facebook.com/events/1912306852350893. $20 to $40. – Steve Jansen

For eons the moon has loomed in the evening sky, beckoning poets, dreamers, and the scientists and astronauts of NASA’s Apollo program who landed there in 1969. For “Destination Moon,” Space Center Houston and partners the National Air and Space Museum and Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, or SITES, welcome the landing module from Apollo 11 — the mission that coined the immortal phrase “the eagle has landed” — for the first of four stops on a tour that marks its first time leaving the Smithsonian since 1971. Related artifacts on display include Buzz Aldrin’s visor and gloves, Michael Collins’ Chronograph watch, and a spaceman survival kit with a wicked-looking knife. Already permanent home to the module from Apollo 17, the program’s final mission, now the Smithsonian-affiliated nonprofit has a matching set. “The [new] exhibit gives our guests the chance to experience the historic bookends to humanity’s only visits to the moon,” says Meridyth Moore, Space Center Houston’s public relations specialist. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. Continuing 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; see website for extended holiday hours. October 14 through March 18. 1601 East NASA Parkway. For information, call 281-244-2100 or visit spacecenter.org. $24.95 to $36. – Chris Gray

Director Errol Morris has tackled one man’s wrongful murder conviction in The Thin Blue Line, former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara’s life in The Fog of War and the death of Frank Olson, who fell out of a hotel window nine days after his CIA bosses dosed him with LSD, in his upcoming Netflix docudrama Wormwood. But in The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography, he profiles his off-beat friend, who’s spent the last 50 years using a 235-pound Polaroid 20x24 camera to photograph everyone from beat poet Allen Ginsberg to Aerosmith's Steven Tyler. The Los Angeles Times says, “This is the rare Morris movie that feels led by the personality of its star figure, in this case Dorfman's wry positivity and love of what she does, rather than his need to probe.7 p.m. Saturday. 14 Pews, 800 Aurora. For information, call 281-888-9677 or visit 14pews.org. $10 to $11. – Natalie de la Garza

It's rare that one gets a solo curtain call at the Metropolitan Opera, but Julie Taymor got just that when she made her Met directing debut in 2004. Following up the Broadway success of The Lion King seemed like a tall task, but Taymor accomplished it spectacularly, earning every bit of that ovation when she applied her eye for colorful, ambitious spectacle, masks and puppetry to her production of Mozart’s last opera, Die Zauberflöte. Fathom Events brings the re-mounted production to the big screen, so go with Prince Tamino on a quest to save Pamina, the daughter of the Queen of the Night, but be warned – everything is not as it seems. 11:55 a.m. Saturday. Also 1 and 6:30 p.m. October 18. Houston Marq*E Stadium 23, 7600 Katy Freeway. Memorial City Mall, 310 Memorial City Mall. First Colony 24, 3301 Town Center Boulevard South, Sugar Land. For more information, visit fathomevents.com. $18 to $28.15. – Natalie de la Garza

October 15
Most of us only dream of driving a fine Italian sports car, but now those dreams can inch a little closer to reality at the Lamborghini Festival, a celebration of the iconic brand that has no boundaries or limits. Entering its sixth year, the festival brings participants and enthusiasts from across the globe to get a look at vintage cars and the latest models, and see and hear these “Raging Bulls” in all their glory. Fear not, those of you who don’t know motor oil from salad oil. Lambo living legend Valentino Balboni, former chief test driver for the brand, will be there to tell us all about the inner workings of the dream machine. 3 p.m. Sunday. CityCentre, 811 Town and Country Boulevard. For information, visit lamborghinifestival.com. Free. – Sam Byrd

Inconceivable! Fathom Events is returning the classic Rob Reiner-William Goldman collaboration The Princess Bride to theaters for a special 30th-anniversary celebration of the beloved 1987 fantasy-comedy starring Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest, Billy Crystal, Wallace Shawn and André the Giant. Part of Turner Classic Movies’ Big Screen Classics monthly series, this screening of the catchphrase-heavy cult hit will feature exclusive commentary by TCM hosts Ben Mankiewicz and Tiffany Vazquez, perhaps not unlike a modern-day Peter Falk with Fred Savage. Is there kissing in this story? Keep your shirt on and go find out! 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesday and October 15. Studio Movie Grill CityCentre, 822 Town and Country Boulevard. Price varies by location; visit fathomevents.com for participating venues. $13.53. – Vic Shuttee

Appreciate the musical contributions from Eastern Europe and Scandinavia in Duos, Dances & Divertimenti, the third season opener of the conductorless ensemble KINETIC. The program includes Olli Mustonen’s Sinuhe for Violin Orchestra, based on the life of Sinuhe, the personal physician at the court of Pharaoh Akhenaten in ancient Egypt; two sets of folk music inspired by travel – Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Pelimannit (The Fiddlers), inspired by a trip to the northern seacoast of Finland and the folk-fiddling music and characters he found in Samuel Rinda-Nickola's Album of Tunes, and Bela Bartok’s Romanian Dances, created from field recordings he collected in the early 1900s; and Bartok’s Divertimento for Strings, written over the course of 15 short days in 1939, shortly before Bartok left Hungary for the U.S. on the eve of war in October 1940. 5 p.m. Sunday. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit kineticensemble.org. $10 to $20. – Natalie de la Garza

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