Things To Do

21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: A Skeleton Fashion Show and Tacos

For this year's Calavera Rendezvous, MECA will stage a catrina fashion show with an emphasis on the fancy plumed hats.
For this year's Calavera Rendezvous, MECA will stage a catrina fashion show with an emphasis on the fancy plumed hats. Photo by Pin Lim

October 17

The stars aligned in 1987 and now Da Camera, The Menil Collection and the world-renowned Austrian string quartet Quatuor Mosaïques — known for playing on period-specific instruments — are all celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. “Thirty years ago it seems like there was a certain amount of creative energy,” observes Sarah Rothenberg, Da Camera’s artistic and general director. For the Mosaïques’ return to Houston, they will play three masterworks in the Menil, a setting Rothenberg says is as close as you can get to an 18th- or 19th-century salon, including pieces from Mendelssohn and Beethoven that Rothenberg says are linked, “one written by a very young composer who became a great Romantic composer, and the other written by one of the greatest composers who ever lived as one of his very last musical statements.” 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. 1533 Sul Ross. For information, call 713-524-5050 or visit $60. – Natalie de la Garza

Día de Los Muertos may be something of a selling point for mainstream craft shops and Walmart nowadays, but to people of Mexican heritage, its deeper meaning remains. “It’s a time of honor and respect and love; there are personal mementos, there are personal memories and it’s a time to celebrate people’s ancestors and the light that they had,” says Chrissie Ramirez, who through her gallery and store, Casa Ramirez, has been celebrating the Day of the Dead in Houston for more than two decades. Everyone is invited to Dia de los Muertos Altar/Ofrenda Exhibits. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday. Continuing 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. October 19 through November 10. Casa Ramirez FOLKART Gallery, 241 West 19th. For information, call 713-880-2420 or visit FOLKART-Gallery-76060185584. Free. – Camilo Hannibal Smith

October 18
In cities throughout the Southwest, and especially in places like San Antonio, Los Angeles and Albuquerque, Chicano soul – inspired by urban black musical genres like jazz, blues and rock and roll, along with traditional Mexican music – developed throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s, creating a distinctly American sound. Ruben Molina documented the history of brown-eyed soul in his 2007 book, Chicano Soul: Recordings and History of an American Culture. In honor of the book’s 10th anniversary, The Center for Public History at the University of Houston and A Fistful of Soul will host a panel with Molina and Oscar Villanueva, a member of one of the most notable Chicano soul groups, Sunny and the Sunliners. After the panel, Villanueva will take the stage with the Allen Oldies Band to play a few classics. 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. MECA (Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts), 1900 Kane. For information, visit – Natalie de la Garza

October 19
“The play is like a mash-up between Hamlet, a ’70s sitcom and a slasher movie,” says Mildred’s Umbrella Artistic Director Jennifer Decker of Feathers and Teeth. “It’s hilarious and horrifying in equal measure.” Written by Charise Castro Smith and directed by Mildred’s regular Jacey Little, the dark comedy deals with a teenage girl (the “wonderful” Maddie Calais) dealing with losing her mother to cancer. There’s a boy with a crush on her, and her dad has begun dating her late mother’s former nurse. “I’ve had this play on my list for two years now; I thought it was brilliant,” says Decker. “[So] when Jacey mentioned it to me, not knowing that I’d already fallen in love with it, it just seemed perfect.” 8 p.m. Thursday. Continuing 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. October 29. Studio 101, 1824 Spring. October 19 through November 4. For information, call 832-463-0409 or visit $15 to 25; pay what you can 8 p.m. October 30. — Vic Shuttee

There’s no ugly duckling in sight in the Russian Grand Ballet’s touring production of Swan Lake, which combines pure romanticism and tragedy in a magical tale of love and deception. Fashioned from Russian folk tales, the story follows the beautiful princess Odette, who falls under the spell of an evil sorcerer; only Prince Siegfried’s devotion can save her from a cursed life. Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s captivating score and the gravity-defying dancers have made this one of the most famous ballets of all time. For the first time, this full-length classical production includes the rarely seen “Waltz of the Black Swans,” and features Russia’s brightest ballet stars. Three acts with two intermissions. 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Stafford Centre, 10505 Cash Road, Stafford. For information, call 281-208-6900 or visit $45 to $75. — Sam Byrd

Impressionist great Edgar Degas was a bit of a creep who was obsessed with the pain ballet subjected on the bodies of women. His work is full of dancers, the petits rats (little rats) as they were called, illuminated under harsh light, their bodies contorted and flexed, and ultimately silent – until now. The Boiling Point Players will open their season with the regional premiere of Daniel Ciba's Positions, a fictitious imagining of the life of Degas told from the perspective of 12 of the dancers he painted. Directed by Autumn Clack and Ruth McCleskey, the play explores the affect an artist can have on its subjects – in particular, an artist who once said he showed women “without their coquetry, in the state of animals cleaning themselves.” 8 p.m. Thursday. Continuing 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, October 23 and 26. October 19 through 28. Beacon Theatre, 5102 Navigation. For information, call 832-303-1578 or visit $15 to $20. – Natalie de la Garza

October 20
Still recovering from Hurricane Harvey’s damage, the Houston Symphony will triumphantly return to Jones Hall to present Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony. The concert will also feature Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with guest soloist Johannes Moser and Schubert’s Symphony No. 5. Still, there’s no doubt about the highlight of the evening. “The star of the program is Mozart’s symphony. It was the last symphony he wrote, and it’s genius. He set the stage for the modern symphony with this composition,” says artistic administrator Rebecca Zabinski. Guest conductor Matthew Halls will lead the orchestra. 8 p.m. Friday and October 21, 2:30 p.m. October 22. 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit $23 to $120. — Sam Byrd

While many offer goodwill and condolences, not every comedian passing through Houston will put her money where her mouth is. But Jen Kirkman vows to donate a portion of her ticket sales to the Harvey recovery effort, a decision she calls obvious. “Anytime I can combine my job with doing something good, it feels good,” says the stand-up and former Chelsea Lately star. “In a weird way, I’d probably end up giving less if it was just me writing a check. If something is going on in the community that is so glaring, I can’t come through and ignore it — that’s tacky.” 8 p.m. Friday. The Heights Theater, 339 West 19th. For information, call 214-272-8346 or visit $20. — Vic Shuttee

Mexican printmaker and cartoonist José Guadalupe Posada probably had no idea his satirical La Calavera Catrina, a well-dressed lady skeleton etched in the early 1900s, would one day become a staple of Dia de los Muertos iconography – or that it would inspire fashion shows. But for MECA’s 8th annual Day of the Dead-themed party, Calavera Rendezvous, the designers of the Art Institute of Houston have turned their keen fashion sense toward designs inspired by the catrina, with a special focus on her fancy plumed hat. This celebratory, 21-and-up-only fundraiser will feature music from DJ Boricua Soul; dance performances from Stacey Allen and MECA Ballet Folklórico; and art from Luis Gavito, Bobby Ramos and Michael Martin. It will also benefit MECA (which suffered damages during Hurricane Harvey) and their arts and social service programs. 7 p.m. Friday. 1900 Kane. For information, call 713-802-9370 or visit $20. – Natalie de la Garza

Where can you find more than 200 retro and contemporary coin-operated pinball machines, arcade games and console games ready to play or buy? At the 2017 Houston Arcade Expo, that’s where. For the 16th year, the gamer’s paradise is bringing pinball tournaments (with proceeds going to those affected by Harvey); special guests and speakers, including game designer Brian F. Colin, video game historian Patrick Scott Patterson and founder of the Lone Star Pinball Museum Dan Ferguson; repair clinics; a screening of Brett Whitcomb's documentary A Life in Waves, about electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani; and a live performance from nerd rock band extraordinaire the Consortium of Genius. Ready player one. Noon Friday. Also 10 a.m. October 21. Crowne Plaza Northwest-Brookhollow, 12801 Northwest Freeway. For information, call 713-375-1801 or visit $30 to $40. – Natalie de la Garza

Until the expansion of its main campus is complete and it re-opens in 2019, the Holocaust Museum Houston will set up shop in a temporary location on Kirby beginning on October 20. On display is the museum’s permanent exhibit, “Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers,” and two new exhibits: “New Dimensions in Testimony,” an interactive audio-visual installation that allows museum-goers a chance to virtually converse with Holocaust survivors, and “Human Rights Art,” a showcase of 32 works on human rights around the world, social justice and activism from the South Texas College’s permanent collection. Admission is free until October 31 and on all Sundays going forward. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. Continuing 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Holocaust Museum Houston Morgan Family Center, Suite 100, 9220 Kirby. For information, call 713-942-8000 or visit Free to $12. – Natalie de la Garza

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