21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Bingo With Cats and New Flight Museum [UPDATED]

Tuesday, September 12

High-five for H-Town because the Houston Ballet will be the first North American company to perform Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling, a historic ballet based on a true scandal from 1889. “It’s about the murder-suicide of Crown Prince Rudolf and his mistress outside Vienna,” says Jennifer Sommers, director of education and community engagement. For this Tuesday’s Dance Talk: Mayerling, they’re bringing in a historian who will set the sociopolitical context about this time before WWI. “The climate in Europe was ripe for conflict and this definitely — the Crown Prince committing suicide — was a destabilizing force for the Habsburg family. It’s also a dramatic story about a prince who is maybe unhappy with his role inside the family. He’s married to somebody who extends the family lineage and he has a series of mistresses, including a young girl who pursued him,” says Sommers. The panel also includes Connor Walsh, Karina Gonzalez and one of the Mayerling stagers. 7 p.m. September 12. Houston Ballet Center for Dance, 601 Preston. For information, call 713-227-2787 or visit houstonballet.org. Free. — Susie Tommaney

Any flick directed by Judd Apatow is sure to be a slam-dunk, so we've got high hopes for his latest, May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers. Two years in the making and co-directed by Michael Bonfiglio (Oprah's Master Class), the documentary stars Jennifer Carpenter and musician brothers Scott and Seth Avett (natch). The filmmakers had the ultimate all-access pass for this one, following the American folk-rock band as they collaborated with producer Rick Rubin in the recording of True Sadness, as well as glimpses of their personal lives as they dealt with marriage, divorce, parenthood and illness. 7:30 and 8:15 p.m. September 12. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - Mason Park, 531 South Mason Road, Katy. For information, call 281-492-6900 or visit drafthouse.com/houston/theater/mason-park. $9.74. — Susie Tommaney

Wednesday, September 13

Who’s your favorite captain of the USS Enterprise? We’ve always been fond of Captains Jean-Luc Picard and Kathryn Janeway, but it’s hard not to include an honorable mention for William Shatner’s Captain James T. Kirk. Kirk was bold enough to go where no man had gone before, and this time those dangerous travels include the movie theater with Fathom Events’ Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan to mark the 35th anniversary of the film’s release. Relive the spectacle as Kirk battles to prevent the renegade Khan from activating Project Genesis and initiating a universal Armageddon. This showing will be the director’s cut from legendary filmmaker Nicholas Meyer, including an exclusive introduction from Shatner. 2 and 7 p.m. September 13. Various theaters including Edwards Houston Marq’E Stadium 23 IMAX and RPX, 7620 Katy Freeway. For information, visit fathomevents.com. Prices vary by location. $13.53. — Sam Byrd

Brown is the new black and it's time to dig deep in those closets, don some khakis, and head out to Under the Radar Brewery as it celebrates "TV's smartest comedy" by challenging us with a Parks and Rec Trivia Night. Come out, grab a three-dollar pint, and test your knowledge about mid-level bureaucrat Leslie Knope and office mates Chris Traeger, Tom Haverford and Ron Swanson. If you can connect the dots and identify the far-reaching cast of characters in the City of Pawnee, then you've got a chance to ride the wave of glory in this trivia contest. They're also handing out prizes for the best-dressed Parks and Rec outfit, so we might see a few bushy mustaches in da house. 7 to 10 p.m. September 13. 1506 Truxillo. For information, call 832-512-0237 or visit undertheradarbrewery.com. No cover. — Susie Tommaney

Thursday, September 14

Our favorite feline-friendly gathering space, El Gato Coffeehouse Cat Cafe, is hosting Bingo With Cats this Thursday. But instead of hoping for B-12 or N-35, you'll be wanting to match images of Cuddles, Daisy, Phoebe and other El Gato residents. These customized bingo cards are a creative way to showcase some of the adoptables at the cafe, as well as pay tribute to those who have gone on to their fur-ever homes. Insider tip: Brush up on your knowledge of these amazing cats because a trivia question decides all ties, putting you in the hot seat for merch, door prizes and other cool stuff. Games start at 5 and 6 p.m., and the cover charge gets you four games and four chances to yell out "bingo!" 5 to 7 p.m. September 14. 508 Pecore. For information, call 832-968-3006 or visit elgatocoffeehouse.com. $13 to $17. — Susie Tommaney

Although the 2017-18 Houston arts season was delayed because of Harvey, the Houston Symphony is picking up right where it left off, relocating to Rice University’s Stude Concert Hall, with Mahler & Dvorák. Both European-born composers’ time in America can be felt in their music, though the similarities end there: Dvorák was able to blend in with American culture, while Mahler felt very much like an outsider. Both, though, created everlasting music based on their experiences. Maestro Andrés Orozco-Estrada’s orchestra will conjure visions of heavenly life through Dvorák’s Te Deum and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, assisted by soprano Mojca Erdmann; baritone Nicholas Brownlee; and the Houston Symphony Chorus. 8 p.m. September 14 and September 16; 2:30 p.m. September 17. 6110 Main. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $23 to $120. — Sam Byrd

Poor Elwood P. Dowd. They all thought he was crazy because he was friends with an invisible, six-foot-tall rabbit. His character is coming back for the kickoff to A.D. Players’ season with Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvey. The show ran 1,775 performances between 1944 and 1949 before becoming a blockbuster movie staring James Stewart. Kevin Dean reprises the role of Elwood and tells us “What’s interesting is it’s a religious and spiritual play told in terms of farce. It’s about a man who has such affection for mankind in general, and when you have someone like that, strange and miraculous things happen.”A.D. Players will also be sharing free tickets for flood victims and first responders of Harvey; along with three Sunday Family Day Matinees with acitivities in the lobby for kids ages five to 11. Harvey for Harvey will also be donating 20 percent of all total proceeds to local disaster relief. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays and September 30. September 14 through October 1. Jeannette and L.M. George Theater, 5420 Westheimer. For information, call 713-526-2721 or visit adplayers.org. $15 to $70. — Sam Byrd

Friday, September 15

Updated: 3:44 p.m. September 12, 2017: Society for the Performing Arts just sent out a release saying that because of flood damage from Hurrican Harvey, SPA has cancelled MOMIX Opus Cactus.

MOMIX, the internationally renowned dance company that has performed in more than 20 countries, opens Society for the Performing Arts’ 2017-2018 season with its version of Opus Cactus, which brings to life the landscape of the Southwest. Led by artistic director Moses Pendleton, MOMIX combines music and dance with vivid costumes and imagery and unique props to provide an engaging multimedia experience. “Once we heard that MOMIX was bringing back Opus Cactus with a fresh twist, we knew that we had to have them for our [new] season,” says SPA marketing and PR associate Larisa Gawlik. “Opus Cactus is a mesmerizing piece that truly commands the audience’s attention. We were beyond delighted to open our season with an intriguing evening of dance.” 7:30 p.m. September 15. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, Suite 100. For information, call 713-227-4772 or visit spahouston.org. $34 to $114. — Clint Hale

The biggest excitement for one group of Birmingham ladies is their weekly bridge night. That is, until Theatre Suburbia’s Exit Laughing helps one of them go out with a bang. After one of them passes, the rest are left wanting one last hand of cards to remember their dearly departed friend. Connie, Leona and Millie — our three wild women of bridge — “borrow” the ashes from the funeral home for the wildest, most exciting night of their lives. The shenanigans span everything from a police raid to a stripper to a whole new way of looking at the fun to be had truly living. 8:30 p.m. September 15. Continuing 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. September 15 through October 14. Additional shows 3 p.m. October 1 and 8. 4106 Way Out West Drive. For information, call 713-682-3525 or visit theatresuburbia.org. $13 to $16. — Sam Byrd

Sometimes it's who you know, and we've got an insider tip on a certain film company (Swagger Film) looking for a new and brilliant children's story for their next animated short. Emerging and established writers are jockeying for position at this limited-space pitch session, and it's all part of the literary excitement building for Indiepalooza 2017, hosted by Houston Writers Guild. On Friday night Stuart Horowitz will talk about the book architecture method and on Saturday morning keynote and children's author Shanalee Sharboneau will discuss positive book momentum. The weekend is full of breakout sessions, consultations and a Sunday closer about marketing tips and strategies with B. Alan Bourgeois. 9 a.m. September 15-17. Rice University, Ley Student Center, 6100 Main. For information, visit houstonwritersguild.org/indiepalooza_2017. $75 to $210. — Susie Tommaney

This won't be the first time that Houston audiences have witnessed the rock musical next to normal; it made its regional premiere with Stages Repertory Theatre five years ago and there's a reason it's been reprised by Standing Room Only Productions, The Music Box Theater, and again now by The Bayou Theatre Company. With book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, next to normal went on to win three Tony Awards in 2009 and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2010. It's a dark tale about a mother struggling with bipolar disorder and how her mental illness has affected the family, touching on the problems of suicide, drug abuse and grief in suburbia. Alric Davis (Passing Strange, Fences) handles direction and choreography for this season opener, with musical direction by Melanie Bivens. 8 p.m. September 15, 3 and 8 p.m. September 16. Chelsea Market Theatre, 4617 Montrose. For information, call 713-963-9665 or visit bayoutheatrecompany.org. $15 to $20. — Susie Tommaney

Soar in a live action hang glider simulator this Saturday during the Lone Star Flight Museum's grand opening at Ellington Airport.
Soar in a live action hang glider simulator this Saturday during the Lone Star Flight Museum's grand opening at Ellington Airport.
Photo by Alexander Rogers

Saturday, September 16

Hurricane Ike decimated the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston in 2008 but, with the help of many heroes, the historic airplanes were saved. The museum's new $38 million facility, rebuilt at Ellington Airport, delayed its Labor Day weekend grand opening after Hurricane Harvey unleashed hell on the Bayou City, rescheduling the event for this Saturday. We're talking 130,000 square feet of historically significant aircraft, more than 1,500 artifacts and a visual, technological journey through time, ranging from gliders to space exploration. It's also home base for the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame that pays tribute to the movers and shakers of the aviation world. The museum knows that our region is still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Harvey, and so they've instituted a pay-what-you-can admission price through October 1. So let's kick the tires, light the fires and get ready to experience the thrill of the hang-gliding exhibit, the Redbird Flight Simulation MX2 and so much more. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 16. Continuing 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. 11551 Aerospace Avenue. For information, call 346-708-2517 or visit lonestarflight.org. Free to $18. — Susie Tommaney

Cornell-trained architect Gordon Matta-Clark not only turned his back on the profession for art’s sake, he eschewed paper and canvas for an entirely different medium: buildings. Warehouses, townhouses, homes in the burbs, Matta-Clark’s “anarchitecture” — the literal cutting and sawing of sections out of abandoned buildings — will be on display in Cuts and Cross Sections: The Films of Gordon Matta-Clark, curated by Peter Lucas. The Aurora Picture Show will screen several of the films Matta-Clark made documenting his ephemeral works of performance art, including Conical Intersect (1975), in which he cuts cone-shaped holes through two houses; Fresh Kill (1972), in which the murderers are two bulldozers and the victim is Matta-Clark’s truck, named “Herman Meydag”; and Bingo/Ninths (1974), which sees him cut one side of a Niagara Falls house into nine equal pieces, the result resembling — to him — a bingo card. 7 p.m. September 16. 2442 Bartlett. For information, call 713-868-2101 or visit aurorapictureshow.org. $10. — Natalie de la Garza

You won’t find words like “drugs” or “border,” “Mexico” or “United States” in Yuri Herrera’s Kingdom Cons, even though it’s the story of a narcotrafficker and the young, accordion-playing balladeer he invites into a dangerous world of excess and wealth, the threat of violence looming high on the hill. That’s because Herrera’s novel, originally written in 2004, is disguised as a fairy tale in which allegory tells the real tale of the power of art in a world where power is the only currency. When Herrera stops by Brazos Bookstore, he will join with the University of Houston’s Ursula Fuentesberain to discuss this, the last of a loosely related trilogy (along with the critically acclaimed Signs Preceding the End of the World and The Transmigration of Bodies) to be translated into English from its original Spanish. 7 p.m. September 16. 2421 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit brazosbookstore.com. Free. — Natalie de la Garza

The Contemporary Arts Museum welcomes its newest buzz-worthy exhibit, Telepathic Improvisation. Created by Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, it brings new moving-image work, sculptures, speech, gesture, music, light and smoke to interpret composer Pauline Oliveros’s 1974 score of the same title. It bridges together seemingly different walks of life with specific moments of leftist protest, queer S&M club life, acts of surveillance, and fantasies of relations between humans and nonhuman objects. CAMH Curator Dean Daderko says the “film asks viewers to consider how political and aesthetic ideas can move us from protest into resistance and change.” 10 a.m. September 16. Continuing 10 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 12 p.m. Sundays. September 16 through January 7. Opening reception 6:30 to 9 p.m. September 15. 5216 Montrose. For information, call 713-284-8250 or visit camh.org. Free. — Sam Byrd

A pair of venerable artists with a long pedigree in Houston’s art scene just entered the formidable stable over at William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art. Bas Poulos, professor emeritus at Rice University, is making his debut at the Texas-centric gallery. “Beautiful Fauvist abstract landscapes that focus on the Texas and southern woods,” describes gallery co-owner Sarah Foltz about the colorful works in “Basilios Poulos: Landscape Journeys,” some of which were done during last year’s residency in Georgia. Abstract Expressionist Don Localio, a product of the University of Houston who studied with Richard Stout in the ’70s, is also new to the space, having returned to Houston five years ago. The works in “Don Localio Recent Paintings: A Journey of Love and Passion” include both large- and small-scale canvases. “They’re separate exhibitions, but the color, energy and vibrancy will play off each other very well,” says Foltz. Opening reception from 6 to 8:30 p.m. September 16, followed by artist talks from 2 to 4 p.m. on September 23 and 30. Continuing Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 15 through October 7. 2143 Westheimer. For information, call 713-521-7500 or visit reavesart.com. Free. — Susie Tommaney

There's nothing new about troubled marriages. They're the impetus behind torrid affairs, clandestine meetings with would-be assassins, and a lucrative industry for divorce attorneys. New York playwright Marc Palmieri explores how one Manhattanite tries to turn his own failed relationship into a new play after witnessing an inspirational production of Shakespeare in the park. Scott McWhirter (A Thousand Clowns) directs The Groundling for Theatre Southwest, bringing this showbiz farce about reluctant actors and colorful locals to west Houston audiences. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. September 17. September 8 through September 30. 8944-A Clarkcrest. For information, call 713-661-9509 or visit theatresouthwest.org. $17 to $19. — Susie Tommaney

Parenting and having a successful marriage are tops on the list for most Mormons, and that goes hand in hand with having a good sex life. It seems that we know plenty about polygamy, its gradual demise and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but we don't know a whole lot about what goes on behind those bedroom doors. Baring Witness: 36 Mormon Women Talk Candidly about Love, Sex, and Marriage takes us behind-the-scenes and into the bedroom with true stories that run the gamut from funny to tragic. Come meet local contributors Heather K. Olson Beal, Kira Duerichen Olson and Erin Hill as they discuss their devotion, their journeys and what it means to be a Mormon woman during the age of change. Editor Holly Welker has compiled testimonials about divorce, spousal abuse, pressure on young women to find a husband and what happens when a spouse decides to leave the church. 1 p.m. September 16. Blue Willow Bookshop, 14532 Memorial Drive. For information, call 281-497-8675 or visit bluewillowbookshop.com. Free. — Susie Tommaney

Sunday, September 17

Set in a factory in 1905, Maxim Gorky’s Enemies shows a Russian society as more than just landed gentry and peasants, but also the increasingly disgruntled middle class. Factory workers are demanding changes of the two owners, one of whom is sympathetic to them; the other maintains a hard line. The militia is called in, with calamitous results. “It’s a great actors’ piece. There’s lots of characters in it,” says Rebecca Greene Udden, the director of this play and artistic director of Main Street Theater. It was precisely for that reason that the University of Houston couldn’t tackle it by itself, she says, and Rob Shimko, director of UH’s School of Theatre & Dance, suggested it to her. Besides the large cast (which does include some UH students), there are a number of “mature roles” in the play, she says. The three-act play, adapted by David Hare, will be performed with one intermission, clocking in at about two hours. “This is about people who have power and are completely oblivious to the effect they are having on everyone else in society.” Despite this, Udden says, “There’s a lot of humor to it. Still, it’s a Russian play.” 3 p.m. September 17. Also 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 3 p.m. Sundays. September 16 through October 15. Main Street Theater — Rice Village, 2540 Times Boulevard. For information, call 713-524-6706 or visit mainstreettheater.com. $36 to $45. — Margaret Downing

Monday, September 18

It’s out with the summer reading lists and in with another season of literary greats. Books are the new sexy, and especially when it comes to Houston’s oh-so-popular Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. Relocated to Rice University, this fall’s kick-off event is a double-header featuring fiction and short-story writer Nathan Englander (What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank) and novelist Nicole Krauss (Great House, The History of Love). They’ll be reading from their latest (Englander’s Dinner at the Center of the Earth and Krauss’s Forest Dark), followed by an onstage interview, book sale and signing. Pro tip: These events tend to sell out, so consider ponying up for those limited-edition season tickets; the $215 price nets preferred seating, tomes, front-of-line privileges and parking. 8 p.m. September 18. Stude Concert Hall, 6100 Main. For information, call 713-521-2026 or visit inprinthouston.org. $5. — Susie Tommaney

Jose and Joe’s friendship and shared enterprise are going along swimmingly until an unpleasant past returns to haunt their endeavors. This not-so-neighborly quarrel animates 2015 Houston Press Mastermind winner Horse Head Productions’ staging of Bernardo Cubria’s Neighbors: A Fair Trade Agreement, a recent semifinalist at the prestigious O’Neil Playwrights Conference in Connecticut. Co-directors and co-stars Cubria and Phillip Hays previously worked together on the successful run of interactive show The Judgment of Fools, which played Rec Room last October. Monday’s staged reading at MECA will feature a talk-back with the creative team as well as food and beverage provided by Buffalo Bayou Brewery, Mid State Wine and Frost Bank. 8 p.m. September 18. 1900 Kane. For more information, call 713-802-9370 or visit horseheadtheatre.org. Free to $25. — Vic Shuttee

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