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21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Dancing With the Stars and the Batmobile

"A Tribute to George Barris" opens this Wednesday at the National Museum of Funeral History and features a replica of the 1966 Batmobile designed by the "original" King of Kustomizers, George Barris.
"A Tribute to George Barris" opens this Wednesday at the National Museum of Funeral History and features a replica of the 1966 Batmobile designed by the "original" King of Kustomizers, George Barris. Photo courtesy of the National Museum of Funeral History

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click to enlarge This year’s Mirrorball Trophy winner, Laurie Hernandez, will dazzle with her moves this Monday in Dancing With The Stars: Live! — We Came To Dance. - PHOTO BY DAVID CONGER
This year’s Mirrorball Trophy winner, Laurie Hernandez, will dazzle with her moves this Monday in Dancing With The Stars: Live! — We Came To Dance.
Photo by David Conger
Friday, February 3

Picture it: In Sri Lanka’s lush setting, boy meets girl. Then another boy meets same girl. Out of civility, both boys agree not to fight over the girl and everything ends in disaster. It’s just another opera plot, right? Wrong, Les Pêcheurs de Perles is one of the first operas budding composer Georges Bizet would create in 1863 before rising to critical acclaim. Opera in the Heights highlights maestro Bizet for one week with what many classical music lovers view as the seedling to his world-renowned Carmen. “The music is ravishingly beautiful,” says stage director John De Los Santos. “It’s got violence, sex and action, but it’s also about romance and exotic location.” This hot story is just what the doctor ordered for a cold and wet winter in Houston. 7:30 p.m. February 3, 9 and 11; 2 p.m. February 5. 1703 Heights. For information, call 713-861-5303 or visit operaintheheights.org. $15 to $75. — Sam Byrd

American choreographer and dancer Farrell Dyde is bringing new meaning to the maxim Mountains Are Mountains when he debuts a trio of new works making their world premiere in Houston. With the wisdom of maturity and hindsight, Dyde looks back to the music and memories of those coming-of-age years in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, setting The Last Boy to a score by the late Harry Nilsson, the Beatles’ “favorite American artist.” For New York Nocturne, Dyde went for a “totally different tone” by backing it with a string quartet. The one-man show closes with Koan Blue, a sort-of sequel to Dyde’s earliest dance from 1977. “I’m drawing on that original, but it’s also very different,” says Dyde, although both are set to work by composer Michael Nyman. The bookending is bittersweet, as this likely will be Dyde’s final solo venture. 8 p.m. February 3 and 4. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit matchouston.org. $10 to $15. — Vic Shuttee

At Old West Melodrama’s dinner theater production The Great Oil Scam of Sulphur Flats, you’re not only encouraged to boo, hiss, yell, cheer and throw popcorn; director Jennifer Adams says they’ll stop the show if you don’t. Adams’s father, troupe founder Joe Cole, was inspired by old-timey radio shows, and this one — about a con man, Slick Rascal, and his sidekick, Gopher O’dor, trying to cheat two sisters out of oil money in Luling, Texas — is full of corny jokes, groaners and plenty of repetition so audiences can jump right in. “Some people, their whole goal is ‘can I mess you up,’” says Adams. “We love them.” She says if you’ve had a bad day, “Come throw popcorn at us. It will relieve all your stress.” Dinner and a pre-show begin at 7 p.m. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. February 3-18. Puffabelly’s Old Depot Restaurant, 100 Main, Spring. For information, call 713-364-9190 or visit oldwestmelodrama.com. $13 to $19. — Natalie de la Garza


Most are familiar with the story of feuding roommates: the neat and meticulous hypochondriac Felix Ungar and the messy-as-all-get-out, recently divorced, Oscar Madison. Neil Simon's The Odd Couple premiered on Broadway and was revived as both a 1968 film and a 1970s television series. Now Director Chris Gibson is taking a scoop from all genres to create a two-for-one adaptation at Stageworks Theatre. He alternates casts and has males playing the feuding roomies as a basis for the launch of the movie, while at another performance he has females playing the same characters 20 years later. Rachel Landon channels her inner neatnik as "Florence" while Nora Hahn is the cigar-chomping slob as "Olive." For the male version of the production, Mark Mendelsohn is Oscar and Patrick Barton cleans up as Felix. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Through February 19. 10760 Grant. For information, call 281-587-6100 or visit stageworkstx.org. $17 to $25, or $37 to see both versions. — Susie Tommaney

Savvy collectors and artists were hot for the art coming out of Africa in the ’50s and ’60s, and museum founders John and Dominique de Menil acquired more than 80 works from the region now known as Mali. The sculptures, masks and architectural objects were sometimes functional, sometimes ornamental, but they all had something in common. “All of these would have moved. They would have been processed or danced or worn and they would have made sounds,” says Paul R. Davis, curator of collections, who organized the “ReCollecting Dogon” exhibit at The Menil Collection. He’s pairing the objects with photographs, documents, sound recordings and films, plus works by contemporary artists, including attention-grabbing masks by Malian artist Amahigueré Dolo. “Then there are these wonderful drawings that are full of color by Alaye Kene Atô, who has a really tragic story of losing his arm and being able to draw as a therapeutic [response to] losing his arm,” says Davis. There’s a public program, “Of the World: In Conversation with Artist Amahigueré Dolo,” from 7 to 8 p.m. February 16. Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. February 3 through July 9. 1533 Sul Ross. For information, call 713-525-9400 or visit menil.org. Free. — Susie Tommaney

Saturday, February 4

There’s nothing negative to say about Sophia Loren. Ever. Okay, maybe the film version of Verdi’s Aida was the Italian movie clunker to end all movie clunkers, but young, earthy Sophia barged through that experience when everyone else would have sunk. Dubbed by opera’s super diva Renata Tebaldi and swathed in non-PC nut-brown body makeup, she’s an eyeful. When the statuesque 19-year-old caught the eye of movie producer Carlo Ponti, she subsequently conquered Italian cinema, besieged Hollywood and soon had the world at her feet, with Ponti as her husband and a Best Actress Academy Award for Vittorio de Sica’s Two Women, the first acting prize ever given to an actor in a foreign film. She has stories to tell, both personal and professional, and she’ll tell them with film clips and home movies during An Evening with Sophia Loren at The Grand 1894 Opera House. Former Entertainment Tonight host Bill Harris will facilitate questions from audience members. Who could pass up a one-nighter with this singular cinema icon? 8 p.m. February 4. 2020 Postoffice, Galveston. For information, call 800-821-1894 or visit thegrand.com. $55 to $75. — D.L. Groover

Concert promoters and club owners aren’t the only ones trying to capitalize on the crowds headed to Houston for Super Bowl LI. The UFC is making its return with UFC Fight Night: Bermudez vs. Korean Zombie. On one side of the Octagon is Dennis Bermudez, a.k.a. “The Menace,” with a professional record of 16-5 and a two-fight win streak. He’ll be facing off against Chan Sung Jung, nicknamed “The Korean Zombie” because that’s just how he fights; he can take your biggest shot, and unless you knock him out, he’s just going to keep moving forward. It’ll be interesting to see how Jung looks in the ring since this is his first fight since a TKO loss in 2013; he’s spent the last two years doing his mandatory military service in South Korea. With 13 fights on the card, including the matchup between undefeated Alexa Grasso and Felice “Lil Bulldog” Herrig, fight fans are in for a long night of action. 6 p.m. February 4. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. For information, call 866-446-8849 or visit houstontoyotacenter.com. $40 to $175. — Cory Garcia

At the Taste of Katy Chili Bowl and Celebrity Flag Football Game, the fun includes an amateur chili cookoff competition, live music, celebrity appearances, vendors, food trucks, a silent auction, kids' activities and a celebrity flag football game, with Doug Flutie as an anchor quarterback and Cowboys alum Michael Irvin as a celebrity captain. Admission to the tailgate is free, with $20 tickets to the celebrity flag football game. Noon to 3 p.m. February 4. Rhodes Stadium, 1733 Katy Fort Bend, Katy. For information, visit katytailgate.com. Free to $20. There's an after party from 4 to 8 p.m. at No Label Brewery, 5351 1st Street, Katy. The $15 ticket price gets you a pint glass and three beers. — Brooke Viggiano

Sunday, February 5

In its second year, the Alley All New Festival gives Houston audiences another chance to see a bit of everything, and cutting-edge at that, in a series of workshops and readings. This Sunday Christina Gorman makes her Alley debut with Roan @ The Gates, a play about a relationship that intersects with national security. The festival includes late add Suzanne Vega (with Duncan Sheik) in her new musical, Lover, Beloved: An Evening with Carson McCullers. Tony-nominated playwright Robert Askins is dropping in with a new farce, The Carpenter, about a Texas couple on their way to the altar. Kenneth Lin returns to the Alley, this time with a stage adaptation of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, as does Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph with Describe the Night. Don’t know all these playwrights? This is your chance to have a front-row seat with emerging and established playwrights and actors. Performance dates and times vary; reservations are recommended. February 2-12. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. For information, call 713-220-5700 or visit alleytheatre.org/allnew. Free. — Margaret Downing

At its Fourth Annual Super Beef Sunday, Saint Arnold Brewing Company is bringing in a master of barbecue from central Texas, and he'll be joined by a couple of young guns from Houston. Come taste the results as legendary Louie Mueller BBQ smokes out alongside Pinkerton's Barbecue and Harlem Road Texas BBQ. The beer will be flowing throughout the event, but don't dawdle, because the pickin's will be slim after 12:30 p.m. or so and you'll want to taste everything the pitmasters have to offer. Ticket price gets you tastings from all three pitmasters, beer and a commemorative pint glass. Chances are that you'll want to take some beef home with you, and you can, but only if you place your order ahead of time. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. February 5. 2000 Lyons. For information, call 713-686-9494 or visit saintarnold.com/super-beef-sunday. $50. — Brooke Viggiano

Monday, February 6

You’ve seen them sizzle on the dance floor on television. Now we have the chance to watch the hot steppers as they bring us Dancing With The Stars: Live! — We Came To Dance. All the greats are showing off their skills, including ace hoofers Lindsay Arnold Cusick, Alan Bersten, Sharna Burgess, Artem Chigvintsev, Val Chmerkovskiy, Hayley Erbert, Jenna Johnson, Keo Motsepe and Gleb Savchenko. A special guest, this year’s Mirrorball Trophy winner, Laurie Hernandez, will dazzle with her moves. America fell in love with her during the 2016 Summer Olympics, where she won a team gold and individual silver medals in gymnastics, and she was voted all the way to the top shortly afterward when she joined the hit show. Laurie lit the stage on fire with her partner, Val, and that same heat is what folks can expect with this super-star-studded cast. 7:30 p.m. February 6. Smart Financial Centre, 18111 Lexington, Sugar Land. For information, call 281-207-6278 or visit smartfinancialcentre.net. $65 to $95. — Sam Byrd
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