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21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Doomsday Wrestling and Neon iLuminate

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Tuesday, November 8

Pierre Alexandre admits to being a little anxious. He’ll be making his debut in the iconic role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the upcoming Theatre Under The Stars production of The Rocky Horror Show and knows about the cultlike following the comic rock opera engenders. The basic plot is, of course, lean and sexy: A newly engaged young couple set off on a trip; their car breaks down and they enter the doctor’s strange mansion. Frank-N-Furter, who happens to be an alien from Transsexual, Transylvania, introduces them to other bizarre characters. Alexandre, who was born in Haiti and has performed musical theater all over Europe, describes himself as “a bit of [an] exotic character,” so he didn’t have trouble with that part of the role. What’s really killed him, he says, “is having to stand and dance in heels.” Audience members will have a chance to get up close and personal; it’s being staged in the Hobby Center’s smaller Zilkha Hall. 7 p.m. November 8. Continuing 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 3 p.m. Sundays. Through November 20. 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-558-8887 or visit tuts.com. $39 to $93. — Margaret Downing

Let’s be honest: This election has been a mess. A disgrace. A total disaster. S-A-D. And that’s to paraphrase one of the candidates. But Houston’s comedy scene has this train wreck covered in a way cable news could never hope to compete: with plenty of libations. At Rec Room’s Political Science Theater 3000: The Final Frontier, all bets are off. On Election Day/New Apocalypse Eve, be among friends for all the nail-bitingly close vote counts. Rec Room co-founder Stephanie Wittels Wachs promises popcorn, a cash bar, bingo cards, live political commentary, coloring books and even piñatas for some much-needed tension release. If democracy doesn’t survive and the Great Orange Poll Rig of 2016 indeed comes to pass, the Rec Room might be the last Houston hot spot left standing. Spend your final hours in the comfortable embrace of young local comedians and greet your future dictators with a laugh; they won’t stop until “after the victor is announced.” 7 p.m. November 8. 100 Jackson. For information, call 713-344-1291 or visit recroomhtx.com. Free. — Vic Shuttee

It’s a little bit country, but it’s mostly rock and roll. The House of Blues is S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G it out with its weekly Rock ‘N’ Roll Bingo night. The establishment promises ongoing celebrity hosts along with soul-moving, body-grooving beats in the glamorous Foundation Room. Whether it’s B-9 or O-64, the spots are all up for grabs. The biggest thrill, though, is finding out who the rotating guest entertainers are — and we don’t plan to ruin the surprise. True to its nature, the House of Blues doesn’t disappoint with this attraction. On the table are great prizes, drink specials, loads of fun and more. But who is hosting? Well, we suppose you’ll just have to show up to find out. After all, a good secret is worth keeping. The game is open to members and guests; reservations are not required. 8 to 10 p.m. November 8. Continuing 8 p.m. Tuesdays. Through December 27. House of Blues Houston, 1204 Caroline. For information call 832-667-7794 or visit houseofblues.com/houston. Free. — Sam Byrd

Wednesday, November 9

Get ready, Disney maniacs, because your ultimate adventure draws near. NRG Stadium has been transformed into a frosty wonderland as Disney on Ice presents Dare to Dream, a colorful skate-themed extravaganza of music and adventure starring all your House of Mouse favorites. Princesses take center stage in a battle between good and nefarious as our hosts, Mickey and Minnie, team up with Rapunzel, Cinderella and Tiana to defeat the dastardly and vain Evil Queen, the original baddie from Walt’s first flick, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Enjoy song and dance from the big screen, plus some all-new cross-movie hijinks with Cinderella’s mousy sidekicks, Jaq and Gus; Flynn Ryder’s horse, Maximus; and everybody’s favorite trumpet-blasting alligator, Louis. Costumes are encouraged, as long as you’re not older than 13. 7:30 p.m. November 9. Continuing 7:30 p.m. November 10; 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. November 11; 11:30 a.m., 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. November 12; 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. November 13. NRG Arena, 1 NRG Park. For information, call 800-745-3000 or visit disneyonice.com/dare-to-dream. $15 to 100. — Vic Shuttee

If you love the holidays but could use fewer sugar plum fairies and more Dolly, Loretta and Willie, then Stages Repertory Theatre gifts you with the regional premiere of The Honky Tonk Angels Holiday Spectacular. “It’s something different,” says Mitchell Greco, who co-directs with Josh Morrison. “[It’s] holidayed out, if you will, in the best country way possible.” In this seasonal sequel, the Angels reunite for a Christmas show with new character Charilee, a soulful psychic manicurist. But Greco promises plenty of not-so-holiday songs too. “We have a lot of Motown and a lot of stuff you wouldn’t normally think of in a holiday musical.” The show celebrates music and women, but focuses more on family, “whether that family is your blood relatives or your chosen family, your friends.” 7:30 p.m. November 9. Continuing 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays, 9 p.m. December 31. Through December 31. 3201 Allen Parkway. For information, call 713-527-0123 or visit stagestheatre.com. $21 to $74. — Natalie de la Garza

Thursday, November 10

Update your naughty or nice lists, because it’s time for the largest holiday shopping event in Texas. The theme for this year’s Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market is “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” apropos with more than 300 merchants selling food, clothing, jewelry and home decor. Don’t miss the Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show and Luncheon on November 10 and the Macy’s Fashion Show and Brunch on November 11. The $135 fashion show tickets come with some perks: “You get in at 9 a.m. before the general doors open,” says Mary Alice Parmet, this year’s chair. “You get an hour of early shopping and you go and have lunch, visit; [it’s] just a good break from shopping.” Proceeds benefit the Houston Ballet Foundation and its Academy and scholarship programs. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. November 10 and 11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. November 12 and 13. NRG Center, One NRG Park. For information, call 713-535-3231 or visit nutcrackermarket.com. Free to $50. — Susie Tommaney

November 10, 1938, was a dark night for mankind, now known officially as Kristallnacht. “It was the night that basically began the Holocaust,” says Steven Garfinkel, a Houston theater artist. “That night in Germany, people went through the streets, breaking all the windows of the Jewish shopkeepers, and shortly after that they began to round them up and take them to the concentration camps.” This November 10, Garfinkel asks us to use this day to reflect on humanity’s dark history with a one-night-only staged reading of Broken Glass, a 1994 drama that focuses on a Brooklyn couple researching the tragedy that spiraled the world into war. “Broken Glass was written in the twilight of Arthur Miller’s life; I believe it’s his second-to-last play,” Garfinkel says. “It’s a complex play, very rich. It explores antisemitism from inside the Jewish community — an aspect that’s not explored too often.” Reservations are requested; email Garfinkel at sgarfinkel@erjcchouston.org. 7:30 p.m. November 10. Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston, 5601 South Braeswood. For information, call 713-729-3200 or visit erjcchouston.org. Free. — Vic Shuttee

Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo. A certain fairy godmother has been working her magic in honor of the 125th anniversary of composer Sergei Prokofiev’s birth. This weekend, Open World Dance Foundation is premiering a new creation of the ballet Cinderella, with costume and sets inspired by the artwork of Russian orphans. The production features guest artists from the American Ballet Theatre — Misty Copeland and Calvin Royal III — performing the roles of Cinderella and Prince along with more than 100 professional and youth dancers. Open World Dance was founded by Russian dancers Ekaterina Shchelkanova and Anton Boytsov after they witnessed a lack of opportunity in a St. Petersburg orphanage. “It’s very hard to see kids not being involved in anything that would provide them with a vision for the future,” said Shchelkanova. “Ballet was definitely a gift in my life. It’s our obligation to share what was given to us by our incredible teachers.” 7:30 p.m. November 10, 8 p.m. November 11. The Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit openworlddancefoundation.com. $40 to $315. — Lawrence Elizabeth Knox

Friday, November 11

The men behind The Australian Bee Gees Show have racked up more than 6,000 performances worldwide over the past 20 years. In no way has the tribute become tiresome for Michael Clift, who plays the part of surviving brother Barry Gibb. “Once it becomes a grind, you can’t really do it anymore and the audience would pick up on that,” explains Clift, who says that he’s totally grind-free. He, along with Wayne Hosking (Maurice) and David Scott (Robin), has been at Las Vegas’s Excalibur Hotel and Casino since 2011, performing hits like “Stayin’ Alive” and “Saturday Night Fever,” as well as tunes written or produced by the Brothers Gibb, including Diana Ross’s “Chain Reaction” and Frankie Valli’s “Grease.” “It’s for anybody who loves ’70s music,” says Clift. “Often, a plus-one will get dragged along, someone’s husband or wife, and they will come up afterwards and tell us how much they enjoyed it.” 7:30 p.m. November 11. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park. For information, call 281-373-3386 or visit milleroutdoortheatre.com. Free. — Steve Jansen

The Annual Arcade Expo isn’t just about old-school video games and pinball machines that run the gamut of time. There also are vintage consoled offerings, like the old Atari 2600s, vendors, game slingers, repair clinics, a parking lot swap and a seminar with the vice president of Domino’s (he’s bringing the pizza). The 15th annual shebang includes hundreds of arcade games that range from the super-rare 1990s pinball machine Cactus Canyon to the brand spanking new Ghostbusters, all of which are on free play mode (no tokens or coins required). The expo’s Keith Christensen, who is lending 25 games from his personal collection, says that one of his favorites is Robotron and the expo will “have seven of them, all lined up in a row.” Game on. Noon to 2 a.m. November 11, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. November 12. Crowne Plaza Northwest-Brookhollow, 12801 Northwest Freeway. For information, call 713-375-1801 or visit arcadecenter.com. Free to $40. — Steve Jansen

Jazz great Tony DeSare has headlined with Don Rickles in the glittery halls of Las Vegas but, for this weekend in H-Town, the singer, pianist and composer is gigging with the Houston Symphony in a celebration of piano legends titled I Love a Piano. Led by Principal POPS Conductor Michael Krajewski, DeSare will bring his own take to popular favorites: George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," Claude Debussy's "Clair de lune," Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom" and John Lennon's "Imagine," among others. The evening won't be over until he's broken out a little Billy Joel, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin, as well as a few originals from his three Top-10 Billboard albums. 8 p.m. November 11 and 12, 7:30 p.m. November 13. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $25 to $138. — Susie Tommaney

Saturday, November 12

Remember that futuristic act that wowed the judges on America's Got Talent? When the lights turned off, the technology-powered neon on the dancers' costumes seemed to come to life in a high-tech fusion of Latin, contemporary dance, Hip-Hop and breakdancing. After placing third in that 2011 competition, the iLuminate troupe has gone viral, collaborating with Chris Brown, Christina Aguilera and The Black Eyed Peas, and performing at numerous awards shows including the American Music Awards, MTV’s Video Music Awards, Billboard and Latin Billboard Awards. Founder Miral Kotb, a dancer and software engineer, takes advantage of customized wireless lighting programs to create extraordinary effects through choreography and movement. Come see for yourself why the America's Got Talent judges named the troupe “the best new act in America.” 7:30 p.m. November 12. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive. For information, call 281-373-3386 or visit milleroutdoortheatre.com. Free. — Susie Tommaney

Texas is home to some of the greatest wrestlers of all time, men and women who take their craft seriously, even when it involves being nicknamed “BoJoffo the Immortal Genie.” Doomsday Wrestling has been adding to the history of Texas wrasslin' since 2003 and is bringing its brand of “comedywrestling” back to Numbers as Tex Lonestar prepares to say goodbye to the single life and walk down the aisle in Deep in the Heart of Tex. Unlike what you see on TV, this show is supposed to be funny, and anything can happen. It’s the soap opera world of professional wrestling taken to its most extreme conclusion. All of your favorites will be in da house – the Russian Bear, Beefy Joe, Precious Jules, Hot Flash and the Burning Sensations – as they try to knock newly crowned Doomsday Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion Twerkules from his pedestal. All told, it’ll be the most fun you’ll have around a wrestling ring this year. 8 to 11 p.m. November 12. Numbers, 300 Westheimer. For information, call 713-521-1121 or visit numbersnightclub.com. — Cory Garcia and Susie Tommaney

Moody Gardens is getting cooler — down to nine degrees, to be specific. As part of its ICE LAND: A Caribbean Christmas attraction, the destination gives the phrase “frosty beverage” new meaning with its new Shivers Ice Bar. The fully functioning drinking spot is made completely from ice — the stools, the bottles and all the decorations. Be sure to bundle up for this below-freezing bar. Moody Gardens will provide the parkas, but recommends bringing a spare pair of mittens and thick socks. “It’s something amazing we can offer to the locals. It’s really cool that we can bring it here,” said Mariauna Hernandez, public relations coordinator. Bundled-up visitors can order from a festive holiday cocktail menu that highlights a local, handcrafted vodka. Then check out the rest of the holiday attractions: ICE LAND, Festival of Lights, Cirque Joyeux Noel, 3D films, Rudolph 4D, ice skating, the Arctic slide and train rides. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Through January 8. Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Boulevard, Galveston. For information, call 1-800-582-4673 or visit moodygardens.com. $10.95 to $26.95. — Sam Byrd

DiverseWorks is broadening our understanding of creativity by presenting the work of choreographer Meg Wolfe in the regional premiere of New Faithful Disco. Joining Wolfe onstage are taisha paggett and Marbles Jumbo Radio. The self-described “queer trio” blend themselves to harness each other’s movements for a 45-minute journey that manifests belief and togetherness into energy, all set to the sounds of disco beats and nature. Regarding those beats, DiverseWorks curator Rachel Cook chimes in, “You feel like the sound wraps around you. It’s hopeful, and it pulls this time period to the present and reminds people of the present.” The work is co-commissioned with REDCAT, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Z Space and the National Performance Network, and features original music by Maria de los Angeles “Cuca” Esteves. 8 p.m. November 11 and 12. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-223-8346 or visit diverseworks.org. Free to $15. — Sam Byrd

“Nothing is funnier than unhappiness, I grant you that.” These wise words, coined by English theater great Samuel Beckett, are being repeated by Jason Nodler as he directs the Houston premiere of Song About Himself for The Catastrophic Theatre, the sixth Mickle Maher play the theater has tackled. “The holidays are a time when some become so lonely. There’s already a disorder [for] it: Seasonal Affective Disorder,” says Nodler, Catastrophic’s artistic director. “Suicides spike, and people tend to feel alone in a room full of family. We think about those who feel alienated by the holidays.” The darkly comic tragedy stars Tamarie Cooper, Jovan Jackson and Noel Bowers, and deals with connection in the Internet age, set in a near-dystopian future when all communication is through screens, Nodler says. “It’s something akin to a deeper, richer version of The Twilight Zone.” 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. November 11 through December 3. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit catastrophictheatre.com. Pay what you can; suggested price is $35. — Vic Shuttee

Sunday, November 13

With La Bohème, you won’t find youth wasted on the young (or the old), according to longtime Opera in the Heights stage director Lynda Keith McKnight. “La Bohème is about young people who are willing to sacrifice to do what they love: art, music, [writing],” says McKnight, who resets Giacomo Puccini’s classic starving-artists tale of love and loss from the 1880s to the 1960s for OH! “That’s a time when the conflict between the counterculture and establishment was coming to a head,” says McKnight, who notes that political turmoil grew in the ’60s with protests about the Vietnam War and unrest in France. You’ll see Dior and Armani alongside tunics and headbands. “Tie dye, flower children, it seemed to speak to exactly who those bohemian kids are,” says the director. “They’re hippies.” 2 p.m. November 13; 7:30 p.m. November 11, 17 and 19. Opera in the Heights, 1703 Heights. For information, call 713-861-5303 or visit operaintheheights.org. $13 to $71. — Katricia Lang

Director Celia Rowlson-Hall admits it’s been more than a year since she’s seen her debut feature, Ma. It’s an American Southwest-set retelling of Mother Mary’s pilgrimage told completely through movement, and, yes, that means no dialogue. “It was such an emotional experience that I can’t really go through it again,” says Rowlson-Hall. Borne from what she calls a “self-imposed” fascination with religion, Ma is far from your typical narrative and, Rowlson-Hall says, is extremely personal. When she arrives in town for the weeklong Houston Cinema Arts Festival, she’ll be joining other women filmmakers; about half of the films this year are directed or co-directed by women. Ma screens at 4:15 p.m. Sunday and 6:40 p.m. November 12. Other Sunday highlights include the knit narrative Yarn and, over at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Wangechi Mutu’s The End of Carrying All and the Ryan Gosling-Emma Stone vehicle La La Land. Various times and locations. November 10-17. For information, call 713-429-0420 or visit hcaf16.org. Free to $600. — Natalie de la Garza

Monday, November 14

Whether you’re riding a wave of euphoria or fleeing to Canada, there’s no doubt that this year’s race for the White House has been an entertaining one. Even more fascinating was the realization that Texas, a traditionally red state, was not a slam dunk for the Republicans. In Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era, author Max Krochmal, Ph.D. — an assistant professor of history at Texas Christian University — covers a different era for the Lone Star State. “People tend to think of Texas as this red state, this bastion of cowboy conservatism, when in fact it was also a place with robust organizing,” says Krochmal. Through research and interviews, he followed the activities of labor organizations, Mexican- and African-Americans, electoral clubs and neighborhood initiatives in a 30-year fight to end Jim Crow and Juan Crow. He’ll be reading from his book and signing copies at Brazos Bookstore. 7 p.m. November 14. 2421 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit brazosbookstore.com. Free. — Susie Tommaney

Three plays, three nights and no scripts? Insanity to most, but it’s just another day of zany fun when Cone Man Running Productions presents a Boiling Point Players production of Improvised Play x3. Autumn Clack and Ruth S McCleskey, the comedy power twosome known as Ophelia’s Rope, are joined by an A-list roster of improvisers, including Brittny Bush, Callina Situka, Christine Weems, Alison Coriell and Station Theater co-director Jessica Brown for a run of fully improvised one-act plays. Clack, unabashed in her praise, calls this squad of comedians her “dream team.” “Ruth had the idea years ago; she’d read about improvising different plays in different genres,” Clack says, admitting, “I just thought that seemed awfully scary.” But after some cajoling, both women decided to add a weekend of improvised plays to their traditionally scripted play season. Clack adds, “An improvised play has more story structure: There’s a beginning, middle and end. And hopefully, it’s just as funny or moving as your average scripted play.” 8 p.m. November 13-15. Obsidian Theater, 3522 White Oak. For information, call 832-303-1578 or visit boilingpointplayers.com. $15 to $30. — Vic Shuttee

“Picasso The Line” is installed chronologically at The Menil Collection. We get a bit of everything, from the artist’s early blue and rose periods (no color here, however — these are drawings) straight through an 80-year career. The presentation is restrained, even reverent. According to the catalog, there are heavy things going on in the show, including drawing versus the linear and the cartographic line, though a different approach is to just breeze through, letting yourself be grabbed by the works that grab you.
Da Camera of Houston's Sarah Rothenberg has drawn her own inspiration from the works in an exploration of the parallels between music and visual arts in Picasso and Music at the Menil. The program includes the piano version of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, stripping away the orchestration to leave a simpler composition, much as the drawings-only aspect of the Picasso exhibit withholds the fullness of Picasso’s practice. Joining Rothenberg to perform De Falla's Seven Canciones Populaires, Stravinsky's Suite Italienne and Erik Satie's Parade are mezzo-soprano Sofia Selowsky, violinist Boson Mo, and pianists Timothy Hester and Marilyn Nonken. 7:30 p.m. November 14 and 15, The Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross. For information, call 713-524-7601 or visit dacamera.com. $60. — Randy Tibbits and Susie Tommaney

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