21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Jersey Boys and Via Colori

Tuesday, November 15

By now most people know the Tony and Grammy award-winning story: Four boys from New Jersey, none of them angels, form a group that spends a lot of time searching for a name and a sound before finding fame and fortune in the ‘60s. Cory Jeacoma plays Bob Gaudio, the last of the guys to join the band. The others were Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi, and, according to the musical Jersey Boys, Gaudio was the one with the brains to not only write songs but handle the business. “Bob Gaudio, he is determined, he is forward-thinking, he’s very future-oriented and he’s a musical genius. He’s responsible for so much of the Four Seasons’ success and the music that they wrote,” Jeacoma says. And what music: “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man” “C’mon Marianne” — the list is almost endless and definitely worth the price of admission alone. 7:30 p.m. November 15. Continuing 7:30 p.m. November 16 and 17, 8 p.m. November 18, 2 and 8 p.m. November 19, 2 and 7:30 p.m. November 20. BBVA Compass Broadway at The Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 800-952-6560 or visit $35.50 to $160.50. — Margaret Downing

Expect to have your mind blown — or at least an awakening of your senses — when German Center Houston performs an interdisciplinary take on Winterreise, a dark, emotional song cycle about unrequited love. “It’s really one very gigantic piece called the Winter Journey, by Franz Schubert, that’s a cycle of 24 songs, and it’s just a magnificent piece really for any singer,” says Sonja Bruzauskas, the mezzo-soprano braving the task. Volker Eisele, one of the masterminds behind this year’s Sculpture Month Houston and director at Rudolph Blume Fine Art / ArtScan Gallery, is placing several sculptures onstage with Bruzauskas and Tali Morgulis on piano. “I am convinced, and [Eisele] is as well, that you can expand people’s minds by exposing them to different art forms at the same time, and stimulate creativity, and by creativity that you help people make new connections in their brain,” says Bruzauskas. In German with English subtitles. 7:30 p.m. November 15. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit $8 to $12. — Susie Tommaney

Wednesday, November 16

Let’s face it: For adults, making new friends can be hard. Houston’s Rec Room understands your pain, which is why the performance space is hosting Hump Night: The “Bromance” Episode, a live matchmaking show that brings together men with potential platonic best friends. Rec Room co-founder Stephanie Wittels Wach says the show started with a simple idea: “What if we did a dating show that’s about connecting people that you wouldn’t normally see being connected on a dating show?” While the main suitor is chosen before the show, the hosts invite crowd members onstage as prospective friends. Just like on television’s The Dating Game, the suitor and his would-be bromances can’t see one another as the men ask and answer questions such as, “If you were invisible, where would you go?” The suitor then picks his favorite man, and the two go share the first beer of their bromance. They’re doing it again in December, when they match up couple friends. 8 to 9:30 p.m. November 16 and December 7. 100 Jackson. For information, call 713-344-1291 or visit $10. — Carter Sherman

It's easy to write five minutes of dialogue, but it's not so easy to pen a compelling story with the set-up, conflict and resolution tied up in a satisfyingly neat little bow in those five minutes. For The Five Minute Mile, Cone Man Running Productions selected the 32 best plays from a pool of 400. The ensemble of 12 brave souls performs 20 of the shorts at each performance, though the lineup changes nightly. Offerings include William Fowkes's Table Manners in Tribeca, where an ex-boyfriend tries to ruin a woman's date; Christine Weems's Maids of Dishonor, which pits four bridesmaids against each other for the Maid of Honor slot; and Allie Costa's Quality Assurance, which documents a seemingly clueless telemarketer. 8 p.m. November 16. Continuing 8 p.m. November 17, 18 and 19. Obsidian Theater, 3522 White Oak. For information, call 281-972-5897 or visit $18. — Susie Tommaney

Thursday, November 17

As she started working on the narrative for Youth of a Nation: A Dance Retrospective of the ’90s, an original collaborative piece between FrenetiCore Dance and local hip-hop crew Inertia Dance Company, writer and poet Amyna Dosani was struck by the similarities between circa 1990 and circa right now. “Not only the resurgence of '90s fashion and grunge, but also the attitudes and the escapism aspect and the nihilism,” says Dosani. The debut performance focuses on two female characters as they contemplate crucial events of the era, ranging from the Matthew Shepard story and the Oklahoma City bombings to the work of artist Keith Haring and the 1992 race riots. “It’s not just like, ‘Hey! The ‘90s!’ or a rehashing of the fashion and music,” says Dosani. “There’s much more depth to it.” 8 p.m. November 17. Continuing 8 p.m. November 18 and 19; 2 p.m. November 20. The Pilot on Navigation, 5102 Navigation. For information, call 832-387-7440 or visit $15 to $25. — Steve Jansen

From Polish playgrounds to the N’awlins brass band tradition, four diverse dance-makers are showcasing their unique styles and inspirations in METdance’s Breaking Borders. Camille A. Brown’s New Second Line may be inspired by Hurricane Katrina, and it may be about a funeral, but it’s hardly morose. “It’s very soulful and joyous, which is, yes, ironic for a funeral,” laughs artistic director Marlana Doyle. The Clean-Cut American Stage Show, by Joshua L. Peugh, is an equally upbeat slice of Americana, circa Judy Garland. And Katarzyna Skarpetowska’s Snow Playground, an audience favorite, “is quiet and serene, just like snow, but still athletic and technical.” Rounding out the program is a world premiere from Miami-based choreographer Rosie Herrera, which Doyle says features a “theme of intimacy and connection” between people. There’s a closing reception following the November 19 performance. 7:30 p.m. November 17. Continuing 7:30 p.m. November  18 and 19. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit $25 to $35. — Natalie de la Garza

The Ensemble Theatre-presented The First Noel is a two for one. First off, it’s a regional premiere of a play — set in New York City from the years 1985 to 2015 — that chronicles three generations of family who have had to deal with a soul-crushing loss. It’s also much-needed fare for those who think the holidays are a rough scene. “It’s a healing play,” says director and choreographer Patdro Harris. “Lots of time, that’s what people need during the holidays.” Harris says that the fast-paced musical covers a lot of ground, especially in the songbook by Lelund Durond Thompson and Jason Michael Webb, with traditional holiday tunes as well as hip-hop numbers. 7:30 p.m. November 17. Continuing 8 p.m. Fridays; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays (no evening show December 24); 3 p.m. Sundays (no show December 25); 7:30 p.m. November 22 and December 1, 8, 15, 21, 22 and 27-29. Through December 30. 3535 Main. For information, call 713-520-0055 or visit $42 to $61. — Steve Jansen

Friday, November 18

It was 1835, the start of the Texas Revolution. A small group of Texians resisted the demands of the Mexican government and kept their small bronze cannon. They even mocked the forces, fashioning a small flag that read, simply, “Come and Take It.” Fast-forward nearly 200 years and a new group of Texans is wearing that phrase with pride. But nowadays, it’s not the warriors waging war — it’s the comedians. The Come and Take It Comedy Takeover is unique for Houston, a three-day whirlwind of stand-up that blends well-known headliners (Todd Barry, Maria Bamford, Trump vs Bernie star James Adomian) with all-star local talent (Zahid Dewji, Matthew Broussard, Reed Becker, Roxxy Haze, Bob Biggerstaff); the list of luminaries does go on and on. CATI is big for Houston, argues Biggerstaff, a decade-plus veteran of the city’s comedy circuit. “We’re definitely on the rise,” he says. “There are more stages too in Houston now than there’s been in 15 years.” Biggerstaff says Houston’s scene rivals any other outside Los Angeles or New York City. Andy Huggins, a scene legend who cut his teeth alongside Bill Hicks, has a simple explanation. “We’ve got the comics,” he says. “Really good ones.” There’s a kickoff party at 8 p.m. November 17; tickets are $20 to $25. 7 p.m. November 18. Continuing 7 p.m. November 19 and 20. The Secret Group, 2101 Polk. For information, call 832-898-4688 or visit $35 to $129. — Vic Shuttee

For those growing up in Zigong, China, career aspirations tend to lean toward professional lantern artist or engineer. Now 90 artists from the famous “Lantern Town of the South Kingdom” have been flown in for our region’s second annual Magical Winter Lights. “Our festival will actually be 60 percent new lanterns,” says Chelsea Atkinson, public relations and event manager for organizer People Generation. This year’s lantern extravaganza includes the eco-minded Man and Nature, a whimsical forest in Magical Wonderland and an expanded Dinosaur Land with motorized dino rides. Don’t miss two nightly acrobatic shows, a carnival and a ramped-up food court. Thanks to last year’s wet winter weather, they’ve moved to terra firma at Gulf Greyhound Park. 3 to 11 p.m. November 18. Continuing 5 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 3 to 11 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Through January 8. 1000 FM 2004, La Marque. For information, visit $11 to $22. — Susie Tommaney

The sonic genius of 8-bit music — the soundtracks for original Nintendo games such as Super Mario Bros. and Mega Man — continues to get its overdue due. The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses — Master Quest is an ambitious look into the most important role-playing game of all time via a complete four-movement symphony that also features video projections from the games. The musical shebang starts with four interludes, including “Gerudo Valley” and “Boss Battle Medley,” before launching into the symphonic works that include the movements “Ocarina of Time,” “The Wind Waker,” “Twilight Princess” and “Time of the Falling Rain.” Zelda franchise founder Eiji Aonuma and Koji Kondo, Nintendo composer and sound director, gave thumbs-up to the music, according to organizers Nintendo and Jason Michael Paul Entertainment, Inc. 8 p.m. November 18. Revention Music Center, 520 Texas Avenue. For information, call 713-230-1600 or visit $30 to $105. — Steve Jansen

The holiday season is upon us, and Society for the Performing Arts doesn’t disappoint. Yes, it has a family classic with all the holiday music that we’ve come to enjoy (and expect), but has also added a new and interesting twist with Cirque Dreams HOLIDAZE. SPA has recruited 20 different acts, with 30 artists from every pocket of the globe and 300 different costumes, to make this an unforgettable family hallmark. “We are excited that we can not only offer a show that features circus acts from around the world but also a holiday-centric performance that everyone can enjoy regardless of their age,” says Marcus Powers, SPA’s public relations manager. Enjoy snowmen, penguins, angels, reindeer, toy soldiers, gingerbread men and Santa himself as they amaze with acrobatics and breathtaking production numbers. 2 and 7:30 p.m. November 19. Continuing 7:30 p.m. November 18, 2 p.m. November 20. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-227-4772 or visit $32 to $72. — Sam Byrd

Saturday, November 19

While the chalk drawings at the annual Houston Via Colori® Street Painting Festival won’t have viewers riding carousel horses or cavorting with cartoon animals, they do have their own Mary Poppins-like magic. Kelsey Gross, senior marketing manager for organizer The Center for Hearing and Speech, says that seven artist teams are doing the crowd-favorite optical illusion 3-D pieces, which often take both days of the event to complete. Overall, more than 200 artists are interpreting this year’s “A Colorful World” theme on squares ranging from four to ten feet. “The final entertainer on the 20th is a former American Idol contestant, Jess Meuse, from season 13. [She’ll] perform an hour set from 4 to 5 p.m. on Sunday,” says Gross. Event proceeds assist children with hearing loss, and VIP Lounge ticketholders nosh on free food and drink while enjoying six mini-events. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. November 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 20. Hermann Square, 900 Smith. For information, call 713-523-3633 or visit $7 to $40. — Susie Tommaney

A group of Porsche enthusiasts came up with the idea for the inaugural TejasTreffen — merging the luxury car brand with local art, music, food trucks and Texas-crafted rum — and it’s gaining momentum. Antonio Kawage, a collector who drives vintage Porsches and teaches people how to drive on the race track, says they’ll be displaying the finest examples from each generation: vintage air-cooled models from the late ’50s to 1998, some special 911s, transaxles and modern, water-cooled cars. “We’ve got a 356 speedster that’s owned by Hugo Zagaria; the car is special because it was owned by Brazilian Formula One racer Ayrton Senna [da Silva].” As for the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink event concept, Kawage says he wanted to bring in not just the hard-core Porsche aficionados, but also the art community. “We’re auctioning five paintings that are going to be done by local Houston artists, and the canvases are going to be hoods of cars from older 911s.” Proceeds benefit the Snowdrop Foundation, which Kawage says provides scholarships to college-bound students with cancer. 3 to 9 p.m. November 19. Spring Street Studios, 1824 Spring. For information, visit $7.50 to $20. — Susie Tommaney

This isn’t hyperbole: Holiday Brews on the Bayou is more than an ordinary beer tasting. It’s going to take place inside of a spiegeltent, a Belgium-built portable entertainment venue from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries that happens to be a beautiful construction of mahogany, brass, mirrors and stained glass. “People hear ‘tent’ and they think ‘circus tent,’” says Bayou Bend director Bonnie Campbell, who adds that it takes about five days for spiegeltent experts to put one together. “Most people say that they feel like they’re in an old-fashioned carousel.” The event features 14 craft brewers, such as 8th Wonder and Firestone Walker, posting up in the spiegeltent (which is Flemish for “mirror tent”), while brother and sister combination Aaron and Ashten play singer-songwriter tunes. “It’s not like going to a parking lot to drink beer,” says Campbell. 2 to 6 p.m. November 19. Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, 6003 Memorial. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit $35. — Steve Jansen

Remember the last time you woke up to a beaming sun and a day full of possibilities? That’s how the first movement of Antonín Dvorák’s Serenade for Strings in E major Op. 22 feels, says Antoine Plante, Mercury’s artistic director. For Dvorák’s Serenade, Plante conducts the chamber orchestra’s performance of the five-movement string piece. The second movement is a toe-tapping romantic waltz. The third, a scherzo — or musical joke, explains Plante — gives setups, punch lines and tags through aural surprise. The fourth is “all about self-indulging into beautiful sentiment,” and the final is “flashy,” with technique dressed to impress audiences, he says. Plante pairs Dvorák’s Serenade with Franz Schubert’s String Quintet in C major, D.956. 8 p.m. November 19. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For information, call 713-533-0080 or visit $19 to $68. — Katricia Lang

Words are the weapon of choice in the Bayou City Poetry Grand Slam, a one-night-only battle between 20 slam poets from across the country. The competition is stiff — and not just because of the $1,000 grand prize that’s on the line for those who make it through the tournament’s three rounds. Poets must be personally invited to perform by event founder Savannah Blue, who says this is Houston’s only major slam. “Come with open hearts and be ready to feel some emotional feelings,” Blue advises potential attendees. “There’s no telling what they’re going to hear.” And make sure to come early — last year, the theater was so packed that Blue had to turn people away. This is also the last year to experience the slam in just one night; next year it expands into a two-day festival. 7 to 10 p.m. November 19. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. For information, call 832-396-9547 or visit $20 to $25. — Carter Sherman

For its 23rd year, Zine Fest is upon us, H-Town. What exactly is a zine? Well, festival co-organizer Maria-Elisa Heg is here to help. “A ‘zine,’ while short for ‘magazine,’ is very indicative of a DIY ethos,” she explains. Zine creators often “come up with all the content, or they’re the editor,” Heg continues, citing comedy group MicroSatan and photographers Ryan Francisco and Diane Cannon as local stand-outs. “It’s a lot of the elements of a [traditional] printing organization, but on a smaller scale. Less people involved and waaaaaay less money.” Lawndale Art Center plays host to 130 different organizations at this year’s Zine Fest Houston 2016: Year of the Ama-Zines, which is free to attend and includes zine-friendly food trucks. “You can walk around, talk to creators, pick up and trade zines,” Heg says. “Then, after the event, there’s a big after-party at galleryHOMELAND [3401 Harrisburg] till midnight.” Just remember to keep your zines away from sloshing drinks. 2 to 8 p.m. November 19. 4912 Main. For information, call 713-528-5858 or visit Free. — Vic Shuttee

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and no season would be complete without Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Musical. We all know the story of the misfit reindeer who ended up saving Christmas by guiding Santa's sleigh through the snow storm. Hear all your favorite holiday songs in this touring production, dressed up with nostalgic set designs, projections, puppets and iconic characters like Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster and Hermey the Elf and Yukon Cornelius from the Island of Misfit Toys. Based on the animated television special, and with script adaptation by Robert Penola and arrangements and orchestrations by Timothy Splain, this holiday classic about how our differences make us special comes to The Grand 1894 Opera House for just two performances. 2 and 5 p.m. November 19. 2020 Postoffice. For information, call 1-800-821-1894 or visit $22.50 to $65. — Susie Tommaney

Sunday, November 20

Expect a mash-up of car culture, hip-hop and rap when Los Magnificos Car Show & Music Festival returns to NRG Center. “Los Magnificos-Houston is one of the largest custom car shows on the planet,” says event organizer Jon Chuck. “The show is a mix of custom cars: There’s the low-rider type cars, custom trucks, there’s slabs, which is unique to Houston.” The concert lineup is diverse, with headliners King Lil’ G, old schooler Too Short and, making her debut, SPM daughter Carley Coy. Expect tons of vendors, an automotive art exhibit, more than 400 class awards and something else. “We’ve got a hydraulic competition — how far can they hop? — a car dance. It’s a huge draw,” says Chuck. “It’s a real expensive hobby; there will be three to four car dancers here.” Noon to 6 p.m. November 20. NRG Center, One NRG Park. For information, visit $20. — Susie Tommaney

The year of Amy Schumer continues. The Comedy Central star keeps a robust touring schedule of stand-up events to match her dominance of the film and tele-sphere. Even though the New Yorker has played Madison Square Garden recently, her challenge to fill the 18,000 seats at Toyota Center might still prove a tall order. The comic, who tends to speak candidly about sexuality, her fame and America at large, has prompted boos recently for her politically charged rhetoric against Donald Trump. But with the election in the rearview mirror, perhaps that divisiveness will dwindle too. Schumer, with her hit sketch series Inside Amy Schumer placed on self-imposed hiatus, has a number of high-profile projects in the hopper, including the ensemble war drama Thank You For Your Service and the Paul Fieg-produced comedy Mother/Daughter, which stars Schumer and Oscar-winner Goldie Hawn — the latter actress’s first starring role in nearly 15 years. 7 p.m. November 20. 1510 Polk. For information, call 713-758-7200 or visit $39 to 125. — Vic Shuttee

Monday, November 21

Houston’s vast literati have a couple of reasons to celebrate, as two world-weary authors journey to the Bayou City for the next Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. Lebanese-American wordsmith Rabih Alameddine and Colombian-born novelist Juan Gabriel Vásquez are discussing new works in an open forum with the help of a moderator. Vásquez’s release, Reputations, focuses on a South American political cartoonist who must deal with the power his grotesque depictions hold over his real-life subjects. A lifelong follower of the political, Vásquez has a few choice words on America’s own election. “The whole picture saddens me,” Vásquez says. “These elections will not go away after November 9. They have lowered the level of political discussion and of mere civility.” Sharing the stage is Alameddine; his book, The Angel of History, is about a Yemeni poet who reflects on his past during the AIDS epidemic. 7:30 p.m. November 21. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. For information, call 713-521-2026 or visit $5. — Vic Shuttee
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