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

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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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