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21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Mouseketeer Royalty and a Pup Crawl

Pack your pooch and a lawn chair and come out to the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center for a tail-wagging good time at the second annual Saint Arnold Pup Crawl & Pet Expo this Sunday.EXPAND
Pack your pooch and a lawn chair and come out to the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center for a tail-wagging good time at the second annual Saint Arnold Pup Crawl & Pet Expo this Sunday.
Photo by Candace Garcia
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Tuesday, March 14

Set in 1860s Siam (now Thailand), The King and I tells the story of a British schoolteacher who travels to that country at the request of the king (played by Jose Llana) to teach the monarch’s many wives and children. Houston audiences will have a chance to see the Tony Award®-winning revival version, based on a real-life story, of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic, courtesy of BBVA Compass Broadway at the Hobby Center. Laura Michelle Kelly (Broadway: Mary Poppins, Finding Neverland) stars and describes her character as “very strong willed. She was very progressive for her time, very opinionated. She was a wild force that he has to contend with and find out how to communicate with.” Kelly acts, sings and dances (while wearing a 45-pound, authentic-to-the times dress) to music that includes “Getting to Know You,” “Shall We Dance” and “Something Wonderful.” 7:30 p.m. March 14. Continuing 7:30 p.m. March 15, 16 and 19; 8 p.m. March 17; 2 and 8 p.m. March 18; 2 and 7:30 p.m. March 19. The Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit thehobbycenter.org. $35 to $150. — Margaret Downing

Tony Bennett, the legendary crooner known for signature tunes “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” and “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” is turning tonight's stop at Smart Financial Centre into a family affair. Daughter and next-gen performer Antonia Bennett opens the show, having inherited her father’s dreamy eyes and clear voice. She grew up in a household where Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Gene Kelly were the norm and has been opening for her father for the past decade. As for the main attraction, Tony will offer up a marathon of crowd favorites and old classics, including “I Got Rhythm,” “Sing You Sinners,” “The Way You Look Tonight” and “One For My Baby (And One More For The Road).” This powerhouse talent is still going strong at 90 and audience members will be ready to fly to the moon before this star-studded night is over. 8 p.m. March 14. 18111 Lexington, Sugar Land. For information, call 281-207-6278 or visit smartfinancialcentre.net. $79 to $125. — Vic Shuttee

The man who doesn't sleep, photography guru Lynn Lane (Houston Grand Opera, Cirque du Soleil), is back with another immersive, improvisational experience with his Transitory Sound and Movement Collective. He and his band of merry creatives are premiering a new collaborative work, Untitled: Darkness and Light in Eight, merging movement (dance artist Jennifer Mabus), vocals (soprano Julia Fox) and video (New York City-based video artist Ron Kiley). Kiley seems to have mastered the art of single shot cinema verité film pieces and his videos have been screened at the Catskills Mountains Film Festival. Five musicians round out the cast, with Lane handling the electronics and a field recording and backed by violinist Ingrid Hunter, cellist Fanny Spangaro, double bassist Austin Lewellen and clarinetist Thomas Frey. 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 14. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. For information, call 713-344-1291 or visit recroomhtx.com. $10 to $15. — Susie Tommaney

Wednesday, March 15

There are a myriad number of ways to celebrate Women's History Month and, while not as dramatic as "A Day Without a Woman," the estrogen-charged drama is still onstage when Mildred's Umbrella Theater Company joins forces with Collective 48 (Two! Short! Plays!) to present The Future Is Female Festival Houston. On deck is a series of staged readings and productions of ten-minute plays (authored by women, natch) and directed by local female artists. The Houston presentation mirrors other productions being held this month nationally and in Canada, and proceeds benefit co-presenter the Women's Resource of Greater Houston. 8 p.m. March 15 and 3 p.m. March 19 at Studio 101, Spring Street Studios, 1824 Spring. There's another performance at 8 p.m. on March 26 at Main Street Theater, 2540 Times Boulevard. For information, call 832-463-0409 or visit futureisfemalehouston.wordpress.com. Pay what you can. — Susie Tommaney

When writer, humorist and fighting feminist Lindy West released the hardcover version of Shrill last year, the media ate it up. NPR, Esquire, Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times all put it on the short list of must-reads and now West is celebrating the release of the paperback version. No subject is taboo, including diarrhea, her visit to the abortion clinic and her ongoing dialogue to convince herself (and the world) that fat people have value. This New York Times bestselling author is making a stop in Houston to discuss and sign copies of her book, and it's our chance to see why Internet trolls don't stand a chance when they try to battle wits with the provocative West. 7 p.m. March 15. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit brazosbookstore.com. Free. — Susie Tommaney

Catholics, Jews, Christians, Muslims and the nondenominational — all are welcome at the glorious resurrection of the Sister at Stages Repertory Theatre. Denise Fennell, who has toured the show across the globe, gets back in the habit in this pure-hearted send-up of the sacraments of marriage and last rites in Late Nite Catechism 3: ’Til Death Do Us Part. “We play the compatibility game, which is the Sister’s answer to Tinder,” says Fennell. “This one is looser than the previous shows. There’s a lot more audience participation and interaction in this one.” This irreverent comedy, written by Maripat Donovan with Marc Silvia, is back by popular demand and directed by Silvia. 7:30 p.m. March 15. Continuing 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays. March 15 through April 9. 3201 Allen Parkway. For information, call 713-527-0123 or visit stagestheatre.com. $40 to $75. — Vic Shuttee

Thursday, March 16

Drop Shakespeare’s original power couple into a postapocalyptic dystopia reminiscent of Mad Max: Fury Road and you’ve got Obsidian Theater’s production of Antony and Cleopatra, presented in association with Standing Room Only Productions. “To us, to everybody, they’re not people; they’re this love archetype,” says Tom Stell, the Antony to Whitney Zangarine’s Cleo. “[But] I don’t think it’s a big stretch to say that she doesn’t love him quite as much as he loves her. I think that’s where some of the tragedy is — it’s not an equilateral love affair.” Stell says Obsidian has cut the show down to a modern size (out go all the trade negotiations, he jokes), leaving their relationship and the conflict around them. “You’re in the boardrooms and you’re in the bedrooms of these people.” 8 p.m. March 16. Also 8 p.m. March 17-18, 23-25, 27, 29-31 and April 1, 6-8; 3 p.m. April 2. Obsidian Art Space, 3522 White Oak. For information, call 713-300-2358 or 832-889-7837 or visit obsidiantheater.org. $20 to $30. — Natalie de la Garza

Soloist Chun Wai Chan, trained as a classical dancer in China, has learned a lot of things since joining the Houston Ballet: new techniques, how to manage his lifts better, contemporary dance. And how to dance with a stone, as he does as part of the ballet’s Director’s Choice: Legends and Prodigy mixed-repertory program. He is one of the many dancers performing in Grosse Fuge by Hans van Manen, Stepping Stones by Jirí Kylián (a Houston Ballet premiere), and the fun Year of the Rabbit by Justin Peck (another Houston Ballet premiere). In Grosse Fuge, where he partners with first soloist Katharine Precourt, he says, “It’s very fast. It has a very fast tempo.” Stepping Stones takes a lot of stamina and has challenging steps, he says. “In this piece I have to move from my toes to the edge of my head, and every part has to be very accurate.” 7:30 p.m. March 16. Continuing 7:30 p.m. March 18, 24 and 25; 2 p.m. March 19 and 26. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For information, call 713-227-2787 or visit houstonballet.org. $25 to $195. — Margaret Downing

What does the Rothko Chapel sound like? Find out in Houston Grand Opera’s 63rd world premiere, Some Light Emerges, which immortalizes the Houston landmark and patron Dominique de Menil in chamber opera, weaving de Menil’s efforts to build the spiritual sanctuary with the stories of five characters — each visiting the chapel during a different moment in American history. There’s Margie, a lonely housewife in the early days of feminism; Cece, an African-American teenager displaced after Katrina; and Albert, an Algerian immigrant experiencing a crisis of faith after 9/11. “[People] look at the color of his skin and the way he looks, his accent, and [equate] him with terrorism,” says tenor Karim Sulayman of his character. But in the chapel, the nonreligious Albert finds a space “to feel included and be included and to have a spiritual experience,” which Sulayman labels “pretty powerful.” 7:30 p.m. March 16 and 17. Ballroom at Bayou Place, 500 Texas. For information, call 713-228-6737 or visit houstongrandopera.org. $25. — Natalie de la Garza

Forget the octagon; the real battles are on stage with 12,000 Degree$: A Monthly Comedy Battle. Take two comics and pit them against each other during three rounds of standup, karaoke and freestyle rapping. Houston comedy kings and hosts Mycal Dédé and Zach Dickson know that it's tough to excel in all three genres, which adds to the laughs as audience members watch them succeed or fail. This Thursday it's a battle of the cities, with Austin's Zach Brooks going up against H-Town's Rich Williams, a traveling headliner who appears all over Texas. If Brooks sounds familiar, it's because the incredibly handsome (according to Dédé) funnyman got his comedy start in Houston and now hosts Peep Show at Austin's Spider House and When We Were Young at The New Movement. Crowd participation is key and ultimately votes to determine the winner. Make it an evening and wash down the $10 plates of famous Burns Original BBQ with that night's drink specials. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. March 16. The Secret Group, 2101 Polk. For information, call 832-898-4688 or visit thesecretgrouphtx.com. $5. — Susie Tommaney

Mouseketeer royalty is in town and former cast members Lindsey Alley, Damon Pampolina and Chasen Hampton are reuniting for Blood, Sweat and Mouseketears this Friday night at the Rec Room.
Mouseketeer royalty is in town and former cast members Lindsey Alley, Damon Pampolina and Chasen Hampton are reuniting for Blood, Sweat and Mouseketears this Friday night at the Rec Room.
Photo by Ray Garcia

Friday, March 17

It seems the Disney casting agents knew what they were doing when scouting for new Mouseketeers. Several film and musical greats springboarded that early success into monumental careers, including Keri Russell, Ryan Gosling and Christina Aguilera. Now former Mouseketeer Lindsey Alley (How I Met Your Mother, B.L. Stryker) takes Houston audiences on a comedic musical journey with favorite childhood songs and the inside scoop on Justin and Britney in Blood, Sweat and Mouseketears. This memorable evening of booze, belting and belly laughs was conceived by David Sexton with musical direction by Rick Leonard. Alley is joined by former cast members (from the Disney Channel's 1989-94 revival) Damon Pampolina (host and emcee) and Chasen Hampton (special guest). Doors open at 7 p.m., and those who pony up $35 for VIP tickets can party with the stars during a post-show reception. 8 p.m. March 17. Rec Room, 100 Jackson. For information, call 713-344-1291 or visit recroomhtx.com. $20 to $35. — Susie Tommaney

Mother Nature’s feisty mood swings in December may have put the kibosh on Discovery’s Green’s annual Rainbow On Ice event, but that hasn’t put a damper on Mayor Sylvester Turner’s LGBTQ advisory board’s determination to celebrate Houston’s diversity. The board rescheduled the event for Avenida Houston’s newly opened roller rink with the apropos title Rainbow and Roll. Glide the night away in H-Town’s largest outdoor rink and let the good times roll. Performers are Houston’s own drag family, Crawford Nation, including female illusionists Aria, Linda D. and Alexia D., with Kris and Fidel performing as Janet Jackson, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child. Putting the “disco” into Discovery is DJ Joe Ross. The park’s programming and communications coordinator, Lori San Miguel, tells us, “Houston is so diverse. We pride ourselves in being a place where GLBTQ and their families can come and celebrate.” 7 to 10 p.m. March 17. 1500 McKinney. For information, call 713-434-7465 or visit discoverygreen.com/rainbow. Free to $14. — Sam Byrd

Nobody will fall asleep in his or her chair during this dance piece. It begins with audience members taking a 15-minute jaunt through a maze of rooms filled with intimate scenes of movement, nature and light. It’s the brainchild of Ashley Horn, the choreographer/filmmaker/costume designer behind Vesper, and she says the little rooms will prepare the audience for the remaining hour-long performance about ritual and tradition. “Then the walls will raise to make a ceiling for the stage,” says Horn. “The whole story was inspired by rituals and the creation of materials used in rituals. It’s not necessarily narrative but all themed around building this structure.” As with anything Horn-related, there are a lot of costumes. “I tried to sit down and limit myself, but that doesn’t happen.” She says the nine performers — one male and eight female — will wear around 40 costumes during the show, which is presented by the Pilot Dance Project. 8 p.m. March 17-18 and 24-25. The Pilot on Navigation, 5102 Navigation. For information, call 281-979-4982 or visit freneticore.net. $16 to $25. — Susie Tommaney

Contrary to popular American opinion, Ireland isn’t all leprechauns, shamrocks and magically delicious cereal with multicolored marshmallows. It’s William Butler Yeats, mass on Saint Patrick’s Day (instead of green beer) and a rousing political debate in the pub over a mug of Guinness, says Michael Londra, star of Michael Londra’s Celtic Fire, a concert featuring Irish dance, music and song. The show, known for its spirit, has another side. “It’s a very emotional experience, so a lot of my audience, they cry a lot. A lot,” says Londra. It’s a testament to the Irish, this ability to make audiences laugh and cry at the same time. “We take pride in the fact that we do misery better than any other country in Europe,” says Londra. “We enjoy it. We bathe in it. Have a good cry and dance the jig afterward. It’s very cleansing.” It also opens the season for fun on the hill at Miller Outdoor Theatre. 8 p.m. March 17. 6000 Hermann Park. For information, call 281-373-3386 or visit milleroutdoortheatre.com. Free. — Katricia Lang

Dun-dun-duh-duh-dun-dun-duh-duh-dun-dun-dah-dun-dun…oh, you know the rest. True Game of Thrones fans already live and breathe the world of Starks and Lannisters — from the thousands of pages of author George R.R. Martin’s first five novels to the current six lush, continent-spanning seasons of the HBO mega-series — so there’s plenty of Westeros to go around. But perhaps the most underrated aspect of the seven kingdoms is the enthralling score that accompanies the Emmy Award-winning drama. Conducted by composer Ramin Djawadi, the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience delivers the majestic original compositions with a full live orchestra to music lovers of all realms, filling the enormous Toyota Center with rapturous strings and horns. Accompanying the arrangements are immersive visual displays that truly bring the best of the small screen to life before your eyes. 8 p.m. March 17. 1510 Polk. For information, call 713-758-7200 or visit houstontoyotacenter.com. $39.50 to $99.50. — Vic Shuttee

Saturday, March 18

When NPR’s All Things Considered host Ari Shapiro was growing up in Portland, Oregon, he had no idea that his friendship with a local band would blossom into a full-fledged, multi decade relationship. Yet, years later, the journalist has recorded songs with the band and serves as guest entertainer in Houston Symphony’s presentation of Pink Martini Returns, a night of genre-bending, multilingual music, including “Sympathique,” “City of Night,” “Brazil” and songs from Pink Martini’s newly released album, Je Dis Oui!, all backed by conductor Steven Reineke and the symphony. Shapiro says, “Pink Martini is pretty symphonic as is, but when you have an entire wall of horns and a huge string section, it’s just a different experience. You can layer the orchestrations in a richer way than if it were just the dozen musicians by themselves.” 8 p.m. March 18. Also 8 p.m. March 17, 7:30 p.m. March 19. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $40 to $150. — Sam Byrd

Wait long enough and exquisitely crafted furniture, fine art and decor will skyrocket in value. Come view the cream of the 17th, 18th and 19th century crops when 75 exhibitors gather under one umbrella at the spring edition of the Houston Antiques + Art + Design Show. The thee-day shopping extravaganza now even features 20th century modern. Highlights include Friday lectures at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. by antiques expert Beverly Vosco; an inside look at traditional antiques with Christie's New York expert Richard T. Nelson at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and a panel discussion titled The Future of the Past, the Profession of Antiques and the Next Generation at 4 p.m. on Saturday. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 17, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 18, noon to 5 p.m. March 19. Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards. For information, call 708-366-2710 or visit spring.houstonantiquesartdesign.com. $15. — Susie Tommaney

Sunday, March 19

Grease the gears, it’s a bike rider’s paradise with back-to-back cycling events. Saturday’s Bayou City Classic features 5K and 10K tracks looping through downtown and along Allen Parkway. For the more athletically inclined, Sunday’s Tour de Houston congregates roughly 5,000 participants for their choice of the 20-, 43.55- or 61.45-mile routes that dip down into parts of Missouri City. Both events culminate with a post-race party, and proceeds from the rides benefit the Houston Parks Department and Houston’s reforestation efforts. Obie O’Brien, vice-president of governmental affairs for presenting sponsor Apache Corporation, endorses the events. “It’s really a chance to get out, get some exercise and see parts of town you’ve always wanted to get to.” Bayou City Classic: 7:50, 8 and 8:10 a.m. March 18. City Hall, 901 Bagby. For information, visit bayoucityclassic.org. $35 to $40. Tour de Houston: 7:30, 8 and 8:30 a.m. March 19. City Hall, 901 Bagby. For information, visit tourdehouston.org. $20 to $40. — Sam Byrd

Last month, there was this little thing at NRG Stadium called Super Bowl 51. Little when compared to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Go Tejano Day and Mariachi Invitational. While the game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons attracted 70,807 fans, the 2016 version of Go Tejano Day featured a record 75,508 folks screaming their heads off during the performances by Los Huracanes del Norte and Banda Los Recoditos. The 2017 installment — traditionally the rodeo’s single largest-drawing paid event — is expected to break another attendance record, especially because Grupo Siggno (the Santa Rosa-based Tejano band that makes its rodeo debut) and Banda El Recodo from Mexico are in the mix. Selected Texas mariachi bands turn intermission into a main-stage event. 3:45 p.m. March 19. 1 NRG Park. For information, call 832-667-1000 or visit rodeohouston.com. $25 to $300. — Steve Jansen

What could be better than drinking a cold one and hanging out with man's best friend? Add in some bad puns and the beautiful outdoor scenery at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center and you've got all the ingredients for the second annual Saint Arnold Pup Crawl & Pet Expo. Ask Fido to fetch the leash, bring a lawn chair or two, and head out to the nature trail with punch card in hand. Three stops later and you're still not done because the finish line offers a chance to hang out with your tail-wagging buddy, claim your Ale Wagger pint glass, quiz the vendors at the Pet Expo and chow down on the best from local food trucks. Proceeds benefit the arboretum and BARC. 4 to 7:30 p.m. March 19. 4501 Woodway. For information, call 713-686-9494 or visit saintarnold.com/pup-crawl-at-houston-arboretum. $20. — Susie Tommaney

Monday, March 20

Willie Mae Beaudreaux, one of the very first black females to serve in the Texas Rangers, is literally on the last day of her distinguished career — at a retirement party, in fact — when she solves a cold case that’s long been a titanic source of distress and angst for her. One of the folks that anchor it: Paris Beaudreaux, Willie Mae’s troubled twin brother. The two haven’t spoken in years. There are reasons. The drama unfolds and the fictional characters confront longstanding discords during a staged reading of Eugene Lee’s Lyin’ Ass. Directed by Kelvin L. Hamilton, the play also centers on an elderly-ish shut-in and his free-spirited daughter that he thinks he knows, but really doesn’t know. The shindig is part of The Ensemble Theatre’s Salute to Texas Playwrights Stage Readings series, which has previously presented readings of Morning, Noon and Night and The ‘N’ Word Catharsis. 6 p.m. March 20. 3535 Main. For information, call 713-520-0055 or visit ensemblehouston.org. $5. — Steve Jansen

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