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21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Night-Time Dog, Acro-cats and Antiquing

BBVA Compass Broadway at the Hobby Center presents The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Shown: Alex Sharp as Christopher Boone.EXPAND
BBVA Compass Broadway at the Hobby Center presents The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Shown: Alex Sharp as Christopher Boone.
Photo by Joan Marcus
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Tuesday, January 24

A neighbor’s dog is dead and young Christopher Boone sets out to solve the mystery. What makes The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time all the more interesting is that Christopher has high-function autism and doesn’t like to be touched. Adapted from the best-seller by Mark Haddon, Simon Stephens’s play is touted as an affecting, immersive experience. As 15-year-old Christopher employs his math skills to discover the murderer of Wellington, he also negotiates the tricky curves of a world he knows has a lot of social rules, most of which he doesn’t understand. The play, presented as a play within a play, differs from the book in that Christopher’s teacher reads from his writings, only later stating that she’s asked him to turn them into a play. By all accounts this is can’t-miss theater, but be forewarned and bring a hanky. 7:30 p.m. January 24. Continuing 7:30 p.m. January 25 and 26, 8 p.m. January 27, 2 and 8 p.m. January 28, 2 and 7:30 p.m. January 29. The Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 800-952-6560 or 713-315-2525 or visit houston.broadway.com. $30 to $120. — Margaret Downing

Wednesday, January 25

Rick (John Feltch) throws himself an expensive engagement party, understandable since he’s the head of his private equity firm. What’s not so explainable is that he’s done this the same week his company forced huge layoffs at a national grocery store chain. How to repair the public relations damage? In Dry Powder, playwright Sarah Burgess set her play amid the tensions of a company’s profit motives after becoming fascinated by the subject of private equity firms. Jenny (Elizabeth Bunch) operates with a profit-first outlook but, as Burgess says, she’s not evil. “She’s very honest and she’s often right.” Meanwhile Seth (Jay Sullivan) has proposed a deal to his boss to invest in an American luggage company run by Jeff (Chris Hutchison). The Alley Theatre production is a Texas premiere and the first showing outside New York City, where Claire Danes, John Krasinski and Hank Azaria starred. 7:30 p.m. January 25. Continuing 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. January 29 and February 12; 2:30 p.m. February 5. January 25 through February 12. 615 Texas. For information call 713-220-5700 or visit alleytheatre.org. $30 to $93. — Margaret Downing

“Harry is a brilliant actor and a failure as a human being; he has no identity,” says director Sally Edmundson about one of the main characters in Who Am I This Time? (& Other Conundrums of Love) at Stages Repertory Theatre. The setting is The North Crawford Mask & Wig Club, a small community theater in Connecticut. Tom (Philip Lehl), functioning as narrator at the start (his role changes later), states from the beginning that this is a play about love. Aaron Posner (Stupid F**king Bird) adapted three comic short stories by Kurt Vonnegut (“A Long Walk to Forever,” “Who Am I This Time?” and “Go Back to Your Precious Wife and Son”) into parts that become a whole by the end of the play. Edmundson says the middle story, a play within a play about theater, is an apt strategy for the message conveyed. “Theater is a marvelous metaphor for not only life but love. It’s seductive; you can enhance things with light and sound and that’s what love is or at least that’s what makes it so indescribable.” 7:30 p.m. January 25. Continuing 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays. January 25 through February 12. 3201 Allen Parkway. For information call 713-527-0123 or visit stagestheatre.com. $21 to $65. — Margaret Downing

Though Texas has been the home to killer horror for decades — The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Dean Corll, the current state of Texas politics — a published anthology featuring writers in the horror, paranormal and supernatural genres didn’t exist until Eakin Press dropped Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers last October. “There’s a good mixture of stories in the book, not just the typical vampire tales,” says co-editor and contributing writer E.R. Bills. “Horror can be escapism and it can be titillating, but with good horror, especially in writing, you don’t often walk out of the mental theater and forget it.” Nacogdoches-based Joe R. Lansdale (Bubba Ho-Tep, the Hap and Leonard series), who Bills calls “the Stephen King or James Patterson of Texas,” is one of the 17 writers included in the 238-page paperback. Co-editor Bret McCormick, writer Misty Contreras and native Houstonian Carmen Gray are scheduled to attend the reading and book signing. 7 p.m. January 25. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit brazosbookstore.com. Free. — Steve Jansen

Mommies, drop the tots with a sitter because the Pump and Dump show is in town. As part of their 2017 “Band of Mothers” National Tour, comedians Shayna Ferm and Tracey Tee are hitting H-Town with two nights of moms-only humor, games, prizes and original music. “We’re really stoked to come back,” says Ferm. “Houston was one of our favorite stops on our last tour, and it was an awesome venue with awesome moms!” “This is a mom’s night out that’ll have you home by 10 p.m.,” Ferm says. The variety show, which started as a bar show in northwest Denver in 2012, has earned the twosome rave reviews across the country. “For a lot of moms with five-and-unders, they are in the thick of it,” Ferm commiserates. “That’s where we were when we started the show, so we get it. Hopefully, we can give everyone who comes out a good, hard laugh you can take home to help you do what you gotta do.” 7:30 p.m. January 25 and 26. Houston Improv, 7620 Katy Freeway. For information, call 713-333-8800 or visit improvhouston.com. $30 to $40. — Vic Shuttee

These flicks are wild and visually stunning, and they're all about effecting change through art. Now The Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour is back in Houston for two nights of outdoor adventure, climate activism, David and Goliath stories and just being one with nature. It's a pared down showing of the larger festival held annually in Nevada City and the Citizens' Environmental Coalition had to make some tough choices in curating the event, but it looks like a good line-up of 24 short documentaries that both celebrate our planet and highlight environmental concerns. Wednesday screenings include the comedic Nature Rx and the inventive Filtering a Plastic Ocean. Come back on Thursday to view things from a child's perspective in Parker's Top Fifty Favorite Things About Northwest Rivers and the introspective To Slow Down & Breathe. 7:05 p.m. January 25 and 26, Landmark River Oaks Theatre, 2009 West Gray. For information, call 713-524-2175 or visit cechouston.org. $15 to $20. — Susie Tommaney

Thursday, January 26

It seems that apples don’t fall far from the tree. J.A. Davis and Heidi Barnes, who both spent time in Houston attending The Kinkaid School, saw their father’s success penning the submarine thriller Shadow of Peril, so it comes as no surprise that they tried their hand at writing. They’re each celebrating the release of a debut novel at a two-for-one book signing at Brazos Bookstore.
Davis drew on his background in emergency medicine to write Crisis: Blue: A Rex Bent Thriller, which he says was inspired by the devastation he observed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and how properties remained abandoned years later. He said he took a step back and said, “I need a bigger plot. Give America a wake-up call with terrorism coming to our shores, nuclear biological warfare. I can see the East and West coasts becoming uninhabitable and seeing people fleeing inland,” says Davis. “The big message here is we’re not prepared for a massive attack on our shores.”
For The Bellman, Barnes stepped back to her time in Bar Harbor, Maine, where their father built a hotel next to their summer home. “It’s about a young man growing up. He’s 18 years old and has his first job as a bellhop,” says Davis, adding that his sister’s book is filled with both humor and warmth, and shows the struggles a young man goes through when striking out on his own. 7 p.m. January 26. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit brazosbookstore.com. Free. — Susie Tommaney

Following the intensity of The Crucible and before the seriousness of this spring’s production of Romeo and Juliet, Moores Opera Center decided to go with two Italian comedies for its winter presentations: The Secret Marriage, which director of Moores Opera Center Buck Ross calls “after the Mozart operas, the most famous comic opera of the 18th century,” and The Inspector, a modern work that somehow derives comedy from Mussolini’s Italy in the 1930s. “Inspector premiered in 2011 at Wolf Trap [performing arts center in Virginia], and one of my former students was in the premiere and called me while they were in rehearsal and said, ‘You’re going to want to do this piece. It’s very funny,’” Ross says. The Inspector: 7:30 p.m. January 26, 28 and 29. The Secret Marriage: 7:30 p.m. January 27 and 30, 2 p.m. January 29. For information, call 713-743-3313 or visit uh.edu/cota/music/opera. $12 to $20. — Margaret Downing

The songs of Mahalia Jackson, the Grammy Award-winning singer and activist, come to life in Tom Stolz’s musical Mahalia. “This play touches on the civil rights movement and the struggles that black folks had to endure to survive, especially in the performance arena between 1928 and 1960,” says Shirley Marks Whitmore, who is directing the production for The Ensemble Theatre, with musical direction by Melanie Bivens. “We are attempting to re-create her sound, which was so iconic. Her music was Southern gospel, but we’ve taken a few theatrical liberties to maybe modernize it a bit and capture the perspective of all our patrons no matter their age. The music and dance pieces help us to focus on the similarities of the times, between then and now.” Come hear more than 20 gospel numbers in this moving tribute to the Queen of Gospel. 7:30 p.m. January 26. Continuing 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Through February 26. 3535 Main. For information, call 713?520-0055 or visit ensemblehouston.org. $42 to $61. — Vic Shuttee

Here's one band that will never be considered for a Super Bowl halftime show: It's Tuna and the Rock Cats, billed as the only cat band in existence and featuring actual feline musicians. Headliner Tuna plays the cowbell and is backed by guitarist Oz, drummer Asti and keyboardist Nue. Between being fascinated by the fact that these cats are so talented and embarrassment that your own Fluffy is such a doofus, there won't be any dull moments when The Amazing Acro-cats take the stage. Trainer Samantha Martin has been scouring shelters and auditioning street cats, looking for the most talented kitties, then fine-tunes their performances to purr-fection with reinforcement-only clicker training. Heck, they've even appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Now the Acro-cat Bus is rolling into town, bringing skateboard-riding, tightrope-walking and jamming cats to The Pilot on Navigation. A portion of the proceeds benefits the League City Animal Shelter. 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 3 and 7 p.m. Saturdays, 1 and 5 p.m. Sundays. January 26 through February 5. 5102 Navigation. For information, call 281-979-4982 or visit freneticore.net or circuscats.com. $23 to $33. — Susie Tommaney

It's time for the annual Winter Antiques Show, with more than 20 sites ready for treasure-hunting in Round Top, Warrenton, Carmine, Burton, Rutersville and La Grange. Shown: Flown the Coop in Burton.
It's time for the annual Winter Antiques Show, with more than 20 sites ready for treasure-hunting in Round Top, Warrenton, Carmine, Burton, Rutersville and La Grange. Shown: Flown the Coop in Burton.
Photo by Tiffany Eckhardt

Friday, January 27

Put on your most comfortable walking shoes, pack a few granola bars and bottles of water, then head out for some good old-fashioned picking because it's time for the annual Winter Antiques Show along Texas's antiques corridor. Expect the unexpected, because you're sure to head home with a trunk full of garden decor, quilts, European antiques, vintage collectibles and architectural oddities. When your energy starts to wane, grab some grub at WinterFest at The Compound (located 2 miles south of Round Top's Town Square), chow down on jambalaya at the Chicken Ranch in Warrenton, or stop in for a spot of tea at the Gypsies & Roses Event Field (located at the Carmine "Y" intersection of Highway 237 and Spur 458). Hours vary by location; click here for information about dates, times and addresses for the more than 20 shopping sites along the Highway 237 and Highway 290 antiques corridors. Open January 25-29 in Round Top, Warrenton, Carmine, Burton, Rutersville and La Grange. Free to $25. — Susie Tommaney

When actor Julian Richings was approached for a role on the TV show Supernatural, he read for the part of Pestilence. “They were assembling the Four Horsemen,” says Richings, adding that he thinks it was the only character they’d written lines for yet. He auditioned and forgot about it until about a year later when his agent told him he had a part. “To play Death.” As devout followers of the show know, Richings as Death was responsible for an unforgettable signature moment in the long-running horror-thriller when, while sitting in a restaurant with Jensen Ackles (who plays Dean Winchester), he decides not to destroy Chicago (as Lucifer ordered) because he really likes the pizza he’s eating. Fans from across North America and beyond are in Houston this week for the Supernatural Official Convention, which features, among others, Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester), Misha Collins (Castiel) and Mark Sheppard (the King of Hell), with the proceedings presided over by Richard Speight Jr. Now in its 12th season, Supernatural’s audience has further exploded thanks to the show’s availability on Netflix. Besides the gore, horror and sometimes somber story lines, Richings says he thinks the show works because of its humor. “That’s really what I like about it; there’s a real twinkle.” Event times are subject to change. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. January 27, 28 and 29. Hilton Houston North, 12400 Greenspoint. For information about ticket prices and availability, visit creationent.com/cal/supernatural_houston. — Margaret Downing

Get ready to feel the Love. Faizon Love, the comedian and actor best known for performances in films like Made, Who’s Your Caddy, Elf and Friday, is bringing his serious stand-up chops to Houston Improv. Even with his extensive history in comedy, going back to his first open mike at age 15, Love has found his interests go beyond getting laughs: He’s deeply invested in making a difference in the world. “Young black kids need guidance, and that’s my focus. What can I do to help the situation? Like, I really loved this movie Fences that Denzel [Washington] did, because there’s not a lot of films out there where young black males can teach their sons about discipline and honor and code.” Ultimately, Love says he’d like to develop a farm in Ohio for unadopted kids between the ages of nine and 16, to help them learn a trade. “People don’t want to adopt the grown kids,” he says. “But this might give them a chance to make it. Instead of arming them with the tools to build something, they just give them the tools to protect themselves.” 8 and 10:30 p.m. January 27, 7 and 9:30 p.m. January 28, 7:30 p.m. January 29. 7620 Katy Freeway. For information, call 713-333-8800 or visit improvhouston.com. $20 to $30. — Vic Shuttee

It’s the stuff of romcom legend: Boy meets girl, boy says the wrong thing and love never gets off the ground. It’s also the setup for Side B Theatrics’ presentation of Ten Times Two The Eternal Courtship, making its Texas debut, only in this instance the boy is actually an evildoer with immortality and the object of his desire is a barmaid, circa 1399; every time she reincarnates, he gets another chance at bat. Rosangela Nurre does double duty as both producer and the object of his affection. “She plays a pig herder, an elegant lady of the court, a French spy,” says Lindsey Jones, who directs. “I think that’s what drew her, the challenge, because that’s a lot with multiple accents and really fast costume changes. The chase starts as a bet, but Ephraim (Brian Heaton) morphs over the centuries from scheming jerk to lovestruck Mister Right. “There’s definitely a character arc that occurs over the course of the show,” says Jones. They’re doing it in the round, with a clock device on the floor and elements of sci-fi and magic. A mysterious Host (Jonathan Moonen), a live band and a couple of dance scenes keep the action moving in this two-act comedy by Canadian playwright David Belke. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, January 27-February 4; 3 p.m. January 28. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit sidebtheatrics.com. $15 to $18. — Susie Tommaney

Saturday, January 28

We all know what’s going down next weekend in Houston, but we’ve got the hot ticket for this Saturday night. Live music (Black Kite, The Beans, Camera Cult), fashion (Damsel White Label, KYRA, VicRen, Breccia Demartini), tasty bites from local restaurateurs and wall-to-wall art are all part of the action at the 9th Annual Houston Press Artopia®. DJ Bruce Waine is keeping the house hopping, bridging the gap between runway shows styled by Zahzi Events. We also are honoring the 2017 winners of the MasterMind® Awards, sponsored by Stella Artois. The three winners — the oH project, Cone Man Running Productions and Roologic Records — each receive $2,000. It’s our way of recognizing these local organizations that have made a significant impact in the community, so come out and support their important work. 8 to 11 p.m. January 28. Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter. For information, call 877-987-6487 or visit HoustonPressArtopia.com. $55 to $100. — Susie Tommaney

Want to race against NFL players on a 40-yard-long LED wall, do your best Roger Staubach in a Hail Mary simulator or “make the call” in an instant replay booth? Good, because pro football’s interactive theme park, NFL Experience Driven by Genesis, is taking over George R. Brown Convention Center with seven days of games, player autograph sessions and photo ops with the Lombardi trophy. Or you can just watch TV magic happen on the NFL Network set. “Even if you don’t love football,” says Nicki Ewell, NFL events manager, “I think we can convert you.” Ewell recommends downloading the Fan Mobile Pass app in advance for all the latest info and the chance to win two Super Bowl tickets. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. January 28. Continuing 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. January 29, 3 to 10 p.m. February 1 and 2, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. February 3 and 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. February 5. 1001 Avenida de las Americas. For information, call 866-849-4635 or visit superbowl.com or ticketmaster.com/NFLExperience. $25 to $55. — Natalie de la Garza

What the cluck? Asia Society Texas Center is giving Houston something to crow about. Come celebrate the Year of the Rooster with Family Day: Lunar New Year Celebration, an exploration of Asian culture through performances, crafts, games and storytelling. “Most think of Lunar New Year as Chinese New Year, and our goal is to show that there are other unique celebrations and traditions as well,” says Rose Rougeau, vice president of communication. Activities include traditional Chinese paper cutting, decorating red envelopes, creating kimono greeting cards and designing banners with a rooster. Don’t miss 30-minute performances by Huaxing Arts Group Houston at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., featuring traditional dance and instruments of China. 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. January 28. 1370 Southmore. For information, call 713-496-9901 or visit asiasociety.org/texas. Free to $5. — Sam Byrd

On the heels of its door-busting debut, Broadway’s blond bombshell Kristin Chenoweth is dropping by Smart Financial Centre to show what a modern-day diva can do in An Evening with Kristin Chenoweth Celebrating the Art of Elegance. Don’t let her beauty queen-worthy visage fool you. The tiny yet mighty warbler has enchanted Broadway and television audiences with enough talent and versatility in her golden voice and acting chops to earn coveted statues from both the Emmys and the Tonys. Now she’s performing songs from her new album, The Art Of Elegance, which plays heavily to the Great American Songbook and also showcases both her powerhouse vocal chords and some of her musical inspirations. “Musical theater fans are probably going to recognize ‘Popular’ from Wicked. I certainly love to surprise people, and I always change up my program, but Dolly Parton and Don Henley will be represented,” the traveling songbird said in her email to us. 8 p.m. January 28. 18111 Lexington, Sugar Land. For information, call 281-207-6278 or visit smartfinancialcentre.net. $75 to $125. — Sam Byrd

Looking for nine days and 13 football fields’ worth of free, family-friendly fun before the big game? Stop by Super Bowl LIVE at Discovery Green for 67 Texas-y musical acts (ZZ Top, Solange and The Suffers) and 24 DJs across two stages, 29 food trucks, nightly water projection shows, four fireworks displays and Future Flight, a virtual-reality journey to Mars with a 90-foot drop tower. “You’re going to go all the way to Mars,” says Todd Holloman, vice president of Super Bowl LIVE. “Then you’ll drop down through the open roof of NRG and land on the 50-yard line.” If you’re already feeling queasy, Holloman says you can experience it from ground level too. 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. January 28. Continuing 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. January 29, 3 to 9 p.m. January 30 and 31, 3 to 10 p.m. February 1 and 2, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. February 3, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. February 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. February 5. 1500 McKinney. For information, visit housuperbowl.com/super-bowl-live. Free. — Natalie de la Garza

Sunday, January 29

Three brothers come home to bury their father, only to find that he has left them a mysterious envelope. Their mother arrives, the truth is revealed and tempers flare. Such is the premise behind Small Jokes About Monsters, a dark comedy about death and forgiveness by Chicago playwright Steven Strafford. The Landing Theatre Company held a reading of the play last year, and now it’s having its world premiere with the company. Robert Meek, who assists Clinton Hopper in directing the production, says the title of the play has plenty of meaning. “One of the first lines in the play is, ‘There’s three kinds of funny people: Godzillas, Mothras and Gameras.’” The theory is that some people are funny part of the time, others hold back before dropping a huge laugh, while a third type of person becomes the butt of jokes. 3 p.m. January 29. Continuing 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. January 29 through February 18. The Landing Theatre Company, 1119 Providence. For information, call 562-502-7469 or visit landingtheatre.org. Pay what you can; suggested price is $25. — Vic Shuttee

Monday, January 30

The Juice Box gets a thirst-quenching jolt of electrolytes Monday night with Super Bowl Opening Night Fueled by Gatorade. Top brass from the National Football League will be front and center, fielding interviews with the media at 7:15 and 9 p.m. It’s airing live on the NFL Network, ESPN, FS1 and Fox Deportes, but pigskin fans lucky enough to snag a ticket will enjoy appearances by Pro Football Hall of Famers (including running back and Texas native Earl Campbell), cheerleaders and team mascots. Be sure to take a selfie on the red carpet and watch the ultimate football experience unfold as players and coaches offer their thoughts on the upcoming game. Rock out to New York band X Ambassadors and grab some swag (a free Super Bowl gift bag and radio), but hurry; tickets are limited for this one. 5:30 p.m. January 30. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. For information, visit SuperBowl.com or nfl.com/openingnightonsale. $20 to $30. — Sam Byrd

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