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21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Tommy Tune, Harleys and a Zombie Run

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Tuesday, November 1

For self-described “Celtic, redhead white girl” Alecia Lawyer, founder and artistic director of River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, each ROCO-commissioned work that’s part of the group’s Musical and Literary Ofrenda is an opportunity to show “something that seems uniquely Mexican and very different” and which is actually quite relatable. “Most people think [Día de los Muertos] is so macabre,” says Lawyer, “which I find ironic because just the day before they put on these grotesque masks.” The five original musical offerings by Musiqa composers are interspersed with original text by Inprint authors. Following the 45-minute concert and reading is the Houston Hispanic Forum’s Español y arte for guests who’d like to stick around and practice their Spanish while admiring Lawndale Art Center’s creative and colorful retablos. There’s a reception at 5:30 p.m. November 1, with the performance at 6. Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main. For information, call 713-665-2700 or visit rocohouston.org. Free. —Natalie de la Garza

Wednesday, November 2

Rumer Willis, the daughter of actor Bruce Willis and wrinkle-free Demi Moore, is bringing her Over The Love tour to Houston for a one-night-only engagement. She sizzled on Dancing With The Stars, she scorched during her turn in Broadway’s Chicago, and now she is burning up concert stages across the nation. The classically trained singer is bringing her best guy pal, Tye Blue, to open the show. Blue, a native Houstonian, and Willis will blow the crowd away with smoky blues, hot jazz and soulful sounds. “The songs always have a little bit of saucy, backroom speakeasy flair,” says Willis. The star also tells us she spends part of the show going into the crowd and getting to know her audience. “I ask stories about their relationships, and I share horror stories of mine. It’s a fun, silly show. It’s half comedy, half cabaret.” 7 p.m. November 2. House of Blues, 1204 Caroline. For information, call 888-402-5837 or visit houseofblues.com/houston. $30. —Sam Byrd

The cinephiles over at Rice Media Center have unearthed a collection of never-before-seen 16mm shorts, including industrial, educational and ephemeral films from their personal collection. Making their debuts this Wednesday at The Return of Cinema Bomar are four mid-century American films, including Home is Where the Heart Is, a 22-minute color film about buying a home; and Good Morning How May I Help You?, an 18-minute black and white homage to Ma Bell. There's a timely 30-minute documentary about gerrymandering in Our Election Day Illusion; and The Baggs features a pair of junk sacks who come alive to teach kids about love, understanding and humor. There's a reception with beverages and snacks at 6:30 p.m. in the back hall. The screening begins at 7 p.m. November 2. 6100 Main. For information, call 713-348-4853 or visit cinemabomar.org. Free. —Susie Tommaney

Thursday, November 3

Get your motor runnin’, because the Lone Star Rally is riding into Galveston with cool bikes, hot times and beaucoup greenbacks. The 15th-anniversary event is on cruise control right about now, having found that sweet spot between too small and becoming an unwelcome guest. “About two to four years ago we started cresting the 400,000 attendance level, and that’s where we want to keep it,” says Sharon Damante, who handles media relations. We know it’s all about the choppers, but they also have the Cruisin’ Classic Car Show Thursday and Friday. “A cool ride is a cool ride, whether two wheels or four wheels,” says Damante. The Tattoo Expo runs all weekend (“Come to the rally, get some fresh ink”), and the Bike Rodeo Games are Friday. Don’t miss Saturday night’s Miss Lone Star Rally competition: Outlaw Dave, Texas Radio Hall of Fame DJ, emcees the popular event, which includes photo ops and a bikini round. November 3-6, Galveston. For information, call 832-437-2318 or visit lonestarrally.com. Free. —Susie Tommaney

It takes an artist’s eye to open the kitchen junk drawer and see the potential for something more, arranging random odds and ends until they take on a new incarnation as assemblage or sculpture. A new book by Robert Craig Bunch offers a brief history of some of the earliest adopters of found materials over the past century, before leading into a series of interviews with 64 contemporary Texas artists. For art world insiders, The Art of Found Objects: Interviews With Texas Artists is a veritable Who’s Who of prominent local gallerists, artists and curators. Each interview includes a small photograph from the artist’s body of work, allowing his/her words to take center stage. Although Bert L. Long Jr. passed away in 2013, his wisdom is preserved forever in this book: “Everything is art and art is everything.” An art exhibit featuring work by artists mentioned in the book — Claire Cusack, Ann Harithas, Joseph Havel, Otis Huband, Sharon Kopriva, Jesse Lott, Edward Lane McCartney, Leila McConnell, Mari Omari, Kathleen Packlick, Forrest Prince, Russell Prince, Patrick Turk and Debbie Wetmore — is on view beginning November 2 at Lone Star College’s Kingwood Art Gallery. There’s an opening reception and book signing from noon to 2 p.m. November 3. Regular viewing hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Through December 12. 20000 Kingwood Drive, Kingwood. For information, call 281-312-1534 or lonestar.edu/arts-kingwood.htm. Free. —Susie Tommaney

Mercury Houston is celebrating the genius of Bach, taking his monumental Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) on the road with its four-performance Neighborhood Series. Concertmaster Jonathan Godfrey joins Conductor Antoine Plante in presenting this arrangement for string orchestra by B. Labadie. Both intimate and grand (the concert features more than a dozen musicians on violin, viola, cello, bass and harpsichord), they've planned two hour-long concerts this weekend. 8 p.m. November 3, The MATCH, 3400 Main; and 2:30 p.m. November 5, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, 11612 Memorial. For information, call 713-533-0080 or visit mercuryhouston.org. $9 to $35. —Susie Tommaney

Standup comic and founding member of The Axis of Evil Comedy Tour, and now author of I’m Not a Terrorist, But I’ve Played One On TV, Maz Jobrani is doing three nights at Houston Improv. Ever since 9/11, he's been using humor to change misconceptions about the Middle East. Fresh on the heels of starring in the award-winning indie, Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero (which he co-wrote and produced), Jobrani also has appeared on Grey's Anatomy, Curb Your Enthusiasm, True Blood, Shameless and the radio hit, NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. 8 p.m. November 3, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. November 4, 7 and 9:30 p.m. November 5. 7620 Katy Freeway. For information, call 713-333-8800 or visit improvhouston.com. $25 to $50. —Susie Tommaney

Friday, November 4

Puddles — the “sad clown with the golden voice” — is making a pit stop in Houston to show off his magnificent pipes as part of Joe’s Pub Series, courtesy of Lott Entertainment Presents. He may look like a joke, but the millisecond he opens his mouth to sing, all naysayers close theirs. What can Houston audiences expect at the Puddles Pity Party? Puddles predicts a winning formula: “Lots of cheers, some tears and I suspect a few beers.” The velvet-voiced pantomime artist has a knack for bringing out the crowd. While he may not speak, he can sing with the voice of a tenor and the bravado of a matador. Puddles may have a depressed song in his heart, but we are overjoyed to have him and his well-trained vocal chords join us — even if it’s for one weekend only. 8 p.m. November 4 and 5. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. For information, call 713-220-5700 or visit alleytheatre.org. $32. —Sam Byrd

The structure of Houston art collective DiverseWorks’ 12 Minutes Max! show seems pretty self-explanatory: Both nights feature a lineup of six performances that are no longer than — you guessed it — 12 minutes. The wild card here is the mixed bag of new, experimental and high-energy acts. “It’s like going to a gallery and seeing a group show,” says Rachel Cook, who curated both evenings. She adds, “It’s a really good way of seeing a lot of different work back to back, and also giving artists the space to really tease an idea out.” Many of the participating artists are part of DiverseWorks’ artist advisory board, and all the performances feature works commissioned specifically for the show. Prepare yourself for visual art, spoken word, comedy, dance and even something called “experimental sound,” in which artists make noise using non-traditional instruments. 8 p.m. November 4 and 5. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-223-8346 or visit diverseworks.org. Free. —Carter Sherman

Load up on the Kleenex and head out to (literally) Way Out West Drive to catch the latest offering from Theatre Suburbia with the holiday-set comedy Seasonal Allergies, written by Katherine DiSavino (Nana’s Naughty Knickers) and Kevin Mead. In typical holiday family dysfunction, follow adult siblings and other characters through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Akia Lorain McPhaul plays professional chef and big sister Julia, and Anthony D’Armata is her brother, a dentist trapped in a year-long divorce. Nicholas Garelick — a veteran of numerous Scriptwriters/Houston 10 x 10 showcases — portrays the football-loving florist (go Jets), and Laura Schlecht (longtime producer of Houston’s 48 Hour Film Project) plays a pregnant attorney who’s pushing 40 and rapidly approaching her due date. Elvin Moriarty and Michael J. Steinbach direct this broad physical comedy in the tradition of Neil Simon. 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. November 20 and 27. November 4 through December 3. 4106 Way Out West. For information, call 713-682-3525 or visit theatresuburbia.org. $13 to $16. —Vic Shuttee

Fans of the iconic American playwright will enjoy the latest from Dirt Dogs Theatre Company in Five by Tenn - An Evening of Shorter Plays by Tennessee Williams. The one-acts might not be as famous as The Glass Menagerie and Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, but there's no denying Williams's ability to create tragic, flawed characters. Directors Trevor B. Cone and Bonnie Hewett are presenting The Lady of Larkspur Lotion, about a delusional heroine in danger of being evicted by her brusque landlady; Portrait of a Madonna, about an impoverished spinster holding on to memories of a lover; and Something Unspoken, which debuted on a double bill along with Suddenly, Last Summer. The evening also includes The Long Goodbye and Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen. A talkback with the cast and directors will be held after the November 10 performance. 8 p.m. November 4, 11 and 12; 2 and 8 p.m. November 5; 7:30 p.m. November 10. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-561-5113 or visit dirtdogstheatre.org. Pay what you can; suggested price is $20. —Susie Tommaney

Saturday, November 5

Strike up the band because a genuine Houston legend is coming home. Tommy Tune, the showbiz man of a million talents, is sharing his gifts in a one-night-only affair — this year’s tour alternates Taps, Tunes and Tall Tales with Tommy Tune, Tonight! — and both shows celebrate a lifetime spent singing, dancing, acting, choreographing and directing some of theater’s most enduring works. The reviews label the show a loose personal biography of his more than 50 years in the business, interspersed with a little tap and backed by a musical trio. And what a career: The proud alumnus of Lamar High School went on to graduate from the University of Texas in Austin and headed straight to Broadway for a debut performance in the musical Baker Street. Tune followed that up with acclaimed directing turns in Nine, The Will Rogers Follies, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and its sequel, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public. With ten Tony Awards and a National Medal in the Arts, Tune is truly one of a kind. Don’t miss your free chance to see this master craftsman and native son perform in front of thousands of eager fans. 7:30 p.m. November 5. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park. For information, call 281-373-3386 or visit milleroutdoortheatre.com. Free. —Vic Shuttee

Whether you choose to attend Thursday’s ultra-exclusive preview party with the flamenco and Spanish motifs of Moodafaruka, or Saturday’s wall-to-wall auction and party with Texas Johnny Boy, this year’s (the 20th annual) Art on the Avenue should be a show-stopper. Patrick Renner (we named him one of our MasterMind Award winners for 2015) will be hauling the materials up the labyrinthine staircase at Winter Street Studios for a site-specific temporary installation. “He’ll be building it there,” says Kara Niles, director of fund development and communication for presenter Avenue CDC, which is celebrating 25 years of preserving historic architecture and developing affordable housing. “[Renner] has had some help from local school kids who helped him paint the pickets a few weeks ago.” The sculptor, who is known for his large-scale projects, is at it again. “The pickets are big,” says Niles. It’s all for a good cause: Works by 275 artists are on sale, with proceeds benefiting both the artist and Avenue CDC. There’s a preview party from 6 to 9 p.m. November 3, and an auction and party from 6 to 10 p.m. November 5. 2101 Winter Street. For information, call 713-864-8099 or visit avenuecdc.org/art-on-the-avenue. $40 to $125. —Susie Tommaney

If your seventh-grade Texas history teacher wanted you to pay attention, maybe she should have turned off the lights. It’s a CSI effect, says museum director Houston McGaugh about the BYOF (bring your own flashlight) Night at the Star of the Republic Museum. “It’s always dark and they always have their lights,” explains McGaugh. “I think that brings attention; if you shine a spotlight on an artifact, it looks very different than if you just see the whole exhibit at once.” Stationed throughout the museum are a dozen characters, including Stephen F. Austin sitting in a Mexican jail, a pivotal moment in Texas’s decision to declare independence from Mexico that McGaugh labels powerful. “People kind of discount Texas in American history,” says McGaugh. “But people around the world were paying attention to what was going on ‘out here, in the middle of nowhere.’” 7 to 9 p.m. November 5. 23200 Park Road 12, Washington. For information, call 936-878-2461 or visit starmuseum.org. Free to $5. —Natalie de la Garza

It's chase or be chased with Zombie Charge, what presenter Tanks Paintball bills as the most authentic 5K zombie mud run in Texas. The run is not competitive, but it is daunting as hundreds of runners try to survive the zombie apocalypse by eluding hungry zombies and overcoming challenging obstacles, courtesy of Beast Body Fitness. Or, if you're feeling all undead, sign up as a zombie and get an all-star zombie makeover by artists from the Houston Zombie Walk and Creepy Hollow Haunted House. Tanks Paintball is handing out swag at the finish line – sort of a disaster-preparedness kit – plus they'll have vendors, food trucks and spins by Mega 101.1's DJ Geraldo. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. November 5. 22011 Southwest Freeway, Richmond. For information, call 281-342-5885 or visit zombiecharge.com. $34 to $88; price increases after November 3. —Susie Tommaney

Sure, there are plenty of book offerings at this year's literary extravaganza, but also expect a little music and film during The Ann & Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Fair (October 29-November 13). This Saturday night, discover the surprising sounds of Zion80 – led by guitarist Jon Madof – as the 11-piece band explores the diversity of Jewish music. Riding the wave from this summer's release of Zion80 - Live, Madof's band is stopping in Houston for a one-night-only performance. The band's lively arrangements of melodies using the polyrhythmic intensity of Afrobeat create a 21st century sound that not only explores the music of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, but also draws inspiration from funk master Fela Anikulapo Kuti. 8:30 p.m. November 5. Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston, 5601 South Braeswood. For information, call 713-729-3200 or visit erjcchouston.org. $16 to $30. —Susie Tommaney

Sunday, November 6

Sure, the name says it all, but the curators for Art @ Discovery Green have assembled a nice showcase of about 70 fine and contemporary craft artists for the inaugural, dog-friendly event. We’re digging Christopher Alan Smith’s amazing history-infused hand-drawn maps; the seventh-gen Texan even has a new piece showing active oil and gas wells. Denver’s Carla Wright paints colorful oil-on-wood landscapes, while local fave Leticia Franko is bringing her big-eyed “Whimfansical” heroines (each with her own back story). “There’s incredible work. There are painters, of course,” says Susanne Theis, Discovery Green’s programming director. “There are also some incredible people that work with wood, that work with glass, and I think it’s really high quality. It also coincides with one of the great conventions at George R. Brown, the Quilt Festival.” 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 5 and 6. 1500 McKinney. For information, call 713-400-7336 or visit discoverygreen.com. Free. —Susie Tommaney

“It’s like a Turkish Woodstock,” says Fuad Adra, coordinator of the Houston 25th Turkish Festival, which is celebrating its silver anniversary this year. Like a mini version of the peace, love and rock and roll affair of the ’60s, Adra explains, the annual Turkish fest’s folk music and whirling dervish dances drew large crowds last year, approaching 10,000 visitors. Still, there are a few differences. For one, volunteers hand out Turkish delight instead of LSD. There’s a magic show, a juggling act and free admission for children under 12, so it’s kid-friendly. Hosted by the American Turkish Association of Houston, the performances, music, fashion, art and festival Grand Bazaar are straight from the old country. Come hungry: Festival food includes beef and chicken döner, grape leaves, falafal, sujuk and baklava11 a.m. to 10 p.m. November 5, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. November 6. Jones Plaza, 601 Louisiana. For information, visit houstonturkishfest.com. Free to $6. —Katricia Lang

Can opera be funny? The answer is yes, especially when discussing Russian-American choreographer Alexei Ratmansky's The Bright Storm, full of mistaken identities, a bit of slapstick and even a few laugh-out-loud moments. In partnership with Fathom Events, BY Experience and Pathé Live, view Bolshoi Ballet's performance of this hilarious production on the big screen, captured live in 2012 from Moscow. Principal Dancer Ruslan Skvortsov dances the part of the mythological spirit Sylph with its many colorful characters, and Svetlana Lunkina is Zina, the childhood friend of a touring ballerina. The magnificent score is by Dmitri Shostakovich. 12:55 p.m. November 6. Edwards Houston Marq*E Stadium 23 & IMAX, 7600 Katy Freeway. Price varies by location; visit fathomevents.com for participating venues. $16.24 to $19.49. —Susie Tommaney

Revenge is nigh for people whose college advisers told them they couldn’t major in both arts and crafts — that they’d have to pick just one. The best of both worlds comes together at the International Quilt Festival Houston, featuring more than 1,600 quilts and textile artworks, plus booths selling quilts, fabrics, books, patterns, notions, crafts, machines and supplies. In addition to the miles of beautiful quilts, people have the chance to learn sewing techniques in the more than 500 hands-on classes, lectures and special events. “Only here in Houston do we have such an enormous amount of shopping, art and classes. You don’t, by any stretch of the imagination, have to be a quilter to participate,” says Bob Ruggiero, director of public information for organizer Quilts, Inc. (and a frequent contributor to the Houston Press). There’s a preview night from 7 to 10 p.m. November 2, with a 5 p.m. start for class enrollees and International Quilt Association members. Continuing 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. November 3, 4 and 5; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November 6. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. For information, call 713-781-6864 or visit quilts.com. Free to $42. —Sam Byrd

Monday, November 7

As guest curator of MECA’s Día de los Muertos Ofrenda Exhibition, Diana Muñiz has put the state of un-being on display. “Death isn’t pleasant, but there’s something beautiful in it,” says Muñiz in describing the collection of altars by artists and non-artists, each paying tribute to a lost loved one by making use of the deceased’s personality and possessions. “[The ofrenda] is their life decoded,” says Muñiz. And yet, unlike most exhibits, these altars are designed to lure both the living and the dead. “You’re setting up an offering to the souls that are visiting from the other dimension,” says Muñiz. So while the earthbound gawk at decorated calaveras (skulls) and hanging papel picado (perforated paper), a wandering spirit is kicking back with its favorite beer and some mole. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. November 7. Continuing 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. October 10 through November 18. 1900 Kane. For information, call 713-802-9370 or visit meca-houston.org. Free. —Katricia Lang

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