Things To Do

Best Bets: Uptown, Slashers and Sandcastles

Get an early start on Halloween at Insomnia Gallery's Summer Slashers - Horror Art Show + Night Market at Hardy & Nance Studios.
Get an early start on Halloween at Insomnia Gallery's Summer Slashers - Horror Art Show + Night Market at Hardy & Nance Studios. Photo by Natalie de la Garza
The so-called “dog days” of summer are coming to an end tomorrow, and while it might not mean a reprieve from the unbearable heat quite yet, we can say that the coming week will give you plenty of things to do. From a sandcastle-building competition to an art show celebrating all things horror, a lawyer-filled musical to a classic film, keep reading to see our picks for this week’s best bets.

Tonight, Thursday, August 10, you can catch arguably “the essential Hitchcock movie” over at The Water Works in Buffalo Bayou Park when Buffalo Bayou Partnership and Friends of River Oaks Theatre present Cinema After Dark: The Birds. The 1963 Alfred Hitchcock-directed film, showing as part of an outdoor film series celebrates birding (in this case, in a “violent aberration of nature” kind of way), “juggles shrill B-movie histrionics with chill arthouse gloss” as birds suddenly start attacking the residents of Bodega Bay. The film, which will screen in English with Spanish subtitles, starts at 8:30 p.m. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, and get there early for live music at 7:30 p.m. by Christoph Wagner and Ben Sieben or to buy food and drinks. The screening itself is free, and you can register for it here.

October is far from the only time of year for scary movies. In fact, horror flicks in the summer is a tradition, with films such as Rosemary’s Baby, The Blair Witch Project and The Conjuring all seeing summertime releases. You can celebrate all things scary on Friday, August 11, from 7 p.m. to midnight at Summer Slashers - Horror Art Show + Night Market, presented by Insomnia Gallery at Hardy & Nance Studios. This more-than-half-way-to-Halloween tradition will feature horror-centric works from local artists, a horror-themed night market with vendors peddling their spooky wares, food trucks, projected films and, of course, drinks. City Orchard, Equal Parts Brewing, Bad Astronaut Brewing Co. and Eureka Heights Brewery will all be present providing the complimentary beverages. No tickets necessary as admission to the show and night market is totally free.
The story of Depression-era criminals and lovers, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, got the musical treatment, and on Friday, August 11, at 8 p.m. that musical, titled simply Bonnie & Clyde, is coming to town courtesy of The Garden Theatre. Director Logan Vaden recently gushed to the Houston Press about the play’s leads, calling them “true triple threats.” According to Vaden, the production’s Bonnie, Jackie Cortina, has a “soaring” voice that only gets higher and higher, and says that the entire show was staged for Austin Colburn “to play Clyde,” adding “it was always going to be him.” Performances of Bonnie & Clyde will continue at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays through August 20 at The MATCH. You can purchase tickets here for $21.50 to $26.50.

The sounds of contemporary pop, R&B and soul are coming to town on Friday, August 11, at 8:30 p.m. when musical group Uptown stops by Miller Outdoor Theatre. Straight out of New York City, the group of soloists will present an evening performance, titled Uptown: A Celebration of Soul, complete with non-stop choreography, smooth vocals and a setlist perfect for an audience singalong. All performances at Miller are free, and you can either reserve a ticket here starting at 10 a.m. today, Thursday, August 10, or you can grab a blanket or lawn chair and head for un-ticketed seating on the Hill. Friday night’s performance set to be livestreamed on the Miller Outdoor Theatre website, YouTube channel and Facebook page.
The annual AIA Houston Sandcastle Competition returns to Galveston this weekend.
Photo by Francisco Montes
Sandcastle-building will be a spectator sport on Saturday, August 12, when the 36th AIA Houston Sandcastle Competition returns to Galveston’s East Beach. Teams will gather and spend five hours crafting creations, which will be judged on originality, execution, technical difficulty, technique and site utilization. The winner takes home the Gold Bucket Award, and if you want to see what’s in store, check out last year’s winner from Ziegler Cooper Architects and Paradigm Construction. Spectators can arrive as early as 9 a.m. with the actual competition occurring from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Awards will be given at 5 p.m. and throughout the day there will be solar cooking demos, sandcastle-building lessons and a kid zone. You can attend for free, but note that parking at East Beach is $15 and cash only. If you can’t make it, the sandcastles will remain up to see throughout the day on Sunday.

Before “The Curatorial Imagination of Walter Hopps” closes over at The Menil Collection on Sunday, August 13, the museum and Aurora Picture Show will present an evening of experimental short films from Hopps’s formative years – between the 1940s and 1970s – on Saturday August 12 at 8 p.m. called Documents, Dreams, and Discards. The program, curated by Peter Lucas, boasts quite the lineup: Shirley Clarke, “a maker of form-bursting hybrid films.” Quick-cut editor Bruce Conner, “a pioneer of avant-garde filmmaking” who created “landmarks of American experimental cinema.” The "Father of Video Art” Nam June Paik and “the quintessential angel-headed hipster,” Wallace Berman, creator of Aleph. Not to mention Joseph Cornell, Storm de Hirsch and Jud Yalkut. The screening, like all Menil programs, is free.
With its “soulful expressions accompanied by graceful gestures and deft movements punctuated with intermittent moments of stillness,” it’s no surprise that the classical Indian dance form of Odissi has such a storied history, dating all the way from monastery carvings from the second century BCE to an attempt by more than 500 Odissi dancers to set a Guinness World Record in the 21st century. On Saturday, August 12, at 8:30 p.m. the all-male Rudrakshya ensemble will perform Odissi dance during Incredible India: Rudrakshya Produced By Indian Performing Arts Samskriti at Miller Outdoor Theatre. The performance is free, and you can reserve a ticket here beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 11, or you can bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit on the Hill. If you can’t make it, the show will be livestreamed on the Miller Outdoor Theatre website, YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Lawyers mysteriously go missing in The Law Files, the latest show from Houston’s all-lawyer musical theater company Night Court. This year’s show, opening at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 16, at The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, will parody music from the 1980s and 1990s, and film and television shows like The X-Files, Stranger Things and Men in Black. Lawyer and longtime Night Court cast member (and the company’s current executive producer) recently told the Houston Press that audiences can expect “a wacky story where a bunch of different themes and pop culture shows are crammed together and woven together with lawyer jokes, pop culture jokes [and] Houston jokes.” Need more reason? All the proceeds go to charities providing free legal services to people in need. Performances will continue at 7:30 p.m. through Saturday, August 19. Tickets can be purchased here for $45 to $49.
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Natalie de la Garza is a contributing writer who adores all things pop culture and longs to know everything there is to know about the Houston arts and culture scene.