Films from around the world, an opera based on a (color) barrier-breaking children’s book, and a naughty Santa Claus are just a few of the things you can find on this week’s list of best bets. Keep reading for more on the best the Houston arts and culture scene has to offer over the next seven days.
If you’re in need of a warm childhood memory, check out
Houston Grand Opera
’s production of
The Snowy Day
. HGO has turned Ezra Jack Keats’s 1962 classic, “
the first major picture book to break the color barrier in children’s literature
,” into their 72nd world premiere. Composer Joel Thompson, who created the opera with librettist Andrea Davis Pinkney, recently told the
it was a welcome change to look at the world through the eyes of wonder, through the eyes of a child.
” You can register for HGO’s first-ever opening night livestream, scheduled for Thursday, December 9, at 7 p.m. (and available through January 8)
get tickets for $20 to $210
to enjoy the show in-person at the Wortham Center through December 19.
From Thursday, December 9, to Saturday, December 11, the
Houston Museum of African American Culture
will be hosting a virtual screening of
’s debut feature film,
. The Mexican-Ethiopian filmmaker created “
an evocative portrait of Ethiopian society as it revolves around the production and consumption of its main cash crop, khat, a euphoria-inducing flowering plant
,” one that the president of
– a company that kind of
in great film – called a “
commanding love letter to Ethiopia.
” You can purchase access to
Faya Dayi here
Apollo Chamber Players
for their fourth annual
concert this Friday, December 17, at 7 p.m. On the cross-cultural program is Arcangelo Corelli’s Christmas Concerto – a work Corelli specifically noted was “
made for the night of Christmas
” – and
’s String Quartet No. 4,
Fantasia on Three Christmas Carols
exploration and manipulation of three familiar carols
featuring tenor (and member of the
Houston Chamber Choir
) Wayne Ashley.
Jovino Santos Neto
Suite Brasileira de Natal
Brazilian Christmas Suite
), which includes “
some Jewish elements and some Indian classical elements
,” and the concert will feature the world premiere of
, a work commissioned by the Apollo Chamber Players. You can purchase tickets
for $10 to $30.
Lee Isaac Chung’s
a wonderfully absorbing and moving family drama with a buttery, sunlit streak of sentimentality
” will open the
Korean Film Days
festival at the
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
on Friday, December 10, at 7 p.m. The film, chosen by the Honorable Ahn Myung-Soo, consul general of Korea in Houston, will proceed five films over three days, including Hong Sang-soo’s 25th feature,
an airy 66-minute sampler of everything the Korean director’s fans admire
Escape From Mogadishu
, a film “
part disaster flick, part horror-comedy
” that was the “
year’s biggest moneymaker in the South Korean box office
” and is their “
entry for best international feature at the 2022 Oscars.
” You can purchase tickets for each screening
for $8 to $10 dollars.
Count on the
to perform a “
fixture of the Christmas season
,” George Frideric Handel's
written for Easter
, is there really a better time than now for the “
feelings of joy you get from the Hallelujah choruses
,” which have been said to be “
second to none
”? No, so join Conductor
as he leads the Symphony, chorus, and four guest soloists in performing “
the greatest story ever told
will be performed at 8 p.m. on Friday, December 10, and Saturday, December 11, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, December 12, at Jones Hall. Saturday night’s concert will be livestreamed. In-hall tickets can be purchased
for $29 to $130, or you can purchase access to the video performance for $20
No one is above a little “
,” not even Santa Claus in
The Eight: Reindeer Monologues
. On Friday, December 10, at 8 p.m.
Dirt Dogs Theatre Co.
will dive into the world of holiday programming when they open Goode’s “
wickedly topical contribution to Yuletide culture.
” Now, that’s topical for the ‘90s, but we’re not complaining about “
a sort of tabloid Rashomon
,” featuring Santa accused of harassment by one of his reindeers, “
with calculated echoes of news coverage of public figures like Clarence Thomas, Bob Packwood and Michael Jackson.
” The play, directed by Trevor B. Cone, will be performed at
Spring Street Studios
through December 18. General admission tickets are $25, with pay-what-you-can performances scheduled for December 12 and 13. Get tickets
Islamic Arts Festival
is back for its eighth year this weekend, with two days’ worth of activities and more than 5,000 works of art to display on Saturday, December 11, and Sunday, December 12, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to perusing the art – paintings, calligraphy, woodwork, glass work, ceramic tiles and more – there will be live interactive sessions on different artistic topics, such as calligraphy, henna tattooing, Arabesque pattern coloring, and
. After last year’s successful online-only edition, the
Islamic Arts Society
will present this year’s festival (still free to attend) in a hybrid format. If you attend the in-person event at
, you can also participate in mosque tours as well as enjoy food from the on-site food trucks.
Brenda Lee was only
13 years old
when she recorded “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” a now holiday standard you can hear all season long, and “
the second most spun Christmas song nationwide.
” (Second only to Mariah’s “
All I Want For Christmas
.”) Lee’s “
breezy 1958 ditty
” is just one of the festive tunes you’ll hear during
The 12 Dames of Christmas
this Monday, December 13, and Tuesday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m. over at the
’ home base, The George Theater. Ingersoll, well known for her work as Judy Garland in
End of the Rainbow
, will again sing as Garland, as well as Julie Andrews, Janis Joplin, and more – with a holiday twist. Tickets are available
for $36 to $75.