Things To Do

Best Bets: Ada Limón, Cowboy Bob and New Beginnings

Christian McBride's New Jawn will perform at the Wortham Theater Center.
Christian McBride's New Jawn will perform at the Wortham Theater Center. Photo by Anna Webber
It’s now March and though arguably the hottest ticket of the upcoming week is sold out, don’t let that make you think that there aren’t so many more great events more than worth your time. This week there’s world premiere music, a uniquely Texan musical and a U.S. Poet Laureate to look forward to, so keep reading for our picks for this week's best bets.

It’s March, which means that it is officially Women’s History Month. One way to celebrate is with Kinetic Ensemble’s Her Story, a program featuring works by all-female composers, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 3, at The MATCH. Musical works on the program include Amy Beach’s String Quartet in One Movement, Gabriela Lena Frank’s Leyendas for string orchestra, and the world premiere of “Home” by Kinetic’s current composer-in-residence Nicky Sohn. The music and dance piece – conceived and developed by Sohn, Kinetic violinist Mary Grace Johnson and guest choreographer Kayla Collymore – was “inspired by a series of interviews the trio conducted with graduates of The Women’s Home, a Montrose-based rehabilitation and support facility for women struggling with addiction.” Tickets can be purchased here for $30 (and there will be $10 student tickets available at the door).

On Friday, March 3, at 8 p.m. DACAMERA will welcome “the eminent jazz bassist,” Christian McBride and his quartet to the Wortham Theater Center for Christian McBride’s New Jawn. The New York Times has called New Jawn – comprised of McBride, Marcus Strickland (tenor saxophone and bass clarinet), Josh Evans (trumpet) and Nasheet Waits (drums) – “one of McBride’s most satisfying bands,” describing them as “a quartet without a chordal instrument that convincingly encompasses elastic post-bop, dirge-like abstraction and strutting funk, sometimes uniting diverse strategies within the same piece.” High praise for McBride, who “boasts one of the most impressive résumés of any jazz musician in his age bracket,” including “eight Grammy wins,” “hundreds of recording credits” and “prominent roles such as the host of NPR’s Jazz Night in America and the artistic director of the Newport Jazz Festival.” Tickets can be purchased here for $42.50 to $72.50.

She’s been declared Stephen King’s “most terrifying (human) villain” and on Friday, March 3, at 8 p.m. you can see Annie Wilkes in all her crazy glory when Dirt Dogs Theatre Co. opens their production of William Goldman’s Misery. Based on King’s 1987 novel of the same name, which also inspired a Rob Reiner-directed film in 1990, the story is about a writer who is rescued by his biggest fan – a seemingly “all-seeing, all-knowing entity disguised as a Cheetos-eating, middle-aged frump” – after a car accident only to find that she just may intend to keep him. Performances continue at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and March 13, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays through March 18 at The MATCH. Tickets can be purchased here for $30, and note that the performances on Sundays and Monday, March 13, will be pay-what-you-can.
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Tai Murray will join the Houston Symphony to play Antonín Dvořák's Violin Concerto.
Photo by Gaby Merz
With Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä at the helm, it’s no surprise that on Friday, March 3, at 8 p.m. the Houston Symphony will tackle “one of the 20th century’s greatest composers” and “the first Finnish composer to reach an international audience,” Jean Sibelius. During Dvořák Violin Concerto & Sibelius 1, the Symphony will also play the “indelibly vivid sound” of Sibelius’s First Symphony, Lotta Wennäkoski’s “Flounce” and welcome violinist Tai Murray for Antonín Dvořák's Violin Concerto. Concerts are also scheduled for 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 5. Saturday night’s concert will also be livestreamed. A ticket to view the livestream can be purchased here for $20 and tickets to any of the three in-person concerts at Jones Hall can be purchased here for $29 to $110.

Experimental music compositions and film are on the program when Musiqa and the Houston Cinema Arts Society present Musiqa on Film at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, and again at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 5, at The MATCH. Selections include a work from Sivan Eldar, who pairs silent film of conductors synched together alongside a new piece for violin and cello; JacobTV’s tribute to alto saxophone greats Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley and Art Pepper; and Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers’s “A Concerto is a Conversation,” in which Bowers utilizes the story of his grandfather to explore what it means to break into new spaces. On the cinema side are Musiqa-commissioned films, created with local artists including those of Open Dance Project, from James Templeton (Moving Pieces) and T Lavois Thiebaud (Capriccio). Tickets are pay-what-you-can (with a suggested price of $35) and can be purchased here.
We don’t need a reason to celebrate, but we’ll gladly take one. On Sunday, March 5, from 1 to 5 p.m. the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is giving us an excuse with their family-friendly community festival. The New Beginnings Spring Festival will celebrate the opening of the New Galleries for Art of the Islamic Worlds and Nowruz, or Persian New Year, an occasion “observed for more than 3,000 years as the victory of spring over darkness.” Though a little early, as Nowruz is actually March 20, you can join the festival activities, an afternoon including live music, poetry readings, art and plenty of food options (Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian and more), and get a head start on a holiday celebrated by “300 million people around the world.” Admission to the festival and to the museum will be free; you can book your free ticket in advance here.

The first Latina U.S. Poet Laureate – not to mention winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award and finalist for a National Book Award – Ada Limón, is coming to the Ballroom at Bayou Place at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 6, as part of the 2022/2023 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. Limón will read from her sixth collection of poetry, The Hurting Kind, which shows that the poet is “acutely aware of the natural world” and “has a knack for acknowledging its little mysteries in order to fully capture its history and abundance.” Following the reading, Limón will join poet and author Roberto Tejada in conversation and then stay on hand for a book sale and signing. Tickets are available here for $5, and if you can’t make it, you can always put your $5 down to view the online rebroadcast here.

COWBOY BOB, An Infamous New Musical, at Alley Theatre, March 3 - March 26 from Alley Theatre on Vimeo.

Meet “Texas’s most unlikely bank robber,” Peggy Jo Tallas, when the Alley Theatre opens their production of Cowboy Bob on Wednesday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. The musical, about the woman who “pulled off a string of five bank heists in the suburbs of Dallas disguised as a bearded man in a ten-gallon hat” that the cops dubbed “Cowboy Bob,” was created by Jeanna Phillips, Annie Tippe and Galveston’s Molly Beach Murphy, who told the Houston Chronicle that Tallas’s story “felt all at once so bold and, oh my God, the gall of it, but also very mundane,” noting that “You can’t really answer why she did it. It’s so unknowable. And isn’t that life, you know?” Performances will continue through March 26 at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets can be purchased here for $26 to $69.
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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.