Things To Do

Best Bets: Houston Cinema Arts Festival, Joy Harjo, and Banned Music

ROCO In Concert at The Church of St. John the Divine.
ROCO In Concert at The Church of St. John the Divine. Photo by Joel Luks
Today is International Accounting Day, and as much as we support fiscal responsibility and those that help crunch those numbers, we don’t support it if it interferes with you enjoying this week’s best bets. From the return of a popular film festival to classic rock, keep reading for our picks for the best of the week.

The Houston Cinema Arts Festival returns, both in-person and virtually, on Thursday, November 10, at venues all across town for eight days filled with more than 60 short and feature-length films, the return of NASA-partnered short film competition CineSpace and the regional short film competition Borders | No Borders, special guests, workshops, and more. The Executive Director of the Houston Cinema Arts Society, Jim Townsend, recently told Houston Life that the festival’s programming will “tell the stories that really matter to Houstonians, whether those are stories that come from Houston or reflect Houston directly or just films that we think will strike a chord with our audience here.” Notable screenings include opening night film The Inspection on Thursday, November 10, and Women Talking on Sunday, November 13 (both at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), Sirens on Tuesday, November 15 at Asia Society Texas Center, and With Peter Bradley on Wednesday, November 16 at The DeLuxe Theater. Locations and prices vary. More information can be found here.
You probably know it as “the greatest opera of all time,” but The Marriage of Figaro was first a play, the second of a trilogy of plays written by “watchmaker, music teacher, inventor, diplomat, spy, litigant, horticulturist, arms dealer, satirist, financier, and active participant in both the American and French revolutions,” Pierre de Beaumarchais. On Friday, November 11, at 8 p.m. Classical Theatre Company will open its 15th anniversary season with a local premiere of Beaumarchais' farce – a sequel to The Barber of Seville – featuring a brand-new translation courtesy of CTC Executive Artistic Director John Johnston. Performances will continue at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 17, Monday, November 21, and Wednesday, November 23; 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; and 2:30 p.m. Sundays (followed by post-show talkbacks) through November 26 at The DeLuxe Theater. Tickets can be purchased here for $10 to $25.

With its “vivid pictorial quality” – “original, at least in the context of the classical symphony” – Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 100, commonly known as the "Military" Symphony, holds a place as “the most popular among its 100-plus brethren.” On Saturday, November 12, at 5 p.m. ROCO will present the work during Fortune at the Church of St. John the Divine. In her ROCO debut, conductor Delyana Lazarova will lead the chamber orchestra in Haydn’s "Military" Symphony, alongside Caroline Shaw’s “nature-y,” Haydn-inspired “Entr’acte” for strings; Adam Schoenberg’s “Finding Rothko,” comprised of four movements, each referencing a specific Mark Rothko painting and its color; and two ROCO-commissioned world premieres from William Bolcom and Judah Adashi. Tickets can be purchased here (pay-what-you-can with a suggested price of $35) or you can tune in to the free livestream on ROCO’s website, Facebook page and YouTube channel, or on YourClassical’s Facebook page or
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Steve Perry and Journey will be reuniting any time soon, at least not if the legal battles are any indication. The good news is that on Saturday, November 11, at 7 p.m. you can experience Classic Journey Live at the Miller Outdoor Theatre. The tribute celebrates the band, which “bridged the colossal rock of the 70s with the melodic pop of the decades to come,” from its beginning all the way through classic hits like “Don't Stop Believin',” a song that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame says exemplified all of the elements that “helped Journey leave an indelible mark on pop music.” You can reserve a free, seated ticket here starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 11, or you can head for free unreserved seating on the Hill the night of. If you can’t make it out, you can watch on the Miller Outdoor Theatre website, YouTube channel, or Facebook page.

Sergei Prokofiev made the choice to return to the Soviet Union in 1936 “during Josef Stalin's purges and went on to receive six state awards for compositions,” leading to him being “seen by some as an obedient member of the Soviet elite.” By 1948, he was "attacked for producing 'anti-democratic formalism'" and eight of his works were banned from performance. Prokofiev’s String Quartet No. 1 will be featured during Banned: Music, an Apollo Chamber Players’ concert scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 12, at Holocaust Museum Houston. The program will also feature works from Erberk Eryılmaz and Homayoun Sakhi, a panel discussion led by St. John Flynn, and a pop-up shop of creations from sewing artist Robaba Hussaini. Apollo’s Matthew J. Detrick recently told the Houston Chronicle, “I think that this program will definitely stretch people's imaginations and challenge assumptions, and hopefully help to create more compassion and empathy for other people.” Tickets can be purchased here for $10.

Did you know that November 5 was National Love Your Red Hair Day? Well, it’s not too late to celebrate, especially since Ars Lyrica will present a program of music at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 12, at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts dedicated to one of history’s most accomplished gingers: Antonio Vivaldi. During the Red Priest of Venice, Ars Lyrica Artistic Director Matthew Dirst will lead the orchestra – along with special guests violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock, oboist Kathryn Montoya, and countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen – in the all-Vivaldi program, which will feature both well and lesser known works from the “Italian composer, violinist, and opera impresario” including three arias from Vivaldi's opera Bajazet and Stabat Mater. Tickets to the in-person concert can be purchased here for $25 to $75, or you can nab a digital event pass here for $20 to watch from home.
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The 2022/2023 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series welcomes poet Joy Harjo.
Photo by Shawn Miller
It’s been said that three-term U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjois more than a poet, painter, and musician; she is a spiritual being aware of the meaning of everything we see as well as the things around us that are usually invisible.” On Monday, November 14, at 7:30 p.m. Inprint will welcome Harjo, the first Native American to hold the position of U.S. Poet Laureate, to Rice University’s Brockman Hall for Opera for the 2022/2023 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series to read from her new poetry collection, Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light: 50 Poems for 50 Years. Following the reading, Harjo will join Texas Poet Laureate Lupe Mendez in conversation before ending the evening with a book sale and signing. General admission tickets can be purchased here for $5, and Brazos Bookstore is also offering discounted copies of Harjo’s book (more information can be found here). You can also catch the rebroadcast for $5 scheduled for Thursday, November 17, at 7:30 p.m.
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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.