Things To Do

Best Bets: Film, A Night Market, and El Huracán

Pamela Garcia Langton, Elissa Cuellar, and Mayra Monsavais in El Huracán.
Pamela Garcia Langton, Elissa Cuellar, and Mayra Monsavais in El Huracán. Photo by Pin Lim
Familial dysfunction, a night market reminiscent of those found in East and Southeast Asia, and a whole slate of films – actually two whole slates of film – are just a couple of events that made this week’s list of best bets. Keep reading to learn more about the best Houston has to offer this week.

Mildred's Umbrella opens their 2021-2022 season tonight, Thursday, November 11, at 8 p.m. with the Houston premiere of Charise Castro Smith's El Huracán, which also marks the company's return to live theater performance. Mildred’s Associate Artistic Director Patricia Duran will lead the Latinx cast and crew through the “multi-generational drama of a family rocked by storms both meteorological and emotional,” in which Castro Smith introduces the audience to “a Cuban American family clutching on to itself against the forces of nature that cyclically ramp up the chaos of daily life.El Huracán will run at the DeLuxe Theatre through November 21. Tickets are pay what you can (with a minimum price of $10) and can be purchased here.
A sold-out screening of Sean Baker's Cannes-selected film Red Rocket will open the Houston Cinema Arts Festival tonight, November 11, but the festival schedule is packed full of more than 40 in-person and virtual events – screenings, DJ sets, dance performances, and more – through November 17. This includes an outdoor, pay-what-you-can screening of Luchadoras at MECA with a performance by Ballet Folklorico on November 12; Stephen Karam's "exceptionally well-cast (and -acted) indie" The Humans at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on November 15; and a 50th anniversary screening, co-presented by Houston Museum of African American Culture, of Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song on November 17 at Rooftop Cinema Club. You can nab single event tickets and view the full schedule here. Passes (virtual, hybrid, and all access) are also available here for $50 to $179.

The Night Market returns to an in-person format at the Asia Society Texas Center on Friday, November 12 from 6 to 10 p.m. and will welcome more than 40 local, AAPI-owned restaurants and small businesses – as well as food trucks and local artisan vendors – sprawled across an entire city block. In addition to after-hours exhibition access, there will be a “Night in Seoul” carnival, K-pop performances, a sumo wrestling demonstration, and a return of their exclusive-access Beer Garden. You can also visit the new Mahatma Gandhi-inspired Unity Wall, where guests can write a pledge that will be added to the interactive installation. The Night Market is free, but wristbands for the Beer Garden are $30 for guests 21 and over and $10 for guests 21 and under.

Society for the Performing Arts launched the Houston Artist Commissioning Project (HACP) back in 2020 to encourage the creation of new work from local Houston artists. On Friday, November 12, and Saturday, November 13, at 7:30 p.m. the final three of six live performance winners will take the Jones Hall stage to world premiere their commissions. Riyaaz Qawwali will use music rooted in South Asian tradition for Desi Arts & Discourse. Harrison Guy, the director of Urban Souls Dance Company, has drawn inspiration from Houston’s first Black library for Colored Carnegie. And Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, who previously served as Houston’s poet laureate, will debut a new one-act play titled The World’s Intermission about the past year. Tickets to the Houston Artist Commissioning Project Live Part 2 can be purchased for $25.
14 Pews will again present the Houston Comedy Film Festival this Saturday, November 13, from 2:30 to 8 p.m. The festival, which started back in 2008, will feature screenings of all kinds of short comedy films – animation, TV pilots, mockumentary, and more – from filmmakers all around the world. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. for a little networking before an awards presentation at 3 p.m. The screenings follow starting at 3:30 p.m. before the festival wraps up at 8 p.m. You can get a look at the films that will be included here, and tickets can be purchased here for $25.

If you’ve ever wondered how Antonio Vivaldi, who famously composed “The Four Seasons," might have approached the subject “under threat of global warming and climate change,” you’ll want to hear Mark Adamo’s “Last Year.” The cello concerto will make its Texas premiere during ROCO’s full-orchestra concert on Saturday, November 13, at 5 p.m. titled A Stitch in Time. The program also includes the world premiere of Hilary Purrington’s “Threshold” (commissioned through ROCO's FIFteen Project); Jonathan Peters’s Arthropod Suite, which will feature images from the Houston Museum of Natural Science; and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in F Major. You can purchase tickets to the concert, taking place at The Church of St. John the Divine, here. Tickets are pay what you can with a suggested price of $35. You can also view the program livestreamed at ROCO’s website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel.

Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto was a hit when it opened back in 1851, but Verdi's Il Trovatorewas a bigger hit” when it premiered two years later in Rome, and “it's even more sensational, with its story of kidnapping, beheading, burning babies and bloody revenge.” On Saturday, November 13, at 7:30 p.m. Opera in the Heights will open Il Trovatore, “an outlandish story set to some of Verdi's most glorious music,” as part of their 2021-2022 season. Il Trovatore will be sung in Italian with English subtitles at Lambert Hall through November 21. Tickets can be purchased here for $34.50 to $84.50.
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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.