Things To Do

Best Bets: Quilts, Jazz, and Henry VIII’s Wives

The International Quilt Festival returns to George R. Brown Convention Center.
The International Quilt Festival returns to George R. Brown Convention Center. Photo by Tony Ruppe, Image Catcher Photography
It’s National Sandwich Day, and that may be exactly what you want to grab as you’re rushing out the door to catch some of this week’s best bets. This week we’ve got whimsical takes on historical figures, more quilts than you could ever imagine, and six of the best recent films to come out of South Korea. Keep reading for more.

The quilt: You can trace its history back to medieval Europe, to ancient Egypt, and civilizations stretching across China, the Middle East, and Africa. They are items of practicality, as well as works of art, sometimes even “biting, political art.” For the next four days, from Thursday, November 3, to Sunday, November 6, quilts will cover George R. Brown Convention Center as the International Quilt Festival returns to Houston. That includes over 1,000 quilts in 34 different themed exhibits, hundreds of booths peddling everything from beautiful quilts to the tools you need to make your own, and more than 300 classes and lectures. You can purchase a full show pass for $35 or general adult daily admission for $15 (seniors over 65, students, and military can get discounted tickets for $12, and children ten and under get in free) here.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in partnership with the Korean-American Society of Houston, will present six recent South Korean films you should know during their upcoming Korean Film Nights series. The series opens on Thursday, November 3, at 7 p.m. with Park Chan-wook’s “enthralling, serpentine crime dramaDecision to Leave. Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “story of crime and compassion, about a Korean alternative family looking to find a home for an abandoned baby,” Broker is set for the next night, Friday, November 4, at 7 p.m. Hong Sangsoo’s “springy, slight treatThe Novelist’s Film screens on Saturday, November 5, at 3 p.m. followed by Hansan: Rising Dragon at 6 p.m., a sequel to “Korea’s highest-grossing film ever.” The series concludes on Sunday, November 6, with “folk horror filmSeire at 4 p.m. and The Roundup, South Korea's biggest hit of 2022, at 7 p.m. Tickets to individual screenings are $8 to $10.

The Night Market returns to Asia Society Texas Center for its tenth edition on Friday, November 4, from 6 to 10 p.m. The rain-or-shine event, inspired by the street markets you can find across East and Southeast Asia, will feature plenty of food and drink options, from places like burger-chan and Dumpling Haus, as well as food trucks such as Muishii and Seoulside Wings and lots of vendors for shopping. There will also be a Diwali-inspired funfair, Bollywood-style dance performances, sumo wrestling demonstrations, and after-hours entry to Asia Society Texas Center’s current exhibit, “Yōkai: Scenes of the Supernatural in Japanese Woodblock Prints.” You can view a full list of activities and vendors, as well as the event schedule and map, here. The Night Market is free and open to the public (RSVP here), or you can drop $40 and get exclusive entry into the Green Garden Lounge.

On Friday, November 4, at 7:30 p.m. the Houston Symphony’s Fiesta Sinfónica returns to Jones Hall to once again celebrate notable Latin American and Hispanic composers. The program, led by conductor Andrés Franco, includes such recognizable works as Leonard Bernstein's "Maria" from West Side Story, Arturo Márquez’s “Danzón No. 2,” “one of the most frequently performed pieces of Mexican contemporary classical music,” and an aria from Pablo Sorozábal’s La tabernera del puerto, performed by tenor Rafael Moras. Astor Piazzolla’s “Milonga del Angel,” Arturo Rodríguez’s first symphonic work, “Mosaico Mexicano” (an “homage to the music of the great Mexican concert hall composers of the 40's and 50's” and the “composers of the golden era of Mexican cinema”), and a suite of four dances from Alberto Ginastera’s Estancia score will also be featured. Admission to the concert is free, but you must reserve your tickets here.

Branford Marsalis has always been clear that he “isn't interested in breaking new ground.” The three-time Grammy winner is “happy with jazz's ageless challenges, like improvising a graceful solo over shifting chords and lively rhythm, being creative while coloring within the lines.” On Friday, November 4, at 8 p.m. DACAMERA welcomes Marsalis – along with his more than 40 years of “playing tenor, alto, baritone and soprano saxophone, fronting an enduring quartet, composing songs both swinging and adventurous, dabbling in side projects that even jazz tourists might know” – to the Wortham Theater Center for An Evening with Branford Marsalis. The saxophonist recently told the Houston Chronicle that he doesn’t try to “analyze” or “figure out” what jazz is, saying, “I try to hear what it is because that’s where the magic is in music to me: creating a sound that has an emotional effect on the listener.” Tickets can be purchased here for $42.50 to $72.50.
One thing you can definitely say about the Blue Man Group is that you know them when you see them, and this weekend Performing Arts Houston is giving Houston audiences three chances to see their act, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. It’s been said that the group’s “popularity lies in having hit on that perfect niche of providing especially high caliber performance art that everyone can understand, enjoy, and even keep coming back to see.” And when you see the “mute drummers, clowns, actors, and comedians,” you can opt for a seat in the “Splash Zone,” where you’ll have the opportunity to be pelted with soft objects like marshmallows and toilet paper during the family-friendly performance. The Blue Man Group will perform at Jones Hall on Saturday, November 5, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 6, at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here for $39 to $159.

The Chicago Tribune called Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss’s premise for Six, which opens on Tuesday, November 8, at 7:30 p.m. courtesy of Memorial Hermann Broadway at the Hobby Center, “a really great idea for a commercial musical”: It’s “a mock-concert show” – the in style of Britain’s Got Talent or American Idol – “built around the famous sextet of wives of 16th century England’s Henry VIII.” In Six, historical figures such as Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and Jane Seymour are “reimagined with performative personas close to the divas Beyoncé, Adele, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande and Alicia Keys” and “compete for who actually had the worst time with their bearded pig.” Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays; 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through November 20. Tickets can be purchased here for $35 to $150.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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.