As we creep toward the dog days of summer, you’re probably looking for ways to both stay entertained and indoors. This week, we’ve got you covered; live music, comedy shows, films, art exhibits – all indoors or after dark. And, for you brave souls, a Sunday morning hike through Memorial Park. Keep reading for ten of our favorite events that won't cost you more than $10 — and eight of them are free! Check out the Houston Press calendar for even more things to do.
Story to Screen Outdoor Movie Night: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Houston Public Library
7:15 p.m. Thursday, free
Bryan Lee O’Malley’s series of graphic novels about a slacker who must vanquish each of his love’s seven exes in order to date her was adapted into “an epic of epic epicness” in 2010, the Edgar Wright-directed Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, starring Michael Cera as the titular hipster. Houston Public Library and Alamo Drafthouse’s Rolling Roadshow celebrate its trip from page to screen Thursday on the Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza with food truck Moon Rooster, Fat Cat Creamery and music from HPL’s in-house DJs. Scott Pilgrim is heavily influenced by video games, so Arcade Games of Houston will be on hand for fans to play Guitar Hero and all attendees have a chance to win a Nintendo Switch bundle. Pre-show fun start at 7:15 p.m. and the film starts at dusk.
Next Iteration Theater Presents: Ophelia’s Rope and Friends
8 p.m. Thursday, pay-what-you-can (suggested $10)
Next Iteration Theater’s seven-night festival of performances kicks off with an evening of improv comedy from Ophelia’s Rope and friends, fellow improvers Like-Minded People and Baby Knuckle. The Ophelia’s Rope duo of Autumn Clack and Ruth McCleskey (also co-founders of the Boiling Point Players) celebrate 12 years of making people laugh this year, so trust they know how to make you laugh. But remember, it’s improv, so you, audience, will dictate the show. The festival continues through the end of this month with a poetry slam, a conversation with dancer/choreographer Armando Silva, and performances by Tabla Houston, Wordsmyth Theater, The T.R.U.T.H. Project and Driven Theatre Company.
35th Annual Juried Membership Exhibition opening reception
Houston Center for Photography
5:30 p.m. Friday, free
Not only is Texas well-represented, but artists from across the United States, from L.A. to New York, and even all the way from the Netherlands will participate in the Houston Center for Photography’s 35th Annual Juried Membership Exhibition. This year’s juror, Dr. Rebecca Senf, chief curator at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson and the Norton Family curator of photography at the Phoenix Art Museum, had the tough task of narrowing down over 200 entries to the 50 selected artists whose work will adorn all three of HCP’s galleries. Hear from Senf at 6 p.m. and if you like what you see, come back Saturday, July 15, for artists' talks at 11 a.m. The exhibit will be on view through August 27.
POP NIGHT! with Velveteen Echo, Pearl Crush and MIEARS
9 p.m. Friday, $8
The indie-pop is strong as Velveteen Echo, Pearl Crush and MIEARS take the Continental Club stage Friday night. Expect dream pop from the Lauren Warthen-fronted Velveteen Echo, who released a music video for “Do You” last month; Michelle Miears to bring her keytar and synth-backed heavenly harmonies, exemplified by “He Never Loved Me” off her six-song EP Who Will Save You?; and an electro-pop, experimental set from Mandy Kim Clinton’s Pearl Crush, who released a 7-inch earlier this year on Poison Moon Records. If you haven’t yet, check out “First Blush.” Keep in mind, this show, courtesy of Wallflower Records, is 21 and up only.
Dumb As Hell: A Live Conversation with Tre Tutson & Zahid Dewji
10 p.m. Friday, free
Rec Room and co-presenter HTX Comedy host a two-hour “dumb as hell” conversation between local stand-up comics Tre Tutson and Zahid Dewji, and the only guarantee they’re willing to make is that you’ll laugh. If you’re a fan of funny people and not living under a rock, chances are you’ve encountered both Tutson and Dewji around town – Tutson, hosting at the Improv or guesting on podcasts like the “Regular Dude Report” or “The Whiskey Brothers,” and Dewji, from his regular haunts, Beta Theater and The Secret Group. Now, joining forces Friday night, we can only imagine what they'll find to talk about.
"Changing Perspectives" and "Collective Pulse" opening reception
Galveston Arts Center
6 p.m. Saturday, free
Galveston Arts Center opens two exhibits this month in conjunction with PrintHouston: “Changing Perspectives” by Abhidnya Ghuge and “Collective Pulse” by Burning Bones Press. Indian multidisciplinary artist (and former dermatologist) Abhidnya Ghuge’s “Changing Perspectives” sees disposable paper plates transformed into immersive installations adorned with patterns inspired by Indian henna designs, the world (on a macro and micro level), and the cultural landscape of America to portray the human experience. And “Collective Pulse," from Burning Bones Press, a printmaking studio in the Heights, features a selection of prints from over a dozen studio members co-organized by The Printing Museum's Keelin Burrows and Galveston Arts Center’s Dennis Nance. Both exhibits will remain on view through August 20.
White Oak Music Hall Benefit Show Series: UNTHSC Foundation
White Oak Music Hall
7:30 p.m. Saturday, $10
The first concert in the bi-annual White Oak Music Hall Benefit Show Series is setting out to raise $10,000 in one night for the UNTHSC Foundation, on behalf of 13-year-old Ruhani Ahluwalia. Ahluwalia is the youngest researcher to work in Dr. Andre Lacko’s lab at UNT Health Science Center, investigating nanoparticles that may one day be used to deliver drugs to cancerous tumors with pinpoint accuracy. For the good cause, White Oak has gathered almost a dozen Houston acts to take the stage, each covering some of your favorite artists and bands, including Prince, Johnny Cash, Duran Duran and Led Zeppelin.
A Walk in the Woods
8 a.m. Sunday, free
What better way to spend a Sunday morning than with a brisk walk through the 1466 acres of Houston’s own Memorial Park with Bayou City Outdoors? Nestled just inside the Loop, Memorial Park is home to miles of trails – narrow, wide, open fields, rocky terrain, dense woods – all ripe for exploring on the hour-and-a-half-long hike. Meet at 8 a.m. in Memorial Park by the rugby/soccer field parking lot and be ready to walk at 8:15 a.m. Wear your walking shoes (hiking boots or tennis shoes), leave Sparky at home (it’s a little too hot for dogs), and make sure to bring water. Afterwards, make plans to join your new friends for breakfast and coffee.
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Down a Dark Road book signing
Murder By The Book
6:30 p.m. Monday, free
Linda Castillo’s New York Times bestselling Amish thriller series centered around Painters Mill police chief Kate Burkholder returns for its ninth book, Down a Dark Road. This time, a blast from Kate’s past, her childhood crush Joseph King, escapes from prison and returns to Painters Mill with a message – he didn’t kill his wife two years earlier. Kate believes him and sets out to prove his innocence but quickly realizes someone wants to stop her, by any means necessary. Publishers Weekly says “Castillo skillfully sets each scene, compelling readers to fear the raging stream, sense the tension in a room, and yes, even smell the manure.” High praise, indeed.
Jane Austen Wake
7 p.m. Tuesday, free
Brazos Bookstore’s celebration of Jane Austen, launched to honor the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death has reached what Brazos’s marketing director, Sara Balabanlilar, called “the quintessential event” of the Summer of Austen: the Jane Austen wake on July 18, the day Austen died. The evening includes a performance by Main Street Theater, enacting scenes from Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice, and refreshments. And remember, if you break out your finest Regency dress, you get 10 percent off your purchase.