As August slowly approaches, you may find that between summer vacation expenses and air-conditioning bills, you’re running low on cash. But this week, we’ve got movies (baseball-themed, giant monsters, summer blockbusters or family drama, take your pick), art, and even a birthday party for a literary giant for cheap. Keep reading for ten of our favorite events that won't cost you more than $10 — and seven of them are free! Check out the Houston Press calendar for even more things to do.
A League of Their Own
City Acre Brewing
7:30 p.m. Thursday, free
In the midst of the dog days of summer, and as the Houston Astros make a run for the ages, there’s no better time than the present to make your way to City Acre Brewing for one of our most treasured films about America’s pastime: A League of Their Own. The fictionalized story of the real All-American Girls Professional Baseball League’s first season – which sprung up during World War II – features keen direction from Penny Marshall and pitch-perfect (get it?) performances from Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna. It also spawned one of cinema’s most memorable lines: “There’s no crying in baseball!”
The Peddler Show
Ford Park Event Center
12 p.m. Friday, $5 to $7
The traveling shopping show stops in Beaumont this weekend with a two-for-one deal we can’t refuse: a special “His and Hers Weekend.” One ticket grants you entry into The Peddler Show – a marketplace full of artisan, designer and craftsmen creations – and the Southeast Texas Great Outdoors Expo, for all your hunting, fishing and outdoor needs. Tickets are $7 at the door ($5 in advance), kids 12 and under get in free, parking is free, and admission is good all weekend long – just in case you change your mind and need to rush back to make an ill-advised purchase. If that’s not enough, there’s a live Bengal tiger show. And yes, you read that right.
2 p.m. Friday, free
The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls. It’s only right that we celebrate the 118th birthday of the man who has contributed so much to the American literary canon – and given such headaches to high-school students frantically writing term papers. Hemingday returns to Brazos Bookstore, and their annual celebration promises to be a day of literary geekiness, all in honor of Papa, of course. Spec’s Liquor will provide the drinks, and past years have seen activities like trivia challenges, spelling bees, lookalike contests, in-store safari shootouts and fishing, and readings. But you’ll have to swing by to see what they've got planned this year.
“Everything Belongs” opening reception
6 p.m. Friday, free
Despite Houston-based artist Joy Kelly’s long career in engineering, she’s been pursuing art since the mid-'90s, and the work on display in her new abstract art exhibit, “Everything Belongs,” in the gallery of Michael Morton’s design firm, m ARCHITECTS, is representative of her style: bright, bold colors; the utilization of different mediums; and subject matter (in this case, embracing life and all that it encompasses). Friday’s opening reception will include live jazz and good conversation (but please remember, the location is also a working studio, so young children should be closely supervised). The exhibit will be on display for six weeks.
9 p.m. Friday, free
Colin Trevorrow’s massive hit two years ago signaled the successful rebirth of the Jurassic Park franchise and guaranteed us more of these movies for the foreseeable future. (In fact, only a month ago Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment announced the title of the next film in the series, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, scheduled for release next summer.) Starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, the film captured everything we loved about Spielberg’s original film, except imagines what might happen if the park had actually been built. (Spoiler: Nothing good.) Bring a blanket or lawn chair and relive the summer blockbuster Friday night, courtesy of GreenStreet’s Friday Flicks on the Lawn.
Celebration of Hope
Houston Holocaust Museum
10 a.m. Saturday, free
It’s last call to experience Holocaust Museum Houston as it is, before it closes for expansion July 24 and relocates until 2019. This weekend’s “Celebration of Hope” is a one-day open house, part of a free admission weekend, with live music, food trucks, poetry readings (from Writers Resist: Houston), art demonstrations, interactive murals, and kids’ butterfly art activities and face painting. All of the exhibits will be open, guided docent-led tours are scheduled throughout the afternoon, local organizations will be on hand (like the ACLU, Center for the Healing of Racism and Asia Society), and special conversations with Houston-area Holocaust survivors (at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.) are not to be missed.
Main Street Square
8 p.m. Saturday, free
If you saw Kong: Skull Island (and considering the box office, you or someone you love probably did), make your way down to Main Street Square to see the original film that propelled the prehistoric ape to fame, screening as part of their Downtown Summer Movie Series. Kong famously broke the 1933 box office and saved RKO from bankruptcy upon its release, due to its Beauty and the Beast-influenced story, OG scream queen Fay Wray and revolutionary effects, including miniatures, trick photography and stop-motion. Be sure to pick up something from one of the food trucks and let Kong whet your appetite for 2020’s coming rematch of Godzilla vs. Kong.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
5 p.m. Sunday, $9
How far will a father go to ensure that his daughter succeeds? That’s the question at the heart of the latest film from Romanian director Cristian Mungiu (of 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days acclaim). Adrian Titieni plays Dr. Romeo Aldea, a man desperate to see his daughter, Eliza, score well on her final exams so that she’ll be able to leave Romania and attend one of the British schools offering her conditional admission. However, on the eve of her exams, Eliza is brutally attacked, leaving Romeo to start calling in favors and pulling on corrupt strings – anything to ensure Eliza succeeds. The Guardian calls Graduation “a masterly, complex movie of psychological subtlety and moral weight” and, not for nothing, it boasts an impressive 96 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
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Bring Her Home book signing
Murder By The Book
6:30 p.m. Monday, free
One of the most famous PSAs of all time asks, “Do you know where your children are?” In David Bell’s new novel, Bring Her Home, protagonist Bill Price finds himself asking, “Do I really know my child?” Less than two years after the tragic death of Bill’s wife, his daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, go missing while out on a walk. Two days later, the girls are found – Haley dead, and Summer beaten beyond recognition. Bill sets out to uncover what happened, what secrets Summer has been hiding from him, and whether or not the girl in the hospital bed, covered in bandages, is really even Summer at all.
Wordsmyth Theater’s 10th Anniversary Reading Celebration
7 p.m. Monday, pay-what-you-can (suggested $10)
Hard to believe, but Wordsmyth Theater Company has been doing yeoman's work – fostering new works through readings, workshops, lectures and classes (among other ways) – for ten years now. Join them as they celebrate the big one-oh with an anniversary reading celebration, part of the Next Iteration Theater Presents series. Works in progress from Houston playwrights, whose works have been presented by Wordsmyth in the past, will be featured; scenes, shorts and monologues from folks like Abby Koenig (Complaint Box and/or Good Times), Ted Swindley (Santa's Last Christmas), Asher Windham (Valerie: A Cosplay Monologue) and Wordsmyth’s artistic director Elizabeth Earle (Hanna).