Yes, tomorrow may be the unluckiest of days, Friday the 13th, but don’t let your paraskavedekatriaphobia keep you hiding under the bed — there’s too much to do this week. Start the weekend with a Dia de los Muertos art exhibit or – if that’s not your style — a Stephen King-inspired one. Swing by the Filipino Street Festival for food and culture, or maybe Miller Outdoor Theatre to hear the Houston Symphony. No? Well, there’s more. Keep reading for ten of our favorite events that won't cost you more than $10 — and all of them are free! Check out the Houston Press calendar for even more things to do.
Dia de los Muertos art exhibit
Talento Bilingue De Houston
7 p.m. Thursday, free
At its heart, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a celebration of life masquerading under a macabre mask, so expect a party at the opening of Talento Bilingue De Houston’s Dia de los Muertos art exhibit. The work of more than ten local artists will be on display, but beautiful art isn’t the only thing on the menu: Danza Chikawa Dance will perform a traditional danza azteca (“Aztec dance”) and lead a prayer for deceased loved ones, Zoonido will be on hand to provide music, the Houston Latino Film Festival will play a block of short films and Saint Arnold Brewing Company will bring the beer. And yes, there will be pan de muerto.
“FREEZE!” opening artists’ reception
Anya Tish Gallery
6 p.m. Friday, free
Shannon Cannings and Corey Pickett critically approach a sadly perpetual topic of conversation in this country, the role of guns in society, in this two-person exhibit at Anya Tish Gallery. Cannings takes a look at the use of toy guns to normalize gun culture in her oil paintings, juxtaposing the colorful imagery used to advertise the toys with their violence, while Pickett utilizes upholstered sculptures stuffed with foam, informed by his research on the Middle Passage and Victorian and Dutch textiles, to create a place where the viewer can consider gun violence. The artists’ reception is Friday, but there’s also an artists’ Q&A and walkthrough on Saturday at 1 p.m. “FREEZE!” will be on view through November 11.
The Zookeeper’s Wife
Czech Center Museum Houston
7 p.m. Friday, free
The Warsaw Zoo became an unexpected haven during World War II for Polish Jews when Jan and Antonina Zabinski opened its doors, sneaking in hundreds of men, women and children to temporarily hide in the zoo’s abandoned cages. In 2007, Diane Ackerman released The Zookeeper’s Wife, a book about the couple’s wartime heroics drawn heavily from Antonina’s diary, and ten years later, Niki Caro’s film of the same name, starring Jessica Chastain, premiered. If you missed the powerful story the first time around, make your way to the Czech Center Museum Houston on Friday. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and you don’t even have to BYOP – popcorn will be provided.
A Stephen King Inspired Art Show
7 p.m. Friday, free
It’s October, it’s Friday the 13th, and the only thing missing is the master of horror himself: Stephen King. Fortunately, RockStar Gallery’s got you covered at their Stephen King-inspired art show. King has written more than 50 books and 200 short stories, and has around 60 film and TV adaptations to his name, so you can bet there’s a good chance you’ll see something you like and probably watched recently. (Our guess is that Pennywise will be well-represented.) And, not for nothing, there will be door prizes. Voting for your favorite Stephen King-themed work will get you a chance to win, and RSVPing will get you another one (just print and bring your ticket).
Houston Filipino Street Festival
Noon Saturday, free
The Houston Filipino Street Festival is the largest of its kind in Texas, so you can bet there’ll be plenty to do (and eat) Saturday in Levy Park. Expect cook-offs and street-food eating contests with foodstuffs like balut, maybe the most (in)famous food from the Philippines, and dinuguan, a Filipino pork stew; mini tinikling (folk dance) workshops; cultural performances; and for the kids – Filipino street games and opportunities to learn dances, folk songs, and arts and crafts to keep their right brain busy. It’s also worth noting that 50 percent of this year’s proceeds will go toward Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
Miller Outdoor Theatre
7:30 p.m. Saturday, free
Just because it’s a little over a week after the Harvest Moon doesn’t mean you can’t join the Houston Symphony for Lunada, inspired by the gatherings held under the full moon in small Mexican and Latin American towns and pueblos. The program, produced by the Mexican Institute of Greater Houston, showcases the influences of Mexico, Spain and Latin America on music and includes George Gershwin’s Havana-inspired “Cuban Overture,” Arturo Márquez’s "Danzón No. 2," named for a popular Mexican dance similar to the tango that originated in Cuba; and the lively, four-movement ¡Fiesta! by the Houston Symphony’s composer-in-residence Jimmy López.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
8 p.m. Saturday, free
In good news for Disney, 2017 showed no sign of the superhero bubble bursting. In particular, James Gunn’s follow-up to his 2014 surprise megahit Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, quickly became the fifth highest-grossing Marvel movie (and the sixth highest-grossing of the year) – and much of that success can be attributed to the film’s humor, the incredible likeability of the cast and the adorableness of Baby Groot. Rolling Stone's Peter Travers even said, "Remarkably, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 still has the loosey-goosey feel of a rogue epic that the kids made when the grown-ups weren't watching. Only a turd blossom could resist it."
Miller Outdoor Theatre
7 p.m. Sunday, free
Take your Halloween costume on a test drive when the Houston Symphony returns to Miller Outdoor Theatre to present Symphonic Spooktacular. The program includes classical composers (Tchaikovsky), selections from great film scores (including a couple from the minds of legendary Stars Wars composer John Williams and Halloween staple Danny Elfman), The Legend of Sleepy Hollow from the Houston Symphony’s own principal POPS conductor Steven Reineke and the five movements of On Halloween Night, each one evoking a classic horror creature with names like “March of the Zombies” and “Metamorphosis of the Werewolf,” by Maxime Goulet.
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North by Northwest
9 p.m. Monday, free
Certain directors own the month of October and Alfred Hitchcock is one of them. Fans of the man with (arguably) the most famous profile ever should make their way to Axelrad this Monday to watch Cary Grant as an ad exec mistaken for a spy and subsequently chased across the country in North by Northwest, screening as part of their October Hitchcock movie series. The 1959 film, led by Grant and Eva Marie Saint, includes some of the most iconic scenes in cinema history, including a murder at the United Nations Building, a famous cropduster chase and a climax at Mount Rushmore.
Ben Kweller with Wild Child
6 p.m. Wednesday, free
Ben Kweller signed his first record deal at the tender age of 15, and his last album, Go Fly a Kite, which the man himself said “might be my best album so far,” was released five years ago on his own label at 30. The albums may be coming fewer and far between, but lucky for us he still tours and will be stopping by Party On the Plaza on Wednesday. Support act Wild Child – an Austin-based seven-piece that really burst on the scene in 2014, a year after the release of their sophomore album The Runaround – is currently on Kweller’s Austin-based label, The Noise Company. Of Fools, their 2015 release, the Austin Chronicle said, “Wild Child epitomizes bittersweet, upbeat, and inviting string-swelled pop that belies the often intimate angst and poignancy between co-songwriters and vocalists Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Beggins.”