Looking for something fun to do, but lacking in cash? Well, we’ve compiled a list for you. Saturday is Mexican Independence Day, so while you may notice a little extra south-of-the-border flair this week, you’ll also find some classic movies, a game night, a festival and some thought-provoking art. Keep reading for ten of our favorite events that won't cost you more than $10 — and nine of them are free! Check out the Houston Press calendar for even more things to do.
Los Texmaniacs with Amanda Cevallos & The High Hands
7 p.m. Thursday, free
If the city of San Antonio were a band, it would probably be Grammy winners Los Texmaniacs, their blend of rock, conjunto, country and blues a mighty fine representation of one of the Tex-Mexiest places on Earth. Thursday night, when the Alamo City-based band takes the stage at Discovery Green with their accordion and bajo sexto, they’ll be joined by opener Amanda Cevallos with the High Hands band. The bilingual Cevallos’s throwback style of country has taken her all the way to France and even landed her a residency at Austin’s legendary honky-tonk The Broken Spoke. Don’t forget to bring a blanket or lawn chairs and a picnic – or just come hungry. Food, beer and wine will be available for purchase at the Lake House.
Siblings are Forever
7 p.m. Thursday, free
Brother and sister Magnar and Oddny run their family farm in Kleiva, Norway, as it’s been done for generations – though they did upgrade from horse to tractor, and they picked up a cassette player in the ’80s. But the pair, now in their seventies, contend with age and declining health, threats to not only their annual trek into the mountains for summer grazing but to their entire lifestyle, in Frode Fimland’s 2014 film Siblings are Forever. The film is the first of four Norwegian-produced documentaries, curated by Cressandra Thibodeaux, to be screened this month courtesy of 14 Pews’ collaboration with the Norwegian Consulate General and the Norwegian Film Institute. Saint Arnolds will be present providing complimentary beer, and there will be a talkback after each screening moderated by former Consul General of Norway Lasse Seim.
The Breakfast Club
Historic Market Square Houston
7:30 p.m. Friday, free
Bring a blanket or a lawn chair and join a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal as Alamo Drafthouse Houston presents John Hughes’s classic, The Breakfast Club, at Historic Market Square. In the endlessly quotable and always relevant 1985 film – as if you haven’t seen it already – five seemingly disparate teenagers, trapped for a day in detention, break through the social strata of high school to find common ground and friendship in unlikely packages. Be sure to bring dinner or stop by one of the many restaurants in the area, like nearby Niko Niko’s, before the movie.
El Grito featuring Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles
Miller Outdoor Theatre
7:30 p.m. Friday, free
On September 16, 1810, a priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla residing in the Mexican city of Dolores rang the parish bell calling the Mexican people to rise against the Spanish and fight for independence. Known now as “el Grito,” meaning “the Cry,” it’s one of the most iconic moments in Mexican history, celebrated every year, and you can experience a Grito ceremony Friday night at Miller Outdoor Theatre, along with a performance from America's first all-female mariachi band, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles. Since forming in 1994, the ensemble has found success in the male-dominated world of mariachi, all while collecting accolades and performing for celebrities like Tom Cruise, Oprah and the Obamas.
5th Annual Pearland International Festival
Pearland Town Center at Memorial Hermann Pavilion
11 a.m. Saturday, $10
The two-day festival may begin Friday, but Saturday’s festivities include international food; cultural performances from around the world, from Panama to India; live music by the Modulation Band, Sandy G. y Los Gavilanes and Brave Combo; and an enhanced Kids Zone, complete with face-painting, arts and crafts, and rides. Members of the Houston Rockets and Texans street teams will also be present. Remember, kids under 12 get in free, and service-member and senior tickets are only $5. This year the festival has also partnered with the Pearland Neighborhood Center and will be collecting nonperishable food and monetary donations on Saturday for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
In Conversation: Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz with Curators
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
2 p.m. Saturday, free
Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz have been making a name for themselves since 2007, but the Berlin-based duo is now coming stateside for their first solo U.S. exhibit, “Telepathic Improvisation.” It features two new sculptures and a film of the same name, so expect a thoughtful look at the tension between action and the thought of action, current societal conditions, surveillance culture and the relationship between humans and non-human objects. The (also free) opening reception is Friday night at 6:30 p.m., but our bet is that Saturday’s conversation with Boudry / Lorenz, the exhibit’s guest curator Alhena Katsof and museum curator Dean Daderko will be can’t-miss – though you could always do both.
Beauty and the Beast
Sugar Land Town Square
7:30 p.m. Saturday, free
A tale as old as time and a song as old as rhyme come to Sugar Land Town Square this Saturday when they and First Colony Church of Christ screen the 1991 Disney animated classic – and Best Picture nominee – Beauty and the Beast. Featuring the voice talent of Paige O’Hara, Robby Benson, Jerry Orbach and Angela Lansbury, and the music of the legendary Alan Menken and Howard Ashman (who earned three nominations for Best Original Song, with “Beauty and the Beast” taking the prize), the film is the epitome of the Golden Age of Disney. So, if you know anyone who’s only seen this year’s Emma Watson version, be sure to drag that person along too.
Salsa y Salud
Miller Outdoor Theatre
8 p.m. Saturday, free
A little Latin flair once again takes over the Miller Outdoor Theatre, as the performers and musicians of Salsa y Salud take the stage Saturday night. Salsa y Salud is billed as the state’s biggest live salsa and dance show; with a cast of more than 40, composed of local, regional and international artists, it’s pretty easy to believe it is. The show promises to be a fully staged theatrical production with original choreography, world premiere works and plenty of upbeat music to keep the party going.
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Knife in the Water
9 p.m. Monday, free
In 1962, Roman Polanski found himself hanging over the side of a boat trying to film his first feature-length movie, all the while contending with two inexperienced actors (out of a cast of three), his wife’s request for a divorce, a car accident, and rumors of orgies and overspending plaguing his set – not to mention accusations that his film didn’t uphold the communist ideology of Poland. Though the film, Knife in the Water, did in fact end his career in Poland for the next 40 years, it went on to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film. Polanski may have lost the Oscar to Fellini, but his debut, the story of a rich couple who invite a hitchhiker to join them on vacation, is still a classic worth seeing.
Astros Game Night
7:10 p.m. Wednesday, free
Let’s face it, sports are best enjoyed in a communal setting, so if you can’t make it over to Minute Maid to see the ‘Stros take on the White Sox, check out the game at Memorial City on the 28’x14’ high-definition big screen. Pick up something at the food court for dinner, bring your lawn chairs and blankets and be ready to discuss the most important questions of the day with your fellow Astros fans: Was Verlander the missing piece? Do the Astros have the pitching to make a deep playoff run? And to whom do we send a strongly worded letter if Altuve doesn’t win AL MVP?