Things To Do

Ten Things to Do in Houston for $10 or Less (Nine Free), September 21-27

An amateur women's volleyball team plays their first match in 30 years in The Optimists, screening at 14 Pews.
An amateur women's volleyball team plays their first match in 30 years in The Optimists, screening at 14 Pews. Courtesy of Skofteland Film
Fall officially starts this week, so here’s to soon not sweating through your clothes every time you leave the house – and there are plenty of budget-conscious reasons to leave the house this week. Looking for a bluesy night of music on Discovery Green? A little something spicy on your palate? How about a country tradition coming to Pearland? 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.

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Alex Lemon stops by Brazos Bookstore to discuss his newest memoir, Feverland.
Author photo by Christian Weber
Feverland book signing
Brazos Bookstore
7 p.m. Thursday, free

After his critically acclaimed book about his mother, Happy: A Memoir, author (and Texas Christian University professor) Alex Lemon has turned his attention to his own lifelong struggle with a variety of medical issues in Feverland: A Memoir in Shards. Kirkus says “Lemon’s kaleidoscopic, occasionally scattershot chapters offer a collage of dreams, hallucinations, childhood memories, anecdotes about his wife and young son, references to literature, art, and popular culture, and, of course, the state of his body and mind” while adding that “[a]lthough sometimes maddening to read, Lemon’s collision of ideas and images adds up to a celebration of a life unbowed by suffering.”

The Optimists
14 Pews
7 p.m. Thursday, free

Imagine an amateur women’s volleyball team on which the athletes not only range in age from 66 to 98 but haven’t actually played a match in 30 years. In director Gunhild Westhagen Magnor’s 2013 documentary The Optimists, screening as part of 14 Pews’ Norwegian Film Series, the women decide to take the plunge and go for it – setting up a match against a Swedish men’s team, that is. The Hollywood Reporter calls the film “charming,” saying, “[f]or all its spunk and humor, The Optimists is an illuminating look at the way the elderly live, at least in a Nordic social democracy with universal health care,” and that “the film finds droll comedy in the lead-up to the showdown.

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The Peterson Brothers and Charley Crockett bring the blues to Discovery Green on Thursday.
Courtesy of Discovery Green
Peterson Brothers and Charley Crockett
Discovery Green
7 p.m. Thursday, free

Listen as the Green turns blue Thursday night when Green Mountain Energy presents a Thursday night concert with a bluesy double bill of the Peterson Brothers and Charley Crockett. The Peterson Brothers – Glenn Jr. on guitar and lead vocals and his brother Alex on bass – released their first album in 2005 while still teenagers and have since become quite the staple on the Texas blues scene, opening for artists like B.B. King, Willie Nelson and Los Lonely Boys. The Dallas-based bluesman Charley Crockett also released his first album in ’05 and recently recorded and dropped an album of his favorite honky-tonk songs earlier this month.

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Touch Box, 2017, Custom room, tactile transducers, microphone, custom software, 8.5’ x 6’ x 8.5’ / Dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist
“Backdrop & Blocker” and “Touch box” opening reception
Lawndale Art Center
6 p.m. Friday, free

In his solo exhibit, "Backdrop & Blocker," Austin-based sculptor Sterling Allen presents a site-specific installation that evokes architectural relationships and spatial connections, and celebrates elements of pop, function and failure, while Houston-based visual artist and musician (and teacher at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and Houston Community College) Katherine Trimble explores the boundaries between sound and music, and language and sound, in her installation, "Touch Box." The opening reception for the two exhibits kicks off Lawndale’s fall season, with artist talks beginning at 6 p.m. Both exhibitions will remain on view through October 22.

Hidden Figures
Discovery Green
8 p.m. Friday, free

Based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s 2016 book, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race, Theodore Melfi’s 2016 film dramatizes the experiences of three mathematicians – Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – who worked at NASA during the space race while contending with racism both in society and at work. The film, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe, went on to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, a Best Supporting Actress nod for Spencer and another nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

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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.