Free for All: Katherine Howe, Taikoza and Theater District Open House

Best-selling author Katherine Howe signs and discusses her new book, The House of Velvet and Glass, at Murder by the Book on Friday. Howe, who was born in Houston, was trained as an art historian and Velvet and Glass, like her debut release, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, features a detailed, accurate depiction of the physical world her characters live in, from architectural details to popular art to, in this case, the spiritualist practices of the upper classes. The book is set in 1915, a time that, Howe notes, saw a great cultural and social change. Like the other women of that time, Howe's main character, Sibyl Allston, was born in the Victorian era but lived to see the dawn of the 20th century.

Katherine Howe appears at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, visit the bookstore's Web site or call 713-524-8597.
Taikoza, a percussion group specializing in the Japanese tradition of taiko, or big drums, brings their powerful performance to Miller Outdoor Theatre on Saturday. In addition to the giant drums, group members play bamboo flutes and traditional, folk string instruments. The group is led by Marco Lienhard, a remarkable taiko musician who's been performing internationally since the early 1980s.

Taikoza performs at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Dr. For information, visit the theater's Web site or call 281-373-3386.

There's just one place for performing arts lovers to be on Sunday, the 19th Annual Theater District Day. Houston is one of only five cities in the country with standing professional companies in opera, dance, theater and music, and the only city to boast an open house that includes all of those groups and all of their venues. Singers, musicians and dancers will perform bits from the upcoming season and lead Q&A sessions throughout the afternoon. There will be backstage tours, family activities and a concert by the Houston Symphony.

Theater District Day is the perfect chance for audiences to pick up sweet deals on season tickets. Each company (Alley Theatre, Da Camera of Houston, Gexa Energy Broadway at the Hobby Center, Houston Symphony, Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Society for the Performing Arts, Theatre Under the Stars and Uniquely Houston®) will have discounted season tickets with low, one-day-only pricing. Stop by Jones Hall and pick up a Houston Press Arts Guide with info on the upcoming season.

The 19th Annual Theater District Day runs noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday in the Downtown Theater District, Texas at Louisiana. For information, visit the district's Web site or call 713-658-8938.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Olivia Flores Alvarez