According to StubHub, prices for Super Bowl tickets have risen as high as $15,432. For the other 99 percent, we've got a hefty lineup of cheap and free events this week in Houston, many with a Super Bowl theme, including an appearance by former Houston Oiler Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, a mini-lecture about the health benefits of beer (we knew it) and the collaborative, multi-district Game City Showcase. 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.
Menil Neighborhood Night
The Menil Collection
5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, free
Holy Barbarians, Batman! The Menil Collection is always a cool oasis of culture and class, but something magical happens after dark. They're keeping the doors open late this Thursday for the swanky public program Menil Neighborhood Night, giving us a chance at art, music and food trucks courtesy of Oddball Eats and Good Dog. The HSPVA Jazz Combo is offering an hourlong set at 5:30 p.m., then we can head inside to see what all the buzz is about with the Bohemian exhibit "Holy Barbarians: Beat Culture on the West Coast." Sounds like a great way to kick off a weekend of football, and it's presented in conjunction with Game City Showcase and the Houston Museum District Association.
Beer Science and Body Art
The Health Museum
6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, free
Explore beer in new and unexpected ways with Beer Science and Body Art. Chad Pilbeam, author of Beer Logic® “Everything I ever needed to know, I learned from beer”™, is giving a couple of 20-minute presentations about the health benefits of beer at 7 and 8 p.m. You can test that theory, too, because Southern Star Brewing Company, No Label Brewing Company and Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company will be on hand with samples, or at least while the supply lasts. Be sure to check out the amazing new exhibit, "BODY WORLDS RX: Prescriptions for Healthy Living," participate in a scavenger hunt and meet former San Francisco 49er and Jacksonville Jaguar Joe Wesley; he's made it all the way to the top and now serves as president of the NFL Former Player Association.
Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park
7:30 p.m. Thursday, $9
Yes, folks, it's Groundhog Day, and whether it's cloudy or sunny outside, it's a great time to re-watch Harold Ramis's ultimate do-over flick. Bill Murray plays self-involved Pittsburgh weatherman Phil Connors, grumbling over his latest assignment, to cover the annual festival in nearby Punxsutawney. Each morning he awakens a bit more enlightened, and his ironic insults soon give way to a sweet fable about humanity.
Far Out: Poems of the ‘60s
7 p.m. Thursday, free
Ask 80 people what it was like to live through the '60s, and you likely will receive almost as many answers. Some fought in the Vietnam War while others protested against it; some tuned in to watch the funerals of Medgar Evers, John F. Kennedy and Malcolm X while others tuned out. It was an era of change that included the emergence of the Black Power Movement, the rise of Second-Wave Feminism and the Apollo 11 moon landing. About seven years ago David Parsons and Wendy Barker were discussing how their respective poetry collections elicited such positive responses from audience members, and the idea for Far Out: Poems of the '60s came about. Tonight's book signing includes readings from Michael Anania, Roberto Bonazzi, Sybil Estess, Dede Fox, Janet Lowery, Bryce Milligan, Dave Parsons, Robert Phillips, Martha Serpas and Randall Watson.
The Barber of Seville
9:30 and 11:15 a.m. Friday, free
9:30 and 11:15 a.m. Saturday, free
HGOco and Opera to Go! are rolling out the red carpet and inviting Houstonians to Rossini's hilarious masterpiece, The Barber of Seville, in a new, bite-sized adaptation. This classic retelling of threatened young lovers, a meddling and stubborn uncle and Figaro the barber/translator is just 45 minutes in length and is sung in both English and Spanish.
Opening Reception for "Pocket Museum"
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
5:50 to 8 p.m. Friday, free
Hello! Cuteness alert. When we heard about the new "Pocket Museum" exhibit, we had no idea that meant itty, bitty, tiny, little objects and tools. Working with ceramic, fiber, glass, metal and wood, the five contributing artists give us a contemporary look at this timeless art form. The reception also celebrates the opening of two other exhibits: "United by Hand: Work and Service by Drew Cameron, Alicia Dietz, and Ehren Tool," which pays tribute to U.S. veterans; and "Future Tradition: Melissa Cody," an exploration of Navajo art by a fourth-generation weaver.
Etched in the Eye Concert and "In a New Light" Preview
7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, free
We're always digging the previews over at Archway Gallery, with the light bites, fabulous art and great people-watching. But this Saturday's reception has a little lagniappe, courtesy of artist and – who knew? – musician Sandy Ewen. Apparently Sandy has an experimental music trio, Etched in the Eye, and they're offering up a free concert while we check out the newest art from Jane Ewen and her architect/artist daughter Sandy. It's a collaborative installation, pairing Jane's large-format abstracts with Sandy's projections of micro-collages. If you're still hungry, the Food Music Life food truck will be on hand; they're always reinventing their menu, so come see what's cooking this week.
The Square at Memorial City
3 to 11 p.m. Saturday, free
They've been counting down to the big game all week over at Memorial City, but come Saturday it's time to dust off your training shoes and get ready for the End Zone Celebration Dance-Off. Former Houston Oiler Billy "White Shoes" Johnson will be on hand for a live interview and autographs, as well as a performance of his famous "funky chicken" end zone dance.
Ultimate Big Game Watch Party
The Square at Memorial City
3 to 9 p.m. Sunday, free
If you haven't yet made plans for where you're going to watch the big game, why not come back to The Square with your blankets, chairs and a few friends to cheer on your favorite team. The Patriots and the Falcons have both earned the right to take the field against one another, but which one has the edge?
Black Girl (La noire de …)
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, $7 to $9
This early classic of post-colonial African cinema maintains a contemporary feel as it tells the story of Diouana (Mbissine Thérèse Diop), a young woman who moves from Dakar to Antibes. She's been hired to work as a nanny in pre-independence Senegal by a wealthy French couple but, instead of finding an exciting new life in France, she suffers harsh treatment at the hands of her employers. If you find that you can't break away from the television for whatever reason, MFA is showing it again at 2 p.m. February 26.
The Secret Group (new location)
8 p.m. Tuesday, $5
It's their second time back at The Secret Group for this "made-up words adventure" that modernizes the Japanese art form from the silent film era, where performers would stand beside movie screens to introduce and relate the story to audience members. Neo-Benshi pairs teams of two to reinterpret clips of varying mediums in a weird and wonderful updating of this long-honored tradition. The doors open at 7:30 p.m., and be sure to bring your I.D.
A Little Day Music
Wortham Theater Center
Noon Wednesday, free
By now tsunami Super Bowl has come and gone, but not without a few ripples. Da Camera usually presents A Little Day Music on the first Wednesday of the month, but because of all that hoopla, we get to hear it this Wednesday. Bring your lunch and your friends to enjoy one of the longest-running free concert series in Houston. Da Camera young artists and a few special guests will treat music lovers to works by Schubert, Brahms and Beethoven, as well as Hugo Wolf's excerpts from Italienisches Liederbuch.
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