Following the long Memorial Day weekend, you may find yourself a little strapped for cash, but don’t fret – there is still plenty to do around Houston this week that won’t break what’s left of your wallet. A Texas Country staple in Conroe, acrobats on the Plaza and a celebration of tea bowls are just a few of the things that can keep you busy this week. 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.
Mike and the Moonpies with Randall King
6:30 p.m. Thursday, free
Just last month Mike and the Moonpies was named one of the Houston Press’s 10 Best Texas Country Live Acts, and now you have the opportunity to catch them as they grace the City of Conroe’s First Thursday Free Concert Series stage. Following the December release of their live album, Live at WinStar World Casino & Resort, and only two years removed from arguably their best album to date, Mockingbird, the Austin-based six-piece and opener Randall King will bring their signature honky-tonk dancehall feel to Heritage Place. King goes on at 6:30 p.m., with Mike and the Moonpies following at 8 p.m. Bring your own chairs, blankets, food and non-alcoholic drinks (and don’t be put off – beer and concessions will be available onsite too).
"Unspeakably human or unimaginably bestial?" Opening Artist Reception
Anya Tish Gallery
6 p.m. Friday, free
The three-person exhibit at Anya Tish Gallery, presented in conjunction with PrintHouston, takes its name from Yahia Lababidi’s poem What do animals dream? and like the creatures Lababidi seeks to understand, the artists – JooYoung Choi, Gao Hang and Karen Lederer – seek to bring them to life, through the lens of pop culture and today's digital aesthetics. Choi, whose work is also currently displayed at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, contributes sculpture influenced by children’s television shows like Pee-wee’s Playhouse and Sesame Street. Gao paints his fluorescent-hued predators in portrait, more reminiscent of human being than of wild animal, and Lederer’s bold, Instagram-cropped monoprints favor patterns, consumer products, art history references and, of course, fish and reptiles. The exhibit runs through July 15.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
7 p.m. Friday, $9
Both an interpretation of her own youth and a spin on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale The Little Mermaid, Agnieszka Smoczyska’s fantasy/horror/musical with vampiric mermaids is as vivid in ideas as it is in color. The coming-of-age story follows two sisters, Gold and Silver, as they settle on land, become popular nightclub singers, and struggle through some serious issues – one her bloodlust and the other her desire for human love – to the beat of an ’80s New Wave soundtrack. If you can’t make it out Friday, The Lure screens a second time on June 9.
Sizzling Summer Dance
Miller Outdoor Theatre
8:30 p.m. Friday, free
Metdance brings its 21st season, “United in Dance,” to a close yet again at Miller Outdoor Theatre with Sizzling Summer Dance. This year’s concert features two world premieres; one, from New York-based choreographer Emily Schoen, and the other from Hattie Haggard, recipient of Metdance's 2017 Emerging Choreographer commission. Like the season, the evening will showcase works representing different styles, cultural backgrounds and inspirations to celebrate the diversity of METdance, and will also include a performance from the MET too Youth Company. Though the entertainment is completely free, for a $20 donation (tax-deductible), METdance will reserve seats for you.
Summer Jam at the Moody
Moody Center for the Arts
12 p.m. Saturday, free
DJ Flash Gordon Parks kicks off a day of family-friendly programming at Rice’s Moody Center for the Arts, where New York-based artist David Scanavino will unveil his new site-specific sculpture Repeater. The immersive, Rubik’s Cube-like maze of multicolored industrial tiles spans the floor and travels up the walls 24 feet high, playfully skewing the shape of the room. Following Scanavino’s presentation, spoken-word artist Outspoken Bean will perform with poets from Meta-Four Houston and Houston V.I.P. Poetry Slam before the Aurora Picture Show takes over the Lois Chiles Studio Theater at 4:30 p.m. to screen a selection from the Punto y Raya (Dot & Line) Festival.
Yunomi Tea Bowl Festival: A Celebration of Bowls Opening Reception
5 p.m. Saturday, free
Swing by [TEA+ART] during June’s First Saturday Arts Market for the Yunomi Tea Bowl Festival, a juried collection of recently made Japanese teacups. Yunomi is an everyday teacup for daily use, often made of ceramic and taller than it is wide, distinguished by its trimmed or turned foot. PrintHouston will be present at Saturday’s opening reception to display prints dedicated to the bowl, in addition to a scheduled kimono show, ikebana demonstration and matcha cocktails and snacks available until 10 p.m. If you can’t make it for opening night, don’t worry; the exhibit will be on display through June 25.
Compagnie XY: It's Not Yet Midnight...
Plaza at Avenida Houston
8 p.m. Saturday, free
Compagnie XY ain’t your grandpappy’s circus; in fact, it bears little resemblance to anything Barnum, Bailey or the Ringling Brothers ever produced. The 22-member troupe is bringing its unique blend of acrobatics, dance and theatrics to the Plaza for the U.S. premiere of It’s Not Yet Midnight, a by turns playful and poignant show that will give you your fill of backflips, leaps, somersaults and impressive towers of people. The hourlong show celebrates human solidarity; its tagline: “alone we go faster; together we go further.” Compagnie XY will also perform at 8 p.m. Friday, June 2.
2017 Festival de Mariachi
12 p.m. Sunday, free
What's better than spending a day at the market at Traders Village? Spending a day at the market at Traders Village to the tune of live mariachi music. The Festival de Mariachi will feature some of the best live mariachi groups in Houston performing all day from noon to 4 p.m., and Univision Radio will also be on hand for giveaways. The festival is free, but for $9.99 you can purchase a day pass, valid on all 11 of the amusement-park rides. If rides aren’t your thing, the music, shopping, food and drinks should do it.
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Houston Symphony's Summer Community Concert Series
Lilly Grove Missionary Baptist Church
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, free
It's that time of year again to let the Houston Symphony come to you. Associate Conductor Robert Franz will take Music Inspired by the Arts, a program that includes selections from well-known operas and ballets (Bizet's Carmen and Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty) and famous films (Beauty and the Beast and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial), around Houston this June, with a first stop at the Lilly Grove Missionary Baptist Church. Make it a point to bring the kids to the Instrument Petting Zoo, open 45 minutes before the concert, so they can experience blowing a trumpet without committing to the agonizing (for your ears) practice schedule. Additional concerts are at North Shore Senior High School on June 7, Spring High School on June 8, Dobie High School on June 10, and Cypress Ridge High School on June 13.
The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South book signing
7 p.m. Wednesday, free
Nothing says the South like its food, and Georgia’s John T. Edge knows it. The director of the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi traces the history of Southern food, beginning with Georgia Gilmore and the civil rights movement in 1955 all the way to 2015, as immigrants from countries like Mexico and Vietnam continue to evolve what has long been America’s signature cuisine. In between, Edge profiles an eclectic cast of characters – Craig Claiborne, Fannie Lou Hamer, Mahalia Jackson, Harland Sanders, Paul Prudhomme, Paula Deen, Stephen Gaskin – that all played pivotal roles over the past 50 years, uncovering along the way the complex and uncomfortable relationship between poverty, racism and what’s on our plate.