Lists

Ten Things to Do in Houston for $10 or Less (Nine Free), June 22-28

The Houston Symphony returns to Miller Outdoor Theatre for a summer night of music.
The Houston Symphony returns to Miller Outdoor Theatre for a summer night of music. Photo by Kennon Evett
Summer is officially here, which means it’s time to save for those sundry purchases you didn’t factor into your vacation budget. Luckily, you don’t have to stay in to save this week. From a catty art show to some anime, a symphony under the stars to some rockabilly on the green, there are still plenty of things to do in Houston that won’t break your soon-to-be broken bank in advance. 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.

click to enlarge Olga Campos Benz used her newsroom experience to write her debut novel, It’s News to Me. - PHOTO COURTESY OF OLGA CAMPOS BENZ
Olga Campos Benz used her newsroom experience to write her debut novel, It’s News to Me.
Photo courtesy of Olga Campos Benz
It’s News to Me book signing
Casa Ramirez Folk Art Gallery
6:30 p.m. Thursday, free

Houston native Olga Campos Benz has taken her 30-plus years of newsroom experience and written a book, her first, that gives audiences a little peek behind the curtain of the five o'clock news. The protagonist of It’s News to Me, Marissa Cavelo, is a news anchor in Austin unwillingly specializing in puff pieces. On a hunt for stories that will raise her profile and make her superiors take her seriously, Marissa stumbles upon a scandal, complete with criminals willing to do just about anything to keep her quiet. A strained relationship with her twin sister and a romantic interest in her photographer compound Marissa’s troubles in this ultimately humorous, thoroughly modern and Latin-flavored work of fiction.

click to enlarge Action adventure plays on the Square at Memorial City. - PHOTO COURTESY OF METRONATIONAL
Action adventure plays on the Square at Memorial City.
Photo courtesy of MetroNational
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Square at Memorial City
7 p.m. Thursday, free
’Tis the season for summer blockbusters and, yes, this is the one with the rolling boulder. Raiders of the Lost Ark kicked off a franchise in 1981 — Harrison Ford's second most famous franchise, that is — starring everyone's favorite archaeologist, Indiana Jones, in an action-adventure that stands the test of time. In this Steven Spielberg-directed film, Indy, in a race against the Nazis, is on the hunt for the Ark of the Covenant. Roger Ebert said the film “plays like an anthology of the best parts from all the Saturday matinee serials ever made” and is simply “just plain fun.” Since the next Indiana Jones film won't be out until 2020, this screening may be the only thing to tide you over until then.

click to enlarge Rosie Flores takes the stage at the second to last UHD/Discovery Green Thursday concert. - PHOTO COURTESY OF DISCOVERY GREEN
Rosie Flores takes the stage at the second to last UHD/Discovery Green Thursday concert.
Photo courtesy of Discovery Green
Rosie Flores with Sparky Parker
Discovery Green
7:30 p.m. Thursday, free

“The Rockabilly Filly,” Rosie Flores, brings her punk-born, alt-country sound to Discovery Green for the penultimate entry in the UHD/Discovery Green Thursday Concerts series. With a dozen albums and a constant touring schedule, the San Antonio-born Flores has become a Texas stage mainstay since releasing her first album in 1987. The elder stateswoman, for whom Austin has decreed August 31 “Rosie Flores Day,” still rocks and is just as likely to cover the Sex Pistols as she is to cover Johnny Cash. Joining the Austin Music Hall of Fame inductee on the bill is Sparky Parker, his bluesy guitar and vocals a perfect complement to Flores’s rock-flavored honky-tonk.


click to enlarge More than 100 artists contributed work to Texas Art Asylum’s Cat Art Show, including Milo Esquivel. - PHOTO COURTESY OF ARTIST MILO ESQUIVEL
More than 100 artists contributed work to Texas Art Asylum’s Cat Art Show, including Milo Esquivel.
Photo courtesy of Artist Milo Esquivel
The Cat Art Show
Texas Art Asylum
4 p.m. Saturday, free

If the Internet is to be believed, the one thing we can all agree on is cats. Grumpy cats, keyboard-playing cats, cats plotting world domination, etc. The Cat Art Show, from the catty cat people at Texas Art Asylum, will spend two days celebrating all things feline, with cat-related work from more than 100 local artists. Yes, that includes painted, printed, etched, beaded and sculpted cats, among other media. Boombox Tacos will be present Saturday with good eats, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. Plan to stop by between 4 and 9 p.m. on Saturday or 1 and 5 p.m. on Sunday.

click to enlarge Police corruption in the Arizona desert sends a mother on a desperate search for her children in Haylen Beck’s Here and Gone. - AUTHOR PHOTO BY OLLIE GROVE (CROPPED)
Police corruption in the Arizona desert sends a mother on a desperate search for her children in Haylen Beck’s Here and Gone.
Author photo by Ollie Grove (Cropped)
Here and Gone book signing
Murder By the Book
4:30 p.m. Saturday, free

Here and Gone, the debut novel from Haylen Beck (the pen name of established crime writer Stuart Neville), begins when protagonist Audra Kinney, a woman fleeing from an abusive husband with her two young children in tow, is pulled over for what should be a routine traffic stop in Arizona. But out of nowhere, the local sheriff is bringing drug charges against her, and not only do her children go missing, the sheriff says she never had any children with her at all. Beck’s psychological thriller explores corruption, trafficking and a parent’s desperation, and it’s already drawing comparisons to the work of authors like Harlan Coben. It’s also the first time the Northern Irish author has set one of his books in the States.

click to enlarge The Houston Symphony’s new Composer-in-Residence Jimmy López’s Fiesta! is on the program with Mozart and Dvorák at Miller Outdoor Theatre. - PHOTO BY KENNON EVETT
The Houston Symphony’s new Composer-in-Residence Jimmy López’s Fiesta! is on the program with Mozart and Dvorák at Miller Outdoor Theatre.
Photo by Kennon Evett
Mozart & Dvorák
Miller Outdoor Theatre
8:30 p.m. Saturday, free

David Danzmayr leads the Houston Symphony in a rousing program at Miller Outdoor Theatre, which includes the energetic Fiesta! by new composer-in-residence Jimmy López. The four movements of López’s Fiesta!, or “pop dances” as López calls them, are an eclectic mix with time- and globe-spanning influences, such as Latin-American, Afro-Peruvian and even today’s club music. Also on the program are Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 2, played by Principal Horn William VerMeulen, and Dvorák's Symphony No. 8., which, though it opens rather seriously, quickly takes a turn for the joyous as Dvorák musically waxes poetic about the wonders of nature.

click to enlarge Get ready for Meg Gardiner's new book, Unsub, to leave you unsettled. - PHOTO BY STUART BOREHAM
Get ready for Meg Gardiner's new book, Unsub, to leave you unsettled.
Photo by Stuart Boreham
Unsub book signing
Murder By the Book
6:30 p.m. Tuesday, free

Soon you can thank Meg Gardiner for unsub, a mash-up of unknown and subject, and a term about to be added to your lexicon of police jargon learned from books and TV. In Gardiner’s latest book, a serial killer called the Prophet appears to have unretired two decades after terrorizing the Bay Area and taking the lives of 11 people. Detective Caitlin Hendrix is put on the case, and though she may be new to Homicide, she knows the Prophet, who eluded her own father years before. Inspired by one of the best examples of an unsub, the Zodiac Killer, Publishers Weekly says “[t]aut pacing and sympathetic characters play against a terrifying villain, who will crawl beneath your skin and trouble your sleep.” And, not for nothing, CBS has already bought the rights for TV.

click to enlarge Anime on the big screen at the Alamo Drafthouse screening of Himouto! Umaru-Chan. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SENTAI FILMWORKS
Anime on the big screen at the Alamo Drafthouse screening of Himouto! Umaru-Chan.
Photo courtesy of Sentai Filmworks
Anime at the Alamo: Himouto! Umaru-Chan
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – Mason
7:45 p.m. Tuesday, free

Umaru Doma is the perfect 16-year-old. She's pretty, smart, athletic and popular, but at home, once her orange hamster hood goes on, she turns into an otaku slacker — a sloppy, demanding gamer and an absolute nightmare for her older brother Taihei. The anime adaptation of the 2013 manga series will screen in English, and members of the voice cast will be in attendance, but do note this one is for those 18 and up. Children six and up will be allowed in with an adult, but no one under six will be admitted. Interested parties can pick up tickets at the box office or reserve seats in the theater by buying a $5 food and beverage voucher.

click to enlarge From La Junta series, © 1971, Bill Wittliff. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WITTLIFF COLLECTIONS, TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY
From La Junta series, © 1971, Bill Wittliff.
Photo courtesy of the Wittliff Collections, Texas State University
"V.T. ‘Cowboy’ Williams" and "Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy" exhibits
Chappell Hill Historical Society Museum
10 a.m. Wednesday, free

Until his death in 2005, V.T. "Cowboy" Williams was a local staple, the last real cowboy of his time, who would happily regale interested parties with colorful stories, like the time he met Jesse James in 1946. The Chappell Hill Historical Society is once again hosting an exhibit on Williams, and this year it will be accompanied by "Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy," an exhibit from the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University featuring the photos of Bill Wittliff, who visited a North Mexico ranch and documented the work of the Mexican cowboys or “vaqueros.” Both exhibits run through July 23, and on July 4, there will be a cowboy roundup featuring live music, a chuck wagon and petting zoo.

Sedotta e Abbandonata
Italian Cultural and Community Center
7:15 p.m. Wednesday, $10
Pietro Germi’s 1964 film, Sedotta e Abbandonata (Seduced and Abandoned), is a critical and darkly humorous look at a troubling Sicilian social custom: the tradition that a rapist could avoid prison time if he married the victim, which would also restore honor to the victim’s family. The harsh but folly-filled look at village life is an example of commedia all’italiana – complete with plot points going by at breakneck speed, including a murder plot, a nunnery, dental work, a suicide attempt, broken engagements and death – and the second in a trilogy for Germi (with Divorce Italian Style and The Birds, the Bees and the Italians).
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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.