Have no fear, breaking your budget isn’t in the cards this week. From a topical dance to an important documentary, a day well-spent at the beach to some casual shopping at a curated arts market, there is plenty to do this week without breaking the bank (or your having to stop by an ATM). Keep reading for ten of our favorite events that won't cost you more than $10 — and six of them are free! Check out the Houston Press calendar for even more things to do.
World Oceans Day Festival
Stewart Beach Park
4 p.m. Thursday, free
As if you need a reason to go to the beach, June 8 is World Oceans Day, a U.N.-recognized celebration of all things aquatic that encourages you not only to appreciate the beauty of the sea, but also to take action on its behalf. Artist Boat is bringing this year’s “Our Oceans, Our Future”-themed festivities to Galveston, including a marine debris art contest and the musical stylings of Tom’s Fun Band. Plenty of local, regional and state organizations will also be on hand, like the Houston Zoo, FotoFest International and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Coastal Fisheries, with plenty to keep you busy.
"A Treatise on Love" by Ann Marie Vancas and "Whispers" by Maryam Lavaf Opening Reception
6 p.m. Thursday, free
The solo exhibits that grace the walls of SAMARA Gallery this month, from Houston-based artists Ann Marie Vancas and Maryam Lavaf, both feature work that has been inspired by sound and depict nature and human emotion in different but abstract ways. Vancas’s abstract surrealism, which she’s termed “sensuism,” is on display in “A Treatise on Love,” her paintings created by first matching music to her mood, choosing colors and then setting brush to canvas. Nature is a recurring theme in Lavaf’s art, and expect the pieces in “Whisper” to represent her connection to the elements of nature. The exhibits will be on view through July 8.
7 p.m. Friday, free
The “father of African cinema,” Ousmane Sembene was the first director from sub-Saharan Africa to make feature films, and those films did not shy away from controversial subjects like corruption, French colonialism and female genital mutilation. Jason Silverman co-directed this unflinching look at Sembene’s life with Samba Gadjigo, one of Sembene’s close friends and confidantes. Together they reveal a man who saw the power of giving Africans their own voice in cinema, and whose drive to make movies sometimes alienated him from his family, friends and principles. Following the screening, Houston Museum of African American Culture CEO John Guess will lead a talk-back with faculty from TSU and UH.
Never Again Lesson Two
7:30 p.m. Friday, free (suggested $10 donation)
Toni Leago Valle and 6 Degrees Dance present Never Again: Lesson Two, a piece that explores the current political landscape surrounding women, particularly in Texas, where more than 35 anti-abortion restrictions were proposed this session, some ending up in Texas’s latest sweeping anti-abortion law, SB 8. The lessons of Never Again together span women’s suffrage to Roe v. Wade to the Violence Against Women Act to today’s still-waging battles over women’s choice. Never Again: Lesson Two will be performed twice at Archway Gallery (Friday and Saturday, June 10) and Never Again: Lesson One and Lesson Three will premiere at The MATCH during Barnstorm Festival on June 15 and 17.
Pop Shop Houston Summer Festival
Silver Street Studios
10 a.m. Saturday, $8
Pop Shop Houston once again brings its two-day curated festival of handmade, vintage and one-of-a-kind items from more than 120 artists to Silver Street Studios. The indoor arts market also features art exhibits, live music, drinks, food (we hear The Burger Joint and Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream Co. will be there, among others), and a beauty bar manned by Milk + Honey Spa. Come early, because the first 50 through the door each day will get a goodie bag, and don’t miss the fashion show at 7 p.m. Saturday. The $8 admission is good all weekend, kids under 12 are free, and everyone is free Sunday after 3 p.m.
Elevator to the Gallows
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
5 p.m. Sunday, $9
Richard Brody of The New Yorker called Elevator to the Gallows notable for its “proto-New-Wavishness,” but Louis Malle’s 1958 melodramatic thriller (his debut feature) is most revered for its stellar score, mostly improvised, by Miles Davis, which is the reason it’s screening as part of the MFAH’s Jazz on Film series. The music is its own character, and coupled with Henri Decaë’s impressive cinematography and the breakthrough performance of Jeanne Moreau, the film is an underappreciated classic. Look for the famous shots of Moreau walking the streets of Paris to the sound of Davis’s trumpet; they’re a classic in cinema, and jazz, history.
"The Trinity River Plays"
6 p.m. Monday, $5
Regina Taylor’s triptych, the final installment in the Ensemble’s Salute to Texas Playwrights Series, looks at 18 years in the life of Iris Spears, first as a 17-year-old flirting with womanhood in Jar Fly; then as a newly divorced 34-year-old returning home to care for her mother in Rain. The final act, Ghost(story), set one year later, finds Iris struggling with the ghosts of her past as she tries to choose between her ex-husband and the man she crushed on as a teen. The Chicago Sun-Times called the “Trinity River Plays,” inspired by the life cycle of the cicada and named for the river that flows through her hometown of Dallas, a “real breakthrough” for Taylor.
The Moth "Celebration"
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, $10
The first Tuesday of every month, The Moth StorySLAM takes over the Warehouse Live stage for an evening of "true stories, told live, without notes." The Moth was launched by George Dawes Green in 1997, inspired by the tradition of Southern storytelling and named for the insects that would hover around the porch lights, and it has since grown to include live events in more than 25 cities and a weekly radio show that airs on 88.7 KUHF. Here, potential storytellers will put their names in a hat and, if chosen, get five minutes on the stage with a mike to regale the audience with a story on the night’s theme: “Celebration.”
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Say Girl Say with El Lago
5 p.m. Wednesday, free
Named the Press’s Best Alternative Act in 2015 and the Best Weird Act in 2016, Brigette Yawn and Suzan Zaghmouth, the duo behind Say Girl Say, will bring their arresting harmonies and mellow melodies to the Plaza Wednesday night. At 5 p.m., DJ Big Reeks will kick off the evening before Galveston’s indie four-piece El Lago takes the stage at 7 p.m., with Say Girl Say going on at 8 p.m., making for an eclectic night. As always, $4 craft beers from 5 to 6 p.m. while KRBE 104.1 broadcasts live from the Party on the Plaza, with games and giveaways to start the night off right.
Lakshmi (nicknamed Lucky) and her husband, Krishna, are settled comfortably in a marriage of convenience until Lucky returns home and reconnects with her former friend and first love, Nisha, herself about to enter into an arranged marriage. The debut novel from Sri Lanka-born, Massachusetts-raised author SJ Sindu, whose own parents tried to arrange a marriage for their daughter despite the fact that she had already come out to them, explores the road not taken, as a male friend did propose a similar arrangement to her that she eventually turned down. Marriage of a Thousand Lies is a rare book, written from a queer South Asian perspective, but a welcome addition to an all-too-small canon.