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The Five Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Copa, Kusama and Rainbows

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It's safe to say that everybody is excited about this summer's don't-miss exhibit at the MFAH, featuring cute and colorful works by the insanely popular Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. But "At the End of the Universe" doesn't open until Sunday, which leaves plenty of time for clever wink-wink comedy onstage, a celebration of gay pride, the masterful music of David Bowie and fútbol fever — courtesy of COPA — the biggest international soccer event in the U.S. since the ’94 World Cup.

Chris Patton of Standing Room Only Productions thinks that we may be in an era when Broadway producers will turn almost any movie into a musical; to poke fun at that trend, Jon and Al Kaplan turned Silence of the Lambs into an outrageously comedic musical called SILENCE! The Musical. “I didn’t realize how funny the show was until I approached it from a directorial standpoint and spent time with the book. It’s one of those laugh-a-minute, Airplane-style scripts,” says Patton, who directs. He’s taking an unusual approach to the production by using a lowbrow, minimalist style. “I’ve really pushed for this concept of a rough theater production. What we’re doing is extremely stripped-down and purposefully low-rent,” Patton says. The show alone has enough entertainment value to captivate the audience, in Patton’s eyes. “It makes The Book of Mormon blush at some point. This show is exceptionally blue and clever, with winks and nods to the audience.” We could use a little of that right about now, putting this on our list for Friday night fun.

8 p.m. Friday. Continuing Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and June 13; 3 p.m. June 19. Through June 25. Obsidian Theater, 3522 White Oak. For information, call 713-300-2358 or visit obsidiantheater.org. To purchase tickets, please click here. $27.50 to $37.50. 

The whole world has fútbol fever and all eyes are on H-Town Saturday night for the big group match between Colombia and Costa Rica, a precursor to Monday's battle between Mexico and Venezuela in Copa America Centenario USA 2016, the biggest international soccer event in the United States since the ’94 World Cup. It’s all leading up to the big semi-finals on June 21, and rabid fans are painting faces, donning luchador masks and flying their favorite country's flags. “The best part about going to these games is the loud, excited atmosphere and energy level of the fans throughout the entire game,” says Dimitri Skoumpourdis, a native Houstonian and veteran soccer fan. “This diverse city is filled with passionate fans as two soccer-crazed nations meet in a city with such a thriving Hispanic population. I expect the crowd to favor Mexico since Houston is so close to them geographically.” Six years ago, the vuvuzela became a hit during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but this year it’s all about the percussion caxirola. It’s banned from stadiums, but bring on the noise, because Lucky's Pub Downtown is your COPA headquarters all month, with tons of beer and shot specials, making it one of our picks for Saturday night.

8 p.m. Saturday. NRG Stadium, One NRG Park. For information, call 800-745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com. $62 to $500.
Lucky’s Pub Downtown is at 801 Saint Emanuel. For information, call 713-522-2010 or visit luckyspub.com.

David Bowie entertained us through the years. He was an actor, singer, activist and one of the most prolific entertainers of our lifetime — perhaps best described as flamboyancy incarnate. Conductor and arranger Brent Havens had been stitching together a Music of David Bowie concert for the better part of a year before the singer passed. “We have been looking at doing a David Bowie show since last June. I go through a whole bunch of statistics to make sure that what we present will be what people want to see. We look at sales, how many albums have they sold. Is their catalog large enough to fill a show?” Those are the questions that fill Havens’s head. But all we care about is whether it’s going to be a good show, and it’s shaping up that way, with megahits like “Space Oddity,” “Changes,” “Under Pressure,” “Heroes,” “Rebel Rebel,” “Fame,” “China Girl” and more, yielding a poignant celebration of the Thin White Duke. Join front man and vocalist Brody Dolyniuk, the Houston Symphony and a full rock band for a stunning musical odyssey. We weren't ready to say good-bye to David Bowie, and Saturday night's event should help ease the pain.

7:30 p.m. Saturday. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $39 to $99. 

June is Gay Pride Month, and Discovery Green doesn’t disappoint. The park is bringing the gayest and the greatest to Houston for a celebration that is not to be missed. “We’re gonna roll out the rainbow carpet,” says Susanne Theis, programming director for the park. The local hangout will feature the entertainment of the “Tell It to My Heart” chanteuse Taylor Dayne, the kid idol turned country star Billy Gilman and the best Dolly Parton illusionist ever to set a sequined shoe onstage: Vancie Vega. Aside from the immense talent that’s already gracing the boards, Vancie, a locally raised actress, has been entertaining people for more than 20 years with a Dolly impersonation that will leave you questioning if it’s truly the real deal. Stay loud. Stay proud. And do it with a rainbow flag. The party, known as the 6th Annual Land Rover Houston Central’s Rainbow on the Green®, also has the Houston Gaymers on hand, offering the opportunity to play Super Smash Bros., Wii U and Mario Kart, plus there’s a Just Dance setup for everyone to groove to the beat. Also, don’t forget to register to win prizes from Out At The Rodeo, QFest and the Houston Dynamo. Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome. Bring your cash, people. No matter what color of the rainbow you are, green always speaks, and beer and wine are available for purchase. It looks like a blast, making Discovery Green one of our top spots for Saturday night.

7 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. For information, call 713-400-7336 or visit discoverygreen.com. Free. 

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is insanely popular, with desperate fans setting up camp outside museums to see her brightly colored, culture-of-cuteness, polka-dot sculptures and infinity rooms. Born in 1929, she influenced Andy Warhol, is considered a predecessor of Pop Art, sports a wicked carrot-colored pageboy and is the darling of the Instagram world. Props to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston for its recent acquisition of Aftermath of Obliteration of Infinity, which led to this summer’s don’t-miss exhibit, “Kusama: At the End of the Universe.” “She made her first infinity rooms in the mid-1960s, and they are so called because the mirrored floors, ceilings, walls give you the sense that the reflections bounce around. That everything’s infinitely reproduced,” says Alison de Lima Greene, Isabel Brown Wilson curator of modern and contemporary art. She describes the installation as a “wonderful house-of-mirrors effect.” The other large installation, Love Is Calling, is a soft-sculpture, polka-dotted fantasy world illuminated from within with changing colors. “[She’s a] cerebral artist with a sense of delight. When I explain it, you go, ‘Oh my God, that’s such a head trip,’ but when you visit, it’s pure visual delight,” says de Lima Greene. It's also our top pick for entertainment this Sunday. Even if you can't get in, don't wait until the tail end of this exhibit. The Museo Tamayo in Mexico City was forced to stay open for 36 hours straight during the final days of the exhibition to accommodate the 10,000 fans lined up to see her work.

12:15 to 7 p.m. Sunday. Continuing 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 12:15 to 7 p.m. Sundays. June 12 through September 18. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7300 or visit mfah.org. $18 to $25; free for members. 

Sam Byrd, Alexandra Doyle and Bill Simpson contributed to this post.

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