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Among the main attraction consignments at Mecum Auctions is a 1967 Shelby GT350 Fastback, the result of a concours nut-and-bolt restoration completed in 2017.
Among the main attraction consignments at Mecum Auctions is a 1967 Shelby GT350 Fastback, the result of a concours nut-and-bolt restoration completed in 2017.
Photo by David Newhardt, Mecum Auctions

Best Bets This Weekend in Houston: Margaret Atwood, Fast Cars and 'Stros

There's literally something for everybody this weekend in Houston. Muscle cars, literary superstar Margaret Atwood, opening day for baseball, and even a plant sale to jumpstart your pollinator garden. Film buffs can choose between attending WorldFest or seeing home movies on the Menil's exterior; music lovers have opera, chamber music and the scores from Hitchcock thrillers; and there's also a cerebral look at what it must feel like to be Muslim in America after 9/11. Keep reading but be forewarned, you'll want to do it all.

More than 1,000 muscle cars, classics, Corvettes, exotics, hot rods and motorcycles are up for grabs this weekend when Mecum Auctions takes over NRG Center. Guatemalan businessman Mario Sueiras spent 50 years in pursuit of rare cars and 50 lots are coming from his private collection, including 13 microcars. But everybody is talking about the main attraction consignments, including a 1967 Shelby GT350 Fastback; its restoration was completed in 2017 and incorporated mostly original parts. Mecum is the world's largest collector-car auction company so, whether you're a buyer, seller or spectator, it's going to be an exciting weekend.

Mecum Houston 2019 is scheduled for April 4 through April 6 at 8 a.m. Thursday through Saturday at NRG Center, One NRG Park. For information, call 262-275-5050 or visit mecum.com. General admission is $20 to $30 (free for children 12 and under); bidder registration is $200.

Society for the Performing Arts presents An Evening with Margaret Atwood.
Society for the Performing Arts presents An Evening with Margaret Atwood.
Photo by Liam Sharp

We won't know Offred's fate until September when Margaret Atwood's The Testaments: A Novel drops. But until then longtime readers and new converts from Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale can look forward to An Evening with Margaret Atwood this Friday night, courtesy of Society for the Performing Arts. She'll dish on literature, social activism, political engagement and the creative process, as well as on the artist’s role in society, technology and art.

An Evening with Margaret Atwood is scheduled for April 5 at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-227-4772 or visit spahouston.org/performances/margaret-atwood. $35 to $85.

If you've got an up and coming Spielberg or Lucas in the family, or want to see what neighboring artists have been up to, then head out to BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer), where images, videos and films are projected onto the outside facade of The Menil Collection. It's a partnership between the museum and Aurora Picture Show and was inspired by the 2010 event in Berlin that was conceived by New York-based artist Rafaël Rozendaal. Bring your picnic baskets and blankets to the Main Building Lawn. The rain date is April 12.

Bring Your Own Beamer is scheduled for April 5 from 8 to 10 p.m. at The Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross. For information, call 713-525-9400 or 713-868-2101 or visit menil.org or aurorapictureshow.org. Free.

The Houston Astros open the season with home games against the Oakland Athletics.
The Houston Astros open the season with home games against the Oakland Athletics.
Photo by Marco Torres

It's a new season of baseball and everybody has high hopes for making the postseason, including fans of the beloved Houston Astros. This Friday night's season opener pits the 'Stros against the Oakland Athletics, with free 2019 schedule magnets and post game fireworks (Friday's theme is "baseball classics"). Find an excuse to cut out of work early this Friday for the Opening Day Street Fest, presented by Budweiser, from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. with live music, food trucks, inflatables and giant Jenga. Or turn the weekend into a baseball marathon and attend all three games against the A's.

Games are scheduled for April 5 through April 7 at 7:10 p.m. Friday, 6:10 p.m. Saturday and 1:10 p.m. Sunday at Minute Maid Park. For information, call 1-877-927-8767 or visit mlb.com/astros/tickets/single-game-tickets. $20 to $279.

Where were you when you got the news about 9/11? We can all answer that one, but the roads differ when the question changes to "How did it affect you?" Theatrical innovator Ping Chong paired up with Sara Zatz and Ryan Conarro to write Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity, an evening of theater and projection making its regional premiere courtesy of Asia Society Texas Center and Ping Chong + Company. Hear what it is like for five young Muslim Americans who identity with either the newly converted to Islam, those who identify as "culturally Muslim," those who observe it on a daily basis, or those raised Muslim but who have since left the fold.

Performances are scheduled for April 5 through April 6 at 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore. For information, call 713-496-9901 or visit asiasociety.org/texas/events/beyond-sacred-voices-muslim-identity. $20 to $30.

WorldFest Houston is a showcase of indie film premieres, shorts and documentaries, but among the 4,500 entries vying for the coveted Remi Award are also television commercials, music videos, student films and webisodes. Aspiring filmmakers will want to check out the master classes in subjects ranging from scriptwriting, production and even a conversation with NASA cinematographer John Streeter. Among the 55 or so features making their premiere are William, where a baby is created using Neanderthal DNA; The Truth About Marriage, a documentary by the filmmaker who directed Trekkies; and the Eric Roberts vehicle Lone Star Deception, where a dalliance with a prostitute undermines a gubernatorial candidacy, making way for what could be Texas' first black governor.

The festival is scheduled for April 5 through April 14 at various times at Cinemark Memorial City, 310 Memorial City Mall, and The Westin Houston Memorial City, 945 Gessner. For information, call 713-965-9955 or visit worldfest.org. $7.50 to $300.

Kanisha Feliciano, a second-year graduate student in the Moores Opera Center program, plays the role of Kitty Packard.
Kanisha Feliciano, a second-year graduate student in the Moores Opera Center program, plays the role of Kitty Packard.
Photo by Julius Sanchez

Don't be late for this very important date when the new-ish opera Dinner at Eight transports Moores Opera House into a circa 1930s Manhattan dinner party. From the drawing room to the office, and from Kitty's bedroom to her nouveau riche penthouse, expect a big cast and even bigger laughs in this 2017 opera based on the play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber, with music by William Bolcom and libretto by Mark Campbell. You'll need a spreadsheet to keep track of the infidelities, betrayals and double crosses before the big dinner is ever served.

Performances are scheduled for April 5 through April 8 at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Monday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at Moores Opera Center, University of Houston, 120 School of Music Building. For information, call 713-743-3388 or visit uh.edu/kgmca/music/opera/current-season/2018-19/dinner. $10 to $20.

If Fido greets you at the door with his leash, it means he wants you to take him to the 2019 Doggy Party on the Plaza, sponsored by Houston Dog Ranch and Peace Love Dogs. There's a K9 costume contest, a free photo booth for you and your bestie, plus a big parade with local rescue groups. This year's emcees are Great Day Houston's Deborah Duncan, and David Paul and Lisa Hernandez from KHOU. It's a full day of fun with games, contests, raffles, face painters and vendors.

Doggy Party on the Plaza is scheduled for April 6 from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at CityCentre, 800 West Sam Houston Parkway North. For information, visit doggypartyontheplaza.com. Free            

ROCO has been playing games all year with creatively titled concerts and next up is a musical riff on Pac-Man with ROCO Unchambered: Chase Sequence. Composed by James Stephenson for brass quintet, Chase Sequence calls on ensemble members to imitate one another and try to catch up with the previous player, resulting in an exciting performance with interesting harmonies and motifs. The program also includes works by Reena Esmail, Anthony DiLorenzo and Alexandre Brasolim, as well as arrangements of classic jazz tunes by ROCO's George Chase.

A performance is scheduled for April 6 at 5 p.m. Saturday at MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-665-2700 or visit roco.org. $15 to $25.

Restock your pollinator garden with healthy or hard-to-find nectar and butterfly host plants.
Restock your pollinator garden with healthy or hard-to-find nectar and butterfly host plants.

For every new building that goes up or freeway that gets poured, another garden bites the dust, making it even more important that we preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is hosting a one day only Spring Plant Sale with healthy or hard-to-find nectar and butterfly host plants, plus native milkweed for Monarchs. They're also selling beneficial ladybugs, plus live caterpillars and chrysalides.

The Spring Plant Sale is scheduled for April 6 from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive. For information, call 713-639-4629 or visit hmns.org/cockrell-butterfly-center/spring-plant-sale.

Turn the volume down on a horror flick and it becomes infinitely less scary. We count on that music to build suspense and, for Alfred Hitchcock, his go-to guy was composer Bernard Herrmann. They collaborated on Vertigo, Psycho and The Man Who Knew Too Much, and now Axiom Quartet is presenting a suite of music used in Hitchcock's films in The Sound of Hitchcock. The program includes other, less frightening works by Hermann, including the romantic Souvenir de Voyages and the nostalgic Echoes.

A performance is scheduled for April 7 at 5-8 p.m. Sunday at the University of St. Thomas, Cullen Hall, 4001 Mount Vernon. For information, call 713-444-3392 or visit axiomquartet.com/2018-2019-season. Free (register on Eventbrite).

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