7 Best Bets This Weekend in Houston: Books, Bowls and One Big Night

Before the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams go head to head in Atlanta, there's much fun to be had in the Bayou City.
Before the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams go head to head in Atlanta, there's much fun to be had in the Bayou City. Photo by Stacey Warnke
Having fun this weekend in Houston is as easy as A-B-C. We've got the Amazing Acro-cats and a play about the Academy Awards, a pair of book festivals, and a couple of bowl games, though one of those has gone to the dogs. We also see the return of Stages' popular Sin Muros festival and a digitally-remastered screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey over at the MFAH. It's a big weekend, and it won't end until somebody is declared victor of Super Bowl LIII, so chart your course here.

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WET: A DACAmented Journey, written and performed by Alex Alpharaoh, is a true story that chronicles his ongoing fight to stay in the United States. It's one of the offerings in Sin Muros: A Latinx Theatre Festival at Stages Repertory Theatre.
Photo by Youthana Yuos
While President Donald Trump tries his hand at rhyming ("Build the Wall and Crime Will Fall"), Stages Repertory Theatre is breaking down those walls with the return of Sin Muros: A Latinx Theatre Festival. This year's line-up includes poetry, workshops, play readings and performances by Los Angeles-based actor-writer-director-producer Alex Alpharaoh who has documented his struggles trying to stay in the only home he's ever known: the United States. WET: A DACAmented Journey blends heartbreak with humor to humanize this very real problem taking place along our country's southern borders.

Performances are scheduled for January 31 through February 3 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2:30, 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Parkway. For information, call 713-527-0123 or visit Free to $20.

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Vincent Victoria Presents recreates the historic night when Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel rubbed elbows (but couldn't share a table) with Lena Horne, Mae West, Bette Davis and Clark Gable.
Photo by Rudy Mui Photography
Academy Award season is always an exciting time of year when we're all rooting for our favorite movies, actors and songs. Imagine the thrill the first time an African American won the Oscar and then look closer at that historic evening, only to realize that she was forced to sit at a segregated table in the back of the room. It's only by shining a light on our country's past mistakes that we can move forward as a society, and Houston-based theater company Vincent Victoria Presents (The Disappearance of Eartha Kitt) does just that in Hattie's Big Night, recreating that historic 1940 awards ceremony when Hattie McDaniel took home the statue for her supporting role in Gone With the Wind.

Performances are scheduled for February 1 through February 10 at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays at Midtown Art Center, 3414 La Branch. For information, call 281-832-6380 or visit $20.

Anything can happen in a live show, and that's what keeps audience members coming back for more.
Photo by Skip Bolen
All bucket lists should include seeing the Amazing Acro-cats perform live at least once. First of all, they're cats and — no matter how well-trained — they do have a mind of their own. Anything can and does happen but, when they're so inclined, Chief Executive Human Samantha Martin has them skateboarding, jumping through hoops and taking record-breaking leaps. Don't miss the big finale when Tuna and the Rock Cats invite Cluck Norris the rockin' chicken and his tambourine on stage for a show-stopping concert. The Saturday matinee is sold out.

Performances are scheduled for February 1 through February 2 at 8 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday at MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit $24 to $40.

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Rumor has it that if you ask Siri to open the pod bay doors on an iPhone 4S, she'll reply with "I'm afraid I can't do that."
Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers
Everybody's got a short list of cinematic faves and Joseph Havel, director of the Glassell School of Art, is no exception. His pick for Movies Houstonians Love at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is a digital restoration of Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey. If a strange monolith can introduce fire and weapons, what's the next step in our evolutionary progression? Look for Kubrick's trademarks: emotionally distant characters, dangerous worlds, controversial social themes, startling symmetry and simple colors. Havel will be on hand to introduce the film.

A screening is scheduled for February 2 at 7 p.m. at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Law Building, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit $7 to $9.

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Los amigos que aman la literatura están invitados a asistir al Festival Internacional de Libros Bilingües el 2 de Febrero.
Look for big names in bilingual literature at Talento Bilingüe de Houston's upcoming International Bilingual Book Festival, an event that includes a writing workshop, vendors and special guests. Scheduled to be in attendance are Ada Barcelo (Argentina) and Raül Aldo Hernandez (El Salvador), among others. Kids will have an opportunity to get their copies of Los Guardianes Del Bosque (The Watchdogs of the Forest) signed by the author.

The festival is scheduled for February 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Talento Bilingüe de Houston, 333 South Jensen. For information, call 713-222-1213 or visit Free.

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Discover new authors and illustrators when Blue Willow Bookshop presents its annual Bookworm Festival.
Photo by Two Cats Communications
Blue Willow Bookshop, named Best Bookstore in 2019's Best of Houston®, returns with its annual Bookworm Festival, an event that celebrates emerging readers and the authors and illustrators who keep new books coming their way. David Shannon, Ame Dyckman, Vashti Harrison, Lita Judge, David Ezra Stein, Julia Sarcone-Roach and Katie Yamasaki have all said they're coming. It's a free event, but our insider tip is to register in advance for a Fast Pass ticket. This festival is open to readers of all ages and includes a keynote speech, book signings and a chance to discover new reads. Pack a snack or two and bring moolah (cash or credit cards) for books, or purchase them ahead of time at

The festival is scheduled for February 2 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Jersey Village High School, 7600 Solomon. For information, call 281-497-8675 or visit Free (registration is recommended).

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Find your new best friend with Citizens for Animal Protection's Puppy Bowl event, where all adoption fees are waived for one glorious day.
Photo by Bianca Burrascano
Everybody loves Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl, where adoptable puppies from more than 50 shelters go paw to paw and nose to nose for the ultimate non-human match-up — Team Ruff vs. Team Fluff — in a bid for the Lombarky Trophy. It's a cute event with lots of tail wagging, but it also draws attention to all the cats and dogs who are still looking for their forever homes, so Citizens for Animal Protection is waiving adoption fees for all pets at its own Puppy Bowl this Sunday, thanks to a little help from sponsor West Houston Subaru. Adoptions run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., so nobody has to miss that "other" bowl game. And, for those so inclined, stay for the Tailgating Party from 2-4 p.m. when Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl XV gets streamed on televisions and guests get to meet CAP alum-pup Dawn from Team Fluff for photos and pawtographs.

The adoption event for all pets is scheduled for February 3 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a tailgate party from 2 to 4 p.m. at Citizens for Animal Protection, 17555 Katy Freeway. For information, call 281-497-0591 or visit Free.
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Susie Tommaney is a contributing writer who enjoys covering the lively arts and culture scene in Houston and surrounding areas, connecting creative makers with the Houston Press readers to make every week a great one.
Contact: Susie Tommaney