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Houston Ballet Principals Connor Walsh as Price Florimund and Yuriko Kajiya as Princess Aurora with Artists of Houston Ballet in Ben Stevenson’s The Sleeping Beauty.EXPAND
Houston Ballet Principals Connor Walsh as Price Florimund and Yuriko Kajiya as Princess Aurora with Artists of Houston Ballet in Ben Stevenson’s The Sleeping Beauty.
Photo by Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy of Houston Ballet

Best Bets This Weekend: Brunch, Overwatch, and the Downtown Rodeo Parade {UPDATED]

Editor's Note 5 p.m. 02.28.20: AURA: Haunted at Moores Opera House has been rescheduled for Thursday, March 5. The program had to be postponed because of the major city water main break which closed the University of Houston campus until Saturday.

It's here – rodeo season is upon us. We’ve got just the thing for you if you’re ready to don your cowboy hat and boots, but if you’re not, we’ve got you covered too. From jazz and chamber music to gaming and everyone’s favorite meal (brunch), we’re sure we’ve got something you’ll want to do to keep you busy this weekend.

It’s a tale that most of us can easily recognize. A young princess is cursed by a wronged fairy, and another fairy steps in to change the curse from death to 100 years’ sleep, at which point the princess would be awakened by true love’s kiss. It’s the story of The Sleeping Beauty, and back in 1990, Ben Stevenson premiered his take on the fairy tale, building off Marius Petipa and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s 1890 production and those that followed to create a work that the Houston Ballet still performs to this day – much to the continued joy of Houstonians. Because of its classic choreography, romantic score, and gorgeous sets and costumes (designed by Desmond Heeley and with an original price tag of about $757,000), it’s kind of a no-brainer that when Houston Ballet brings Stevenson’s The Sleeping Beauty back to the Wortham stage, it's one of our best bets. After all, as Stevenson once said, “We all need a certain amount of beauty and love in our lives.” And for a different take on who to root for in this story, read our preview.

Performances of The Sleeping Beauty are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 1:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays at the Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas. Through March 8. For more information, call 713-227-2787 or visit houstonballet.org. $25 to $200.

The AURA Contemporary Ensemble will present a hybrid chamber music-theater program when they perform Haunted this Friday.EXPAND
The AURA Contemporary Ensemble will present a hybrid chamber music-theater program when they perform Haunted this Friday.
Photo by Pin Lim

Note: This even has been postponed because of the city's massive water main break.
If you’re not familiar with AURA Contemporary Ensemble, you’ve been missing out on all kinds of innovative collaborations and programs – not to mention just good music played by highly skilled musicians – coming out of the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. This Friday, however, you get a chance to see what AURA does best when they perform Haunted, a chamber music-theater hybrid built around a short story by Brendan Stephens, a current student in the University of Houston’s PhD program. In between the scenes of the story – about a girl’s death and the effect it has on her friend, her sister, and her boyfriend (all portrayed by actors from Texas Southern University) – AURA will provide a musical commentary. Two of the four works on the program are from Grammy-nominated composers (Derek Bermel and Christopher Cerrone) and the other two are world premiere pieces (one from Gilberto Hernan Campa and one from recent UH grad Kyle Rivera).

Haunted is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. February 28 March 5 at Moores Opera House, 3333 Cullen. For more information, visit facebook.com/AURAUH. $10 to $15.

Visitors can check out “Radical Revisionists: Contemporary African Artists Confronting Past and Present,” the Moody Center for the Arts’ spring exhibition, at Friday night's Spring Fling.EXPAND
Visitors can check out “Radical Revisionists: Contemporary African Artists Confronting Past and Present,” the Moody Center for the Arts’ spring exhibition, at Friday night's Spring Fling.
Photo by Allyson Huntsman

If you head over to Rice University Friday night, you’ll find the Moody Center for the Arts ready for a party. Spring Fling at the Moody will feature Houston’s own The Tontons, and Moon Rooster Food Truck will be on hand if you start feeling any hunger pains only a taco fix can stop, while the Moody will be providing complimentary wine, beer and cocktails if you get thirsty. More importantly, the building will be open, so if you haven’t seen it yet, you can check out “Radical Revisionists: Contemporary African Artists Confronting Past and Present,” the Moody Center’s spring exhibition. The group show features the work of ten artists from Africa and the Diaspora “reframing and challenging cultural narratives that have been dominated for centuries by Western colonialist thinking.” If you can’t make Spring Fling – did we mention it’s also free? – “Radical Revisionists” will be on view through May 16. Trust us, it’s a can’t-miss.

Spring Fling at the Moody is scheduled for 8 p.m. February 28 at the Moody Center for the Arts, 6100 Main. For more information, call 713-348-2787 or visit moody.rice.edu. Free.

Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke will lead the Houston Symphony and vocalists Josette Newsam and Ryan Shaw in Unforgettable: Celebrating the Nat King Cole Centennial this weekend.EXPAND
Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke will lead the Houston Symphony and vocalists Josette Newsam and Ryan Shaw in Unforgettable: Celebrating the Nat King Cole Centennial this weekend.
Photo by Cameron Bertuzzi

Here’s one thing we won’t do: We won’t ask you to name your favorite Nat King Cole song. The man with the silky baritone recorded almost 700 songs for Capitol Records – more than 150 of which were singles that charted on Billboard. (There’s a reason why the Capital Records Building is colloquially known as "The House That Nat Built.") Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke will lead the Houston Symphony and vocalists Josette Newsam and Ryan Shaw in paying tribute to Nat King Cole in Unforgettable: Celebrating the Nat King Cole Centennial this weekend over at Jones Hall. In terms of the program, you can count on hits like the titular “Unforgettable,” along with songs like “Mona Lisa,” “When I Fall in Love,” “Stardust” and “Straighten Up and Fly Right.” After that, it’s anyone’s guess what Reineke and co. might play – after all, as we already established, they’ve got a lot to choose from.

Unforgettable: Celebrating the Nat King Cole Centennial is scheduled for 8 p.m. February 28 and 29 and 2:30 p.m. March 1 at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For more information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $25 to $159.

Be ready to arrive early to nab the best spot at the Downtown Rodeo Parade.
Be ready to arrive early to nab the best spot at the Downtown Rodeo Parade.
Photo by Mohammad Mia

Yes, it’s that time of year again, time for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. With an estimated 2.5 million people predicted to swing by, we’re willing to bet that you, dear reader, will be jamming at one of the concerts, indulging in some fried goodness, or petting a goat very soon. (We’ve already got you covered if you want a sneak peek at what’s to come.) Go Texan Day is Friday, February 28, but our best pre-rodeo bet this week is the Downtown Rodeo Parade on Saturday. This year will feature past and present Rodeo scholarship recipients serving as grand marshals and to mention the horses and floats we’ve come to love and expect. Remember, the early bird gets the worm and the early arriver gets the best spot. And RodeoHouston has already told us the best viewing spots will be on Louisiana, from Bell to Lamar, Lamar, and from Louisiana to Smith.

The Downtown Rodeo Parade is scheduled for 10 a.m. February 29 in Downtown Houston. For more information, visit rodeohouston.com. Free.

The Houston Outlaws make their first homestand this weekend at Revention Music Center.EXPAND
The Houston Outlaws make their first homestand this weekend at Revention Music Center.
Photo by Ben Pursell

Admittedly, as we mosey into Week 4 of the Overwatch League, the Houston Outlaws haven’t been having the best time – chock it up to a couple of losses, missing luggage, and the flu. But the Outlaws did push the Boston Uprising into what is now the longest regular-season match in Overwatch League history, and there’s time still to turn things around. More importantly, Houston eSports fans get to experience the Houston Outlaws Inaugural Homestand this weekend at Revention Music Center. Nine teams, including the Outlaws, and six match-ups, including a match between the No. 1 ranked Philadelphia Fusion and the aforementioned Boston Uprising on Sunday at 1 p.m., in a festival-like atmosphere that promises an experience that any eSports fan won’t want to miss. Single day tickets and weekend passes are still available.

The Houston Outlaws inaugural homestand is scheduled from February 29 and March 1 at Revention Music Center, 520 Texas. For more information, visit outlaws.overwatchleague.com. $50 to $240.

Da Camera will bring the Vijay Iyer Sextet to town to perform music from their 2017 album, Far From Over.EXPAND
Da Camera will bring the Vijay Iyer Sextet to town to perform music from their 2017 album, Far From Over.
Photo by Stacy Kimball

Vijay Iyer is a jazz pianist and a Harvard professor. He’s a man who studied physics and math before making music his career. And if the album he released in 2017 is any indication, he can also see the future. NPR said the album, Far From Over, created for a jazz sextet, “reflects Iyer's belief that jazz is ‘a category that keeps shifting.’” All which means that when the Vijay Iyer Sextet (featuring Iyer on piano; Graham Haynes on cornet, flugelhorn and electronics; Steve Lehman on alto saxophone; Mark Shim on tenor saxophone; Stephan Crump on double bass; and Jeremy Dutton on drums) comes to town, courtesy of Da Camera, you’ll not only be hearing from an album Rolling Stone called the most exciting jazz album of 2017, you’ll be getting a glimpse of the future, as Rolling Stone added, "If you’re looking for the shape of jazz to come, here it is."

The Vijay Iyer Sextet is scheduled to perform at 8 p.m. February 29 at Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For more information, call 713-524-5050 or visit dacamera.com. $37.50 to $67.50.

This Sunday, AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc. (AFH) will host the 31st annual AIDS Walk Houston at Sam Houston Park.EXPAND
This Sunday, AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc. (AFH) will host the 31st annual AIDS Walk Houston at Sam Houston Park.
Photo by Morris Malakoff, The CKP Group

This Sunday, AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc. (AFH) will host the 31st annual AIDS Walk Houston at Sam Houston Park, where you can join about 10,000 fellow Houstonians for a noncompetitive 5K in remembrance of and in honor of those affected by HIV/AIDS while celebrating those living full lives with the virus. (Also, of course, to raise a little money for 14 benefitting agencies that provide services such as counseling, medical care, and job training to the almost 30,000 Houstonians currently living with HIV/AIDS.) Mayor Sylvester Turner will speak and deliver a proclamation, and Kiotti, of 97.9 The Box's Good Morning H-Town, will emcee with a little help from co-hosts Keisha and J-Mac. The Bayou City Performing Arts Men's and Women's Choirs, Dessie Love-Blake, and Wendy Taylor will be on hand to perform, as well as the Houston Pride Band and Larry "Bunny" Woods, who’ll get everyone warmed up. And yes, there will be food from vendors such as Kikpops, Moon Rooster, and NOLA Po Boys.

AIDS Walk Houston is scheduled for 12 p.m. March 1 at Sam Houston Park, 1000 Bagby. For more information, visit aidshelp.org. Participation is free, and donations may be made online or in person at the walk.

Houston BrunchFest is gathering the best of the brunch best to satisfy all your brunch needs and wants.EXPAND
Houston BrunchFest is gathering the best of the brunch best to satisfy all your brunch needs and wants.
Photo by Ryan Cox

Brunch – it’s the most important meal of the day, and we’ll accept no arguments to the contrary. Food historians may not be in agreement as to its origins – could be hunt breakfasts in England, possibly the midday meal Catholics enjoyed after fasting before mass, or maybe it emerged out of New York eateries – but we do know that the word “brunch” appeared for the first time in print in 1895 and the culinary world has never been the same. This weekend, Houston BrunchFest is gathering the best of the brunch best – Snooze An A.M. Eatery, Weights + Measures, The Breakfast Klub, We're-Dough Lebanese Bakery, among many others – to satisfy all your brunch needs and wants. General admission gets you bottomless drinks and food samples, and early entry admission gets you both along with a 12 p.m. entry time. It should go without saying, but in case it isn't, this one is 21 and up only.

Houston BrunchFest is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Midtown Park, 2811 Travis. For more information, visit brunch-so-hard.com. $64 to $105.

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