From Broadway's finest to choreography by local dancemakers, a bit of fun in the form of bingo and reggae, plus cerebral diversions that explore astronomy and geometry, there's no shortage of things to do this weekend in Houston. We're also exploring literature in new ways, from Texas Monthly LIVE to a mash-up between Pilot Dance and Writespace. Keep reading because some of these events are free.
Our hard to please theater critic has weighed in, and Jerome Robbins' Broadway has been declared "an electrifying smorgasbord of Robbins' most celebrated stagings." It's chockablock full of classic numbers from The King and I, Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story, Peter Pan — with a cast of almost 50 and a lush orchestra — making for a grand bouquet produced by Theatre Under The Stars. Last chance, folks, because this epic musical anthology ends its run this weekend.
Performances are scheduled for June 6 through June 9 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at The Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-558-8887 or visit tuts.com. $30 to $104.50.
"Come on babe, Why don't we paint the town? And all that jazz." Broadway's Tony Award®-winning Chicago certainly redefines the concept of the little black dress: the costumes are risqué, the set design is minimal, and the heat is turned up to smokin' hot. The revival of John Kander and Fred Ebb’s classic musical, set during the roaring “jazz hot” era of almost a century ago, soon has us rooting for sultry murderesses and realizing how quickly media can change perception. Chicago is now the longest-running American musical in Broadway history, and it closes its Houston run this weekend, courtesy of Society for the Performing Arts.
Performances are scheduled for June 6 through June 9 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-227-4772 or visit spahouston.org/performances/chicago. $35 to $130.
If classic literature can become audio books or film, then why can't Texas Monthly magazine get turned into a live performance? Senior Editor David Courtney, aka The Texanist, steps away from the computer and onto the stage as the host of Texas Monthly LIVE, coming to Houston for one night only. We'll hear Cat Cardenas talk about how her grandfather immigrated from Mexico, Skip Hollandsworth will reflect back on his youth in Wichita Falls, and BBQ editor Daniel Vaughn — yeah, that's a real thing — will do a 'Cue & A with all your burning questions. Rounding out the 90-minute show are Michael Hall, Mimi Swartz, Deborah Mouton, Pat Sharpe, Katy Vine and Carrie Rodriguez.
A performance is scheduled for June 7 from 7-8:30 p.m. Friday at Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For information, call 832-487-7041 or visit texasmonthly.com/event/texas-monthly-live-2019. $34 to $79.
Fingers crossed for a cloudless sky this Saturday night when Stargazing with Houston Astronomical Society returns to Discovery Green. These stellar folks will haul in several telescopes and point viewers to other planets in the solar system, various deep-sky objects and even some interesting facets about our moon. And every once in a while — or is it once in a blue moon — we'll get to catch either the International Space Station or the Hubble Space Telescope.
Stargazing is scheduled for June 8 from 8-10 p.m. Saturday at Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. For information, call visit discoverygreen.com/1583010. Free.
Luck is part of the fun, but to really succeed during the Houston Arboretum's BBQ, Beer & Bingo night, it helps to have a head for facts. They're mixing in some nature-themed trivia with cool merch, so study up on your flora and fauna then enjoy five rounds of bingo and tasty 'cue, plus cold ones from Saint Arnold Brewing Company and Katz iced coffee. Register in advance so there's enough to go around, then bring your own dauber or purchase one for just $3,
BBQ, Beer & Bingo is scheduled for June 8 from 6-8:30 p.m. Saturday at Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway. For information, call 713-681-8433 or visit houstonarboretum.org. $20 to $35.
Have yourself an Imani Ray day at the Houston Reggae Fest, then start ticking off those other boxes on your good vibes bucket list. Wear red, green and yellow macrame; nosh on more than a few grilled meats; order up an alcoholic bevvy served in a pineapple; and jam to live music from I-Octane, Rayvon, Warrior King and more. Or go full Caribbean and pony up for VIP tix, where you'll get access to high end bites by celebrity chef Ashley Jonique, plus lounge seating, exclusive cocktails and a souvenir shirt.
The Houston Reggae Fest is scheduled for June 8 from noon-10 p.m. Saturday at Peggy Park, 4101 Almeda. For information, visit thehoustonreggaefest.com. $15 to $90.
Suchu Dance Artistic Director Jennifer Wood put her life on pause for a trip to India, where she saw monkeys, was attacked by a peacock and almost died from choking — three times. This and other existential eye openers have brought her back to Texas where an evening of dance, Falling Coconuts, answers the question: "What could go wrong in trying to survive without everything that you once held dear and necessary for existence?" Wood is pairing this evening of "pure and authentic dance" with a screening of Sand Crafting, a dance film that explores serenity and cleansing through the use of water and sand.
Performances are scheduled for June 8 at 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday at MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit suchudance.org/fallingcoconuts. $15.
Tails will be wagging this Saturday when three dog-loving artists offer up their creations to help Rescued Pets Movement, a non-profit that rescues and rehabilitates homeless pets before transporting them to other states for adoption. Painter Tra’ Slaughter, photographer Darron Franta and objects d’art creator Ted Edwards are pledging a portion of the sale price of original works to RPM, plus the "Three for the Show" event includes limited edition t-shirts beginning at just $50. The event is free, but advance registration is requested so that underwriter Doug Harris of Noisemaker Communications can make sure enough wine and beverages are on hand to loosen up those wallets and help save homeless animals.
"Three for the Show" is scheduled for June 8 at 6 p.m. Saturday at MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit matchouston.org/events/2019/three-show-benefiting-rescued-pets-movements. Free.
Writers use the power of the pen (or keyboard) to make us laugh, cry and think, while dancers use performance to evoke those same emotions. This time around, introverts and extroverts are teaming up for Things Left Behind, an evening of original dance and literary readings co-presented by Pilot Dance Project and Writespace. Pilot Dance's Adam Castaneda has some new choreography, and there's a new solo from Ashley Horn, while SPIKE the Percussionist will keep the beat and accompany the performances. Writefest just wrapped its weeklong Writefest, and this program closes out a weekend of panels and presentations with readings from Outspoken Bean, Jessica Wilbanks and JP Gritton.
A performance is scheduled for June 9 at 7 p.m. Sunday at MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit matchouston.org. Free.
Sacred geometry is exciting, especially when you start noticing those universal patterns in architecture, art and nature. Artists have been demonstrating these complex patterns in Project Row Houses' "Round 49: Penumbras: Sacred Geometries," and PRH is inviting you to the Closing Party this Sunday with live Latin jazz, Afro-Latin food and drinks provided by Zacapa Rum. View work by participating artists Leticia Contreras, Yanira Collado, Juana Valdes, Onajide Shabaka, Aramis O'Reilly and Charo Oquet.
The Closing Party is scheduled for June 9 from 6-9 p.m. Sunday at Project Row Houses Courtyard, 2521 Holman. For information, call 713-526-7662 or visit projectrowhouses.org. $35.
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Sometimes, the best things happen midweek, so don't miss our bonus event:
Why would anybody pull up roots, flee their community and take up refuge in another country, especially when it feels like they're unwanted. Each refugee's story is different, often to escape violence, poverty or war, and now we'll hear those narratives through music in the original compositions of Resilient Sounds. In this partnership with the Houston Symphony, Rice University, University of Houston and Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, we'll hear new works by Alejandro Basulto, Kyle Rivera, Patrick W. Lenz, Erin Graham, Victor Rangel and Erberk Eryilmaz, paired with text, dance, choreography, poetry, vocals and film.
A performance is scheduled for June 11 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at White Oak Music Hall, 2915 North Main. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $20.