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Corgi Races return to Sam Houston Race Park this Saturday.
Corgi Races return to Sam Houston Race Park this Saturday.
Photo by Jack Coady, Coady Photography

10 Best Bets This Weekend in Houston: It's Raining Cats and Dogs

Corgi races, a cat video festival and a beer goggle pup crawl at the arboretum pave the way for this fun weekend that's gone to the dogs (and cats). One thing we can be sure of though: no matter the weather, rain or shine, the stars will still be out. The Houston Astronomical Society is setting up telescopes at Discovery Green, Steve Cantwell is in storytelling mode, Houston Grand Opera's Patrick Summers is out with a new book, and circus diva Varla Jean Merman lights up the MATCH stage. It's also a weekend for action, with artists and actors from the local refugee community and a theater performance that celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall in a collaboration with the T.R.U.T.H. Project. It all comes to an end with high tea during a screening of Howards End. Pass the raspberry tart, please.

Every social circle needs at least one great storyteller. If yours is lacking then head out to The Secret Group to witness comedian Steve Cantwell and others tell hilarious stories that defy belief. They'll discuss salvia, psychedelics, Jussie Smollett and other tawdry tales in No Way! A Comedy Story Telling Show. Don't delay; last month's show packed early relegating latecomers to the lobby wondering what all the laughter was about.

A performance is scheduled for March 8 at 8 p.m. Friday at The Secret Group, 2101 Polk. For information, call 832-898-1088 or visit thesecretgrouphtx.com. $5.

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The inaugural Corgi Races were such a hit that the popular event is returning to Sam Houston Race Park. Eight racers in eight heats are being asked to run 25 yards and the winner's human takes home $200. The other attractions are of course the stakes races, with Arabians competing for the coveted $7,000 Wathba Stallions Cup and the $48,500 Sheikh Zayed Cup. Gates open at 10:30 a.m. for simulcast and 5:30 p.m. for live racing.

Live racing is scheduled for March 9 at 7 p.m. Saturday at Sam Houston Race Park, 7575 North Sam Houston Parkway West. For information, call 281-807-8700 or visit shrp.com. $5 to $8.

Rice University's Kinder Institute labels the Houston metropolitan area the most racially diverse in the country, something we intuitively knew. A fact that only enriches our arts community with the influx of actors, dancers, musicians and visual artists from around the world. Brave Little Company is presenting The Big "US" Project, bringing together 100 performers from our refugee communities, sharing stories of hope, loss, fear and joy.

Performances are scheduled for March 9 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Southwest Multi-Service Center, 6400 High Star. For information, visit facebook.com/events/307535546779531. Free ($5 donation requested).  

Once a month the space nerds from the Houston Astronomical Society bring their telescopes to Discovery Green to share their passion for Stargazing with the public. Come take a deeper look at the moon, other planets in our solar system, and various deep-sky objects. Depending on the day, we might even glimpse the International Space Station or the Hubble Space Telescope. This event is weather permitting.

Stargazing is scheduled for March 9, April 13, May 11 and June 8 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday (March 9) and from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturdays (April 13-June 8) at Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. For information, visit discoverygreen.com/1583007. Free.

MATCH Presents Under a Big Top, dubbed "The Freakiest Show on Earth" and starring Jeffery Roberson Loe as drag superstar Varla Jean Merman.
MATCH Presents Under a Big Top, dubbed "The Freakiest Show on Earth" and starring Jeffery Roberson Loe as drag superstar Varla Jean Merman.
Photo by Rex Bonomelli

Drag superstar Varla Jean Merman channels her inner carny with Under a Big Top, a circus-themed night of videos, songs and death-defying wigs. Underneath all that makeup is Jeffery Roberson Loe, whom audiences might remember from television's Ugly Betty and Project Runway, or from cult films like Hush Up, Sweet Charlotte, Girls Will Be Girls and Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads. Expect to be both dazzled and disturbed in this night of raunchy fun, brought to Houston by MATCH Presents.

A performance is scheduled for March 9 at 8 p.m. Saturday at MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit matchouston.org. $30 to $35.

Film and literature buffs know that pairing filmmakers Ismail Merchant and James Ivory with the writings of E.M. Forster resulted in a match made in heaven. The third such partnership is Howards End, an Edwardian drama that lavishly illustrated the gap between the haves and have nots. The film won a Best Actress Oscar for Emma Thompson and has been newly remastered in 4K and 5.1 surround sound. Your movie ticket includes three servings of tea and bites of cheddar horseradish puffs, truffled deviled eggs, and goat cheese and raspberry tart.

A screening of Howards End is scheduled for March 10 at 3 p.m. Sunday at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - LaCenterra, 3707 Commercial Center Boulevard, Katy. For information, call 281-492-6900 or visit drafthouse.com/houston/show/afternoon-tea-howards-end. $20.41.

Put another feather in the cap for Patrick Summers, Houston Grand Opera’s artistic and music director, who is out with a new book, The Spirit of This Place: How Music Illuminates the Human Spirit. Summers takes readers from the Rothko Chapel to a classroom in rural China, demonstrating the power of music to help us understand our own humanity. He'll be on hand to sign copies at this event hosted by HGO, though it is recommended that guests reserve books online at least 24 hours in advance.

The book signing is scheduled for March 10 at 4 p.m. Sunday at Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit brazosbookstore.com/event/patrick-summers-spirit-place. Free to attend; $25 for the book.

Three of our favorite things — dogs, beer and nature — converge at the 4th Annual Pup Crawl, hosted by Saint Arnold Brewing Company. It's all for a good cause, with ticket proceeds benefiting both the Houston Arboretum and BARC. This one is a family-friendly event, though the 21-and-up crowd will enjoy beer along the way. Leashed dogs and lawn chairs are both welcome, and there will be food vendors on hand including, ahem, Good Dog Houston.

The Pup Crawl is scheduled for March 10 from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway. For information, call 713-686-9494 or visit saintarnold.com/pup-crawl. $30 plus $1 for parking.

CatVideoFest is a compilation reel of the latest and best cat videos, and helps raise money for cats in need through partnerships with local organizations.
CatVideoFest is a compilation reel of the latest and best cat videos, and helps raise money for cats in need through partnerships with local organizations.
Photo by Oscilloscope

Go ahead and admit it. Late at night, when insomnia rears its ugly head, you've found yourself watching an endless loop of silly cat videos. Well it's time to come out of the closet and join other like-minded folks when 14 Pews hosts CatVideoFest 2019. The LOL event benefits Friends For Life, one of Houston's no kill animal adoption and rescue organizations, and we'll enjoy feline-oriented animations, music videos and viral clips.

The festival is scheduled for March 10 at 3, 5 and 7 p.m. Sunday at 14 Pews, 800 Aurora. For information, call 281-888-9677 or visit 14pews.org. $11.

The reviews are in, and our theater critic labeled Robert O’Hara’s Bootycandy "an incisive, biting look at what societal forces can do to a gay black man." Brought to Houston audiences by The Catastrophic Theatre, its closing performance this Sunday is made extra special as the NYU Alumni Club in Houston celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots that took place in New York's Greenwich Village. The performance will be followed by a talkback moderated by the T.R.U.T.H. Project. After the show, NYU alumni, family and friends are invited to continue the conversation over cocktails at a nearby pub.

Final performances of Bootycandy are scheduled for March 8 through March 10 at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday at MATCH, 3400 Main. For information about the play, call 713-521-4533 or visit matchouston.org. Pay what you can; suggested price is $40. For information about NYU Alumni Club of Houston's anniversary celebration, visit facebook.com/events/394176764493970. $30.

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