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Wanted, dead or alive.
Wanted, dead or alive.
Photo by Mark Herman Reyes

6 Best Bets This Weekend in Houston: Fandemic and Wings Over Houston

There's no reason to wait for Halloween: cosplay is de rigueur at Fandemic Tour, and costumes are encouraged at the spine-tingling Symphonic Spooktacular. This action-packed weekend also includes aerial acrobatics and pyrotechnics at Wings Over Houston, flapper dresses and feather boas at HGO's Rigoletto, and celebrations of Mexican culture with Miller Outdoor Theatre's Lunada and the popular East End Street Fest. Keep reading because three of these events are free.

If horror make-up, superhero capes and zombie costumes are sold out at your local Halloween store, it's all for a good cause because Fandemic Tour 2019 touches down in H-Town this weekend. Fan boys and girls will be lining up to see top shelf actors from television and film: Sebastian Stan (Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War), Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us, Gilmore Girls), Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, Punisher), The Phelps Twins (Harry Potter series), Sean Astin (Stranger Things, Lord of the Rings), and Scott Patterson (Gilmore Girls, Saw). So what are you waiting for? Get your cosplay on and come out for three days of panels, exhibitors, photo opps and the popular artist alley.

Fandemic Tour 2019 is scheduled for October 18-20 at 3-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at NRG Center, 1 NRG Park. For information, visit fandemictour.com/houston. $40 to $150+.

Ballet folklórico group Itza Garza will appear on the Heritage Stage.
Ballet folklórico group Itza Garza will appear on the Heritage Stage.
Photo by Dan Joyce

Claro que si. This weekend's East End Street Fest checks off all the boxes on our wish list — live music, dance, cooling zones, tasty eats — and fingers crossed on a replacement elote vendor. But we're super pumped about the big unveiling for Donkeeboy Art's new mural. Artist Alex Roman Jr. incorporated iconic images from the East End's rich culture: ballet folklórico, papel picado, Mama Ninfa Laurenzo, an artist's brush, and Mexican street corn. So come stroll along the esplanade and see the finished product for yourself, buy some art from Donkeeboy and his Donkeemom, and take home a keepsake T-shirt with the new mural's design. Headliners include Grammy® Award-winners Grupo Fantasma and Los Aztex with Joel Guzman & Sarah Fox.

East End Street Fest presented by Baker Hughes is scheduled for October 19 from 2-9:30 p.m. Saturday along the Navigation Esplanade, 2800 Navigation Boulevard. For information, call 713-928-9916 or visit eastendstreetfest.com. Free.

Wings Over Houston Airshow hosts one of North America's largest displays of military and civilian aircraft.
Wings Over Houston Airshow hosts one of North America's largest displays of military and civilian aircraft.
Photo by USAF Thunderbirds

If you've got a need for speed, but prefer to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, then second best is the CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow with all of its aerial aviator acrobatics and pyrotechnics. This one comes with all sorts of warnings — expect loud noises, smoke and fire; dress appropriately for extended hours under the hot Texas sun; large purses are banned and carry-ons will be thoroughly searched; and be sure to visit the loo before heading home because traffic can be a bear. But it's so worth it because this is one of the top air shows in the country, showcasing vintage World War II aircraft, modern aviation, and so much more.

CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow is scheduled for October 19-20 at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday (last entry at 3 p.m.; flight times at approximately 10:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m.) at Ellington Airport, 11910 Old Galveston Road. For information, call 800-514-3849 or visit wingsoverhouston.com. $35 to $700.

Celebrate community during Lunada at Miller Outdoor Theatre.
Celebrate community during Lunada at Miller Outdoor Theatre.
Photo by Daniel Ortiz

When the moon becomes full, it's time to celebrate, and Houston Symphony's performance of Lunada pays tribute to the Mexican tradition of gathering together in small towns and pueblos to share stories, poetry and music. Presented by the Mexican Institute of Greater Houston, and with the symphony performing works influenced by Mexican, Latin American and Spanish culture, this is sure to be a one-of-a-kind event. Come out and celebrate the Night of the Full Moon and remember how it feels to be part of the larger community. Note: Then vow to come back Sunday for another offering by the Houston Symphony.

Lunada is scheduled for October 19 from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive. For information, visit milleroutdoortheatre.com. Free.

Costumes are encouraged during Houston Symphony's Symphonic Spooktacular.
Costumes are encouraged during Houston Symphony's Symphonic Spooktacular.
Photo by Allyson Huntsman

Everybody knows that it's the soundtrack that builds suspense, fear, horror or intrigue when it comes to cinema. So expect a few frightening scores from Hollywood's best when the Houston Symphony presents Symphonic Spooktacular at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Mix in a few creepy classics, stir gently, and get ready for spine-tingling chills and musical thrills on the Miller Outdoor hill. Jacob Joyce (creator and co-host of the podcast Attention to Detail: The Classical Music Listening Guide), conducts this musical fright night. Costumes are encouraged.

Symphonic Spooktacular is scheduled for October 20 from 7-9 p.m. Sunday at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive. For information, visit houstonsymphony.org/tickets/concerts/symphonic-spooktacular or milleroutdoortheatre.com. Free.

HGO is setting Verdi's Rigoletto in post WWI Fascist Italy,
HGO is setting Verdi's Rigoletto in post WWI Fascist Italy,
Costumes by Jessica Jahn, photo courtesy of HGO

As the joke goes, when Verdi was writing Rigoletto he was asked if it would include tragedy, jealousy, lust, revenge, villains, seduction or a father's curse. His answer was "yes" and the rest is history, with one of the most recognizable scores from the opera world. Houston Grand Opera is bringing back the classic with a modern-ish twist and setting it after World War I, which is how flapper dresses and feather boas got worked into the production. The Houston Press checked in with Armenian soprano Mané Galoyan earlier this month and, while she was good about keeping secrets, did let out that there will be a few surprises along the way. Galoyan sings the role of the cursed daughter Gilda who morphs from innocent teenager to world-weary woman in the two hour, 40 minute production. Sung in Italian with projected English translations.

Performances of Rigoletto are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday October 18, 2 p.m. Sunday, October 20 and 7:30 p.m. October 26, 29 and November 1 at the Wortham Center Center, 500 Texas. For information, call 713-228-6737 or visit houstongrandopera.org. $25 to $270.

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