10 Best Bets This Weekend in Houston: MoonStrike, Viet Fest and a Regatta

Apollo Chamber Players honors the 50th Anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing.
Apollo Chamber Players honors the 50th Anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing. Photo by Katy Cartland
Music aficionados can choose from iconic '60s music or compositions inspired by the moon and stars; while nature lovers can pick up a few native plants, learn about birds of prey, or kayak along Greens Bayou. Rounding out the weekend are dance, a short film festival, an antique pop-up sale, Harry Potter trivia and a celebration of Vietnamese culture. With a weekend like this, there's no way you're staying home on the couch.

We're all so glued to our smartphones that it's hard to imagine a different way of life, but think back to an era when man was deeply connected to the natural world and used the moon cycles to know when to tap trees, plant corn, harvest or hunt. From ancient astrology to Native American legends, the moon and constellations will reveal their secrets if we just take the time to study them. This weekend sees the world premiere of MoonStrike, a new commission for string quartet by Emmy-Winning Chickasaw composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate that was inspired by moon legends and astrology. The composition calls for a narrator and Commander John Herrington, Chickasaw astronaut and the first member of a Native American tribe to fly in space, has the honors for two performances presented by Apollo Chamber Players. Also on the program is the Texas premiere of Earthrise (composer Jake Heggie was inspired by the iconic photograph of the same name), and the world premiere of MoonArk by Houston-based Turkish composer Erberk Eryilmaz (the composition will be sent to the moon in 2021 as part of The MoonArk time capsule).

Performances of MoonStrike scheduled for September 27-28 from 7:30 a.m. Friday at MATCH, 3400 Main and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the University of Houston Clear Lake, Bayou Theater, 2700 Bay Area Boulevard. For information, call 713-521-4533 or 281-283-3024 or visit or or $10 to $40.

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Uptown Dance Company celebrates its 20th anniversary with the season opener, Reawaken.
Photo by Doug Berry
There's no better way to kick off a 20th anniversary season than with an evening of premieres. Uptown Dance Company's Reawaken features eight professional dancers showcasing new works from Texas Ballet Theater Principal Dancer Andre Silva and Artistic Director Beth Gulledge-Brown, as well as new modern and jazz choreography by Max Stone and Chet Walker. For those who didn't catch the sneak peek of Silva's joyful Reminisce at Dance Houston's Celebration of Dance earlier this month, you've got two more chances to catch it this weekend.

Performances of Reawaken are scheduled for September 27-28 at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit $15 to $35.

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View Tipped (the finalist from Canada) during the Manhattan Short Film Festival at MFAH.
Photo by Nick Mason
If you're feeling down and depressed about politics in America, then rejoice in the knowledge that your vote really counts when it comes to the 22nd annual Manhattan Short Film Festival, where audience members across six continents mark their faves on a scorecard to elect a global winner. This year's entries include Tipped by director Alysse Leite-Rogers where nightmare diners are served something worse than their just desserts (Canada), Nefta Football Club by director Yves Piat involves a headphone wearing donkey lost in the desert (France), and Debris by Julio Ramos where a construction accident uncovers human labor trafficking (United States). Other finalists come from Iran, the United Kingdom, Germany and Finland.

The Manhattan Short Film Festival is scheduled for September 28-29 and October 5 at 7 p.m. Saturdays and 5 p.m. Sunday at the Museum of fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit $8 to $10.

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Find complimentary parking behind the white historic building during this Saturday's Pop-Up Sale.
Photo by Michael Daleo
This one's a win-win. It's exciting to imagine what vintage treasures can be found when The Heritage Society presents this Saturday's Pop-Up Sale — damaged antiques, glassware, furniture, dolls and toys can all find new purpose through the creative hands of the DIY and shabby chic set. The event also helps the society preserve its permanent collections that so ably tell the story of Houston's history. Savvy pickers can expect a few surprises, too, as Houstonians have been donating their collectibles and antiques all month.

The Pop-Up Sale is scheduled for September 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at The Heritage Society Tea Room, 1100 Bagby. For information or to RSVP, call 713-655-1912, extension 114 or visit Free admission.

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Recharge your garden with the Fall Plant Sale at HMNS.
Photo by Mike Rathke

Green thumbs know that fall is the best season for planting in Houston: plants thrive in the milder temperatures and will emerge stronger and more resilient in the spring, plus butterflies and other pollinators are stocking up on nectar and pollen. During the Fall Plant Sale at The Houston Museum of Natural Science, experts will be on hand to help with selections from the inventory of nectar plants, butterfly host plants, native milkweeds and live insects, as well as edible, rare and exotic species. Prices are $4 for a four-inch plant, $9 for a gallon pot, $18 for two gallons, $25 for three gallons and $49 for citrus. Native milkweed plants will sell for $15. Bring the kids, too, as they'll want to take part in the cockroach races or the up-close bug encounters.

The Fall Plant Sale is scheduled for September 28 from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday (or until sold out) at The Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive. For information, call 713-639-4629 or visit

Four stars from the original cast of Broadway's Jersey Boys discovered they didn't want to give up singing together, a creative partnership that has worked out perfectly for audience members and fans of iconic music from the 1960s. Ten years later The Midtown Men — Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and J. Robert Spencer — have more than 2,000 performances and two albums under their belts, and their 90-minute show has been broadcast on television in partnership with PBS. Making it onto their debut album were "Can't Buy Me Love," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Bye Bye Baby" and "Up On the Roof." We're not privvy to their set list when they take the stage during The Grand 1894 Opera House's 125th season, but we're confident you'll leave "Happy Together."

The Midtown Men — Tenth Anniversary Tour is scheduled for September 28 at 8 p.m. Saturday at The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice, Galveston. For information, call 800-821-1894 or visit $40 to $98

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The Greens Bayou Regatta combines recreation, stewardship and education.
Photo by Colleen Ulibarri
We've seen the coveted Trash Pick-up Award — a miniature silver garbage can presented by the Greens Bayou Coalition — and we can't wait to see who takes home the win after this weekend's Greens Bayou Regatta. The winning team will not only have bragging rights, but they'll sleep well that night knowing they helped pick up trash along one of Houston's most secluded waterways. Fundraising racers, teams and corporate sponsors are all chipping in to help develop a 27.5 mile paddle trail along Greens Bayou. The 7.5 mile race course ends with finish line festivities plus lunch, music and vendors. Even if you don't own your own kayak, Bayou City Adventures is taking advance reservations for rentals.

Greens Bayou Regatta is scheduled for September 28 at 9 a.m. Saturday at Brock Park Golf Course, 8201 John Ralston and Thomas Bell Foster Park, 12895 Greens Bayou. For information, visit $50 per person; registration closes September 26.

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View demonstrations with live hawks and other raptors at Take Me Outdoors Houston.
Photo by Heidi Rao
Reconnect with nature when Discovery Green hosts Take Me Outdoors Houston, a celebration of the great outdoors. Representatives from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will provide hand-on activities and information about natural resources in and around Houston. Don't miss master falconer John Karger from Last Chance Forever, a bird of prey conservancy; he'll present demonstrations of live hawks and other raptors during "Birds of Prey" shows at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Take Me Outdoors Houston is scheduled for September 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. For information, call visit or Free.

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The Viet Cultural Festival team met with Mayor Sylvester Turner at Houston's City Hall.
Photo by Quang Vo
The Viet Cultural Festival offers a daylong celebration of Vietnamese food, games, cultural performances and much more. There are contests for traditional cultural clothing, lanterns, and eating pho; a presentation of the Miss Viet Teen Cultural Fest Pageant; and a Viet Cultural Fest Talent Search for soloists, singers, dancers and entertainers. For the gaming set, there's a trivia competition and a traditional Chess tournament. Our advice is to arrive hungry, too, with food vendors offering up bánh mì, boba, chicken and other sweet and savory delicacies.

The Viet Cultural Festival is scheduled for September 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday at NRG Center, 1 NRG Park. For information, call 281-933-8118 or visit $7 to $10.

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Crawl trivia teams (ages 21 and older) can range from one person to eight.
Photo by Jeremy Dallek
Calling all students of magic, wizards and witches: It's time to test your lightning skills during the Trivia Crawl That Cannot Be Named. Expect 100 questions on the exam that spans multiple venues and features drink specials at all four stops. Dress as your favorite character and get your pic taken at check-in for a chance to win the photo contest. Prove your deep knowledge of the Harry Potter legacy and turn in your trivia forms at the after party and see who wins the coveted Triwizard Cup; then stay up even later for an after party with DJ.

The Trivia Crawl That Cannot Be Named is scheduled for September 28 from 4 p.m. to midnight Saturday at Fuego's Saloon (817 Durham), Handlebar Houston (5219 Washington Avenue), Kung Fu Saloon Houston (5317 Washington Avenue) and Standard Bar (5306 Washington Avenue). For information, visit $15 to $30.
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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