Can't get enough cosplay? Neither can we and lucky for all of us the next chance to don our favorite cosplay ensemble is this Friday at Jones Hall where the sounds and rhythms of your favorite video games will be brought to life on stage with the Houston Symphony. Take a hike in one of Houston's most loved parks for a view that's often overlooked, the 8 o'clock Sunday morning sunlight at Memorial Park. Though the park gets most of its visitors during the day, set your alarm for a hike that'll make you forget you're in the heart of the city. Keep reading for more of this weekend's best bets.
Gamers, stop trying to beat your previous high score, put down the controller and get over to the Houston Symphony for, presented as part of the Bank of America Summer Series. Show creator Tommy Tallarico hosts and plays guitar alongside conductor Emmanuel Fratianni and the Houston Symphony Chorus for this immersive experience. “As a composer, I wanted to prove to the world how culturally significant video games have become,” Tallarico says. “And my other goal was to usher in a new generation of young people to appreciate the arts and symphony.” My, how he was correct. You’ll see great games like never before: from Final Fantasy to Zelda, Skyrim, Donkey Kong Country, Warcraft, Shadow of the Colossus, Pokémon, Mario and many more in a different light this Friday at Jones Hall.
7:30 p.m. Friday. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $23 to $95.
On our list of must-see installations this summer is the site-specific “The Ephemeral Beauty in Nature” by. What the Tokyo-based artist has done with floating glass balls, brass and wax fragments is sublime, transforming these fragile materials into a swaying dreamscape of light and reflection. There’s an opening reception this Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m., but our eyes are on the prize when Shimazu discusses her view of nature as a vast living organism during an artist talk this Wednesday. “[She] is interested in coming to the U.S. and having a dialogue about her work and really having that cross-cultural exchange,” says gallery owner Nicole Longnecker, adding that Shimazu also wants to hear about our interests and how we view her work. Take the time Saturday to view her work and create your own take on the nature-centric installation.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Continuing 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, also 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. July 8 through August 19. Nicole Longnecker Gallery, 2625 Colquitt. For information, call 346-800-2780 or visit longneckergallery.com. Free.
The Purple One may have permanently left the building, but his musical influence still carries as much impact and presence as when he was still with us. In honor of his legacy, the Houston Symphony is gifting us with a night of funk and soul during. Hop in the “Little Red Corvette” and “Let’s Go Crazy” to all the best party jams. Conductor Brent Havens has teamed up with singer Marshall Charloff and the band Purple Xperience to bring a full musical kaleidoscope. Having performed this concert a few times in the past, Havens guarantees it will be a blast. “I gave the first downbeat from the podium, and the place exploded. People were right on their feet from the get-go. It’s hard not to get on your feet.” Throw on your own raspberry beret for what will surely feel like a classic jam session with your friends this Saturday night.
7:30 p.m. Saturday. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $29 to $139.
What better way to spend a Sunday morning than with a brisk walk through the 1,466 acres of Houston’s own Memorial Park with Bayou City Outdoors? Nestled just inside the Loop, Memorial Park is home to miles of trails – narrow, wide, open fields, rocky terrain, dense woods – all ripe for exploring on the hour-and-a-half-long hike. Meet at 8 a.m. in Memorial Park by the rugby/soccer field parking lot and be ready to walk at 8:15 a.m. Wear your walking shoes (hiking boots or tennis shoes), leave Sparky at home (it’s a little too hot for dogs), and make sure to bring water. Afterwards, make plans to join your new friends for breakfast and coffee.
8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday. Memorial Park, 6501 Memorial Drive. For information visit active.com. Free.
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Katherine Parr was the only one of King Henry VIII’s six wives to stay with him till the end — his end, since she survived him. Canadian playwright Kate Henning has re-imagined that history (and made it a bit funnier), setting it in contemporary times in the regional premiere ofat Main Street Theater. Rutherford “Ruddy” Cravens (you may have seen him recently playing a racist in Jordan Peele’s movie Get Out) plays Henry. “He’s a formerly vital, energetic man at the end of his days hanging on,” says Cravens. “He’s losing confidence in his powers but determined to stay in charge, to stay on top.” As for whether he really loves his young wife, Cravens says: “I think as far as he is capable, he really loves her but he’s a pretty damaged human being.” There’s intrigue aplenty as Kate Parr (played by Lisa Villegas) has endangered herself with secret meetings with Thom, Henry’s former brother-in-law, that's to be seen this Sunday afternoon. She battles Henry to make sure his daughters are educated and have rights — much as the original Katherine Parr did on behalf of the future Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth I.
3 p.m. Sundays. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Continuing 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; July 15 through August 13. Main Street Theater. For information, call 713-524-6706 or visit mainstreettheater.com. $36 to $43.
Sam Byrd, Natalie De La Garza, Margaret Downing and Susie Tommaney contributed to this story.