Things To Do

Best Bets: My Fair Lady, Mid-Autumn Festival, and Cole Porter

Photo by Danny Clinch
DACAMERA presents Pedrito Martinez at Miller Outdoor Theatre.
In the mood for one of the best musicals of all time, the "Hamilton of its day"? How about a sexy, ‘60s film? Or maybe a family-friendly festival? If so, we’ve got these and much more on this week’s list of best bets. Keep reading to see all of our picks for the coming week.

The Lincoln Center Theater’s touring production of Lerner & Loewe's My Fair Lady – suspended in March 2020 due to COVID – resumed this week at the Hobby Center and you still have until Sunday, September 19 to catch it. The Bartlett Sher-directed musical, about a phonetics professor who bets he can turn a Cockney flower-selling girl into a member of high society, was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical Revival. Leslie Alexander, who plays Professor Henry Higgins’s mother in the show, recently told the Houston Press that “the show's enduring attraction lies in its premise that someone with enough desire can overcome difficulties.” Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Sunday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. You can purchase tickets here for $35 to $125.
Today, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will open a two-day run of the 1963 film, La Piscine (The Swimming Pool), an “alluring work of slow-burn suspense from thriller specialist Jacques Deray and legendary screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière.” In the film, you can expect to see the ‘60s (in the miniskirts, jazz-pop, and cast led by Alain Delon and Romy Schneider), the ‘70s (a “libertine atmosphere, the characters’ self-absorption, the sense of ideals abandoned if they ever existed at all”), and a type of film we don’t often see anymore. It’s “pretty people behaving poorly in beautiful settings,” says The New York Times, and it’s “a master class in the subgenre, and one of unusual depth.” Screenings are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday, September 16, and 7 p.m. Friday, September 17. Tickets can be purchased here for $7 to $9.

Pedrito Martinez, said to be “one of the most explosive drummers alive,” has been mining “the funkiest of street rumba, jazz and timba” for a while now. On Friday, September 17, at 8 p.m. you can experience the “Latin pop, propulsive dance vamps and adventurous jazz” that are “all part of the spectrum for the Pedrito Martinez Group” when DACAMERA presents the Pedrito Martinez Group at Miller Outdoor Theatre for a free concert. Seated tickets are available now for the rain-or-shine show here. Or you can bring a blanket or lawn chair and head for the ticketless pod seating on the Hill. The performance will also be livestreamed, so you could also choose to stay home and watch on the Miller Outdoor Theatre website, YouTube channel, or Facebook page.
click to enlarge Houston Symphony Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada leads the Symphony in Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY RATHBUN PHOTOGRAPHY
Houston Symphony Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada leads the Symphony in Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
Photo by Anthony Rathbun Photography
Houston Symphony Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada will begin his final season as the Symphony’s music director this weekend when he opens the 2021–22 Classical Series with a program titled Andrés Conducts Beethoven’s Fifth. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 is “considered one of Beethoven's greatest musical works” and is “widely recognized by the ominous four-note opening motif—often interpreted as the musical manifestation of ‘fate knocking at the door.’” Joining the work on the program are Beethoven’s Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano, and the world premiere of a new orchestral arrangement by Houston composer Kyle Rivera of George Bridgetower’s Henry, a Ballad, for Fortepiano and Voice. In-person performances are scheduled for Friday, September 17, and Saturday, September 18, at 8 p.m. as well as Sunday, September 19, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday night’s concert will also be livestreamed. Ticket can be purchased here ($29 to $144 for the in-person shows and $20 for the video performance).

Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, also called the Moon Festival or Lantern Festival, with Asia Society Texas Center this Sunday, September 19, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can welcome the autumn harvest and full moon by listening to Taiwanese folk songs, viewing a fan dance by the Vietnamese Culture and Science Association, and taking in a K-Pop performance by KLOVR. There will also be arts and crafts (like lantern-making, moon ornaments, calligraphy, and more), a small marketplace, and live story times. The festival is free, but you must register here. Note that this event will be indoors, and there will be mandatory physical distancing and face masks.

On Monday, September 20, at 7:30 p.m. enjoy a cabaret at Ovations Night Club with Paul Hope Cabaret Presents Too Darn Hot: Cole Porter in the 40s. Metropolitan Opera baritone Richard Paul Fink will join cast members Grace Givens, Brian Chambers, Tamara Siler, Whitney Zangarine, and Chelsea Lerner to celebrate Porter, who “provided full scores for a number of bright Broadway and Hollywood productions,” like Anything Goes, Rosalie, and Kiss Me, Kate, throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Additional shows are scheduled for Monday, September 27, and Monday, October 4, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, ranging in price from $15 to $100, are available now here.
Over at Market Square Park on Wednesday, September 22, at 8 p.m. you can catch David O. Russell’s 2012 film, Silver Linings Playbook as part of their Movies Under the Stars series of screenings. The film, “an almost-comedy about a bipolar high-school teacher who goes off the deep end and isn't sure how to climb back,” was adapted from a book by Matthew Quick, which Russell “gently bent to his own purposes.” The result displays “high-flying zaniness” with “the sting of life,” and humor that “feels dredged up from the same dark, boggy place from which Samuel Beckett extracted his yuks.” Grab a lawn chair or blanket and get there early to claim a spot to watch the free film. Future screenings in the series include Death Becomes Her, Poltergeist, and Good Will Hunting.