On the agenda this week are a happy musical in which pre-historic beasts come to life in song and dance, a festival filled with tuneful laughs, a local celebration of poetry, dramatic film from across the pond and a pitmaster fundraising foodie bash that benefits a worthy foundation.
Bayou City Theatrics presents Triassic Parq: The Musical
The Wizard of Oz has Wicked, Hitler has The Producers (sort of) and now Jurassic Park has Triassic Parq, a musical that turns the table on the popular Steven Spielberg film that was inspired by its namesake Michael Crichton novel. Because, as everyone knows, every story has three sides: This side, that side and what really happened.
Courtesy of mosquito and frog DNA, dinos are brought back from extinction in a setting where the Mesozoic beasts are so cute and funny they can't help but break into song and dance in a setting that one audience member described as "a tale of evolution, family and dick."
Houston Whatever Fest
I can't say that I dig the festival's name as I picture a bunch of vapid valley girls twirling their curls repeating things as "whatever," "as if" and "not even." Clueless, anyone? Which is what I first thought about this inaugural two-day comedy and music bash.
But with music on five stages, more than 30 musical performances plus some 30 comedians, this isn't a lackadaisical affair. Musical talent such as Mute Math, The Hold Steady, Andrew Wk, Trust, The Queers, Kreayshawn, Helmet and Local H plus funny folks Bobcat Goldthwait, Bob Biggerstaff, Andy Huggins, Jonah Ray and TJ Miller are on tap for this anything goes weekend.
Word Around Town Poetry Tour 2014
Poetry jumps off the page as 16 local wordsmiths are featured in this weeklong event that celebrates Houston's literary scene. Organized by Gerald Cedillo, Joe B, Lupe Mendez, Tanyia Johnson and Stephen Gros, the Word Around Town Poetry Tour presents a melange of poetry styles such as academic, slam, spoken word and experimental at casual venues.
Drama in the House film screening: Gosford Park
In an effort to give context to the exhibition Houghton Hall: Portrait of an English Country House, on view through Sept. 21, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's film department presents a series of films that were shot inside similar bucolic manses.
The series continues this weekend with a screening of Gosford Park, a 2001 flick about a 1932 murder-mystery tale that originally inspired the television hit Downton Abbey. Of course Maggie Smith is in it.
Staff writer and resident BBQ nerd Eric Sandler's pick: SEAL Legacy Fundraiser
Eric says: "Houston's barbecue scene is as hot as it's ever been, with folks lining up an hour or more to get some smoky goodness at places like Killen's or Corkscrew. Not surprisingly, a couple of local top chefs want in, and they're hoping to raise some money for a good cause in the process.
"Underbelly chef/owner Chris Shepherd, former Haven chef Randy Evans and up-and-coming pitmaster Patrick Feges team up to sell barbecue plates at The Hay Merchant. All the meat comes courtesy of high-quality local producer 44 Farms, including brisket, ribeye, sirloin, beef belly and beef cheek. At $15 per plate, it's a total steal. All proceeds benefit the SEAL Legacy Foundation."
The skinny: Sunday, 3-9 p.m.; The Hay Merchant, $15.