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Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events

Vault Dance company in Thread, October 2012
Vault Dance company artists in Thread Photo by © Lynn Lane
Houston Festival Foundation presents "Mega Baile con Bombon"
Houston Festival Foundation presents "Mega Baile con Bombon"  Photo by Jay Tovar
Vault Dance company in Thread, October 2012
Houston Festival Foundation presents "Mega Baile con Bombon"
Orange Show Eyeopener Tour: "Houston’s Graveyards: The Gateway to Eternity"
News_Joel Luks_head shot_column mug

On tap this week are beer events for good, romantic stories of yearning desire, a sexy Latin dance party, biking for a cause, a stroll through local burial grounds and dancers suspended in midair.

To better plan for your outing, click on the link below each event. There, you will find helpful features like the ability to download the information directly to your electronic calendar as well as details about nearby restaurants, watering holes and retail shops, just in case you want to take full advantage of your surroundings.

Organic Horticulture Benefits Alliance's "OktOHBAfest - Beers, Brats & Organic Benefits"

Organic Horticulture Benefits Alliance's first attempt at this Oktoberfest beer carouse is worth checking out. We know that with Nick Gaitan and The Umbrella Man, the music will surely rock, Revival Market never disappoints and Karbach Brewing Co. suds are good for the soul. Better yet, proceeds from the event subsidize students on the road to learning more about careers in organics and sustainability.

The deets: Thursday, 6 p.m.; Karbach Brewing Co.; admission is $40.

Houston Grand Opera presents La bohème

There's a bit of Rodolfo and Mimì in everyone. Perhaps that's your own story of unfulfilled love, or of a troublesome relationship or of a passionate affair that ended too soon — for whatever reason. I identify more with Musetta's sassy and coquettish manner and how she fiddles with the men in her life to get exactly what she wants. Admit it, we all do that.

Append irresistible tunes and a new production directed by John Caird with sopranos Katie Van Kooten and Heidi Stober, tenor Dimitri Pittas and baritone Joshua Hopkins — there's no good reason to avoid an evening of la vie bohème.

The deets: Friday through Nov. 10; Wortham Theater Center; performance tickets start at $15; opening night dinner tickets start at $500.

Houston Festival Foundation presents "Mega Baile con Bombon"

Has the cooler weather brought your spirits down? Try this groovy Latin dance fete, hosted by the Houston Festival Foundation, where scandalous outfits are welcome. DJs Gracie Chavez, OG  Bobby Trill, Navo and Panchitron will spin hip-shaking tunes — think cumbia, salsa, funk, reggae — alongside live percussionists and hot Brazilian dancers. It's all about the bombón.

If you need an excuse to party, know that proceeds from this gathering benefit the 63rd Annual Holiday Parade and the Houston International Festival (iFest).

The deets: Friday, 9 p.m.; Parade Warehouse; $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

Houston Habitat for Humanity's "Bike to Build"

The fundraising goal for this group bike-a-thon is $40,000 in support of Houston Habitat for Humanity. So far, the cash-o-meter is at $7,308. Though I recognize that not all of us have the skills to build homes, dare I suggest that we can all hop on a bike?

You can choose between a 10- or 20- mile route. Join a group, grab the family or go it alone as you'll certainly make plenty of friends along the way. The ride starts and ends at Minute Maid Park, where a post ride party offers live music, food and fun activities.

The deets: Saturday, 8 a.m.; Minute Maid Park; registration is $30, $20 for kids ages 12 and under. 

Orange Show Eyeopener Tour: "Houston's Graveyards: The Gateway to Eternity"

Here are two reason to board a luxury motor coach and go on an Orange Show tour: The colorful people that partake in the excursion and oh, the places you'll go, to quote one of my favorite Dr. Seuss tomes. 'Tis the season to spook yourself silly, and this necropolis trek is just what you need to get into a Halloween frame of mind.

Marks Hinton, Orange Show board member and cool history junkie, leads this in-depth look at Glenwood, College Park and Founds cemeteries, where George Herman, Rev. Jack Yates, Howard Hughes and Gene Tierney are enjoying their final resting place.

The deets: Sunday, 1 p.m.; Orange Show Center for Visionary Art; $40 for Orange Show members, $60 public.

Staff writer and arts savant Tyler Rudick's pick: Pan Art Fair hosted by The Great God Pan is Dead blog and St. Anne's Fiesta

Tyler says: "The Great God Pan Is Dead blog has found the solution to Houston's overabundance of art fairs . . . another art fair. Compared to its big-ticket cousins, however, the Pan Art Fair is a free and fantastically grassroots affair hosting eight local exhibitors. The Pan show runs concurrently with this weekend's Texas Contemporary show, opening Thursday at 5 p.m. with daily times from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Sunday.

"Also this weekend: Any foodies looking for some grassroots fun should check out the St. Anne's Fiesta on Sunday at 2140 Westheimer Rd., where Pink's Pizza, Churrascos and D'Amico are setting up special booths to benefit the St. Anne parochial school."

The deets for Pan Art Fair: Thursday through Sunday; Embassy Suites Downtown; admission is free.

Staff writer and savvy Houston explorer Whitney Radley's pick: Brave Combo at Discovery Green

Whitney says: "Brave Combo really defies definition, but I'll try: An accordion-heavy polka rock band influenced by Texas Country twang as much as Latin American and Caribbean grooves. That undefinable brand is approachable and parent-friendly, but their DIY ethic and musical artistry is enough to win over the crustiest of punks. And did I mention it's, like, totally danceable?"

The deets: Thursday, 6:30 p.m.; Discovery Green; admission is free.

Arts smarty pants and in-the-loop dance maven Nancy Wozny's pick: Vault Dance Company presents Thread

Nancy says: "Vault Dance Company is hanging from a ceiling again, this time at their own Spring Street digs. Vault founder and choreographer Amy Ell has been working on Thread for a few years now. The piece has toured to New Mexico and this will be first time for Houston audiences to see the updated piece. Ell is Houston's most distinguished aerial dancer, Gyrontonic teacher and daredevil.  She has studied and taught all over the world. It's hard not to get excited to see a dance where the dancers are literally suspended by threads."

The deets: Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Vault Houston at Spring Street Studios; $20 general admission, $15 students and seniors.

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