On the itinerary this week are the beginning of a month-long feeding frenzy, a 1950s play about an unlikely romance, a series of performances celebrating the Bard, summer parties and a show for lovers of all things feline.
Do yourself a favor and click on the links below each event suggestion. You'll find a page with helpful intel, like where to shop, drink and eat nearby your final destination, as well as a feature that transfers the deets to your electronic calendar.
Houston Restaurant Weeks
August used to be one of the slowest months in the restaurant industry in Houston as locals fled the sultry heat in favor of mountain summers in Colorado — amid other more temperate stopping places. The appeal of Houston Restaurant Weeks, a month-long fundraising campaign for the Houston Food Bank, is that foodies can get a deal on prix fixe, multi-course lunch, brunch and dinner menus at top establishments around Houston.
Make your reservations early to ensure you scratch off as many eateries from your gourmand bucket list as you can.
Just remember to tip generously. Restaurant staff burns the candle at both ends to pull this off, so make sure you offer your gratitude bearing in mind the value of your meal, not necessarily the number on your bill.
Back Porch Players presents Tea and Sympathy
What is it about Texas that sways public school teachers to have inappropriate relations with students? The Lone Star State ranks No. 1 in the nation for ill-judged behavior, whether that's carnal encounters, drug parties or "love" affairs.
Alley Theatre's David Rainey directs Back Porch Players' production of Tea and Sympathy, a Robert Anderson play that follows a romantic relationship that ensues between a bullied young lad and the headmaster's wife in a cultured boys' prep school in New England. Even though it was written in 1953, Anderson's words explore many themes that shine light on how such deviant behavior develops.
The work closes with, "years from now when you talk about this — and you will — be kind," which is considered one of the most touching moments in the history of theater.
Houston Shakespeare Festival
Summer in the city means Shakespeare in the park at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Alternating performances of Antony and Cleopatra and As You Like It comprise this 38th annual tradition that brings the classics to Houston's favorite amphitheater. Celebrity actors include Seth Gilliam (The Wire, Oz and Homeland), Alley Theatre's Chris Hutchison (Kill the Poor, Chappelle's Show, Guiding Light and All My Children) and Crystal Dickinson and Brandon Dirden, both of whom appeared in the television series Tyler Perry's House of Payne.
White Linen Night in the Heights
Taking a cue from the signature ivory New Orleans parties, White Linen Night in the Heights once again hosts Houston's tamer version. Entertainment stages set up through 19th Street, music, art and fashion shows will enliven the quaint shopping district.
Get yourself invited to one of the many social gatherings at private homes around the area. Because that's where the fun really happens.
South Central Regional International Cat Show
I've never been to a cat show, so I wouldn't even begin to tell you what to expect. But the prospect of kooky cat ladies clawing at each other to make certain their pussies are crowned best in show is too tempting to pass up. I am sure the affair is much more civilized than that, although I can't help thinking that with 200-plus cats and kittens, someone is sure to get all hissy.
Arts smarty pants and in-the-loop film buff Nancy Wozny's pick: Screening of Band of Sister
Nancy says: "As someone educated by nuns from the Convent of the Sacred Heart (think Duchesne) from grades fifth through 12th, I know the power of the sisterhood firsthand. Mary Fishman's Band of Sisters chronicles the story of Catholic nuns and their relentless pursuit for social justice after Vatican II during the 1960s, a period I actually lived through during my Catholic school years. Director Fishman will be in attendance for the Aug. 1 showing."