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

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lady playing Bingo with cigarette
Market Square Park adds a new series of events to its schedule: Blanket Bingo. Courtesy photo
Classical Theatre Company
Matthew Keenan plays Hamlet in Classical Theatre Company's production of the noted Shakespeare play. Courtesy of Classical Theatre Company/Facebook
Rattletree Marimba
Rattletree Marimba has earned a reputation for fusing giant, hand-made marimbas with modern grooves. Photo by Dale Rempert Photography
Kicking off our 2013-14 performing arts seasons are multi-instrumentalists Shoji Kameda and Kaoru Watanabe. These leading lights of Japanese music in the United States are known for infusing traditional taiko and flute with jazz and world music elements su
Shoji Kameda, Kaoru Watanabe and Sumie Kaneko will present a concert at Asia Society Texas Center. Courtesy of Asia Society Texas Center
Texas Children's Art Festival
The Texas Children's Art Festival at Bayou Bend focuses on arts and crafts of Texas and American provenance. Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
lady playing Bingo with cigarette
Classical Theatre Company
Rattletree Marimba
Kicking off our 2013-14 performing arts seasons are multi-instrumentalists Shoji Kameda and Kaoru Watanabe. These leading lights of Japanese music in the United States are known for infusing traditional taiko and flute with jazz and world music elements su
Texas Children's Art Festival
Joel Luks, head shot, column mug, April 2013

On tap this week are events that link past and present, including an al fresco game night, classic theater, African music, Japanese tunes and a family friendly festival at one of Houston's historic house museums.

Be sure to click on the links below each event. You'll find a page with worthwhile information, like where to eat, drink and shop nearby your final destination, and a nifty feature that downloads the deets straight to your electronic calendar.

Blanket Bingo at Market Square Park

In what seems like a relatively short time, Market Square Park has transformed into an artsy outdoor hub for activities, performances, films and informal gatherings. And now the regents of the historic downtown green space are adding vitality with another series of events: Blanket Bingo.

Bring a blanket, gather your friends and enjoy the sunset on the green while having a go at winning private pontoon boat rides on Buffalo Bayou, a one-night staycation at Hotel Icon, gift cards from area restaurants and $500 in hard cash. Proceeds benefit Buffalo Bayou Partnership.

The skinny: Thursday, 6 to 9 p.m.; Market Square Park; $10 cash includes 10 games, daubers can be purchased for $1.50.

Classical Theatre Company presents Hamlet by William Shakespeare

C'mon, admit it. You may be able to recite prominent strophes from this noted play, but are you truly versed in Shakespeare's whole caboodle that's the story of to be or not to be?

The thespians at Classical Theatre Company aren't hesitant in adding contemporary references to the classic. Spies, computer specialists, government controversial surveillance programs and one whistleblower update the tragedy, morphing the protagonist into the controversial Edward Snowden. It's up to you to decide if the informant is a tragic hero or a manipulative villain gone rogue.

Artistic mastermind John Johnston directs this production that includes Matthew Keenan as Hamlet, Rutherford Cravens as Claudius, Christianne Mays as Gertrude and Ralph Ehntholt as Polonius.

The skinny: Through Sept. 29; Barnevelder Arts/Movement Complex; general admission tickets are $20, $15 for seniors and $10 for students and theater industry professionals.

Rattletree Marimba Performance and Workshop

Marimba and electronica may not be musical terms associated with one another, but Rattletree Marimba, based in Austin, has earned a reputation for fusing giant, hand-made mallet percussion instruments with hypnotic grooves that make you want to get up and dance. 

Joel Laviolette, chief of the ensemble, leads an interactive workshop in the afternoon that precedes a performance party in the evening at the Orange Show Monument.

The skinny: Saturday, 2 p.m. workshop and 7 p.m. performance; Orange Show Center for Visionary Art; workshop is free, performance is $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

Shoji Kameda, Kaoru Watanabe and Sumie Kaneko Trio in concert

Blending East and West aesthetics and old and new traditions, this threesome of badass musicians are virtuosos of ancient Japanese instruments, among them taiko drums, fue (Japanese flute) and koto (a type of zither). Their artistry has earned Grammy nominations. The music has been featured in NBC's Heroes and the documentary Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story.

This musical adventure that mingles jazz and world music sonorities kicks off Asia Society Texas Center's 2013-14 performance season. 

The skinny: Saturday, 8 p.m.; Asia Society Texas Center; $20 general public, $15 Asia Society Texas Center members.

Texas Children's Art Festival

A watercolor workshop led by Artist Boat, a Galveston-based art collective; metal forging demos by Houston-based blacksmiths; hands-on printmaking and jewelry projects; demonstrations by smiths from the Gulf Coast Woodturners Association; a group art project; an appearance by the Quilt Guild of Greater Houston; and a clay artist at a pottery wheel comprise the activities at Bayou Bend's Texas Children's Art Festival.

The family gathering focuses on arts and crafts of Texas and American provenance in an effort to show their importance in linking past, present and future traditions.

The skinny: Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.; Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens; free event.

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