On tap this week: Getting to know East Downtown Houston, two socials for good, a bombastic free musical at Miller Outdoor Theatre and a Latin singer whose backside gets just as much attention as his voice.
More than just suggesting things to do, you'll find helpful information by clicking on the link below each event. Download the info to your iCal, Outlook or Gmail, see what good eateries are around the event and note where you can grab a cocktail and treat yourself to a little retail therapy — just so you can get the most out of your outing.
Boys and Girls Country of Houston Charity Auction Preview Party and Sale
It was when I was researching Lemonade Day participants that I learned about Boys and Girls Country of Houston, a home for children who are not eligible for adoption but who need a safe space to grow up, study and learn to become self-sustaining adults. There, I met teen entrepreneur Miron Gelmesa, who was helping sell juice to raise funds for a three-day summer vacation for his friends.
Talking to him left an impression. Rather than dwelling on his personal challenges, this bright, energetic young man was determined to shake things up and make things happen.
This preview party and sale with honorary chair — interior designer Bill Stubbs — at Lewis & Maese Antiques & Auctions supports the organization that cultivates this get-to-it spirit. Plus, shoppers will get dibs on the goods from a 20,000-square-foot estate sale from an anonymous donor — and I just love a bit of mystery.
First Ever EaDo Pub Crawl
It's been roughly three years since what used to be coined Chinatown or Eastside threw itself a party and was reborn as EaDo. While much attention has been given to the Washington Corridor and Midtown for redevelopment and transformation, East Downtown Houston has been quietly doing its thing, like the artsy hipster who doesn't quite care what others think.
Though I am no stranger to the area, I don't patronize many taverns east of interstates 45 and 59 — not consciously, more just out of habit.
Air Alliance organizes this triple drinkery scrabble, starting at Lucky's Pub and making stops at Cork Soakers and Little Woodrow's. Somewhere along the trek, the Houston Dynamo Girls will make an appearance. The party continues at Art Hous Designs and at Francisco Studios.
But there's more. If you need extra EaDo in your life, there's a private pre-Dynamo game shindig Saturday on Orange Avenue. And on Sunday, an EaDo bike and brunch explores the street scene and the food of Cork Soaker's wine bar.
Camp For All Young Professionals "No Barriers Bash"
This isn't one of those anything-goes soirees, though by no means any less enjoyable. Rather, the title nods to the tenor of the beneficiary Camp For All, which collaborates with more than 56 nonprofits to operate camps for children and adults living with challenging conditions, like cancer, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries, cognitive issues, burns, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism.
There, they find an environment that fosters a there's-nothing-you-can't-do attitude
At "No Barriers Bash," grub by Goode Company Barbeque and an open bar with poison by Dripping Springs Texas Vodka complement live music, jumbo Jenga, giant Connect Four and raffle prizes.
Taikoza at Miller Outdoor Theatre
When one is featured in the History Channel, ESPN and in a Nintendo game, that says something. Taikoza, hailing from the Big Apple, was founded by members of the legendary taiko troupe Ondekoza, which is credited for introducing the world to this thunderous Japanese musical tradition in the '60s.
Rumor has it that for this performance at the city's favorite al fresco amphitheater, a 6-foot long drum will dominate the stage.
Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez in Concert
The mere mention of Julio Iglesias turned the females in my family into raging, irrational teenagers swooning at hearing his voice. Truth be told I never understood that obsession, though I am not shy about disclosing my own infatuation with his son Enrique, one which I share with many of you readers who think it's acceptable to rush the stage to check out his assets — and I mean his butt.
That he's performing with JLo is a double whammy. Reports say she takes the cake with large neon pink feather fans and high energy dancing. Can Enrique compete with that?
Staff writer and sassy Houston explorer Whitney Radley's pick: Journey with Pat Benatar
Whitney says: "I think it's safe to assume that almost everyone has belted 'Don't Stop Believin' ' at the top of their lungs during a college house party, and that most have sung along to 'Love is a Battlefield' at a karaoke dive bar.
"Journey and Pat Benatar have partnered up with the Canadian rockers from Loverboy to bring their tour to the Houston area this weekend — and the show is bound to be a high-energy, feel-good night of singalongs."
Staff writer, arts savant and totally awesome extreme weather expert Tyler Rudick's pick: Art opening reception at Lawndale Art Center
Tyler says: "Following up yet another successful run of its annual Big Show, Lawndale is turning to four intimate exhibits offering four completely different experiences.
"Houston's Lillian Warren will cover the gallery walls with a painting installation of her pen and watercolor figures. Italian sculptor Paolo Piscitelli has created a site-specific piece in wood. Austin-based artists Candace Hicks and Angela Piehl will show their embroidered books and gothy drawings, respectively.
"Also check out the Lawndale's new collaborative mural project led Houston graffiti artist Daniel Anguilu."
Beer loving, in-the-loop arts smarty pants Nancy Wozny's pick: November
Nancy says: "What better way to gear up for the political theater in an election than watching David Mamet's searing comedy November at the Alley Theatre. November chronicles Charles H.P. Smith, an incumbent president on the verge of losing an election. Mamet's ear for snappy dialogue and ability to tap into the pulse of a nation is always a wonder.
" 'For a long time, I felt politicians were stealing my material. I wrote Wag the Dog and then that scandal followed. I guess plagiarism is the sincerest form of thievery,' Mamet wrote in a New York Magazine question-and-answer.
Really, what better way to get all jazzed up about the upcoming election than with Mamet's acerbic wit."