Weekend Event Planner

Garth Brooks, Kathy Griffin and Pride Parade top the best weekend events in Houston

Garth Brooks, Kathy Griffin and Pride Parade top best weekend events

Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, ACM Lifting Lives Gala
Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood will put on eight shows over four days through July 4 at Toyota Center. Photo by Getty Images
Peter Sagal and Bill Kurtis Wait Wait Don't Tell Me at San Francisco's Nourse Theater July 2014
The NPR news quiz show Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me will be at Jones Hall on June 25. Alain McLaughlin Photography Inc.
Pierce the Veil
Pierce the Veil will be among the 60 bands on nine stages at the Vans Warped Tour, taking place at NRG Center on July 26. Pierce the Veil/Facebook
Pride Houston Presents The Official Houston LGBT Pride Celebration
Houston Pride Week will feature the annual Houston LGBT Pride Celebration in downtown Houston on June 27. Photo by My Gay Houston
Kathy Griffin
Kathy Griffin will perform at Bayou Music Center on June 28. Photo courtesy of AEG Live
Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, ACM Lifting Lives Gala
Peter Sagal and Bill Kurtis Wait Wait Don't Tell Me at San Francisco's Nourse Theater July 2014
Pierce the Veil
Pride Houston Presents The Official Houston LGBT Pride Celebration
Kathy Griffin

Apologies should go out to all the smaller events in Houston this weekend, as the big events are definitely taking center stage. Five of the six following events could arguably be considered huge depending on your level of fandom, especially the return of one of country music's biggest superstars.

Below are the best options for your precious free time Thursday through Sunday. Don't like what you see? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, June 25

The Ensemble Theatre presents Trav'lin: The 1930s Harlem Musical
The 2014-2015 Ensemble Theatre season finale is a trip back in time to the 1930s when Harlem Renaissance composer J. C. Johnson, who worked with the likes of Billie Holliday and Louie Armstrong, was at his peak. The humorous, heartwarming love story of three different couples is backed by Johnson's jazzy score. The musical will run through July 26.

Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
Tickets for this traveling edition of NPR's popular comedy news show sold out long ago, but it's worth scouring the secondary market to catch the live program. Host Peter Sagal and scorekeeper/announcer Bill Curtis will be joined at Jones Hall by three funny panelists to joke about this week's news. Expect to hear about Kim Kardashian, too.

Friday, June 26

2015 Vans Warped Tour
The annual Vans Warped Tour, which comes to NRG Center on Friday, is a monster of a rock festival, featuring around 60 bands on nine different stages. Among the bands performing will be Pierce the Veil, Lee Corey Oswald, The Wonder Years, Boymeetsworld, New Years Day, We Came As Romans and many more.

Garth Brooks in concert with Trisha Yearwood
The 17-year-long wait is over, as Garth Brooks — not to mention his wife, Trisha Yearwood — will finally return to Houston for the first of eight concerts in four days spread out over the course of a week. Thousands will pack Toyota Center to watch Brooks sing songs from his new album, Man Against Machine, as well as hits from throughout his illustrious career.

Saturday, June 27

Pride Houston presents The Official Houston LGBT Pride Celebration
Houston Pride Week culminates with the Houston LGBT Pride Celebration featuring a day-long festival and a nighttime parade, that, in a controversial move, has relocated to downtown Houston from Montrose. With the Supreme Court expecting to rule on legality of same sex marriages any day now, could there be extra reason to celebrate this weekend? If so, expect this event to be one of the biggest in Houston's history.

Sunday, June 28

Kathy Griffin in concert
Although Kathy Griffin is not technically part of Houston Pride Week, she might as well be. Griffin has long been an LGBT ally, whether it was in her stand-up act, on her reality show My Life on the D List or as co-host of CNN's New Year's Eve festivities with Anderson Cooper. Griffin will perform her reliably entertaining comedy at Bayou Music Center.