Even though the Fourth of July isn't until Wednesday, we have a feeling that Houstonians will be celebrating pretty early. Heck, there are already Independence Day-related happenings scheduled for this weekend. So, assume the barbecuing, bottle rockets, and beer consumption will start up in your neighborhood any minute now.
As always, there are other fun things to do with your time from Thursday to Sunday. Here is a list:
Thursday, June 28
Sistas: The Musical sings up a storm at the Ensemble Theatre
Sistas: The Musical appears tailor-made for throngs of women who like to meet up, get hammered on boxed wine and go see a play which celebrates the sisterhood of women. It’s about five women –four African-American and one white – who come together after their beloved grandmother dies and try to figure out which song they’re going to sing at the memorial. They also sing tunes with titles like, “Naming the Pain (A Good Man is Hard to Find)” and “Framing the Problem (I Am Not My Hair).” So, catch this play before Tyler Perry buys the movie rights. 7:30 pm (8 pm Friday and Saturday; 2 pm Saturday; 3 pm Sunday).
Champions of Magic dazzle with grand illusions
Champions of Magic seems like a bunch of magicians got together because they saw those Now You See Me movies and said, “Hey, they joined forces and did a collective magic show — why don’t we?” This international crew includes close-up magic expert Kayla Drescher, mind reader Alex McAleer, escape artist Fernando Velasco, and illusionist duo Young & Strange. They’re starting their U.S. tour here in Houston, with a four-day stint. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday (2 pm Saturday; 1 and 6 pm Sunday).
Friday, June 29
PURE EVIL – shells out his extreme art
His name is Charles Uzzell Edwards, but this artist refers to himself as PURE EVIL. (All caps and everything.) While that might seem by some like an extreme artist-alias to give yourself, once you see his equally extreme artwork — which mostly consists of portraits of icons like Elvis, Picasso and Jackie O, usually done in a twisted, askew manner — you’ll understand why he chose such an out-there nom de guerre. He’ll be showing off his latest solo exhibition, PURE EVIL: Steel Sharpens Steel, this weekend. It’ll be on display through September 1. 6-8:30 pm.
Tamarie Cooper gets trippy with The Tamarie Cooper Show: Field Trip!
As the co-founder and associate director of The Catastrophic Theatre, Tamarie Cooper is also one of the major draws of this stage company. The main thing she’s done to make that so is do an annual summer show called The Tamarie Cooper Show. For her latest installment – her 21st – she goes on a metaphysical field trip where she muses on the meaning of life, her personal baggage, rage, drinking and, for some reason, Gwyneth Paltrow. This certain-to-be-crazy journey begins this Thursday and runs through August 12. 7:30 pm (8 pm Friday and Saturday; 2:30 pm Sunday)
Saturday, June 30
Sip some with Cultural Crawl, a bar-crawl group
Cultural Crawl is going to be another one of those bar-crawl groups you’re going to have to share sidewalk space with this weekend on the streets of Montrose. However, unlike those other drunken, obnoxious crowds you usually deal with, these people might actually respect your space. Founded by three black creatives from D.C., this crawl is out to “create a safe and inclusive space for individuals/groups to drink, eat and explore.” It’ll start in the afternoon at Brasil Café, then slink through such spots as Catbirds, Goodnight Charlie’s, and Ramen Tatsu-ya. 2-10 pm.
Maestro Hans Graf closes out the Immanuel and Helen Oshan Texas Music Festival
After a month of exceptional classical music, the 29th annual Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival, where classical music’s rising stars study and perform with conductors and soloists, wraps up this weekend. To close things out, the fest is bringing out the big guns: maestro Hans Graf. Returning to Houston after winning a Best Opera Recording Grammy this year for Berg: Wozzeck, the Houston Symphony Orchestra’s former music director/conductor — the longest-serving music director in the HSO’s history, by the way — will do an all-Shostakovich program for the festival’s grand finale. 7 pm.
Sunday, July 1
Ladies can get wet-and-wild at the Nautickle – Naughty Lesbian Boat Party
When we heard about the Nautickle — Naughty Lesbian Boat Party, a seafaring event for all the queer-identified women in the area, we admit to being curious. (We sadly couldn’t find out about it at the office, since we can't look up any line with the words “naughty” and “lesbian” in the title.) Conceived and organized by Austin writer Faye Fearless, who has previously done Nautickle boat parties near the state capital, this event promises to entertain the ladies who are...into ladies. There will be swimming, drinking games, and a water slide. Noon to 3 p.m.
Paul Thomas Anderson waxes exotic with Junun
Paul Thomas Anderson, the man behind Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood and the recent Phantom Thread, doesn’t just make lavishly directed yet usually maddening, Oscar-bait movies. He also takes time out to do some left-field movie projects, like this 54-minute documentary from 2015 about a group of musicians (including Sufi, Qawwali and Rajasthani artists and Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood) assembling a studio in India. It was also shot on the grounds of the Mehrangarh Fort, whose museum’s collections are featured in the MFAH’s Peacock in the Desert exhibit). 3 and 5 pm.