On tap for this thankful week are events that give back, shopping affairs, interactive theater for the whole family, artsy cinema, a solution for relatives who have overstayed their welcome and a popular holiday dance tradition.
Click on the links below each event to access pages with helpful features, like the ability to download the information to your electronic calendar, and information about your final destination in case you get hungry, thirsty or need a place to crash for the evening.
20th Annual TXU Energy Turkey Trot benefiting Sheltering Arms Senior Services
'Tis the season of weight gain and doing good, so here's an event that will allow you to keep the latter while ensuring the former doesn't pop up as a New Year's resolution that you're most likely to screw up anyway. Runners or walkers can take on the 5K, 10K or wheelchair run/walk, either timed competitive or non-competitive. The kids or seniors 1K run/walk is also an option.
For those familiar with the race, keep in mind there has been some changes to the route.
Procrastinators are welcome. You can sign up on race day — though it won't be timed — but it still counts for good karmic points as the 20-year tradition benefits a Neighborhood Center's nonprofit that cares for older adults and their caregivers.
Houston Holiday Pop Shop
Last week it was Fresh Arts' Winter Holiday Art Market that had Winter Street Studios buzzing with holiday shoppers on a mission to find one-of-a-kind, handcrafted gifts from local artists and artisans. This week the fun moves seasons to Summer Street Studios where renegade designers, small business owners and creatives will offer records, cards, jewelry, zines, terrariums and vintage clothing as part of the Houston Holiday Pop Shop.
Among the vendors are Tin Roof Soap Company, Nano Fiction, Magpies & Peacocks, Lisa Chow, Cutthroat Records and Lady Lazarus Press. Expect plenty of food trucks and live performances to jazz things up while you spend your cash.
Stages Repertory Theatre presents Panto Mother Goose
Like a good shampoo that does what it's supposed to do, Stages Repertory Theatre recognizes that if something leave audiences teased, it's time to rinse and repeat. The "Panto" series, not to be confused with pantomime, transforms popular fairy tale stories into interactive, hilarious — and sometimes naughty — productions where there's more than one lesson to be learned and where audiences will, most likely, be a part of the on-stage action. It's rowdy, in-your-face fun.
Mother Goose Island will be forever changed — for better or for worse — though I am certain that by the end, Jack and Jill will return poetry to their fantasy world. Suitable for kids and adults.
Film screening: Beauty Is Embarrassing
Among Wayne White's credits are painter, sculpture, cartoonist, puppeteer, set designer, art director, animator, illustrator . . . the list goes on and on. He layers comedy onto fine art, morphs cartoons into sets and turns sets back into paintings. You may not know his output by name, but you know his work in Pee Wee's Playhouse, The East Village Eye and The New York Times. Or the giant head of George Jones he installed at Rice University in 2009.
His life is chronicled in the film Beauty is Embarrassing. White says his life isn't interesting, but art critics disagree.
Messina Hof Winery & Resort Fall Wine Appreciation Classes
If your relatives are still in town and getting on your last nerve, I'm offering a solution here: Send them away and get them drunk. You can camouflage your true feelings by visiting a vineyard that's fabulous — which it is — has a lovely terrain — which it does — and the restaurant is first rate — which it is.
Staff writer and savvy Houston explorer Whitney Radley's pick: Houston Ballet presents The Nutcracker
Whitney says: "Many consider the bird to be the best facet of the Thanksgiving holiday, but for me, it's what comes after — not Black Friday, but the go-ahead to get into the Christmas spirit, which isn't complete without a Houston Ballet performance of The Nutcracker. Load up the fridge with eggnog, turn up those yuletide tunes, bring out your heirloom ornaments and prepare for dreams of sugar plum fairies."
Arts smarty pants and in-the-loop creative maven Nancy Wozny's pick: Homage to Domestic Familiarity II at Anya Tish Gallery
Nancy says: "Dust, light switches and toilet paper aren't your usual art materials, but they sure look fantastic at Homage to Domestic Familiarity II, which explores the value of inconsequential objects in our consumerism-driven lives at Anya Tish Gallery. Tommy Gregory's toilet paper column, Temporary Comfort, is pure cleverness while Danish painter Christoffer Munch Andersen's painted can tops and bottoms are sensuous in their detail.
"Russian photographer Vadim Gushchin's envelope and egg cartons are yet another example of elevating familiar objects to something sublime. Anya Tish has put together a sensation show and you should go see it."