Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events
One week before Thanksgiving, so lets take this opportunity to give thanks, to gather with great people, to do good and to have fun while doing so. On tap this week are ever-flowing beer events, art parties, family musical fun, salsa for a cause and happy dance.
More than just a suggestion of what to do this week, use the links below each event to access a page with more information and special features, like the ability to download the information electronically, a guide to what's around your final destination and sharing buttons so you can get your friends to join you in our outings.
Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
A couple of months ago, we Jews went through the ritual of asking forgiveness from others and from the dude upstairs, who should know me very well for how many times I open my mouth and insert both feet. It hasn't been long, though it feels like it's time to refocus priorities — again.
While Thanksgiving is an adopted holiday for my immediate family — I grew up in Peru — the practice of reflecting on the many people and things that make life splendid isn't new. Much like the Day of Atonement, it's an opportunity to shift paradigms and start with a blank slate — and breathe. Because like should be beautiful.
The deets: Thursday, 7 p.m.; Rothko Chapel, admission is free.
MFAH Mixed Media Designed by IKEA
The MFAH Mixed Media Designed by IKEA fetes may be a monthly event, yet they don't get old or seem as if they're just repeating themselves. The lineup of cool indie artists changes — this installment welcomes musicians Brandon West & the Black Hats and LIMB, and DJs Czech One and Flash Gordon Parks alongside resident party DJ, Ceeplus Bad Knives.
Early bird gets the worm? That would be a limited-edition something-or-other by designer Ali Rapp. The first 100 guests take one home — free. It's by Rapp, so it's going to be cute.
The deets: Friday, 8 p.m.; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; tickets range from $6 to $14.
Houston Beer Week's "The Draft"
It's no secret that beer drinkers are happy, joyful folk, the type of kindred spirits who strike conversation with just about everyone and — like your neighborhood bartender-cum-therapist — can offer savvy advice to solve the world's greatest conundrums.
As Saturday marks the conclusion of eight days of craft beer glory with Houston Beer Week, it's time for "The Draft," previously known as "Monsters of Beer," an event crafted by 150 of these beer-loving junkies with a penchant for doing good things around the city. The festival gathers food and brews from local and national companies while raising funds for local nonprofits, including Friday Harbour and Stepping Stones Elementary.
The deets: Saturday at noon; Guadalupe Park Plaza; tickets start at $25.
Mercury presents "Bach & Sons"
Johann Sebastian Bach wasn't the most prolific of baroque composers. That honor goes to his friend Georg Philipp Telemann, who Bach asked to be the godfather of his son Carl Philipp Emanuel, affectionately remembered as CPE. Telemann was fruitful in the reproductive arena, yet none of his kinder would turn to music as a métier. From Bach's first marriage to Maria Barbara, CPE and his oldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann, embraced composition. Out of 13 little ones from his nuptials with Anna Magdalena Wilckenm, Gottfried Heinrich, Johann Christoph Friedrich and Johann Christian grew up to be important musicians.
Yes, Bach was busy — busy imparting musical knowledge, of course. And this concert by Mercury with special guest, French harpsichordist Christophe Rousset, wonders through daddy Bach's musical legacy.
The deets: Saturday, 8 p.m.; Wortham Theater Center; tickets start at $23
Flamárt presents a Weekend of Salsa: "El Festival de la Salsa"
If you are one of those weird types who's longing for warmer temperatures, then heat yourself up at this weekend's "El Festival de la Salsa," hosted by Flamárt. All you need to know is: There will be food, there will be sassy tunes and there will be plenty of hip gyrating action going on — because that's what happens when Latin rhythms take over, if you have rhythm.
On Sunday, the fiesta morphs into a toy drive for Texas Children's Hospital and the Toys for Tots initiative at George R. Brown. To get in, just bring an unwrapped toy or donate $10 at the door.
The deets: Saturday, 3-10 p.m., and Sunday, 1-6 p.m.; Jones Plaza; tickets on Saturday are $8 in advance; $12 at the door; tickets on Sunday are by donation.
Staff writer and savvy Houston explorer Whitney Radley's pick: FotoFest and ArtCrawl's Bike Scramble
Whitney says: "More than 200 artists in the gritty and galvanizing warehouse district are opening studios for the 20th Annual ArtCrawl on Saturday — and the FotoFest Bike Scramble is arguably the best way to catch them all, witness Houston's artistic underbelly and experience an unparalleled en plein air experience of the Bayou City. Riders can peel off from the main group at any point in the modular tour or stay until it ends at 4 p.m. — you'll still have plenty of time to meander the cobbled streets and see what you missed."
The deets: Saturday, 9:45 a.m.; FotoFest Gallery Headquarters; admission is free, and bicycle rentals are available for $10 in advance.
Arts smarty pants and in-the-loop dance maven Nancy Wozny's pick: Karen Stokes Dance presents Vine Leaf Dances
Nancy says: "I'm always interested in what Karen Stokes is up to, she is one of Houston's most active and solid choreographers. Karen Stokes Dance returns to Barnevelder with a program of shorts in Vine Leaf Dances, which includes premieres Just Us, Midnight and Distreston & Balia — and one repertory work, Prelude to Three Temperaments. The prolific choreographer likes the flexibility of short pieces, a structure deeply rooted in the history of modern dance. With some new dancers and new work, it will be a show to see."
The deets: Thursday through Sunday; Barnevelder Arts/Movement Complex; tickets start at $22, discounts are available for students and seniors.