We wouldn't blame anyone for staying in the ice-cold air conditioning this weekend, but for those who venture out, plenty of fun awaits. Thousands of locals and visitors will descend upon downtown for the biggest pop culture convention in Texas.
Francophiles can celebrate Bastille Day, while beer fans can raise a glass a big pub crawl. Nature lovers can learn the secret life of bees, while Rick James gets his due in a funky musical. And sneakerheads can get their kicks at a cool pop-up.
Stay cool, here are your best bets for the weekend.
Thursday, July 14
Bastille Day Houston
Co-organized by the Consulate General of France in Houston and The French-American Chamber of Commerce in Texas, Bastille Day Houston features French wine and offerings from Flo Paris, Magnol Bakery, La Tartine Houston, French Corner Crêpes, and Arts & Crêpes. There will also be family entertainment, pétanque, PSG Academy, face painting, balloon animals, and French DJ Julien Nolan. 6 pm.
The Masked Singer National Tour
The Masked Singer National Tour will bring the No. 1 show on television to the next level on its first-ever, North American tour. It will be hosted by former contestant and Grammy-nominated singer Natasha Bedingfield. Audiences can expect to see their favorite characters brought to life, as well as surprise celebrity guests, new performances, and a can’t-miss, spectacular live show. The only question remains: Who’s behind the mask? See if you can guess before the end of the show. 7:30 pm.
Super Freak: Because of Rick James at MATCH
This is the final weekend to catch this funkafied, coming-of-age musical. Set in 1979, it follows the life of Sherman, on his journey to find his glow while working for Rick James -- aka the King of Punk Funk. While navigating college, peer acceptance, and living up to others' expectations, it takes the wild and crazy James to help Sherman learn that fitting in isn't important _ but busting out is. This is a must-see for fans of James and his funk classics (or those who mostly know him from that Chappelle's Show episode where Charlie Murphy told insane stories about hanging with James). 7:30 pm (2 and 7:30 pm Saturday; 2 pm Sunday).
Friday, July 15
The biggest pop culture-anime-gaming convention in Texas is back for a weekend of fun for locals and visitors at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Expect thousands to show up in their best cosplay for three days of celebrity panels, discussions, gaming contests, techy demonstrations, anime displays, tons of shopping, and much, much more. Don't miss the opening night party on Friday that features a dance bash and Mario Kart (64, natch) battles. Check out our full story here. Starts Friday.
Anya Tish Gallery presents "Hot Girl Summer" opening reception
Anya Tish Gallery presents a group exhibition featuring work in a variety of media by regional and international artists. The iconic, hot Texas summer has inspired a showcase of fresh, vibrant and energetic works, that range from an inflated steel popsicle, toy guns, melting drips, to neon fuzzy creatures and abstract spaces. In their attention-grabbing works, the exhibiting artists prove that color and humor are effective tools to examine the complex ways in which society values physical, social and conceptual spaces. Through Saturday, August 27. 5 pm.
Blaffer Art Museum presents Maria A. Guzmán Capron: "Forma Seductora" and Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin: "Wayfinding" opening reception
Blaffer Art Museum presents the first solo museum exhibition in the United States for Maria A. Guzmán Capron, and first solo museum exhibition in Texas of artistic and life partners Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin. Capron creates fantastical hybrid figures that explore converging forms of identity, culture, desire, and social exchange. And Vaughan and Margolin have spent the majority of their artistic lives mining the habitually marginalized and unheralded histories of LGBTQ communities across the U.S., and how the legacies of elements found and forgotten affect the contemporary queer experience. 6 pm.
14 Pews presents Children of Paradise
If you're still in a Bastille Day kind of mood, check out what is widely considered one of the greatest French films of all time. Poetic realism reached sublime heights with Marcel Carne's 1945 picture, made under war conditions in both Vichy France and Occupied France. This nimble depiction of 19th-century Paris' theatrical demimonde follows a mysterious woman (French actress/singer/model Arletty) loved by four different men: an actor, a criminal, a count, and, most poignantly, a mime. 7 pm.
Improv Houston presents Shuler King
Shuler King is probably the only comedian/funeral director on the comedy circuit. The South Carolina native has opened for some of the most notable and talented comedians and comediennes in the industry. You can also catch him as one of the revolving regulars on Nick Cannon's Wild 'N Out. He credits his parents’ strict yet loving upbringing, his harsh surroundings growing up, and the state of the country today with giving him his comedic style, which he describes as raw. 7:30 and 9:45 pm (7 and 9:30 pm Saturday).
Saturday, July 16
Buffalo Bayou Partnership presents Pollinator Walk
Journey through the secret life of plants with this morning-time event. Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other creatures transfer pollen among flowers, enabling the incredible diversity of plants on our planet to flower and fruit. Dr. Gabriela Sosa, BBP’s conservation manager (and a representative from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension) will lead visitors on a walk along Buffalo Bayou Park to identify those native plants and flowers that attract the necessary pollinators that the Buffalo Bayou ecosystem relies on. 9 am.
Saint Arnold’s Pub Crawl
Saint Arnold Brewing Company will host their popular pub crawl through downtown Houston. The event will begin at various bars in and around the Historic District area, where people can enjoy tasty Saint Arnold beverages along the way. Eventgoers will have until 6 pm to visit all the stops along the way before reporting back to Market Square Park for their official Saint Arnold pint glass. They can also celebrate a job well done with live music and Greek eats from Niko Niko’s. 2 pm.
RAXX Sneakers & Vintage Fest
All the local trend junkies may want to head down to 8th Wonder Brewery this weekend. That’s where vintage store RAXX will be having a night market that’ll also double as a sneaker and vintage-clothing festival. About 40 vendors will be around selling old-school/new-school threads and kicks for people looking to update their swag. There will also be food trucks, a DJ and a raffle where five lucky people will walk away with a backpack from BAPE (A Bathing Ape). 4 pm.
Inspire Film Festival presents Los Hermanos (The Brothers)
Ilmar and Aldo López-Gavilán are virtuoso Afro-Cuban musician brothers. At 14, Ilmar outgrew his island teachers and was sent to the U.S.S.R. to study violin. Younger brother Aldo grew up mentored by Cuba’s impressive jazz and classical pianists, his extraordinary talent achieving renown on the island, but stymied elsewhere by the 60-year-old U.S. embargo. Tracking their parallel lives, poignant reunion, and momentous first performances together on stages across the U.S., this is a nuanced, intensely moving view of nations long estranged, through the lens of music and family. 7:30 pm.
Miller Outdoor Theatre presents Vertigo: One. One & One
This piece by artistic director Noa Wertheim revolves around the individual’s inner need to be whole. Set to a powerful original score by Avi Belleli and performed on a dirt-covered stage, the work is also a sensory experience as the shifting dirt - with its smell and dust - transports the audience to a country bound by the desert. Through compelling solos, duos and ensemble sections, the cast of nine powerful dancers explores the individual’s desire to feel complete, while recognizing the spiritual need for community and connection to the natural world. 8:30 pm.
Sunday, July 17
The Divine Darlings Burlesque Troupe presents Burly Soirée
The Divine Darlings Burlesque Troupe will present an afternoon of lace, leather, glitz, and glamour with six burlesque performers from Houston and beyond. There will be in-house drinks from 8th Wonder Distillery and multiple food options within walking distance (that you can bring into the Distillery). First come, first served. It's hosted and produced by Lady AnnaBelle (aka The Lovliest Lush in the South). Performers will include Reina LaRouge, Mak Fontina, Sadie Mercedes, Zucifer Morningstar, and Phathoms Deep. 2 pm.
Legacy Community Health presents 20th Annual Mint Julep
It will be “An Afternoon at Moulin Rouge” at this 20th annual event, benefiting Legacy Community Health Services. This year’s event is honoring retired Legacy CEO Katy Caldwell, along with longtime Legacy supporters Domenic Cusano and Felicia aka Scarlett St. John. Sponsorships are available and all proceeds benefit HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention and treatment programs at Legacy. This legendary LGBTQ event will provide and entertain guests with an afternoon of big hair, outrageous outfits, and fabulous performances. 3 pm.