weekend event planner
Here are the top 15 things to do this weekend in Houston
Catch CultureMap's weekend events segment live with editor Steven Devadanam and ABC13'a Brittaney Wilmore on Thursdays on ABC13's livestream and Channel 13 all weekend.
This (chilly) weekend sees a Houston-born star take the stage in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical (read all about her here.) Two other music icons — Elvis Presley and David Bowie — get their due at the 15th annual BowiElvis Festival and various parties.
Need more jams? Check out AT&T Playoff Playlist Live!, where a slew of stars take the stage in free shows as part of the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship events, which include Taste of the Championship feast on Sunday before the big championship game on Monday.
Enjoy; here are your best bets for the weekend.
Thursday, January 4
Interested in art classes? Want to learn more but don’t know where to start? Stop by the Open House at the Glassell School of Art. Studio School classes are open to adults at all levels, from beginner to advanced. Short-term workshops and courses in art history are also available. Enjoy studio tours, watch live art demonstrations, enter a raffle to win a free class, and chat with faculty. 5:30 pm.
An uplifting comeback story like no other, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical (which features Houston-born actress GiGi Lewis) is the inspiring journey of a woman who broke barriers and became the Queen of Rock n’ Roll, featuring her much-loved songs. One of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, Turner has won 12 Grammys and her live shows have been seen by millions, with more concert tickets sold than any other solo performer in music history. 7:30 pm (8 pm Friday; 2 & 8 pm Saturday; 1:30 & 7 pm Sunday).
Parris Lewis stars as an American icon in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. Photo by Matthew Murphy for MurphyMade
Hello 2024, goodbye Zack! Band on the Run returns to the Big Top Lounge, Who is Band on the Run, you ask? They’re a group of musicians with a common passion for the incredible music of The Beatles. They’ll be getting together for a very special show. Lead guitar player Zack Hamburg is playing his final show with the group. Join them to say goodbye and farewell to an awesome musician and friend. $10 cover. 9 pm.
Friday, January 5
AT&T Playoff Playlist Live! will bring a weekend of music to Houston, serving as the soundtrack for the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship. The free concerts will take place in downtown Houston leading up to the national championship game, set for Monday, January 8, at NRG Stadium. Jack Harlow, Latto, 2 Chainz, Jon Pardi, Jake Owen, and Megan Moroney will be scheduled to perform all weekend long. 6 pm.
Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel Orlando: A Biography was prescient in its consideration of gender fluidity across physical and spiritual metamorphoses. This award-winning documentary is a personal essay, historical analysis, and social manifesto. Paul B. Preciado’s bold stylistic approach features a cross section of trans and nonbinary individuals who interpret scenes from the novel, weaving their own stories into Woolf’s narrative. 7 pm (5 pm Sunday).
Swing into the New Year as charismatic crooner Tony DeSare and the Houston Symphony Big Band perform all your favorite Sinatra standards, including “Come Fly with Me,” “Luck Be a Lady,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” “The Best is Yet to Come,” “That’s Life,” “My Way,” and “New York, New York,” along with popular tunes from the golden age of big band and swing music. To quote an album title from Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, it’ll be a swingin’ affair! 8 pm (2 pm Sunday).
The Ghost in the Meadow is a stage thriller with a liberal dose of humor. When two sisters relocate from Manhattan to an old farmhouse in upstate New York, they soon realize that they may not be alone in the house. An old boyfriend drops in to visit and, when the strange occurrences continue, calls on the services of a psychic colleague to try to quell the restless spirits. Through Saturday, February 3. 8 pm
Saturday, January 6
The First Saturday Arts Market celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend. Back in March 2004, when the market first opened its doors, it stood as a novel experience for Houstonians. The initial gathering of hundreds of visitors and two dozen artisans unknowingly pioneered Houston's participation in an already burgeoning nationwide trend of pop-up events. Notably, First Saturday Arts Market distinguished itself by placing a spotlight on visual artists. 11 am.
First Saturday Arts Market toasts 20 years this weekend.Photo by Ana Guzman
Scheduled spinners at the Cactus Music celebration set — DJ Hallo Spaceboy and DJ Scary Monster — will be giving people a taste of what they’ll be playing when they do a DJ set at Record Ranch (aka Cactus Music’s vinyl-heavy wing). Listen to them go through all the phases of Bowie’s career while you browse through albums and get a couple of free pints from Saint Arnold Brewing. 1 pm. (Big Star Bar will host a free, David Bowie birthday celebration this Sunday at 7 pm.)
Mohammad Ali Bhatti is a well-known, contemporary expressionist painter. Born and raised in Pakistan, he has painted and exhibited around the world, including 35 solo exhibitions. He concentrates on themes such as mysticism and socio-political issues. His work is expressive, energetic, and bold. “Inward Journey” features abstract paintings, which were created over the year 2023. Through Thursday, February 1. 5 pm.
"Blood Quantum" offers attendees a fusion of visual artistry and narrative storytelling that delves deep into the intricacies of the colonial concept of Blood Quantum. Cressandra Thibodeaux's unique approach ignites crucial conversations and reflections on this pertinent subject, stimulating critical dialogues on societal issues. Thibodeaux is an artist known for her impactful work that inspires contemplation and discussion. Through Saturday, March 2. 6 pm.
Celebrate 15 years of BowiElvis Fest at the Continental Club.Image courtesy of Splice Records
Consider this the official Houston musical celebration honoring the shared birthdays of David Bowie and Elvis Presley. The fashionable fest at The Continental Club on the famed Mid Main Block features Pecos Hank, Christopher Seymore, Electric Gold, DJ Boogie Soul, The Shimmer Show Burlesque, and more acts spanning three stages. Face painting (think Bowie face), games, a costume contest, prizes, Elvis snacks (PBJ and banana FTW!), and immaculate nostalgia await. 6:30pm.
Sunday, January 7
In the small town of Rockwell, Maine, Annie Hughes (voiced by Jennifer Aniston) is just worried about putting supper on the table for herself and her nine-year-old son, Hogarth. Inspired by a fisherman’s wild tale, Hogarth sets off into the woods and finds a 50-foot giant with an insatiable appetite for metal and a childlike curiosity about its new world. Cold War paranoia comes to a fever pitch in director Brad Bird’s 1989 animated adventure about friendship, choosing your own destiny, and testing your mettle. 11 am.
Brash Brewing, better known as Houston’s “most metal brewery,” will be holding its monthly market. Come join them for food, drinks, and debauchery. This one is set to be the biggest one yet. There will be 40+ vendors and plenty of food to eat. You can also sample Brash’s intriguing ales, including Abide White Russian Stout, Mystik American IPA, and Snapcrackle Czech-Style Pilsner. Noon.
Taste of the Championship is a dining experience and fundraising event on the eve of the CFP National Championship (get more info from our Eric Sandler here). The event boasts gourmet food and drink prepared by Houston restaurants such as Truth BBQ, Le Jardinier, Andiron, and State of Grace. The premium event serves as a unique combination of an exploration of local cuisine and a celebration of the teaching profession. All proceeds benefit the CFP Foundation's Extra Yard for Teachers platform. Use code CFP2024 for $100 off tickets. 5 pm.
Houston food stars Aaron Bludorn and Chris Shepherd will star in the Taste of the Championship. Photo by Emily Jaschke