Photo courtesy of Miller Theatre Advisory Board

Miller Theatre Advisory Board will host Les Grandes Dames: A Centennial Celebration with special guest Rita Moreno, in celebration of Miller Outdoor Theatre’s Centennial Celebration and honoring outgoing Managing Director Cissy Segall Davis.

Moreno is a true Hollywood and Broadway legend, having been honored and recognized for her performances during her more than 80-year career. She has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business: two Emmys, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony, making her one of only 18 to achieve EGOT status.

Ernie Manouse will help Rita tell her story in a conversation.

Funds raised from the gala will contribute to the current $12.5 capital campaign underway to provide renovations and improvements that will greet future Miller visitors providing the next generation of theatregoers with an incredible, more-modern, and state-of-the art theatre experience.

Photo by Dylan McEwan

Countdown to Beyoncé: Trill Burgers shortens hours to serve massive NRG Stadium crowd

respect the beyhive

Since it opened in June, Trill Burgers has been unstoppable. Bun B’s burger joint has seen lines out the door, fed celebrities ranging from Drake to Mike Tyson, and caused literal traffic jams with its drive-thru.

But even a juggernaut like Trill Burgers knows better than to mess with the Beyhive. For this weekend only (September 23 and 24), the Montrose-area restaurant will only be open from 11 am to 2 pm. Operating with such limited hours will allow Trill Burgers to feed the sold out crowds flocking to NRG Stadium for Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour.

“We want to make sure that we have our stations fully stocked so that people don't miss this amazing show that she's bringing,” Bun said in a video posted to social media. “We know the Beyhive don't play and Trill Burgers don't play either.”

In order to ensure people get their burgers as quickly as possible, Trill Burgers is slimming down its menu to only serve beef burgers — sorry, vegans. In addition, it will impose a limit of two burgers per person.

Due to the stage setup, Trill Burgers will only operate two of its usual four stands. They are Sections 135 and 548.

Of course, CultureMap has you covered for everything related to this weekend’s concerts. Don’t miss our guides for what to wear, events celebrating Beyoncé, and the latest traffic and parking info.

Photo courtesy of Gran Coramino

Kevin Hart invites Houstonians to his tequila bottle signing event in Midtown

Meet Kevin Hart

When a celebrity has reached a certain level of prominence, the time comes to launch a bespoke liquor brand. Whether it’s Peyton Manning, George Clooney, or Breaking Bad stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston, the lure of the spirits business seems to be irresistible.

Kevin Hart joined their ranks with Gran Coramino, a tequila brand with two expressions. To promote this endeavor, the comedian and actor will hold a bottle signing event at Spec’s in Midtown on Tuesday, September 12 (2410 Smith St.).

Hart’s portion of the event will run from 7-8 pm, but those interested in meeting him should expect to line up well before that.

While the performer’s notoriety ensures his tequila brand receives plenty of attention, Hart has taken the endeavor seriously. He partnered with 11th generation tequila maker Juan Domingo Beckmann, also CEO of Jose Cuervo, to create Gran Coramino. The brand offers two expressions — an añejo that’s aged in both French and American oak casks that blended with tequila aged in cognac barrels and a cristalino, an aged tequila that’s filtered so that’s it clear.

Certainly meeting Hart and having a bottle signed is its own reward, but should people drink the liquid in their freshly signed bottles? Signs point to yes, as a review by Robb Report whiskey critic Jonah Flicker makes clear.

“The añejo is a full, rich tequila that, truth be told, veers more to the palate of other brown spirits like the aforementioned scotch and Cognac,” he writes. “But there’s still a burst of earthy, grassy agave peeking out behind the dominant notes of dark chocolate, butterscotch, espresso bean, oak and sweet vanilla. This is certainly more of a sipping tequila than a mixer, but you likely wouldn’t regret making an Old Fashioned with it.”

Photo courtesy of Gran Coramino

Gran Coramino presents Kevin Hart “Club Coramino” Bottle Signing

Comedian Kevin Hart will host a Gran Coramino bottle signing event as part of his “Club Coramino” tour. Attendees will get the chance to purchase a bottle of Gran Coramino tequila (while supplies last), then have the chance to get their bottle signed by Hart.

The event takes place between 7 and 8 pm, but fans are encouraged to line up early for a spot in line.

Photo courtesy of Lee Jun-sang (이준상)

Korean American Society of Houston presents June (준) Fan Meet

Korean American Society of Houston will host a fan meet with Korean Festival artist June. Guests will get the chance to play games with the artist, participate in a Q&A session, take group photos, and even get a hi-touch experience.

Photo by Daniel Ortiz

Houston celebs Washington Ho and Tony Buzbee pop open new THC seltzer

feel the buzz

Two men who are very good at getting the attention of their fellow Houstonians have teamed up on a new line of canned drinks. Washington Ho and Tony Buzbee have launched the HoBuzz line of THC-infused seltzers.

Both men are locals who have publicly eschewed drinking alcohol. Ho rose to national prominence as one of the stars of House of Ho, a reality series that airs on the Max streaming platform. Buzbee is a successful trial attorney, a former Marine, and a current candidate for Houston City Council, District G.

Tony Buzbee Washington Ho HoBuzz

Photo by Daniel Ortiz

Tony Buzbee and Washington Ho have teamed up on HoBuzz.

Developed in partnership with Bayou City Hemp and 8th Wonder Brewery, HoBuzz sells two flavors of seltzers infused with 10 milligrams of Delta-8 THC. The Washington is a black cherry-flavored drink — a nod to the story about George Washington, Ho’s namesake, and the cherry tree. Buzbee’s flavor is a hibiscus-infused seltzer called The Patriot that can be sipped on its own or as a mixer. More flavors may be released in time.

They’re touting HoBuzz as part of a “Texas sober” lifestyle for people who no longer consume alcohol but want to relax with a little THC. In keeping with the brand’s healthy image, The Washington has 29 calories per can while The Patriot has zero calories and zero sugar.

“I am passionate about living a fun, healthy lifestyle, and through researching and developing this product, I found that I could still be myself without the negative side effects of alcohol,” Ho said in a statement. “I’ve realized I don’t need alcohol or medication to be me, and with HoBuzz, I can be my best self while still having fun. I can’t wait to share this with the world.”

The seltzers will go on sale the week of September 4. Look for them at 8th Wonder, Wild Concepts, Wakefield Crowbar, and other cannabis-friendly places. It’s also available for shipping nationwide via hobuzzco.com.

“More people are looking for an alternative to alcohol, and we are excited to introduce HoBuzz to anyone looking to try something different,” Buzbee said. “We’re very grateful to our partners and look forward to helping eliminate the stigma around Delta-8 products in the Lone Star State. We’re proud to be an American, Texas-based company.”

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Rock icon Bono's daughter makes her own sweet music in Flora and Son

in bloom

The new Apple TV+ film Flora and Son centers on a single mother and her teenage son, a situation that typically calls for an uplifting story about the mother’s struggles trying to support the two of them, and the bond that develops between them as go through the troubles together. While that element exists somewhat here, it goes down a much different path that’s both saltier and equally as rewarding.

Eve Hewson and Oren Kinlan in Flora and Son

Photo courtesy of Apple TV+

Eve Hewson and Oren Kinlan in Flora and Son.

Set in Dublin, Ireland, the film follows Flora (Eve Hewson), a single mom to Max (Oren Kinlan), who gets in a fair bit of trouble. She shares custody with her ex, Ian (Jack Reynor), and their antagonistic relationship, along with Max being a teenager, likely has an effect on how Flora and Max get along. A typical interchange between mother and son has them calling each other all sorts of bad names, although there rarely seems to be any true animosity behind their arguments.

When a guitar Flora refurbishes for Max goes unappreciated, she instead starts taking online lessons herself with an American named Jeff (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). She’s no less brash with him, but her sincere interest in learning how to play and in finding out more about Jeff’s music opens a new door for Flora. Soon, a discovery that Max is making music of his own on his laptop helps them communicate better than they have in a long time.

Flora & Son is the latest music-focused film from writer/director John Carney (Once, Sing Street), and he once again finds the sweet spot in telling a personal story enhanced by song. Flora has more than a few rough edges, making her a less-than-ideal protagonist, but the heart of the character shines through precisely because she has no filter. Once music is added to the equation, it become that much easier to see the type of person she is and why you should root for her.

Both Hewson and Gordon-Levitt are charming actors, so they establish a connection through a screen well. Fortunately, though, Carney chooses not to leave it at that, adding a slight fantasy element to some of their scenes by having Flora imagine Jeff in the room with her. A romantic element naturally arises, but it’s the unexpected way in which two lonely souls find each other from across the world that makes them the most interesting.

There are a couple of decent songs that come out of the process of all of the music-making, but nothing that you could truly call an earworm. Instead, it’s the feeling you get seeing the characters interact when they’re sharing music with each other that makes the film sing. Only one character could be classified as a professional musician, with the rest of them making music for the pure joy of it, an emotion Carney translates well in his storytelling.

Hewson (the daughter of U2’s Bono, in case you were unaware) is having a moment after 15 years in the business. She has a boldness that serves her as well in this role as it did in the recent Apple TV+ limited series, Bad Sisters. This is Kinlan’s first major part, and he acquits himself well. Both Gordon-Levitt and Reynor are seasoned actors who know how to make the most of their limited scenes.

The depiction of a mother/child relationship in Flora and Son is atypical, but it still winds up in a great spot thanks to the power of music and some fine performances. Carney’s love for both songs and filmmaking has yielded some memorable movies over the years, this one included.


Flora and Son opens in select theaters and on Apple TV+ on September 29.

Spectacular SPI sandcastles, F1, ACL, and more Texas travel tidbits in October

where to travel right now

Fall is finally here, and with the (hopefully) cooler temps will come the chance to get outside and enjoy autumn activities all around Texas. Can't decide where to take a quick vacation, road trip, or staycation? Here are 11 events, special celebrations, and hotel happenings to help plan a getaway in October.

Along the Gulf Coast

What better way to celebrate the arrival of spooky season than by seeking out haunted ghost experiences in Corpus Christi? The Heritage Park Museum will showcase four reportedly haunted houses, and phantom chasers will delight in visiting the USS Lexington during the "Haunting on the Blue Ghost" event, October 6-31, to glimpse any ghostly crew members lurking about the vessel. The abandoned Nueces County Courthouse also has some ghouls of its own, with reports of voices, noises, and screams being heard following a hurricane that devastated the area more than a century ago.

Summer might be over, but a trip to the beach is always in the cards on South Padre Island. The annual Sandcastle Days falls on October 5-8, drawing the attention of sandcastle-building experts, food and craft vendors, and free family-friendly entertainment. Then, from October 19-21, classic cars and motorcycles rev up the brand new Chrome in the Sand Festival. The weekend will consist of live performances, car shows, a poker tournament, and more. Tickets for the Chrome in the Sand Festival begin at $20 for general admission, $55 for VIP, and $500 for VIP tables.

Around Austin

It's finally festival season down in the Texas Capital, beginning with the iconic Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park for two consecutive weekends from October 6-8 and 13-15. Luckily for Texas travelers, CultureMap's got the scoop on all things ACL – from can't-miss acts, to new eats, and more. One-day general admission tickets begin at $170. Weekend One tickets are waitlisted, but there are still one-day general admission tickets available for Weekend Two. Weekend passes for both weekends are waitlisted.

Following ACL, Austin will race to the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas from October 20-22. Red Bull Racing has already won the 2023 Constructors' Championship after its longstanding driver Max Verstappen won the Japanese Grand Prix, and Verstappen is well in the lead to win his third-consecutive World Drivers' Championship title. Three-day general admission wristbands are $475, two-day GA is $425, and three-day parking passes are $275.

F1 racecarRace to Austin for the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. Photo courtesy of Circuit of The Americas

In the Hill Country

It's never too late for a day by the pool, and the luxurious Lantana Spa at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa has opened reservations for their renovated pool cabanas with a special VIP poolside service and deluxe amenities. The private, two-person Canyons, Preserve, and Oaks Spa Cabanas each include an unlimited mimosa service, shaded seating and chaise lounges, a dedicated server from 11 am-5 pm, and more. Cabana reservations can be made by resort guests or in addition to a spa service, and rates begin at $400.

Nonprofit trade association Texas Hill Country Wineries is bringing back its Texas Wine Month passport this month for a self-guided journey through 45 local wineries with special discounts scattered along the way. With participating estates scattered throughout popular weekend destinations like Fredericksburg, Johnson City, and New Braunfels, it’s a chance to explore the Hill Country and soak in those autumn vibes. Wine passport-holders can visit up to four wineries daily to get the most out of a weekend getaway. Individual passes are $85, and couples' passes are $120.

Speaking of wineries, one Marble Falls-based winery is hosting regular events throughout October, which is perfect for those holding a Texas Wine Month passport. Every Saturday and Sunday, folks can venture out to Flat Creek Estates & Vineyard for their effervescent Bubbles and Brunch from 11 am to 3 pm. And if the trip transforms from a brunch outing into an all-day affair, guests catch live music from local Texas bands during the winery's weekend music series from 2-6 pm. Ernie Vasquez and Evan Grubbs are scheduled the weekend of October 7-8, and Stephen Daly and Andrew Lopez will play on the weekend of October 14-15.

Throughout Texas

If searching for beautiful fall foliage around Texas is at the top of the priority list, cabin rental agency Smoky Mountains' prediction map is the perfect guide to help estimate when the leaves will begin changing throughout the state and the U.S. The map predicts most of Texas will have minimal-to-patchy changing leaves by the end of October, and most of the state's trees will be at their color-changing peak in November.

Dallas-based luxury bus operator Vonlane added 60 new weekly departures to meet anticipated high demand for the fall travel season. There are now more than 430 trips per week departing Vonlane hubs in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Travelers can book their trips online for both one-way or round-trips, with fares beginning at $119.

Two unmistakable cutesy pink trucks are going on tour throughout Texas this month, with stops in several major cities. That's right – the cult craze Hello Kitty Cafe Truck and Barbie Truck are bringing a horde of new branded clothing and accessories to adoring fans in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Houstonians can head to First Colony Mall to say hi to Hello Kitty on October 7, then head to Baybrook Mall in Friendswood to catch the Barbie Truck on October 21. Barbie will stick around to visit The Woodlands Mall on October 28.

In Waco

The annual Magnolia Silobration at The Silos will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Chip and Joanna Gaines' Waco-based home design and lifestyle empire from October 19-21. Fixer Upper fans can visit the Silos to enjoy a three-day adventure of local artisan and food vendors, live music performances, shopping, and more. The festival is free, but note that certain ticketed experiences like the 20th anniversary tour, weekend rooftop passes, and Evenings with Chip and Jo are sold out.

Houston’s oldest craft brewery taps new chef for its buzzy beer garden and restaurant

Saint Arnold's new chef

Houston’s oldest craft brewery has found a new chef to lead its popular restaurant. Chase Reid is now the executive chef at Saint Arnold Brewing Company’s beer garden and restaurant.

Hired a couple of months ago, Reid replaces chef Ryan Savoie, who had been with the brewery since 2013. A French-trained chef, Reid came to Saint Arnold’s attention after well-regarded stints at Hop Scholar Ale House in Spring and the Historic Hill House and Farm in Willis.

“I’m thrilled to join the talented team at Saint Arnold and build on the legacy they’ve created in Texas,” Reid said in a statement. “I love the creativity that comes with cooking and have always been passionate about craft beer. I’m very much looking forward to combining the two.”

Recent visitors to Saint Arnold have gotten a first taste of the chef’s work with pizza specials and new additions such as a house made bratwurst burger. He’s also the culinary mind behind Saint Arnold’s recent Doughnut Sunday offerings that pair freshly fried treats with different beers from the company’s portfolio on the firs Sunday of every month. Overall, he’s focused on maintaining the quality and consistency that has been the restaurant’s hallmark since it opened in 2018.

Reid will more formally introduce himself to the brewery’s fans at the upcoming Great Pumpkin Beer Dinner. Held on Halloween night, the meal will feature a five-course menu paired with seasonal and limited release beers, including 2013 Pumpkinator, 2023 Pumpkinator, and 2020 bourbon barrel-aged Pumpkinator with cocoa nibs. See the full menu and purchase tickets ($125) on the Saint Arnold website.

“Chase’s enthusiasm for both food and beer got all of us excited to have him joining our team,” Saint Arnold founder Brock Wagner added. “Our Beer Garden & Restaurant is a welcoming place to enjoy our world class beers. We have the same standards for our food as we do for our beer and are always working to elevate and create an experience that will keep our guests coming back again and again.”