Photo by Wilson Parish

Houston Grand Opera presents Concert of Arias, the 35th Annual Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singer. The competition is held annually to identify candidates for HGO’s internationally acclaimed young artist training program, the HGO Studio. The selected finalists will perform two arias each, competing for up to $10,000 in cash prizes.

The 2023 Concert of Arias finalists include:

  • Samuel Kidd, baritone
  • Ani Kushyan, mezzo-soprano
  • Natalie Lewis, mezzo-soprano
  • Emma Marhefka, soprano
  • Michael McDermott, tenor
  • Demetrious Sampson, Jr., tenor
  • Gosh Sargsyan, bass
  • Gabrielle Turgeon, soprano
Photo by Michael Bishop

Houston Grand Opera presents Werther

Houston Grand Opera presents Werther

The lovesick yearnings of the tortured young poet Werther lead to his tragic fate in Massenet’s lush opera, which returns to HGO for the first time in 40 years with this production from French director Benoît Jacquot, making his HGO debut.

After Werther escorts the lovely Charlotte to a ball, he falls hopelessly in love with her, but she is engaged to Albert, with no intention of breaking things off. Unable to conceive of life without her, Werther grows ever more despondent as he continues his attempts to woo the object of his affections, who doesn’t love him back - or does she?

Matthew Polenzani, one of the world’s most distinguished tenors, leads the cast as Werther in his long-anticipated Houston debut. With mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, an international star and winner of three Grammy awards, debuting alongside, and world-renowned conductor Robert Spano taking the podium, audiences won’t want to miss this chance to see a cast of legends perform a rare psychological drama.

Photo by Lynne Lane

Houston Grand Opera presents The Marriage of Figaro

Houston Grand Opera presents The Marriage of Figaro

Few operas have as much comedic energy as Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Tony Award-winning director Michael Grandage’s production of the boisterous rom-com, first staged by HGO in 2016, re-sets the class-conscious comedy in late ‘60s Francoist Spain.

Full of bright colors and costumes evoking the Moroccan influence on Muslim Spain, the vibrant production synthesizes transcendent music and lively performances into an unforgettable evening at the opera. Its large cast is led by bass Nahuel Di Pierro as the titular Figaro, a working-class man set to marry the beautiful Susanna despite the meddling of their employer, a married Count who would rather have the beauty for himself. The role of Susanna is performed by soprano Elena Villalón in her first return to the company after completing her training with the HGO Studio. Renowned bass-baritone Adam Plachetka portrays the Count, with beloved soprano Nicole Heaston, an HGO Studio alumna and company favorite, as his wife.

Ian Rutherford directs the celebrated production’s revival, with HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers conducting.

Photo courtesy of Houston Museum of Natural Science

Ars Lyrica Houston 2023 Gala: Gems, Charms, and Treasures

Ars Lyrica Houston will present the gala Gems, Charms, and Treasures, a black tie event that will raise vital support for their next opera, Handel’s Amadigi di Gaula, slated for May 2024.

The gala honors Houston philanthropist and long-time Ars Lyrica Houston supporter Connie Kwan-Wong. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception in the stunning Cabinet of Curiosities and end with a full-service dinner in the Paleontology Hall, featuring a performance by soprano Camille Ortiz and an ensemble of Ars Lyrica Houston artists.

Photo courtesy of Houston Grand Opera

Houston Grand Opera presents Transforming the Human Spirit through Song

Houston Grand Opera will present Transforming the Human Spirit through Song, the company’s annual Carols on the Green sing-along at Discovery Green.

Led by soloists from the company’s original mariachi opera, El Milagro del Recuerdo/The Miracle of Remembering, the evening features holiday songs in English and Spanish. Joining in the celebration are members the HGO Chorus, the HGO Studio, the HGO Bauer Family High School Voice Studio, local children’s ensemble Segundo Barrio, and Trio Chapultepec.

Photo courtesy of Houston Grand Opera

Houston Grand Opera presents The Wreckers

Houston Grand Opera presents The Wreckers

Dame Ethel Smyth’s epic 1906 opera The Wreckers gets its first-ever full-scale production from a major American opera company.

This must-see new production stars Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke as the resolute Thirza, whose husband, the preacher Pascoe, declares to the coastal community that shipwrecks along their shore are meant to be pillaged - and meant to be premeditated by leaving the lighthouse dark. But Thirza’s heart and conscience are not with her husband or with his dangerous methods. Someone among them is secretly warning the ships of danger, and the villagers search for the traitor while Thirza embraces her convictions, no matter the cost.

Acclaimed HGO Studio alumni Reginald Smith, Jr. and Norman Reinhardt sing the roles of Pascoe and Mark, the fisherman in love with the married Thirza. Radiant soprano and HGO Studio alumna Mané Galoyan performs the role of Mark’s unhappy ex, Avis. This exciting new HGO production is directed by Louisa Muller and conducted by HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers.

An original HGO production, it features English translation by Amanda Holden.

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Here are the top 14 things to do in Houston this weekend

weekend event planner

As quickly as it came, RodeoHouston will soon wrap. But until then, plenty of shows vie for Houston's attention. As for this weekend, look for a Latino film festival, cool concerts, and a can't-miss dinner.

Cole Porter — his music, anyway — headlines Houston Symphony, while Stages Theatre stages a hysterical, almost runaway bride. Bike riders will spin in the East End, things get weird at an oddities show, and a garage sale goes totally punk rock.

Enjoy; here are your best bets for the weekend.

Thursday, March 16

Houston Latino Film Festival

The 2023 Houston Latino Film Festival just started on Wednesday and will go on for the rest of the weekend. The fest will feature 28 separate programs, including 17 feature films/documentaries, 10 short film programs, and a festival-long art exhibition. Highlights include the opening night film Carajita, the documentary Los Hermanos, and the closing night film As Bestas. For a full schedule of events, go here. 5 pm.

Hull & Oak presents A Dinner with Uncle Nearest

Hull & Oak, located within The Laura Hotel downtown, will host an evening with Uncle Nearest, a premium whiskey which honors the world’s first-known African American master distiller, Nearest Green. The event will offer guests a unique experience, while Uncle Nearest creatively showcases their award-winning American whiskey and story with a three-course pairing dinner. This dinner is $95 all-inclusive, including tax and gratuity. Seating is extremely limited. 7 pm.

Eden MacAdam-Somer in concert

Composer/performer/improviser Eden MacAdam-Somer is one of today’s most exciting and versatile artists, as well as an interpreter of modern music. Her new program features several works for solo artists on voice, violin, and body percussion, such as Rumi Songs, a partially composed, partially improvised song cycle. Also in the program are works by modern composers, jazz and traditional Yiddish songs. 7:30 pm.

Friday, March 17

Parachute Play Time at CITYCENTRE

Parachute Play Time officially returns to CITYCENTRE this weekend. Join the British International School of Houston on the third Friday of every month (from March through October) with fun craft activities, games and don't miss out on the big parachute! Participation is $6 per child. During the hotter months, water sprinklers will be available for kiddos to cool off. This event is weather pending. When the weather is hot, sprinklers will be provided to cool off the kiddos. 9 am.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents No Bears (Khers nist)

The latest film from renowned Iranian director Jafar Panahi was completed shortly before his imprisonment in July 2022. Playing a fictionalized version of himself, Panahi is thrust in the middle of a local scandal when he relocates to a rural border town in Iran to direct, remotely, a new film in nearby Türkiye. He must confront the opposing pulls of tradition and progress, city and country, belief and evidence, and the universal desire to reject oppression. 7 pm

Houston Symphony presents Let’s Misbehave: The Songs of Cole Porter

Cole Porter’s sophisticated, sexy, and timeless songs continue to inhabit a unique place in society. It’s no wonder his work has been interpreted by countless artists across the decades. Tony DeSare and his guests Bria Skonberg (trumpet/vocals) and John Manzari (tap dance/vocals) will give a fresh spin on such hits as “Night and Day,” “I Get A Kick Out of You,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “It’s De-Lovely,” “You’re the Top,” and many more. 8 pm (2:30 pm Sunday).

Stages presents Denise Fennell's The Bride, or: Does this Dress Make Me Look Married?

A fan favorite known for her role as Sister in Late Nite Catechism, Denise Fennell returns to Stages for an all-new, hysterical comedy showcase. With less than two hours to her wedding, a bride of a certain age begins to question the meaning of love, life, and the ritual of marriage.

From an interactive wedding shower to an on-stage re-creation of an Italian “Sunday Suppah,” this show will lead to the decision of a lifetime: Will she or won’t she? Through Sunday, May 14. 8 pm (2:30 & 8 pm Saturday; 2:30 pm Sunday).

Saturday, March 18

Oddities & Curiosities Expo

The Oddities and Curiosities Expo features over 150 oddity vendors and artists and draws people from all walks of life who enjoy the strange and unusual. The event offers something for everyone. Visitors will have the opportunity to browse and shop for a wide variety of rare and unusual items from local and national vendors, including taxidermy, preserved animal specimens, original horror and Halloween-inspired artwork, antiques, handcrafted oddities, skulls, bones, and funeral collectibles. 10 am.

Houston TX Hot Chicken Grand Opening

Houston TX Hot Chicken expands to open a new location (10111 Louetta Road), with a menu that features hot chicken in the form of sandwiches, tenders and more, There will be complimentary, signature hot chicken sandwiches available until 3 pm for all attendees, along with an exciting car show to mark the celebratory occasion. The car show will have a live DJ playing music, along with a variety of cars on display so people can roll in and view — while enjoying some crispy chicken. Noon.

The Hardy & Nance Studios present “Androids Dream of Electric Sleep: A Digital Art & Photography Show”

Join The Hardy & Nance Studios for a night of artwork that shows a visual representation of your dreams by using any electronic means of creation. Digital art, digital collage, AI art, composite art, digital photography are all present. This free event will be one night only, and free street parking around the studio complex. Complimentary adult and non-alcoholic beverages, along with beer courtesy of Karbach Brewing, will also be available. 5 pm.

Miller Outdoor Theatre presents Miller 100 Roaring '20s Style

For 100 years, Miller Outdoor Theatre has delighted generations of audiences with the best in performing arts entertainment, and every performance has been free. Come celebrate Miller’s past, present, and future with four experiential events, each beginning two hours prior to a live performance — with enough time to roll down the hill. The first one celebrates the “birth” of Miller in 1923 with a '20s-themed extravaganza featuring vaudeville performers, photo installations, and jazzy music by the Hot Sardines. 6 pm.

Sunday, March 19

East End Bike Ride presents Bici Pulga

Calling all MS150 teams, bike groups, and individuals: East End Bike Ride will be holding a bicycle flea market and swap meet, over at the D&W Lounge parking lot. Come set up at the market and sell your bike merch, bike parts, accessories, etc. There will also be spots for arts & crafts and food. Space is limited, so you must send them a message if you would like to set up and get assigned a 10x10 spot. You must provide your own table/canopy and stay the entire time. Noon.

Plants and Pints at Equal Parts Brewing Co.

Since spring has sprung, you can head over to Houston Plant Market for a day of outdoor fun, to be held at Equal Parts Brewing Co. They’ve got everything you're looking for, including local honey, pet treats, handmade jewelry, fresh baked goods, rare houseplants, native plants, and lots of other locally made items. Plus, you can grab something to eat, have a drink, and enjoy some live music. Celebrate spring and fill your home and garden with the best blooms of the season. Noon.

Punk Rock Garage Sale at Bad Astronaut Brewing

Insomnia Gallery and Deep End Records will be heading back to Bad Astronaut Brewing for this month’s Punk Rock Garage Sale. There will be dozens of vendors (music, art, toys, books, collectibles, comics, clothing, music gear, etc.) inside this massive adult playground of a venue, which features pool tables, foosball, air hockey, cornhole and more, all indoors. Screwed Up Tapatios will also be back to serve up food, along with Bad Astronaut's own in-house pizzas. 1 pm.

Kenny Chesney and No Shoes Nation chill out at RodeoHouston with a beachy, beer-lovin' vibe

no shoes, no sweat

Every time Kenny Chesney graces the revolving RodeoHouston stage, it offers us all a slice of carefree beach life in the middle of a bustling neon and concrete jungle.

The unofficial rodeo dress code loosens a bit. A little less Cavender's and more Port Aransas beach shop during spring break. Square-toe boots give way to actually exposed toes, even with a sMarch cold front blowing down the carnival alleyways.

If you squint, the most coddled dirt in Harris County — found on the floor of NRG Stadium — could be mistaken for ruddy beach sand, at least from all way up top in the RodeoHouston press box.

On Wednesday March 15, Chesney's "No Shoes Nation" yacht (and the accompanying Blue Chair Bay Rum bus) docked at NRG Stadium for his ninth RodeoHouston performance on the star stage, in front of a crowd of 72,078.

Chesney's had a somewhat lengthy layoff from the rodeo, last appearing here in 2016. COVID, of course, likely delayed a sooner return. Early in his career, he was a rodeo mainstay each year when he was another 'hat act' looking to be the next George Strait.

His relationship with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo dates back to the Astrodome in 2001, putting him in rare air amongst this year's lineup of upstarts and young bucks.

In starker perspective, 2023's season opener Parker McCollum was just an eight-year-old in the Conroe area when Chesney debuted next door at the Dome in 2001.

Kenny Chesney RodeoHouston 2023 Houston Livestock Show & RodeoChesney stepped out to beachy, upbeat tunes like "Beer in Mexico."Kenny Chesney RodeoHouston 2023 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo

The easy brush to paint 54-year-old Chesney with is the "Jimmy Buffett in Bedazzled Jeans." Dive into his discography, and you find devastatingly heartfelt passages hidden next to the "gulf and western" pirate anthems about chasing rum on a weekday and running romantically aground. Living for the night but always dreading the next day's inevitable hangover.Chesney

On Wednesday night, Chesney jumped out of his Ford chariot and returned to the RodeoHouston stage, offering us a "Beer In Mexico" from 2005's The Road and the Radio, with his sturdy touring band locked in the pocket for a hits set.

One of Chesney's secret weapons live has long been having an arena rock-ready touring band. Fans had complained that last weekend's top act, the Turnpike Troubadours, had been plagued with sound issues, but Chesney's road-tested was born and raised on stages bigger than even this one.

The flirtatiously reggae "Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven" would perfectly fit into a custom Spotify 'This is RodeoHouston' playlist, along with "Somewhere With You" and its chiming arena-tonk vocals.

"When the Sun Goes Down" was a stark reminder that Chesney was one of the more cheerful solo acts on the rodeo bill this season. He's happier bounding across the stage with an imaginary drink in his hand like a motivational speaker on a booze cruise. It also made for a longer setlist than most.

"Tonight they told me that this night was my ninth night playing the Houston rodeo," Chesney said from the stage, mentioning his vast collection of HLSR belt buckles, gifts from each headlining set. "We hope to make it to ten real soon."

We've not seen the last invasion of No Shoes Nation at RodeoHouston, not with the Gulf Of Mexico this close by. Hoist that rum-soaked flag — and pass the SPF 100.


Beer In Mexico


Til It's Gone

Here And Now


Everybody Wants to Go To Heaven

Somewhere With You

I Go Back

Get Along

When The Sun Goes Down

All the Pretty Girls

Living in Fast Forward


American Kids

Setting The World On Fire

Don’t Happen Twice

These Houston bars and restaurants are going green for St. Patrick's Day weekend's biggest bashes


It's time once again to toast Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland, and celebrate the heritage and culture of Ireland.

That means, here in Houston, we post up, down green beer, specialty sips, and St. Patrick's Day-themed menus. Also look for live music, DJ sets, and block parties all around the city and at area restaurants.

Raise a glass, keep those Irish eyes a-smilin', and stay safe out there. Here's our list of St. Patrick's Day and weekend fun.

Bobcat Teddy’s Ice Housewill once again have its St. Paddy’s Day party going. They will have live music, Irish dancers, Guinness flowing and crawfish boiling. 10 am.

94.5 The Buzz and Lucky’s Pub will put on the 16th annual St. Patrick’s Day Festivaldowntown. There will be two stages, DJs, leprechauns and, of course, green beer. 10 am.

Kirby Ice House All locations of Texas’s favorite ice house are celebrating St. Patty’s day with celebratory green beer and Jameson specials for March Madness and St. Paddy's. Check out the Houston Highlanders, Pipes, and Drums for some Irish music. 11 am.

McIntyre’s Downtownwill have a two-day, St. Patrick’s Day extravaganza. There will be three levels of fun, featuring DJs and live performances. 11 am.

Meanwhile, at McIntyre’s Heights, their two-day extravaganza will feature live music from Mo Jiles Band, Dj Reckshop and others. And, of course, they got the green beer. 11 am.

Over on White Oak Dr, a St. Patrick’s Day Block Party Pub Crawl will go down. Onion Creek Cafe, Public House Heights and other spots will be slinging beer and prizes. 11 am.

The 7th Annual Green Mile St. Patrick’s Day Block Party will happen over on Washington Ave. The Sporting Club, Kung Fu Saloon and others will be part of the festivities. The parking lot will house a sound stage, VIP sections, life-size beer pong, corn hole,, satellite bars, vendors, and live music.Tickets can be purchased online or at the door the day of the event.Noon.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company will have a celebration at its beer garden and restaurant. This free event will feature beer, food, live entertainment and a Shop Local market. 2 pm.

Mary’s Houston will host a downtown St. Patrick’s Day party. Come enjoy delicious food, tons of vendors, amazing DJs, crazy drinks specials and dope ambiance. 3 pm.

Penny Whistle Pub is teaming up with Griff’s for a St. Paddy’s Day shindig. They’ve got dancers, pipers and a band, which will perform at around 6 pm. 3 pm.

East End Backyardwill celebrate the day with green beer, St. Patrick’s Day-themed cocktails and photo ops all around. There will also be live music and a DJ all night. 4 pm.

EZ’s Liquor Lounge is hosting a slew of St. Patty’s Day celebrations including an outdoor parking lot party complete with a live DJ set, Nitro Irish Coffee specials, and food from Truth BBQ. Friday kicks off with a free pub crawl parking lot party (4 pm), with a live DJ set from 5 pm-10 pm and $10 Nitro-Irish Coffee specials. Saturday's tent opens at 2 pm with pastrami and slaw served by Truth BBQ and a DJ set from 4 pm-9 pm.

TheLucky St. Patrick’s Day Crawlwill be two days’ worth of bar-crawl craziness. 77 Degrees, Dogwood and Front Porch Pub will be among the bars taking part. 4 pm.

Emmit’s Placewill have an old-school, St. Paddy’s Day throwdown. Former Gallant Knight houseband The Klockwork Band will be providing the nighttime grooves. 9 pm.

Como Social Clubwill serve specialty cocktails like the Shamrock-a-rita and the Emerald Crush (both $14) while taking the pool at The Westin Hughes Landing in The Woodlands. The reveler who sports the best St. Patty’s outfit scores a $50 bar tab.

Restaurant specials and deals

Gatsby’s Grillis celebrating the holiday with $4-$5 green draft beers and $7 Tullamore Dew shots. Meanwhile, Gatsby’s Prime Seafood and Gatsby’s Prime Steakhouse along with Gatsby's Grill will serve up the 4 Leaf Clover Club ($18) made with Tullamore Dew Whiskey, Lillet Rose Vermouth, raspberry syrup and topped with frothy egg white, and an Angostura four leaf clove.

GJ Tavern will host an exclusive six-course dinner experience at 7:30 pm. Executive chef Tim Reading’s special menu features pairings including Harp Lager cured salmon served with Harp Lager; Trillium brie with accoutrements served with Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey; duck confit served with Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey; bangers and mash served with Smithwick’s Red Ale; Guinness beef stew served with Guinness Stout; and caramelized white hot chocolate served with 5 Farms Irish Cream. Tickets are available for $100.

Hilton Americas will serve up a refreshing Irish Slammer ($17.50) that packs a punch by pairing a pint of green brew and a shot of smooth whiskey all weekend long. All are invited; no reservations required.

All Los Tios locations are offering $4 green domestic beers at all Los Tios locations on St. Patrick’s Day. Pair the brew with the famous Puffy Queso, or mouthwatering taco and fajita plates.

Marmo, the elegant Montrose Italian chophouse, will serve up a special green pasta curated by executive chef Eli Jackson. Available in half and full portions ($18/$36), the dish features Scarpinocc pasta with smoked mozzarella, asparagus, parmesan fonduta, and morel mushrooms.

Skeeter’s Mesquite Grill, the longtime neighborhood favorite, will serve $4 domestic green beers at all locations to pair with its famed burgers, fresh salads, Tex-Mex options, and frozen margaritas.

Traveler’s Table, the global, eclectic destination,is featuring Irish-inspired specials, including Irish Oysters Kilpatrick, Guinness-Glazed New York Strip, and Sticky Toffee Pudding. St. Patty's sips include Traveler’s Irish Coffee, Finnegan’s Wake, and Fallen Saint (an Irish Old Fashioned). Friday only; specials available for dine-in and take-out.