weekend event planner
Here are the top 12 things to do in Houston this weekend
The first weekend of 2023 offers some feel-good fun in theater, music, and comedy starring some familiar names.
Fans of the romcom classic Pretty Woman will delight in the red-hot musical that's in town. Fans of David and Bowie and Elvis can celebrate the stars at a show honoring them both. And, fans of Elton John and Billy Joel can jam at a Houston Symphony show of the pair's greatest hits.
Plus, some funny folk stage some serious comedy this weekend. Enjoy; here are your best bets for the weekend.
Thursday, January 5
The Riot presents "Live LAUGH Love" Comedians on Relationships
We’re nowhere near Valentine’s Day, but you can still head over to the legendary Rudyard's comedy room to catch comedians share their dating experiences and answer your questions about relationships. The club features comedy shows with the funniest comedians you've seen on Netflix, HBO, Comedy Central, at the Comedy Store and Comedy Cellar. They also serve tasty food, draught beer, wine, Delta-8, and cocktails in an intimate and casual setting. 7 pm.
Memorial Hermann Broadway at the Hobby Center: Pretty Woman
Based on one of Hollywood’s most beloved romantic stories of all time, this stage-musical version of the 1990 movie that made Julia Roberts a star springs to life with a powerhouse creative team led by two-time, Tony-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell. The production features an original score by Grammy winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance & a book by Garry Marshall, the movie’s late director, and screenwriter J. F. Lawton. 7:30 pm (8 pm Friday; 2 and 8 pm Saturday; 2 and 7:30 pm Sunday).
ISHIDA presents Stirs up still things
Stirs up still things includes world premieres by ISHIDA based on original poetic narratives and works by emerging and renowned, international choreographers. “Among dim shapes” follows an intimate relationship and the ghosts they carry, triggered by archetypal patterns. The program also includes a new creation by Swedish dancer, film director, and choreographer John Wannehag (formerly with Tanzmainz), and a new work by award-winning, British-Finnish choreographer Kristian Lever. 8 pm (2 pm Sunday).
Friday, January 6
Vitacca Vocational School for Dance presents Winter Works
This Friday and Saturday, Vitacca Vocational School for Dance presents this two-act performance, featuring Vitacca Studio Company dancers in a restaged excerpt of La Bayadere and original contemporary works. These works are created by 2022-23 guest artists Greg Dolbashian, Jess Hendricks, Sean Aaron Carmon, Garrett Smith and Kelly Ann Vitacca. 7 pm.
Improv Houston presents Bill Bellamy
Using his experiences growing up in Newark, former MTV VJ (and creator of the phrase “booty call”) Bill Bellamy started doing stand-up while he was a student at Rutgers University. Bellamy quickly discovered how much he enjoyed making people laugh, and began honing his skills at small comedy clubs around the country and was soon making waves in clubs and on shows like HBO’s Def Comedy Jam. 7:30 and 9:45 pm (7 and 9 pm Saturday; 7:30 pm Sunday).
Houston Symphony presents The Music of Elton John and Billy Joel
From “Rocket Man” to “Piano Man,” the iconic hits of two classic rock legends come alive in this special concert. Piano-and-vocal talent Michael Cavanaugh — handpicked by Billy Joel to recreate his music in the Broadway musical Movin’ Out — delivers electrifying renditions of the songs you know and love, including “Tiny Dancer,” “Uptown Girl,” “Your Song,” “New York State of Mind,” “Saturday Night’s Alright,” and many more. 8 pm (2:30 pm Sunday).
Saturday, January 7
Community Artists' Collective presents Morgan Newton: "When I Think of Home" opening reception
The Community Artists’ Collective opens the new year with a solo exhibition by local artist Morgan Newton. The paintings included in this exhibition mark a stylistic shift that conveys the aesthetic and spiritual blossoming of Newton’s pursuit to internalize familial notions of home and cultivate home within herself. Newton centers Black female figures as symbols for her life experiences, in idealized, chromatic and in some cases, fantastically celestial environments to suggest the infinite potential of the nurtured self. Through Saturday, February 4. 2 pm.
Splice Records presents 14th Annual BowiElvis Fest
Yes, there will be many David Bowie-related events popping off this weekend. But, of course, the Continental Club and Splice Records will have its annual birthday party for Bowie and Elvis Presley, two of the most beloved and influential artists of the previous century. This year’s fest will feature music by Swimwear Department, Pecos Hank, Brian Scartocci, and Henry & the Invisibles. 6:30 pm.
The Museum of FIne Arts, Houston presents The Conformist
When a member of Mussolini’s secret police and his new bride travel to Paris for their honeymoon, Marcello plans to assassinate his former college professor, an outspoken anti-Fascist living in exile. But Marcello’s political and romantic loyalties are tested when he meets the professor’s alluring young wife. A commentary on Fascism and beauty alike, Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1970 masterpiece is acclaimed for its sumptuous visuals and extravagant, artful cinematography. 7 pm (2 pm Sunday).
Sunday, January 8
Italian Cultural & Community Center presents Festa della Befana 2023
Come learn about this Italian holiday tradition with your family. Children will receive sweets from Befana when she comes to visit. L a Befana is an old, kind woman who flies by broomstick on the night of January 5, dropping off goodies for kids to wake up to. According to the legend, the three kings asked her to come with them to bring gifts to baby Jesus. Now, she flies on her broomstick and brings treats to children each year on Three Kings' Day. 3 pm.
Leonard "Lowdown" Brown and Jonn Richardson Play Lucky's Guitar at Emmit's Place
Do you know the story of Lucky Peterson and his ostrich-covered guitar? If you don’t, read it here. And, after that, you can check out this very special, afternoon event. At the request of the current owners, both Leonard “Lowdown” Brown and Jonn Richardson will be playing this custom, ostrich-covered guitar before it is lovingly returned home to Lucky Peterson’s family. A wonderful story of this guitar and its journey home – 15 years in the making. 5 pm.
It’s time once again to get all funky and well-fed, at this Louisiana-inspired jam session with a serious food menu. This session is home to all things hip-hop and jazz. Singers, rappers, poets, musicians and, of course, horn players from all over come to party in the loose, laid-back vibe of Matthew Hartnett & The Gumbo All-Stars. If you like to dance, eat good food, and hear great music, this is the place. And, yes, there will be hookahs! 8 pm.