This Month in Houston – April 2017

Dance/Music/Theatre

Alley Theatre   (615 Texas Avenue)

Thru April 16thAn Act of God – This play is a sinfully funny and critically acclaimed new play where the Almighty and his devoted angels answer some of the deepest questions that have plagued mankind since creation.  He is returned to set the record straight . . . and He’s not holding back.  This hilarious 90 minute comedy is “written by God” and transcribed by 13 time Emmy Award winner David Javerbaum. 

April 28th – May 21stA View from the Bridge – This dark and passionate story centers on Eddie Carbone, a longshoreman by trade, who is confident of his place in the working-class Brooklyn neighborhood that he calls home.  That life changes when he agrees to harbor his immigrant cousins.  A love affair exposes a dark family secret and suspicion, jealousy and betrayal soon follows. 

June 2nd – July 2ndFreaky Friday – This new musical, based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and hit Walt Disney films, is a hilarious, contemporary update of an American classic that follows an overworked mother and teenage daughter on a wild journey after magically swapping bodies.

for more information, see www.alleytheatre.org or call (713) 228-8421

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion  (The Woodlands)

Surrounded by a lush forest, The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is an outdoor amphitheater that provides the Greater Houston region with an array of performing arts and contemporary entertainment in a setting of unparalleled beauty.  

April 15th 94.5 Buzzfest: Godsmack, Breaking Benjamin, PVRIS, Highly Suspect & P.O.D.   1:00 p.m. 

April 29th Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers & Joe Walsh  7:30 p.m. 

May 2nd Kings of Leon & Deerhunter   7:00 p.m. 

May 6th Casting Crowns   7:00 p.m. 

May 7th Chance The Rapper  8:00 p.m. 

May 19th Train, Natasha Bedingfield & O.A.R.   7:00 p.m. 

May 20th Kidz bop Kids   6:00 p.m. 

May 21st John Legend   7:30 p.m. 

June 8th Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefer Band   8:00 p.m. 

June 17th Houston Symphony: The Suffers   8:00 p.m. 

June 18th Chicago – The Band & The Doobie Brothers  7:30 p.m. 

June 22nd Future, Migos, Tory Lanez & Kodak Black   7:00 p.m. 

June 25th 2017 Ticket to Rock   TBD 

June 26th Deftones & Rise Against   6:30 p.m.

July 1st Prince Royce & Luis Coronel   8:00 p.m.

July 14th Third Eye Blind & Silversun Pickups   7:00 p.m.

July 28th Nickelback & Daughtry   6:15 p.m.

July 29th Styx, REO Speedwagon & Don Felder   7:00 p.m.

for more information, see http://www.woodlandscenter.org

Hobby Center for the Performing Arts  (800 Bagby @ Walker)

April 2ndClassical Spectres – Presented by Ars Lyrica Houston.   Interest in the uncanny brought about all manner of oddities during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, from wax museums to gothic fiction.  In chamber works from this era, musical depictions of the supernatural took on a life of their own outside the opera house.  Shorn of traditional theatrical trappings, the purely aural spectres of Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven make powerful impressions indeed.  6:00 p.m.

April 4th – 16thDreamgirls –  Dreamgirls is a love letter to a time when the music of Motown reigned supreme.  Winner of seven Tony Awards and two Grammys for Best Cast Album and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Dreamgirls tells the story of The Dreams first break to their tumultuous climb to top the charts.  follow this female trio’s journey, both behind the scenes and onstage, through the changing musical and cultural climate of the 1960s and 70s; the girls overcome cutthroat business deals and unscrupulous managers only to discover that fame can’t replace family.  Full of powerhouse ballads and soulful tunes, Dreamgirls has a book and lyrics by Tom Eyen and music by Harvey Krieger.

April 25th – 30thFinding Neverland – Directed by visonary Tony winner Diane Paulus and based on critically-acclaimed Academy Award winning film, Finding Neverland tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters, Peter Pan.  Playwright J. M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother.  Spellbound by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers.  With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland, where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever.  The magic of Barrie’s classic tale springs spectacularly to life in this heartwarming theatrical event. 

April 29thTodrick Hall presents: Straight Outta Oz – Viral-You-Tuber, singer and dancer, Todrick Hall is bringing his acclaimed “Straight Outta Oz” concert tour back on the road after the success of the 2016 visual album and international tour.  Watch him put this new “twister” on L. Frank Baum’s classic tale.  7:30 p.m. 

May 5th – 6thThe Orient Express -Uptown Dance Company is taking their students and audience on an adventure of a lifetime via The Orient Express in their year-end recital.  The journey starts in Paris, France, traveling through Italy, and ends in Romania with a dramatic finale at Bran Castle, commonly known as Dracula’s Castle.  Don’t miss this fun-filled excursion for the whole family.

May 12thJazz Is… – As the story unfolds, you will meet an elderly widow named Grandma Uni, who spends her time dusting the jazz albums of her late husband, Joe and baking cookies for the neighborhood children.  Many years ago, at the historic El Dorado Ballroom, she and her husband, Joseph Michael Brown, met during a typical foot stomping Friday night party.  Determined to get Grandma Uni’s attention, Joe asked her for a dance, but she politely refused.  Eventually, she agreed and their dance turned into a romance.  The two fell in love and married on July 16, 1960 at Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church.  Many decades pass and in a cruel twist of irony, Joe’s physical health and Uni’s mental stability began to simultaneously erode.  Knowing that his death is near, Joe enlists the neighborhood children to help ensure Grandma Uni retains some good memories of their jazz-filled life in a final act of love for his wife.  7:30 p.m.

May 16th – 28thFun Home – Every once in a while a Broadway musical comes along that surprises, moves and excites audiences in ways only a truly landmark musical can.  The “groundbreaking”, “uplifting” and “exquisite” new musical Fun Home was the event of the Broadway season, receiving raves from critics and audiences alike and winning five 2015 Tony Awards, including Best Musical and making history along the way.  Based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir, Fun Home introduces us to Alison at three different ages, as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her childhood. 

May 21stDon Quixote’s Excellent Adventures – One of history’s greatest literary figures, Don Quixote inspired many musical works over the years, from Renaissance songs to a Broadway musical.  Ars Lyrica’s 2016/2017 season finale features core string players and singers in a pan-European survey of Baroque music devoted to this Ingenious Gentleman of La Mancha.  6:00 p.m. 

June 6th – 11thSomething Rotten! – Set in 1595, this hilarious smash tells the story of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers who are desperate to write a hit play.  when a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical. 

June 8th – 18thThe World According to Snoopy – This musical features Charles Schulz’s iconic Peanuts characters Charlie Brown, Sally, Peppermint Patty, Lucy,Linus, and Woodstock, under the guidance of the consummate showman Snoopy, as they sing and dance their way through witty philosophies about love and life as only The Peanuts gang can.  In addition to a beloved score featuring songs like “Just One Person”, “Edgar Allan Poe”, and “Poor Sweet Baby”, this new production introduces a new song for Sally with music by award winning composer Larry Grossman and lyrics by award winning composer/lyricist Andrew Lippa.  With fresh orchestrations and a revised book, audiences can expect The Peanuts characters to dance more than ever before.

June 27th – July 23rdDisney’s The Lion King – Giraffes strut.  Birds swoop.  Gazelles leap.  The entire Serengeti comes to life as never before.  And as the music soars, Pride Rock slowly emerges from the mist.  This is Disney’s The Lion King, making its triumphant return to Houston.  More than 90 million people around the world have experienced the awe-inspir9ing visual artistry, the unforgettable music, and the uniquely theatrical storytelling of this Broadway spectacular – one of the most breathtaking and beloved productions ever to grace the stage.

for more information, see www.thehobbycenter.org  or call (713) 315-2525

Houston Symphony  (Jones Hall – 615 Louisiana)

Thru April 2ndBeethoven’s Fidelio – Opera in Concert – Experience a riveting semi-staged performance of Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio.  This politically-charged drama follows the heroic struggles of Leonore, who disguises herself as a man (Fidelio) to rescue her husband Florestan, a political prisoner tormented by the tyrant Pizarro.  An inspiring hymn to freedom, this opera contains some of Beethoven’s most powerful and beautiful music. 

April 13th – 15thFalla & Espana – Bask in the Iberian sunshine with colorful Spanish inspired works, including Chabrier’s Espana and Falla’s complete score from The Three-Cornered Hat.  Principal Cello Brinton Smith also presents Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s lost Cello Concerto, giving the first professional performance of this acclaimed composer’s work since its 1935 premiere by the great cellist Piatagorsky under the baton of Toscanini. 

April 20th – 23rdThe Pines of Rome – Finnish violinist Elina Vahala, “whose brilliant technique is matched by abundant spirit, sensitivity and imagination” (Chicago Tribune), performs John Corigliano’s The Red Violin Concerto, based on the composer’s Oscar winning film score.  Acclaimed Russina conductor Vasily Petrenko also leads the orchestra in two technicolor tone poems by Respighi. 

April 28th – 30thBond & Beyond – It’s a night of espionage at the Houston Symphony as we celebrate the best of 007 with Bond & Beyond.  Enjoy familiar favorites from one of the most successful film franchises of all time, including Goldfinger, From Russia with Love, Diamonds are Forever and Casino Royale.   Tony Award winner Debbie Gravitte joins Mike Krajewski and the orchestra to perform select works on the program, including Adele’s Academy Award winning song “Skyfall”.

April 29thDr. Seuss at the Symphony – It will be a Saturday morning of Sam I Am and the spectacular world of Dr. Seuss!  Featuring Seuss’ highly imaginative characters with song and dance, the story book celebration will explore music from Green Eggs and Ham.  The performance will also pay tribute to the lively sounds of classic animation with a zany Looney Tunes medley and Rossini’s famous Overture to the Barber of Seville.

iMay 5th – 7thAndrés Conducts Shostakovich 5 – Hear the world premiere of a major work by Houston Symphony Composer-in-Residence Gabriela Lena Frank as she unveils her Requiem, a multi-cultural work that interweaves traditional Latin and Meso-American texts with new passages by Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz.  Then discover Shostakovich’s thrilling Symphony No. 5, a gripping masterpiece sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. May 11th, 13th & 14th:  Bronfman Plus Petrouchka – “A fearless pianist for whom no score is too demanding…” Yefim Bronfman returns to Houston with Bartok’s heart-pounding Piano Concerto No. 2.  the program concludes with Stravinsky’s colorful ballet score, Petrouchka.

May 19th – 21stShaham Plus Brahms – Hear Gil Shaham go “sailing through the darting off-kilter rhythms and pyrotechnical flights in the violin’s highest register with panache” (South Florida Classical Review) in Prokofiev’s spellbinding Violin Concerto No. 2.  Marc Albrecht, who “On the podium … turns all into gold” (Financial Times), brings the season to an end with Brahm’s heroic Symphony No. 1, a monumental work that takes listeners from darkness to triumph. 

May 26th – 28thClassical Broadway – It’s Mike Krajewski’s final concert week-end as Principal POPS Conductor, and he will be wrapping up with a grand Broadway extravaganza, featuring composers Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, Cole Porter, and George Gershwin.  Help celebrate the Great White Way’s Golden Age with Broadway powerhouse performers Lisa Vroman, Doug LaBrecque and Rachel York, along with the Houston Symphony Chorus. 

2017-2018 Season begins in September.

for more information, see www.houstonsymphony.com or call (713) 224-7575

Jones Hall (non-Symphony related events)  (615 Louisiana)

April 8th & 9thAnnie – As one of the most beloved and iconic musicals of all time, Annie returns to the stage.  In a brand new incarnation with a nod towards the original staging, Annie includes such unforgettable songs as “It’s a Hard Knock Life”, “Easy Street”, and “Tomorrow”.  Loved by multiple generations, the original Broadway run won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical.  With an iconic book and score by stage legends Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse, and Martin Charnin, Annie centers around the story of little orphan Annie, equal parts pluck and positivity.  Set in New York City in the depths of the Depression, Annie is determined to find her parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York orphanage, run by the cruel Miss Hannigan.   In an adventure-filled show, Annie finds a brand new home with billionaire Oliver Warbucks. 

April 27thAlton Brown Live: Eat Your Science – The follow-up to the smash “Edible Inevitable” tour, “Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science”, and fans can expect more comedy, more antics, multi-media presentations and music.  For this tour, however, Brown is adding in a slew of fresh – and unexpected – ingredients including puppets, songs and bigger (and more dangerous) experiments.  With his knack for mixing together science, music and food, this show will be two hours of pure entertainment.  Alton Brown is a James Beard Award winner and author, as well as host of the popular Food Network series “Good Eats” for thirteen years.  He has also hosted several other series for the network, includng “Cutthroat Kitchen”, “Iron Chef America”, and “The Next Food Network Star”.  His new book Alton Brown: Every Day Cook was released in fall of 2016.  Fans of food and science won’t want to miss Alton’s latest show, that includes, as he puts it “things I was never allowed to do on TV”.   7:30 p.m. 

May 12thThe 5 Browns – Five siblings, all under the age of 40, with one mission: waking up classical music by introducing it to the widest, largest, most excited audience they can find.  Whether that means performing individually or, more famously, together with complex five-piano arrangements, the 5 Browns – Ryan, Melody, Gregory, Deondra, and Desirae – all attended New York’s Juilliard School, and have been featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “60 Minutes”, along with countless other TV shows and publications.  With roots right here in Houston, all five siblings attended Memorial High School.  The 5 Browns have toured extensively all over the world, from the Grand National Theater in China to the Alice Tully Hall in New York City, and will bring their reinvigorated style of classical music to Jones Hall.   8:00 p.m. 

June 9th & 11thCircus 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus – The producers of the world’s biggest magic show, The Illusionists have teamed up with the award winning puppeteers from War horse to present a thrilling turn of the century circus spectacular.  Sensational puppetry puts Elephants back in the ring as never seen before, along with a huge cast of the most unique, amazing and dangerous circus acts from all four corners of the world, from strong men to contortionists, acrobats to musicians, knife throwers, high wire and much more.

for more information, see www.spahouston.org

Toyota Center (non-sporting events)  (1510 Polk Street)

April 1stPanic at the Disco  7:00 p.m. 

April 8thAriana Grande  7:30 p.m. 

May 4thChris Brown  7:30 p.m. 

May 6thThe Weeknd  7:30 p.m.

May 20thNew Kids on the Block  7:30 p.m.

June 18thEnrique Iglesias & Pitbull  7:30 p.m.

June 21stIron Maiden  7:00 p.m.

July 6thRoger Waters  8:00 p.m.

July 16thNeil Diamond  8:00 p.m.

July 22ndShawn Mendes  7:30 p.m.

for more information, call (866) 4HOUTIX or go to www.houstontoyotacenter.org

Wortham Center – Houston Ballet   (Texas & Smith)

April 28th & 29thAcademy Spring Showcase – Featuring the gifted young artists of Houston Ballet Academy, the annual Spriing Showcase offers dance lovers a glimpse into the future of the professional company.  And what a bright future that is.  Whether they’re performing scenes from well-known ballets or works created especially for them, the dancers display exceptional skill and a multitude of talents.  Come, see if you can identify the stars of tomorrow.

May 25th – June 4thThe Tempest – In remembrance of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Avid Bintley is creating a fantastical production of The Tempest, set to a commissioned score by British composer Sally Beamish.  At once stormy and sweet, Bintley’s Tempest promises to be an exciting recount of Shakespeare’s supernatural tale.  Banished to a deserted island with his daughter, Miranda, Prospero conjures up a horrific storm in which a magical story unfolds.  It’s an enchanted yarn filled with trama, passion, a struggle for power, and of course, love.

June 8th – 18thLa Bayadère – A brilliant fire god, opium dreams and a crashing temple.  Stanton Welch’s colorful staging of La Bayadère is classical ballet with a touch of Bollywood.  La Bayadère dramatizes the love story of Nikiya, the temple dancer, her love Solor, and the vengeance that keeps them apart – at last in this life.  With lavish scenery depicting the jungles of India and costumes by Peter Farmer, La Bayadère features mesmerizing classical performances highlighted by the famous Shades scene, staged for the entire corps de ballet. 

2017 – 2018 Season begins in September.

for more information, see www.houstonballet.org  or call (713) 227-ARTS

Wortham Center – Houston Grand Opera   (Texas & Smith)

April 22nd – May 7th:  Gotterdammerung – The epic journey of gods, mortals and giants comes to a thunderous close.  Houston Grand Opera concludes its historic four part Ring cycle with Gotterdammerung (Twilight of the Gods), the final opera in Wagner’s tetralogy.  The heroic siegfried gives Brunnhilde the ring as a token of their love, but they unexpectedly face challenges beyond their control.  In the definitive act of self-sacrifice, Brunnhilde returns the universe to its natural order.  Watch as the Rhine overflows, Valhalla burns, and the kingdom of the gods is destroyed.  Don’t miss the fourth and final piece of this overwhelming production, featuring an outstanding international cast. 

April 28th – May 12thThe Abduction from the Seraglio – A comic tale of stolen love as only Mozart could write it.  A damsel in distress is captured by Turkish pirates and awaits her fate in the harem of the Pasha Selim.  Witness the charming antics of her fiance and his servant on their journey to rescue their beloveds as this colorful comedy unfolds.  James Robinson’s innovative production of Mozart’s comic gem brings the action to the decadent railcars of the 1920s Orient Express, making a triumphant return to HGO after nearly a decade. 

2017-2018 Season begins in October.

for more information, see www.houstongrandopera.org or call (713) 228-6737

DaCamera of Houston  (locations as noted below)

April 4thLlyr Williams – Welsh pianist Llyr Williams is a regular performer at London’s Wigmore Hall and recently made his debuts at The Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and the Ravinia Festival.  On the cusp of a major international career, he has received rapturous acclaim from critics for his performances and recordings.  In his Houston reciutal debut, Williams plays beloved masterworks of the Romantic repertoire by Schumann, Chopin and Rachmaninoff.  7:30 p.m. at The Menil Collection. 

April 22ndTerence Blanchard – Since top-tier jazz and multiple Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard embarked on his solo recording career, the New Orleans-born and based artist has traveled many paths musically, including delivering adventurous and provocative acoustic jazz outings of original material and composing over 50 soundtracks.  Now, blanchard powerfully and playfully journeys into a new jazz realm with his quintet, The E-Collective – an exciting zone of grooved fusion teeming with funk, R&B and blues colors.  It’s a first foray into straight-up groove for Blanchard; come enjoy the dance-steeped party he and his quintet – guitarist Charles Altura, Fabian Almanzan on piano and synthesizers, bassist Donald Ramsey, and drummer Oscar Seaton – have cooked up.  8:00 p.m. at Wortham Theatre.

May 5thVijay Iyer’s Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi featuring International Contemporary Ensemble – A remarkably inventive musician who is at home in both the worlds of jazz and contemporary concert music, American pianist and composer Vijay Iyer’s originality draws much from his rich Indian heritage.  With Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, performed by Iyer and the virtuosic International Contemporary Ensemble, Iyer responds to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with an explosive work of live music and film inspired by the ancient Hindu Holi festival of colors and love celebrated each spring in Southern Asia.  Vijay Iyer is joined by members of the International Contemporary Ensemble, the imaginative, genre-defying ensemble which serves as Artists-in-Residence at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival.   8:00 p.m. at Wortham Theater. 

2017-2018 Season begins in September.

for more information, see www.dacamera.com 

Miller Outdoor Theatre   (Hermann Park)

Located on nearly eight acres in the heart of Hermann Park, Miller Outdoor Theatre is the only free open-air theatre of its kind in the United States. It is a home away from home for some of Houston’s most dynamic arts organizations. 

April 14thConcert Band & Soldiers’ Chorus of The U.S. Army Field Band  8:00 p.m. 

April 15thHouston’s Got Bollywood – The Red Carpet  8:15 p.m. 

April 19th & 20thCharlotte’s Web  11:00 a.m.

April 21stMusic That Should Be Danced  8:00 p.m.

April 22ndChe Malambo  8:00 p.m. 

April 26thSwing, Jive and Pop! Into Dance  11:00 a.m. 

April 27thFreedom Train  11:00 a.m. 

April 29thEast Meets West XV  8:15 p.m. 

May 2nd – 4thBarber of Seville  11:00 a.m. 

May 5thCinco de Mayo at Miller with Tlen-Huicani & Villalobos Brothers  7:30 p.m. 

May 6thGinkgoa  8:00 p.m. 

May 12th – 14thMadame Butterfly  8:00 p.m. 

May 19th & 20thThe Elixir of Love  8:00 p.m. 

May 25th – 28thDancin’ in the Street – Motown & More Review  8:15 p.m. 

June 1stSwing, Jive and Pop! into Dance  11:00 a.m. 

June 2ndSizzling Summer Dance  8:30 p.m. 

June 3rdAccordion Kings & Queens  7:00 p.m. 

June 7th – 9thOnce On this Island  11:00 a.m. 

June 9th – 10thOnce On this Island  8:15 p.m. 

June 16thHeart by Heart  8:30 p.m. 

June 17thH-Town Get Down  8:30 p.m. 

June 19thA Gulf Coast Juneteenth  7:00 p.m. 

June 23rd – 24thExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights  8:30 p.m. 

June 26th & 27thHear the Artists of Tomorrow  11:00 a.m. 

June 30thExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights  8:30 p.m.

July 1stExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights  8:30 p.m.

July 3rdVillage People  8:30 p.m.

July 4thExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights: A Star-Spangled Salute  8:30 p.m.

July 11th – 16thPippin  8:15 p.m.

July 18thExpress Theatre’s Hilltop Festival for Children: Freedom Train  11:00 a.m.

July 19thExpress Theatre’s Hilltop Festival for Children: Sinbad the Sailor (bilingual English/Spanish)   11:00 a.m.

July 20thExpress Theatre’s Hilltop Festival for Children: Let’s make a Play Today!  11:00 a.m.

July 21stExpress Theatre’s Hilltop Festival for Children: The Adventures of Santa Claus – Christmas in July!  11:00 a.m.

July 28th & 30th, August 1st, 3rd & 5thHouston Shakespeare Festival: Twelfth Night  8:15 p.m.

July 29th, August 2nd, 4th & 6thHouston Shakespeare Festival: Richard III  8:15 p.m.

for more information, see www.milleroutdoortheater.org

A. D. Players  (5420 Westheimer Road)

Thru April 1stCharlotte’s Web – Children’s Theater – Based on the classic and beloved tale by E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web tells the story of a little pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. 

April 12th – 15thJohn, His Story – Performed Off-Broadway in 1997, John, His Story chronicles the seven great signs performed by Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John. 

May 5th – 28thYou Can’t Take It With You – Sweet natured Alice Sycamore invites her snooty prospective in-laws to dinner in the hopes of obtaining their blessing for her upcoming nuptials. 

June 14th – July 1stThe Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – Children’s Theater – In C. S. Lewis’ classic tale of good and evil, four siblings journey through a magical land.

July 21st – August 20thGodspell –   A musical based on the Gospel of Matthew, Godspell took the world by storm when it first appeared on Broadway.  This recent updated version infused with modern references and dynamic arrangements is a masterful retelling of the original.

for more information, see www.adplayers.org

Main Street Theatre  (2540 Times Blvd.)

April 22ndHow I Became a Pirate – Theatre for Youth – Ahoy, Matey!  When Captain Braid Beard and his crew invite Jeremy Jacob to join their voyage, it’s the swashbuckling time of his life!  No vegetables or table manners, and your get to have sword fights whenever you want.  But Jeremy soon misses things like getting tucked into bed, goodnight kisses and story time.  A heave-ho, blow-the-man-down tale you won’t want to miss.  Children under the age of 3 are not allowed in the theatre.

Thru April 1st:  Ramona Quimby – Theater for Youth – When her father loses his job, Ramona Quimby learns that being grown up is hard work.  But as her sister Beezus says, “being a kid and trying to become a grown up is even harder.”  For more than 60 years, kids of all ages have delighted in the hilarious antics of Ramona and the Klickitat street gang in Beverly Clearys beloved Newbery Honor book series.  Based on the books by Beverly Cleary: Beezus and jRamona, Ramona the Pest, Ramona and Her Father, Ramona the Brave, Ramona and Her Mother, Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Ramona Forever. 

April 1st – 30thGrand Concourse – Having dedicated her life to religious service, Shelley runs a Bronx soup kitchen with unsentimental efficiency, but lately her heart’s not quite in it.  Her brisk nature masks an unsettling fear that her efforts are meaningless.  When Emma – an idealistic, but confused college dropout – arrives to volunteer, her reckless mix of generosity and self-involvement pushes Shelley to the breaking point.  With keen humor and startling compassion, Heidi Schreck’s play navigates the mystery of faith, the limits of forgiveness, and the pursuit of something resembling joy.  A finalist for the 2015 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, a nominee for the 2015 Lucille Lortel Award, Grand Concourse also made The Kilroys List in 2014.  Children under the age of 5 are not allowed in the theatre. 

April 11th – May 20thGoosebumps The Musical – Phantom of the AuditoriumTheater for Youth – Brooke and Zeke are excited to star in their school’s next hit musical, The Phantom – until they hear a rumor that the show is cursed.  Mysterious events start happening at the theater, and no one can be sure if it’s just coincidence or the work of …The Phantom!  This silly and (only a little) spooky musical is base don the beloved series from R.L. Stine. 

May 20th – June 18thNative Gardens – Gardens and cultures clash, turning friendly neighbors into feuding enemies in this hilarious new play. Pablo, a high-powered lawyer and doctoral candidate Tania, his very pregnant wife, are realizing the American dream when they purchase a house next door to community stalwarts Virginia and Frank.  but a disagreement over a longstanding fence line soon spirals into an all-out war of taste, class, privilege and entitlement.  Children under the age of 5 are not allowed in the theater. 

June 17th – July 30th:  The Wizard of OzTheatre for Youth – Travel with us down the yellow brick road as Dorothy and her three friends help her find her way home finding courage, love and friendship.  This musical spectacle reminds all of us that there really is no place like home.  Children under the age of 3 are not allowed int he theater.

for more information, see www.mainstreettheater.com or call (713) 524-6706

Opera in the Heights  (1703 Heights Blvd.)

April 2nd, 6th & 8th:  Little Women – Closing out the season is one of the most celebrated American operas, Mark Adamo’s Little Women, based on Louisa May Alcott’s classical novel.  Commissioned and premiered by Houston Grand Opera in 1998, the opera has since been performed around the world, and Opera in the Heights is proud to bring this contemporary masterpiece back to Houston.  7:30 p.m.  

2017-2018 Season begins in September 2017.

for more information, see www.operaintheheights.org or call (713) 861-5303

Stages Repertory Theatre   (3201 Allen Parkway)

Thru April 16thFive Course Love – Five dates, five restaurants and one fateful night: Will any of our lovers find the recipe for romance?  In a delicious twist on the tried-and-true dinner date, three actors play a host of over-the-top characters whose hearts are hungry for love.  With an impressive array of musical styles to complement the varied cuisine, Five Course Love serves up a fast-paced feast of clever lyrics, catchy tunes and lots of laughs. 

Thru April 9thLate Nite Catechism 3: ‘Til Death Do Us Part – After teaching countless students all about the saints, venial sins, guilt, limbo and more, Sister is now offering up hilarious lessons on the Sacrements of Marriage and Last Rites, including her own wacky version of the Newlywed Game.  Classroom participation is a must, so bring along your sweetie and your sense of humor for a session with the country’s feistiest couples counselor! 

May 10th – 28thLuna Gale – Caroline, a veteran social worker, is pushed to extremes as she fights to reunite two recovering teenage meth addicts with their infant daughter.   When family history and religious devotion complicate what had seemed like an obvious solution, faith meets doubt and the best intentions meet reality as the people who care about baby Luna struggle to protect her future.  Recommended for mature audiences.

 May 24th – June 25thThe Man Who Shot Liberty Valance – Ramsome Foster, a young scholar from New York, travels west in search of a new life and finds love in the dusty town of Twotrees – but not before he makes an enemy of the vicious outlaw Liberty Valance.  As Valance’s reign of terror escalates, Foster must make a choice: to turn and run, or to stand for what he believes.  Recommended for mature audiences.

June 28th – August 20thAlways…Patsy Cline – In hon0r of Stages 40th anniversary, they are reviving one of the most requested productions in their history.  Penned by Stages’ Founding Artistic Director, Ted Swindley, this international hit musical had its world premiere at Stages in 1988 and has been winning hears ever since.  Based on a true story, this tribute to the legendary country music singer and her friendship with devoted Houston fan, Louise Seger, is rich with down-home country humor and includes 27 of Cline’s most unforgettable hit songs.

for more information, see www.stagestheatre.com or call (713) 527-0123

Wortham Center  (Texas & Smith Streets)

April 13thDance Salad Festival – DSF is very excited to launch the 22nd year of it’s festival in Houston with a very special performance by Paris Opera Ballet Etoile, Marie-Agnes Gillot in the world premiere of Black Over Red ( My dialogue with Rothko), a contemplative solo intertwining visual, performing arts and poetry set to live cello music by Jean-Paul Dessy, choreographed by a major figure of European contemporary dance, Carolyn Carlson, based in Paris.  Carlson is the Dance Director of the Atelier de Paris at La Cartoucherie and her company also has a Residency at the Paris National Theater of Chaillot.  7:30 p.m.

April 14thDance Salad Festival – Among highlights of the 2nd night of the Festival is a special performance of Eastman from Antwerp, Belgium in Fractus V choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui who will dance in this piece himself with four dancers and live music played by musicians from Japan, Korea, India and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Other companies presented in the evening are:  Norwegian National Ballet, Oslo; Susanna Leinonen Company, Helsinki, Finland; Carolyn Carlson Company, Paris, France with two Japanese dancers; and the “Crown Prince” of Memphis Jookin’; and  Lil’ Buck from Los Angeles, California.   7:30 p.m. 

April 15thDance Salad Festival –  the final night of the Festival will be remembered by an innovative twist of Shakespeare’s classic Romeo & Juliet choreographed by Susanna Leinonen and Jouka Valkama (dancing the role of Romeo himself), set to the original score by Sergei Prokofjev, recomposed with an original contemporary score by Kasperi Laine, performed by the highly acclaimed Susanna Leinonen Company from Helsinki, Findland.  Other highlights of the evening will include a pas de deux by the well-known, Indian classical dancer and Bessie Award winner, Shantala Shivalingappa from Paris, France with the “Crown Prince” of Memphis Jookin’, Lil’ Buck from Los Angeles, California; and also works by Eastman, Antwerp, Belgium; Carolyn Carlson Company, Paris France; and the Norwegian National Ballet, Oslo.   7:30 p.m.

April 21stAspen Santa Fe Ballet – Aspen Santa Fe Ballet shares its bold vision of the world, with top choreographers, a distinctive and groundbreaking repertoire, and virtuoso dancers, fostering a jewel of a dance company that’s centered in the American West.  that pioneering spirit comes from its dual set of home cities: Aspen, nestled in the Rocky Mountains, and Santa Fe, situated atop the southwestern plateau.  This two-decade old contemporary dance company is shaping the cultural landscape of those two cities, and the dance field at large.  Their deep commitment to curating new ballets while also cultivating burgeoning new choreographers has resulted in an adventurous and cutting-edge repertoire.  Aspen Santa Fe Ballet has come to epitomize the contemporary-classical genre.  8:00 p.m.

April 22ndTerence Blanchard – presented by DaCamera – Since top-tier jazz and multiple Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard embarked on his solo recording career, the New Orleans born and based artist has traveled many paths musically, including delivering adventurous and provocative acoustic jazz outings of original material and composing over 50 soundtracks.  Now, Blanchard powerfully and playfully journeys into a new jazz realm with his quintet, The E-Collective – an exciting zone of grooved fusion teeming with funk, R&B and blues colors.  It’s a first foray into straight-up groove for Blanchard; come enjoy the dance-steeped party he and his quintet – guitarist Charles Altura, Fabian Almazan on piano and synthesizers, bassist Donald Ramsey, and drummer Oscar Seaton – have cooked up.  8:00 p.m. 

May 5thVijay Iyer’s Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi featuring International Contemporary Ensemble – A remarkably inventive musician who is at home in both the worlds of jazz and contemporary concert music, American pianist and composer Vijay Iyer’s originality draws much from his rich Indian heritage.  With Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, performed by Iyer and the virtuosic International Contemporary Ensemble, Iyer responds to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with an explosive work of live music and film inspired by the ancient Hindu Holi festival of colors and love celebrated each spring in Southern Asia.  Vijay Iyer is joined by members of the International Contemporary Ensemble, the imaginative, genre-defying ensemble which serves as Artists-in-Residence at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival.   8:00 p.m. at Wortham Theater.  

May 13thMozart’s Requiem – presented by Mercury Houston – A must-see for any music love, Mozart’s final composition is a profoundly moving work, brimming with drama, hopefulness and redemption.  Now, experience Mozart’s unforgettable music with the instruments he would have written them for in his own time – to truly experience his genius.   8:00 p.m.

May 20thJessica Lang Dance –  Jessica Lang Dance, founded only a few years ago in 2011, has quickly become one of the nation’s preeminent companies, enriching and inspiring global audiences with immersive performances flush with the beauty of movement and music.  Their newest work, Tesseracts of Time, merges together the art forms of architecture and dance.  This “dance for architecture” – commissioned in part by Society for the Performing Arts, along with the Harris Theater and the Chicago Architecture Biennial – is divided into four parts, like the seasons compressed into twenty minutes.  Including massive sets specifically designed for the piece by Steven Holl Architects, Tesseracts of Time aims to reevaluate the art of architecture.  The piece also includes music specifically chosen by choreographer (Lang) and architect (Holl).   8:00 p.m.

July 8thNeil Gaiman – For a career and repertoire as varied as Neil Gaiman, it’s best to let the man himself describe what he does: “I make things up and write them down.”  As one of the most celebrated writers of our time, it’s fitting that his inimitable creativity and unequaled imagination are the first thing used to describe Neil Gaiman.  From his bestselling contemporary fantasy novel, American Gods, to his bestselling young adult story (and eventual movie) Coraline, to his children’s novel The Graveyard Book, Gaiman’s works have racked up every major literary award.  On top of more than twenty books, Gaiman is also celebrated for his groundbreaking work on the Sandman comics, which were described by Stephen King as having turned graphic novels into a full-realized art form.  A self-described “feral child who was raised in libraries,” Neil Gaiman’s appearance on July 8th will be a can’t miss performance for any lover of books and stories.  8:00 p.m.

for more information, see www.houstonfirsttheaters.com/wortham-center/events  

Live Music Venues

Revention Music Center  (520 Texas Avenue)

April 7thDaDa Life  8:00 p.m.

April 14thSebastian Maniscalco  7:00 p.m. 

April 15th: Houston Roller Derby  7:00 p.m. 

April 28thIIDA Product Runway 2017: Cover to Cover  8:00 p.m. 

April 29thPJ Harvey  8:30 p.m. 

April 30thLil Wayne – Kloser 2 U Tour  8:00 p.m. 

May 6thFranco De Vita  8:00 p.m. 

May 9thThe XX  8:00 p.m. 

May 10thHillsong Young & Free  7:00 p.m. 

May11thTravis Scott: Birds Eye View Tour  8:00 p.m. 

May 12thBrian Wilson presents Pet Sounds  8:00 p.m. 

May 18thMiguel Bose  8:00 p.m. 

May 25thSoundgarden  8:00 p.m. 

June 10thAt the Drive In  8:00 p.m.

June 13thBrit Floyd  8:00 p.m. 

June 24thJermaine Dupri presents SoSo Summer 17 Tour  8:00 p.m. 

July 1stBush  8:00 p.m. 

July 18thJason Isbell and the 400 Unit  8:00 p.m. 

for more information, see www.reventionmusiccenter.com  or call (713) 230-1600

House of Blues Houston  (1204 Caroline Street)

April 2ndPsychedelic Furs  7:00 p.m. 

April 5thStrands of Oaks  7:00 p.m. 

April 5thCarla Morrison  7:00 p.m. 

April 6thJacob Sartorius  6:30 p.m.

April 7thThursday  6:30 p.m.

April 8thOnes to Watch presents Gnash – The Sleepover Tour  7:00 p.m.

April 8thAllan Rayman  7:00 p.m.

April 9thTestament  6:00 p.m.  

April 11thTaylor Bennett  7:00 p.m. 

April 12thThe M.E. Tour featuring Marsha Ambrosius and Eric Benet  7:00 p.m.

April 13thThe Revivalists  8:00 p.m. 

April 14thThe Rides – Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne JSheperd and Barry Goldberg  7:00 p.m. 

April 14thSirius XM presents The Highway Finds Tour  7:00 p.m.  

April 15thLive Nation presents Asia on Tour featuring Miyavi  7:00 p.m.

April 17thSirius XM presents Killswitch Engage & Anthrax – The Killthrax Tour  6:00 p.m. 

April 18thBringing Down the House – 2017 Live Showcase  6:00 p.m. 

April 20thBilly Currington  7:30 p.m. 

April 21stNF – Therapy Session Tour 2017  7:00 p.m. 

April 22ndSirius XM Outlaw Country & Ones to Watch presents Whiskey Myers  7:00 p.m. 

April 22ndLil Peep  7:00 p.m. 

April 25thThunder from Down Under  7:00 p.m. 

April 26thAndrew McMahon in the Wilderness  6:00 p.m. 

April 26thMona  7:00 p.m. 

April 27thCoheed and Cambria – Neverender Gaibsiv  7:00 p.m.

April 28thThe Last Bandoleros  7:00 p.m. 

April 28thSTS9  8:00 p.m.

April 29thTech N9NE  7:00 p.m. 

April 30thTrey Anastasio  7:00 p.m. 

May 3rdRival Sons – Hollow Bones Tour  7:00 p.m. 

May 4th:  Jillian Michaels  7:00 p.m. 

May 5thRobin Trower  7:00 p.m.

May 6thLa Oreja de Van Gough  8:00 p.m. 

May 7thStephen Lynch: The My Old Heart Tour  6:30 p.m. 

May 7thCasey James  7:00 p.m. 

May 9thWale  7:00 p.m.

May 10thJazz Cartier  7:00 p.m.

May 12thDamien Escobar  7:30 p.m. 

May 13thProphets & Outlaws  7:00 p.m. 

May 13thBetter Than Ezra  7:30 p.m.

May 14thSmino  7:00 p.m.

May 16thOnes to Watch presents Blackbear – Digital Drugtour  7:00 p.m.

May 17thThe Damned 40th Anniversary U.S. Tour  7:00 p.m. 

May 18thThe Cult  7:00 p.m.

May 20thThe B-52s  7:00 p.m. 

May 21stHere Comes The Mummies  7:00 p.m.

May 21stIcon for Hire  7:00 p.m.

May 22ndLoudwire presents Pierce the Veil & Sum 41: We Will Detonate! Tour  6:00 p.m.

May 23rdZoo TV  7:00 p.m.

May 26thThe Dan Band  8:00 p.m.

June 2ndThe Mavericks  7:00 p.m.

June 3rdOzzy – A Tribute to Ozzy Osbourne  7:00 p.m.

June 9thOld 97s  7:00 p.m.

June 15thThe Revolution  7:00 p.m.

June 17thSomo: The Answers Tour  7:00 p.m.

June 21stGipsy Kings  7:00 p.m.

June 24thEverclear: So Much for the Afterglow  7:00 p.m.

June 25thMorbid Angel  7:30 p.m.

June 30thRockstar Energy presents All Time Low – Young Renegades Tour  6:00 p.m.

for more information, see www.livenation.com or call (713) 230-1600

Warehouse Live  (813 St. Emanuel Street)

April 1st & 2ndHouston Whatever Fest 2017  Noon 

April 1stStepbrothers: Starlito & Don Trip with Trakksounds  9:00 p.m. 

April 2ndHouston Whatever Fest 2017  Noon

April 6thVince Staples “The Life Aquatic Tour”  8:30 p.m. 

April 6thThe Good Heart Noble Age Heapin Helpin’ No Rehearsal Ambiovox  9:00 p.m. 

April 7thAfterparty Live featuring Trap Lord Ricko & The Brush Man  8:00 p.m.  

April 7thChronixx & Zincfence Redemption with Max Glazer & Kelissa  9:00 p.m. 

April 10thJoJo “Mad Love Tour”  8:00 p.m.  

April 11thThe Moth “Fresh”  7:30 p.m. 

April 12thJoey Fatts, D. Savage, Aston Matthews & Eddie Baker  10:00 p.m.

April 13thAfton Live presents Joshua One Six Eight, Inky P, Javonte Trevionne, Tre. V Trigga, Jett Rose, Ze’dako, and 9god  6:30 p.m. 

April 14thPride and Ego  7:00 p.m. 

April 15thThe Maine “Lovely, Little, Lonely World Tour”  7:30 p.m. 

April 16thCoast 2 Coast Live  9:00 p.m. 

April 19thDesiigner  8:00 p.m.

April 20thDoyle Bramhall II  8:00 p.m. 

April 20thThe Muchies Picknik: Curren$y  9:00 p.m. 

April 21stR&B Only with DJ Printz   8:30 p.m. 

April 23rdMc Magic Live with GT Garza, Lil Rob & Lexini Blanco  1:00 & 5:00 p.m. 

April 26thAB-Soul – The YMF Tour  8:00 p.m. 

April 27thNAO   7:30 p.m.

April 28thThe Dollop Podcast  8:30 p.m. 

April 29th Blake  9:00 p.m. 

April 30thDigitour Spring  4:00 p.m. 

April 30thState Champs – Against the Current, Withconfidence & Don Broco  7:00 p.m. 

April 30thXavier Wulf – “Hollow Be Thy Squad” Tour  7:00 p.m. 

May 4thOrgone with Monophonics  8:00 p.m. 

May 6thRevolver (A Tribute to Rage Against the Machine)  7:30 p.m. 

May 11thPallbearer with Gatecreeper & Pinkish Black  8:00 p.m. 

May 12thBianca Del Rio “Not Today Satan Tour”  8:00 p.m. 

May 14thKing Lil G – Blessed by God Tour  8:30 p.m. 

May 20thCatfish and the Bottlemen  8:00 p.m. 

May 21st Kehlani – SweetSexySavage World Tour  8:30 p.m. 

May 25thHogleg  7:00 p.m. 

May 25thZakk Sabbath  9:00 p.m. 

May 26thTrey Songz presents: Tremaine the Tour  8:00 p.m. 

June 8thTripping Daisy  8:00 p.m. 

June 8thHot 8 Brass Band  9:00 p.m.

July 13thEric Stanley Life Tour  8:00 p.m. 

July 29thPlugged – Featuring BabyBoy  8:30 p.m. 

for more information,  see www.warehouselive.com

Museums

Texas Asia Society – Asia Society Center   (1370 Southmore Blvd.)

April 4thAuthors & Asia: Gish Jen and “The Girl at the Baggage Claim”  – The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Examining the East-West Culture Gap is a provocative and important study of the different ideas Easterners and Westerners have about self and society; and what this means for current debates in art, education, geopolitics, and business. Never have East and West come as close as they are today, yet we are still baffled by one another.  Is our mantra “To thine own self be true”?  Or do we believe we belong to something larger than ourselves – a family, a religion, a troop – that claims our first allegiance?  gish Jen – drawing on a treasure trove of stories and personal anecdotes, as well as cutting-edge research in culture psychology – reveals how this difference shapes what we perceive and remember; what we say and do and make – how it shapes everything from our ideas about copying and talking in class to the difference between Apple and Alibaba.  As engaging as it is illuminating this is a book that stands to profoundly enrich our understanding about ourselves and about our world.  7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  Free with RSVP (online).

April 5thEscaping North Korea: A Defector’s Journey – Every year, thousands of North Koreans make the perilous journey across the border in hopes of a new and better life.  They must risk their own lives and the safety of their family members to escape a secretive society which does not allow them to move of their own free will.  Defectors know that it is unlikely that they will ever return to their homeland and that any loved ones staying in North Korea may encounter reprisal by the government.  Two decades ago, Hyeonseo Lee was one of the lucky defectors who crossed into China.  since then, she has started her life over in South Korea and has become an advocate for North Korean refugees with the same challenges that she faced as a young woman.  Join Asia Society for a discussion about growing up in North Korea, the dangers of defecting, and the resolve to rebuild one’s life.  Jieun Baek, author of North Korea’s Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground is Transforming a Closed Society, will add to the dialogue, drawing on research for a recent book and giving a scholarly perspective of contemporary North Korea.  6:00 – 8:30 p.m.  $10 for members/$20 for non-members.  Purchase tickets online. 

April 6thThe Future of Globalism: Educating for Global Competitiveness – At a time when citizens are more aware than ever before of the benefits and disadvantages of globalization, America and other countries are considering the best way to face the future in a global world.  A key piece of this conversation is education – how do we best prepare all individuals to be globally competitive?  Answering this question requires awareness, investment, and efforts from stakeholders and leaders across all sectors.  Join Asia Society and prominent leaders and thinkers in education, business, philanthropy and public service to discuss the trends in civic life, commerce, and employment that are affecting education and America’s competitiveness in a global economy.  2:00 – 3:30 p.m.  $10 for members/$15 for non-members.  Purchase tickets online.

April 8th:  Architecture Tour – This tour will focus on Yoshio Taniguchi’s first free-standing structure in the United States.  It touches on the materials, influences and ambience of the building.  The guided tour stops will include The Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater; the Edward Rudge Allen II Education Center; the Elkins Foundation Water Garden; the Fayez Sarofim Grand Hall; and the Water Garden Terrace.  Free for members/$5 for non-members.  2:00 p.m.  Register online.  

April 8th:  Art Tour – Join Asia Society for a docent lead tour of their current exhibitions.  Free for members with RSVP/$5 for non-members.  3:00 p.m. 

April 12thIndia’s Economic Ascent and Opportunities for Investment – India has continued its rapid rise in the 21st century and has grown to be the world’s third largest economy, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the world Bank.  With its growing economic incentives, investors also look to the country as a location to do business and increase their global assets.  The World Economic Forum recently named Bangalore and Hyderabad as two of the globe’s top ten most dynamic cities, and have become major IT hub s the country aims to spur growth not only for its wealthy and elite, but also to empower the middle and lower classes through mobile technology and banking services.  For India to complete its transformation to an economic superpower, the world’s largest democracy must also modernize in a number of areas, including access to education, infrastructure and ease of doing business.  Join Asia Society for a discussion on inclusive growth, investment opportunities, and the economic outlook in India.  7:00 – 8:15 p.m.  $15 for members/$25 for non-members.  Purchase tickets online. 

April 13th & 14thPerforming Asia: Shank’s Mare – Created by Tom Lee and Japanese Master Puppeteer Koryu Nishikawa V, Shank’s Maer is the story of two wandering travelers whose paths intersect in time and space. Using traditional kuruma ningyo puppetry, video projection, and live music, the piece explores themes of life and death and how tradition is passed on.  After a sold-out run in New York, and tour to Japan, Asia Society Texas Center welcomes this unique collaboration which won the 2016 Arlyn Award for Outstanding Design in Puppet Theatre.  TimeOut NY gave the show five stars and wrote, “You simply won’t see better puppetry anywhere nor a tighter braiding of methods old and new nor artists working so confidently at the peak of their craft.”    $15 for members/$25 for non-members.  Purchase tickets online. 

May 4thA Conversation with Vijay Iyer – MacArthur Fellow Vijay Iyer shares the inspiration behind and process of creating his explosive work of live music and film inspired by the Hindu festival of Holi.  A remarkably inventive musicians who is at home in both the worlds of jazz and contemporary concert music, American pianist and composer Vijay Iyer’s originality draws much from his rich Indian heritage.  With Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, performed by Iyer and the virtuosic International Contemporary Ensemble, Iyer responds to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring with an explosive work of live music and film inspired by the ancient Hindu Holi festival of colors and love celebrated each spring in Southern Asia.   7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  Free with RSVP (online).

May 6th:  Architecture Tour – This tour will focus on Yoshio Taniguchi’s first free-standing structure in the United States.  It touches on the materials, influences and ambience of the building.  The guided tour stops will include The Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater; the Edward Rudge Allen II Education Center; the Elkins Foundation Water Garden; the Fayez Sarofim Grand Hall; and the Water Garden Terrace.  Free for members/$5 for non-members.  2:00 p.m.  Register online.  

May 6th:  Art Tour – Join Asia Society for a docent lead tour of their current exhibitions.  Free for members with RSVP/$5 for non-members.  3:00 p.m. 

May 13thAsiaFest 2017 – Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with AsiaFest, the ASTC’s annual family event featuring community performances, fusion cuisine, creative activities, local vendors and more.  10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.  Free to the public.

Thru July 30th:  Modern Twist: Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Art – Bamboo is characterized by strength flexibility, and lightness – bending, not breaking, with strong winds, while enduring harsh winters.  This exhibition explores the innovative shape bamboo art has taken in Japan since the mid-twentieth century.  With rare wall-hung installations and sculptures never before seen in Texas, the exhibition both engages and educates audiences about a vibrant cultural art form.  Although bamboo is an abundant natural resource, it is a challenging artistic medium with less than 100 professional bamboo artists in Japan today.  Mastering the art form required decades of meticulous practice learning how to harvest, split, and plait the bamboo.  This exhibition displays a mastery of the supreme technical skills inherent to the 17 artists who bring their innovative and imaginatively crafted sculptures to this exhibition.  

June 10th:  Architecture Tour – This tour will focus on Yoshio Taniguchi’s first free-standing structure in the United States.  It touches on the materials, influences and ambience of the building.  The guided tour stops will include The Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater; the Edward Rudge Allen II Education Center; the Elkins Foundation Water Garden; the Fayez Sarofim Grand Hall; and the Water Garden Terrace.  Free for members/$5 for non-members.  2:00 p.m.  Register online.  

June 10th:  Art Tour – Join Asia Society for a docent lead tour of their current exhibitions.  Free for members with RSVP/$5 for non-members.  3:00 p.m. 

for more information, see www.asiasociety.org/texas  or call 713-496-9901

Children’s Museum of Houston  (1500 Binz)

The Children’s Museum of Houston offers a wonderful array of ongoing exhibits, created to inspire children’s imaginations and help them to learn through curiosity and hands-on activities and experimentation.

Exhibits:

The Invention Convention – Step into a workshop of gadgets and gizmos, where kids create, concoct and construct contraptions and use their imagination to become inventors! Dream up and design in a workshop filled with half-finished contraptions, bins of spare parts, project tables, schematics and various instruments from floor to ceiling. Experiment with LEGO bricks, propellers, magnets, batteries, switches and buzzers through facilitated, hands-on experiments and mini-workshops.

Shocks and Jolts – Get ready for a shock to your system as you enter the Children’s Museum’s brand new Shocks and Jolts exhibition for kids ages 6 and up.  This all-new, hands-on exhibition focused around the always-exciting topic of electricity is divided into three main topic areas to help build a better understanding about the properties, generation and uses of electricity.

Yalalag: A Mountain Village in Mexico – Explore Yalalag – A Mountain Village in Mexico!  One of the original Children’s Museum exhibits, Yalalag returns with a facelift and a bang to provide you with the opportunity to experience the day-to-day life of people who live in Villa Hidalgo Yalalag – a Zapotec village located in the Sierra Juarez Mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico.  You are invited to an exotic trip south of the border to learn about the cultural attributes that give the people of Yalalag a unique take on life.

EcoStation – How does it grow? This is an active, outdoor/indoor environmental exhibit where visitors engage in ecological studies and explore environmental issues by visiting a native plant garden, woodland area, pond and a research pavilion. Through these and several other areas, visitors can participate in diverse hands-on activities such as stream bed creation, insect collecting, leaf rubbings, footprint identification and more! Visitors can also participate in always changing programming that includes things such as nature journals, water quality testing, decomposition, soil type explorations, home environmental awareness inventory logs, bird feeders and much, much more.

Kidtropolis – This exhibit marks a brand new spot on the map, as a real-life kid metropolis, complete with a skyline, city government, occupations and the systems that make a city work. It’s where kids choose to be whatever they want to be. They will participate in a sophisticated, simulated economy, where they can spend money on items and experiences throughout the city. But, like in real life, they will have to get jobs to earn money and that’s where the KidCard comes in handy! This ATM card has a stipend of 40 Kidtropolis dollars on it. With it, kids can go on a shopping spree of tantalizing items, special art workshops and other cool stuff. They can deposit their paychecks into a kid’s savings or checking account or hit the town for a day out!

Cyberchase – The Chase is On! – Based on Cyberchase, the Emmy award-winning PBS Kids Go! math mystery cartoon, Cyberchase – The Chase is On! Presents math in a fun, kid-friendly environment, allowing children to make use of their critical thinking skills and approach math with an investigative, positive attitude. In the exhibit, children will enter Cyberspace through a special portal to explore favorite cyber sites, including the Control Central, the Grim Wreaker and Poddleville and be greeted by Motherboard, the peace-loving leader of Cyberspace. They will help the CyberSquad protect the virtual universe from the evil Hacker, while exploring math concepts such as place value, algebra, geometry, fractions and probability.

Matter Factory – This exhibition offers a glimpse into the concepts of materials science, including properties of matter and potential uses for different substances and smart materials. With 1,350 square feet of exhibit space, explore how matter matters in our daily lives. Experiment with different properties of matter, test and sort materials based on their properties, and examine unique properties of emerging materials recently developed by scientists.

Flow Works – Dive into the forces and properties of water through waves, vortices and rapids, exploring the fascinating concept of hydropower. This interactive exhibit requires kids to “dip” their hands into it to make it work. An 18 feet tall Cauldron stands in the middle of it all! The more you play, the more it gets filled up with water. Once it’s full, water comes crashing down, making an unstoppable wave of fun and allowing other exhibit components to break their course! Feel the rush of waters through a simulated Flood Plain, stream through an Aquaduct Maze, or serve as the mastermind behind a Hydro Switchboard. Navigate ways in which water’s energy can be stored, released and manipulated and harness the power!

How Does It Work – Have you ever wondered how sounds travel? Or how your wireless telephone works? Or even what really happens when you turn the ignition in your car? This multi-level exhibition challenges you to ask and discover the answers to your own science questions with tons of hands-on, investigative experiences. See what makes a car go with the ’66 Mustang in Auto Alley. Watch your messages be sent via fiber-optics and check out the history of communication in Communication Speedway. Challenge yourself to discover something new at the Science Station and raise yourself 5 feet into the air to learn how pulleys work on the Kid Lift.

Power Play – Push your limits and discover how your body reacts to a variety of physical challenges in Power Play! This monumental, three story installation lets you leap up and down different levels as you discover new ways to get active. Take it to the next level tracking your heart rate and strength, rating your experience and comparing your performance like a real fitness athlete.

Inventor’s Workshop – In this facilitated workshop space, visitors can participate in a wide variety of creative thinking and inventive workshops with museum staff playing the role of resident inventors. In general this area is focused on engaging visitors in creative thinking, design and invention. It conveys the following messages about the process of invention: 1) Inventors learn by doing; 2) Mistakes will happen and are necessary to the invention process; 3) Invention is a “messy” process; 4) Inventors take time to communicate with each other, often working in teams towards a single goal. The Workshop’s invigorating activities entail children to go beyond their imagination to create extraordinary objects that may or may not even work. Every week, there is an activity that focuses on invention and design through challenges or inquiry-based exploration. The activity incorporates science, art, and/or technology in some shape or form.

for more information, see www.cmhouston.org or call (713) 522-1138

Contemporary Arts Museum  (5216 Montrose)

April 29th – August 6thAtlas, Plural, Monumental – This exhibition is Paul Ramirez Jona’s first survey exhibition in the Americas.  Including sculptures, photographs, videos, drawings, performative lectures, and participatory works made from 1991 to 2016, Atlas, Plural, Monumental demonstrates how Ramirez Jonas is redefining “public art” by investigating how a public is constituted, as well as what brings one together.  In his earlier works Ramirez Jonas viewed historical references from a strategic vantage as he adapted early scientific experiments as “scores” inflected with his voice.  Ramirez Jonas faithful reproductions of kites designed by investors such as Alexander Graham Bell and Joseph Locornu carried cameras into the air where re-engineered alarm clocks triggered their shutters, capturing images of the artist on the ground holding the kite’s string.  In these works, Ramirez Jonas typically activated the scores himself; his later works extend this invitation to viewers.  In 2005, Ramirez Jonas shifted his focus toward decidedly public forms: the equestrian statue, the bronze plaque, the key to the city, and the like.  the Commons (2011) is a riderless equestrian monument made from cork, and viewers are invited to affix their own messages to the base.  With this action, properties often attributed to commemorative sculpture – the singular voice of the state, the singular identity of the memorialized hero, and the immutability of inscriptions set in bronze and stone – are all upended.  Ramirez Jonas’s work democratizes time-honored civic forms.  Manifested in a range of compelling forms, Ramirez Jonas’s work invigorates our cultural commons.

Thru May 7th:  Origins of the Self – The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston’s Teen Council is pleased to present Origins of the Self, a group exhibition featuring work by Houston area teen artists.  The exhibition will focus on questions of personal identify,  This is the 10th biennial youth art exhibition organized by the council. 

May 20th – September 3rdA Better Yesterday – “Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past” is a truism today, originally from the lips of our great philosophically minded comedienne and actress Lily tomlin.  It means simply that we need to radically accept that whatever traumas we have lived through are part of the life experience that created us, and we must build from there.  the past is a neutral building block that should engender no emotion from us other than gratitude for who we are today.  Still, creative people cannot help but muse over alternate realities that might have been and, through the telling, make sense of the actual narratives.  And while such musings can veer toward the pathological in the cases of Jack Early, Joo Young Choi and Lily van der Stokker, these artists remake aspects of their pasts with glee.  A Better Yesterday presents three personal histories and stories that are remade as ambiguously fictional situations.

for more information, see www.camh.org  or call (713) 284-8250

The Heritage Society  (1100 Bagby)

April 20thCaptain Dave and the Yankees: A Tale of the Texas Blockade by Andy Hall – part of the Finger Lecture Series – One little-appreciated theater of the American Civil War was the Union navy’s blockade of the Confederacy, an effort ultimately involving hundreds of ships and stretching from the Virginia Capes to the Rio Grande.  Against this, the Confederacy called on blockade runners, ships and men willing to risk financial loss, capture and sometimes death, to keep it supplied with both munitions and civilian goods.  For the runners, the risks were great, but the rewards were often even greater.  Galveston author Andy Hall tells the story of the blockade on the Texas coast, as ween through the experiences of two young men – one a blockade-running immigrant from Scotland and the other a Federal naval officer born in East Prussia – whose paths crossed one April morning in 1864 on a schooner off the mouth of the Brazos River in a dramatic and violent way.  Noon – 1:00 p.m. The Heritage Society Tea Room.  Free for members/$5 for non-members.

Thru April 29th:  Bayou City Blitz – Houston is a city that thrives on football.  A sold out NRG stadium and a lengthy waiting list for Texans season tickets are only the latest manifestations of a gridiron fixation that dates back more than a century.  From the NFL to colleges, high schools and pick-up games in the park, Houstonians love the pigskin like few other cities in America.  Visitors to the exhibit will explore Houston’s football past through iconic photographs and video, vintage equipment, trophies, uniforms, programs and other memorabilia. 

May 9th – June 24thTropical (Im)pression: A Gulf Coast Hurricane Retrospective – The first decade of the 21st century has seen significant hurricane activity along the Gulf Coast.  In 2010, five years after Hurricane Rita, the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur initiated the Hurricane Retrospective project, an effort to document the recent history of hurricanes in the southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana Gulf Coast region.  The Museum of the Gulf Coast called for photographs and personal stories from those along the Gulf Coast who lived through Hurricanes Rita and Ike.  The response was tremendous with hundreds of submissions from private citizens, amateur and professional photographers, and businesses from the private and public sector.  The collected images were added to the museum’s permanent archives in order to preserve the history of these events.  The culmination of the Hurricane Retrospective Project’s documentary efforts is Tropical (Im)pression:  A Gulf Coast Hurricane Retrospective, a traveling exhibition created by the Museum of the Gulf Coast and presented in partnership with Humanities Texas.

May 18thThe Happy Hollow: Emergency Salvage Archeology Project in Houston Historic Red Liight District by Linda Gorski – part of the Finger Lecture Series  – For three short days at the end of January 2016, Texas Historical Commission Archeological Stewards from Harris County and members of the Houston Archeological Society participated in an emergency salvage archeology shovel testing project at a unique site in downtown Houston, Texas.  Owners of the historic Lancaster Hotel were forced to demolish two equally historic adjoining buildings to provide parking spaces for the hotel.  the owners of the hotel, including Miki Lusk Norton, graciously allowed the Texas Historical Commission to examine the site before it was paved over.  These historic buildings in the 500 block of Louisiana Avenue were built in 1907 and replaced earlier structures on the lots that were originally female boarding houses – aka brothels.  The shovel testing revealed early cisterns, brick and concrete piers that supported the pier and beam building, an historic gully and a privy.  Approximately 1100 artifacts were recovered including many complete bottles that originally contained female medications and tonics providing clues as to what was going on at the site in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and lending credence to the site’s original name  – “Happy Hollow”.  this presentation will present the history of an early red light district in Houston through artifacts recovered at the site.  Noon – 1:00 p.m.  The Heritage Society Tea Room.  Free for members/$5 for non-members.    

for more information, visit www.heritagesociety.org      

Holocaust Museum of Houston   (5401 Caroline)

Permanent Exhibit: Bearing Witness: A Community Remembers: Authentic film footage, artifacts, photographs and documents show life in pre-war Europe, the Nazi move toward the “Final Solution” and life after the Holocaust. The exhibit includes a 1942 Holocaust era railcar and 1942 Danish rescue boat, which both teach the lessons of individual responsibility and how two different populations dealt with evil and injustice. 

April 6th“Defiant Braceros: How Migrant Workers Fought for Racial, Sexual, and Political Freedom” – presented by Dr. Mireya Loza – Dr. Mireya Loza, assistant professor, Latino/a Studies at University of Illinois, sheds new light on the private lives of migrant men who participated in the Bracero Program (1942-1964), a bi-national agreement between the United States and Mexico that allowed hundreds of thousands of Mexican workers to enter this country on temporary work permits.  While this program and the issue of temporary workers has long been politicized on both sides of the border, Loza argues that the prevailing romanticized image of braceros as a family-oriented, productive, legal workforce has obscured the real, diverse experiences of workers themselves.  Basing her work on an archive of more than 800 oral histories from the United States and Mexico, she captures the myriad ways these defiant workers responded to the intense discrimination and exploitation of an unjust system that still persists today.  Book signing after the lecture.  Admission is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required online.

April 25thBook Club Discussion of “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah – Join HMH librarian Maria Harris, as she facilitates a discussion of “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. This novel tells the story of Vianne and Isabelle, who have always been close despite their differences.  Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter.  When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Vianne and Isabelle’s father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope.  As the war progresses, it’s not only the sisters’ relationship that is tested, but also the strength and their individual senses of right and wrong.  With life as they know it changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.  The event is free and open to the public.  Visit the website to RSVP.  Registration is limited to 12 participants, but the discussion may be offered on a second date.  6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  If registration is full, contact Maria Harris at 713-942-8000 x110 to add your name to an interest list.

May 30thGenealogy Workshop: “Getting Started in Family Research” – The Friends of The Boniuk Library are pleased to present a Genealogy Workshop: Getting Started in Family Research.  the workshop features essential information for beginning to learn about your ancestry.  The program begins with Susan Kaufman, Manager of the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, as she provides an introduction to genaology.  Next, HMH librarian Maria harris describes how to research family history in relation to the Holocaust.  Hear the personal experiences of HMH docent Eyal Enav as he describes his journey in learning about his heritage and finally, Bennett Greenspan, CEO of Family Tree DNA, discusses how to get started with genealogical DNA testing.  Admission is $12.  Registration is required online.  1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Thru May 14th: Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942-1964 – This is HMH’s first Spanish/English bilingual exhibit.  The exhibit showcases the Bracero program, the largest guest worker program in U.S. history, which brought millions of Mexican nationals north to work on short-term labor contracts.  The work was backbreaking and living conditions poor, but the program offered Mexican men economic opportunities and much needed work.  their contributions to communities in Mexico and the U.S. have had a lasting impact on the political, economic, social and cultural landscapes of both nations.

May 16thBook Club Discussion of “The Monuments Men” by Robert M. Edsel – Join HMH librarian Maria Harris, as she facilitates a discussion of “The Monuments Men” by Robert M. Edsel.  this book tells the previously untold story of a little-known WWII Allied division whose mission was to track down European art and treasures that had been looted by the Nazis at Hitler’s command.  This event is free and open to the public.  RSVP online.  Registration is limited to 12 participants, but the discussion may be offered on a second date.  6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  If registration is full, contact Maria Harris at 713-942-8000 x 110 to add your name to an interest list.

Thru May 30thA Celebration of Survival by Barbara Hines – An immersive exhibition designed to honor the heroes, victims and survivors of the Holocaust, “A Celebration of Survival”, by Barbara Hines, masterfully addresses the Holocaust framed in a message of redemption and forgiveness.  The exhibition inspires visitors to focus on what “could be” rather than the horrors of the past. 

June 27thBook Club Discussion of “Prudence” by David Treuer – Join HMH librarian Maria Harris, as she facilitates a discussion of “Prudence” by David Treuer.  This novel tells the story of an American Bombardier.  When his farewell departure for WWII is shattered by an act of violence involving an escaped German soldier, bombardier Frankie Washburn witnesses the unfolding consequences that reverberate for several years.  This event is free and open to the public.  RSVP online.  Registration is limited to 12 participants, but the discussion may be offered on a second date.  6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  If registration is full, contact Maria Harris at 713-942-8000 x 110 to add your name to an interest list.

for more information, see www.hmh.org or call (713) 942-8000

Houston Museum of Natural Science   (One Hermann Circle Drive – Hermann Park)

Hall of Ancient Egypt – Safely ensconced in the Sahara desert, and drawing its lifeblood form the River Nile, ancient Egyptian civilization flourished for more than three millennia.  A quintessential example of what archaeologists call a primary civilization, “ancient Egypt did not rely on inspiration from others to develop its own architecture, writing and religion – all of Egyptian culture was developed “in house”.  The themes of writing, religion, natural resources and – of course – mummification will be explored in this new permanent exhibition hall.  Ever since the late 18th century, the Western world has been exploring Egypt.  This hall will present artifacts collected during these early days of investigations, and will also compare old-style archaeology with 21st century approaches, such as using satellite imagery and remote sensing to locate and map ancient settlements.  The Museum’s own mummy, Ankh Hap, will be moved to this new hall.

Paleontology Hall – The museum’s new Paleontology Hall is the length of a football field, and is one of the most dynamic of its kind in the world. The hall is packed with prehistoric beasts, and will not have the same stagnant displays of ancient skeletons standing in a row that visitors have grown accustomed to seeing. Rather, the predators and prey in the new hall will be in action – chasing, eating and escaping as they struggle for life. Embark on a “prehistoric safari” that also includes the grand saga of human evolution – from tree-climbing australopithecines to courageous mammoth-hunters. Want to learn more? Go to the museum’s website for more detailed information on this new permanent exhibit hall.

Tourmaline Treasures – This exhibition is a “jewel-box” of the world’s finest naturally crystallized tourmalines.  The exhibit is organized around the “Rose of Itatiaia” tourmaline from the Joanas Mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil.  This special tourmaline is the highlight and centerpiece of the exhibition.  Other “asterpiece” specimens from the most famous mines in the world include the Tourmaline Queen Mine, in California; the Paprok Region in Naristan, Afghanistan; the Mt. Mica in Main; the Stewart Mine in San Diego County, California; Anjanabonina Region in Madagascar; the Pedeneira Mine in Brazil; the Malkhan Mine in Russia, the Alto Ligonha Region of Mozambique, etc.  This is a unique opportunity to see these famous tourmalines all under one roof.

Gemstone Carving: Crystals Transformed Through Vision & Skill – Marvel at the extraordinary artworks of Harold Van Pelt in this exhibition. For more than 35 years, Harold Van Pelt has quietly been perfecting the art of carving quartz, rock crystal and agate gemstones. Hundreds of hours go into each multi-faceted, fluted and textured vase, hollow container, sculpture and vessel, many of which are accented with gold and semi-precious stones. Working the stone down to paper-thin walls brings out the gorgeous natural quality and colors of the agate and gives quartz the transparency of glass. Transformed by one man’s vision and skill from a solid stone to an incredibly delicate work of art, the gemstone carvings of Harold Van Pelt have to be seen to be believed.

Amber Secrets, Feathers from the Age of the Dinosaurs – Prized amber gems began their journey through deep time in liquid form – as resin secreted by trees, likely in response to injury.  This liquid “Band-Aid” served as a natural stick trap for capturing a portion of the ecosystem that could not be preserved in such detail in any other manner.  Except in the rarest cases, the fossilization process is not a gentle one – it favors the largest and most durable.  Delicate or small things are “forgotten” by the process.  The copious ancient resin that trapped and drowned fragments of these ancient landscapes served as the most faithful and gentle of funeral directors.  Details normally not preserved in fossils are plainly visible.  The exhibition features over 100 of some of the most exquisite specimens dating as far back as 99 million years ago.  Plants, fungus, vertebrates and invertebrates such as insects, spiders, scorpions, snails, millipedes and centipedes are represented.  Highlights include feathers and lizards encapsulated in amber.  Each polished translucent gem provides a window to the time of the dinosaurs. 

Recently openedVanishing Arts: Highlights from the Beasley-Hwang Collection – It’s the culmination of decades of travel to exotic lands.  An eclectic collection of unique artifacts acquired by Drs. Palmer Beasley and Lu Yu Hwang as their study of Hepatitis B took them to China, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Mexico and a host of other countries.  This exhibit features 50 of the most fascinating objects from this stunning collection.  An intricately carved and painted mask.  An Actual Tao sea-going canoe from Taiwan.  And a stunning Dragon Robe from the Imperial Court of China, replete with symbolism.  Through descriptive text, photographs, and videos, you will learn ow they were created and why.  But it’s up to you to imagine why each piece captured the attention of this husband and wife team of physicians. 

Opening April 10thFaberge: Royal Gifts featuring the Trellis Egg Surprise – The McFerrin Faberge Collection will be presented in a new state-of-the-art gallery in the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals.  This new gallery is made possible by the generous underwriting of the Artie and Dorothy McFerrin Foundation.  The first installation in the gallery is the new special exhibition Faberge: Royal Gifts featuring the Trellis Egg Surprise.  Visitors will experience the design artistry and craftsmanship of the Faberge workmasters in an intimate setting.  Currently numbering over 600 pieces, the McFerrin Faberge Collection is the largest private collection of Faberge in the world – a treasure trove of objects reflecting the artistry of the Faberge firm.  The exhibition explores the international politics, diplomacy, economics and innovation in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  Beginning with the magnificent crown jewels of Catherine the Great, the development of Peter Carl Faberge’s techniques and inspiration are explores.  One of the unique treasures displayed is a Faberge piece inspired by a Scythian gold arm band dating to the 4th century BC.  One of only four known today, Faberge exhibited this piece at the 1882 Pan-Russian Exhibition in Moscow.  In 1885 the House of Faberge was named “Goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown.”

Thru May 19th:  Gems of the Sea: The Guido T. Poppe Collection – The Philippines consists of over 7,500 islands in southeast Asia, totaling a land area of approximately 116,000 square miles, giving the Philippines the longest coastlines of any nation in the world.  The Philippine archipelago is known to possess some of the richest marine biodiversity in the world.  Along with their unparalleled diversity among the species, marine mollusks from this area are of great interest to silence for their peculiar interactions and adaptations in their marine environment.  This new acquisition to the HMNS collections is the most extensive and complete assemblage of marine mollusks from a single Indo-Pacific region.  The collection consists of over 25,000 fully documented specimens, which include corresponding scientific collecting and meta data, photographs and shared copyrights.  Over, 6,250  species are represented in the collection, which includes more than 10% of the known marine mollusk species worldwide.  This new exhibition features a selection of nearly 130 exquisite shells which represent 60 species in the collection.  Many are so new to science that they have not yet been named.

Thru May 29th:  Mummies of the World – The exhibit provides a window into the lives of ancient people from several regions of the world, including Europe, South America and Ancient Egypt, offering unprecedented insights into past cultures and civilizations.  Inside every mummy is a story waiting to be told.  Through modern science and technology, their secrets are now revealed.  This exhibition tells the story of the mummies and mummification through state-of-the-art multi-media, hands-on interactive stations and cutting-end 3-D animation taking visitors on a 4,500 year journey to explore the mummies history and origins as well as how they were created, both through natural and intentional practices.  The exhibition highlights real advances in the scientific methods used to study mummies, including Computed Tomography (CT), ancient DNA analysis and radiocarbon dating, all of which allow researchers to learn about the lives, history and cultures of the mummies.  Who were they?  Where did they come from? And what can they teach us?

Thru June 4thWildlife Photographer of the Year – The Houston Museum of Natural Science is honored to again host the breathtaking beauty captured in Wildlife Photographer of the Year.  Now in its fifty-second installment, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition provides a showcase for the world’s very best nature photography.  This acclaimed exhibition showcases Earth’s most extraordinary and revelatory sights, reflecting nature’s beauty and diversity and highlighting the fragility of wildlife on our planet.  After its London premiere, the exhibition embarks on a UK and international tour, to inspire millions of people across the world to appreciate and conserve the natural world.  This year’s competition was the most competitive to date – attracting almost 50,000 entries from professional and amateurs across 95 countries. 

Thru September 4thOut of the Amazon: Life on the River – HMNS has an unparalleled Amazonia collection.  Priceless pieces of the collection – ceremonial objects, masks, body costumes, headdresses and more are showcased in this new exhibition.  Sharing the story of thirteen tribes, spectacular feather art and other rare artifacts are complimented by photographs, videos and animals that live side by side with these indigenous communities.  Visitors are offered a glimpse of everyday life, as well as the spiritual beliefs and customs, among the rapidly disappearing indigenous groups of the Amazon Rainforest.  One of the tribes, is the Pa’ikwene, which inhabit the border area of two countries, French Guyana and Brazil.  The overall population in the early part of the 21st century is estimated to be between 1,000 and 1,600 individuals.  the term Pa’ikwene means “people of the middle”, a reference to their homeland along the Middle River, called the Urucaua.  They are also “people of the middle” in another sense: their strong sense of uniqueness and exclusivity seems to allow each individual one of of them a feeling of importance and worth – of being, as a Pa’ikwene, right at the hub of things.  The Pa’ikwene recount no fewer than six creation stories.  One of these incorporates the world-wide theme of a great flood.  Unique to the Pa’ikwene culture is a conical helmet, open at the top and decorated with superimposed feathers.  This headdress functions as a seat for a protective spirit, one that will shield the wearer from ill-intentioned spirits. 

Thru September 4thGladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum – Gladiator combat has evolved into one of the defining symbols of ancient Roman culture.  Immortalized by films, gladiators locked in mortal combat for the entertainment of the crowds in Rome’s Colosseum are larger than life figures in our mind.  However, what went on behind the scenes?  This exhibit provides answers in two arenas: that of the gladiators and that of the Colosseum.  The exhibit takes you through time and through the Roman Empires.  Featuring original artifacts from the Colosseum never before exhibited outside of Italy, this large international exhibit illustrates the compelling and fascinating world of the gladiators.  The exhibit also explores the behind the scenes lives of the gladiators and the colossal stage upon which their fate was determined, the Colosseum.  Theirs was a world of specialized training, discipline, regulation, and peril, but also of hope of fame, redemption and even wealth and freedom.  Original armor and related archaeological artifacts from the Colosseum and other Italian museums are included.

Thru October 8thMapping Texas: From Frontier to the Lone Star State – Featuring maps dating from 1513 to 1920, this special exhibition traces more than 400 years of Texas history.  Visitors will have the opportunity to see the formation of Texas, from an unnamed frontier in the New World to a small outpost of New Spain, to the huge, bustling state that now leads the nation.  Through this unique presentation of cartographic history, visitors can visualize how the fourth largest city in the U.S., Houston, and the third most populous county in the U.S., Harris County, grew into an economic powerhouse because of the Houston Ship Channel and the growth of railroads in the region.  The works in this exhibition are mainly from the archival collection of the Texas General Land Office and Houston map collectors Frank and Carol Holcomb.  Additionally, there are items on loan from the Witte Musem in San Antonio and the Bryan Museum in Galveston.

Planetarium Showings:

Dark Universe – Dark Universe whisks audiences out of the Milky Way galaxy and drops them alongside a parachute descending through Jupiter’s atmosphere, and brings them all the way to the afterglow of the Big Bang while revealing the breakthroughs that have led astronomers to confront two great cosmic mysteries: dark matter and dark energy.  It begins with a scene millions of light years away from Earth.  After flying to our own Milky Way galaxy, viewers arrive at California’s Mount Wilson Observatory, where Edwin Hubble’s discovery that the universe is expanding first pointed to the Big Bang.  That initial discovery, and ever more powerful instruments on the ground and in space, led to other breakthroughs that have given astronomers an increasingly detailed and precise picture of how the universe formed and evolved.  But these revelations have also uncovered intriguing new mysteries.  What is the so-called dark energy accelerating cosmic expansion?  What is the invisible dark matter holding together galaxies?  What is dark Energy, which accounts for about 70 percent of the universe’s total energy and mass?  What lies beyond our cosmic horizon?  Dark Universe explores this new age of cosmic discovery.

Starry Night Express – Enjoy this live show for stargazers of all ages.  Practice finding constellations, planets, the moon, meteor showers and the Milky Way band.  Everything you might see on the next starry night.  Then imagine leaving Houston behind for a visit to our George Observatory and on to the darkest skies on Earth.  The live action adventure then zooms out to the different planets you can see, past Pluto, and on to the stars of the nearby Pleiades star cluster and into the birth clouds of the Orion Nebula.  Watch the Milky Way transform into a barred spiral galaxy within a sea of galaxies.  This is a guided tour led by your personal astronomer, beginning with the objects you can see tonight in your own backyard.

Solar Superstorms – A fury is building on the Sun surface – with high-velocity jets, a fiery tsunami wave 100,000 kilometers high, and rising loops of electrified gas.  To find out why, explore the sun’s seething interior in Solar Superstorms.  Experience erupting flares, violent solar tornadoes, and massive ejections of plasma into the solar wind, streaming into space and perhaps toward Earth.  A new supercomputer has produced these dramatic immersive visualizations of the sun’s violent interior and its effect on Earth.  Brace yourself as the next Solar Superstorm is coming your way.

Black Holes – Embark on a journey through one of the most mystifying, awe-inspiring phenomena in the universe. What is a black hole? Where do they come from?  Where do they go?  Witness the bending of light, skewing of perception, and the dizzying descent into a black hole.  Explore the latest scientific knowledge on black holes in a show that is visually immersive and very exciting.  This show incorporates some of the most visually stunning three-dimensional effects ever created for the planetarium. Add to that a sound effects track and 5.1 surround sound mix by George Lucas Skywalker Sound Studios and you have an incredible sensory experience.  

Dynamic Earth – Dynamic Earth explores concepts and terms essential to understanding the climate and fills in major gaps in the public’s understanding of climate change.  In doing so, it enables audiences to gain perspective on one of the most important issues of our time: the question of how to balance the energy and resource needs of our populations with the need to safeguard Earth’s great life support system, the global climate.  Dynamic Earth follows a trail of energy that flows from the Sun into the interlocking systems that shape Earth’s climate: the atmosphere, oceans, and the biosphere.  Highlights include ultra-high-resolution visualizations of giant swirling eddies of the Gulf Stream, a re-creation of the anatomy of Hurricane Katrina, microscopic ocean creatures blown up to giant size, and the most detailed recreation of the surface and atmosphere of Venus ever produced.  

We Are Stars – This presentation is a family-friendly adventure that starts with a little stardust, building up over millions of years to become our world and us.  Narrated by Lord of the Rings’ Andy Serkis, this time-space adventure spans billions of years and includes the formation of hydrogen, nuclear fusion in stars, formation of asteroids, synthesis of carbon, creation of our own solar system and the emerging of the very first living cells on Earth.  It’s an incredible ride that explores the secrets of our cosmic chemistry and explosive origins with a cast of lovable characters!  It is true that we really are made of stardust?  We Are Stars! Learn about this cosmic transformation.  Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd’s legendary album returns, using all the capacities of the Museum’s high-definition, full-dome video system.  Fantastic sound and incredible images create an unforgettable experience.  It’s not just a laser show, it’s a totally new digital revolution in sight and sound surrounding you, immersing you and losing you in the Dark Side of the Moon.

IMAX Theatre Showings:

Wild Africa 3D – From the highest snow-covered mountains in Kenya, along great rivers, into steamy rainforests and wide-open savannahs, Wild Africa 3D reveals the striking contrast of stunning deserts beside wild oceans and the sunlit abundance of the coral reefs.  Water, the interconnecting force of this kingdom, serves as a guide, shaping wild Africa and conjuring up life wherever it journeys.  Through the magic of 3D technology, the audience flies along the Great Rift Valley following the twisting rivers to discover a family of elephants on their epic search for water.  Other animals featured include hungry crocodiles as they wait at the water holes for the annual wildebeest migration on the savannahs of the Serengeti; a family of mountain gorillas in the forests of Rwanda and thousands of flamingos performing an extraordinary mating display in the volcanic Lake Bogoria.  And in a final epic giant screen experience, the movie chases the great rains of the African summer storms that annually bring life to this magnificent continent.

Dream Big 3D – All around the world, engineers are pushing the limits of ingenuity and innovation in unexpected, imaginative and amazing ways.  Dream Big will take viewers on a journey of discovery from the world’s tallest building to a bridge higher than the clouds and a solar car race across Australia.  Along the way, the audience will witness how today’s engineers are shaping the world of tomorrow.

Extreme Weather 2D/3D – This Imax 3D comes from famed storm chaser and award-winning giant screen film-maker, Sean Casey.  This dramatic and exciting film will take you where few have gone before, to the edge of 300 foot tall calving glaciers in Alaska, on the front lines of massive wildfires in the West, and directly in the path of deadly, yet mesmerizing tornadoes in the plains.  Follow the men and women on the forefront of climate research, and the everyday heroes who put their lives on the line to help us understand and adapt to our ever-changing weather.

for more information, see www.hmns.org or call (713) 639-4629

Menil Collection  (1515 Sul Ross)

 April 14th – August 6thBetween Land and Sea: Artists of the Coenties Slip – This exhibition brings together examples of the early works of Chryssa, Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Lenore Tawney, and Jack Youngerman.  These artists were among a group of intellectuals, writers, filmmakers, and poets who lived and worked during the late 1950s and early 1960s in the old seaport at the lower tip of Manhattan called the Coenties Slip.  Distinguished by its viewed of the Brooklyn Bridge and its position between land and sea, the slip served as an important inspiration for the artists, who frequently incorporated aquatic themes into their early work.  The exhibition will feature 27 aesthetically distinct works, united by the artists’ desire to locate new ways of thinking about abstraction.  Curated by Michelle White, the exhibition draws heavily from the Menil’s holdings and is augmented by important loans from private collections in Houston and the Lenore Tawney Foundation, New York.

Thru May 13th:  The Fabiola Project – The Fabiola Project consists of more than 450 reproductions of a lost 1885 painting of 4th century Roman Saint Fabiola by French artist Jean-Jacques Henner. The project was initiated by Belgian artist Francis Alys in the early 199os, shortly after he moved to Mexico City, his current home.  Fascinated by the artisanal culture of the city and short on funds, he decided to build an art collection for himself by combing the city’s flea markets and antique and junk shops.  He expected to find copies of masterpieces by painters like Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, and Jean-Francois Millet.  Instead, he found and bought versions of Henner’s Fabiola, depicted in left-facing profile wearing a red headscarf.  Gradually Alys’ casual collecting projects gathered steam as he and his friends discovered new images of the saint during their travels around the world.  Today, The Fabiola Project consists primarily of paintings, but also include bas-relief wood carvings and images in needlepoint, painted ceramics, jewelry, and in one case a mosaic made of rice and beans.  On view in the Menil’s Byzantine Fresco Chapel, where slower and deeper reflection is encouraged, the exhibition is curated by Toby Kamps, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.  

Thru June 18thThe Beginning of Everything: Drawings from the Janie C. Lee, Louisa Stude Sarofim and David Whitney Collections – In anticipation of the opening of the Menil Drawing Institute in October 2017, the museum presents this exhibition.  The show highlights promised gifts from the collections of Janie C. Lee and Louisa Stude Sarofim, as well as works from David Whitney’s 2005 bequest.  The works featured will continue to shape the core of the Menil’s collection.  Through drawings spanning from the mid-19th to late 20th century, a range of narratives and art histories will emerge, the possibility of experimentation inherent ot the medium; the role of drawing in artistic and art historical research; and the pleasure, joy and challenge that drawing offers.  As a form that transcends discipline – it is as valuable to the choreographer, composer and archaeologist as it is to the architect and artist – drawing acts as a common language between creative cultures.  The Beginning of Everything celebrates the profound generosity of three trustees and patrons.  Their leadership – matched by the Menil’s board of trustees – initiated planning for the Menil Drawing Institute, which has been a program of the Menil since 2008.

Thru July 9th:  Recollecting Dogon – During the 20th century, the society and visual culture of people living along the steep, rocky Bandiagara escarpment in present-day Mali captured the imagination of Europeans and Americans.  The Dogon – as they have come to be know through a large corpus of colonial literature, ethnographic fieldwork, exhibitions, films, and tour guides – occupy a prominent position in the West’s history of the African continent.  They are internationally celebrated for their dynamic performances of surreal masks, defy carved figural sculptures, iconic architecture and rich cosmology.  This exhibition showcases over 25 examples of artistry from the Bandiagara region acquired by John and Dominique de Menil during the mid-20th century.  The sculptures, masks, necklaces and other works by “unknown” artists not only suggest the significance of art to daily life among the Dogon peoples, they evoke formidable legacies of colonialism and the limitations of representing Dogon peoples through objects collected by and for foreigners.  Currated by Paul R. Davis, the exhibition strives to destabilize the authority of ethnographic display by including 1930s ethnographic audio recordings simulated by Marcel Griaule, photographs of artworks taken by Walker Evans (1935) and Mario Carrieri (1976(, and other archival works that recall the long history of encounters and transactions shaping current understanding of Dogon peoples.

for more details, see www.menil.org or call (713) 284-8250

Museum of Fine Arts Houston   (1001 Bissonnet)

Thru April 9thPrototype/Production – Prototypes serve an important role in 20th and 21st century design, particularly in the development of mass-produced industrial and limited edition objects.  Designers rarely make their prototypes available to the public because the work is imperfect, but such samples offer a fascinating look at the design process.  Q working model represents the designer’s creative process in three dimensions.  This exhibition showcases working models to illuminate the vital decisions, thoughts, and approaches that go into creating furniture, lighting and other objects.  The exhibition features works from the Museum’s collection by designers including Andrea Brandi, Wendell Castle, Frank Gehry, Joris Laaman, Gaetano Pesce, and Marcel Wanders.  This look into the production process reveals the human touch, as well as successes and failures in design development that can be obscured by manufacturing.

Thru April 9th: Two Centuries of American Still-Life Painting: The Frank and Michelle Hevrdejs  Collerction – This exhibition traces the history of American still-life painting in the U.S. over the course of nearly 200 years, from the early 19th century to the present day.  The majority of the works on view – which come from the private, Houston based collection of Frank and Michelle Hevrdejs – have never before been seen by the public.  The exhibition brings together 60 of the most influential American luminaries of the genre, including Georgia O’Keeffe, James Peale, John F. Peto, Way Thiebaud, Max Weber, and Andrew Wyeth.  These masterpieces show why still-life painting has captivated American artists, collectors, and audiences for two centuries.  The extraordinary range of artistic styles and subject matter illustrates the rise and development of the still-life genre in post-revolutionary America, from European-influenced realism and troupe l’ceil to Impressionism, Modernism, Pop Art and beyond. 

April 16thVignettes: Masterworks on Paper 1520 to 1870 – The origin of the world vignette (French for “little vine”) stems from drawings of thin, intricate vines used as decorative borders printed on page separators in books. “Vignette” also refers to a descriptive sketch of a character, object, or theme.  This exhibition presents more than 45 works on paper, almost half of which are recent acquisitions.  The prints, drawings, and illustrated books are featured in various themes: drawing after the antique, saintly visions, landscapes, the connection between art and literature, engraved portraits and the treatment of animals.  The exhibition showcases the myriad ways artists from four European regions and over four centuries used paper to make art, underlining the integral relationship between eye, hand and mind.  Among the artists represented in Vignettes are Baccio Bandinelli, Eugene Delacroix, Guercino, Ford Madox Brown, and Rembrandt.

Thru May 7th:  Eye on Houston: High School Documentary Photography – For the annual exhibition Eye on Houston: High School Documentary Photography, the Museum collaborates with area high schools to document and celebrate Houston’s diverse neighborhoods.  Eye on Houston invites students to offer a glimpse into their daily lives, experiences and personal stories.  Each generation witnesses Houston through new eyes, seeing and experiencing a fresh incarnation of the city  Utilizing photography as a tool, these student photographers document their perspectives.  This year marks the 22nd edition of the exhibition.  The images selected showcase the talents of juniors and seniors from Bellaire High School, DeBakey High School for Health Professions, High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Jack Yates High School, Lamar High School, Sam Houston High School, and Westside High School.

Thru May 9thA History of Photography: Selections from the Museum’s Collection – This exhibition is a series of installations that trace the course of Photography from its invention to the present day, showcasing important new acquisitions and treasured masterpieces.  Every few months, a new selection of photographs, drawn from the rich collection that the Museum has built over the past half century, presents the medium’s history in a slightly different light.  In this way, an increasingly complex picture of photographic history emerges for those who move slowly, look closely, and return for more.  The current exhibition features images by Julia Margaret Cameron, Robert Covington, Lotte Jacobi, Kawada Kikuji, Vik Muniz, Irving Penn, and Henri-Victor Regnault, among others.

Thru May 21st:  Adios Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art since 1950 – This exhibition looks at how Cuba’s revolutionary aspirations for social utopia – and subsequent disillusionment – shaped 65 years of Cuban art.  The exhibition brings together more than 100 of the most important works of painting, graphic design, photography, video, installation, and performance created by more than 50 Cuban artists and designers.  Anchored by key moments of 20th and 21st century Cuban history, Adios Utopia is the most comprehensive and significant presentation of modern and contemporary Cuban art shown in the United States since 1944, when the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented Modern Cuban Painters.  Although many artists have emigrated from Cuba to live and work abroad, Adios Utopia focuses on the untold narrative of those artists who remained in Cuba or whose careers took off after Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution.  Through a selection of pivotal artworks – created in each of six decades since 1950 – the exhibition explores Cuba’s artistic production through the lens of utopia, both its construction and its deconstruction.  The exhibition introduces U.S. audiences to key events in Cuban history and explores how this history affected individual artists, shaped the character of art produced on the island, and conditioned the reception of Cuban art both in Cuba and abroad. 

Thru June 4thCuban Photography After 1980: Selections from the Museum’s Collection – With Fidel Castro’s death, the Cuban Revolution lost its political and spiritual leader.  For many Cubans, however, the utopian aspirations promoted by Castro since the 1950s wavered earlier.  Cuban Photography after 1980 features images from the Museum’s collection by contemporary photographers who have respoonded in multi-layered ways to the Cuban ideals under which they were raised.  Many of these photographers started working during the explosion of creative activity in Cuba in the 1980s and continued beyond the “Special Period” of the 1990s, when the collapse of the Soviet Union and the continued trade embargo by the U.S. and U.S. allies brought extreme hardship.  Withdrawing from the epic themes of Castro’s regime, these artists focused instead on everyday life in introspective, metaphorical and ambiguous works that are nevertheless concerned with greater social issues. 

Thru June 4thColors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats – This exhibition showcases nearly 50 ikat robes and panels from the renowned Murad Megalli Collection of the Textile Museum in Washington D.C.  These bold garments were mainstays of cosmopolitan oasis culture in the 19th century, worn by inhabitants of different classes and religions throughout crowded marketplaces, private homes, centers of worship and ceremonial places.  the ikat textiles on display – including robes for men and women, dresses, trousers, and hangings – feature eye-catching designs in dazzling colors.  Supplementing the ikats are historical photographs and didactic materials about the tradition of their creation.  The textiles were originally produced in the 1800s in weaving centers across Uzbekistan, including Bukhara, Samarkand, and the Fergana Valley.  Additionally, special installations of ikat textiles from India, Japan and Central Asia – on view in the Museum’s permanent galleries in the Law Building – demonstrate ikat traditions from around the globe.

Thru June 18thThe Beginning of Everything: Drawings from the Jamie C. Lee, Louisa Stude Sarofim, and David Whitney Collections – “When I see a white piece of paper,” the artist Ellsworth Kelly once remarked, “I feel like I’ve got to draw.  And Drawing, for me, is the beginning of everything.”  This exhibition highlights promised gifts from the collections of Janie C. Lee and Louisa Stude Sarofim, as well as works from David Whitney’s 2005 bequest.  The works featured will continue to shape the core of the Menil’s collection.  Through drawings spanning from the mid-19th to late 20th century, a range of narratives and art histories will emerge: the possibility of experimentation inherent to the medium; the role of drawing in artistic and art historical research; and the pleasure, joy and challenge that drawing offers.  As a form that transcends discipline – it is as valuable to the choreographer, composer, and archaeologist as it is to the architect and artist – drawing acts as a common language between creative cultures. 

Thru August 13thRon Mueck – Ron Mueck draws upon memories, reveries and everyday experience as he portrays his subjects with extraordinary compassion.  What makes his sculptures exceptional is the manner in which he balances realism with the unreal.  Frequently spending more than a year conceiving and making each figure, Mueck captures every feature with astonishing detail.  The naturalism of his work, however, is undercut by his calculated play with scale; Some figures fill a gallery, whereas others stand no more than 3 feet high.  “I never made life-size figures because it never seemed to be interesting”, Mueck explained in a rare interview in 2003.  “We meet life-sized people every day.  Altering the scale makes you take notice in a way that you wouldn’t do with something that’s just normal.  The son of German emigres, Mueck was born in Australia in 1958.  After working in film and television in the U.S. and London, he shifted his focus to the fine arts in the mid-1990s.  the 13 sculptures assembled in this exhibition – about a third of Mueck’s entire production – encapsulate the arc of his career from 1999 to 2013.  Often caught in moments of silent communication or slumber, these figures illustrate the artist’s ongoing investigation of the cycle of life, from the first moment of consciousness, to young love, to the various stages of maturity and aging, and ultimately oblivion.

Thru January 28thArts of Islamic Lands: Selections from The al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait – The Museum’s landmark partnership with the Kuwait-based al-Sabah Collection and the cultural institution Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah continues with this exhibition.  The renowned al-Sabah Collection is one of the greatest privately held collections of Islamic art in the world.  The collaboration with the Museum, established in 2012, led to the 2013 Houston debut of 67 objects ranging from carpets and architectural fragments to exquisite ceramics, metalwork, jewelry, scientific instruments, and manuscripts.  This expanded installation more than triples the display, increasing the art on view to some 250 works that, together, present an impressive and comprehensive spectrum of Islamic art.  Objects from the 8th to 18th century – made in North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, India, the Iberian Peninsula and Central Asia – demonstrate the development of techniques, craftsmanship and aesthetics in Islamic visual culture.  Among the highlights are a 16th century Ottoman Turkish prayer carpet; a glass mosque lamp from 14th century Cairo; an extraordinary earthenware bowl from 9th century Iraq that transcends its humble function; early gold jewelry from Afghanistan and Syria; and opulent Mughal jewelry crafted in the refined kundan technique, including a brilliant bird pendant fabricated in late 16th century India from gold, rubies, emeralds, diamonds, and rock crystals.

 for more information, see www.mfah.org or call (713) 639-7300

Museum of Health & Medical Science  (1515 Hermann Drive)

You: The Exhibit – The Health Museum is proud to announce the first new permanent exhibition since its opening in 1996 – You: The Exhibit. This unique gallery immerses visitors of all ages in The World of Tomorrow – reminiscent of the 1939 World’s Fair. Join your fellow museum visitors in a learning environment that allows investigation into the who, what, where, when, and how of YOU. Using the latest multi-media and special effects technology, The Health Museum has created an experience that will take the museum visitor on a journey to explore their physical selves, mental selves and their future selves. The sophisticated media nature of the exhibition encourages group interaction and participation in the exhibition, and visitors are able to leave something of themselves behind to change the experience over time.

The Amazing Body Pavilion – Take a larger than life tour of the human body and learn all about how your organs and bone work. Sit on a giant tooth, ride a bicycle with a skeleton, walk through a giant brain and more.

 McGovern 4D Theater: Take a journey into the alien landscape of your own skin with Planet You 3D, the latest 3D movie now showing at the McGovern Theater. Find out all about the creepy, crawly things that live on your body.

DeBakey Cell Lab – Gear up with a lab coat, gloves and goggles and travel through experiment stations in both English and Spanish.  This hands-on exhibit is free for current members and an additional $3 for non-members with the purchase of general admission.  The lab is a distinct new kind of museum experience.  Honorably named after the respected and accomplished medical pioneer, Dr. Michael DeBakey, this bilingual exhibit is designed to introduce biology-based science to the public and inspire scientists and science-lab leaders in the medical field.  Participants can travel through several lab benches that get you up close and personal with cellular biology.

for more information see www.mhms.org or call (713) 942-7054

Space Center Houston  (1601 NASA Parkway)

New:  Independence Plaza – Independence Plaza presented by Boeing has just opened.  Visitors will enter the shuttle replica Independence, mounted on top of the historic and original NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft, and then explore the giant plane.  Multiple exhibits will grant a rare glimpse into the historic shuttle era and describe its impact on current and future exploration.  Fitting Space Center Houston’s educationally focused mission, the exhibits will explore problem-solving concepts; possible career paths in science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and examples of innovation from the shuttle era.

Red Bull Stratos Exhibit – The world was watching in October, 2012, as Felix Baumgartner made his record breaking supersonic free-fall from the edge of space, reaching a top speed of 843.6 mph/Mach 1.25.  Now, the historic three thousand pound Stratos capsule and Baumgartner’s pressurized spacesuit makes its world debut at Space Center Houston.

The Shuttle – marvel at this full-scale, high-fidelity replica of the Space Shuttle.  Parked outside Space Center Houston, you can enjoy the shuttle before you even walk in the door.  Measuring 122.7 feet long and 54 feet high, this replica gives you the look and feel of an actual shuttle.  That is because it was built by shuttle contractors using NASA schematics, blueprints and documents.

International Space Station – Discover how NASA is making the impossible happen today in the International Space Station Gallery.  You’ll see live presentations; artifacts, displays and other amazing pieces form the orbiting laboratory known as the International Space Station.

Living in Space – This interactive presentation gives you a glimpse inside life on the International Space Station.  The living in Space module shows you what astronauts deal with on a daily basis.  How they eat, sleep, stay in shape and conduct their experiments.  A Mission Briefing Officer gives you the inside scoop on how the impossible happens every day.  You’ll discover how even the smallest tasks are complicated by a microgravity environment.

Building 9 Visit – Welcome to the Vehicle Mock-Up Facility.  From the catwalk high above the massive floor, you’ll see several mockups of International Space Station parts and even get a look at the new Orion capsule.  You might see pieces of the Canada Arm or other new and developing tech that will pave the way for future exploration like cutting edge rovers, robots, and next-level space suits.  Here is where the impossible is happening right now.  Be a part of history in the making as you witness engineers, scientists and astronauts shaping the future of space exploration.

New Mission Control – Form here, U.S. flight controllers coordinate with astronauts from the many countries that participate in the International Space Station program.  Built in 1995, this facility took over from the “historic Mission Control” as part of a $250 million renovation project.  This room is manned 24/7 to help our Space Station team with whatever they need.

Historic Mission Control – This is it.  Located in Building 30 of the Johnson Space Center, this is the facility where NASA monitored nine Gemini and all Apollo missions, including the historic Apollo 11 trip to the moon.  In fact, from this room, the NASA team exercised full mission control of Apollo 11 from launch and liftoff at the Kennedy Space Center to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.  You can feel the history from the monitors to the rotary dials.  The truth is that there’s more technology in a modern watch than there was in this room in 1969.

Angry Birds Space Place – The Angry Birds have invaded Space Center Houston and created a place just for kids.  This astronomical attraction features the Angry Birds Space Matrix, Texas’ largest indoor play structure.  Inside, kids can learn the science of gravity and the physics of play while flying with their favorite Angry Birds.  Outside the Space Matrix, a world of space fun and education waits as kids can build and launch a rocket, land the shuttle and explore manned space flight.

NASA Tram Tour – A must-do for any visit to Space Center Houston. This is your chance to go on the grounds in the Johnson Space Center and get an up-close look at the impossible as its happening.  You might see astronauts training for the next trip to the International Space Station.  You’ll see Historic Mission Control and awesome Building 9, where astronauts train for their next mission.  Plus, there is a stop at the new Saturn V Complex at Rocket Park.

Chomp! The Science of Survival – Enter the world of Chomp!, where you can stand nose to snout with some of nature’s creepiest, most dangerous creatures.  Learn how NASA scientists are mimicking the traits of alligators, poison dart frogs, and other animals on display to help astronauts live in space.  You can also meet these amazing animals during live shows every day, free with admission.  Kids can test their survival skills by weaving through spider webs and balancing on platforms as they navigate their way through an obstacle course.

Blast Off Theater: Visit the only place in the world where you can personally experience the thrill of launching into space like a real astronaut. It’s not just a movie; it’s the thrill of personally feeling the launch into space – from the rocket boosters to the billowing exhaust. What have visitors said about their trips? “It’s like IMAX in 10D!” After docking at the International Space Station, guests enter the theatre for an update on current shuttle missions, as well as details on the exploration of Mars. The space program truly comes alive in the Mission Status Center, where Mission Briefing Officers provide live updates on current space flights and astronaut training activities.

Astronaut Gallery: The Astronaut Gallery is an unparalleled exhibit outside Northrop Grumman Theater featuring the world’s best collection of spacesuits. Astronaut John Young’s ejection suit and Judy Resnik’s T-38 flight suit are two of the many spacesuits on display. The walls of the Astronaut Gallery also contain crew photos of every U.S. astronaut who has flown in space.

Space Center Theater. The challenge of President John F. Kennedy, to put a man on the moon by the end of the 60’s, had its beginning several decades before the formation of NASA. As the guests have seen in other parts of Space Center Houston, the equipment and the technology have been developing since Robert Goddard’s time. This attraction shows the excitement, the commitment and the risks taken by the people who fly in space. Here we can see the evolution of the equipment and the training of the men and women who dreamed to be astronauts. Nearly 300 people have flown in space since the first Mercury rocket took off in May 1961 with astronaut Alan Sheppard, Jr. on board. That first flight lasted only 15 minutes. Contrast that with the May 1992 flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavor, which was 9 days with 7 crew members on board.

Starship Gallery. The journey into space begins with the film “On Human Destiny”. Artifacts and hardware on display in the Starship Gallery trace the progression of America’s Manned Space Flight. This incredible collection includes: an original model of the Goddard Rocket; the actual Mercury Atlas 9 “Faith 7” capsule flown by Gordon Cooper; the Gemini V Spacecraft piloted by Pete Conrad and Gordon Cooper; a Lunar Roving Vehicle Trainer, the Apollo 17 Command Module, the giant Skylab Trainer, and the Apollo-Soyuz Trainer.

The Feel of Space. The Living in Space module simulates what life is like for astronauts aboard the space station. A Mission Briefing Officer gives a live presentation on how astronauts live in space. The presentation uses humor to show how the smallest tasks like showering and eating are complicated by a microgravity environment. A volunteer from the audience helps to prove the point. Beyond the Living in Space Module are 24 part task trainers that use sophisticated computer technology to provide visitors with the experience of landing the orbiter, retrieving a satellite or exploring shuttle systems.

for more information, see www.spacecenter.org or call (281) 244-2148

Sports

Houston Dynamo – Major League Soccer – Home Games  (BBVA Compass Stadium – downtown Houston)

April 1st: Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls   7:30 p.m. 

April 15th: Houston Dynamo vs. Minnesota United FC   7:30 p.m. 

April 22nd: Houston Dynamo vs. San Jose Earthquakes   3:00 p.m.

May 6th: Houston Dynamo vs. Orlando City SC   7:30 p.m.

May 12th: Houston Dynamo vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC   8:00 p.m.

May 31st: Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake  7:30 p.m.

June 23rd: Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas   8:00 p.m.

for more information, see www.houstondynamo.com  

Houston Astros – Home Games  (Minute Maid Park – 501 Crawford)

April 3rd: Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners – Opening Night   7:10 p.m.

April 4th: Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners    7:10 p.m.

April 5th: Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners    7:10 p.m.

April 7th: Houston Astros vs. Kansas City Royals    7:10 p.m.

April 8th: Houston Astros vs. Kansas City Royals  6:10 p.m.

April 9th: Houston Astros vs. Kansas City Royals   1:10 p.m. 

April 17th: Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels   7:10 p.m.

April 18th: Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels   7:10 p.m.

April 19th: Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels   7:10 p.m.

April 20th: Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels   1:10 p.m.

April 28th: Houston Astros vs. Washington Athletics   7:10 p.m.

April 29th: Houston Astros vs. Washington Athletics   6:10 p.m.

April 30th: Houston Astros vs. Washington Athletics   1:10 p.m.

May 1st: Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers   7:10 p.m.

May 2nd: Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers   7:10 p.m.

May 3rd: Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers   7:10 p.m.

May 4th: Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers   1:10 p.m.

May 9th: Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves   7:10 p.m.

May 10th: Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves   1:10 p.m.

May 19th: Houston Astros vs. Cleveland Indians   7:10 p.m.

May 20th: Houston Astros vs. Cleveland Indians   3:10 p.m.

May 21st: Houston Astros vs. Cleveland Indians   1:10 p.m.

May 22nd: Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers   7:10 p.m.

May 23rd: Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers   7:10 p.m.

May 24th: Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers   7:10 p.m.

May 25th: Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers   7:10 p.m.

May 26th: Houston Astros vs. Baltimore Orioles   7:10 p.m.

May 27th: Houston Astros vs. Baltimore Orioles   6:15 p.m.

May 28th: Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers   1:10 p.m.

June 9th: Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels   7:10 p.m.

June 10th: Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels   3:10 p.m.

June 11th: Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels   1:10 p.m.

June 12th: Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers   7:10 p.m.

June 13th: Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers   7:10 p.m.

June 14th: Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers   7:10 p.m.

June 16th: Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox   7:10 p.m.

June 17th: Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox   7:15 p.m.

June 18th: Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox   1:10 p.m.

June 27th: Houston Astros vs. Washington Athletics   7:10 p.m.

June 28th: Houston Astros vs. Washington Athletics   7:10 p.m.

June 29th: Houston Astros vs.Washington Athletics   7:10 p.m.

June 30th: Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees   7:10 p.m.

for more information, see www.houston.astros.mlb.com  

Houston Rockets – National Basketball Association – Home Games  (Toyota Center – 1510 Polk)

April 5th:  Houston Rockets vs. Denver Nuggets  7:00 p.m. 

April 7th:  Houston Rockets vs. Detroit Pistons  7:00 p.m. 

April 12th:  Houston Rockets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves  7:00 p.m. 

2017-2018 Season begins in October.

for more information, see www.rockets.com or call (713) 758-7200

Houston Texans Football – Home Games  (NRG Stadium) 

Season complete.

for more information, see www.houstontexans.com  or call 713-629-3700

Sugar Land Skeeters – Home Games  (Constellation Field, Sugar Land)

April 20th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Bridgeport Bluefish   7:05 p.m.

April 21st: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Bridgeport Bluefish   7:05 p.m.

April 22nd: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Bridgeport Bluefish   6:05 p.m.

April 23rd: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Bridgeport Bluefish   2:05 p.m.

April 24th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Bridgeport Bluefish   7:05 p.m.

April 25th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Bridgeport Bluefish   12:05 p.m.

April 26th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Bridgeport Bluefish   7:05 p.m.

May 5th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. New Britain Bees   7:05 p.m.

May 6th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. New Britain Bees   6:05 p.m.

May 7th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. New Britain Bees   2:05 p.m.

May 8th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. New Britain Bees   7:05 p.m.

May 9th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. New Britain Bees   11:05 p.m.

May 10th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. New Britain Bees   7:05 p.m.

May 11th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Lancaster Barnstormers   7:05 p.m.

May 12th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Lancaster Barnstormers   7:05 p.m.

May 13th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Lancaster Barnstormers   6:05 p.m.

May 14th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Lancaster Barnstormers   2:05 p.m.

May 19th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. York Revolution   7:05 p.m.

May 20th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. York Revolution   12:05 p.m. & 6:05 p.m.

May 21st: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. York Revolution   2:05 p.m.

May 22nd: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Somerset Patriots   7:05 p.m.

May 23rd: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Somerset Patriots   11:05 p.m. & 7:05 p.m.

June 9th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Southern Maryland Blue Crabs   7:05 p.m.

June 10th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Southern Maryland Blue Crabs   6:05 p.m.

June 11th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Southern Maryland Blue Crabs   6:05 p.m.

June 12th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Southern Maryland Blue Crabs   7:05 p.m.

June 13th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Southern Maryland Blue Crabs   7:05 p.m.

June 14th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Southern Maryland Blue Crabs   11:05 p.m.

June 23rd: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Long Island Ducks   7:05 p.m.

June 24th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Long Island Ducks   6:05 p.m.

June 25th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Long Island Ducks   6:05 p.m.

June 26th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Long Island Ducks   7:05 p.m.

June 27th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Long Island Ducks   7:05 p.m.

June 28th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Long Island Ducks   7:05 p.m.

June 29th: Sugar Land Skeeters vs. Long Island Ducks   7:05 p.m.

for more information, see www.sugarlandskeeters.com  

Parks

Houston Arboretum   (4501 Woodway)

WednesdaysIntroductory Tai Chi – Tai Chi is a centuries-old Chinese martial art that has evolved into a highly effective form of exercise, regardless of age or physical ability. Tai Chi involves a series of slow, meditative body movements that are excellent for repairing injuries, de-stressing and for learning focus and insights into life’s problems. $15 a session; or $45 for a calendar month. Registration is required. 5:45 – 6:45 p.m.

ThursdaysYoga on the Way Home – Why fight the traffic? Slow down and relax in the peaceful beauty of the Arboretum during a one-hour yoga session in the Arboretum’s classroom overlooking the forest. Cost is $15 per session or $10 a session when registering for the month. Registration is required. 5:45 – 6:45 p.m.

SaturdaysIntroductory Tai Chi – Tai Chi is a centuries-old Chinese martial art that has evolved into a highly effective form of exercise, regardless of age or physical ability. Tai Chi involves a series of slow, meditative body movements that are excellent for repairing injuries, de-stressing and for learning focus and insights into life’s problems. $15 a session; or $45 for a calendar month. Registration is required. 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

SaturdaysContinuing Tai Chi – Tai Chi Chuan is a centuries old Chinese martial art that has evolved into a highly effective form of exercise, regardless of age or physical ability. Tai Chi involves a series of slow, meditative body movements that are excellent for repairing injuries, de-stressing, and for learning focus and insights into life’s problems. Continuing Tai Chi is for students wishing to further develop Tai Chi skills and knowledge. Prior enrollment in Introductory Tai Chi is required. Class may be held outside or inside, depending upon weather. 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. $15 per session or $45 for calendar month. Registration available online.

April 1stNature Revealed: April Fools! – On April Fools’ Day humans do their best to trick one another with practical jokes.  However, in nature, tricks are a matter of life or death.  In this class, you will learn about crypsis (hiding in plain sight), mimicry (trying to look like something else), and other sneaky tactics that animals and plants use to deceive and survive.  They you will go on a walk to look for examples around the Arboretum.  Wear walking shoes and dress for the weather.  9:30 – 11:30 a.m.  $10 for members/$25 for non-members.  Registration is required.  Register online. 

April 1stNaturally Wild Families: Botanical Dyeing – Bark, berries, leaves, flowers, seeds, and roots can be used for all kinds of beautiful and fun crafts.  You will have the chance to use items found outdoors or in the produce department to naturally dye eggs, make your own recycled paper for greeting cards, and make botanical prints.  Each family will take home a dozen eggs, one greeting card per person, and one botanical print.  Please wear an apron, or clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.  1:00 – 3:00 p.m.  $25 for members/$50 for non-members per family (ages 6 & up).  Registration is required.  Register online.

April 3rdTyke Hike (18 mos – 3 years) – Encourage your little one’s curiosity with nature and the outdoors.  Children, accompanied by their adult companions, can join a naturalist for a story reading, a simple nature activity or craft, and a stroller-friendly hike on the beautiful Arboretum trails.  Enjoy an interesting new nature experience each week with themes such as owls, squirrels, trees and worms.  9:30 & 10:30 a.m.  Free for members/$7 per child for non-members.  Advanced registration is not necessary.  Dress for weather.  tyke Hikes take place rain or shine.  Closed toe shoes are best for trail hikes.  Older pre-schoolers are welcome, but are the responsibility of the adult companion. 

April 8thSeeds of Spring – Celebrate spring by planting native seeds.  In this fun, hands-on class, you and a partner will work together to make three botanical crafts: seed “bombs:;, newspaper pots, and seed paper.  You can take them home to plant them yourselves, or give them as wonderful natural gifts.  All crafts will use native seeds appropriate to our area.  Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.  1:00 – 2:30 p.m.  $30 for members/$45 for non-members (per container)  Register online.

April 10thTyke Hike (18 mos – 3 years) – Encourage your little one’s curiosity with nature and the outdoors.  Children, accompanied by their adult companions, can join a naturalist for a story reading, a simple nature activity or craft, and a stroller-friendly hike on the beautiful Arboretum trails.  Enjoy an interesting new nature experience each week with themes such as owls, squirrels, trees and worms.  9:30 & 10:30 a.m.  Free for members/$7 per child for non-members.  Advanced registration is not necessary.  Dress for weather.  tyke Hikes take place rain or shine.  Closed toe shoes are best for trail hikes.  Older pre-schoolers are welcome, but are the responsibility of the adult companion.

April 17thTyke Hike (18 mos – 3 years) – Encourage your little one’s curiosity with nature and the outdoors.  Children, accompanied by their adult companions, can join a naturalist for a story reading, a simple nature activity or craft, and a stroller-friendly hike on the beautiful Arboretum trails.  Enjoy an interesting new nature experience each week with themes such as owls, squirrels, trees and worms.  9:30 & 10:30 a.m.  Free for members/$7 per child for non-members.  Advanced registration is not necessary.  Dress for weather.  tyke Hikes take place rain or shine.  Closed toe shoes are best for trail hikes.  Older pre-schoolers are welcome, but are the responsibility of the adult companion.

April 24thTyke Hike (18 mos – 3 years) – Encourage your little one’s curiosity with nature and the outdoors.  Children, accompanied by their adult companions, can join a naturalist for a story reading, a simple nature activity or craft, and a stroller-friendly hike on the beautiful Arboretum trails.  Enjoy an interesting new nature experience each week with themes such as owls, squirrels, trees and worms.  9:30 & 10:30 a.m.  Free for members/$7 per child for non-members.  Advanced registration is not necessary.  Dress for weather.  tyke Hikes take place rain or shine.  Closed toe shoes are best for trail hikes.  Older pre-schoolers are welcome, but are the responsibility of the adult companion. 

April 29thArboretum at Night: Turtles – Enjoy a fabulous night out in nature.  Join Chris Bednarski of the Houston Zoo for a fun and relaxed talk about the spectacular diversity of turtles.  In particular, you will learn why turtles around the world are in danger, and what species you might have here in your backyard.  While you learn, you will enjoy a selection fo beers from Saint Arnold Brewing Company, light snacks and Katz Coffee.  After the talk you will head out on the trails to search for turtles and nocturnal critters.  6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  $30 for members/$45 for non-members  Register online. 

April 30thField Trip: Laffite’s Cove – Laffite’s Cove on Galveston Island is a treasure trove of birds during spring migration.  Reddish Egret, Swallow-tailed Kite, Cerulean Warbler, and Painted Bunting are all possibilities.  While you observe the amazing waders, seabirds and spring migrants, you will learn about migration and what you can do to help spring migrants.  The group will meet at the Arboretum and travel to the site by van.  Bring water, snacks and a lunch.  Dress appropriately for the weather.  Binoculars will be available to borrow.  Registration is limited, so sing up early.  7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  $40 for members/$55 for non-members.  Register online. 

May 6thNature Revealed: Native Bees – European honey bees have gotten a lot of attention recently, but did you known that there are at least 1,000 other been species in Texas?  These native bees are even more important pollinators than European honey bees, and they too are in serious decline.  In this class, you will learn about our native bees, what they do for the environment, and different ways that you can help.  You will also get to bring home a “bee house” to attract native bees to your yard.  9:30 – 11:30 p.m.  $10 for members/$25 for non-members.  Register online.

May 8thTyke Hike (18 mos – 3 years) – Encourage your little one’s curiosity with nature and the outdoors.  Children, accompanied by their adult companions, can join a naturalist for a story reading, a simple nature activity or craft, and a stroller-friendly hike on the beautiful Arboretum trails.  Enjoy an interesting new nature experience each week with themes such as owls, squirrels, trees and worms.  9:30 & 10:30 a.m.  Free for members/$7 per child for non-members.  Advanced registration is not necessary.  Dress for weather.  tyke Hikes take place rain or shine.  Closed toe shoes are best for trail hikes.  Older pre-schoolers are welcome, but are the responsibility of the adult companion. 

May 13thMigratory Bird Day Workshop – This workshop is a chance to celebrate the wonders of migration, the fabulous migrant birds we love to watch, and the habitats they pass through on their long yearly journeys.  Enjoy a cup of bird-friendly coffee and breakfast treats while you learn about how the Arboretum is working to improve our migrant bird habitat and how you can attract migrant birds to your backyard.  To help you get started, you will get a free bag of Katz Early Bird Coffee, a guide to local migrants and their needs, and some native plant seeds to bring home.  Weather permitting, you will also go on a short walk with the group to look for migrants and examples of good migrant habitat.  10:00 a.m. – Noon  $20 for members/$35 for non-members.  Register online. 

May 14thMake a Pollinator Container Garden – Make a beautiful gift for Mother’s Day at this special workshop.  You will prepare a floral container garden with native plant species that you can take home to share with someone special.  The plants will attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your patio or yard.  the fee covers the cost of the container, potting mix, and native plants.  Two people can work on one container – a great parent-child activity.  Dress to be a little messy, as you will be working with plants and dirt.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.  10:00 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.  $40 for members/$65 for non-members (per container).  Register online.

May 15thTyke Hike (18 mos – 3 years) – Encourage your little one’s curiosity with nature and the outdoors.  Children, accompanied by their adult companions, can join a naturalist for a story reading, a simple nature activity or craft, and a stroller-friendly hike on the beautiful Arboretum trails.  Enjoy an interesting new nature experience each week with themes such as owls, squirrels, trees and worms.  9:30 & 10:30 a.m.  Free for members/$7 per child for non-members.  Advanced registration is not necessary.  Dress for weather.  tyke Hikes take place rain or shine.  Closed toe shoes are best for trail hikes.  Older pre-schoolers are welcome, but are the responsibility of the adult companion. 

May 20thArboretum at Night: Snakes – Snakes have a bad reputation, but they are really fascinating and beautiful creatures.  Learn the facts about local species from the experts while you get up close and personal with some real, live snakes.  You will also enjoy a selection of beers from Saint Arnold Brewing Company, light snacks and Katz Coffee.  After the talk, you will head out on the trails with the group to search for snakes and nocturnal critters.  6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  $30 for members/$45 for non-members.  Register online.

May 22ndTyke Hike (18 mos – 3 years) – Encourage your little one’s curiosity with nature and the outdoors.  Children, accompanied by their adult companions, can join a naturalist for a story reading, a simple nature activity or craft, and a stroller-friendly hike on the beautiful Arboretum trails.  Enjoy an interesting new nature experience each week with themes such as owls, squirrels, trees and worms.  9:30 & 10:30 a.m.  Free for members/$7 per child for non-members.  Advanced registration is not necessary.  Dress for weather.  tyke Hikes take place rain or shine.  Closed toe shoes are best for trail hikes.  Older pre-schoolers are welcome, but are the responsibility of the adult companion.

 for more information, see www.houstonarboretum.org or call (713) 681-8433

Houston Zoo   (1513 North McGregor)

Founded in 1922, the ever-evolving Houston Zoo is an exciting recreational destination and a unique educational resource serving 1.4 million guests annually. Set in a lush 55-acre landscape, the Zoo is home to more than 3,100 exotic animals representing more than 500 species. The first Saturday of every month, Houston Zoo Members are invited to enjoy the Zoo an hour earlier and see keepers, grounds crew, and other staff preparing to open the Zoo for the day, including releasing animals from their night holds into their habitats. Members can experience the Zoo before the crowds on these select mornings and start the day off right with a trip to the Zoo. Please note that the Wildlife Carousel, and concessions stands, and cafes will open at 9:00 a.m. The Gift Shop, Aquarium and Natural Encounters will open at 8:00 a.m.  

The Gorilla Habitat – Don’t miss the newly opened Gorilla Habitat.  This is the first time in more than a decade that the Houston Zoo will have gorillas on exhibit for the public.  This new habitat is almost an acre.  Guests, separated by fences and safety glass will be able to watch the gorillas not only outside, but also in their new indoor shelter, which is approximately 4,000 sq. ft.  There will be a total of seven gorillas.  Three are coming to Houston from the Bronx Zoo in New York.  Another from the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans and the final three from Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina.  It has taken a year and a half just to plant the vast amount of trees to build a berm that zoo visitors can walk across.  This new exhibit will definitely not disappoint.

DailyThe 4-D Experience! – What is 4-D? It starts with the stunning visuals of a 3-D movie and then adds effects like scents, mists, bubbles, lights and more to bring movies to life. Now showing at the Zoo are a variety of short family friendly films, like Dora & Diego’s 4-D Adventure, which is based on Nickelodeon’s hit animated children’s series. $4 for members/$5 for non-members.

Sneak Peek Tours: One hour special tours. This experience includes a behind the scenes peek into the back of house animal areas and a meet the keeper experience with an expert from the Zoo’s animal care team. You can choose one of the following animal sections: Aquarium (Thursdays from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.), Birds (Thursdays from 10:30 – 11:30 p.m.), Carnivores (Saturdays from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.), Children’s Zoo (Sundays from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.) or Commissary (Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.). $40 for members/$55 for non-members. For more information go to the zoo website.

The Bug House – The Bug House has just opened.  The house features 25 custom display cases housing miniature marvels assembled from around the world, as well as from right here in Texas.  Children and adults alike will be fascinated by the colorful beetles, centipedes, millipedes, stick insects, giant katydids, tarantulas, domino roaches, grasshoppers, leaf cutter ants, and even scorpions.  Insects and spiders are the most numerous and arguably the most diverse of all animals on our planet.  There are more than a million species of insects and spiders, representing more than half of all known living organisms.  Insects perform vital roles in the ecosystem they inhabit, such as decomposition, food production, silk production, and as a food source for other animals.  In addition, pollinating insects are important for plant reproduction and crop production.  Spiders prey on insects and help to control the populations of pest insects that have the potential to create widespread destruction of crops.  Don’t miss this new addition to the Houston Zoo.

The African Forest – “This wonderful addition takes visitors on an entertaining journey through one of the world’s most mysterious and beautiful places”, said Houston Zoo President and CEO Deborah Cannon. The new exhibition will serve as a dynamic living classroom, emphasizing the importance of conservation. Covering 6.5 acres, the new exhibit will allow visitors to explore and learn in different ways – through traditional signage, interactive elements and dynamic personal encounters. Guests will follow a winding path through a wooded canopy to a large building looking out over a colony of chimpanzees. The building is designed to allow guests and the chimps to come right up to a glass wall and interact. Leaving the chimp area, guests will take a path to enjoy another chimp viewing opportunity and then follow the path through a tunnel which appears to have been carved from solid rock. Guests will come upon an open area presenting a mixed species habitat for white rhinos, forest antelope and other African Forest inhabitants. A winding path along an open vista gives guests an unobstructed viewing opportunity. Proceeding along the trail, guests will have the opportunity to see the Masai giraffe habitat, with an elevated viewing area, where they can have the opportunity to come nose to nose with the world’s tallest terrestrial animals. You won’t want to miss this incredible African adventure!

Meet the Keeper Talks – Every day at the Zoo, you have the opportunity to participate in more than a dozen “Meet the Keeper” talks. Catch a seal lion show, see the elephants get a bath, or maybe even touch a snake or an armadillo. See the Zoo website for a complete listing of each day’s schedule.

 for more information, see www.houstonzoo.org or call (713) 533-6500

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