The Big Show
This annual juried exhibition of Houston-area artists began as the East End Show in 1984. The opening reception on July 12 features a DJ set by Night Drive and drinks by Bombay Sapphire and Saint Arnold’s Brewing Company.
July 12–Aug 10. Mon–Fri 10–5; Sat 12–5. Free. Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main St. 713-528-5858. lawndaleartcenter.org
Tamarie Cooper's Old as Hell!
In real life, Tamarie Cooper is Associate Director of The Catastrophic Theatre, which she co-founded in 2007 with Jason Nodler. In the long-running series of summer musical revues bearing her name (The Tamarie Cooper Show, The United States of Tamarie, Tamarie Cooper’s DOOMSDAY REVUE), Cooper plays the all-singing, all-dancing pied piper for all the usual Catastrophic characters. A cult phenomenon in Houston for over 15 years, this is one theatrical series that deserves to continue.
July 12–Aug 24. Wed–Sat at 8. $25 (suggested). 1119 Providence St. 713-522-2723. catastrophictheatre.com
We always thought the wicked witches got a raw deal in The Wizard of Oz. No one deserves to melt into vapor, no matter how much she cackles. This 2003 Broadway musical, based on a novel by Gregory Maguire, provides the witches with backstories that prove they didn’t start out evil. Plus, we always suspected that phony wizard was the real bad guy.
July 10–Aug 11. Tue–Thu at 7:30; Fri at 8; Sat at 2 & 8; Sun at 2 & 7:30. $55–115. Sarofim Hall, Hobby Center, 800 Bagby St. 713-315-2400. thehobbycenter.org
Ringling Bros & Barnum Bailey Circus Presents Dragons
Whether you can't resist the lure of the big top or, like us, are deathly afraid of clowns, the word "circus" today is virtually synonymous with Ringling Bros & Barnum Bailey. For two weeks, the "Greatest Show on Earth"—elephants, tigers, the Medeiros Troupe of motorcycle acrobats, and more carnies than you can wave a lion-taming stick at—pitches its tents in Houston.
July 11–28. $17 & up. Reliant Stadium, 8400 Kirby Dr. 832-667-1400. reliantpark.com
In college, a friend once tried to convince us that Mayer was an unappreciated musical virtuoso. We remain skeptical, especially since most unappreciated virtuosi don’t light up iTunes and get to date Jennifer Love Hewitt—for whom Mayer reportedly wrote “Your Body Is a Wonderland.” Judge the mop-headed teen idol’s guitar chops for yourself this weekend.
July 12 at 7:30. $36–75. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands. 281-363-3300. woodlandscenter.org