To celebrate the park's centennial year, the Hermann Park Conservancy is commissioning and hosting a series of art installations, beginning this month with a site-specific work by North Carolina–based artist Patrick Dougherty, who uses natural materials to create stunning sculptures-cum-architecture. For his Houston project, Dougherty will create a semi-permanent structure out of locally harvested saplings.
Open to public viewing beginning Jan 25 in Hermann Park. Free. hermannpark.org
This Kafkaesque operatic drama, with music and libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti, is set in an unidentified European country that has fallen under totalitarian rule. A political dissident tries to keep one step ahead of the secret police, while his wife and family struggle under bureaucratic persecution. The work won the Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award when it premiered on Broadway in 1950. Sung in the original English with surtitles.
Jan 23–26. $20; students & seniors $12. Moores Opera Center, The University of Houston, 120 School of Music Building. 713-743-3313. uh.edu
Since premiering in New York in 1982, Forbidden Broadway, through countless changes of cast, material, and music, has spoofed the biggest Broadway hits, from Phantom of the Opera to (more recently)Spamalot and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. With over 9,000 performances under its belt, playwright Gerard Alessandrini’s comic revue is a constant delight.
Jan 25 at 8. $33–83. Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-227-4772. spahouston.org
Failure: A Love Story
This black comedy from playwright Philip Dawkins tells the story of the Fail family, European immigrants in early-twentieth-century Chicago who open a clock repair shop at the intersection of Lumber and Love Streets. We learn at the beginning of the play that the entire family will die untimely deaths, and we spend the rest of the evening finding out how. The play, which opened to mixed reviews in Chicago last year, makes its Houston premiere.
Jan 22–Feb 15. $19–54. Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Parkway. 713-527-8243. stagestheatre.com
Houston Auto Show
For the past 30 years, the Houston Auto Show has brought the fastest, fanciest, flashiest cars from around the world to Texas. Within its 500,000-square-foot showroom, adults can spend the day checking out the sweet rides while the little ones hang out in the Kids Fun Zone.
Jan 22–26. $10; children 6–12 $5; children 5 and under free. Reliant Center, One Reliant Park. 832-667-1400. houstonautoshow.com