The Houston Art Car Parade
No city loves its cars more than Houston, and few Houston events are more beloved than the Art Car Parade. The event traces it origins to 1984, when Kit and Carl Detering donated a 1967 Ford station wagon to the Orange Show Foundation to be auctioned at its annual gala. After being transformed into a “Fruitmobile” by local artist Jackie Harris, the car sparked the city’s imagination and led to the creation of the annual parade. This year’s activities include a sneak peak of the cars at Discovery Green, the Main Street Drag, the Art Car Ball, and, finally, the big parade itself on May 10.
May 8–10. Check website for locations, hours, and prices. 713-926-6368. thehoustonartcarparade.com
Symphony of a Thousand
No composer is more bombastic than Mahler, and no Mahler work is more bombastic than his Eighth Symphony, although its popular appellation is a bit hyperbolic given that the piece actually requires only about 250 musicians and chorus members. That’s still a massive ensemble, though, and a fitting way to close out the Symphony’s centennial season, especially with former music director Christoph Eschenbach on the podium.
May 9 & 10. $39–145. All concerts at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. 713-224-7575. houstonsymphony.org
Alonzo King Lines Ballet
Celebrated San Francisco choreographer Alonzo King has collaborated with jazz pianist Jason Moran, actor Danny Glover, Baka artists from the Central African Republic, and numerous others over the course of his long career in dance. Known for its rigorous, geometrically inspired choreography, King’s company makes its Houston debut with the works Scheherazade and Resin.
May 9 at 8. $23–58. Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-227-4772. spahouston.org
Singer-songwriter Matthew Stephen Ward worked his way up through the Portland, Oregon music scene and is now one of indie music’s most popular collaborators, having performed with Cat Power, Neko Case, and Bright Eyes. He’s even in a band, She and Him, with actress Zooey Deschanel, which alone would guarantee him a place on the iPods of hipsters everywhere. With opener Mount Moriah.
May 11 at 7. $20–24. Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak Dr. 713-862-3838. fitzlivemusic.com
Like War Horse, this George Bernard Shaw farce takes place in England in the days leading up to WWI, with a cast of upper-crust characters—bearing typically Shavian names like Captain Shotover and Hesione Hushabye—pursuing lives of leisure and romance at a weekend estate as Europe drifts inexorably towards catastrophe.
May 8–June 1. $20–36. Main Street Theater, 2540 Times Blvd. 713-524-6706. mainstreettheater.com