Theater District Open House
Once a year, Houston's downtown theaters throw open their doors to the public with free backstage tours, live performances, food, and discount season subscriptions. This year also features a costume trunk and instrument petting zoo for the kids, and food trucks and a photo booth for the whole family. Trolleys will be available to take visitors from venue to venue—this year's participating organizations include the Alley Theatre, Da Camera, Houston Ballet, Broadway at the Hobby Center, Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Symphony, the Society for the Performing Arts, Theatre Under the Stars, and Uniquely Houston. Capping off the afternoon is a free Houston Symphony concert at 4 p.m. at Jones Hall. And make sure to stop by the Houstonia booth at the Hobby Center for a special subscription offer.
Aug 24 from noon–4. Free. Check website for schedule of events. Downtown Houston. downtownhouston.org
Dr. John & The Nite Trippers and Aaron Neville
Two of the most legendary blues musicians alive join forces in Galveston for this can’t-miss show. “Voodoo boogie” popularizer Dr. John—now an actual doctor after receiving an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Tulane University last year—will play alongside fellow New Orleanian Aaron Neville. A founding member of the Neville Brothers, the R&B singer’s most recent album was co-produced by Keith Richards, with some backup playing from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Aug 23 at 8. $35–98. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., Galveston. 409-765-1894. thegrand.com
Texas Sculpture Group 2014: A Panoramic View
Curated by renowned East Texas–born sculptor James Surls, this exhibition features a diverse array of multimedia sculpture—ranging from bronze casting to video performances, from site-specific installations to yarn bombing—from over 80 contemporary Texas artists. The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of iconic Houston artist Bert Long Jr., who died last year at the age of 72.
Aug 22–Sept 27. Free. Lawndale Art Center, 4912 Main St. 713-528-5858. lawndaleartcenter.org
Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case
In 2011, Chinese artist and political activist Ai Weiwei was arrested and ultimately sentenced to three months of solitary detention followed by a period of Kafkaesque house arrest in which he was monitored by 18 cameras. This film documents Weiwei’s struggles with sleeping disorder and memory loss during the ordeal, as well as his battle against a Chinese government lawsuit—the “fake case” of the film’s title.
Aug 22–24. $9; students & seniors $7. Brown Theater, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet St. 713-639-7515. mfah.org/films
Midtown Live: A Summer Concert
The Alley Kat Bar & Lounge in Midtown hopes to start a new tradition by playing host to three nights of musical theater and pop music by Houston-based artists and fringe theater companies, including adaptations of songs from American Idiot, Spring Awakening, and Next to Normal.
Aug 21–23 at 9. $10–20. 3718 Main St. 832-516-9167. pitchmethis.com