Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson: The Immortal
Much like Elvis, Michael Jackson was always destined to endure long after his short time on earth. Indeed, the newest Cirque du Soleil production has deemed the King of Pop no less than The Immortal (though which musical legacy—Elvis or MJ’s—will last the longest remains to be seen). The Jackson-themed fusion of rock music and acrobatics was created by Jamie King, who has previously choreographed and directed tours for Madonna, Mariah Carey, and Rihanna. See our interview with the Houston dancer who plays Bubbles the Chimp here.
Aug 8 & 9 at 8. $50–175. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk St. cirquedusoleil.com
The Convention Formerly Known as Space City has rebranded and is bigger than ever, this year featuring a cosplay competition (costume play, for you non-nerds out there), special guest appearances, and screenings of science fiction fan films Star Trek: Prelude to Axanar and Matt Mercury, the latter produced and filmed in Houston. Plus all the usual gaming, memorabilia shopping, and general geeking out you’ve come to expect.
Aug 8–10. $25–150. Hilton Houston North, 12400 Greenspoint Dr. thehoustoncon.com
Houston Whatever Fest
Modeled on Austin's Fun Fun Fun Fest, this new two-day event combines comedy and musical acts into an anything-goes party in the so-called EaDo Party Park—the several blocks near BBVA Compass Stadium anchored by Warehouse Live and Mojeauxs Louisiana Drinkery, both of which will also host performances. A $55 pass (or $35 for a single-day pass) gets you access to five stages hosting over 30 musical acts, including Andrew W.K., Passion Pit, and female rapper Kreayshawn, as well as another 30-plus local and national stand-up comics.
Aug 9 & 10 from 1:30–10. $35–55. Warehouse Live, 813, St. Emanuel St. houstonwhateverfest.com
Sally Edmundson reprises her role as Vogue editor Diana Vreeland in this one-woman play that enjoyed a successful run at Stages in 1999. The play centers on a dinner party at the home of the demanding-yet-visionary Vreeland after her unceremonious exit from Vogue in 1971. Fired from her position as the world’s most powerful fashion editor, she is determined to get back on top and sees the party as a way to plot her return. “I’ve carried this character with me for 15 years," she recently told Houstonia. "[Vreeland] managed to find a way where she could keep pursuing her dream, and she had enormous integrity of her vision. She’s a fabulous human to have roaming around in your psyche.”
Aug 6–Sept 14. Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Pkwy. stagestheatre.com
Murakamania Midnight Release Party
The author of such acclaimed postmodern novels as Kafka on the Shore and IQ84, Haruki Marakami is widely considered the greatest living Japanese novelist. To celebrate the release of his new novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years of Pilgrimage, Brazos Bookstore is holding a Harry Potter–style midnight release party, featuring "Murakami-inspired activities and games" such as "The Wind-up Bird Piñata" and "Pin the Kafka on the Shore," accompanied by refreshments from St. Arnold and the Muiishi Makirritos food truck. Pre-order a signed copy of the novel and get a Murakami-themed coloring book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Coloring, produced by the inventive Brazos staff.
Aug 11 (Monday) at 10pm. Free. Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet St. 713-523-0701. brazosbookstore.com