Festival

Art Car Parade 

Founded in 1986 with just 20 decked-out cars, this signature annual event now draws upward of 250 vehicles from dozens of states, all of them cruising down Allen Parkway past an audience of some 250,000 spectators. (Get there early to claim your spot.) The parade is the culmination of a week of events, from a sneak peek at the cars at Discovery Green (April 9 from 6:30 to 9) to the Art Car Ball (April 10 from 6 to 11). See our full story here

April 11 at 2. Free. Allen Parkway. 713-926-6368. thehoustonartcarparade.com

EXHIBITION

Mask of human-animal composite creature, c. 1250–1100 BCE. Bronze. Excavated at Sanxingdui, Pit II.

China's Lost Civilization: The Mystery of Sanxingdui

In 1929, a peasant in the remote village of Sanxingdui, in China’s Sichuan Province, was repairing a sewage ditch behind his house when he discovered a long pit filled with peculiar-looking bronze, jade, ivory and stone artifacts. The objects have since been dated to around 1800 BCE, but their purpose remains shrouded in mystery. This new exhibition, organized by the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, includes about 125 artifacts from the dig, none of which have ever traveled outside China. See our full story here

Opens April 10. $20. Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Dr. 713-639-4629. hmns.org

Musical

LMNOP

In this whimsical show by Connecticut’s Goodspeed Musicals, a city government decides to ban any letter that falls from a revered civic monument—which means, in theatrical terms, that the actors can’t say any word containing those letters—setting up an allegorical clash between those who want to protect free speech and those who want to restrict it. Advertisements for the music promise “chaos—one letter at a time.”

Thru April 19. $25–49. Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St. 713-558-8887. tutsunderground.com

Opera

Rappacini's Daughter

When this opera by Daniel Catán—based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s fantastical short story about an Italian scientist whose garden of poisonous plants has an unusual effect on his daughter—made its US debut in 1994, it was the first time an opera by a major Mexican composer was ever presented by a professional company in this country. A Mexican opera based on an American story set in Italy? Sounds perfect for Houston.

April 10–13. $20. 120 School of Music Bldg. The University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Rd. 713-743-3313. uh.edu/class/music/opera

Comedy

An Evening with Garrison Keillor

The humorist has “come to represent a crucial schism in the national taste—the Great Continental Divide between sarcasm and earnestness, snark and purity, the corrupt and the wholesome,” or so said a Slate writer once. Keillor is, of course, the gravelly-voiced host of the long-running radio variety show The Prairie Home Companion, but also a witty, insightful author and essayist who just might be the closest thing we have to a contemporary Mark Twain.

April 12 at 7. $40–75. The Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice St., Galveston. 800-821-1894. thegrand.com

 

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