We do our annual Fall Arts GUIDE each September, when the city's cultural institutions awaken from their heat-induced slumber. Considering there's a similar lull around the holidays, we figured a similar plug for Houston's creative highlights to-come was much overdue. Here are a few cultural happenings (other than the Rodeo) we're excited for in the early months of 2018.
Jan. 3 | theh.us
Bayou City transplant Luke Brawner wrapped Season 1 of his Houston-centric narrative podcast last August, and we were big fans. Each episode focuses on the individual story of extraordinary Houstonians, finally bringing the well-worn podcast format to the country's fourth-largest city (and for what its worth, it maintains a five-star iTunes rating). Season 2 drops Wednesday, with a cast of characters that includes the son of legendary boxer George Foreman, the founder of a local symphony, social media superstars, and a Houston Chronicle sports reporter, among others.
Jan. 18-28 | Midtown Art Center
Probably most famous for either "Santa Baby" or her 1967 portrayal of Catwoman, Eartha Kitt was an unsung icon who left her mark in entertainment and as a political activist. This new, intimate play from Vincent Victoria follows the 10-year period after Kitt famously spoke out against the Vietnam War at a White House lunch with Lady Bird Johnson.
Jan. 19–Feb. 2 | Houston Grand Opera
Yeah, the opera is still making things work at its so-called Resilience Theater constructed within the George R. Brown Convention Center, but we're still excited to witness the operatic bloodbath that is Richard Strauss's Elektra. Featuring the largest orchestra in all of opera, this fast-paced, one-act tragedy gives you about as much drama as you can pack into 100 minutes as Elektra furiously works to avenge her father.
Feb. 16–March 31 | Rec Room
Rec Room Arts, the two-year-old arts venue located in EaDo, continues its run as an incubator for the unconventional with a six-week festival featuring an interdisciplinary range of work spanning the worlds of theatre, dance, music, opera, performance art, film and more. Each weekend features a premiere performance from a different resident artist.
March 19 | Toyota Center
Perhaps we are still hoping for the hug Lorde promised us when her FPSF set was cancelled last spring, or perhaps the New Zealand singer-songwriter once again proves herself one of the most dynamic and talented pop musicians of her generation with last year's Melodrama.
April 6-29 | Alley Theatre
Originally slated for Fall 2017 (and delayed due to Harvey), this world premiere from New Yorker staff writer Lawrence Wright takes shape as a comedic snapshot of the scandalous romance between between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton that took place on the film set of Cleopatra (1963).
Claiming itself as the city's first board game cafe, this soon-to-come Shady Acres establishment promises to hoard over 500 different games with a dedicated "game guides" to act as your gaming sommelier, aiding you in game selection and learning whatever byzantine rules each game sets forth. As the name suggests, it's also a cafe, serving Boomtown coffee, brews from local favorites such as Saint Arnold and Holler Brewing, and a limited menu.