Houston Shakespeare Festival
New York City’s Shakespeare in the Park is for wimps. The true test of bardolatry is whether you’re willing to brave Hermann Park’s heat, humidity, and mosquitos to watch a 400-year-old play in Elizabethan English. This annual University of Houston–sponsored festival, founded in 1975, has entertained almost half a million Houstonians. For tragedy, there’s Antony and Cleopatra; and for comedy, As You Like It.
Antony and Cleopatra: Aug 8 & 10
As You Like It: Aug 9 & 11
Free tickets for covered seating available at box office on day of performance between 10:30 & 1. Open seating on hill. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Dr. 281-373-3386. milleroutdoortheatre.com
Libbie J. Masterson: Water's Edge (Mizugiwa)
The Houston-based photographer (and curator of the Houston Center for Photography) has previously profiled French landscapes, Icelandic fjords, and the Texas Hill Country. Her latest series is based on the concept of mizugiwa, the Japanese word for the liminal place where plants and water meet. Her ghostly images evoke a natural world charged with spiritual energy.
Thru Aug 31. Tue–Sat 10–5. Free. Catherine Couturier Gallery, 2635 Colquitt St. 713-524-5070. catherinecouturier.com
CHOMP! The Science of Survival
What can NASA scientists learn from the world’s most dangerous animals? More than you might think. This exhibition features live animals—ranging from a Goliath bird-eating spider and a Haitian giant centipede to rare alligators and albino pythons—interactive activities, and the “Spidernaut,” NASA’s massive, arachnid-inspired robot.
Thru Sep 2. Mon–Sun 10–7. $17.95; seniors $16.95; children 4–11 $13.95; children 3 & under free. 1601 NASA Pkwy. 281-244-2100. spacecenter.org
Dungeons & Drafthouses
Are you a fantasy enthusiast suffering withdrawal symptoms between seasons of Game of Thrones? This is the event for you. Beginning in the early afternoon, this one-day film festival features three classic fantasy films (the titles are a secret) and the Houston premiere of South by Southwest fan favorite Zero Charisma (pictured). And yes, you can have Game of Thrones beer with that turkey leg.
Aug 11 at 1. $20. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema–Vintage Park, 114 Vintage Park Blvd. 832-559-5959. drafthouse.com/houston
Femme Fatales: The Women of Film Noir
Although the name is French, film noir is one of the most characteristically American movie genres. And nothing is more characteristic of film noir than the femme fatale—the woman of ambiguous morals and unambiguous sexuality who drives the plots of so many classic films. In partnership with the Houston Film Critics Society, the MFAH showcases four of the most famous “dark women” on film. This weekend: The Blue Dahlia (1946), the only film ever produced from an original Raymond Chandler screenplay.
The Blue Dahlia Aug 10 at 7 & Aug 11 at 5. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet St. 713-639-7300. mfah.org