Free Press Summer Fest
Jack White, Lauryn Hill, and the Wu-Tang Clan headline the sixth annual iteration of what has grown into a monster of a festival, with around 100,000 people expected to flock to the (possibly extremely muddy) shores of Buffalo Bayou to see 120 bands on six stages, plus a "Chill Zone." In one of the weekend's can't-miss concerts, an all-star lineup of Houston rappers—Bun B, Slim Thug, Devin the Dude, Z-Ro, Paul Wall, and Mike Jones—will perform together on a single stage. Other Houston acts include The Tontons, Los Skarnales, and New York City Queens.
May 31 & June 1 11–8. Eleanor Tinsley Park, 500 Allen Pkwy. fpsf.com
A Thin Wall of Air: Charles James
English couturier Charles James (1906–1978) got his start as a milliner before going on to design dresses for Millicent Rogers, Gloria Swanson, and countless other celebrities. In the '40s, James met John and Dominique de Menil, who became some of his best patrons, commissioning couture for Dominique and hiring him to do the interior design for their Philip Johnson home in River Oaks. This exhibition includes examples of James’s sculptural dresses alongside furniture he created for the Menil house.
May 31–Sept 7. Free. Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross St. 713-525-9400. menil.org
Based on a children’s novel by Michael Morpurgo about a boy in Edwardian England whose beloved horse is sold to the cavalry and sent to France to serve in WWI, War Horse debuted in London in 2007, went on to wildly successful runs on the West End and Broadway, and was adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg. Famously, the play features life-size horse puppets created by the South African Handspring Puppet Company.
Thru June 1. $41.90–101.90. Sarofim Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St. 800-952-6560. houston.broadway.com
AIA Sandcastle Competition
Hosted by the American Institute of Architects's Houston chapter, this beloved family event dates back to 1986. This year’s battle features dozens of teams vying for the coveted Golden Bucket Award. Other prizes include Best Traditional, Most Complex, and Best Architectural. And while you're on the beach, do your part for the environment by helping the City of Galveston attempt to break the Guiness World Record for most aluminum cans collected in an eight-hour period.
May 31 9–4:30. Free. East Beach, 1923 Boddeker Dr., Galveston. aiahouston.org
Candice Breitz: The Woods
The South African artist Candice Breitz traveled to Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Lagos to film the three video installations that compose this exhibition, which look at the role of child performers in Hollywood, Bollywood, and Nollywood (the neologism for Nigeria’s booming film industry).
Public opening and reception on June 1, 11–1. (Exhibition opens June 3.) Free. Blaffer Art Museum, University of Houston, 120 Fine Arts Building. 713-743-9521. blafferartmuseum.org