Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston
Dario Franchitti’s devastating crash at last year’s Grand Prix of Houston, which injured 13 spectators and ended his racing career, cast a pall over the event and led to calls for stronger safety measures. Hopefully this year’s race, featuring a 1.7-mile temporary street circuit running through the NRG Park complex, will keep the drama (and the cars) on the track. Surrounding the race is a three-day festival featuring live music, go-karting, and an automotive expo.
June 27–29. $10–135. NRG Park, 8400 Kirby Dr. 713-659-7223. grandprixofhouston.com
I Wish You Love
Born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1919, Nat King Cole began performing at the age of four, started taking piano lessons at 12, and embarked on a jazz career while still a teenager, soon becoming one of the world’s most famous musicians. This play brings Cole’s colorful life to the stage in a production directed by the legendary Lou Bellamy, founder of St. Paul’s Penumbra Theatre Company, considered the country’s foremost African American theater.
June 26–July 27. $28–55. 3535 Main St. 713-520-0055. ensemblehouston.org
In David Mamet's inflammatory two-character drama, written during the 1991 Anita Hill hearings, a female college student accuses her male professor of sexual harassment, sparking a highly personal battle of wills between the two over sexism, political correctness, and academic power, with an ending guaranteed to shock even the most jaded theatergoer. The play is being staged by Queensbury Theatre (formerly Country Playhouse) at the Spring Street Studios.
June 27–July 19. $20. Studio 101, Spring Street Studios, 1824 Spring St. 713-467-4497. queensburytheatre.org
Pride Houston Parade
Houston Pride Week culminates with a parade that typically draws upwards of 400,000 people to Montrose to watch gaudily-attired revelers make their way down Westheimer. Want proof that LGBT pride has gone mainstream? This year's myriad sponsors include Bud Light, Walgreens, Live Nation, and the Houston Dynamo.
Festival pre-show begins on June 28 at 7:30 on the corner of Westheimer Rd. and Waugh Dr. Parade begins at 8:15. pridehouston.org
Texas Music Festival 25th Anniversary Grand Finale
Taiwanese-born conductor Mei-Ann Chen, the music director of the Chicago Sinfonietta, will conduct the Texas Music Festival’s closing-night concert, featuring Shostakovich's mammoth Symphony No. 10, written after the composer's denunciation by Stalin, and a performance by Time for Three, an innovative string trio whose repertoire ranges across classical, pop, and jazz.
June 28 at 7:30 (pre-concert entertainment begins at 6:30). $10–15. Moores Opera Center, The University of Houston, 120 School of Music Bldg. uh.edu/class/music/tmf