May 13 | Minute Maid Park
A homerun derby? A chance to watch Texans’ players acquit themselves of a game of softball? An excuse for JJ ogling? You be the judge. For the fifth year, the city’s favorite defensive end is hosting what has rapidly become the city’s favorite charity sporting event. Proceeds from the benefit go to the superstar’s foundation dedicated to supporting after-school programs for middle-schoolers, a cause for which it has already raised almost $3 million to date.
From $5. 501 Crawford St. 877-554-8399. astros.com/jjwatt
May 13 | Asia Society Texas
You know it’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, right? No? Well, aren’t you ashamed. Atone for your sins—and have a blast doing it—at this family-friendly celebration in the Museum District. The daylong festival’s third annual installment promises an entertaining mash-up, from Taiwanese puppeteers and Bollywood dancers, to kite-making demonstrations and a giant Sudoku puzzle, along with vendors selling wares and foodstuffs aplenty.
Free. 1370 Southmore Blvd. 713-496-9901. asiasociety.org/texas
Thru May 14 | Houston Symphony
Cruel, brutal, painful: We’re talking of course about Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 2, which many consider the most difficult piece in the entire repertory. It’s certainly punished its share of pianists over the years, including Yefim Bronfman, who has reportedly suffered injury from it in the past. And yet, he continues playing the fiendishly hard concerto, this weekend with the Houston Symphony in a program that includes a piece by Charles Ives, and Igor Stravinsky’s fiery “Petrushka” ballet. But it’s Bronfman we’ll be nervously pulling for, watching his fingers fly while keeping our own crossed.
From $25. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. 713-337-8547. houstonsymphony.org
May 12-13 | Smart Financial Centre, Sugar Land
Having been, as he put it, “a little busy, y’know, writing ‘Pootie Tang 3’ and everything,” the comedian hasn’t found time to tour in almost 10 years. Needless to say, the pent-up demand is tremendous, so much so that Rock added a second Houstonia show. Expect an evening that’s equal parts provocative and sidesplitting, offering ample proof that an important comedian is no oxymoron.
From $49. 18111 Lexington Blvd., Sugar Land. 281-207-6278. smartfinancialcentre.net
May 12-14 | Miller Outdoor Theatre
Now more than 20 years old, this dance adaptation of the opera—and the first full-length piece Houston Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch ever choreographed—is now performed by companies all over the world. And with good reason. Welch’s take on the ill-fated love affair between a military captain and a Japanese geisha packs all the punch of Puccini’s original, right down to its tragic, heartbreaking conclusion.
Free. 6000 Hermann Park Dr. 281-373-3386. milleroutdoortheatre.com