21 Best Things to Do in Houston This Week: Meteor Showers and a Splash Bash

Tuesday, July 25

A husband-and-wife couple with an exotic past (she was born in Russia and he denies allegations of being a spy) write under the pseudonym Ilona Andrews and are out with the third paranormal romance in the Hidden Legacy series. “At some point we sat around and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun if there were magical families, dynasties of people, like the Kardashians?’” says Andrew Gordon. Things are only getting hotter for main characters Nevada Baylor and billionaire Connor “Mad” Rogan after shadowy forces almost destroyed Houston in the last tome. Ilona Gordon tells us there are plenty of fans who will point out factual errors about Houston traffic, or its guns, including offers to fact-check from local cops. “We don’t want to be in trouble with the Houston Police Department,” says Ilona. The Austin-based duo will brave 290 construction to read from their book and sign copies of Wildfire at Murder By The Book. 6:30 p.m. July 25. 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit murderbooks.com. Free. — Susie Tommaney

So brand-spanking new, the paint isn't even dry. Local comedy purveyors Gabe Bravo, Zahid Dewji, Gavin Burr and Radu Bondar are out with a new cultish tradition and — never fear — you won't be asked to drink the Kool-Aid. C.U.L.T. is just a nifty little acronym for See You (on the) Last Tuesday (of the month), and they say it's the perfect outing for date night (or its polar opposite, hate night), bachelorette parties or just because "the crushing weight of being human is keeping you down." So turn Tuesday into an upper and give C.U.L.T. night a chance. 6:30 p.m. July 25. Sterling House, 3015 Bagby. For information, visit facebook.com/htxcomedyofficial. No cover. — Susie Tommaney

Wednesday, July 26

She stole our bohemian hearts in Rent, and left us all humming the tunes of Frozen for months. Now Idina Menzel (or is it Adele Dazeem?) is taking her Tony Award-winning pipes on the road, and making a stop in Sugar Land to grace us with her gilded vocal cords. Dubbed “the Streisand of her generation,” she has captivated audiences around the world with her irresistible charm, wit and unparalleled vocal prowess. Throughout the tour, Menzel will lead audiences through a special journey of songs from classic pop, musical-theater favorites and her own catalog. This is one Wicked experience that will fill the crowds with Glee, so don’t “Let It Go” and miss this chance to see a living legend in concert. 8 p.m. July 26. Smart Financial Centre, 18111 Lexington Boulevard, Sugar Land. For information, call 281-207-6278 or visit smartfinancialcentre.net. $48 to $142. — Sam Byrd

When English music pioneer Brian Eno was approached by Microsoft developers to compose the six-second start-up music sound for the Windows 95 operating system, he fell down a rabbit hole into a world of tiny little bits of music and ended up composing 84 pieces. On a Mac, no less. Eno-heads and fans of alt music will want to check out Liminal Space at Rec Room when the Houston-based contemporary chamber music ensemble performs the music of Eno, John Cage, David Lang and local composer Chapman Welch. 7:30 p.m. July 26. 100 Jackson. For information, call 713-344-1291 or visit recroomhtx.com. $15. — Susie Tommaney

Thursday, July 27

After running in NYC, Lauran Yee’s touching dramedy In A Word makes its way to the Bayou City at Mildred’s Umbrella. Two years after Fiona and Guy’s young son’s disappearance, the married couple chooses to revisit that agonizing afternoon in an attempt to unravel each moment in hopes of finding previously unobserved clues. Director Troy Scheid says the script attracted her quickly. “Having the language almost be a character itself, with a poetic quality that’s not exactly heightened the way Shakespearian language is, but in how conflict is handled,” she says, “it’s not ‘protagonist versus wilderness’; it’s more ‘protagonist versus language,’ and how maddeningly disobedient it can be. There are misunderstandings with a snowball effect, and phrases that return again to haunt our characters — every time a character says ‘nothing’ or ‘later’ or ‘difficult,’ that’s a shorthand for a whole lot else going on.” 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through August 12. July 27 through August 12. 1824 Spring. For information, call 832-463-0409 or visit mildredsumbrella.com. $15 to $25. — Vic Shuttee

Shirtless men, a lingeried Rumer Willis and steamy bedroom scenes run through Hello Again like surging hormones through a teenager. The opening-night flick of QFest 2017: The 21st Annual Houston International LGBTQ Film Festival also reunites Glee cast members Cheyenne Jackson (Dustin Goolsby), Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina Cohen-Chang) and Nolan Gerard Funk (Hunter Clarington) in a lust-fueled romp through the Big Apple. Before it’s over, you’ll be pinning posters of Tyler Blackburn on your bedroom wall like the rest of us. Artistic director Kristian Salinas tells us this 2017 release breaks away from the traditional narrative as it weaves together stories from various decades. The festival continues through July 31 with screenings at six locations, including the anything-but-traditional Ripcord. “We have the responsibility to be community-minded, community-focused. You can go into a leather bar and show a film,” says Salinas. 7:30 p.m. July 27. The MATCH, 3400 Main. For information, call 713-521-4533 or visit q-fest.com. $12. — Susie Tommaney

For too long, doctors, counselors, language interpreters and therapists lacked healthy options when undergoing vicarious trauma, a condition of mental and emotional distress experienced by some healing professionals while they’re helping others. “Ten years ago, an interpreter was a translator for a family from Mexico when their child was in a horrible accident and had to be disconnected from life support,” says Mila Golovine, president of MasterWord Services. “The interpreter still cried over it.” The event “Vicarious Trauma: Healing From Within,” presented by the Rothko Chapel and the global language service provider MasterWord Services, will feature a presentation by Rothko executive director David Leslie, who will demonstrate how physical spaces can help folks attain inner peace, as well as a group meditation led by Dr. Alejandro Chaoul, an advisor and presenter at the Rothko. 6 p.m. July 27. 3900 Yupon. For information, call 713-524-9839 or see rothkochapel.org. Free. — Steve Jansen

A few folks from the Houston Astronomical Society are bringing their telescopes for viewing the Delta Aquarids meteor shower at Brazos Bookstore this Friday, as well as Saturn and Jupiter (which are at their peaks).
A few folks from the Houston Astronomical Society are bringing their telescopes for viewing the Delta Aquarids meteor shower at Brazos Bookstore this Friday, as well as Saturn and Jupiter (which are at their peaks).
Photo by Bill Ingalls / NASA

Friday, July 28

Space rules, but it sometimes feels inaccessible “because it’s so far away, especially in a city like Houston with so much light pollution,” says Brazos Bookstore’s Laura Graveline. “That’s why meteor showers are so wonderful…All it takes are some clear skies and maybe a pair of binoculars, and you’re all set.” During the Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower Party, Brazos will livestream the annual bling-blinging of the star Delta in the Aquarius constellation during an event that includes a meteor-showers chit-chat by Dr. Christopher Johns-Krull of Rice University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. “The Delta Aquarids meteors are medium-speed, so they’re easy to catch,” says Graveline. “They’re also pretty steady through the end of July, peaking around July 28 to 30, so there’s always a good chance you’ll be able to see them no matter what day you’re out.” As an added bonus, a few folks from the Houston Astronomical Society are bringing their telescopes for viewing the shower as well as Saturn and Jupiter (which are at their peaks this July). 7:30 p.m. July 28. 2421 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-0701 or visit brazosbookstore.com. Free. — Steve Jansen

A young woman ends up shipwrecked on a foreign coast, her twin brother presumed dead in the disaster. This being a William Shakespeare play, she disguises herself as a boy and goes to work for Duke Orsino. She falls in love with Orsino but he (a) thinks she’s a boy and (b) is himself in love with another woman. That other woman, Olivia, in turn falls in love with Viola thinking she is really a man. “Twelfth Night is both joyful — in many ways it’s a delightful romp — and quite dark,” says Tracie Thomason, a University of Houston graduate and experienced Shakespearean actor now at Juilliard in New York City. Thomason, who has returned home for this year’s Houston Shakespeare Festival, will be playing Viola and says she finds all the play’s intricacies fascinating. “There’s this unrequited love, and it becomes about what isn’t said instead of what is. These people are in these really complex predicaments, and I think we just really identify with the extreme.” 8:15 p.m. July 28. Also 8:15 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. July 28 through August 5. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive. For information, visit houstonfestivalscompany.com or milleroutdoortheatre.com. Free. — Margaret Downing

Vacationers planning on road-tripping down to the valley might want to make a pit stop at The Nave Museum in Victoria. Their new Texas Contemporary Glass Exhibition opens to the public this Friday and features work by 22 glass artists, including Houstonian Michael Crowder. The movement actually began in the 1940s when Robert Willson ventured to Murano, Italy for production of his solid glass sculptures. Of course today's pieces include hot sculpting, blown glass, flame-working (and who doesn't love fire?), sand-casting and sand-blasting, engraving and the friend-to-all-taverns, glorious neon. Noon to 6 p.m. July 28. Continues Noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. July 28 through September 17. For information, call 361-575-8227 or visit navemuseum.com. Free. — Susie Tommaney

Get wet and wild this Saturday when the Houston Sports & Social Club presents its 2nd Annual Splash Bash.
Get wet and wild this Saturday when the Houston Sports & Social Club presents its 2nd Annual Splash Bash.
Photo by Omid Rafiei, Houston Sports & Social Club

Saturday, July 29

There's something about the addition of adult beverages that makes childhood memories like Slip n' Slide suddenly fun again. Houston Sports & Social Club knows how to get the most out of co-ed sports and the great outdoors, and their 2nd Annual Splash Bash includes all sorts of water games. There's Slip n' Slide Kickball, Slip n' Slide Flip Cup and Slip n' Slide Human Bowling (sense a pattern here?), plus the no-holds-barred Wet n' Wild Inflatable Obstacle Course. Land lubbers too afraid to get wet can still have fun with cornhole, giant Jenga, giant Connect Four, flip cup and beer pong. Ticket holders enjoy complimentary adult beverages and food, plus awesome giveaways and swag. 2 to 6 p.m. July 29. Oaks Dads Club, Candlelight Sports Complex, 6500 Rena. For information, call 832-930-4632 or visit houstonssc.com. $25 to $50. — Susie Tommaney

As seen by William Shakespeare, Richard III was a scheming, power-hungry man, crippled in body, who used and discarded most anyone who entered his life. And yet, there’s something likable about him. He is able, for instance, to persuade Lady Anne to marry him even though he killed her father and husband. University of Houston professor, professional actor and now Houston Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Jack Young will be taking on the title role in Richard III, one of two plays to be shown in repertory at this year’s festival at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Under the direction of Lenny Banovez, artistic director of TITAN Theatre Company in New York City, Young will be playing Richard on two sets of crutches: regular and weaponized. “It’s a nightmare play,” Young says, calling Richard “a trickster character like Iago.” Dylan Paul (Broadway: Cabaret), who plays Buckingham, the Richard cousin who first supports and then deserts the king, explains Richard III’s appeal this way: “We like rooting for people who haven’t watered down what they want. There is a shamelessness which I think in some way we associate with honesty. Someone is out after what they want and we admire that. The audience, of course, sees what Richard wants directly because he shares it with them. He’s of course a reprehensible person, murdering children and his best friends.” 8:15 p.m. July 29. Continuing 8:15 p.m. August 2, 4 and 6. 6000 Hermann Park Drive. For information, visit houstonfestivalscompany.com or milleroutdoortheatre.com. Free. — Margaret Downing

Was it the late Julia Child who loudly exclaimed, “Give me chocolate, or give me death,” or is that just a universally accepted truth about life? Either way, Rec Room is offering something all dessert lovers can get behind: Sell Your Body Show: Chocolate Edition. Creator Britt Vasicek says, “I wanted to be more playful and sexual by exploring an aphrodisiac. [The artists] are just taking the word and the concept of chocolate and interpreting it in their own way.” Acts include a bondage routine from the Knotty AcroCats, a performance-art piece from Jennifer Free, a spoken-art piece from Stacey Daniels, a comedic freestyle from The Space Rhyme Continuum, a burlesque routine from Vasicek and more. And yes, there will be nudity, so leave the kids at home — this show is 18-and-up only. 10 p.m. July 29. 100 Jackson. For information, call 713-344-1291 or visit recroomhtx.com. $10. — Sam Byrd

Houstonians hate walking, especially during the summer, but the attractions within the three-block area of the Houston Museum District’s Zone 3 Experience will leave you smarter (and cooler) for it. The tour includes complimentary entry to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; and the Jung Center, all of which will feature special programming for the annual summer event. For example, CAMH visitors can contribute to a collaborative paper-and-tape environment inspired by the “A Better Yesterday” group exhibition, while the Jung Center will offer a “zentangle” workshop and a “laughter yoga” class. Additionally, an open house at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church will include free docent-led and self-guided tours, and food trucks will post up at the CAMH and on MFAH’s south lawn. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 29. Various locations. For information, call 713-715-1939 or visit houstonmuseumdistrict.org. Free. — Steve Jansen

She had more true grit than legendary actor John Wayne, this aspiring pre-teen dancer who overcame scoliosis and went on to become principal dancer with the New York City Ballet and guest artist with The Royal Ballet and the Kirov Ballet. After 40 years as a dancer, Wendy Whelan could see the proverbial writing on the wall and, after her boss kept dropping not so subtle hints that it was time to retire, decided to take part in this documentary about her life and unraveling of her career. Get an inside look into the world of dance when 14 Pews screens Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan, an Abramorama release directed by Linda Safire and Adam Schlesinger. 7 to 9 p.m. July 29. 800 Aurora. For information, call 281-888-9677 or visit 14pews.org. $10 to $11. — Susie Tommaney

If touring Chinatown and the International District on a guided bus tour is on your bucket list, then don't miss the Asian Heritage Bus Tour presented by the Chinese Community Center. This immersive, four and a half hour experience takes native Houstonians and out-of-towners on an intriguing tour of the culture, shopping and food that can be found in southwest Houston. Stops include the Shaolin Temple Cultural Center, Mulan Asian Market, Hong Kong City Mall, Ten Yen Tea & Herbs and the Chung Mei Temple. Lunch is included at one of Chinatown's many eateries; previous tours have highlighted Ocean Palace Restaurant and Banana Leaf Malaysian Restaurant. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 29. 9800 Town Park Drive. For information, call 713, 271-6100, extension 105, or visit ccchouston.org/tour. $35. — Susie Tommaney

Award-winning Grand Ole Opry members Riders in the Sky have been preserving western music traditions with their cowboy music and comedy for decades. Now the fringe-tastic, cowboy hat wearing performers are teaming up again for A Salute to Roy Rogers, King of the Cowboys at The Grand 1894 Opera House. For more than 30 years the Riders (Ranger Doug, Too Slim, Woody Paul and Joey the Cowpolka King) have been the keepers of the flame of western music and have evolved into legends in their own right, adding their own signature dose of wacky humor and way-out western wit. So come along all you buckaroos and buckarettes, head on down to Galveston and enjoy "The Cowboy Way" for one night only. 8 p.m. July 29. 2020 Postoffice, Galveston. For information, call 800-821-1894 or visit thegrand.com. $23.40 to $100. — Susie Tommaney

Sunday, July 30

What's right is wrong. What's up is down. Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a TCM big-screen classic. Say what? Dude, anybody who has ever been forced to wear an embarrassing hat to work a greasy fast-food job will remember this classic high-school romp. The stars-in-the-making are all grown up now, but it's hard to forget surfer Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn), teen heartthrobs Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates), the stern Mr. Hand (Ray Walston) and Judge Reinhold as the pirate hat-attired Brad Hamilton. With screenplay by Cameron Crowe and direction by Amy Heckerling, it's no wonder this now-classic flick has stood the test of time. Fathom Events is putting this 1980s comedy on the big screen, along with exclusive commentary from TCM host Ben Mankiewicz. 2 and 7 p.m. July 30 and August 2. Edwards Houston Marq*E Stadium 23 & IMAX, 7600 Katy Freeway. Price varies by location; visit fathomevents.com for list of participating venues. $13.53. — Susie Tommaney

Wondering about the vibe of DUB magazine’s Monster Energy DUB Show, currently traveling all over the country? Check this out: “Had a blazt tha atmosphere was live, tha women and tha carz waz on point, and tha performances waz 2 Turntup,” wrote an unidentified attendee on the Ticketmaster site. (Sounds pretty chill.) The traveling custom car show features hundreds of hot wheels, ranging from tricked-out cars and trucks to Jeeps, motorcycles and low riders. Also featured are performances by Gucci Mane, Kyle, LeCrae, Slim Thug, Baby Bash, Z-Ro, Dat Boi T, GT Garza, BeatKing, and our favorite auto-themed nom de guerre, Propain, a Houston-based rapper who will perform his hits “2 Rounds” and “Got a Problem.” Noon to 6 p.m. July 30. NRG Center, 1 NRG Park. For information, call 832-667-1400 or visit dubshowtour.com. $25 to $100. — Steve Jansen

Splish, splash, it’s a water bash with Wet’n’Wild SplashTown’s Texas Fest, a family-friendly party with all the 80-acre park’s great rides. Slide down the six-story-tall Alien Chaser, get dizzy on the Big Spin, or catch the waves on FlowRider. Or if you prefer, kick back and relax in the Paradise River. Marketing director Rosie Shepard backs it up by saying, “We offer a lot for everyone. We’re Houston’s largest water park.” Plus, the park has teamed up with Rudy’s BBQ to offer some good eats. Since it wouldn’t be Texas without a little twang, local group The Justin Taylor Band will perform at 1 and 3 p.m. on the Wave Pool concert stage. 10 a.m. July 30. 21300 Interstate 45 North. For information, call 281-355-3300 or visit wetnwildsplashtown.com. $32.99 to $45.99. — Sam Byrd

Monday, July 31

Straight out of the imaginations of the incomparable Wachowskis comes Speed Racer. Part adrenaline-fueled romp, part candy-colored senses-buster, the 2008 film returns to the big screen as part of the Alamo Drafthouse’s Kids Camp Screenings, with 100 percent of the ticket sales donated to local nonprofits. “We have a variety of charities in the Houston area, and we make donations throughout the school year: everything from food banks to community and school organizations,” says Alamo Programming Director Robert Saucedo. Chosen by a team of young Austin film buffs, Speed Racer likely has plenty of fans of all ages eager to see those neon colors on the big screen. Saucedo assures us all are welcome: “It’s ages 0 to 100+, absolutely.” 11:30 a.m. July 31. Also 11:30 a.m. July 28 and August 1-2. 531 South Mason, Katy. For information, call 281-492-6900 or visit drafthouse.com. $1 to $5. — Vic Shuttee

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