Culture / Entertainment

7 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend — the Anti-Hamilton, the Ultimate Dance Party and Jazz Fever

The Weekend Gurus' Events Guide

BY Matthew Ramirez and Virginia Reynolds // 05.30.19

Houston weekends are packed full of events, but how many of them are truly worthy of your time? PaperCity‘s new events calendar offers a curated look at all the best things to do in the area. But everyone can still use a guru.

PaperCity’s Weekend Gurus Matthew Ramirez and Virginia Reynolds cull our calendar for your weekend must dos in this weekly series.


Even if you haven’t seen it or taken a couple seconds to listen to its soundtrack, I can safely assume we’re all familiar with the award-winning Broadway musical Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s masterful creation got adults excited and interested in the beginnings of our country. Buying $900-plus tickets interested.

But if you want to shake things up a bit (and maybe stand out from the Hamilton-loving followers), head to Zilkha Hall at The Hobby Center for Spamilton: An American Parody, which, as you might guess, is a spoof of the beloved Hamilton. Gerard Alessandrini, who created Forbidden Broadway, is the mastermind behind the musical that brings an edge to the history-lesson original.

Instead of the song “Alexander Hamilton,” you get “Lin-Manuel As Himilton”; and “Aaron Burr, Sir” becomes “Aaron Burr, Sir, Nervous-er”. Though the music in the spoof are a spin on the original Hamilton, you don’t have to have seen Hamilton to enjoy and laugh along.

The show runs through Sunday, June 9. Tickets start at $41.


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Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

SpamiltonPhoto by Roger Mastroianni
Photo by Roger Mastroianni

Jerry Schatzberg Rolls into Town

Fresh off the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s recent exclusive showing of the incendiary but thrilling 1979 Rolling Stones documentary C.S. Blues directed by acclaimed 20th-century photographer Robert Frank, MFAH Films brings the work of another photographer-turned-director into town.

This time, it’s Jerry Schatzberg, who directed a trio of movies in the 1970s every bit as idiosyncratic and groundbreaking as the ones from his ’70s contemporaries Coppola and Sidney Lumet. The museum will screen Schatzberg’s best-known work, 1971’s The Panic in Needle Park, featuring Al Pacino in his first starring role, alongside 1973’s Scarecrow, starring Pacino and Gene Hackman, and his 1970 debut, the mournful and elegaic Puzzle of a Downfall Child, with Faye Dunaway.

Schatzberg will hold court for two post-film conversations, as well. Friday, May 31, will feature Schatzberg in conversation with Houston Public Media’s Ernie Manouse after a 7 pm showing of The Panic in Needle Park. Saturday, June 1, following the 7 pm presentation of Scarecrow, Schatzberg will dialogue with Michael Zilkha, co-chair of the MFAH Film Committee.

Lastly, in a free event, Schatzberg will discuss his photography career with MFAH Curator of Photography, Malcolm Daniel, Sunday, June 2, at 3:30 pm. Immediately following will be a showing of Puzzle of a Downfall Child at 5 pm (a ticket is required to see the movie).

For more info, click here. – Matthew Ramirez

Dancing Colors

One of my favorite scenes in the 2014 summer film Begin Again is when the two lead characters, played by Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo, head to a New York City club in the wee hours of the morning to dance the night away on their not-quite-date date. They walk in and edge their way to the dance floor among fellow club-goers, with the deep sounds of the bass consuming any surrounding sound.

But instead of dancing to the deep club beats, Knightly and Ruffalo, who are sporting split headphones, blare their own music and dance to the tune of Stevie Wonder’s For Once in My Life. It’s a personal dance party.

On Saturday, June 1 you can experience something similar at CityPlace, as it celebrates summer with a Silent Disco Vibe party. Slip on a set of wireless, LED headphones at the mixed-use development in Springwoods Village for three channels of music, including two DJs.

Depending on the music you choose, your headphones will change colors. Picture a sea of dancing and colors.

The party will last deep into the night with beer, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages sold at a cash bar on the plaza, with tasty bites available at SwitcHouse Plates & Pours, and reverse happy hour after the set.

Headphone rentals are $5 each and can be reserved online or secured during the event.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Support Local

Make your Saturday a day of art and charitable causes at the Heartmade Art Market, which is returning to Main Street Square for its Spring show. More than 75 local and regional artists will gather at the downtown spot to sell their best wares, including apparel, jewelry, home goods, and art.

The art market was conceived and created by Tracy Manor Carlson (Tracy Carlson Photography) and Sonja Fulbright (Crush Design Co,).

Heartmade Art Market
Shop from local artists and vendors at the Spring 2019 Heartmade Art Market.

What sets this curated market apart from others, however, is that not only will it showcase the best of Texas art for event-goers and benefit the artists in attendance, but it will be a day to honor and assist hardworking artists throughout the Houston area as well. The Spring 2019 market will donate all proceeds from booth fees to Artists for Artists, a nonprofit organization here in Houston that provides Emergency Relief Grants to eligible artists who may be experiencing career-threatening emergencies.

The day will also include a beer and wine garden, entertainment from DJ Dayta, an activity zone, food from THE WAFFLE BUS and Happy Endings, treats from Steel City Pops, lawn games and more.

The all-day event is free to attend.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Latino Art Now!

Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A. is a traveling exhibition that enters its final weekend at Lawndale Art Center. One of the highlights of this spring’s sprawling citywide Latino Art Now! exhibitions, Axis Mundo examines the vast network of queer Latinx and Chicanx artists from Los Angeles between the late 1960s through the ’90s.

As suggested by its title, Axis Mundo in particular highlights the work of Edmundo “Mundo” Meza, a painter, performer, installation artist, and designer. Meza collaborated with many of the 50-plus artists in the expansive show, serving as the skeleton key towards understanding the emerging and intersecting scenes of queer art, and political and social justice activism in the latter half of the 20th century.

Axis Mundo serves as the first historical contextualization and significant curation of many of these essential and groundbreaking artists’ work. It closes this Sunday, June 2 and is on view at the Lawndale Art Center. As usual, entrance to Lawndale is free. – Matthew Ramirez

Sunday Jazz

Houston is known for many things, and its diversity of music is certainly a trademark of the city. This weekend will be a jazz fan’s delight as smooth jazz takes over the Wortham Theater Sunday, June 2. Saxophonist, composer, and producer Eric Darius and keyboardist Jeff Lorber will take center stage to entertain with their mesmerizing and catchy tunes.

Darius is considered to be one of the most exciting musicians in the contemporary jazz scene. He masterfully melds the sounds of smooth saxophone with up-tempo and modern beats. His 2018 release Dare 2 Dreamis the perfect example of this. The song begins simply, then dynamically progresses to include a variety of instruments and musical elements.

Lorber maintains the clean sound of the keyboard in his smooth jazz hits, but still keeps things fresh and contemporary. In January 2018, he won his first Grammy for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for his Jeff Lorber Fusion recording Prototype.

Tickets start at $53.50.

Go to the full PaperCity events calendar listing.

Here Comes the Cowboy

Mitski Miyawaki, better known as Mistki, has rocketed to a level of indie-rock fame that was no guarantee. I first discovered her five years ago off the low-stakes pleasures of her 2014 record, Bury Me at Makeout Creek. When 2016’s bigger and bolder Puberty 2 came out, I saw her at Walter’s (R.I.P.) and found myself amidst a sold-out crowd, which I did not expect.

Last year’s Be the Cowboy was released to nearly universal acclaim, and firmly established Mitski as an independent artist whose star mirrors the rise of other independent, but widely known acts such as St. Vincent, Snail Mail and Mac DeMarco.

Be the Cowboy was Mitski’s breakout moment, foregoing the ’90s-inspired haze and distortion of her previous records with a newfound clarity and pop-influenced songwriting. She comes to the downstairs stage at White Oak Music Hall Wednesday, June 5, with doors opening at 7 pm and tickets starting at $22.

Considering grabbing your tickets now if you want to go. This show will most likely sell out. – Matthew Ramirez

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