Home » The Arts & Happenings

The Arts & Happenings June 2016

(Photo - National Museum of Funeral History)

(Photo – National Museum of Funeral History)


Inspired by the April 27, 2014 canonization mass at the Vatican that elevated Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII to saints, the National Museum of Funeral History is opening a new permanent section of its Celebrating the Lives & Deaths of the Popes exhibit entitled “The Making of a Saint” on June 1. The new addition to the popular exhibit offers visitors the unique opportunity to learn more about the process of becoming a saint, from beatification to canonization, and features new papal artifacts as well as a special collection of Saint John Paul II memorabilia, including an authentic 1982 Range Rover “Popemobile” used by Saint John Paul II in the 1980s during his tour of the United Kingdom.

“The Making of a Saint” showcases the sainthood of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII, a significant rarity, as only one pope since the 1500s –– Pope Pius X, who died in 1914 –– has been added to the list of popes canonized for sainthood. The exhibit features an authentic sash worn by Saint John Paul II during his papacy and photographs from the Vatican of his body being moved from the Vatican grotto where he was originally interred to his new resting place in St. Peter’s Basilica during his beatification process in May 2011, when his first miracle was identified and proven and the second was being confirmed.

For more information, visit nmfh.org.



Hans Graf makes his Texas Music Festival conducting debut on June 18.

Hans Graf makes his Texas Music Festival conducting debut on June 18.


This summer the 27th Annual Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival (TMF) will chart several musical firsts, including the TMF debut of distinguished Austrian conductor Hans Graf, who holds the distinction of having been the longest serving Music Director in Houston Symphony history. The June 3 – July 2 international music residency, based at the University of Houston (UH) Moores School of Music, attracts classical music’s rising stars from top tier music conservatories worldwide to study and perform in concert with world-class soloists, conductors and faculty artists at the UH Moores Opera House and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

TMF Orchestra Series opens Saturday, June 11 with a rich “Roman Holiday”-themed musical getaway. Mark Hughes, Houston Symphony principal trumpet, will provide fitting fanfare as guest soloist under the baton of TMF Music director and chief Conductor Franz Anton Krager.

For Week 2, June 18, Hans Graf will conduct three musical firsts: Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 13; Webern: Passacaglia, Op. 1; and Berg: Three Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6.

Week 3 will be “The Audience’s Guide to the Orchestra,” TMF’s first approach to an orchestral “primer” program for classical music lovers of all ages. Guest Conductor Mei-Ann Chen will be on the podium for the June 24-25 concerts, which will boast the student winner of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition as soloist.

The Grand Finale on Saturday, July 2, features Richard Strauss: An Alpine Symphony, Op. 64 and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante for Four Winds, Op. 297b spotlighting four of TMF’s faculty members with native Texan Carl St. Clair conducting. For a full calendar of events, visit uh.edu/class/music/tmf/.



The Houston Civil War Round Table is an organization that hosts authors and historians who present the history of various events during the American Civil War. Meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month, except for the summer months (June, July and August). The group meets at the Hess Club, 5430 Westheimer Rd. Networking begins at 6 p.m, dinner at 7 p.m. and the speaker at 7:45 p.m. There is a charge for dinner. For information and to RSVP, visit houstoncivilwar.com.




Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is encouraging quilters from across the Lone Star State to participate in the Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) 2016 Quilt Block Competition. This year’s quilt competition theme is Texas Wine and Floral – Two Texas Treasures. This theme was chosen to celebrate two shining industries in Texas that complement each other beautifully.

“The best things in life spring from the Texas earth,” Miller said. “The same rich Texas soil that gives birth to the wine grape brings to life a wide array of colorful Texas plants. When you pair these two Texas treasures together, you will make the ultimate Lone Star statement.”

As in previous years, each contestant will use a variety of fabrics to create a quilt block to submit to TDA. A panel of judges will select the winning entries, which will be pieced together into a quilt and unveiled in Septem­ber at TDA’s Food and Fiber Pavilion at the 2016 State Fair of Texas. At the conclusion of the State Fair, the quilt will become part of TDA’s popular quilt collection. The final quilt will be designed and constructed by Terri Vogds of Denton and quilted by Maria Hall of Flower Mound.

There is a $20 fee for each participant packet, which includes the fabrics to be used in the design, tips and techniques for developing the block and additional information about the contest theme.A limited number of packets are available.

To participate, email gotexan@Texas­Agriculture.gov or download a participant form at gotexan.org. The deadline for submissions is June 10.


Grand Teton National Park by Barbara Able.

Grand Teton National Park by Barbara Able.


Barbara Able’s exhibition, Alla Prima and Sprezzatura, will be on view at the Archway Gallery June 4 through July 6. The artist will be available to visit with guests during the opening reception on Saturday, June 4 from 5-8 p.m. with an artist’s talk at 6:30 p.m.

Inspired by the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, Able paints dramatic scenes of large mountains. She employs the alla prima (wet-on-wet) technique to build up her surfaces, using a series of transparent layers and thrown paint. This requires a loose way of working, which gives her paintings a sense of spontaneity and freshness. Able embraces the unpredictable results that cause her oils and watercolors to “bloom” in unpredictable ways. Years of studying classical life drawing and landscape painting have provided Able with the foundation to create large, expressive landscape paintings.

Along with the paintings, Able presents a series of collages that reveal a sprezzatura attitude toward mass media. Sprezzatura is an Italian word that means “a certain nonchalance making whatever one does appear to be without effort…” Figures seem to move around the page, leaping over and sliding under one another. Interference paint (transparent paint with mica chips) applied to the surface adds another element to the thought-provoking compositions.

This is Able’s second one-person show at Archway Gallery, where she has been a member for three years. She has a B.F.A. in studio art from the University of Texas.Visit ArchwayGallery.com for more information.


Celebrate Superman’s birthday at the Children’s Museum on June 25 at 2 p.m.

Celebrate Superman’s birthday at the Children’s Museum on June 25 at 2 p.m.


Crack codes. Uncover Clues. Outsmart villains. This summer, the Children’s Museum of Houston is officially launching its S.E.C.R.E.T. exhibit and celebrating what it takes to be a S.E.C.R.E.T. agent. June events are as follows:

Go, Go, Gadget! June 9 – 22, all day – Make your own spy gadgets and devices. Use technology to create art in paint spinning machine. Make mirrored glasses to make sure no one is following behind you. Reveal secret spy messages when you devise red filter lenses. Blend into your environment when you make a spy disguise.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Special Appearance, June 11, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. – The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMTN) will swing by for an action-packed appearance. Cowabunga! Leonardo, Raphael, Dona­tello, and Michelangelo will take a break from outsmarting villains to visit. Prepare for mutant mania as these heroes rumble and tumble their way into the hearts of Houston’s coolest TMNT fans. Bring your camera.

Masters Of Disguise, June 23 – July 6, all day – Change your appearance to fly under the radar and hide in plain sight. Disguise your name as an abstract work of art. See if you can spot camouflaged creatures disguising them­selves in their natural environments. Cut out mustaches, bowties, beards, and glasses to make your disguise.

Superman’s Birthday, June 25, at 2 p.m. – Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. You’re invited to Superman’s birthday! The Man of Steel will “fly in” for a supersized bash. Batman and Wonder Woman will also be in attendance.

For more information and a full schedule of activities, visit cmhouston.org.


The Heights Fun Run is one of the oldest and most popular 5K races in the city.

The Heights Fun Run is one of the oldest and most popular 5K races in the city.


Get ready to kick off summer right by taking your place in the Houston Heights Association’s 31st Annual Heights Fun Run, scheduled for Saturday, June 4.

The annual family-friendly event begins and ends in the Houston Heights Association’s Marmion Park in the 1800 block of Heights Boulevard, and includes a 5K Run, a 5K Walk and a Kids 1K race. On-site registration will start at 6:15 a.m. with the Fun Run starting at 7:30 a.m., the Walk at 7:35 a.m. and the Kids 1K at 8:30 a.m.

“Our neighborhood is host to one of Houston’s oldest and most popular 5K races,” said Damian Ogier, HHA event chair and race director. “For the last 30 years runners, walkers and spectators young and old have gathered on Heights Boulevard for the Houston Heights Association’s annual Heights Fun Run.”

Certified by both USA Track and Field and the USA Track and Field Gulf Coast Associa­tion, the 5K course, along scenic Heights Boulevard, will provide a run with a view. Individual 5K runners’ timing will be tracked with disposable timing chips and conducted by Run Wild Sports Timing. The Kids 1K race will not be timed.

The entry fee for the Fun Run and Walk is $25 through May 31, rising to $30 on June 1, and the Kids 1K starts at $15, changing to $20 effective June 1. To pre-register, visit houstonheights.org.

For more information, call the Houston Heights Association at 713-861-4002, ext. 7, or email funrun@houstonheights.org.


Abby Mueller as Carole King.

Abby Mueller as Carole King.


Broadway at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby Street, presents Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. The musical, which will run May 31-June5, tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.

Featuring a stunning array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, including “I Feel The Earth Move,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend” and the title song, Beautiful has a book by Tony Award-nominee and Academy Award-nominated writer Douglas McGrath and choreography by Josh Prince, and took home two 2014 Tony Awards.

Shows are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

For more information, call 800-982-ARTS or visit BroadwayAtTheHobbyCenter.com or TheHobbyCenter.org.




The Houston Symphony pays homage to late rock legend David Bowie during the Summer Series at Jones Hall opener on June 11 in a program featuring the orchestra along with a full, amplified rock band in celebration of the artist’s unforgettable sounds.

Led by Brent Havens, known for his arrangements of popular symphonic rock programs, such as the Music of Michael Jackson and the Music of Led Zeppelin, the Music of David Bowie celebrates the artist’s astounding career, which spans five decades and includes an estimated 140 million albums sold worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Visit houstonsymphony.org for more information.


Emily Koch as Elphaba

Emily Koch as Elphaba


Wicked, Broadway’s biggest blockbuster will return to the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts July 6-Aug. 14. Tickets for the return engagement are on sale now.

Wicked is the winner of over 100 international major awards, including a Grammy and three Tony Awards.

The surprising tale of an unlikely friendship between two women in the Land of Oz, Wicked tells the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good, long before Dorothy drops in. Elphaba, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. Glinda is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. The remarkable odyssey of how these unexpected friends changed each other’s lives for good has made this one of the world’s most popular musicals.

Tickets start at $40. For single tickets, call 800-982-2787 or visit BroadwayAtTheHob­byCenter.com or TheHobbyCenter.org. Tickets will be available at the Hobby Center Box Office (800 Bagby) and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Group sales are offered for groups of 15 or more and are available by calling 888-451-5986.

For a full list of performance dates and times, visit houston.broadway.com/­shows/­wicked-ss2/


From Let the Right One In, Rebecca Benson.

From Let the Right One In, Rebecca Benson.


Gregory Boyd, artistic director of the Tony Award-winning Alley Theatre, announces eight productions for its 2016-2017 season. They include the world premiere of NSangou Njikam’s Hip Hop play Syncing Ink; a new musical based on the beloved novel and Walt Disney motion pictures Freaky Friday; the National Theatre of Scotland’s internationally acclaimed Let the Right One In; a celebration of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary with the comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Arthur Miller’s classic drama A View from the Bridge; the recent Broadway hit Hand to God by Texas playwright Robert Askins; new play, Dry Powder, by Sarah Burgess; and David Javerbaum’s critically acclaimed comedy An Act of God.

To purchase tickets or to request a season brochure, visit alleytheatre.org.


“Radhe Radhe.” Still photo by Prashant Bhargava. Vijay Iyer draws on his rich Indian heritage to present an explosive work of music and film inspired by Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Holi, the ancient Hindu festival of colors.

“Radhe Radhe.” Still photo by Prashant Bhargava. Vijay Iyer draws on his rich Indian heritage to present an explosive work of music and film inspired by Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Holi, the ancient Hindu festival of colors.


Da Camera of Houston, the presenter of chamber music and jazz events, announces its 2016/2017 season of concerts. Themed Roots, the season’s programming centers on musicians and composers who delve into their personal histories and cultural heritages to explore the deep sources of their inspiration. Across styles and genres, these artists rely on experiences of childhood, ethnic identity and historic influences to create a style uniquely their own.

Shows continue through May 5, 2017. Subscrip­tions are on sale now. To purchase tickets or to request a season brochure, visit dacamera.com.


Layout 1


Celebrating 50 years of “bringing the world’s best to Houston,” Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) has announced its 2016-2017 season, full of both returning favorites and all-new Houston debuts.

“Our goal every season is to bring a wide selection of the world’s best performing artists to the stages of Houston, and this 50th anniversary season continues that tradition,” June Christensen, SPA’s CEO and President, said. “From such perennial Houston favorites as STOMP and David Sedaris to performances like Joey Alexander and the Underwater Bubble Show that are making their Houston debuts, the 2016-2017 season for SPA offers something for fans of nearly every performing art form.”

The new season features an expanded lineup of family programming with two series: the Family Fun Jr. Series, geared towards younger kids ages 4-10, and the Family Fun Series, with shows for the entire family. Things kick off with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE (Oct. 9), featuring Daniel Tiger and his friends from the hit PBS television series in an interactive musical adventure through the vibrant world of the iconic Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Centered around another PBS show, Odd Squad LIVE, will also make its Houston debut (Jan. 21), with Kid Agents Otto and Olive.

Rounding out this season’s Family Fun Jr. Series will be the Underwater Bubble Show (Oct. 28), a cutting-edge, immersive show straight from Latvia. In addition, the Family Fun Series will include shows for the entire family, leading off with Cirque Dreams HOLIDAZE (Nov. 18-20), a holiday extravaganza that blends circus performers with Broadway musical staging. Other offerings include the legendary STOMP (Feb. 10-12), Annie the Musical (April 8-9), and a one-of-a-kind brand new tour from Australia, Circus 1903 (June 9 -11), that celebrates the golden age of the circus.

For more information and a full schedule, call 713-227-4772 or visit spahouston.org.




Moody Gardens is offering some new entertainment and traditional favorites at Palm Beach as this popular private beach attraction opens for the summer.

Guests are invited to sink their toes in white sand, lounge beneath palm trees and splash amongst a variety of beach attractions. Visitors can even enjoy concerts and fireworks. Palm Beach will open weekends beginning May 21, including Memorial Day before opening daily for the summer season June 4 through August 21. As the summer season comes to an end, Palm Beach will be open weekends only August 27 through September 10, including Labor Day.

Visitors can enjoy the interactive 650-foot lazy river, wave pool and two 18-foot tower slides. Other attractions include beach volleyball on regulation courts and the Aquarium Adventure play area. The Splashpad automated aquatic water feature offers interactive dump buckets, spray arches and fountains for a day of fun at the beach. Palm Beach admission is $23.95 for adults, $17.95 for children and seniors, or $55 for a season pass. Children ages three and under are free.

Visitors can make it a weekend of entertainment with the popular Bands on the Sand summer concert series at Palm Beach. Beginning June 4, this live music series runs throughout the summer following each show with fireworks over the Moody Gardens pyramids and Offatts Bayou. Admission to each concert is $15 and free for kids three and under. Bands on the Sand will be held from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday through August 13. Some of the area’s top local and regional bands will perform. For a complete schedule visit moodygardens.org or call 800-582-4673.

Comments are closed.