Throw your plans out the window. We scoured the state in search of the top events and offerings, from the opera in Houston and Friday night lights in Odessa to surfing along the coast and hiking in the mountains. Here’s our super select guide to the things you absolutely can’t afford to miss.
[NOV 12– NOV 18]
A jazz giant’s birthday gig
No two Ornette Coleman shows are alike thanks to his innovative style. The avant-garde sax player calls it “harmolodics;” other people call it “free jazz.” Either way, it’s a calculated improvisational technique that, by nature, yields a different output every performance. Coleman, a Fort Worth native who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2007, turned eighty in March, and the Ornette Coleman Quartet’s show in Austin next week is one of only a handful of U.S. dates commemorating his birthday. Coleman has been at the top of his game for half a century, ever since he set the bar with his defining 1959 album, The Shape of Jazz to Come. Even if he has a bad night and plays to a fraction of his potential, it’s still worth hearing one of the last of the jazz giants blow his horn.
Bass Concert Hall, November 18, 8 p.m.
A sandwich for the record books
According to the National Peanut Board, the world’s largest peanut butter and jelly sandwich was made in Oklahoma City in 2002 and weighed nearly 900 pounds—that’s about 350 pounds of peanut butter, 144 pounds of jelly, and 400 loaves of bread. Organizers of the inaugural Great American Peanut Butter Festival in Grand Saline, a town of 3,000 an hour east of Dallas, intend to eat that record for lunch. “Being a native Texan, the thought that our rivals to the north in Oklahoma held the current record didn’t really sit well with me,” says “lead sandwich builder” Keith Parsons, whose goal is a 950-pound PB&J. This Saturday, the baking of enough fresh bread will commence, as will—with the aid of long boat oars—the lathering on of spreads. (Sorry, health regulations prevent crowd participation.) Fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches will be sold in Elvis’s honor, and the first peanut butter pageant queen will be crowned.
Downtown, November 13, various times.
The real lord of the dance
“My mother said that I danced before I was born,” Tommy Tune tells audiences in his new show, Steps in Time: A Broadway Biography in Song and Dance. The tall, chatty Wichita Falls native landed a role in the chorus of Baker Street the very day he arrived in New York, in 1965. But his talent soon substantiated his luck, and he went on to be a bona-fide triple-threat, incorporating singing and acting into a