A Great Weekend In Houston

Treat Your Mama Right If Mom is an arts lover, then your search for the perfect Mother's Day gift is over: Treat her to a weekend in Houston. You wouldn't want to subject her to the inevitable Friday afternoon traffic, so arrive Thursday, May 9, and enjoy a stroll around the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens (above), with its fourteen acres of formal gardens and woodland areas. On May 10 or May 11 catch English playwright Alan Ayckbourn's new comedies, House and Garden, which are being presented simultaneously—the cast races back and forth between two stages—at the Alley Theatre. The Alley recommends you see both, in either order, but the plays can be enjoyed individually as well. Make reservations for the obligatory Sunday brunch well in advance (try Backstreet Café or Ruggles Grill), and be sure to get tickets for the matinee performance of the Houston Grand Opera 's staging of Samson and Delilah, starring Denyce Graves (this will be her first Houston appearance since 1994). You're bound to be exhausted, but Mom, no doubt, will want to swing by the Museum of Fine Arts for the opening of "Americanos: Latino Life in the United States," a traveling exhibit of works by thirty photojournalists. It's quite an itinerary, but you know she's worth it. (See Houston.)

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