Six Must-Attend Events: August 15-21
The state's top offerings, from a sneak peek of Robert Rodriguez's latest film to the healing power of creativity on display.
The Relatives, the Dallas gospel group that formed in 1970, broke up five years later, and reformed in 2009, will play Godfearing music that everyone can get down to Friday night. The two brothers who started the band, Gean and Tommie West, have brought to the pulpit the funk music popularized in the late sixties by acts like James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic, and Sly and the Family Stone. This is especially evident in the song “Don’t Let Me Fall,” the title track for the Relatives’ compilation album released by Heavy Light Records a few years ago. “It’s definitely the best single track the guys ever cut,” said Zach Ernst, the Austin backing guitarist for the new incarnation of the group. “Raw production, blazing guitar, heavy lyrics.” Daptone Records, the Brooklyn label for bands like Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, recently reissued the single as a seven-inch on its Ever-Soul imprint. The B side includes “Leave Something Worthwhile,” a track that was recorded in 1975 by Phil York, the Dallas engineer who produced Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger album. The Continental Club show will celebrate this reissue. Not only will it mark the return of Charles Ray Mitchell, the Relatives’ original guitarist, after a forty-year absence, but the opening act will be the Austin quartet-style gospel group the Original Bells of Joy, formed in 1947.
The Continental Club, Aug. 15, 10 p.m., continentalclub.com
New Old Friends
The Alley Theatre’s latest season will open at a different venue, the University of Houston’s Wortham Theatre, with a relatively new production, The Old Friends, by Horton Foote, the Texas writer. The Wortham will be the temporary home for the Tony Award-winning theater company, whose building on Texas Avenue is undergoing a season-long, $73 million capital campaign renovation. While Foote, a Pulitzer Prize winner who also received Academy Awards for the original screenplay Tender Mercies and the adapted screenplay To Kill A Mockingbird, wrote The Old Friends more than thirty years ago, it was not until 2013 that the play received a stage production, off Broadway at the Signature Theatre. The Alley Theatre’s version will retain that production’s director, Michael Wilson, as well as many of the actors, including the Tony Award winner Betty Buckley, the Tony nominee Veanne Cox, and Hallie Foote, the playwright’s daughter, in its dramatization of the scandal that arises in a small community upon the return of the town beauty, who has been long gone but not forgotten.
Wortham Theatre, Aug. 15 to Sept. 7, alleytheatre.org
Those seeking help at the Bridge, a Dallas homeless recovery center, do not make art because they aspire to fame. For them it is about the process, not the product—a way to perhaps take their minds off of their circumstances. This weekend will mark the close of the for-sale art exhibit “From the Street,” with artists from the Bridge Art Group, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and several local missions. A reception on Saturday will offer an opportunity to meet some of the artists, including Dennis D. Mitchell, who is better known as “Bubba One Eye” Mitchell. Mitchell was a professional driver, auto-paint specialist, and tattooist who became blind and homeless. Through the Bridge, he received medical care for glaucoma, regained some of his eyesight, and secured an apartment that now doubles as his studio, where he creates pieces that are shown and sold throughout Dallas.
Creative Arts Center of Dallas, Aug. 15-16, 10 a.m., creativeartscenter.org
A Taste of the City
According to Trulia, the real estate website, San Antonio ranks second on the list of most desirable cities for millennials. That ranking has a lot to do with jobs, of course, but entertainment options are also a factor, and in the Alamo City, restaurants are a significant addition to the quality of life. During San Antonio Restaurant Week, foodies on a millennial’s tight budget can sample fare from almost eighty of the city’s finer culinary establishments as well as eight roving food trucks.
Various locations, Aug. 16-23, culinariasa.org
Sixteen of the eighteen hummingbird species regularly seen in Texas have been spotted in the Davis Mountains, and ornithologists suspect it is only a matter of time until a seventeenth species is seen, making this weekend’s Davis Mountains Hummingbird Festival, with ten designated viewing locations, a splendid occasion for discovery.
Various locations, Aug. 21-23, fortdavis.com
After Wednesday’s screening of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For in Austin, two days before its national release, moviegoers may want to know where Robert Rodriguez, the filmmaker, took artistic license with the graphic novels by Frank Miller on which the film is based. Fittingly, there will be a question-and-answer session with Rodriguez afterward.
The Paramount Theatre, Aug. 20, 7 p.m., austinfilm.org