Six Must-Attend Events: Feb. 8-15
The state's top events and offerings, from parking at a drive-in theater with your sweetheart to channeling your inner cowboy at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.
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Shop Till You Drop
Macy’s announced last month that it is closing its department store in downtown Houston. The property owner said the historic building would be torn down and replaced with a new one. And while the building will soon be gone, it will not be forgotten. The Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park is currently showing “Foley’s Department Store: Houston’s Community Partner, 1900-2005,” an exhibition celebrating Foley’s, the retailer that originally owned the building, and its imprint on Houston. “We have a really wonderful image of a huge crowd of people outside waiting to get in on opening day” in 1947, said Ginger Berni, the exhibition coordinator. “And they were all dressed up. It was really meant to be an all-day affair. You could eat, get your hair done and shop.” The exhibition, open through this weekend only, chronicles the store’s role in World War II (through the sale of war bonds), its integration of women and minorities into its staffing, its propagation of mall culture through expansion into the suburbs, and its philanthropic contributions to the city, which range from hosting the annual Thanksgiving Day parade to sponsoring Little League teams. “The Girl Scouts uniform in the exhibition is mine,” Berni said. “Foley’s was the official retailer. If you were in the Girls Scouts, that’s where you went.”
The Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park, February 8-9, 10 a.m., heritagesociety.org
Kris Kristofferson, the Brownsville native, finds strength in numbers. Without Janis Joplin, “Me and Bobby McGee” probably wouldn’t have become a timeless hit, and his partnership with Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson produced the chart-topping supergroup the Highwaymen. “Kris has been a forty-year influence on my life and work,” Turk Pipkin, a writer and actor who has worked on several films with Kristofferson, wrote in an email. Pipkin, who founded the Nobelity Project, a humanitarian organization composed of Nobel laureates and other thought leaders who raise awareness of global issues, will present Kristofferson, 76, the Willie Nelson “Feed the Peace” Award on Sunday. This is in part because Kristofferson “has never been afraid to stand up and speak out for what he believes in—oftentimes against popular opinion,” Pipkin said. An ensemble cast of about thirty Texas musicians, including Ray Benson, Hayes Carll, and the husband-and-wife team Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis, will perform a playlist of Kristofferson’s songs as part of a tribute concert at the Artists & Filmmakers Dinner benefiting the Nobelity Project. The evening will climax in an all-star jam, but before that Kristofferson will play. And he will share “Me and Bobby McGee” once again, this time with Carolyn Wonderland, the Joplin-esque blues singer.
Four Seasons Hotel, February 10, 6 p.m., nobelity.org
The Sporting Life
Rodeo, not football, should be considered the official sport of Texas. Though both surfaced around the same time—the West of the Pecos Rodeo, the first ever rodeo, was founded in 1883, and the first football game in Texas, involving the University of Texas, was played in 1893—rodeo seems the purer manifestation of Texans’ inherently rugged spirit. The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, trademarked “World’s Original Indoor Rodeo,” appeals to our modern sensibility—one that favors air-conditioning, concession stands and smartphone apps. This is the final weekend of the three-week event, culminating in Champions’ Saturday, a grand finale that includes Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association bull riding alongside the Rabbit Show.
Will Rogers Memorial Center, February 8-9, 8 a.m., fwssr.com
Jerry Jeff Walker, a pioneer of the cosmic-cowboy movement; Joe Ely, an ambassador of the Lubbock “flatland” sound, and Paula Nelson, the blues-singing daughter of Willie Nelson, all purvey different styles but are united by a singer-songwriter aesthetic that tends to heighten the emotion in the delivery of their songs. Expect them to ratchet up their consistently dynamic performances at Boots on the Beach, the afternoon music festival at 21st and Seawall, occurring during Mardi Gras. The sun-soaked revelers are all but guaranteed to wear little yet make a lot of noise.
Beach Central Park, February 8, 4 p.m., galveston.com
It is unlikely you will ever get to fly the celestial skies, but you can get close at Deep Sky Objects, a concert by Musiqa featuring a soprano soloist and poetry about lost love in deep space, accompanied by a piano quintet and electronics, all set against NASA photographs of star fields.
Space Center Houston, February 13, 11:30 a.m. and 5:45 p.m., musiqahouston.org
If you want to impress your sweetheart, consider the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In, where the Valentine’s week programming—including showings of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Say Anything, and True Romance—appeals to all sorts of amorous sensibilities.
Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In, February 8-15, bluestarlitedrivein.com