The Drop Everything List
The Border Art Biennial, the Hot Rod Revolution, JFK, and Via Colori . . .
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 19–NOV 25]
A Bilingual Biennial
The 43 artists participating in the second iteration of the Border Art Biennial have either lived in both Mexico and the United States or on the border separating them.
That dual nationality is captured in works like Oscar Moya’s Cholo, a politically and stereotypically charged screen print of a young Latino man, wearing athletic apparel and chilling with his pit bulls in front of a border wall and a bright orange sign that reads “Boundary of the United States of America.” It’s not apparent which side the man is standing on, and maybe that’s the point: Whatever divides the two countries, they are entwined through immigration, commerce, and culture.
The biennial opens Saturday at the El Paso Museum of Art, which will contribute the works on display in conjunction with the Museo de Arte INBA de Ciudad Juarez. It is a celebration of freedom—as reiterated by the free admission—and a vote of support for an area plagued by violence.
El Paso Museum of Art, Nov. 20, noon.
The Roth and Ronnow 1927 T-Roadster. The Khougaz Roadster. The King and Hansen Belly Tank. Getting a close-up look at these and another hundred or so pre-1948 hot rods and customs is the point of the Hot Rod Revolution, a car show to beat all car shows.
Started five years ago in Santa Rosa, California, as a party for finicky gear-heads, it has moved to Austin this year because the city is an equally friendly environment for engine-revving. Needless to say, these are more than just old cars—they’re real-life pinups that have graced the covers of magazines and set speed records on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats.
Such a world-class lineup presupposes overbearing owners who don’t want you breathing on their wax job, but not so at the Revolution: No ropes will cordon off these rides from a fawning public. The setting, the decommissioned Seaholm Power Plant, doubles the pleasure with its panoramic riverside views.
Seaholm Power Plant, Nov. 20, 10 a.m.
Every year, the anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination brings forth conspiracy theories both usual and unusual. In 2010, the high court of speculation will be at the Texas Theatre, the movie house where Lee Harvey Oswald was apprehended. The 79-year-old venue, formerly a jewel of the Dallas scene but now a welfare case for patrons, will host screenings of two flicks that attempt to rewrite history.
Buttress your own hypotheses with fodder from Virtual JFK, a what-if scenario that imagines Kennedy was president during the Vietnam War, and Interview with the Assassin, a “documentary” about a terminally ill former Marine who confesses to being the second gunman on the grassy knoll—the one who really shot Kennedy.
“There should be a lot of head scratching and political seesawing afterwards,” said Jason Reimer, the theater’s new creative director.
The Texas Theatre, Nov. 19—22, various times.
Gospel, by George
The season of thanks is here, and George Jones gives his to God. The 79-year-old East Texas native quit his wild ways and walked down the path of the righteous before releasing his Gospel Collection double disc in 2003. Now he’s featured in a new book by Melanie Dunea, In My Country: 50 Musicians on God, America & the Songs They Love.
Jones, who was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame earlier this year, has been entertaining crowds for more than a half-century, but his truest accomplishment is finally finding what his idol and inspiration, Hank Williams, never did: redemption.
Saints and sinners alike should come out to the Majestic, with its gilded stage and sky-blue ceiling, to rejoice in that.
The Majestic Theatre, Nov. 19, 8 p.m.
Blooms Days Eighty thousand blooming poinsettias—in a kaleidoscope of colors and as tall as six feet—are the draw for the twentieth annual Poinsettia Celebration. (So is the open-to-the-public Blue Bell Ice Cream plant exactly 0.8 miles away.)
Ellison’s Greenhouses, Nov. 20 & 21.
The fifth annual Via Colori brings together 250 artists to transform boring-looking Houston pavement into a giant canvas—until the city (or the rain) wipes the slate clean.
Downtown, Nov. 20 & 21.
• • • • •
Five more gotta-see, gotta-do events that you can’t afford to miss.
By Melanie Gasmen
Beaujolais Wine Festival
Do a little noshing, some sipping (try the French and Texas offerings) and try your hand at bidding in a silent auction at this event that also features cabaret dancing, a fashion show by Texas’ Next Top Designer finalist Darian Thomas, and a meet-and-greet with Miss Texas 2010. Attendees are encouraged to wear a mask, so come with your best guise.
World Trade Center, Nov 19, 7–9:30 p.m.
The El Paso native hit it big in the sixties with hits such as “It Must Be Him” and then crossed over to the Latin music world during the eighties. She returns to her birth city to perform in a charity concert benefiting the Vikki Carr Scholarship foundation, which provides funding for El Paso medical students.
Abraham Chavez Theatre, Nov 20, 8 p.m.
Seaside Treasure Festival
Grab the family for early holiday shopping by the shore. The twelfth annual festival features more than one hundred arts and crafts vendors, a used book sale, pet adoptions, and a silent auction. Proceeds benefit Galveston outreach work.
Moody Methodist Church, Nov 19 & 20, various times.
Roger Waters: The Wall Live
Hey you. Yes, you. Calling all Pink Floyd fans, old and new, to Roger Waters’s reprise of the influential rock opera The Wall.
Toyota Center, Nov 20, 8 p.m.
Step back into time and have a look-see at a blacksmith shop, ride in a horse-drawn wagon, see a mock gun fight, take in the action during a Civil War reenactment, and more. Singer/songwriter K.R. Wood performs.
Chisholm Trail Outdoor Museum, Nov 19 & 20, various times.