Six Must-Attend Events: August 16-August 18
The state's top offerings, from chef Stephan Pyles's farmer's market in San Antonio to the John Wesley Hardin Secret Society's reenactment of Hardin's death in El Paso.
The Way of the Gun
In the early 1890s, John Wesley Hardin, an aging gunfighter who was fresh out of the Huntsville prison, moved to El Paso. There he temporarily regained composure and completed his outlaw memoir, “The Life of John Wesley Hardin, as Written by Himself.”
But ultimately he fell back into his bad ways. His transgressions caught up with him one day while he was rolling dice at the Acme Saloon and Constable John Selman put a bullet in the back of his head. Most in El Paso cheered the day, but now the John Wesley Hardin Secret Society rues it.
For its annual meeting, the society will host its yearly re-enactment of Mr. Hardin’s “demise at the hands of that dastardly Constable ‘Uncle’ John Selman,” as performed by the Wild West troupe, Six Guns and Shady Ladies. The location alone is reason to attend. The Concordia Cemetery, where Mr. Hardin is buried, is an extraordinary plot of desert crosses engulfed by brimming city. And on this night, it will also be the site of ghost tours operated by the Paso del Norte Paranormal Society.
Concordia Cemetery, Aug. 17, 7 p.m., concordiacemetery.org.
Good Golly, Ms. Molly
State Senator Wendy Davis, with her epic filibuster of abortion restrictions, is hardly the first tough, dynamic woman to have prevailed against the state’s predominant good-ole-boy culture. The marquee names include Susanna Dickinson, Barbara Jordan and Ann Richards. There is also Molly Ivins, the populist writer and journalist who skewered politicians with hilarious put-downs in The Texas Observer and other publications.
To honor Ms. Ivins, who died of breast cancer in 2007, Allison and Margaret Engel, twin sisters and journalists, wrote the one-woman play “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins.” The show made its debut in 2010 at the Philadelphia Theater Company, starring Kathleen Turner, and had its Texas premiere in Austin in 2011, coinciding with the 82nd State Legislature. Now, at the conclusion of the 83rd, it is playing again, this time with Georgia Clinton. There appears to be a tradition in the making.
WaterTower Theatre, Aug. 18-Sept. 29, watertowertheatre.org.
The 31 prints in the exhibition “Dallas, Naturally. Focus: The Great Trinity Forest & Trinity River” were taken by four photographers within 15 minutes of the site of the host gallery, Sun to Moon. What makes them remarkable is that even though Sun to Moon is in the city’s design district, a highly manufactured environment, the images were taken in the wild.
That those two locales are so close challenges the stereotype about Dallas’s artificiality and reveals a hidden natural world nearby. The show includes works like “Path at Sunrise, Great Trinity Forest,” by Dan Burkholder, a student of Ansel Adams, who uses a pioneering print type with a 24-karat gold leaf application to give an amber glow to black-and-white photographs. And this weekend they will screen a short film by the photographer Scot Miller, the first artist-in-park for the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, about the 6,000-acre forest and the river that runs through it.
Sun to Moon Gallery, Aug. 16-17, 11 a.m., suntomoon.com.
Out of Gear
“Art Car: The Movie” — which will be screened Saturday, with the cast (both people and vehicles) present, a Q. and A. with the co-directors, and burgers and beer — is about the cultural phenomenon of turning a Toyota Camry into something far out, like a lipstick container, or a Jeep Wrangler into a bowl of tomato soup.
It’s also, of course, about the Houston Art Car Parade, which has been held for 26 years and now draws crowds of around 300,000 people and 300 cars.
But at its heart, the movie, which follows a high school teacher, Rebecca Bass, working with her students to complete an entry for the parade, is about life lessons like teamwork, discipline and thinking outside the box.
Orange Show Monument, Aug. 17, 6 p.m., orangeshow.org.
Be Kind. Rewind.
Moviegoers who have just discovered the writer and director Andrew Bujalski with his current film, “Computer Chess,” may want to go back to 2002 for his stylistically different debut, “Funny Ha Ha” — which will be screened Sunday, with a Q. and A. with Mr. Bujalski — for a demonstration of the wide cinematic range that has placed him at the forefront of Austin’s robust filmmaking scene.
The Marchesa Hall & Theatre, Aug. 18, 4 p.m., austinfilm.org.
The Time Is Ripe
Exemplifying the Southwest, San Antonio is a natural choice for Stephan Pyles, the Dallas chef and king of Southwestern cuisine, who is the co-curator of the new Ripe farmer’s market there, which has its final preview day this weekend.
Ripe Farmer’s Market, Aug. 18, 10 a.m., eilanhotel.com.