Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!
Marky Ramone was not an original member of the Ramones, the punk band that formed in Queens, New York, in 1974, but he has survived them all and, during his fifteen-year run as the drummer, he appeared in the cult classic movie Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. The 1979 film produced by Roger Corman, which follows superfan Riff Randell as she invites the Ramones to rock her school to smithereens, will be screened Monday in tandem with a Q&A with Ramone, who has published a new memoir, Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone.
The Long Center, Jan. 26, 8 p.m., thelongcenter.org
The British Are Coming
The list of famous actors to come out of the College Station area pretty much starts and ends with Rip Torn, a member of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets who went on to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for the 1983 film Cross Creek. That is likely to change in the coming years thanks to the influence of the Actors from the London Stage, a collective of classically trained thespians from major Shakespearean companies, on both Texas A&M University and the surrounding community. A couple of years ago, Dr. Kirsten Pullen, the previous director of the Academy for Visual and Performing Arts at A&M, contracted the heralded British company to perform on campus. Last year, five actors staged As You Like It, relying less on props, sets, and costumes and more on the art of acting and the audience’s imagination. This year, on Thursday, another five-actor ensemble will present Macbeth. And during the week leading up to the show, the actors will host workshops in college classrooms and in local grade schools, where perhaps the next Rip Torn awaits.
Texas A&M University, Jan. 29, 7 p.m., academyarts.tamu.edu
The Mad Hatter
Many people are probably familiar with the song “Stagger Lee,” about a pimp from Texas known as Stag who shot a man dead for trying to steal his hat in a St. Louis bar on Christmas night in 1895. It has been recorded by the likes of Mississippi John Hurt, Woody Guthrie, the Clash, Beck, and the Grateful Dead. Will Power, whom New York magazine once called “the best verse playwright in America,” used this popular narrative and wove it together with two lesser-known folk songs and folktales—“Frankie and Johnny” and “Long Lost John”—to create the musical Stagger Lee, offering his own take on the American Dream. This is the first musical written by Power, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence with the Dallas Theatre Center, and it was developed in part with the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.
Wyly Theatre, Jan. 23 to Feb. 15, dallastheatercenter.org
The Vroom Showroom
People don’t generally go to car shows to simply see automobiles that they can find on any old dealer’s lot. So while the Houston Auto Show, the first car show of the calendar year in Texas, will present more than five hundred of the newest model year import and domestic vehicles, it is the exotic cars that will likely draw the most eyes. These include the Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4, named after a hurricane; the Alfa Romeo 4C, marking the Italian automaker’s return to the U.S. after twenty years; and the Pagani Huayra, a custom sports car with a price tag between $1 and $2 million. Also sure to please will be the psychedelic art cars on loan from the Orange Show Center for Visionary Arts greeting attendees at the entrance to the 700,000-square-feet display area.
NRG Center, Jan. 21-25, houstonautoshow.com
Beyond the Border
On Wednesday, the Austin writer Amanda Eyre Ward will lure people to a hometown celebration of her new novel, The Same Sky, with the aid of a margarita machine, though such enticement is unnecessary for a work with a favorable review in Vanity Fair among others. The book, which parallels the story of an Austin couple who runs a barbecue joint and pines for a child with that of a Honduran refuge who crosses the Mexico border illegally in pursuit of a better life, literally took a village. Ward worked on the novel during three writing residencies, including one at the MacDowell Colony, in Peterborough, New Hampshire. On a daily basis Blake Tewksbury, a longtime MacDowell staffer, would silently deliver firewood and a picnic lunch to her cabin, sometimes pairing these offerings with books related to the United States/Mexico border, like Helen Thorpe’s Just Like Us, compliments of Colette Lucas, MacDowell’s librarian. Meanwhile, Erin Courtney, the New York playwright, helped Ward figure out the book’s ending. And Samin Nosrat, the Berkeley-based food writer and cook, helped flesh out the barbecue sections (along with email assists from Daniel Vaughan, barbecue editor for Texas Monthly, and Aaron Franklin, proprietor of Franklin Barbecue). Ward, who completed the book before this past summer’s influx of Central American refugees crossing the border, was inspired after reading Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario, which led her to visit shelters in Brownsville to stand witness. “I was stunned to hear about children walking away from their homes to try to walk across a continent to reach their mothers and fathers in the U.S.,” Ward said. “It was like a Grimm’s fairy tale, in a way; they have no maps, just the stories of those who went before them—and came back.”
BookPeople, Jan. 28, 7 p.m., bookpeople.com
“Hunting the Perfect Accessory,” an exhibit featuring accessories from the past 150 years by designers including Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and Ferragamo, is the first of three hunting-themed exhibits on the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum’s calendar this year. A virtual component of this show allows visitors to try out new looks that could be the envy of others, in a sense turning the hunter into the hunted.
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Jan. 24, 2015 to Jan. 9, 2016, panhandleplains.org