Enjoy the opera with the family or take a trip to see the Space Cowboys with these Houston area events

Opera song

Natural debate:
A group of nature lovers will discuss “Prairie Time, A Blackland Portrait” by Matt White from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on April 28 at the John Paul Landing Environmental Education Center.

White’s book focuses on the rate at which the Texas prairie is disappearing, particularly the Blackland prairie ecosystem known for its tall grasses and impressive natural diversity. Held every fourth Thursday of the month, these nature discussion groups are suitable for adults and older students.

The John Paul Landing Environmental Education Center is located at 9950 Katy Hockley Road in Cypress. Learn more at www.hcp4.net.

April 29

Cypress Market:
Cy-Hope presents The Cypress Market – VIP Preview from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on April 29 at the organization’s headquarters. Advance tickets are $20.

The event features a wine raffle, silent auction, live music from Kendale Walker, artisan vendors and more. Cy-Hope is a non-profit organization that raises funds to benefit Cy-Fair’s at-risk children. The group frequently distributes food to those in need each week among other service projects.

Cy-Hope is located at 12715 Telge Road in Cypress. Learn more at www.cy-hope.org.

Barbecue kitchen:
Presented by the Magnolia Festival Committee and sanctioned by the Lone Star Barbecue Society, the Magnolia Showdown BBQ Cookoff event returns to Unity Park on April 29-30. Free entry.

On Friday, non-sanctioned events include open, dessert and protein competitions. On Saturday, sanctioned events include ribs, beans, chicken, and brisket.

Unity Park is located at 19450 Unity Park Drive in Magnolia. Learn more at www.magnoliashowdownbbqcookoff.com.

April 30

Driving lessons:
AARP presents its Smart Driving Course from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 30 at the Radack Community Center. The fee is $20 for AARP members and $25 for non-members.

Participants may be able to reduce their car insurance by presenting the certificate they earn during the course. Registration is required by calling 832-927-3000. This class cannot be used for ticket rejection.

The Steve Radack Community Center is located at 18650 Clay Road in Houston. Learn more at www.hcp4.net.

Local Opera:
The Houston Grand Opera presents a free performance of “The Barber of Seville in Texas” at 11 a.m. on April 30 at the Mangum-Howell Community Center.

The production is Kristine McIntyre’s adaptation of Gioachino Rossini’s classic work about a couple who fall in love despite a language difference. In the bilingual accommodation, the language barrier is Spanish and the location is West Texas. The production is part of the 25th season of the Cypress Creek Foundation for the Arts and Community Enrichment.

The Mangum-Howell Center is located at 2500 Frick Road in Houston. Learn more at www.cypresscreekface.org.

1st May

Folk duet:
Trout Fishing in America — a longtime folk duo with Houston roots specializing in eclectic music for adults and children — will perform at 7 p.m. May 1 at the Main Street Crossing in Tomball.

Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet will perform family folk music. The group has won National Indie Awards, multiple Parents Choice Gold and American Library awards, and been nominated for four Grammys.

Main Street Crossing is located at 111 W. Main Street in Tomball. Learn more at www.mainstreetcrossing.com or call 281-290-0431.

May 3

Watercolor Group:
The Lone Star College-Tomball Community Library is the weekly meeting place for a watercolor group that meets every Tuesday at 10 a.m., including May 3.

Participants and guests are encouraged to bring their own supplies and participate to learn or improve their watercolor painting skills.

The Lone Star College-Tomball Community Library is located at 30555 Tomball Parkway in Tomball. Learn more at www.lonestar.edu

May 5

Jazz lunch:
The 24th Annual Pizzazz Breakfast with Jazz honoring Betty Griffin will be held May 5 at 11 a.m. at Shirley Acres. Advance tickets are $80.

Betty Griffin, owner of Scruples Boutique, has been active in the Northwest Houston community since 1979. Flamenco artist MercyFlamenca will perform. The event benefits the Cypress Creek Foundation for Arts and Community Enrichment and its scholarships and programs.

Shirley Acres is located at 217 Woerner Road in Houston. Learn more at www.cypresscreekface.org.

May 7

Space Cowboys:
A trip to see the Sugar Land Space Cowboys play the El Paso Chihuahuas will take place May 7 at the Steve Radack Community Center.

Transportation will be provided for those 50 and older through Harris County Pct. 4 for those who register in advance.

The Steve Radack Community Center is located at 18650 Clay Road in Houston. For more information, call 832-927-3000.

Pop Musical:
Playhouse 1960 presents “Emma! A Pop Musical,” with performances May 7-8 and May 14-15. Tickets start at $10.

Based on Jane Austen’s novel, “Emma!” is set in a modern high school and features music from bands like The Supremes and Katy Perry. Performances are at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturdays, May 7 and 14, and at 3 p.m. on Sundays, May 8 and 15.

Playhouse 1960 is located at 6814 Gant Road in Houston. Learn more at www.playhouse1960.com.

Derby night:
The Loved Ones Left Behind charity presents its first fundraising event Run for the Roses Kentucky Derby Soiree from 3-8 p.m. May 7 at the Clubs of Houston Oaks. Tickets start at $75.

The event features drinks, appetizers, casino games, horse betting and of course, the big race. The Loved Ones Left Behind is a new local charity raising money and awareness for suicide prevention.

The Houston Oaks clubs are located at 22602 Hegar Road in Hockley. Learn more at www.thelovedonesleftbehind.com.

May 14

Genealogy workshop:
West Houston Area Genealogy Society presents one of its biggest events, the Beginners Genealogy Workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 14 at the Westlake VFD Community Center. Early bird registration before April 30 is $20, after $25.

The event is a comprehensive informational introduction to starting your family tracing process. Knowledgeable presenters will talk and demonstrate how to start your search, what software to use, how to trace your DNA and more.

The Westlake VFD Community Center is located at 19636 Saums Road in Houston. Learn more at www.whags.org/bgw.

Entertainment Roundup is a weekly article compiled by freelance writer Brandon Moeller. Send entertainment submissions to Brandon at

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