University of California-Davis history Professor Andrés Reséndez talks about “A Disastrous Sixteenth-Century Expedition on the Coast of Texas” at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at Galveston College, 4015 Ave. Q. It's about Galveston and free.
Creature feature:The Grand 1894 Opera House continues its Harris L. Kempner Children’s Series 10 a.m. Friday with a stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson’s “The Gruffalo,” in which a clever mouse survives his journey through a scary forest by name-dropping the titular creature, who has a big surprise or two for the mouse when at last the two meet. The beloved 1999 children’s book was also adapted into an Oscar-nominated animated short starring Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, and James Corden. Tickets are $6 for children and $10 for adults; see thegrand.com.
Party like it’s 1856
Get in the purple, gold and green spirit Friday night at Galveston Historical Foundation’sMenardi Gras, held at the site of the island’s first Mardi Gras celebration in 1856 — the Greek-revival Michel B. Menard House, 1604 33rd St., built in 1838 and oldest residence on the island. Costumes encouraged. Enjoy bites by Chopin Mon Ami catering; Houston’s Bayou City Brass Band will keep dancers boogeying until their feet say uncle. The event is sold out, but a waiting list is available through the ticketing page. See galvestonhistory.org for details.
It’ll be Mardi Gras in a minute, so it’s time for Galveston’s Louisiana-rooted Krewe de Roux to revive a tradition more obscure than tossing beads and downing shots. Dating back to medieval France and still popular in central Louisiana, Courir de Mardi Gras is a Fat Tuesday parade in which the community forms a procession to procure ingredients for gumbo, most importantly whatever unfortunate chicken has the bad luck to be in their path. Krewe de Roux calls their version simply Da Chicken Run, and will hold this year’s edition — its sixth — 11 a.m. Saturday at Tin Cup’s Caddyshack, 9020 Stewart Road. Go out for complimentary gumbo and chicken-chasing, of course), but also hayrides, a silent auction, and DJ-spun zydeco. Proceeds benefit El Mina Shriners and Ronald McDonald House of Galveston.
Bringing their 60th-anniversary tour to The Grand on Saturday night, The Romeros are widely known as “the Royal Family of the Guitar.” Formed by patriarch Caledonio Romero in 1960, the group’s current lineup now includes his sons Celin and Pepe; Celin’s son Celino; and Lito, son of Pepe’s other son Angel, a member himself until 1990. Besides the family’s astonishing virtuosity, they’ve helped greatly expand the classical-guitar repertoire through Caledonio’s prolific compositions as well as commissions by Joaquín Rodrigo, Federico Moreno Torroba, Morton Gould, and many others. Tickets start at $22; see thegrand.com for details.
The Martini Theater — the local social-media crew, not the shuttered downtown landmark — is back with another round of free films at Daiquiri Time Out, 2701 Market St. This month it’s romantic comedies, starting with the 1993 Bill Murray time-loop classic “Groundhog Day” Feb. 7, followed by “When Harry Met Sally” on Valentine’s Day; “The Wedding Singer,” on Feb. 28) and “10 Things I Hate About You” on March 7. Films start at 7 p.m.; 21 and up.
The Spanish explorer Àlvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca wrote the first acknowledged literary account of life in what would become Texas, published in 1542, and went through hell to do it: a nightmarish sea voyage from Florida and the deaths of nearly all his companions through starvation, disease, and violence. He called Galveston Island malhado, or “isle of misfortune.” Get into the gory details with “A Disastrous Sixteenth-Century Expedition on the Coast of Texas,” a free talk by University of California-Davis history Professor Andrés Reséndez 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at Galveston College, 4015 Ave. Q. It’s part the My Dream Speaker Lecture Series. One of Reséndez’s books is titled “A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca — the Extraordinary Tale of a Shipwrecked Spaniard Who Walked Across America in the Sixteenth Century,” so he should know his stuff.
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