'Wild Symphony' by Dan Brown and composer Karl Blench

WHAT DOES AN armadillo even sound like?

It's a question Houston-based composer Karl Blench had to answer while orchestrating best-selling author Dan Brown's musical suite Wild Symphony, a collection of short pieces composed by Brown to accompany his first-ever book for children. On Saturday, Jan. 23, the Houston Symphony will livestream the North American premiere of Brown's Wild Symphony, with Robert Franz doing double-duty conducting and reading passages from Brown's book. And yes, we're talking about that Dan Brown, author of everyone-but-the-Pope's favorite airplane read, The Da Vinci Code, and six other cryptological thrillers for grown-ups.

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Art + Entertainment

EVEN BEFORE THE pandemic took hold, the good ol' fashioned drive-in movie was starting to make a comeback. Rooftop Cinema Club launched in Houston in 2018, and has since reimagined its open-air, rooftop-movie-viewing experience as a drive-in, located in Houston's East End.

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Raven Justine Troup performs at Stages Studio Sessions in the Fall of 2020

THE COVID CRISIS has been problematic, at best — and cataclysmal, on average — for the entire performing-arts world. Just one snapshot: Stages had just seven weeks of in-person performances at its state-of-the-art, three-theater, $35.4 million campus before the shutdown shut the doors of The Gordy for the foreseeable future.

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