Looking for something to do? Check The Bender first

The City of Humble has transformed itself into “ … quite the entertainment district.”

Those are the words of Jennifer Wooden, director of the Humble Civic Center and Arena Complex and The Charles Bender Performing Arts Center.

“The Bender is showcasing some of Houston’s finest and varied entertainment,” said Wooden.

The Performing Arts Center, located at 611 Higgins near Historic Downtown Humble, is the former Bender High School that was restored and transformed in 2015 into a fully functioning performing arts center, hosting top entertainment and renowned local and national artists.

“We have a wide range of family-friendly events from classical ballet to good ol' rock ‘n roll,” said Wooden.

Wooden already has fresh performances planned for the 2022 season beginning with a “Night at the Ballet” Jan. 15, Canadian blues guitarist and singer Sue Foley Feb. 11, and Houston’s own Ally Venable Band back at The Bender July 9.

“Night at the Ballet” Friday, Jan. 15, 7 p.m. $20

“Night at the Ballet” on Jan. 15 brings the Vitacca, a preprofessional ballet company back to The Bender for an enthralling one-night performance. Kelly Ann Vitacca nurtures excellence in young artists and is renowned for her advanced ballet technique and modern and contemporary movement that her gifted preprofessional dances will bring to The Bender stage.

Sue Foley in Concert, Friday, Feb. 11, 7 p.m. $20

Sue Foley is a Canadian blues guitarist and singer who moved to Austin to refine her craft and record her first release and now, 15 albums later, has won her first Blues Music Award, the Koko Taylor Award, as best traditional female blues singer in 2020.

Ally Venable Band, Saturday, July 9, 7 p.m. $20

A native of Kilgore, Texas, Ally Venable is a gifted American blues rock guitar player, singer and songwriter who was just 14 when she released her first album and earned a reputation as a rising star in the Lone Star State’s blues community. Barely out of high school, Venable has already been named ETX Music Awards female guitar player of the year.

The 2022 schedule of performers at The Bender also includes:

·         Taylor Red, a country girl band composed of red-haired identical triplet sisters from Wade, Mississippi.

·         Vox Fortura, four classically trained singers who perform multiple eras and genres of music.

· “Bette Davis Ain’t for Sissies,” an amazing play and tribute to the actor who fought Hollywood’s male-dominated studio system.

·         and “The Greatest Love of All,” a tribute to Whitney Houston.

“In addition to our roster of performers, The Bender now is home to the Texas Repertory Theatre,” said Wooden. “Steven Fendley and his theater group are helping us achieve our goal of bringing compelling and entertaining plays like “Tenderly — The Life and Songs of Rosemary Clooney” and “Driving Miss Daisy.”

“We want Lake Houston residents to get into the habit of checking what is going on at The Bender or the Humble Civic Center before they make their weekend plans,” she said.

Just a few steps away from The Bender is the Humble Museum, the Bender school’s original band hall building that was re-imagined into a fascinating, interactive showcase of the history of Humble and Lake Houston. Entrance is free and the museum is open before and after all Bender performances.

To learn what is happening at The Bender or to purchase tickets for any of the 2022 events, humblepac.com, or 281-446-4140.

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.

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