What do you want from live theater? Whether it’s toe-tapping musicals, works so new they’ve never been seen or 400-year-old classics, the companies around Houston have stacked the calendar in everyone’s favor.
Theatre Under The Stars, under artistic director Dan Knechtges, will celebrate its golden 50th anniversary with homegrown productions of Broadway favorites such as Oklahoma!, The Wiz and Mamma Mia!, while the newly renamed Mischer Neurosciences Broadway at the Hobby Center season kicks off with a new production of Les Misérables and continues with return engagements of The Book of Mormon, The Phantom of the Opera and Rent, which itself is celebrating 20 years. Newer-to-Houston shows like the Sara Bareilles-scored musical Waitress, Disney’s Aladdin and The Play That Goes Wrong are also scheduled, and waiting on the horizon is Dear Evan Hansen. The Tony Award-winning Best Musical is already set as the 2019-2020 season opener.
Under the continued leadership of Interim artistic director James Black, in place since Gregory Boyd’s departure in January, the Alley Theatre has announced a varied new season that includes a world premiere from Hand to God playwright Robert Askins, Stephen Karam’s Tony Award-winning The Humans and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
Society for the Performing Arts is also bringing some heavy hitters to Jones Hall, including Chicago, Finding Neverland and The Wizard of Oz. And speaking of heavy hitters, the Brilliant Lecture Series has invited Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth to Houston on September 14.
Stages Repertory Theatre will play its last full season at 3201 Allen Parkway before moving to The Gordy, its new 66,850-square-foot, three-theater campus next year. Women-centric theater company Mildred’s Umbrella will open its first season in its new home at Chelsea Market with two mainstage productions and a series of staged readings, one a collaboration with the company’s new performance space-mates, the Classical Theatre Company.
Even though it almost shut down last August, 4th Wall Theatre Company was granted a reprieve and will open its eighth season with Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train. And the Texas Repertory Theatre, which closed two years ago, made its return to the theater scene this summer.
After last season’s successful run of An Iliad, Main Street Theater will present the Trojan War trilogy in partnership with the Prague Shakespeare Company. And in its first season under executive director Jake Speck, and since the sad passing of founder Jeannette Clift George, the A.D. Players will mount five mainstage shows, including It’s a Wonderful Life and West Side Story, and a production of John, His Story translated into Spanish.
Whew. Do you know yet what you want to see?