Here’s a holiday shopping tip: This might be an ideal time to support some of the smaller theaters that are constantly struggling financially. Some of them are keeping their tickets affordable, offering some pay-what-you-can performances or industry nights. Why not consider a pair of tickets or even a subscription as a holiday gift? Or even a donation made in someone’s name?
One thing for sure, Houston theater offers something for everyone!
The Music Box Theater presents _Back to the ’80s…Again_ featuring versions of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark”, and more hits. Through Nov. 30. 2623 Colquitt. Tickets: TheMusicBoxTheater.com or 713-522-7722.
Catastrophic Theatre Company presents Clare Barron’s Baby Screams Miracle. A catastrophic storm engulfs the home of a small, religious family. An estranged daughter blows in with the storm and between falling trees and flying trampolines, the family clings to prayer and forgiveness. Through Dec. 15. Midtown Art Center (MATCH), 3400 Main St. Tickets: CatastrophicTheatre.com or 713-522-2723.
Stages Repertory Theatre presents Panto Hansel and Gretl. Adam Howard’s take on a classic fairy tale follows the breadcrumbs into an outrageous reimagining of Hansel and Gretel as two selfish Houston parents pursue their dreams to be stars of the theater after leaving their social-media obsessed children in the woods. Through Dec. 15.
Stages also presents Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play. This classic story of the last-minute Santa replacement for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade who claims to be Kris Kringle is adapted from the 1947 LUX radio broadcast by Lance Arthur Smith, with original lyrics, music and arrangements by Jon Lorenz. Through Dec. 15. 3201 Allen Parkway. Tickets: StagesTheatre.com or 713-527-0123.
Main Street Theater presents The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberly by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, and directed by Robin Robinson. This story of regency romance is back for the holidays as a companion piece to the delightful Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberly — both a continuation of Jane Austen’s popular novel, Pride and Prejudice. As the events of Miss Bennet unfold upstairs at Pemberly, the servants below stairs find themselves in the midst of a different holiday scandal. Through Dec. 22. 2540 Times Blvd. Tickets: MainStreetTheater.com or 713-524-6706.
The Alley presents Fully Committed, Becky Mode’s comedy featuring 40 characters brought to life by one man. Sam works the reservation line at one of New York’s hottest restaurants, where the best food inspires the worst behavior. Coercion, threats, and bribes come from a cast of desperate callers who prove they will stop at nothing to land a prime reservation or the right table. Directed by Brandon Weinbrenner and featuring Dylan Godwin. Through Dec. 29, with ActOUT performance and pre-show party for the LGBTQ audience on Dec. 5.
The Alley Theatre also presents A Christmas Carol — A Ghost Story of Christmas. A family tradition from the pen of Charles Dickens, directed by James Black makes its annual return to the Alley stage. A family-friendly retelling of classic Dickens is the story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey with the three ghostly spirits who visit him on Christmas Eve. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Through Dec. 29. 615 Texas Ave. Tickets: AlleyTheatre.org or 713-558-8887.
Ensemble Theatre presents Celeste Bedford Walker’s More Than Christmas, a warmhearted story and family, faith and forgiveness featuring traditional Christmas carols and inspirational original music. The Mercy family is hosting its annual Christmas gathering where there is more than merriment behind each smile, and presents aren’t the only things that get unwrapped. Through Dec. 29. 3535 Main Street. Tickets: EnsembleHouston.com or 713-520-0055.
Houston Ballet presents The Nutcracker. Snowflakes, sword fights, dancing dolls, and a Christmas tree that reaches the sky! Stanton Welch’s opulent production features the entire company of dancers as well as many Houston Ballet students. Nov. 29–Dec. 29. Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave. Tickets: HoustonBallet.org or 713-227-2787.
Theatre Under The Stars presents Elf: The Musical. Based on the 2003 movie, this modern-day classic returns in an all-new production just in time for the holiday season. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, he embarks on a journey to New York City to discover his true identity. Dec. 2–27. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St. Tickets: TUTS.com or 713-558-8887.
Mildred’s Umbrella Theater Company presents FemFest Houston: Voices of Israel, a weekend of staged readings by female Israeli playwrights produced in collaboration with the Consulate General of Israel to the Southwest and hosted by the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston. Something a little different, the series consists of three readings: God by the late Anat Gov, Maternity by Hana Vazana Grimwald and Versace by Michal Aharoni. Dec. 7–8. Jewish Community Center of Houston, 5601 S. Braeswood Blvd. Tickets: MildredsUmbrella.com or 832-463-0409.