By Randall Jobe
Is it ever too soon to ring in the holidays? Well, if there is still leftover candy from Halloween, probably!
Regardless, here we go. Jingle bells!
4th Wall Theatre Company presents The Glass Menagerie. Director Philip Lehl directs Kim Tobin-Lehl in this Tennessee Williams classic, a memory play that premiered in 1944 and catapulted Williams from obscurity to fame. Matriarch Amanda Wingfield dreams of her days as a Southern debutante while worrying about the future of her aimless son, Tom, and unmarried daughter, Laura. When a gentleman caller arrives for dinner, it’s unclear if his presence will change things for the better or shatter their fragile illusions. Through Nov. 2. Spring Street Studios, 1824 Spring St. Suite 101. Tickets: 4thWallTheatreCo.com or 832-767-4991.
The Alley Theatre presents Vietgone by Qui Nguyen, with original music by Shane Rettig. It’s 1975. Saigon has fallen. He lost his wife. She lost her fiancée. Both now in America, these two Vietnamese refugees just might find each other. Remixing history and culture into a funny and energetic fantasia, it’s a contemporary twist on the boy meets girl story that the New York Times hails as “an immensely moving comedy.” Desdemona Chiang directs. Through Nov. 3.
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 and instills a powerful message about redemption and the spirit of the holiday season. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Nov. 16 through Dec. 29. 615 Texas Ave. Tickets: AlleyTheatre.org or 713-558-8887.
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”, Lionel Ritchie’s “All Night Long”, and Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds”. The music is interspersed with comedic turns from Music Box regulars. Through Nov. 30. 2623 Colquitt. Tickets: TheMusicBoxTheater.com or 713-522-7722.
Ensemble Theatre presents More Than Christmas, a warmhearted story and family, faith and forgiveness. Written by Celeste Bedford Walker, this world premiere features 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. Nov. 14 through Dec. 29. 3535 Main Street. Tickets: EnsembleHouston.com or 713-520-0055.
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 theatre after leaving their social-media obsessed children in the woods. Nov. 20 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. Be part of the studio audience for the live musical radio play of this beloved holiday classic that melts the hearts. Nov. 6 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. An unwelcome visitor has stumbled into the hall in the middle of the night: Mr. Darcy’s nemesis and Lydia’s incorrigible husband, Mr. Wickham. The bustling housekeeper, Mrs. Reynolds, Cassie, the resilient new serving girl, and Brian, the hopelessly romantic groomsman, must each balance their holiday preparations with keeping Wickham confined. But before long, everything reaches a boiling point, festivities spiral into chaos, and the truth comes to light in an utterly delightful way. Nov. 23 through Dec. 22. 2540 Times Blvd. Tickets: Main StreetTheater.com or 713-524-6706.
Houston Ballet presents The Nutcracker. Snowflakes, sword fights, dancing dolls, and a Christmas tree that reaches the sky! Stanton Welch’s opulent production of The Nutcracker promises everything you love about the story. Clara and Drosselemyer travel together to the Land of the Sweets where the Sugar Plum Fairy is reunited with her prince — where the magic happens. With grand sets and stunning costumes. The Nutcracker features the entire company of dancers as well as many Houston Ballet students playing hundreds of fun and exciting roles. Nov. 29 through Dec. 29. Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave. Tickets: HoustonBallet.org or 713-227-2787.