The Alley Theatre presents the world premier of The Carpenter, a new comedy of mistaken identities and family secrets. Dan is a self-made man from blue collar Houston, while his fiancé is from Dallas—Highland Park, to be exact. As they arrive at her father’s palatial mansion for her wedding, Dan starts to get cold feet. His college buddies are trying to get him drunk, his future father-in-law keeps shooting his rifle into the ceiling, and his sassy sister can’t put the pill bottle down. When the carpenter shows up to build the wedding gazebo, looking suspiciously like Dan, all hell breaks loose. Accidental partner swaps and so many laughs.Suitable for ages 18 and up. Through February 10.
The Alley Theatrealso presents the captivatingly titled Quack, by Eliza Clark. Developed during 2018 Alley All-New Festival, Irving Baer is America’s doctor. His daytime health and wellness show is watched by millions of women. When enterprising young blogger River Thumbolt publishes an article implicating Dr. Baer in a national health crisis, America begins to turn on him. But Dr. Baer adores being adored. With his career suddenly hanging in the balance, his marriage on the rocks, and his carefully maintained public personae in peril, one thing becomes clear: If Irving Baer is going to fall from grace, he’s bringing River Thumbolt with him. Quack is a play about what happens when good people forget their best intentions. Suitable for ages 18 and up.
February 8 through March 19.615 Texas Avenue. Tickets: AlleyTheatre.org or 713-220-5700.
Touting itself as an offbeat, absurdist comedy about safety, survival and guns in a world that’s up in arms, The Secretary is Main Street Theater’s first production of 2019. Ruby runs a small-town gun company that aims to protect women by helping them protect themselves. With products like The Bridesmaid, The Babysitter and The Mallwalker, each of the company’s guns is named after a woman who used a gun and saved a life — more often than not, her own. So when Shirley, the secretary at the local high school confronts a threat in her office with six bullets, Ruby responds by naming her latest gun after the reluctant hero: The Secretary. But as production begins, guns start going off all around town — and no one’s pulling the trigger. Written by Kyle John Schmidt and directed by Julia Traber. Through February 10. 2540 Times Boulevard.
Also from Main Street Theater and performing at the Midtown Arts Center for only three performances is Jackie and Me. Young Joey Stoshack has the special power to travel through time, so when he’s given an assignment to write a paper about a famous African-American, he chooses Jackie Robinson and heads back to 1947 to meet the man himself. Through his adventures. Joey experiences what it’s like to be African-American during a time of segregation and witnesses first-hand Jackie smashing the color barrier, even when people on his own team are against him. A powerful tale of bravery and integrity. Sundays, January 27 and February 10 and 17, 2:30 p.m.3400 Main Street. MainStreetTheater.com or 713-524-6706.
Stages Repertory Theatrepresents The River Bride by Marisela Trevino Orta. Two sisters in a Brazilian fishing village struggle to find their own happily-ever-after while bound to family honor and tradition. Helena is in love with her sister’s betrothed; meanwhile, Belmira only wants to escape the Amazonian river life for an exciting adventure in the city. Days before the wedding, a mysterious stranger is pulled from the river, offering a tantalizing future that may change both their lives. Brazilian folklore and lyrical storytelling combine to weave a magical tale of love, fate and transformation. Through February 10.3201 Allen Parkway.Tickets: StagesTheatre.com or 713-527-0123.
A.D. Players presents Tuesdays with Morrie by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom from the best-selling book of the same name. With little time on his hands, sports journalist Mitch Albom makes an obligatory visit to a college professor, Morrie Schwartz, who is now dying from ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). The impromptu meeting changes everything. One lunch becomes weekly interviews in a race against the clock. Based on real life events. January 25 through February 10. 5420 Westheimer Road. Tickets: ADPlayers.org or 713-526-2721.
Theatre Under The Starscontinues its 50th anniversary season with the ultimate feel-good show, the hit musical Mamma Mia! With music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, book by Catherine Johnson and originally conceived by Judy Craymer, this fun-filled production features ABBA’S timeless songs propelling an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. The sunny, funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they visited 20 years ago. February 19 through March 3. 800 Bagby Street. Tickets: TUTS.com or 713-558-8887.