Although we are about to start a new year, the 2018-2019 theater season is in full swing and promising audiences delights, frights and innovations. The past year was full of wonderful productions from the large, established venues as well as the mighty, if often struggling, smaller theater troupes. Houston can proudly extoll the virtues of world premieres, revivals, original works and even the experimental.
If you are not one for surprises, Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS), Stages Repertory Theatre and The Alley Theatre in 2019 will hand you some standards such as Mama Mia, Little Shop of Horrors and The Three Musketeers, respectively. All three of the aforementioned theaters will also surprise and delight with intriguing titles such as Sex with Strangers (Stages), The Carpenter (by Texas playwright Robert Askins at The Alley) and Ragtime (TUTS).
Somewhere in the middle is Main Street Theater, which has had recent critical success with the delightful homage to Barbra, Buyer and Cellar, the regional premiere of The Book of Will and Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley. Also tackled will be a huge undertaking in the multiple production piece, The Trojan War Project in collaboration with Prague Shakespeare Company, co-directed by Guy Roberts and Rebecca Greene Udden. Topical subjects will also be examined in such productions as Stages’ NSFW and The Secretary at Main Street. A.D. Players also offers a strong and vibrant theatrical variety (as depicted in the close of year radio play It’s A Wonderful Life.)
If you are looking for the off-beat, innovative, escapist or a down right fun-filled theatrical experience, then there will be no shortage of fare from Mildred’s Umbrella, 4th Wall Theatre Company (whose recent Pride and Prejudice, adapted from the Jane Austin novel was everything good theatre should be), Queensbury and Horse Head Theatres.
As is made clear by the recent expansion (A.D. Players’ The George), renovated (The Alley) and a soon-to-be-built major house (Stages), the built-in numbers of subscribers are necessary for survival. More often the struggle is real for Houston theaters to keep their doors open and actors, designers and directors employed.
Hopefully we as enthusiastic theater-lovers will continue to do our part to support in whatever way we can, as often as we can, exploring multiple stages.