The middle of the theater season is often full of famous favorites and popular hits, great for those just starting to get into theater and longtime patrons who may have seen everything before but can’t wait to see it again. But don’t just come out for the oldies but goodies! There are national and world premieres happening in the coming months in Houston theatre, and you won’t want to miss out on these once-in-a-lifetime shows. From classic opera and Shakespeare to modern plays and dancing missionaries, there’s something for everyone coming to the theater this spring.
‘As You Like It’ at the Alley Theatre at University of Houston
4116 Elgin St.
Houston, TX 77004
Dates: Feb. 4-22, 2015
William Shakespeare’s comedy “As You Like It” returns to the Houston stage with previews beginning January 30. In this tale of love and mistaken identity, Rosalind and Orlando have both been banished from their homes and sent away from their families and are traveling through the Forest of Arden with a faithful companion. Lovers, long lost relatives and hilarious fun can be found in the forest. Elizabeth Bunch, Chris Hutchinson and Todd Waite all star in this humorous story of love suitable for all audiences.
‘The Book of Mormon’ at Broadway in Houston
800 Bagby St.
Houston, TX 77002
Dates: Jan. 20 – Feb. 8, 2015
The winner of nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, “The Book of Mormon” is returning to Houston after a hugely successful sold-out run in 2013. From the creative teams behind “South Park” and “Avenue Q,” the musical tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda straight out of high school, and the culture clash that results from young middle-class Americans trying to preach their religion to the locals who have many other things – area warlords, contaminated water and other dire issues – to worry about. Very funny and irreverent, this show will leave you feeling bad that you laughed quite so hard, but also with a hopeful outlook. Not suitable for children.
‘The Blackest Shore’ at Catastrophic Theatre
1119 East Freeway
Houston, TX 77002
Dates: Feb. 13 – March 7, 2015
This new play is a world premiere on a Houston stage. It tells the story of Stuart, a 16-year-old aspiring filmmaker, who is putting everything that makes a movie desirable into his – graphic violence, the walking dead, explicit sexual scenes and more. Watch as he grapples with assimilating these tropes into his own life, and the way his film begins to change the relationships he has in his own life, especially with his father. This is the second play by Mark Schultz that Catastrophic Theatre will present in the 2014-2015 season.
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‘The Magic Flute’ at Houston Grand Opera
500 Texas Ave.
Houston, TX 77002
Dates: Jan. 30 – Feb. 14, 2015
One of Mozart’s most recognizable operas, this classic favorite will grace the stage of the Wortham Theater Center’s Brown Theater in January and February. This production will be the American premiere of the critically acclaimed English National Opera staging, directed by Ian Rutherford. The three main roles are all going to be the first time these artists have performed with HGO, including Houston native David Portillo in the lyric tenor role of Tamino. Don’t miss out on this great evening of quality music and beautiful presentation.
Gilbert and Sullivan Revue and ‘Trial by Jury’ at Houston Baptist University
7502 Fondren Rd.
Houston, TX 77074
Dates: March 7, 2015
The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Houston is presenting a special treat for Houstonians on March 7. Former member of the D’Oyly Carte opera company and internationally acclaimed director and performer Alistair Donkin will lead the Houston Society in a semi-staged production of the one-act “Trial by Jury.” When a jilted bride sues her intended, and the entire jury falls in love with her, how will one keep order in the court? This performance will be accompanied by a musical revue of songs and scenes from all of the Gilbert and Sullivan canon.
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Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.