Musicals never before seen in Houston dot Theatre Under the Stars' 2015-16 lineup. The local presenter's 48th season, which was announced on Saturday, is filled with romance, laughter, mystery and death — alongside music and dancing.
Please pardon our senseless humor as we summarize what's on tap on the playbill.
Matilda the Musical (Oct. 6-18)
The skinny: This relatively new stage musical that had its Broadway premiere in 2013 has scooped some 50 awards internationally, including the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical in 2013. The uber adorbs story is one of empowerment at the hands of an unsuspecting darling who's had it and who's ready to revolt against everything that's lame.
Who should see it: Negative Nancies who need an attitude adjustment. Anyone actually named Matilda, which is probably absolutely no one.
A Christmas Story (Dec. 8-20)
The skinny: Based on the 1983 movie, this comedy is a much better option to the television marathons that typically plague Christmas Eve. Why the plot of a kid who wants nothing more than a BB gun continues to be such a popular thing we'll never know. But it's a classic with no point other than it's a hilarious slice of life that's best enjoyed without much thought.
Who should see it: Everyone but Jews. Perfect for friends of the NRA.
The Bridges of Madison County (Jan. 19-31, 2016)
The skinny: Once a novel, then a film and now a musical, The Bridges of Madison County premiered on Broadway last year, winning the 2014 Tony for Best Original Score and Best Orchestration. While the romantic story isn't the most uplifting, it's a more accurate representation of the complexities of matters of the heart.
Who should see it: Fans of Sally Field. Everyone who's cheated on their significant others.
Mary Poppins (March 8-20, 2016)
The skinny: No comment. It's Mary Poppins, the super singing nanny we all wished we had as a child — or adult.
Who should see it: Dancing penguins. Definitely dancing penguins. And anyone who can spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious backward.
Oliver (April 5-17, 2016)
The skinny: Consider yourself enchanted by the journey of an orphan (who's ever heard of orphans in musicals, but whatever) who does anything — almost anything — to find a better life for himself despite a few twists and turns (some are left out from Charles Dickens' novel) plus a some deaths along the way.
Who should see it: Anyone who's ever said "You kids get off my lawn."
A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (May 3-5, 2016)
The skinny: This 2015 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical kills it with a story of an ambitious gent hoping to become the heir to his family's fortune. The problem? He's ninth in line. The answer? Let's commit some murder.
Who should see it: Fans of American Sniper.
Bonus (special subscription add-on): Disney's The Little Mermaid (Sept. 10-13)
The skinny: The popular musical returns to TUTS for five performances.
Who should see it: Vegans who love to preach about animals having feelings and stuff.