best february theater
Hamilton headlines 9 best Houston plays and performances for February
February might be the shortest month of the year, but it’s packing a lot of theater and artful performances in 28 days. As usual, our Houston companies have a play, musical, or comedy for every taste.
Look for lots of big classics reimagined along with intriguing world premieres and a play fest to introduce us to the next big homegrown story. Alongside the local goodness, the musical revolution dances back into town as Hamilton takes the Hobby Center stage.
Mother of the Maid at Main Street Theater (February 4-27)
For centuries, storytellers, and audiences have been fascinated by Joan of Arc, but few have wondered about the mother who had to let her child face her destiny as a leader of men and martyr. In this regional premiere, Joan’s mother must wrestle with faith and maternal love, while her daughter grows to greatness. Directed by MST artistic director, Rebecca Greene Udden, the production stars company favs while showcasing newcomer and age-authentic Elizabeth Barnes as Joan.
MacGyver: The Musical at Stages (February 4-March 4)
Head back to the ’80s with a character so known for creative engineering he became synonymous for ingenuity and resourcefulness. Now in this world premiere rock-n-roll comic musical one audience member gets the chance to MacGyver their way into the starring role. That’s right, each night MacGyver is picked from the audience. Now stuck on the east side of the Berlin Wall in 1989, with just a punk rock band, a pocketknife, and the voice in your head, can you could tear down the wall and save America?
The Magic Flute from Houston Grand Opera (February 4-13)
One of the greatest and most beloved operas gets a silent‐film-inspired imagining in this Barrie Kosky and Suzanne Andrade production that incorporates live performance with a visually stunning, surreal and sometimes hilarious animated world created by artist and illustrator Paul Barritt. Kosky’s vision and directorial work was last seen at HGO in the spectacular Saul in 2019.
Look for four HGO Studio alumni leading the cast, including Norman Reinhardt as Tamino, Andrea Carroll as Pamina, Thomas Glass as Papageno, and Anthony Robin Schneider as Sarastro/Speaker, while rising-star soprano Rainelle Krause makes her HGO debut as the Queen of the Night and acclaimed British conductor Dame Jane Glover conducts. This production makes for a glorious feast for the ears and eyes.
South Pacific from Theatre Under the Stars (February 8-20)
Winning a Pulitzer and 10 Tony’s in its time, the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic finds new audiences with each revival. The songs like "Younger Than Springtime” and “Some Enchanted Evening” continue to entice, while each generation can discover new nuances and meaning in this World War II story of prejudice, war, sacrifice, and love.
This will be the last of the self-produced shows from TUTS until their ’22-23 season. Expect a stellar mix of local and out-of-town artists both onstage and behind the scenes. (TUTS will present the touring Come From Away and Jersey Boys this spring.)
Amerikin at Alley Theatre (February 11-March 13)
The latest of the Alley’s season-long launch of world premiere plays. The company originally harvested this work from its All New Festival, and scheduled it for 2020, but it was one show the Alley is determined to bring to audiences.
In this drama by Chisa Hutchinson, a new father desperate for community, casually follows his buddy’s advice and tries to join a white supremacist group, but the results of his ancestry test prove surprising and the line between "us" and "them" gets incredibly blurry.
Sin Muros: A Borderless Teatro Festival at Stages (February 17-20)
For their fifth season of this homegrown play fest, Stages will offer four works in progress, three in-person readings and one virtual and hitting a diverse range of genres from outrageous satire to wrenching drama.
Sin Muros always gives theater lovers the chance to discover exceptional new voices and stories. Look also for professional development and writing workshops as well as the announcement of this year’s Premio Puente (the Bridge Prize) created to recognize the exceptional contributions of leaders in the Houston area Latinx arts community.
Random Acts from 4th Wall Theatre (February 17-27)
A dramatic, surprise add-on to their season, 4th Wall revisits a production they offered as a streaming performance a year ago, now live and in-person. In this one-woman show written and performed by Renata Hinrichs the actor and storyteller recounts true stories from her childhood as a minister’s daughter on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement in the South Side of Chicago.
From witnessing the aftermath of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, to dancing with Julie Andrews, to receiving an unexpected message of reconciliation, Hinrich ponders how random acts of both brutality and beauty can shape a life.
A Steady Rain from Dirt Dogs Theatre (February 18-March 5)
Two cops who are loyal best friends tell stories of their lives on and off the job and their life and death tales from the Chicago streets. But will a bad call one night change those lives forever?
Originally staged in 2016 as the opening production in its inaugural season and starring the company’s founder Trevor B. Cone and regular Kevin Daugherty. The two acting veterans will reprise their roles as Dirt Dogs restages the gritty drama with an updated score composed by cinematic pop musician and performer, Hescher.
Hamilton from Broadway at the Hobby Center (February 22-March 20)
The revolution might still be streaming, thanks to Disney, but there’s still no substitute for being in the room where live performances happen. The hip-hop historical retelling of Alexander Hamilton’s story redefined what a musical can be.
Now the king (and president, treasury secretary, etc.) of Broadway returns to Houston for a month long run. Hamilton still manages to pack into three hours of onstage singing, rapping and hip-hop dancing some essence of the promise and tragedies of America, as both the real country we live in today and a diverse dream of millions of immigrants and citizens across 200 years.
Jewels from Houston Ballet (February 24-March 6)
While not technically theater, we still don’t want to miss this jewel — actually three — in the crown of 20th century ballet royalty, George Balanchine’s, sparkling legacy.
A different rich and luminous gem inspires each act while also symbolizing Balanchine’s relationship with the chosen music, with Emeralds set to Gabriel Fauré, Rubies epitomizing his collaboration with Igor Stravinsky, and the multifaceted Diamonds set to Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky.
The distinct moods of each of these precious jewels nods to Balanchine’s own spirit and influences.