Stages unloads an explosive new theater season of crowd-pleasing shows

Stages unloads an explosive new theater season of crowd-pleasing shows

Stages Repertory Theatre presents Late Nite Catechism: `Til Death Do Us Part
Sister returns for another show from the Late Nite Catechism epic in Stages' 2020-2021 season.  Photo courtesy of Stages Repertory Theatre

Stages has always laid claim as the Houston theater with some of the most varied and diverse season lineups. Every year, audiences have come to expect and anticipate that signature mix of crowd-pleasers, dynamic musicals, and comedies — and quite a few edgy contemporary works. Seen together, they make for an explosive season.

So it almost seems a Stage in-joke that for their just announced 20-21 season, they will introduce to the world a new musical about that North American hero who could blow his way out of any predicament using random bits of wires, cat fur, and a pineapple.

Yes, Houston’s most MacGyvery theater company begins their 43rd season in July with the world premiere: MacGyver: The Musical and it only gets more dramatically and comically fiery from there.

Stages goes full Gordy as they present a lineup built for three stages. Filled with four world premieres and Pulitzer Prize winner the season looks to once more serve a multitude of Houston audiences tastes. Here are some of the highlights we’re already reserving our seats for.

For musical lovers
After humming along with MacGyver — in fact, one audience member might get called to help out in the mayhem — Stages sings Houston into the holidays with returning favorite The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical (November 13 - December 27) and a revised version of the very first of their original Texas Panto shows Panto Sleeping Beauty (November 13 - December 27).

The new year brings a brand new musical Nashville Jukebox Live! (January 29-March 14, 2021) and Hank Williams, Ring of Fire husband and wife team Ben Hope and Katie Barton’s tribute to the greatest legends of the Grand Ole Opry. The season ends with the Tony Award-winning, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (May 21 – June 27, 2021).

Contemporary stunners
The fall brings one world and one regional premiere sure to entice contemporary theater lovers. Stages partners with One Year Lease Theater again for the 1969-set Pieces of the Moon (August 28-September 13). If their look at Apollo 11 is anything like their depiction of the battle of the sexes tennis match, Balls, expect the kinetic unexpected. Next, A Woman of the World (September 25-October 11) chronicles the little known life of journalist and naturalist Mabel Loomis Todd. Stages fav Sally Edmundson plays Mabel.

Anchoring the Sin Muros Latinx play festival comes the regional premiere of The Giant Void in My Soul: A Play For Fools (February 12-28) by Houston’s own Bernardo Cubría. In the spring, look for the award-winning Black Super Hero Magic Mama (April 2-18, 2021) from the acclaimed Inda Craig-Galvà. Stages rounds out the play season with the Pulitzer winning Cost of Living (April 23-May 9, 2021), which examines two pairs of relationships between disabled and able persons.

Black box mystery
A close look at the schedule might reveals a secret for their Rochelle and Max Levit Stage black box space. The first and only show slated for the stage in the 20-21 season brings everyone’s favorite nun back to town for Late Nite Catechism Last Vegas: Sister Rolls the Dice, which begins its run March 10, 2021. This means Honky Tonk Laundry debuting in just a few weeks this year, March 6, 2020, might bring so much delicious dirt the show will need many months in the wash cycle in the Levit Stage.