Theater blooms anew in March from our favorite Houston companies with world premieres and classics with 21st-century sensibilities.
That means, for fans, gods, goddesses, healing witches, man-dogs, and most scary of all, scheming writers.
Yes, Hamilton takes its last Houston bow in later March, but we’ll immediately welcome back those hospitable, Come From Away Newfoundlanders at Hobby Center. Plus, we’ll dive under the sea for something really different from University of Houston’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.
Sense and Sensibility at Alley Theatre (now through March 27)
The go-to playwright for exciting new twirls on the classics, Kate Hamill’s adaptations of Jane Austin favorites has been a hit across the country.
Her adaptations celebrate the original work while giving actors the ultimate innovative workout as many of the resident company cast will play multiple roles, perhaps even in the very same scenes.
While we expect fine romantic comedy fare from any Austin version, Hamill has shown she can spotlight some of the Austin’s sharp social commentary and satire for the stage. This might make for the ultimate spring feel-good show.
Sylvia from Houston Ballet (March 10-20)
Ballet doesn’t get much more theatrical than Greek/Roman myths with dancing gods, goddesses, nymphs, huntresses, fauns, and the odd naiad. Though perhaps not as known to dance lovers as other story ballets, this depiction of the Sylvia myth, set to music by Léo Delibes has created faun fans for almost a 150 years.
In 2019, Houston Ballet’s Stanton Welch put his own mark on the legendary tale of the huntress Sylvia, and her love for a mortal shepherd. Welch’s choreography and vision returns with three epic forest love stories brought to live in the Wortham by the company dancers with stunning costumes and set designs scenic by world-renowned ballet and opera designer Jerome Kaplan, with lighting design by Lisa J. Pinkham, and myth building projections from Wendall K. Harrington.
Dog Act at Main Street Theater (March 20-April 16)
Even if civilizations ends, showbiz will go on. At least, that’s the premise of Liz Duffy Adams’s very different comic take on post-apocalyptic stories.
Follow the adventures of Zetta Stone, a traveling performer, and her companion Dog (a young man undergoing a voluntary species demotion) as they wander through the former northeastern United States.
Zetta, Dog, and their little vaudevillian troupe are on their way to a gig in China, assuming they can find it. When civilization falls, we need language, stories and a good laugh all the more. Adams will also be in person at MST for a Part of the Art Series post-show discussion on Sunday, Apr. 10.
Come From Away presented by Theatre Under the Stars (March 22-April 3)
TUTS lands this touring production of the award-winning show about singular acts of kindness and connection that will likely have new resonance after these past two years of anxiety and isolation for many.
Come From Away reveals the true story of what happened to some of the planes head to the U.S from Europe on 9/11 as they’re forced to land in Canada’s eastern-most province. The stranded passengers find hospitality and songs from small-town Newfoundlanders.
All of the characters are based on real individuals, including Dallas-based Beverley Bass, the first female American Airlines captain.
Gloria from 4th Wall Theatre (March 24-April 16)
MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and an Obie Award, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s satire on literary life pits an ambitious group of editorial assistants against each other at a famous New York cultural magazine.
When an ordinary workday becomes all too news worthy who will get to tell that story? Black is back–actor/director and Alley acting company emeritus James Black that is–fresh off directing Amerikin at the Alley to direct a cast of young, local favorites.
Ocean Filibuster at University of Houston’s Quintero Theater (March 25-27)
The Earth’s oceans get their day in Congress in this wildly inventive multidisciplinary theatrical experience from PearlDamour, the Obie-Award winning collaborative team of Lisa D'Amour and Katie Pearl and presented by the University of Houston’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts and School of Theater & Dance.
The duo draw from myth, performance art, and climate science to imagine a showdown between Senate leader Mr. Majority and The Ocean itself. The production utilizes music, video, interactive mini-labs, and 3D-augmented reality to plunge the audience beneath the waves and discover the intimate, critical relationship between humankind and the ocean.
The Houston performances will be the first leg of national tour that was originally commissioned and developed by the American Repertory Theater with support from the Harvard University Center for the Environment.
Sunrise Coven at Stages (March 25-April 11)
Houston playwright Bourque-Sheil takes a wickedly comic twist on U.S. health care issues with the latest world premiere from Stages. Sunrise Coven received an initial reading at RecRoom in Houston.
In this witchy tale, Hallie has been a caring nurse to her community for much of her life. When her eyesight fails, she finds a new calling among a local coven as she thwarts the big business of Western medicine to access drugs and healing for her patients.
Stages does advise before taking any magical theater supplement that we should consult our doctor — to see if witchcraft is right for us.