best September theater
September's must-see stage shows for Houston theater fans: Mizrahi, mariachis, and more
September unleashes the drama, and stages full of comedy, music, and dance as many local theater companies in Houston open their 23-24 season. From political farce to a Greek classic, a Constitutional debate to funeral hijinks, this month gives a bounty of stories to discover.
We’re also putting a few theater-adjacent shows on our must-see list to spice up our September as some Broadway and television stars head into Houston for limited engagements.
POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive at Stages (now through October 8)
This all-woman cast political farce became a Broadway smash in 2022, so we’re ready for the laughs when some of our fav Houston actors jump into the roles in this Stages production.
The comedy chronicles a day in the life of those women who keep the world running when a scandal-ridden president sends his administration into chaos. When the President unwittingly spins a PR nightmare into a global crisis, these seven brilliant and beleaguered women he relies upon most must risk life, liberty and the pursuit of sanity to keep the commander-in-chief out of trouble.
Far East from On the Verge Theatre (now through September 17)
One of Houston’s newest company opens their second season with this A.R. Gurney classic. Set in Japan during the ’50s, the play follows an American Navy officer’s journey through Japan and Southeast Asia and grapples with the complexities and clashes of cultural and class differences.
During their inaugural season, On the Verge founders Bruce Lumpkin and Ron Jones set each show on a different stage or non-traditional location through its first season, but for their second season, the company partners with Alta Arts, one of Houston’s newest art spaces. The space opened three years ago with a mission of providing a space for visual and performing artists in the southwest Houston neighborhood with a scarcity of access to the cultural arts. On the Verge will stage their 23-24 season at Alta.
Forever Plaid at A.D. Players (September 6-October 1)
Featuring ’50s standards including “"Love is a Many-Splendored Thing,” “Cry,” and “Heart and Soul,” this musical classic dressed in family-friendly nostalgia actually has one of the most quirky books of any jukebox musical out there.
Set in both the 1950s and some melodious hereafter, the show follows the life and death of a boy-group wannabes on the way to their first big gig. The Plaids die in a collision with a bus filled with Catholic schoolgirls on their way to see the Beatles. At the moment their careers and lives end, the story of Forever Plaid begins as they get a chance to return from the great beyond to perform one time.
Medea from Classical Theatre (September 7-16)
After the tragic cancellation of their final show of their 22-23 season after the Winter Street fire destroyed their administration offices and rehearsal space, Classical is back with one of the mother of all theater tragedies, Medea.
Classical founder and A.D, John Johnston says this production will highlight the strong feminist themes of the ancient play, including “the societal status of women when they are abandoned by men and the role of mothers and motherhood.”
One of our favorite Houston actors, Callina Anderson, plays the mighty, revenge-seeking Media.
Midsummer Night’s Dream from Houston Ballet (September 8-17)
To open their sweeping season, which is also artistic director Stanton Welch’s 20th year with the company, Houston Ballet unleashes the fairy hijinks. Shakespeare’s magical comedy dances to the music Felix Mendelssohn, Gyorgy Ligeti, and traditional organ music.
Originally created by the great choreographer John Neumeier in 1977 on Hamburg Ballet, this Dream has been performed by companies around the globe, but HB became the first North American company to perform the distinguished work in 2014.
MOMIX: Alice presented by Performing Arts Houston (September 16-17)
Dive down this magical rabbit hole into a lovely and strange dance wonderland unlike any other. The acclaimed and always theatrical dance company MOMIX, leaps into this vibrant and kinetic take on Lewis Carroll’s stories.
Choreographer Moses Pendleton blends visual illusions, dance and acrobatics in this newest work that explores Alice’s adventures with the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit, and more.
What the Constitution Means to Me at Main Street Theater (September 16-October 15)
We might not often think about how the U.S. Constitution touches our day-to-day lives, but playwright and performer Heidi Schreck does. She turned her personal moving and sometimes truly funny stories about how the Constitution has touched generations of women in her family into a Tony-nominated and Broadway smash.
Playing herself as both an adult and teen, she then ends with an unconstrained debate with a high school debater about the Constitution’s continual relevancy. Schreck played a version of herself on Broadway, but for the play’s Houston debut MST’s own Shannon Emerick plays “Heidi.”
To continue the debate, MST has scheduled several nights of post-show discussions with notable local legal experts to take audiences deeper into how the Constitution shapes us all.
Blockbuster Broadway with Norm Lewis from Houston Symphony (September 22 and 23)
We can’t pass up an ode to Broadway song greats, so we’ve got to add this fall opening concert of the Houston Symphony’s Pops Series. Norm Lewis’s illustrious career includes starring as Javert in Les Misérables, originating the role of King Triton in Broadway’s The Little Mermaid, starring alongside John Legend and Sara Bareilles in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live, and making history as the first African American Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera.
The baritone joins Steven Reineke and the Houston Symphony for Broadway classics from Porgy and Bess, Les Misérables, The Wiz, and Company.
TuTu from Houston Ballet (September 21-October 1)
Once the midsummer fairies take their fall leave from the Wortham stage, HB is immediately back with their annual triple-bill program. Tutu brings three distinct dances to the Wortham stage: Celebrating Stanton Welch’s 20th anniversary, the lineup includes his playful Tu Tu, set to Ravel's Concerto for Piano in G major and with costumes inspired by Gustav Klimt's gold-hued paintings.
Enjoy a rousing dance salute to the flag with George Balanchine’s patriotic Stars and Stripes, set to five rousing marches from composer John Phillip Sousa. The program concludes with a world premiere ballet by internationally renowned Colombian-Belgian choreographer, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa.
The Pavilion from 4th Wall Theatre (September 22-October 7)
Craig Wright’s bittersweet love story with a cosmic perspective has been a staple for theaters across the country, as well as a juicy part for actors. Houston fav, Luis Galindo, who has graced almost every local stage, and 4th Wall’s managing director play former high school sweethearts who reunite at a 20th anniversary reunion.
As the play unfolds, we see the characters struggling to come to terms with their past and present lives. The omniscient narrator, played by 4th Wall founder, Philip Lehl, measures those lives on a universe scale.
Waiting for Godot from Catastrophic Theatre (September 22-October 14)
The company that specializes in theatrical absurdism brings back the GOAT of Absurdist theater, Samuel Becket’s masterpiece of giving life’s meaningless meaning.
Two penniless tramps stand together on a country road waiting for the enigmatic Mr. Godot to arrive to somehow improve their diminishing circumstances. Director and Catastrophic co-founder, Jason Nodler, reunites with Greg Dean (Vladmir), Charlie Scott (Estragon), Kyle Sturdivant (Pozzo), and Troy Schulze (Lucky), who will all reprise their roles from Catastrophic’s acclaimed 2013 production.
Chicken & Biscuits at Ensemble Theatre (September 22-October 15)
With a recipe for joyful theater, Ensemble serves up this feel-good, family comedy — with a side of shade and really good dish — that made its Broadway debut in 2021. (In a bit of synergistic theater scheduling, Houston Symphony headliner, Norm Lewis, starred in that Broadway production.)
The Jenkins family is coming together to mourn the death but also celebrate the life of the family patriarch. Yet, squabbling sisters might ruin the funeral. Any hopes for a peaceful reunion unravel when everyone’s got either a secret to keep or a truth to tell. The two sisters are faced with a family history revelations that could either heal or break them apart.
American Mariachi at Alley Theatre (September 22-October 22)
The Alley trumpets their fall season with the power of mariachi music in this acclaimed play with music by José Cruz González. Set in the 1970s, American Mariachi tells the story of two cousins who love music and want to create their own all-women mariachi group — and weaves in themes of family, tradition, memory, and independence.
Along with a cast of Alley regulars, look and listen for a stellar group of real mariachi musicians onstage, led by the great Mariachi band leader Jose Longoria.
An Evening with Isaac Mizrahi presented by Performing Arts Houston (September 29)
The fashion icon breaks art boundaries all the time, so we’re putting this one-night-only visit to Houston on our must-see theater list. Mizrahi brings his own jazz band and will sing an array of standards from Cole Porter to Barbra Streisand to Billie Eilish.
In between songs, Mizrahi will share stories and banter and muse on the movement, all together designing the ultimate night of cabaret filled with music, comedy, and, we’re betting, a pinch of dramatic flair.