best november theater
12 best November performances no Houston theater fan should miss
While some Halloween spirit remains in November — including ghost stories (4th Wall Theatre), friendly sea monsters (the Alley) and possible zombies (Rec Room) — it’s beginning to look a lot like holiday shows for much of this month.
Look for a brand-new Christmas Carol, holiday cabaret, Christmas Motown, Panto and our favorite Nutty prince. Those whose plans are to Bah Humbug until December can stay in a holiday-free zone with some blue men, singing queens, farcical French servants, and the Catastrophic gang.
Blue Man Group from Performing Arts Houston (November 5 and 6)
If you’re already feeling a bit blue as the holidays approach, Performing Arts Houston has you covered (possibly in cannon confetti) with an all-new show from the bluesy trio. While the Blue Men are famously tight-lipped when it comes to spoilers, we’ve heard to expect their signature drumming, colorful moments of creativity and quirky comedy for all ages, with a message that “the men are still blue but the rest is all new!” Get ready for pulsing, original music, custom-made instruments, surprise audience interaction and hilarious absurdity.
The Six from Broadway at the Hobby Center (November 8-20)
Six queens take the stage to have (and belt) it out over who had a worst marriage — to the same husband. With those marriage outcomes being: divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived, they’ve got a lot to sing about. Yes, the wives of Henry VIII finally get to tell their own side of the story in this theatrical concert extravaganza, a West End, Broadway and beyond hit.
The Marriage of Figaro from Classical Theatre Company (November 10-26)
The company that only performs works over a 100 years old, yet still manages to find intriguing new spins on the classics, has decided to focus on comedies for their entire 22-23 season. They begin with the original French farce by Pierre de Beaumarchais, the work that Mozart later turned into one of the most beloved operas. This sequel to The Barber of Seville follows the hijinks of the clever Figaro and his duplicitous master, the Count Almaviva, as the servant gets ready to marry the love of his life. Classical artistic director John Johnston translated the original 18th-century play into English and also directs this new production.
A Motown Christmas at Ensemble Theatre (November 17-December 24)
The midtown staple celebrates the holidays with this festive holiday revue. It’s the perfect blend of traditional Christmas carols paired with the soulful sounds from such Motown celebrities as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, and The Jackson 5. This soulful play promises to bring back good memories and deliver a delightful Christmas treat for the entire family.
They Do Not Move from Catastrophic Theatre (November 18-December 10)
Always a company to counter the holiday rush with something a bit weird, the avant-garde company will present a world premiere collaborate work from director Brian Jucha with the Catastrophic acting ensemble. Using found text, music, stylized physicality, and an abundance of pop culture references, the show will depicted a future dystopia, but perhaps whimsical one, where a disorganized band of vagrants, waifs, and strays are hunted by monarchist forces. With beauty pageants, sitcoms, horror movies and conversation therapy woven into the work, Catastrophic says to be ready for “frenetically funny love letter to our city.”
Houston for the Holidays with DeQuina Moore at Stages (November 18-December 24)
Uber fresh off playing Lauren Anderson in Plumshuga, which closes 5 days before this one opens, Houston native and Broadway star DeQuina Moore brings her own unique voice to the holidays. Look for this cabaret show to highlight Moore’s personal nostalgic stories including Broadway backstage memories. Written by Moore and rising Houston playwright ShaWanna Renee Rivon, Stages says this cabaret will deck your halls with nostalgia, joy, and cheer.
A Christmas Carol at Alley Theatre (November 18-December 30)
For decades, the Alley has kept its holiday tradition of producing a A Christmas Carol, and for many of those years that Carol was their ghostly adaptation by Michael Wilson. Then came the pandemic and two years of scaled-down productions that celebrated the art of theater-making. This year, they offer a big world premiere Carol adaptation, as artistic director Rob Melrose has gone back to Charles Dickens original novella for inspiration. David Rainey is back as Scrooge with the rest of the resident acting company and Alley regulars playing all the ghosts and Dickensian characters, but also look for Victorian costumes by Raquel Barreto, magical elements created by illusionist Jim Steinmeyer, and holiday carols arranged by John L. Cornelius II,
Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical from Garden Theatre (November 18-27)
In another bit of counter-programming for this very busy November theatrical week, one of Houston’s newest theater companies will present the off-Broadway jukebox musical based on the Sarah Michelle Gellar/Reese Witherspoon film that was itself based on the play Dangerous Liaisons (based on the French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses). Love is the most dangerously cruel liaison of all in this show featuring the ultimate '90s numbers with music from Boyz II Men, Counting Crows, The Verve, Christina Aguilera, REM, 'NSYNC, and, of course, Britney Spears.
The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley at Main Street Theater (November 19-December 18)
Main Street has found their own holiday tradition in recent years by spending Christmas with the characters of Pride and Prejudice. The first hit sequel to P&P, Christmas at Pemberley written by contemporary playwrights Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, gave Bennet middle sister, Mary, time to shine. In this sequel to the sequel, the comedy heads downstairs on the same Christmas to see how the Pemberley servants handle the crisis when the conniving Wickham shows up to see his estranged wife, Lydia. Expect ensuing comic chaos likely seasoned with Christmas renewal, romance and family forgiveness.
Panto Snow White and the Seven Dorks at Stages (November 25-December 24)
Buttons and a whole crew of fairytale characters are back for the long-running Stages tradition of taking U.K holiday Panto and giving it a decidedly Texas twist. In this world premiere, Snow White finds herself banished by the Evil Queen and her high-tech virtual assistant mirror. As she fumbles through Silicon Valley in search of help, she finds a team of dorky hackers. Together, they overthrow and out-code the forces of tech tyranny using brains, algorithms, and some Panto magic. Buttons gets a reboot as he is reinvented as head of Tech Support for the Evil Queen.
The Nutcracker from Houston Ballet (November 25-December 27)
While Houston Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch’s glorious vision leaped back to live performances at the Wortham last year. This year, HB levels up to its magical giant-Christmas-tree-scale. All 61 Company dancers will perform during the production’s run, joined by over 300 young dancers — students from Houston Ballet Academy as well as locals from the annual open audition. Dancing to the beloved Tchaikovsky score, all our favorites — the Nutcracker Prince, Sugarplum Fairy, Rat King and the international ambassadors — will take a turn at the magical winter court. In Welch’s imagining, Clara becomes the hero of this enchanting story where the all the animals dance as well as the weather, in the form of the loveliest snowflakes in HB company.
A Texas Carol at A.D. Players (November 30-December 23)
Get ready for holiday family-time laughs with the new outrageous and very Texan comedy from A.D. Players executive artistic director Jayme McGhan and artistic producer Kevin Dean. The whole family is on the way to Mee-Maw Jane's East Texas ranch for what might be her last Christmas. The only problem--when the first group arrives, Mee-Maw is already gone! Now, how to keep that fact (and her body) from the rest of the family and save Christmas? A.D. Players promise a hysterical and heart-warming story about all things Christmas and all things Texas that ultimately brings us straight to the true meaning of Christmas.