Exploring human connection through storytelling has always been a hallmark of Stages ethos as a Houston arts organization. Its 2023 - 2024 arts season highlights that mission, with a slate of plays that include Broadway hits, world premieres, and fan favorites.
The organization's 46th season begins with an encore of Always...Patsy Cline by Ted Swindley, which premiered at Stages 35 years ago. It's been delighting audiences ever since, telling the story of the groundbreaking country music superstar's life and incorporating 27 of her songs including "Crazy" and "I Fall to Pieces." Previews begin July 21 and the show runs through October 29.
When POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive played on Broadway in 2022, Variety called it a "delicious feminist farce." It's the story of how seven women on the president's staff step up to save his reputation — and the world — when his PR nightmare becomes a global crisis. Stages brings the comedy to the Bayou City with previews beginning September 1. The play will run through October 8.
Up nest comes the psychological thriller Switzerland by Joanna Murray-Smith. Stages favorite Sally Edmunson plays Texas-born murder mystery writer Patricia Highsmith, living out her days in solitude in her home in the remote Swiss Alps. Then, a young emissary turns up, encouraging the writer to continue her Tom Ripley series, and it begins to be clear that things are about to get sinister. Previews begin October 6 and Switzerland runs through November 12.
For the holidays, Stages teams up with TEATRX for the world premiere of Panto Alicia in Wonderland, giving the Lewis Carroll classic a decidedly Houston spin. Alice (not Alicia) is about to make her quinceañera, and finds herself rejecting her culture. When she falls down the rabbit hole, however, she enters a world that celebrates all that makes her Alicia. Expect Ricky Martin and Selena parodies in this rollicking edition of Stages' panto tradition. Previews begin December 1 and the show runs through December 31.
2024 opens with Sister’s Irish Catechism: Saints, Snakes, and Green Milkshakes!, the latest iteration of Stages' popular Sister's Catechism series and another of the season's world premieres. The irrepressible Sister, played by Denise Fennell,gets back in the habit for a show that turns the theater into a classroom and the audience into her students. Laughs and improvisation are on the lesson plan. Sister's Irish Catechism begins previews on January 26, 2024 and plays through March 17. Of course.
Othello: The Remix features a book and music by the Q Brothers and was a New York Times critic's pick. This reimagining of Shakespeare's classic tale of love, jealousy, suspicion, and tragedy is a high-energy adaptation, with an overlay of unforgettable beats. Previews begin May 3, with the show running through June 9, 2024.
Stages' seventh series of Sin Muros: A Latinx Theater Festival is May 23 through 26, featuring a weekend of readings and workshops celebrating Latinx artists and creators.
The 2023 - 2024 season closes with A Case for the Existence of God by Samuel D. Hunter, which explores the unlikely friendship formed by two men sharing an office cubicle, as they navigating banking, parenthood, and human connection. Previews begin May 24, 2024 and the show runs through June 30.
“I think of this season as gentle, with shows that explore connection and ask probing questions about human nature,” said artistic director Kenn McLaughlin in a statement. "The shows move through complex meditations on love, life, family, traditions, notions of power, and history — there are so many ideas packed into very intimate stories. I love the juxtaposition of these concepts, and this is the kind of storytelling that our audiences love as well — intimate and epic all at once.”
Season subscriptions are currently on sale, beginning at $150. Details can be found at www.stageshouston.com.