In 2010, there was a lot to like in Houston's theater scene, which showed growth at all levels. Among my favorites:
In the glorious chestnuts department, South Pacific, (Lincoln Center production) presented by TUTS, looked as shiny as ever.
Three performances stood out on Houston's theater stages: Matt Kelly's portrayal of Herman Brood in Catastrophic Theatre's Bluefinger, Kim Tobin's crazed and nuanced take of Rachel in Brave Dog Theatre's fine production of Reckless and Santry Rush's misbehaving man in Horse Head Theater Co.'s production of Among The Thugs.
In that other Texas town, Austin, Kristen Kosmas' This from Cloudland, presented by the Fuse Box Festival and Physical Plant Theater, had me screaming, "I love this show," and that was right after I put my row mate into a coma about how unimportant it is whether or now I like anything. Stripped of the usual conventions of the stage, Kosmas lets words be their own kind of theater.
Another promising new trend I noticed: A lot of new performing and visual arts spaces opened or will open soon. They include:
- Obsidian Art Space is a new cozy space for music and theater.
- Spring Street Studios opens any day now.
- 14 Pews offers yet another micro cinema.
- The Margaret Alkek Williams Dance Lab Houston Ballet's Center for Dance, slated for a spring opening, will be ideal for local dance theater and music troupes needing a space bigger than Barnevelder but smaller than Zilkha at the Hobby Center.
Editor's note: This is the 19th in a series of articles CultureMap will be running this transition week (the end of '10 and the beginning of '11) on The Year in Culture. The stories in this series will focus on a key point or two, something that struck our reporting team about the year rather than rote Top 10 lists or bests of.
Other The Year In Culture stories: