September 23, 2022

12 Best Houston Plays + Performances Feature World Premieres, More

Houston theaters are winding down and ending their 2021-2022 seasons this month with a dramatic bang.

With half of our must-see list featuring world-first comedies, dramas and dances, Houston will also be the first to see some amazing new voices and stories. And for those looking for proven works, we also have winners and fan favorites on our list.

From moon shots and mother stories to Elizabethan playwright duels and pretty dances for those Jersey boys, get ready for “Oh, What a Night” on the Houston stages in May.

Hurricane Diana at Rec Room (now until May 28)
Climate change meets the Greek god of wine, theater and nature in this comedy from Madeleine George, an Obie-winning writer on the hit Hulu show Only murders in the building.

Here, Dionysus becomes the goddess Diana, who roams the Earth as a lesbian permaculture gardener whose secret mission is to save the planet from the ravages of climate change. Freely inspired by Euripides The BacchantesDiane plays the goddess in the lives of four Real Housewives from New Jersey. Hurricane Diana uses comic absurdism to explore our complex responses to global warming and our capacity for change.

Apollo 8 at AD Players (now until June 5)
With this world-first order, AD Players tell the extraordinary story of NASA’s first mission to orbit the moon. In the turbulent mid-1960s with unrest at home and war and tension abroad, NASA is tasked with the mission to beat the Russians to the moon.

With true stories from the real Americans who planned and piloted the mission, Apollo 8 also tells the fictional stories of people moved and inspired by our first trip to the moon, all culminating in a triumphant and divine insight into who we are and who were made to be.

born with teeth at the Alley Theater (now until June 5)
One of Alley’s four world premieres this season, Liz Duffy Adams’ historical simulation drama puts volatile geniuses William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe in a room for a dangerous theatrical collaboration.

Artistic rivalry becomes political, as poetic and sexual tensions erupt. In an age of palace intrigue, when the queen reigns supreme, the state is the church and one wrong move or word can mean execution. Can either man survive such a deadly creative partnership?

Aunt Julia and the screenwriter at the Main Street Theater (May 8-June 5)
In this English premiere, playwright Caridad Svich brings the autobiographical novel by Latin American writer, Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas-Llosa to life on the Main Street stage.

This intentionally soapy romantic comedy follows the life and loves of a 1950s Peruvian radio station as young writer Mario falls in love with his uncle’s much older, recently divorced sister-in-law, Julia.

Svich describes the coming-of-age story about “the performance of everyday life, the wonderfully messy nature of love, and a tribute to the golden age of radio and the spirit of classic comedies notice”.

Boys jersey presented by Theater Under the Stars (May 10-22)
The boys are back in town – those Jersey boys, that is – as TUTS invites the Broadway touring favorite for a stay.

Houston music fans are always ready to relive the dramatic story behind the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons’ debut and rise in a show that also features all of their hits, including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Oh What a Night”, “Walk Like a Man”, “I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, and “I’m Coming Back to You”.

Between Riverside and Crazy from the 4th Wall Theater (May 12 to June 4)
Houston theater companies, including 4th Wall, brought us excellent productions by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis. This particular production with some of our favorite local actors started in March 2020, only to close after a few performances.

We were wild with anticipation for 4th Wall to bring it back. This peek inside a retired New York City police officer’s rent-controlled apartment on New York’s Riverside Drive reveals a whole world of crazy bonds, battles and relationships between family, friends and enemies.

The Mother Project: a collaboration to honor black mothers and their children by Mildred’s Umbrella (May 19-28)
In collaboration with Esurient Arts, this multidisciplinary theatrical production was created by a diverse group of six female artists from Mildred’s Umbrella and Esurient Arts.

Based on interviews with Black American mothers, midwives and doulas, Mildred founder Jennifer Decker says The parent project tries to give voice to “the joy and sorrow of being a black mother in an America that still doesn’t treat all people the same”.

One of the project’s creators, Houston playwright Jelisa Robinson, describes, “I was brought to the project later and was drawn to the fact that it sought to honor the diverse and beautiful experiences of black mothers. . As a black woman with a black mother, it was part of her honor in this process.

pretty things from Houston Ballet (May 20-29)
Although it’s not technically theatrical, we’re set for the world premiere, Trey McIntyre’s all-male dancer peacock drama pretty thingswhich is part of Houston Ballet’s mixed repertoire showcase of Houston-born ballets.

With David Bowie of McIntyre, inspired pretty thingsby Jorma Elo A|end|A reflects the offbeat and unexpected movements of the choreographer to create a playful atmosphere. by Christopher Bruce silence is a comical and moving celebration of life set to the music of Yo-Yo Ma and Bobby McFerrin.

Bonnie and Clyde by Open Dance Project (May 27-June 4)
Few performing arts companies make theatrical dance as immersive as choreographer Annie Arnoult’s Open Dance Project.

For Arnoult’s latest immersive piece, staged at Rice’s Moody Center, ODP dancers, designers and composers take audiences back to 1920s and 1930s Texas and the criminal love story of Bonnie and Clyde.

Expect the unexpected dance with ODP, as the company does its research when creating new works. Expect a fresh take on this violent duo as they delve into the circumstances that turned teenagers with nothing to lose into killers.

Clybourne Park Dirt Dog Theater (May 27 to June 11)
Inspired by the play by Lorraine Hansberry A raisin in the sunPulitzer, Tony and Oliver (an award-winning rarity) by Bruce Norris ponders issues of community and change.

Covering a 50-year period in a Chicago neighborhood, Act One is set in 1959, as white community leaders attempt to prevent the sale of a home to a black family. Act two is set in the same house in 2009, as the now predominantly black neighborhood faces gentrification.

With the same cast playing different roles in the two eras, the play examines what changes and what stays the same in human prejudice and neighborhood relations.

song of me at Internships (May 27-June 12)
The final show of the Stages 2021-22 season brings us another world premiere from local artists.

Actor Mai Lê, who we’ve seen live on many Houston stages over the years, and photographer, sound designer and director Đạt Peter Tôn collaborated on the Vietnamese-Houstonian sibling story. Philip and Lucia. On the eve of Philip’s wedding, the brother and sister cook, plan and reminisce.

Cultures collide as the two siblings seek their own paths and yearn to sing in their own voices. Together, the two unpack their past and forge a new path, in this story of family, culture and identity that can only unfold in Houston.

unnamed from the Catastrophic Theater (May 27-June 19)
Inspired by the painting of Pablo Picasso Guernica and Iran’s Green Revolution, this experimental dance theater work by multidisciplinary artist Afsaneh Aayani will combine puppets, original live music, mixed media and movement to take audiences on a surreal journey. Expect a journey through Aayani’s personal story as an immigrant from war-torn Iran.

Caught in perpetual limbo on her twisted path to American citizenship and unable to return to Iran, she remains a woman without a country.