Houston's 2016-2017 Performing Arts Season
Experiencing the performing arts together can be a fantastic bonding experience for the entire family. Of course, not every performance is appropriate for everyone. Shows specifically designed for preschoolers will have 'tweens rolling their eyes. More mature subject matter or language isn't appropriate for the little ones, but it can spark wonderful conversations with teenagers. Studies (like this one, this one, and this one) show that taking in performances can make your kids smarter. How young is TOO young? Check out our article Take Your Child to the Theater, which is a handy guide with tips for experiencing the performing arts with kids.
Below, we have this season's listings for all of the performing arts that might be appropriate for a wide variety of ages. In addition to those for the younger set, there are many that aren't necessarily designed with kids in mind but that may engage your older kids and teens. The following descriptions note the ages for which the performance is appropriate, so pay attention. Now go score yourself some tickets and enjoy the arts that abound right in your own backyard!
Rice African Music Ensemble presents “Marimba Madness”The Centrum: October 1st, 2016
Marimba Madness is an exciting musical performance that takes the audience on an interactive cultural journey around the world. Using drums and marimbas from Africa and Latin America, musician Andrew Keller and the Rice African Music Ensemble explain the history behind these instruments as well as teach traditional songs and stories, play interactive games and even give audience members an opportunity to play the instruments themselves. This presentation reinforces themes of community, cooperation and respect for one’s history, while displaying how traditional music has been important to composers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
The Princess and the PeaMissoula Children's Theatre: October 8th & 9th, 2016
OliverNancy Bock Center: October 15th thru 16th, 2016
Consider yourself at home with Lionel Bart's classic musical based on Charles Dickens' novel, Oliver Twist. The Tony and Olivier Award-winning show is one of the few musicals to win an Academy Award for Best Picture and is widely hailed as a true theatrical masterpiece by actors and audience members alike.
The streets of Victorian England come to life as Oliver, a malnourished orphan in a workhouse, becomes the neglected apprentice of an undertaker. Oliver escapes to London and finds acceptance amongst a group of petty thieves and pickpockets led by the elderly Fagin. When Oliver is captured for a theft he did not commit, the benevolent victim, Mr. Brownlow takes him in. Fearing the safety of his hideout, Fagin employs the sinister Bill Sikes and the sympathetic Nancy to kidnap him back, threatening Oliver’s chances of discovering the true love of a family.
10th Annual KBR Kids Day on Buffalo BayouThe Water Works: October 15th, 2016
Join Buffalo Bayou Partnership and KBR for free family fun at the 10th annual KBR Kids Day at The Water Works at Buffalo Bayou Park. Featuring hands-on learning opportunities from 30 non-profit partners as well as live music and entertainment this year’s Kids Day will surely captivate your child’s imagination! Explore the Barbara Fish Daniel Nature Play Area, take $2 boat rides on BBP’s pontoon boat Spirit of the Bayou, and rent bikes or kayaks from our park concessionaires.
Every Kid in a Park Passports for Nature activities will be a fun way to get your family or school connected to all Houston-area parks. Teachers, special information will be available on how to connect to cool field trips too!
Food and drinks will be available for purchase from Churrasco, Friohana, It’s a Wrap! and Pho-jita Fusion.
The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream OnStages Arena Theater: NOW PLAYING thru October 16th, 2016
Stages is proud to present the World Premiere of a brand new Wonderettes adventure.
It’s 1969, and everyone is gathered in the Springfield High School Gymnasium, where the Wonderettes are throwing a fabulous retirement party for their beloved homeroom teacher. But as the decade passes, one Wonderette must choose between her lifelong friends and the allure of fame. Featuring your favorite songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s, The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On includes hits such as Build Me Up, Buttercup, Gimme Some Lovin’, I Will Survive, The Hustle, I Can See Clearly Now, We Are Family, and more! Rated PG
Trout Fishing in AmericaThe Centrum: October 15th, 2016
Trout Fishing in America is the long-standing and yet seemingly unlikely musical partnership of Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet. As individuals, they are about as different as one can imagine. Together, they blend seamlessly in a way that has captured the imagination (and hearts) of audiences of all ages for over three decades. Ezra on guitar and banjo stands 6’8″ tall while Keith on bass stretches to 5’5 1/2″ on a humid day. Ezra is more playful and extroverted while Keith is more serious and reserved. Each of them bring out the best in the other and the joy that comes from this musical interaction is contagious and impossible to deny.
Disney’s Tarzan: The Stage MusicalMissoula Community Theatre: October 20th thru 30th, 2016
Trouble on the DoubleMiller Outdoor Theatre: October 24th, 2016
This new play, written by Holly Hepp-Galvan and presented by Austin based Pollyanna Theatre Company, follows the story of young twins – Max and Minnie. These two may look alike, but their personalities are very different. While one is brave and not afraid to try anything, the other is timid and does not like to take any risks. Can these siblings learn to balance each other out? Can Max control his urge to take on daring tasks and can Minnie stop fearing her own shadow? And is Leo, the new lion at the local zoo, really the biggest in the world? How much adventure is fun and how much is dangerous? Hepp-Galvan’s newest play for Pollyanna will have audiences both thinking and laughing as the action unfolds.
Recommended for children ages 4 – 10 and their families.
Presented by Young Audiences of Houston
A Midsummer Night’s DreamHubbard Theatre: Preview Start October 7th, Opens October 12th to November 5th, 2016
The Alley Theatre joins companies around the globe in celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare with Shakespeare@400. In the Bard’s most popular and enchanting comedy, the woods outside Athens are a busy place as four young lovers and a troupe of actors find themselves in the middle of a dispute between the King and Queen of the fairies. Alongside A Midsummer Night’s Dream the Alley will host community and school performances, readings, and an evening of songs and sonnets hosted by members of the Alley Company. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is suitable for general audiences ages 12 and up.
The WIZ- TYA VersionBay Area Arts Conservatory: November 4th & 5th, 2016
When Harlem schoolteacher Dorothy (Diana Ross) tries to save her dog from a storm, she's miraculously whisked away to an urban fantasy land called Oz. After accidentally killing the Wicked Witch of the East upon her arrival, Dorothy is told about the Wiz (Richard Pryor), a wizard who can help her get back to Manhattan. As Dorothy goes in search of the Wiz, she's joined by the Scarecrow (Michael Jackson), the Tin Man (Nipsey Russell) and the Cowardly Lion (Ted Ross).
Disney’s 101 Dalmatians KidsMissoula Children's Theatre: November 5th, 2016
The Honky Tonk Angels Holiday SpectacularStages Arena Theater: November 9th thru December 31st, 2016
The Angels have been invited to perform a Christmas-time reunion concert in Nashville. When Angela is mysteriously absent, a gospel soul sister - who also happens to be a psychic manicurist - steps in temporarily until Angela reappears. Filled with both classic and comic yuletide favorites including Silent Night, Blue Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, this holiday spectacular is just the ticket for a festive season! Rated PG
A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of ChristmasHubbard Theatre: Previews Start November 19th, Opens November 20th to December 29th, 2016
Houston’s seasonal favorite described by the Houston Press as having “Spectacular London sets... the inimitable Dickens’ tale – spiced with the usual fog and an unusual twist on the ghosts past, present and future.” A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas returns this year with a re-telling of Charles Dickens’ classic story, which follows Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey with the three ghostly spirits who visit him on Christmas Eve. A Christmas Carol instills a powerful message about redemption and the spirit of the holiday season. A Christmas Carol is suitable for general audiences, ages 6 and up.
The NutcrackerWortham Theater Center: November 25th - December 27th, 2016
Snowflakes. Sword fights. Dancing dolls. And a Christmas tree that reaches the sky. Stanton Welch's opulent new production promises everything you love about The Nutcracker, brighter and more splendid than ever. In this, the most traditional tale, Clara and Drosselmeyer travel together to the Land of the Sweets where the Sugar Plum Fairy is reunited with her prince - and where the magic happens. With grand sets and stunning costumes, The Nutcracker, features the entire company of dancers playing hundreds of fun and exciting new roles.
Panto Wonderful WizardStages Yeager Theater: November 30th thru December 31st, 2016
Oz meets Pantoland in Stages’ latest irrepressible family adventure. Join Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion as they skip down the Yellow Brick Road in search of the way home. Stages continues its fresh holiday tradition for families with this playful mix of zany characters, toe-tapping pop songs, audience participation and spectacular fun for grownups and kids alike! Rated PG
A Christmas Story: The MusicalMissoula Community Theatre: December 1st thru 18th, 2016
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatLonestar Tomball Performing Arts Center: December 2nd thru 4th, 2016
Elf, Jr.Spotlight Acting Academy: December 2nd to 11th , 2016
Katy residents will embrace their inner “elf” when Spotlight Acting Academy students present their production of Elf The Musical JR. The show features two casts of your actors, Ages 6-18, and premieres on December 2, 2016. Spotlight Acting Academy will present Elf The Musical JR. at their theatre located in The Villagio Town Center, 22758 Westheimer Parkway, Suite 220. Elf The Musical JR. is based on the 2003 New Line Cinema hit and tells the story of a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is given the name Buddy and raised by elves in the North Pole. Buddy lives happily unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh reality that his father is on the naughty list, and his stepbrother doesn't even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of the holidays.
A Charlie Brown ChristmasBay Area Arts Conservatory: December 9th & 10th and 16th & 17th, 2016
Repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.
Ensemble Theater presents "The Toys Take Over Christmas"The Centrum: December 10th, 2016
In 1920s Harlem, a hardhearted toymaker refuses to sell any of the toys that have been made but, magic has made them almost like real children and they want to escape the workshop and have fun with other children. Now the toys are in revolt against the toymaker, and when they find a jar of hearts, they pin one on the toymaker, Zowie-the heart does its stuff!
Improv Competition NightSpotlight Acting Academy: December 23rd, 2016
Join Spotlight students for a hilarious and fun evening of Improv as they compete for a panel of judges from the Katy Community!
Lucas Miller, the Singing Zoologist!The Centrum: February 11th, 2017
With a head full of science, a heart full of music and a car full of truly goofy props, Lucas has earned the adoration of wiggly preschoolers, surly sixth graders and stoic principals alike. He has reached millions with his hilarious–yet scientifically accurate–songs and stories in his 22+ years presenting legendary science assemblies and school author visits.
The Okee Dokee BrothersThe Centrum: February 18th, 2017
As childhood friends growing up in Denver Colorado, Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing were always exploring the outdoors. Whether it was rafting down their neighborhood creek or discovering hiking trails through the Rocky Mountains, Joe and Justin were born adventurers. Now, as the GRAMMY® Award-winning Okee Dokee Brothers, they have put this passion for the outdoors at the heart of their Americana Folk music.
Joe and Justin record and perform family music with a goal to inspire children and their parents to get outside and get creative. They believe this can motivate kids to gain a greater respect for the natural world, their communities and themselves.
The three-time Parents’ Choice Award winners have garnered praise from the likes of NPR’s All Things Considered and USA Today, and have been called “two of family music’s best songwriters”.
The Emperor’s New ClothesMissoula Community Theatre: Febuary 18th & 19th, 2017
Let the Right One InHubbard Theatre: Previews Start February 24th, Opens March 1st to March 19th, 2017
Supernatural thriller Let the Right One In is a brutal and tender vampire myth told through the turbulence of a coming-of-age romance. Oskar, a lonely boy from a broken home, is bullied at school and longing for friendship. Eli, the young girl who moves in next door, doesn’t attend school and rarely leaves home. When a series of mysterious killings plagues the neighborhood, these two young misfits, sensing in each other a kindred spirit, forge a deep connection. But the shocking truth about one of them tests their young friendship — and love — beyond all imaginable limits. Tony and Olivier Award-winning director John Tiffany (Black Watch, Once) directs this major new production which was adapted for the stage by Jack Thorne following the international success of the original Swedish novel and subsequent film.
CinderellaWortham Theater Center: March 2nd - 12th, 2017
Stanton Welch's production of Cinderella for Houston Ballet opens March 2, 2017
Dancer Talk: A 21st Century Cinderella
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm
Houston Ballet's Center for Dance
Dr. Elizabeth Klett will speak with choreographer Stanton Welch and some of his Cinderellas about how his interpretation of this fairytale character empowers the dancers and audience members alike to think differently about the timeless tale and female roles in ballet.
Five Course LoveStages Arena Theater: March 8th thru April 16th, 2017
Five dates, five restaurants, and one fateful night: Will any of our lovers find the recipe for romance? In a delicious twist on the tried-and-true dinner date, three actors play a host of over-the-top characters whose hearts are hungry for love. With an impressive array of musical styles to complement the varied cuisine, Five Course Love serves up a fast-paced feast of clever lyrics, catchy tunes and lots of laughs. Rated PG-13
Late Nite Catechism 3: 'Til Death Do Us PartStages Yeager Theater: March 15th thru April 9th, 2017
After teaching countless students all about the saints, venial sins, guilt, limbo and more, Sister is now offering up hilarious lessons on the Sacraments of Marriage and Last Rites, including her own wacky version of the Newlywed Game. Classroom participation is a must, so bring along your sweetie and your sense of humor for a session with the country’s feistiest couples counselor! Rated PG
RapunzelMissoula Children's Theatre: March 25th & 26th, 2017
Soul StreetThe Centrum: April 8th, 2017
They fly through the air with the greatest of ease! They dance en pointe while semi-crouched in high-top sneakers! Catch the excitement of Street Dance as these energetic performers demonstrate their varied styles and discuss the distinctive features and origins of each dance. From Brazil’s Capoiera to New York’s Break Dance and the multi-component form of hip-hop, students learn how these styles developed and evolved. In addition to some exciting participatory activities, find out what happens when today’s diverse dance styles meet classical music by 17th century composer Antonio Vivaldi!
Adamo: Little WomenMarch 31st - April 8th, 2017
Four sisters, their coming-of-age, discovery of love and loss, and reluctant acceptance of change.
Cirque-tacularThe Centrum: April 22nd, 2017
Cirque-tacular amazes audiences! Seen in over 70 countries, this spectacular show features acrobats who balance, toss, catch, twist and intertwine in an elegant ballet of strength and stamina. Audiences are stunned as they do multiple aerial acts, body balancing and more!
Cirque-tacular has performed throughout the world, before both live audiences and through appearances on major television networks. Their art has reached millions of viewers via Good Morning America, America’s Got Talent, HBO, ABC, NBC, Fox, WE, MTV, and Nickelodeon.
The Wizard of OzMissoula Community Theatre: April 27th thru 30th, May 3rd thru 14th, 2017
The Man Who Shot Liberty ValanceStages Arena Theater: May 24th thru June 25th, 2017
The beloved film and literary classic comes to the stage in a gripping tale of love, hope and revenge in the lawless Wild West.
Ransome Foster, a young scholar from New York, travels west in search of a new life and finds love in the dusty town of Twotrees - but not before he makes an enemy of the vicious outlaw Liberty Valance. As Valance’s reign of terror escalates, Foster must make a choice: to turn and run, or to stand for what he believes. Rated PG-13
The TempestWortham Theater Center: May 25th - June 4th, 2017
In remembrance of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, David Bintley is creating a fantastical production of The Tempest, set to a commissioned score by British composer Sally Beamish. At once stormy and sweet, Bintley's Tempest promises to be an exciting recount of Shakespear's supernatural tale. Banished to a deserted island with his daughter, Miranda, Prospero conjures up a horrific storm in which a magical story unfolds. It's an enchanted yarn filled with drama, passion, a struggle for power and, of course, love.
La BayadereWortham Theater Center: June 8th - 18th, 2017
A brilliant fire god, opium dreams and a crashing temple. Stanton Welch’ s colorful staging of La Bayadère is classical ballet with a touch of Bollywood. La Bayadère dramatizes the love story of Nikiya the temple dancer, her lover Solor, and the vengeance that keeps them apart – at least in this life. With lavish scenery depicting the jungles of India and costumes by Peter Farmer, La Bayadère features mesmerizing classical performances highlighted by the famous Shades scene, staged for the entire corps de ballet.
Freaky FridayHubbard Theatre: Previews Start June 2nd, Opens June 7th to July 2nd, 2017
Freaky Friday, a new musical based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and hit Walt Disney films, is a hilarious, contemporary update of an American classic that follows an overworked mother and teenage daughter on a wild journey after magically swapping bodies. The musical, with book by Bridget Carpenter (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and score by the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning team of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal, If/Then), is a sure-fire hit for the whole family. Freaky Friday is suitable for general audiences.