Houston's Theatre fans always anticipate season announcements with bated breath like children awaiting Birthday presents or clamoring to see what Santa Claus has placed under their trees. Theater Under the Stars (TUTS) has a fantastic gift for fans of musical theatre to unwrap today. Their 2013-2014 season is an enthralling and exciting season with "a little something for everyone, with shows ranging from the classical and the family favorites to Broadway's freshest and edgier productions," says CEO John C. Breckenridge. Artistic Director, Bruce Lumpkin says, regarding the lesser-known shows in the season, "don't count yourself out, come and see them." He elaborated that "this season is a great season, and it's mixed with all sorts of different kinds of shows."

The first national tour of PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT - THE MUSICAL pulls into town on September 29 - October 12, 2013 for its Houston premiere. This delightfully fun and funky show exposes audiences to an uplifting story about a trio of friends (two drag queens, one transsexual) who journey across the Australian Outback in a battered old bus. Along the way they find love, friendship, and family. The internationally acclaimed production features over 500 spectacular and Tony Award-winning costumes and a joyous hit parade of dance-floor favorites, including "It's Raining Men," "Finally," "I Will Survive," "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," "Material Girl," and "Like A Prayer."

For the holidays, running from December 6 - 19, 2013, TUTS is locally producing the Houston premiere of the musical adaptation of the film Elf. ELF - THE MUSICAL originally opened on Broadway in 2010 and was revived on Broadway in 2012. USA Today called ELF "endearingly goofy," Variety said, "ELF is happy enough for families, saavy enough for city kids and plenty smart for adults," and audiences simply loved seeing Buddy's hilarious tale brought to life on stage. In the story, an infant mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag and winds up at the North Pole. Raised as an elf, despite his enormous size and inabilities in toy making, Buddy is unaware that his is human. He embarks on a journey to New York City with Santa's permission and searches for his birth father, his true identity, and a way to help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. The polished score includes the fantastic songs like "A Christmas Song" and the sardonic "Nobody Cares About Santa."

Bringing high octane energy into 2014, TUTS will be producing the Houston premiere of Queen and Ben Elton's worldwide smash hit musical phenomenon WE WILL ROCK YOU from January 22 - February 2, 2014. Complete with an astounding score composed of Queen favorites, such as "Another One Bites the Dust," "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," "We Are the Champions," "Bohemian Rhapsody," and "We Will Rock You," the record-breaking musical has been seen by over 15 million people. It takes place 300 years in the future. Earth has been renamed iPlanet, and a young boy, named Galelio, has dreams he does not understand. In an effort to keep an ancient prophecy from coming true, Globalsoft Corporation, the rulers of iPlanet, have him arrested. The Bohemians come to the aid of Galelio and fight against the evil and repressive corporation owned and operated government.

TUTS will be bringing Dorothy Gale and her familiar friends and foes to the Houston stage in a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's THE WIZARD OF OZ from March 4 - 16, 2014. The musical has been adapted from the classic 1939 MGM film, and features new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Dorothy and her companions, the loveable Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, and Toto, journey through Oz to retrieve the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West. The Wizard has promised a handsome reward to each member of the party for their service. This sweet family friendly treat is sure to captivate the hearts of young and old alike, sending them sailing over the rainbow.

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David Clarke David Clarke has had a lifelong love and passion for the performing arts, and has been writing about theatre both locally and nationally for years. He joined running their Houston site in early 2012 and began writing as the site's official theatre recording critic in June of 2013.