Musical IT GETS BETTER Makes Houston Debut at SPA's Jones Hall Tonight
Society for the Performing Arts, Houston's leading performing arts presenter, will welcome the Houston debut of the theatrical production it gets better, tonight, May 2, 2014, at 8 p.m. in Jones Hall.
A collaboration by Los Angeles' Speak Theater Arts, the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) and the It Gets Better Project, the Houston performance is in partnership with Legacy Community Health Services, The Montrose Center and Bayou City Performing Arts. In addition, a weeklong series of public and private outreach events will be taking place throughout the community leading up to the performance.
Written and directed by Speak Theater Arts' Liesel Reinhart, it gets better is infused with the dynamic musical energy of the GMCLA. The musical provides a performing arts response to the difficult issue of bullying, one of the most challenging issues among today's young adults and adolescents.
The performance includes original music sung by the chorus, as well as well-known pop songs such as Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger," Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful," Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" and "You Have More Friends Than You Know" - a song written by Tony Award-winner Jeff Marx and GRAMMY-winner Mervyn Warren that was featured on an episode of "GLEE" in April 2013.
The cast includes six performers who explore what the promise of "better" implies for LGBT youth in regards to coming-of-age struggles such as helplessness and not belonging, as well as relationships and sexuality. Bullying - in all its forms - is addressed through music, movement and multimedia. Performers will reflect on the pain of losing young people to suicide and relate stories of their own darkest moments - and greatest triumphs. Jason Currie, Tyler Houston, Tod Macofsky, Mario Mosley, Sacha Sacket and Joshua Skidmore bring their characters to life and poignantly tell stories that are touching and emotional, yet uplifting and, at times, funny. The most powerful moments will undoubtedly be the arrival on stage of the Bayou City Performing Arts Chorale, joining the company for multiple numbers.
The It Gets Better Project was founded in September 2010, when the first it gets better video was uploaded to YouTube by syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller, igniting a worldwide phenomenon. That video offered a desperately needed message of hope to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. It urged them to tough it out through the bullying and other challenges that confronted them in their teenage years, and described the positive future they could experience as adults. It told them that no matter how difficult things may be today, it gets better. Today, the mission of the It Gets Better Project is to communicate to LGBT youth around the world that it gets better, and to help effect the changes necessary to make it so.
The inspiration for the live stage work, it gets better, began with an It Gets Better Project video submission by the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA). On October 24, 2010, a large group of chorus members gathered with their friends and family at Immanuel Presbyterian Church to record a live version of Cyndi Lauper's song "True Colors"; a video that is shown as part of the performance on stage.
Tickets range from $23-$53 and can be purchased online at www.spahouston.org, by phone at 713-227-4772 or at the courtyard level ticket office at Jones Hall located at 615 Louisiana St. Hours of operation: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday - Friday. For groups of 15 or more call 713-632-8113. Student tickets are available for $10 and may be purchased by calling the box office.
it gets better Residency Program - Schedule of FREE Public Events
Monday, April 28, 2014
6:30-8 PM Youth Workshop
In collaboration with The Montrose Center and Hatch Youth, representatives from the Gay Men's Choir of Los Angeles will facilitate an arts education workshop for teens questioning their sexuality, identified as LGBT or victimized for being different. As workshop participants collaborate on a creative project, they will discuss and explore various issues such as marriage equality, gender stereotypes, coming out, homophobia and social justice. To register for this free workshop, call 713-529-3590. Location: The Montrose Center, 401 Branard St, Houston 77006.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
7-8:30 PM Better Now Houston Forum
The Better Now Houston Forum is a panel discussion, moderated by Ernie Manouse, with Senator John Whitmire, Dr. Hyman Penn of Texas Children's Hospital, Mary Lee Webeck of The Holocaust Museum Houston, Deb Murphy of The Montrose Center and Susan Shaw of the Anti-Defamation League. The team of experts will delve into the issues of bullying specific to Houston as well as the broader issues of tolerance and diversity. To reserve seats contact Mary Lee Webeck at 713-942-8000, ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Seating is limited; reservations to this free public event are highly recommended. Location: The Holocaust Museum Houston, 5401 Caroline St, Houston 77004.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
9:30-11 PM Piano Cabaret
Catch the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles singing their favorite pop hits and classic standards, while relaxing and socializing with the Bayou City Performing Arts Chorale. For more information, contact Jessica Nieto at 713-632-8112 or email@example.com. Location: Guava Lamp, 570 Waugh Dr., Houston 77019
About Society for the Performing Arts: Founded in 1966, Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) is the largest independent non-profit presenting organization in the Southwest. Since its inception, SPA has sponsored more than 1,000 performances of the world's finest music, dance and theater events, in adherence to the belief that the arts are fundamental to the overall enrichment and quality of life within the community. In addition to presenting artists, SPA seeks to provide a variety of learning experiences for adults and children through master classes, lectures and special student performances, as well as build relationships between the performing arts and other interests within the greater Houston area and throughout the state of Texas.