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BWW Previews: HOUSTON'S SUMMER HEATS UP at Various Theaters around town

A look at four upcoming shows

BWW Previews: HOUSTON'S SUMMER HEATS UP at Various Theaters around town

Ah, summers in Houston! It's too hot and sticky to do anything outside, and about the best thing I can think of is to sit inside a cool dark theater space and enjoy the best of Houston's cultural offerings. So far this summer is promising to be even better than last without as many concerns over COVID bringing down the curtain. You may know about FROZEN coming to the Hobby Center from Broadway Houston, or The Alley Theatre prepping for a new musical by Duncan Sheik named NOIR... but what are some of the gems out there from smaller companies that offer just as much air conditioning and some of the best acting in Houston? I've got you covered with four spotlights if you are interested.


First up premiering May 19th is THE MOTHER PROJECT: A Collaboration to Honor Black Mothers and their Children from Mildred's Umbrella. The origination of this piece came to Mildred's Umbrella's artistic director, Jennifer Decker, on May 26 2020. "My mother called me on my pandemic birthday that day, and she was upset about something my brother was going through. Right before she called, I had read an article about the death of George Floyd, which happened just the day before. A quote in the article that made me tear up was, "He cried for his mother." I am not a mother, but it struck me how intense the impact is on a mother when her child is suffering in any way. I felt like some of those stories needed a platform, and I decided to provide it." They are going to run this powerful production at the The DeLuxe Theatre, 3303 Lyons Ave, Houston, TX 77020. Tickets can be purchased through the Mildred's Umbrella Website at https://mildredsumbrella.com/ . This show runs through May 28th, so you have to move fast to get in the audience for this one. The company's track record ensures it will be incredible and moving. Dabrina Sandifer heads up the direction for THE MOTHER PROJECT, and the list of contributors reads like a who's who of Houston's most talented women.

The Catastrophic Theatre launches their next project named INNOMINATE which will run May 27 through June 19 at the MATCH. The most intriguing thing here is this production is an experimental, devised, dance-theater performance created,directed, and designed by acclaimed local multidisciplinary artist Afsaneh Aayani. It should be unlike anything you have seen in Houston lately, and it offers the best of all performing arts in one evening. The project chronicles the artist's struggle in America as an immigrant from war-torn Iran. Timing couldn't be more perfect for this showcase given current events, so it is a must-see for Houston audiences. Tickets can be acquired through their website at https://catastrophictheatre.com/ .

Debuting the same night at the MATCH is Dirt Dog's production of CLYBOURNE PARK. The play is a tribute to Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 play, A RAISIN IN THE SUN. This show seeks to examine the evolution of a Chicago neighborhood over a 50-year time span. Act One takes place in 1959, as white community leaders anxiously try to stop 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. The same cast appears in both acts, so the work ultimately examines how people and places evolve over time and play different roles in society's progress-or the hindrance thereof. It is directed by Houston Theatre legend Ron Jones. The show opens May 27th and runs through June 11th. Getting seats for this show can be done at https://matchouston.org/presenter/dirt-dogs-theatre-co .

In late June the FADE TO BLACK FEST celebrates its ten year anniversary. This showcase of short plays is a "can't miss" cultural event also hosted at the MATCH. This year they run June 23rd through June 25th. This festival features ten short ten minute plays written by Black authors to showcase their voices in a unique showcase setting. It always features some of Houston's best talent onstage, and is sure to dazzle as it always does. This year should be an even bigger celebration given that they are coming up on a milestone anniversary. More information can be found at https://www.fadetoblackfest.com/ .

Hopefully that gives you a quick easy guide to start your summer off with a cool place to watch some of the best of Houston theater. What has always amazed me about living here is how many companies and opportunities we have to see live theater. The pandemic seemed to slow everyone down, but now it seems we all have reason to celebrate again as the lights are back up in great numbers. Enjoy! And keep your eye here at BROADWAY WORLD HOUSTON where we cover and review all of these shows and more.



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From This Author - Brett Cullum

Brett Cullum has been part of the Houston and Memphis Theatre scenes since the late '80s. He's been seen on community theatre and professional stages in several cities including Playhouse 1960, Theatre... (read more about this author)

Review: FADE TO BLACK PLAY FESTIVAL at MATCH
June 23, 2022

It is safe to say this is a great festival, and well worth your time over the weekend.  Happy ten years to FADE TO BLACK!  Here’s hoping for many more decades to come.  

Review: CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at MAIN STREET THEATER
June 20, 2022

What did our critic think? CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG is perfect summer fare for kids, and also for those of us who enjoy a rather crazy car story from the creator of James Bond. It’s a treat to see it here at the MATCH in Midtown, especially with such a strong cast in a handsome production.

BWW Review: CLYBOURNE PARK at Dirt Dogs Theatre Co.
June 6, 2022

In the end they still managed to produce a show that asks the hard questions, never flinches from the truth, and captures perfectly what it means to be human. Imperfections be damned.

BWW Review: INNOMINATE at Catastrophic Theatre
June 1, 2022

INNOMINATE is a mixture of dance, puppets, images on a screen, live music, and daring staging to tell the story of creator Afsaneh Aayani as she immigrated from war torn Iran to the United States. It also deals with the effects of the COVID pandemic and extreme loss. If I told you all of this was illustrated with dancing eyeballs and social media posts whizzing by, would you believe me?

BWW Previews: HOUSTON'S SUMMER HEATS UP at Various Theaters around town
May 18, 2022

You may know about FROZEN coming to the Hobby Center from Broadway Houston, or the Alley Theatre prepping for a new musical by Duncan Sheik named NOIR… but what are some of the gems out there from smaller companies that offer just as much air conditioning and some of the best acting in Houston? I’ve got you covered with four spotlights if you are interested.