Kenn McLaughlin, the theater's producing artistic director, says he has long been a Sondheim fan and went after the rights for this show as soon as he read it. ''I think it's a really tightly constructed, intelligent, thrilling piece of theater.'' Some 71 people auditioned for parts, he says, which greatly exceeded the usual attendance at open auditions. ''It takes amazing levels of talent throughout the entire system to do Sondheim correctly,'' he notes. ''You need really smart designers and really great actors who can sing. You need triple threats.''
Road Show has seen many iterations; it first ran at the New York Theatre Workshop in 1999 and was titled Wise Guys. Later a rewritten version traveled to Chicago, where it was called Bounce. The version Houston audiences will see (after 14 years of development) is 84-straight-through minutes, McLaughlin says. ''It is like lightning. There will be scenes almost like opera.''
7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Through June 30. Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Parkway. For information, call 713-527-0123 or visit stagestheatre.com. $21 to $40.
Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: May 22. Continues through June 30, 2013