Promising "No Revivals, No Dead Authors, No Boundaries," Theatre Under the Stars today announces a sort of edgier subsidiary of itself, entitled TUTS Underground with more contemporary shows played out in a smaller theater at the Hobby Center.
Months ago, artistic Director Bruce Lumpkin talked about the need to do something different to help build a younger audience in addition to the regulars that TUTS already had. In that interview with Art Attack he talked about making use of the smaller space at Hobby's Zilka Hall and now has followed through on that.
Ticket prices will be lower as well - in the $24 to $49 range - which should appeal to people who may feel (and may be right) that they are priced out of the Houston theater market on its major stages.
Season offerings will include: the thriller Lizzie, based on the Lizzie Borden story of the woman who reportedly hacked her parents to death. Then there's the spoof 50 Shades! which is followed by Hands On a Hardbody, about a competition for a new truck. TUTS hasn't settled on its final title yet.
From its press release making the announcement:
"TUTS Underground has been a dream of the organization's for a long time, and we are thrilled to finally make it a reality. Through our strong New York City connections, we are granted unparalleled access to the freshest, most innovative musicals coming out of the Broadway community. As a multi-million dollar musical theatre organization, we have the unique opportunity to take new material from obscurity to notoriety right here in Houston. That is pretty exciting," said John Breckenridge, TUTS' CEO and President.
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"I want to bring important theater to Houston - shows that make people think and view the world around them differently and from a new and exciting angle. TUTS Underground will showcase just how dynamic musical theater can be. Houston is ready for this. TUTS is ready for this," Lumpkin said.
Dates set for the performances are: Lizzie: October 10-20, 2013, 50 Shades: December 17-22, 2013 and Hands on a Hardbody: June 12-22, 2014.