Bringing Everyone Together For Sister Act at Theatre Under the Stars

Alan H. Green in the TUTS production of Sister Act.
Alan H. Green in the TUTS production of Sister Act. Photo by Melissa Taylor

Alan H. Green has been part of several Broadway shows (among them: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, School of Rock, Sister Act). And over the years he's been asked by Theatre Under the Stars to be part of one of their productions at the Hobby Center.

The planets and his schedule finally aligned with TUTS programming and Green (a Baytown native) will be here starring as Curtis Jackson in Sister Act, making his TUTS debut. It helped that he already knew TUTS Artistic Director Dan Knechtges who'll be directing and choreographing the show about a lounge singer who hides out in a convent after she sees her boyfriend murder someone. 

"I did one of his shows [in New York City] that he choreographed (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee now coincidentally on stage at Stages' theater The Gordy and with Knechtges' choreography)," says Green. "This is the first time I've ever done a show that I did on Broadway, regionally."

In Sister Act he plays the mobster boyfriend of Deloris Van Cartier. Simone Gundy will be Deloris in the comic musical nominated for five Tony awards and with music by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Newsies, Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors).

"That's another reason why I was excited to do this particular show and role because it’s the bad guy. That's just kind of fun," he says. "The first part of my career I played a lot of heroic and valiant good guys but it's been funny as I've gotten older and in the last couple years I've started to really, for some reason, enjoy playing the bad guy."

He describes his character as "an alpha male that is very focused on his business and used to people around him doing whatever he says. Even if his castle is just a little bit of an area, he is the king of his castle."

Green went to Rice University on a football scholarship intending to become a lawyer. "At the time I had started singing for churches and had a kind of contemporary Christian ministry." He moved to Nashville to pursue that and got a record deal for a Christian label.  But he parted company with them, he says, because they wanted him to marry a woman and that's not who he is. "You want me to sing about God's truth and be in a fake marriage. I'm not going to do that," he told them.

From there he got a job singing on a cruise ship that sailed him to New York City. "I did a couple of auditions. I  got my first Broadway show after being there about three months. Called Play On. " But the singer realized he needed more training and took a year's worth of acting classes learning the Meisner Technique.

"I always say I’m happy because I feel like I’m doing what I was supposed to be doing. I didn’t grow up wanting to be on Broadway and on TV. But once that became clear I thought 'OK, this is what I'm supposed to be doing so let me get myself together, let me get myself techniques and craft and good teachers and really focus on the craft of it all. And I just love it."

The big song for Curtis is "How I Love My Baby," a love song, of sorts, that makes it clear he's not going to be nice to her when he finds her, Green says.

Green says the show is "just so joyous. It's also a good reminder for people who are Christians that you don't have to be yoked to people who are just like you. That there is a yoke of goodness in humanity."

"One of the powers of musical theater in general is when we're all in that audience enjoying that story it doesn't matter our political beliefs or our religious beliefs or what kind of family we come from or who we love. In that moment we're all yoked experiencing this incredible art form that is musical theater."

Performances are scheduled for November 2-14 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and Sundays, 8 p,m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. Proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test required. For more information, call 713-558-8887 or visit $40-$136.
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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
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