From an season opener in July which will call upon one lucky (?) member of the audience to play the problem-solving MacGyver each night, to a one-woman tour-de-force by Sally Edmundson playing a woman lost in history to all things Trailer Park and Panto, Stages is mounting an impressively busy 2020-21 season, announced today.
On tap are three world premieres, four regional premieres and the 4th year of the Sin Muros Latinx Festival. All of this taking place at their new home in The Gordy, which just opened in January. As for the offerings, they seem designed to attract those whose tastes range from high to low brow.
Particularly intriguing is Inda Craig-Galvan’s Black Super Hero Magic Mama, a new play which covers the pain of grief when a mother loses her son and retreats inward to a technicolor universe to avoid the agony of the real world.
The Pulitzer Prize winning Cost of Living centers on two pairs of people each a partnership in which one member is disabled and the other able-bodied.
And there's a crescendo ending with the Tony Award-winning The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee in which six kids vie for top honors.
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The complete Stages lineup with the theater's description of events follows.
Stages' 2020-2021 Season
MACGYVER: THE MUSICAL
Lester and Sue Smith Stage
Book by Kate Chavez, Robin Ward Holloway, Lindsey Hope Pearlman & Lee David Zlotoff
Music by Peter Lurye
July 10 - August 23, 2020
Press Opening: Thursday, July 16, 2020
Do you have an extraordinary talent for solving impossible conundrums and global catastrophes with a paperclip? Then we want you! The creator of the classic TV drama brings the world’s favorite hero to the stage in MacGyver The Musical - a rock-n-roll musical comedy that pits MacGyver against the Soviet empire in 1989 East Berlin. Best of all, the leading actor who plays MacGyver is selected from the audience each night. Can you MacGyver your way to the stage and save America? Only one way to find out.
MacGyver: The Musical was developed in partnership with Telluride Theatre. In addition to this production, Robin Ward Holloway has served as the music director for The Fantasticks and Panto Star Force at Stages. Peter Luyre has written music and lyrics for productions including The Magic School Bus, Bear in the Big Blue House, Thomas and Friends, among other film and TV credits.
PIECES OF THE MOON
By Nick Flint
A co-production with One Year Lease Theater Company
August 28 - September 13, 2020
Press Opening: Thursday, September 3, 2020
America in 1969 – a country divided, or a country unified in hope. Which lens is yours? Prepare to blast off on an exploration of two Americas told through the true stories of the three Apollo 11 astronauts and the magnificent artistry of Gil Scott-Heron. Pieces of the Moon is a theatrical jazz riff blending clashing economic and social priorities, the rise of the Black Arts Movement, and the historic events that created the race to space all culminating in a moment-by-moment theatrical recreation of the famous landing on the moon. True to One Year Lease’s high-intensity, physical approach, Pieces of the Moon features aerial acrobatics, live music, and ballroom dancing in a production that is truly out of this world.
Pieces of the Moon was co-produced by Stages and New York City’s One Year Lease Theater Company. Stages previously collaborated with One Year Lease on Balls (2017).
A WOMAN OF THE WORLD
Lester and Sue Smith Stage
By Rebeca Gillman
September 25 - October 11, 2020
Press Opening: Thursday, October 1, 2020
Mabel Loomis Todd was labeled a “woman of the world” for her free-wheeling and passionate
embrace of life. An accomplished journalist and naturalist, she also held close confidence with
one of America’s most famed and reclusive poets, Emily Dickenson, and in fact was the first
editor of Dickenson’s poems. But Loomis’ story is largely lost to history in favor of a more
marketable version of the Dickenson legacy. Rebecca Gilman brings to light Loomis’ lost story
in a riveting look at a mysterious, and perhaps even dangerous, woman. Scandalous revelations or reckless gossip – you get to decide for yourself in this one-woman tour-de-force starring the Stages veteran Sally Edmundson (Ann, Full Gallop, Steele Magnolias).
A Woman of the World premiered in New York in 2019 and was produced by The Acting Company, in association with Miranda Theater Company.
THE GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK CHRISTMAS MUSICAL
Book by Betsy Kelso
Music & lyrics by David Nehls
November 13 - December 27, 2020
Press Opening: Thursday, November 19, 2020
It's holiday time down in Armadillo Acres, North Florida's premier mobile-living community, and everyone's filled with warmth and beer. But when a freak bout of amnesia strikes the trailer park Scrooge, neighborly love is put to the test. Be on hand as Betty, Lin, and Pickles jingle all the way with some new neighbors in this holiday all-trailer-park musical.
This holiday season, Stages presents the Houston audiences with the return of The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical (2013), the sequel to The Great American Trailer Park Musical. The cast from the 2013 production is featured on the original cast album, and is available on iTunes, Amazon and more.
PANTO SLEEPING BEAUTY
Lester and Sue Smith Stage
Book and lyrics by Kenn McLaughlin
Music by David Nehls
November 27 - December 27, 2020
Press Opening: Thursday, December 3, 2020
This hilarious all-new version of our hit holiday romp finds our heroine Nadia battling a wicked fairy, rescuing a boyfriend with a sleeping problem, planning a surprise party for her nanny and helping her friend Buttons get his groove – and storybook – back. Will she find a happy ending? Come ready to laugh, cheer and boo as all your Panto favorites join a new cast of characters to sing, dance and make joy for the whole family!
Stages produced the world premiere of Panto Sleeping Beauty in 2009 which began a tradition of Stages creating Texas takes on the British tradition of Pantomime, or Pantos, specifically for Houston audiences. This year, the theater company will bring Houston a newly revised version refreshed for 2020!
NASHVILLE JUKEBOX LIVE!
Lester and Sue Smith Stage
By Ben Hope & Katie Barton
January 29 – March 14, 2021
Press Opening: Thursday, February 4, 2020
Stages’ favorite husband and wife team Ben Hope and Katie Barton (Hank Williams, Ring of Fire) return to Stages this January with a world premiere tribute to the greatest legends of the Grand Ole Opry. You’ll be a part of the audience in this opry-style radio show featuring a score of classic country hits with songs from Mickey Gilley, Elvis Presley, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Randy Travis, The Judds, Carrie Underwood and more. These extraordinary country musicians put on the show of a lifetime so grab your boots and come on over for Nashville Jukebox Live!
THE GIANT VOID IN MY SOUL: A PLAY FOR FOOLS
By Bernardo Cubría
February 12 – 28, 2021
Press Opening: Thursday, February 18, 2020
Two fools confront the momentous questions of life after they discover an enormous void haunting their every action. A comic, poetic and strange quest leads them back to one question: “Can anything fill this damn void?” Winner of the LA Times Ovation Award for Best New Play, this brilliant new work is from Houston-born artist Bernardo Cubría in his first-ever Stages production.
The Giant Void in my Soul: A Play for Fools premiered in 2018 at Ammunition Theatre Company in Los Angeles, CA.
Sin Muros (Without Walls): A Latinx Theatre Festival
February 25-28, 2021
Stages will celebrate Latinx voices and stories reflecting the diversity of local Texas communities during the third annual Sin Muros (Without Walls) Theatre Festival. The weekend will be filled with free public events for audiences and local theatre-makers, including workshops, play and poetry readings!
For priority ticket reservations are $25.
LATE NITE CATECHISM LAS VEGAS: SISTER ROLLS THE DICE!
Rochelle and Max Levit Stage
By Maripat Donavan and Marc Silva
March 10 – May 30, 2021
Press Opening: March 11, 2021
Sister is back and she’s feelin’ lucky! The convent has decided that Sister, with her extensive gambling experience running the Church Bingo, will organize a Las Vegas night! Sister will tackle topics ranging from magicians and show girls to live animal acts and the dangers of drive-through marriage chapels. Remember: what happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but God sees everything.
BLACK SUPER HERO MAGIC MAMA
By Inda Craig-Galvàn
April 2 – 18, 2021
Press Opening: Thursday, April 8, 2020
When Sabrina Jackson’s son is the victim of a police shooting, she retreats inward to a powerful technicolor universe, living as a comic book superhero named Maasai Angel. Compared to the pain of the real world, this battle is one Sabrina can handle. But will Sabrina stay in this dream world or return to reality and mourn her son? Surprising comedy and grace mark this stunning new play by one of America’s most acclaimed new writers.
Black Super Hero Magic Mama premiered in 2019 at Geffen Playhouse and the same year was awarded the Kesserling prize bestowed by the National Arts Club. In 2017 the show won The Rosa Parks Playwriting Award at The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and appeared on Kilroy’s List.
COST OF LIVING
Lester and Sue Smith Stage
By Martyna Majok
April 23 – May 9, 2021
Press Opening: Thursday, April 25, 2020
Eddie is an unemployed truck driver whose ex-wife Ani becomes quadriplegic following a tragic accident. Jess is an overworked, under-qualified, and nearly homeless young woman who becomes a personal caregiver for a wealthy graduate student with cerebral palsy. Cost of Living examines two pairs of relationships between disabled and able persons, the realities of facing the world with physical disabilities, and the moral impact of systemic inequities.
Cost of Living premiered in 2016 at Williamstown Theatre Festival and won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018.
THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE
Music and lyrics by William Finn
Book by Rachel Sheinkin
Conceived by Rebecca Feldman
May 21 – June 27, 2021
Press Opening: Thursday, May 27, 2020
Six spellers enter and only one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box. An eclectic group of adolescents compete for the spelling championship of a lifetime, while candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives. Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book,The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. This is one bee to remember!
The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee was workshopped and developed at Barrington Stage and produced Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre in 2004 and was subsequently produced on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre in 2015. The show was nominated for six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Original Score.
General performance times are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Panto performance times are Wednesdays – Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Season subscriptions are now on sale and range from $126 to $473. Subscribers receive priority seating at The Gordy and enjoy a host of other benefits. Subscriptions are available through the Stages Box Office (713-527-0123, email@example.com) or online at www.stageshouston.com.
Regular tickets will go on sale for MacGyver: The Musical on April 15, 2020, and for the remaining season on July 1, 2020. Individual tickets start at $25 with savings for groups of 6 or more. To purchase, call the Stages Box Office at 713-527-0123 or reserve online atwww.stageshouston.com