A survival plan born of mutual desperation is at the heart of the gender-bending musical Victor/Victoria, now at the Hobby Center for the Performing arts as the Theatre Under the Stars’ 2014-15 season opener. Tony nominee Tony Sheldon (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) is here to play Toddy, the flamboyant manager who hatches the scheme that launches the career of a young singer. “My character Toddy is a middle-aged gay man living in Paris, in the ’30s. He’s broke, he’s just lost his job and he comes across Victoria Grant, who’s an unemployed English soprano who’s been stranded in Paris and she’s broke and has nowhere to live and so the two of them are desperate. Toddy’s the one who conjures the plan of disguising her as a man and passing her off as Europe’s greatest female impersonator. Toddy comes up with the idea of perpetrating this hoax and making them both rich.”

Further complications ensue, of course, when Victoria falls for club owner and heterosexual King Marchand. With a running time of about two and a half hours, the Broadway musical doesn’t vary too much from the much-loved 1995 Julie Andrews film, says Sheldon, who was last seen in Houston in last season’s TUTS production of Camelot. Australian by birth, Sheldon relocated to the United States after his success in Priscilla and since then has found steady work in New York and across the country. He says the show probably isn’t performed often because of its large cast. People should see it, he says, because of its dance numbers and lavish costumes. And for the wonderful music. “It was Henry Mancini’s last show before he died. It’s a good, old-fashioned comedy musical.”

7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays. Through September 28. 800 Bagby. For information, call 713‑558‑8887 or visit $44.50 to $120.
Tuesdays-Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 & 7:30 p.m. Starts: Sept. 16. Continues through Sept. 28, 2014

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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.
Contact: Margaret Downing