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Houston Performing Arts Make Triumphant Return to the Stage in 2021

Published Jun 07, 2021 by Julia McGowen

Houston Ballet

Home to one of the largest concentrations of theatre seats in the nation, Houston’s bustling performance arts district is ready for its post-COVID debut. 

More than 500 institutions are devoted to the performing and visual arts, science and history in the Houston area. Houston’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated over $1.1 billion in total economic activity, according to the latest Arts & Economic Prosperity report by Americans for the Arts. This spending – $579.4 million by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and an additional $538.0 million in event related spending by their audiences – supports 25,817 full-time equivalent jobs, generates $801.6 million in household income to local residents and delivers $119.3 million in local and state government revenue. 

These numbers undoubtedly took a hit in 2020 when the pandemic caused months-long cancellations for performance arts organizations across the city, however, as Houstonians emerge from behind their masks and social distancing protocols are relaxed, Houston’s performing arts scene is ready for its encore. 

From classic tales to never-before-seen productions, mark your calendars for these can’t-miss performances slated as the arts make their way back into Houston’s cultural spotlight. 

Miller Outdoor Theatre - A Gulf Coast Juneteenth: Featuring Bobby Rush
The outdoor theatre in historic Hermann Park hosts its annual Juneteenth blues and creole festival featuring Grammy award-winning blues legend Bobby Rush. A Gulf Coast Juneteenth is set for June 19. Learn more

MATCH – TORCH Presents (I)sland T(rap); The Epic Remixology of the Odyssey
Homer’s Odyssey gets the ultimate remix in this hip-hop riff on Ulysses, who’s armed with beatboxing, a ukulele, spoken word poetry, and fantastical animals. (I)sland T(rap); The Epic Remixology holds three performances on August 7 at MATCH. Learn more

Houston Symphony – Once Upon a Time: Alan Menken’s Broadway
Beloved Broadway performers will join the Houston Symphony for renditions of Academy Award-winning Disney classics including Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors. Once Upon a Time runs September 3 - 5 at Jones Hall. Learn more

Stages – Hook’s Tale
A one-man show promises a theatrical romp and true tale of Peter Pan by award-winning playwright John Leonard Pielmeier. Hook’s Tale runs October 1 – 17 at The Gordy. Learn more

Theatre Under the Stars – Rock of Ages
An all-new TUTS production, Rock of Ages is an 80s lover’s delight featuring music of hit bands including REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Bon Jovi, and Journey. Rock of Ages runs October 5 – 17 at The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Learn more

Houston Grand Opera – Carmen
Considered the world’s most popular opera, this bohemian love story features some of the most recognizable arias and characters in the genre. Carmen runs October 22 – November 7 at Wortham Theatre. Learn more

Da Camera – Garrick Ohlsson, piano: An Evening of Chopin
Known as the poet of piano, Chopin transformed solo piano music. Grammy Award-winning pianist a master recitalist Garrick Ohlsson takes the stage for for Da Camera’s opening night. An Evening of Chopin is set for October 29 at Wortham Theater. Learn more

Society for the Performing Arts – Alton Brown Live: Beyond the Eats
Food and performance collide in this new culinary-focused variety show featuring Food Network star Alton Brown. Beyond the Eats is set for November 2 at Jones Hall. Learn more

Houston Ballet – The Nutcracker 
Always a fan-favorite, the Houston Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker is the ultimate holiday tradition for Houstonians young and old. The Nutcracker runs November 26 – December 24 at Wortham Theater. Learn more

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