Skip to main content

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

Learn more about living in Houston here

Related News

Living In Houston

Downtown Houston's Newest Park Increases Green Space Access

12/5/22
The official opening of downtown Houston’s newest park will mark a key milestone in the ongoing effort to improve the city’s prime commercial district – everyone living downtown will be within walking distance of a park.   Trebly Park is expected to celebrate its official opening early next year, but you may find some activity right now since the fencing is down and holiday installations are up. The park, located at the corner of Leeland and Fannin Streets near Toyota Center, is the Downtown Redevelopment Authority’s (DRA) latest project. The highly anticipated L-shaped green space has been under construction since last year and will include lush garden zones, a central lawn that will be used for events, dog runs, BCycle stations, a bike repair station, and a Tout Suite café. Visitors will also find an inaugural gateway installation by Quintessenz and a playscape titled “Whale Bone Dinner Party,” a six-piece, 7-foot-tall sculpture that will be the centerpiece of the park. Holiday decorations at Trebly Park (Courtesy: Downtown Redevelopment Authority) View of Trebly Park (Courtesy: Downtown Redevelopment Authority) Trebly Park's dog run (Courtesy: Downtown Redevelopment Authority) The new park comes as the southern zone of downtown experiences an increase in residential buildings. In 2021, The DRA said the new park would support the more than 1,700 new residential units developed in that area since 2012.  “Trebly Park implies that the park has much to offer those who visit it in terms of experience with ‘three times as much’ fun, play, interaction, relaxation and deliciousness,” Curtis Flowers, DRA board chair, said in a press release in March 2021. “We also hope the grounds will serve as a ‘third space,’ or communal space, for area residents, students, workers and visitors.” @ghpartnership #houston #htx #houstontx #houstontexas #park #downtown ♬ original sound - Greater Houston Partnership   Trebly Park isn’t the only exciting green space project underway in downtown. Jones Plaza in the Theater District is being transformed into the Lynn Wyatt Square for the Performing Arts after the eponymous philanthropist’s $10 million donation. The reimagined block will include a new performing space, a restaurant and a shaded lawn with numerous gardens. Once completed, leaders behind the redevelopment hope it will attract new businesses to the area and reinvigorate the Theater District. Click to expand Rendering of Lynn Wyatt Square for the Performing Arts Downtown Houston has come a long way since it set on a journey to increase green space. It all started with Discovery Green in 2008, which has since welcomed more than 20 million visitors. You can find events, public art installations, two restaurants and more at the 12-acre urban park.  In 2010, the Houston Downtown Management District, Downtown Redevelopment Authority and the city’s Parks and Recreation Department redeveloped Market Square Park in the Historic District. It was transformed into a destination for visitors and residents with dog runs, central lawn, a plaza for performances and a Houston food staple, Niko Niko’s.  Other downtown parks include Sesquicentennial Park and Allen’s Landing along Buffalo Bayou. Allen’s Landing is named in honor of the landing of the Allen brothers, August Chapman and John Kirby, in Houston in 1836.   Together, these ultra-urban parks and green spaces are helping create a more dynamic downtown district that stretches well beyond the once business-only identity of the city’s core. Downtown today is a destination for the city’s diners and nightlife enthusiasts as well as a more attractive place to live for high-rise dwellers. A recent Houston Chronicle interview with Central Houston President Kris Larson promises more changes are on the horizon.  Learn more about living in Houston.  
Read More
Economic Development

Potential Development Could Spur More Economic Activity in The Woodlands

11/18/22
Two new hotels and more shopping could be headed to The Woodlands as the area continues to see growth.  The Woodlands Mall wants to expand with a minimum of 80,000 square feet of new retail space in an open-air, mixed-use commercial area that would also include a full-service hotel with at least 200 rooms, a select-service hotel with at least 125 rooms and a multi-level parking garage. The mixed-use project would be located south of Macy’s near the movie theater and be developed in two phases. The total area encompasses 15 acres. Concept renderings of The Woodlands Mall expansion (Courtesy: The Woodlands Township)   The Woodlands Township recently entered into an economic development agreement with The Woodlands Township Economic Development Zone and The Woodlands Mall Associates, LLC. The project would be in an economic development zone, which spurs economic growth and job creation.   According to documents from The Woodlands Township, depending on the scale of the project, it is estimated to generate anywhere from $180 to $275 million, based over a 30-year term. The range is based on whether the developer decides to build a smaller or larger parking garage. The township would receive more than 70% of the generated revenue and the mall would receive the remainder. The agreement also calls for the reimbursement of the parking garage costs up to $80 million. The developers have not announced when construction on the project would begin. The Woodlands Mall will decide if and when they will move forward with the plan. The Woodlands area has recently seen more economic development wins. Cellipont Bioservices recently broke ground on its new headquarters and manufacturing facility in the Research Forest area after announcing earlier this year it was moving from California to Texas. SI Group Inc. also announced earlier this year that it’s moving its global headquarters from New York State to the Hughes Landing complex. The Woodlands area has seen substantial population growth over the past decade. From 2011 to 2021, Montgomery County’s population grew more than 37% to 648,886 people.   Learn more about Montgomery County's rapid growth, business developments and future plans during the Partnership's Future of the Houston Region event on Dec. 13.
Read More

Related Events