10 Best Houston Plays and Performances in April Feature the Best Theater

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Houston theaters get serious — and seriously funny — in April with a whole slew of dramas, comedies and musicals on stage.

Stellar works by award-winning contemporary playwrights are all the rage in Houston theaters, but are also sought after as a world premiere by an up-and-coming Houston writer at Stages.

Meanwhile, Houston Grand Opera continues to be bold in the grand finale of its 2021-2022 season.

The Book of Grace from the Catastrophic Theater (now until April 24)
After a COVID cancellation, Catastrophic Theater is finally back at The MATCH to begin its spring season with a sharp drama from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks.

The company’s founders have a long creative history and friendship with Parks, and say they’re “thrilled” to bring his work back to town. Co-directed by two favorite Houston actors, Jeff Miller and Luis Galindo (Galindo also stars), the play tells the frontier Texas story of a family torn apart by history and conflicting beliefs.

Grace is a waitress who lives in a small South Texas border town with her husband Vet, a Border Patrol agent. She encourages Vet’s estranged son, Buddy, to return home and reunite with his father in time for a celebration honoring Vet’s service. What ensues is a battle for power and revenge.

Single black woman at the Théâtre Ensemble (April 9-May 8)
This adult show about the search for love in urban America explores the lives of thirty-something, middle-class black women in urban America as they search for love, clothes and dignity – often in a world that does not recognize them among a parade of stereotypical images.

But, after reviewing their escapades in past relationships and confessing growing anxieties about future commitments, will they realize that their best chance at love may be found closer than they ever imagined?

Jean, his story by AD Players on Tour (April 13 and 15)
For those watching, Jean, his story offers a fun way to celebrate the Holy Week season of Easter. Created by the legendary Jeannette Clift George, founder of AD Players, the story recounts the miracles of Jesus recounted in the biblical Gospel of John.

More than a historical drama, this John focuses on a perspective of John the Disciple and everyday people, with moments of tense drama and light comedy. The intimate show takes place at Bethany Christian Church (3223 Westheimer Rd.). Limited tickets are chargeable (suggested minimum is $10) and can only be purchased by phone (713-526-2721).

You are cordially invited to sit at Internships (now until May 22)
The Gordy really rocks in April when the world premiere of this musical jukebox by local playwright ShaWanna Renee Rivon opens the Rochelle and Max Levit stage.

This show will finally put all three Gordy stages into operation, which previously only happened for a week before the pandemic shut down stages across the city. Rivon bases the musical on a true piece of Houston’s civil rights history, when in 1960, 13 Texas Southern University students demonstrated with the first local sit-in, at the Weingarten lunch counter in the Third Ward. .

Weaving in ’60s hits like “Heat Wave,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and “Say a Little Prayer for You” — plus a jaw-dropping take on the gospel standard “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” — the musical tells the story of four college friends whose most dangerous and courageous act to fight power is to sit down.

Dead man’s cell phone at the Alley Theater (April 15-May 8)
Acclaimed contemporary playwright Sarah Ruhl brings a unique perspective to any subject and genre. His work has become a favorite of Houston theater companies for many years.

Now The Alley sets out to break some comedy rules with Ruhl in this show that begins with a cellphone call from a dead man who changes an innocent woman and presents to confront his own assumptions about morality, redemption and the need to connect in a tech-obsessed world.

Alley’s resident company is once again branching out into comedy under Alley associate producer Brandon Weinbrenner. It was another COVID-cut production slated for 2020 that the Alley loved so much, they had to bring it to Houston audiences.

Turandot by Houston Grand Opera (April 22-May 8)
In another visually stunning production from HGO this season, Texas-based director Robert Wilson gives a fresh take on Puccini’s masterpiece, the fantastical story of a princess who goes to great lengths and tips on how to avoid marriage.

Internationally renowned soprano and HGO studio alumnus Tamara Wilson stars as Turandot, while acclaimed tenor Kristian Benedikt makes his HGO debut as Calaf.

Leading guest conductor Eun Sun Kim, who made her US debut in 2017 with HGO’s La Traviata, takes the podium. The production is sure to prove to be an opera on a global scale, as a co-production with the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater Vilnius, the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto and the Opéra National de Paris.

Black Super Hero Magic Mama of Internships (April 22-May 8)
magic mom is yet another show originally planned during our lost pandemic years, this one from acclaimed playwright Inda Craig-Galvà. In this comic (like the superheroes) that tackles national tragedies, a mother loses her son in a police shootout and retreats into a mighty Technicolor universe.

Sabrina creates a heroic alter ego 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?

fiddler on the roof from Broadway to the Hobby Center (April 26-May 1)
Another acclaimed revival of a Broadway classic that took a pandemic detour en route to the Hobby is finally coming to Houston with its wealth of immortal songs like “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset.”

Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher brings fresh vision to this story of family and faith. Look for new dance and movement contributions from Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, based on Jerome Robbins’ original direction.

Romeo and Juliet by Houston Grand Opera (April 29-May 11)
HGO’s new production of Charles Gounod’s opera, based on Shakespeare’s most famous and tragic young lovers, will transport audiences back in time during an evening at the London Globe.

With a great choir, large and rich harmonies, intricate dance numbers and lavish costumes, this promises to be the greatest evening of French opera. Artistic and musical director Patrick Summers conducts and soprano Adriana Gonzalez, winner of the first Operalia Prize in 2019, makes her HGO debut as Juliet – with the phenomenal tenor Michael Spyres as Romeo.

schoolgirls; Or, African nasty girls play from the Garden Theater (April 29-May 8)
Houston’s newest theater group tackles this biting satire by Ghanaian-American playwright Jocelyn Bioh that proves teenage pecking order games are an international and timeless phenomenon.

In this comedy set in a Ghanaian boarding school in the 80s, the school’s reigning queen aims to go beyond the classroom to the Miss Universe pageant. That is, until a smart, pretty American girl transfers to school and threatens her social empire. Which queen will reign supreme?

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