Classical

The Ars Lyrica Ensemble

Handel's Susanna

Astonishingly, this 1748 Handel oratorio, based on the Old Testament story of Susanna and the Elders, has never been performed in Texas. Born in Germany but making England his home for most of his life, Handel composed dozens of operas and oratorios for various patrons and occasions, and is widely considered one of the greatest Baroque composers. 

March 29 & 30. $35–55. Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St. 713-622-7443. arslyricahouston.org

Dreams and Nightmares

This program consists of two Baroque concertos: Georg Philipp Telemann’s Don Quixote Suite and Vivaldi’s La Notte, a concerto for the recorder featuring soloist Kathryn Montoya. Conducted by Antoine Plante and also featuring violinist Jonathan Godfrey. 

March 28 at 8. $10–65. Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater center, 501 Texas Ave. 713-533-0080. mercuryhouston.org

Family

Houston Children's Festival

Founded in 1988, the Houston Children's Festival now claims to be the largest such festival in the United States, and has even been named "one of the world's 300 unmissable events" by Frommer's Travel Guides. Last year's installment featured live entertainment, a petting zoo, and much more. And it's all for a good cause—over the years, the Festival has raised over $4.7 million for Child Advocates, which helps abused and neglected children. 

March 29 & 30 10:30–6:30. $8 online; $10 at the gate; 3 and under free. Downtown Houston. houstonchildrensfestival.com

Theater

Sarah (Sara Gaston) and Mandy (Lisa Villegas)

Time Stands Still

In this Tony-nominated play by Donald Margulies, a photojournalist who has been wounded in the Iraq War struggles to resume life with her husband in present-day Brooklyn. When he announces he wants to start a family, she's caught between her personal and professional lives. 

March 27–April 19. $20–36. 2540 Times Blvd. 713-524-6706. mainstreettheater.com

Opera

Jessica Jones as Lucia and Anthony Webb as Edgardo in Opera in the Heights's production of Lucia di Lammermoor.

Lucia di Lammermoor

Capitalizing on widespread European interest in the history and folklore of Scotland, Donizetti and librettist Salvatore Cammarano loosely based this 1835 opera on Sir Walter Scott’s novel The Bride of Lammermoor, in which a young woman falls in love with an enemy of her family, with tragic results. The opera concludes with the famous “Mad Scene,” one of the most thrilling (and technically demanding) arias in the repertoire. 

March 28–April 6. $10–55. Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. 713-861-5303. operaintheheights.org