James Comey was seen openly weeping this past weekend, and it wasn’t about his firing by the president. No, the tears shed by the erstwhile head of the FBI came at the hands of a touring production of Fun Home, the same production—starring Kate Shindle—that begins performances at the Hobby Center on May 16. The show, which won the Tony Award for best musical in 2015, is a powerful memory play, charting a woman’s search for the truth about her family.
Thru May 28. Tickets from $38.50. 800 Bagby St. 713-558-8887, tuts.com
Given that Karen Zacarias emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico at the age of 10, it was perhaps inevitable that the playwright would wade into the immigration debate. Less expected: that she would do so with Native Gardens, a hopeful, laugh-out-loud comedy about a pair of neighboring couples with a serious wall, er, fence between them. Is the show, in previews this week at Main Street Theater, just what America’s most divisive issue needs?
Thru June 11. Tickets from $15. 2540 Times Blvd. 713-524-6706, mainstreettheater.com
Offering—among other things—still more proof of how tough it is to escape politics these days, witness Front Porch Society, Melda Beaty’s comedy/drama currently receiving its world premiere at Ensemble Theatre. Set on the eve of the 2008 presidential election, the play explores the impact of Barack Obama’s rise on a group of elderly African-American women in rural Mississippi.
Thru June 4. Tickets from $33. 3535 Main St. 713-520-0055. ensemblehouston.com
After nights spent with weighty matters, a bit of escapist respite is in order, and it arrives courtesy Houston Grand Opera, which celebrates 60 years of free performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre with Donizetti’s tuneful classic, The Elixir of Love. The comic opera, which will also be staged on May 26 at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands (where lawn and mezzanine seats are free, and orchestra seats are $20), follows the hapless adventures of a love-struck peasant, the woman he adores, and the potion he hopes will bring them together.
Thru May 20. Free, except as above. 6000 Hermann Park Dr. and 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands. 800-626-7372. houstongrandopera.org
Your weeklong theatrical odyssey ends with a return to timely matters and the Alley Theatre’s well-regarded production of A View from the Bridge, which itself closes this weekend. Arthur Miller’s searing tragedy, set in 1950s Brooklyn, offers a sobering take on the difficulties faced by immigrants of another era, difficulties that persist to this day.
Thru May 21. Tickets from $26. 615 Texas Ave. 713-220-5700. alleytheatre.org