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Fall Arts Preview 2015: Theatre

The Alley reopens, Peter Pan joins the 21st century and professional wrestling muscles its way to center stage

Photography by Nick Esquer September 1, 2015 Published in the September 2015 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Peter Pan 360

Peter Pan

What would it take to turn a weed-addled lot tucked between 610 and 59 into something remotely appealing? Two words: fairy dust. Luckily, that’s just what Charles Burnell has. After all, he’s the producer of Peter Pan 360, a touring theater-in-the-round experience complete with high-flying acrobatics, high definition CGI projections and ample imagination. Staged inside an air-conditioned tent, this panoramic version of J.M. Barrie’s timeless play about a boy who doesn’t want to grow up and his adventures on an island in the sky is sure to delight audiences.

“We take an empty space and in a few days transform it into a fully functioning multimedia performance space for an audience of 1,500 people,” says Burnell. Expect to see Wendy and the Lost Boys soar over virtual landscapes—including a foggy and dreamy 1890s London and an ultraviolet Neverland. But this Peter Pan, which plays for four weeks beginning this month, is not all about projections and high-tech trickery. “It’s the story which Barrie wrote,” Burnell promises, “this wonderful mixture of magic and heartbreak, which somehow resonates with everyone.”  

Sept. 8–Oct. 4. peterpan360.com

Bonnie and Clyde

According to at least one source (Bonnie Parker’s journal), America’s most notorious couple was driven to a life of crime by the tedium of provincial Dallas. We feel you, sister! The infamous gun moll and her young lover, Clyde Barrow, lived out a short spree of pistol-packing crimes, blazing a trail through Texas that would later inspire movies, TV adaptations and, in 2011, a Tony-nominated musical that will come to the stage courtesy of TUTS Underground. 

Oct. 1–4. tuts.com


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Image: Courtesy TUTS

This 2011 London import (also a musical, also a Tony winner) tells the story of a sharp-witted and charming schoolgirl with telekinetic powers. A touring version of Roald Dahl’s imaginative tale, the show will no doubt come to vivid life courtesy of a book by Dennis Kelly, music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, and sets by Billy Elliot designer Rob Howell.

Oct. 6–18. tuts.com

One Man, Two Guvnors

Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters will get a Cockney-accented makeover in this Alley Theatre-produced award-winning comedy. A bevy of songs and shtick, the show put its star James Corden on the map (and led him to CBS’s Late Late Show), and concerns a musician who tries to keep his two bosses from finding out about each other in 1960s England.

Oct. 2–Nov. 1. alleytheatre.org 

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity

With its fake body slams and fixed fights, the world of professional wrestling will take center ring in Stages Theatre’s production of this 2009 dramatic comedy by writer Kristoffer Diaz. There’s power-packed, Pulitzer-nominated satire to spare in this tale of a young Latino wrestler who, after taking fall after fall for the eponymous champion, cooks up a plan to become the undisputed king of the mat.

Oct. 14–Nov. 8. stagestheatre.com


A new touring production of the legendary 1972 Broadway musical about a young prince and his millennial-esque existential crisis is coming to town. This inspired reimagining of Roger O. Hirson’s magic-infused play and Stephen Schwartz’s magical music won the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival earlier this year, and has been optioned by mega film producers Bob and Harvey Weinstein for the big screen.

Oct. 20–25. thehobbycenter.org

Silent Sky

Any bar trivia fanatic can tell you that the earth’s distance from the sun is 92,960,000 miles. And who do you have to thank for this nugget of knowledge? Why, Henrietta Leavitt, the Massachusetts data entry clerk-turned-astronomer who is the subject of this 2011 Lauren Gunderson play, having its Texas premiere at Main Street Theater. 

Nov. 7–29. mainstreettheater.com

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