Following in the footsteps of other Houston theater organizations, Stages is making changes to its 2020-2021 season amid continuing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. But in true Stages fashion, the company’s found a way to make these adjustments creatively.
The new season still kicks off this month, but instead of opening with the world premiere of MacGuyver: The Musical (don’t worry, this new take on the unconventionally inventive government agent of TV fame hasn’t been cancelled, just moved to the spring), the company is beginning with a streamable “radio play” version of Pieces of the Moon in collaboration with New York’s One Lease Theater Company. The new opening date of July 20 is rather perfect; the show, which is partially about the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, is now starting its run on the anniversary of the historic moon landing.
In August and September, Stages will present Zoom-captured performances of Sensitive Guys, which was set to open in March but saw its run halted with Houston’s stay-at-home order, and A Woman of the World. Then, it's bringing back Roger Bean’s jukebox musical Honky Tonk Laundry, whose run earlier this year was also cut short by Houston’s shutdown.
The new Holidays at the Hope’s show replaces previously announced The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical as a Stages’ holiday offering alongside the new Buttons’ Sleeping Beauty: A One-Man Outrageous Unbelievable COVID Lockdown Panto!, a timely reimagining of the company’s longstanding tradition of holiday Pantos. And yes, they’re bringing back Panto veteran Ryan Schabach as beloved narrator, Buttons. Titles for the spring remain mostly the same, save for the addition of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, which recounts the life legendary songstress Billie Holiday during one of her final performances, in place of Stages’ originally announced production of Nashville Jukebox Live.
Stages is the latest Houston company to adapt its 2020-2021 season in the wake of the ongoing pandemic. Organizations that have already announced changes include Broadway at the Hobby Center, Houston Grand Opera, The Alley, and Theater Under the Stars. “Our plan is bold and aspirational,” Stages Artistic Director Kenn McLaughlin said in a statement. “We recognize the uncertainty that continues to exist in the world, but we are moving forward in hope.”
See Stages’ updated season (including dates) below:
Stages (Updated) 2020–2021 Season
Pieces of the Moon: July 20–Aug 2, 2020 (Online)
Sensitive Guys: Aug 13–23, 2020 (Online)
A Woman of the World: Sept 10–20, 2020 (Online)
Honky Tonk Laundry: Oct 2–Dec 27, 2020
Holiday’s At The Hope’s: Nov 13–Dec 27, 2020 (World Premiere)
Buttons’ Sleeping Beauty: A One-Man Outrageous Unbelievable Covid Lockdown Panto: Nov 27–Dec 27, 2020
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill: Jan 29–Mar 7, 2021
The Giant Void in My Soul: A Play For Fools: Feb 5–21, 2021
Sin Muros (Without Walls): A Latinx Theater Festival: Feb 18–21
Late Nite Catechism Las Vegas: Sister Rolls The Dice!: Mar 10–May 30, 2021
Black Super Hero Magic Mama: Mar 19–Apr 4, 2021
Cost of Living: Apr 9–25, 2021
MacGuyver: The Musical: May 7–June 13, 2021
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee: May 21–June 27, 2021