District of Columbia County, District of Columbia
October 20, 2004
Sure New York has Broadway, but do you know where the second largest theater district is? It’s not Chicago, or LA, or even London. Nope, it’s Houston! Yes, Houston. The city is far from a cultural wasteland, and the city’s Theater District, a 17-block area in Downtown’s northwest quadrant, features nearly 13,000 theater seats and over 1,400 movie seats in a collection of world-class performing arts centers.
The city is home to a variety of professional ballet, opera, orchestra and musical and dramatic theater companies. Several of these groups have premiered new operas, plays, and musicals, with such hits as Jekyll & Hyde making their world premiere performances on the stages of Houston’s Theater District. In addition to the local arts community, organizations such as Broadway in Houston arrange for nationally-touring shows to appear here as well.
For information on each of the theater companies and venues, see the links and descriptions below.
Alley Theatre. One of the nation’s most famous theater companies, the Alley presents a variety of classic plays and new works in one of the district’s most interesting facilities. Tickets and schedules are available by phone at (713) 228-8421 or online at www.alleytheatre.org.
Houston Ballet. The ballet performs at the district’s Wortham Theater Center’s Brown Theater. Each season features eight-ten ballets, including the Christmas favorite The Nutcracker. For tickets, call (713) 227-ARTS or see the ballet’s website at www.houstonballet.org.
Broadway in Houston. Broadway in Houston brings some of Broadway’s best shows to the Bayou City. Performances are held at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Jones Hall, and Wortham Theater Center. More information is available by phone at (713) 622-SHOW or online at www.broadwayacrossamerica.com.
Houston Grand Opera. Houston’s outstanding professional opera company, the Houston Grand Opera, presents eight operas each season in the Wortham Theater Center’s Brown and Cullen Theaters. Now in its 50th year, HGO is famous for both its modern productions of classics as well as its development of new operas. For more information, call (713) 228-OPERA or see the HGO website at www.houstongrandopera.org.
Houston Symphony. The symphony performs in Jones Hall downtown, as well as at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands and Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park during the summer. Tickets are available at (713) 224-7575 or online at www.houstonsymphony.org.
Theatre Under the Stars. The largest non-profit producer of musical theater in the country, TUTS presents over 200 performances a year in the Hobby Center for the Performing Art’s Sarofim Hall. A free summer musical is also produced annually at Hermann Park’s Miller Outdoor Theater. TUTS is my personal favorite of the local theater companies (I can’t help it, I like musicals), and their productions rival the best in New York and London. Tickets available at (713) 558-TUTS and www.tuts.com.
Other groups. Because of space limitations, some groups have been left off this list. For more information, see the Theater District website.
From journal Houston - The Best of the Rest