Top 12 Plays & Arts Performances This Month: August 2019

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Rent | Photo courtesy of Rent on Tour

Grab your tickets to the top 12 theatrical shows and arts performances happening around the Greater Houston area in August 2019.

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Top 12 Plays & Arts Performances

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Still looking for more entertainment this month? Visit our Event Calendar for a more comprehensive list.

Shows are listed in chronological order and are not ranked numerically from most to least recommended.

Top 12 Plays & Arts Performances This Month: August 2019

  • Woyzeck at The Rec Room | Through Saturday, August 3 – The Downtown arts organization wraps its 2018 to 2019 season with a fresh take on the 19th-century tragedy. Originally the story of a soldier who stabs his girlfriend in a fit of jealousy, this world-premiere adaption sets the piece in a modern-day suburban setting, unearthing themes about how technology has shaped our lives, how we are more connected –and more isolated—than ever before, and how we know who we are. Tickets start at $15. Showtimes vary.
  • Speeding Motorcycle at the MATCH | Through Sunday, August 4 – Catastrophic Theatre brings back the popular rock opera it premiered in 2006. Based entirely on the songs of legendary outsider musician Daniel Johnson, who’s garnered a following among celebrities and general music lovers alike, it’s the haunting tale of Joe the Boxer, in love with a woman engaged to an undertaker. After her marriage, Joe realized the only way to be with her is to die, knowing that she will prepare his body for burial. The show’s premiere was a hit, and Catastrophic is bringing it back to share the joy and pain of Johnson’s music with a whole new audience. Tickets are pay-what-you-can. Showtimes vary.
  • Private Lives at Main Street Theater | Through Sunday, August 11 – Noel Coward’s classic comedy about Elyot and Amanda, once married to each other now divorced, who cross paths with each other while on their honeymoon with new spouses lights up Main Street’s stage this summer. Expect wit and stinging barbs as chaos ensues for this quartet of characters. Tickets start at $36. Showtimes vary.
  • Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express at the Alley Theatre | Through Sunday, August 25 – Summer Chills returns to the Alley with this classic mystery that finds Belgian detective Hercule Poirot aboard the famed Orient Express train with a killer in his midst. This enduring mystery is one of the greats of the genre, and this version has been adapted by Ken Ludwig, the playwright behind the Alley’s recent production of The Three Musketeers. Tickets start at $28. Showtimes vary.
  • Feelin’ Groovy at Music Box Theatre | Through Saturday, August 31 – Houston’s in-town cabaret delivers classic songs from the 1960s and 1970s, woven between comedy sketches. Look for tunes such as Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys, “Listen to the Music” by the Doobie Brothers, “Soul & Inspiration” by the Righteous Brothers, and “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin, among many other classics. Tickets start at $31.50, but limited discounted $15.50 tickets are available for select shows. Showtimes vary.
  • The Doyle and Debbie Show at Stages Repertory Theatre | Through Sunday, September 8 – A hilarious send-up of iconic singing duos, this musical finds Doyle Mayfield on the rocks. A partnership with Debbie could be his ticket back to stardom. But when her star starts to rise, Doyle could wind up a permanent has-been. With original songs such as “Barefoot and Pregnant” and “When You’re Screwing Other Women (Think of Me),” this is an irreverent summertime romp. Tickets start at $20. Showtimes vary.
  • Houston Shakespeare Festival at Miller Outdoor Theatre | Friday, August 2 through Sunday, August 11 | FREE – Two of Shakespeare’s best-known plays come alive on stage at this annual celebration of his work. Julius Caesar is the epic story of political ambition and betrayal in ancient Rome. As You Like It is a sparkling romantic comedy of mistaken identity. The shows play in repertory throughout the festival. Tickets for assigned, reserved seats are available for a $60 donation to the Houston Shakespeare Festival. Showtimes vary.
  • Rent at The Hobby Center | Tuesday, August 6 through Sunday, August 11 – The groundbreaking, beloved musical that captured a generation comes into Houston, in a vibrant 20th-anniversary production. Jonathan Larson’s retelling of Puccini’s operatic masterpiece La Boheme is the dramatic story of seven artists trying to stay true to themselves and their work without selling out. Their struggles, love, triumphs, and hope play against a backdrop of a gritty, changing New York City. Tickets start at $35. Showtimes vary.
  • I’ll Be Single Before I Settle at The MATCH | Saturday, August 17 – The story of college friends who make a bet on who will find love first. Along the way, they’re forced to confront what it means to be in a relationship, their own expectations – and find their own truths. The play was created to bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence. Tickets are $25. 6:30pm and 8:30pm.
  • Death and the Maiden at Spring Street Studios | Friday, August 23 through Sunday, September 1 – Part of the 2019 Houston Equity Festival, this play by Ariel Dorfman examines abuses of power and human rights violations. Paulina Salas, the play’s main character, was a political prisoner, held captive in prison by a man who would play Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14, also known as Death and the Maiden, from where this play’s title comes. Tickets are $20. Showtimes vary.
  • Man Overboard! at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts | Friday, August 23 and Saturday, August 24 – NobleMotion Dance opens its 11th season with this performance, an examination of unintended consequences. The four dances in the set look at issues from artificial intelligence to the frenzy and chaos of wild storm front. Tickets start at $20. 7:30pm both days.
  • TC Energy Theatre District Open House in Downtown | Sunday, August 25 | FREE – The annual family-friendly showcase returns to Downtown. The day offers the chance to see performances, take a ballet class, learn stage make-up techniques, and get discounted tickets for some of the upcoming season’s hottest shows. Eight of the city’s renowned arts organizations are taking part including the Broadway at the Hobby Center, Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Symphony and the Society for the Performing Arts. Noon to 5pm.

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Holly Beretto
Holly Beretto writes about food and wine, the arts and interesting people for a variety of local and regional publications. In addition to 365 Things to Do in Houston, her work has appeared in the Arizona State University Alumni Magazine, Arts + Culture Texas, Bayou City Magazine, Downtown, Galveston Monthly and Houston Woman. She is also a regular contributor to Eater.com's Houston site. She earned her B.A. in mass communication with a minor in professional writing from Franklin Pierce College (now Franklin Pierce University) and her M.A. in communication studies with an emphasis in journalism from St. Louis University. She has worked in television news production, public relations and marketing in Rhode Island, Maine, New York and Texas. A native Rhode Islander, she has lived in Texas since 1997. She is the author of Christ as the Cornerstone: Fifty Years of Worship at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, published by Bright Sky Press.