Top 17 Plays & Arts Performances This Month: October 2019

Cats | Photo courtesy of the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

Grab your tickets to the top 17 theatrical shows and arts performances happening around the Greater Houston area in October 2019.

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

Top 17 Plays & Arts Performances This Month: October 2019

  • Every Brilliant Thing at Main Street Theater | Through Sunday, October 6 – Part of the Houston Equity Festival, this one-woman show featuring Shannon Emerick and directed by Rebecca Udden focuses on how one event can ricochet across a life. Tickets start at $15. Showtimes vary.
  • The Hiding Place at the George Theater | Through Saturday, October 12 – This world premiere based on a true story finds the Netherlands in the grip of the Nazis. In an act of bravery that brings terrible consequences, Corrie ten Boom and her family hide Jews from their would-be captors, in a play that explores how love and hope triumph over evil. Tickets start at $30, but limited premium $60 tickets are discounted to $30 for select shows. Showtimes vary.
  • School Girls: Or, the African Mean Girls Play at the Ensemble Theatre | Through Sunday, October 13 – Paulina, the reigning queen bee at Ghana’s most exclusive boarding school, wants to be Miss Universe. But her dreams are threatened when Ericka, the new, beautiful and talented student on campus, catches the eye of the pageant recruiter. Tickets start at $37. Showtimes vary.
  • Sister’s Back-to-School Catechism: The Holy Ghost and Other Terrifying Tales at Stages Repertory Theatre | Through Sunday, October 13 – Denise Fennell reprises her role as Sister in this installment the popular Late-Night Catechism series. Audiences should expect Church-approved tales of ghosts and goblins and a Catholic-appropriate Halloween costume contest, as well as the potential for audience participation and a high-level of irreverent comedy. Catholics and “heathens” alike are welcome. Tickets start at $25. Showtimes vary.
  • The Winter’s Tale at The Alley Theatre | Through Sunday, October 13 – Shakespeare’s classic story of romance and tragedy –and comedy– gets flipped on its head in this production directed by Alley artistic director Rob Melrose. Set in Texas, the action is seen through the eyes of a young Houstonian and features the entire resident acting company. Tickets start at $28, but you may find cheaper or better seats on TicketNetwork’s online resale marketShowtimes vary.
  • The Hard Problem at Main Street Theater | Through Wednesday, October 16 – Tom Stoppard’s play examines the idea that if there are only facts and matter, what is consciousness? The push-pull of these are laid bare in Stoppard’s latest play. Main Street has a history of performing works by the writer, so expect their solid treatment of his language, ideas, and study of being human. Tickets start at $40. Showtimes vary.
  • Tragedy, a tragedy at MATCH | Through Sunday, October 20 – Catastrophic Theatre opens its 2019 to 2020 season with this play by Catastrophic favorite Will Eno. Television anchor Frank in the Studio reports live on an unfolding crisis, aided by his colleagues in the field and at home, and the station’s legal advisor. In a tart examination of news, truth, and the power of media, the play shows how very human we can be. Tickets are pay-what-you-can. Showtimes vary.
  • Empanada Loca at MATCH | Thursday, October 3 through Thursday, October 26 – Obsidian Theater offers this creepy, macabre, urban myth of a drama that chronicles the story of Dolores, who lives in a Manhattan subway tunnel with the Mole People. How she found her way underground from her years selling weed with her boyfriend, her stint in prison, and her time working at an empanada shop is “not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach,” says TheaterMaina. Tickets are $25; $20 for ages 65 and up; $15 for students with valid ID, but limited discounted $18 tickets are available for select shows. Showtimes vary.
  • Music of the Americas at St. John Vianney Catholic Church | Friday, October 4 – Echo Orchestra explores the music stylings of North and South America in this performance featuring Venezuelan violinist Eddy Marcano. The evening showcases works such as The Cowboys Overture by John Williams, Dvorak’s New World Symphony and Silvestre Revueltas La Noche de los Mayas. Tickets are $12. 7:30pm.
  • Salt, Root and Roe at Stages Repertory Theatre | Friday, October 4 through Sunday, October 20 – A story about the nature of change and the eternal bond of love, this play follows 80-year-old twins Anest and Iola, living on the remote Welsh coast. They’ve pledged to face death together, but their plans are upended when Anest’s daughter turns up, attempting to persuade them to choose life. Tickets range from $25 to $65, but limited discounted $20 tickets (for $40 seats) are available for select shows. Showtimes vary.
  • Tosca at Lambert Hall | Saturday, October 5 through Sunday, October 13 – Opera in the Heights opens its 2019 to 2020 season with Puccini’s story of young lovers caught up in a ruthless man’s quest for power. Tickets start at $34.50. Showtimes vary.
  • Aura and Psophonia present Colony at MATCH | Thursday, October 10 to Saturday, October 12 – Musicians and dancers are entwined and enmeshed in this exploration of the importance of honey bees on human life. Building on the connected experience the partnership created last March in Memory Web, Aura and Psophonia bring their distinctive presentation style to this new production that features vocals, dance, and instruments. Tickets start at $15. 8pm nightly.
  • The Glass Menagerie at Studio 101 | Friday, October 11 through Saturday, November 2 – 4th Wall Theatre Company opens their 2019 to 2020 season with this Tennessee Williams drama that explores the dynamics of family and familial expectations. The play rocketed Williams to prominence when it premiered in 1944 and has been a classic ever since. Tickets start at $17. Showtimes vary.
  • Rigoletto at the Wortham Theater Center | Friday, October 18 through Friday, November 1 – Houston Grand Opera opens is 2019 to 2020 season with this epic story of jealousy, lust, and revenge. Verdi’s opera is the story of the court jester who’s cursed after taking a joke too far. The new production brings a fresh perspective to one of the canon’s best stories. Tickets start at $45. Showtimes vary.
  • Lysistrata at the DeLuxe Theater | Friday, October 18 through Wednesday, November 6 – Aristophanes’ comedy finds the women of ancient Greece fed up with the never-ending Peloponnesian War, so they make a pact to withhold sex from their men until peace is achieved. The play opens Classical Theatre’s 2019 to 2020 season, in its new home at the historic DeLuxe Theater on Lyons Avenue. Tickets start at $10. Showtimes vary.
  • Quartetto di Cremona at the Menil Collection | Monday, October 21 and Tuesday, October 22 – Da Camera presents this Italian ensemble in its first-ever Houston appearance, playing little-heard works by Verdi, Puccini, and Respighi. It’s a golden opportunity for lovers of chamber music to hear a young group who play “with fervor and flair,” said The Guardian. Tickets are $60. 7:30pm both evenings.
  • Cats at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts | Tuesday, October 22 to Sunday, October 27 – Don’t miss Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical based on T.S. Eliott’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. The bouncy show follows the activities of a clowder of felines called the Jellicles as they prepare to choose which will ascend to the Heavyside Layer and begin a new life. The blockbuster musical ran on Broadway for 18 years and features the iconic song “Memory.” This new production features choreography from Hamilton’s Andy Blankenbuehler and direction by Trevor Nunn. Tickets start at $35, but you may find cheaper or better seats on TicketNetwork’s online resale market. Showtimes vary.

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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'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.