Top 8 Theater & Arts Performances in Houston: August 2021

Claire Danes And Leonardo DiCaprio In 'Romeo + Juliet'
Claire Danes & Leonardo DiCaprio in "Romeo + Juliet" (1996), playing at Miller Outdoor Theatre this month | Courtesy of 20th Century-Fox

Take in virtual or live performances this summer with our roundup of theater and performing arts productions happening online and in-person in August 2021.

This month, the festival celebrating the great Bard returns to Miller Outdoor, Billie Holiday gets an extension at Stages, Dacamera celebrates award-winning jazz, women make their voices heard at MATCH, and more.

We’ve gathered many types of performances you can see this month, including some that offer virtual options in addition to their in-person presentations.

Top 8 Performing Arts Events in Houston: August 2021

  • Houston Shakespeare Festival presents Shakespeare Night at the Movies at Miller Outdoor Theatre | Tuesday, August 3 to Saturday, August 7 | FREE – It wouldn’t be August without the annual Shakespeare Festival, which gets a pandemic spin this year. Each evening offers a screening of a different movie based on a Shakespeare play, with a pre-curtain discussion of the production. This year’s offerings include Henry V (1989), Throne of Blood (1957), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935), Much Ado About Nothing (1993) and Romeo + Juliet (1996). Limited, free tickets for the covered seating are available online, two days prior to each screening. Seating on the hill is open to the public. 8:30pm.
  • Mildred’s Umbrella presents Lady Grey (in ever lower light) Streaming Online | Thursday, August 5 to Friday, August 13 | Virtual – Will Eno’s play looks at marriage, life, and expectations—both our own and those of the people around us—through the lens of a woman in an almost-happy marriage. Performed onstage and filmed for a streaming audience, the show is the final installment of Mildred’s Umbrella’s digital projects. Tickets are free, although pay-what-you-can donations are appreciated.
  • Stages presents Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill | Ends Sunday, August 8 | Virtual Option – Recently extended, this musical takes us to Billie Holiday at the end of her career, performing at a Philadelphia dive bar and sharing stories about her iconic life. This knock-out Tony winner includes more than a dozen Billie Holiday hits like “Crazy He Calls Me,” “Easy Living, ” and “Strange Fruit.” Livestream is available via Overture+. Tickets start at $25. Times vary.
  • Catastrophic Theatre presents Tamarie Cooper’s Golden Jubilee | Friday, August 13 to Sunday, September 5 | Virtual – The incomparable Tamarie Cooper is 50 and that calls for a celebration in a way that only she can deliver. Riffing on all things 50, from 50 bad dates to that 50 pounds that won’t leave, this wild summer extravaganza features original songs, dances, and adorable pet appearances. Tickets are pay what you can.
  • Music Box Theater presents 10 Year Anniversary Show | Ends Saturday, August 14 – Celebrating both the re-opening of its cozy Colquitt Street home and its 10th anniversary, this cabaret features a musical tribute to favorite songs and funny moments from the last decade. Seating is limited to 60% capacity. General admission is $35; $48 for reserved seating. Performances at 7:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays; 2pm on select Sundays.
  • DaCamera presents SummerJazz 2021 at Multiple Venues | Friday, August 20 to Sunday, August 22 – This three-day program features some of the best artists in global jazz, including the powerful vocals of Dianne Reeves, the Latin groove of the Grammy-winning Dafnis Prieto Big Band, and breakout trumpeter Marquis Hill, along with other family concerts and after parties. Passes available by the show or for the entire weekend. Tickets start at $37.50; some events are free. Times vary.
  • FreshArts & Intersection Arts presents The Women Have Something to Say at MATCH | Friday, August 27 to Sunday, August 29 | Virtual Option – Told through a series of monologues and songs, this powerful production explores the stories of women musicians finding their voices. These interwoven pieces showcase the creativity, resilience and solidarity of individual women as they discover they have something to say. Please note this show contains adult themes and language. Tickets are $25; $10 for the virtual livestream of Friday’s performance. Friday and Saturday 7:30pm; Sunday 2pm.
  • Los Chicos Del 512: The Selena Experience at Miller Outdoor Theatre | Saturday, August 28 | FREE | Virtual Option – Relive the star power and magic of Selena in this dynamic tribute concert that promises an evening of singing and dancing that will have the whole family cheering along. A livestream of the performance will be available on Miller Outdoor’s YouTube channel. Limited, free tickets for the covered seating are available online, two days before the event. Seating on the hill is open to the public. 8:30pm.

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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.