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Happy Days

“Here all is strange.” 

Beckett’s existential tragicomedy Happy Days concerns itself with the plight of Winnie, a middle-class, middle-aged woman who is quite literally stuck, buried to her waist in crusted earth. Her husband Willie lives in a hole behind her mound, physically and emotionally out of reach. Even in his company she is essentially alone.

Armed with a shopping bag of everyday items and routines, a series of half-remembered stories, songs, and prayers, and a heroic capacity for optimism, she presses through an endless series of unforgiving days to the merciful night to come. The bell rings again and when the blazing sun comes charging back, she is buried up to her neck. Her last resources depleted, her arms and body sunk and gone, her predicament is irreversible, hellish, seemingly eternal. Through it all she perseveres, struggling with that which remains to make real her impossibly hopeful exclamation: “Oh this will be another happy day!”

The Houston Chronicle wrote that Catastrophic’s productions of Samuel Beckett’s plays “demonstrate exactly why this company and its artistic director Jason Nodler are so important to the city’s cultural life.” The Houston Press opined, “If man’s wretched existence ever needed a finer hand to paint comic despair, look no further than director Jason Nodler with his superlative interpreters all in the service of the apocalyptic vision from Samuel Beckett.”

Catastrophic’s co-artistic directors Tamarie Cooper and Jason Nodler reprise their roles as Winnie and director, as they did with Infernal Bridegroom Productions (IBP) 22 years ago. Greg Dean rounds out the cast as Willie.Read more

Last Stop on Market Street

Main Street Theater

Last Stop on Market Street

Based on the book by Matt de la Peña

On a visit to see his Nana, CJ is introduced to the people in her community – Vernon, the blind bus passenger, Grandma Posey and her grandson Jojo, who eat at the soup kitchen – teaching CJ about friendship, empathy and finding joy in unexpected places. Last Stop on Market Street celebrates the bond between a young boy and his grandmother in this heartwarming and energetic musical.

Recommended for Pre-Kindergarten and older.Read more

Toc Toc

Gente de Teatro

Toc Toc

JULIÁN QUINTANILLA’S SPANISH VERSION OF THE WORLD ACCLAIMED COMEDY BY FRENCH PLAYWRIGHT LAURENT BAFFIE

With true fanfare, Gente de Teatro is celebrating its 27th season with Julián Quintanilla’s Spanish version of the world acclaimed comedy TOC TOC by French playwright Laurent Baffie.

TOC TOC is a hilarious play dealing with a serious topic in a humorous vein: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). “TOC” is the Spanish Acronym for OCD. Six characters displaying certain signs of OCD are in the waiting-room of a renowned psychiatrist, a specialist in the treatment of the disorder. Because the doctor is late, however, these potential patients are about to embark on a new journey. Without either the expert or the expertise, and amid roaring bouts of laughter from the audience, they will attempt to create a therapeutic group of their own to help one another control their symptoms. The result is a play that is uproariously upbeat, yet the humor never offends.Read more

Coyote on a Fence

Dirt Dogs Theatre Co.

Coyote on a Fence

Written by Bruce Graham, Directed by Malinda L. Beckham

Illiterate yet affable, Bobby Reyburn loves to do impressions and watch soap operas. He’s also a member of the Aryan nation sitting on death row, convicted of an unimaginable hate crime. John Brennan is an articulate, well-educated convict and editor of the prison newspaper, The Death Row Advocate. Following executions, John publishes obituaries that tell the stories of the executed but never mentions the crimes committed. John's writing draws national attention and the interest of a journalist who wants to do a story about him. As each awaits his final fate under the watchful eye of their female guard, they confront, comfort, and change each other. Inspired by the story of a real-life Texas death row inmate, Coyote on a Fence explores the questions: Can one be redeemed in the final hours of life? Is everyone redeemable even if they aren’t seeking redemption?Read more

Cruel Intentions: The 90's Musical

The Garden Theatre

Cruel Intentions: The 90's Musical

Created by Jordan Ross and Lindsey Rosin

Based on the iconic film starring Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Michelle Geller, Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical pulls you into the manipulative world of Manhattan’s most dangerous liaisons: Sebastian Valmont and Kathryn Merteuil. Fueled by revenge and passion, the diabolically charming step-siblings place a bet on whether or not Sebastian can deflower their incoming headmaster’s daughter, Annette Hargrove. As the two set out to destroy the innocent girl— and anyone else who gets in their way — they find themselves playing a perilous game with only one rule: Never fall in love.

Featuring your favorite throwback hits by artists like Boyz II Men, Christina Aguilera, REM, 'NSYNC, and, of course, Britney Spears, this sexy, hilarious, and so-very-cruel musical is “the ultimate night out” (Entertainment Weekly).

This production is not suitable for young audiences, and would be given an R rating. Parental discretion is advised. Read more

They Do Not Move

The Catastrophic Theatre

They Do Not Move

WORLD PREMIERE by Brian Jucha with the Catastrophic ensemble

Using found text, music, stylized physicality, and an abundance of pop culture references They Do Not Move winds its way through an imagined American future in which democracy has been defeated and a disorganized band of vagrants, waifs, and strays are hunted by monarchist forces. Their only defense? An expressionist cavalcade of song and dance. There will be a beauty pageant. There will be a sitcom. There will be conversion therapy. Horror movies, cancel culture, and Texas law feature prominently in this oddly moving, spastically funny love letter to our city, a devised dance-theatre piece that could only come from the mind of Brian Jucha. Like each of his works, They Do Not Move is sublimely derivative and apropos of everything.

Jucha previously collaborated with IBP and Catastrophic to create Last Rites (1997), We Have Some Planes (2002), and Toast (2019). In its cover story, American Theatre magazine called We Have Some Planes “darkly hilarious and compelling… like the best of remembered dreams” and said, “Jucha and the extraordinary Infernal Bridegroom company have given us a way to open our eyes.” Read more

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