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By Don Maines
No exercise buddy? No problem!
Dear Evan Hansen might stand on the sidelines with a cast on his arm, but everybody else jumps, squats and planks along to show tunes at Body by Broadway, a free monthly exercise event at Market Square Park in downtown Houston.
The mashup of buff gym-bunnies and musical-theater buffs begins Tuesday, June 27 and will continue on the last Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m., through November.
It’s a co-production of Houston Downtown Management District and Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS), with 60-minute sessions taught by instructors from DEFINE Body & Mind.
“The Broadway catalogue has so much great music that will get your heart rate up,” says Evan Camp, manager of audience development for TUTS.
“There are so many moments when you’re watching a show in a theater and you want to get up and sing the songs and dance,” he adds. “This is an outlet for doing that, and getting pumped up from high-energy songs from your favorite musicals.”
Certain to be played will be songs from Rent, Hamilton, and A Chorus Line, along with soulful rock ’n’ roll beats from Memphis and lush Frank Loesser classics from Guys and Dolls—both of which will be performed in TUTS’ 2017–18 season.
“I am partial to music from In the Heights,” says Camp, noting its dynamic, Spanish-infused hip-hop score.
Camp, an LGBT ally whose father is gay, graduated in 2004 from Humble High School, where he fell in love with the technical side of theater and enjoyed the camaraderie of show people.
TUTS and the Downtown District previously teamed up for movie nights in Market Square Park. For example, they hosted a screening of the Oscar-winning film Dreamgirls in conjunction with the TUTS stage production last spring at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.
“This [exercise series] organically developed from that association,” says Camp.
Guests are encouraged to wear comfortable workout attire and tennis shoes, and to bring a water bottle and towel.
On-street parking is free after 6 p.m., or parking is available in the garage at 719 Prairie Street.
After exercising, guests are invited to shop for juice, workout gear, and more from wellness vendors on-site at the park.
Body By Broadway continues begins Tuesday, June 27 and continues July 25, August 29, September 26, October 31 and November 28, at Market Square Park, 301 Milam Street.