by Donalevan Maines
Houston musical theater fans hungry for the genre’s cutting-edge fare might want to cancel that trip to the Big Apple.
With TUTS Underground, Theatre Under the Stars hopes to deliver New York’s freshest, most innovative musicals to Zilka Hall in downtown Houston’s Hobby Center.
It’s all about location, location, location—the prime real estate being front-row seats to some of the latest New York shows. Also, the intimacy of Zilkha Hall’s five-hundred-seat theater puts fans close to the action.
While some of the shows, including Lizzie and 50 Shades!, are tours, ten to twelve local performers will probably nab roles in Hands on a Hardbody. The fourth show, Murder Ballad, could also provide employment for a few local actors.
Tickets to TUTS Underground productions range from $24 to $49.
John Breckenridge, the CEO and president of TUTS, says the new venture has been brewing for a long time. “We are thrilled to finally make it a reality,” he says. “Through our strong New York City connections, we are granted unparalleled access to the freshest, most innovative musicals coming out of the Broadway community. As a multi-million-dollar musical theater organization, we have the unique opportunity to take new material from obscurity to notoriety right here in Houston. That is pretty exciting.”
TUTS artistic director Bruce Lumpkin adds, “I want to bring important theater to Houston—shows that make people think and view the world around them differently and from a new and exciting angle. TUTS Underground will showcase just how dynamic musical theater can be. Houston is ready for this. TUTS is ready for this.”
Donalevan Maines wrote about the Emmys and numerous theater pieces in the September issue of OutSmart.