Society for the Performing Arts (SPA), the largest nonprofit presenting organization of its kind in the Southwest, is thrilled to announce its highly-anticipated 2018-2019 season lineup. The season, which runs from Friday, Sept. 14, 2018 through Saturday, June 1, 2019, features an exciting assortment of music, dance and theatrical entertainment from the world’s finest artists and arts companies.
“As with each season, we strive to bring a strong and diverse lineup of the world’s best performing artists to Houston, and this season is no exception,” says SPA CEO and President June Christensen. “The 2018-2019 season features coveted classics such as The Wizard of Oz, captivating dance numbers from Complexions Contemporary Ballet and much more.”
SPA’s 2018-2019 season kicks off with the internationally-acclaimed dance company, MOMIX, and their revitalized version of Opus Cactus, featuring athletic dance and vibrant costumes. MOMIX was originally set to launch the 2017-2018 season was but was canceled due to Hurricane Harvey. Following the season opener is the Soweto Gospel Choir, a 43-person strong choir that celebrates the unique and inspirational power of African Gospel music. In November, travel back in time with National Geographic LIVE! When Women Ruled The World: Kara Cooney.
Becoming Kareem, hosted by Roy Firestone, chronicles the turbulent journey of former professional basketball player and world-shaking activist, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. World-renowned pianist, Roman Rabinovich, will captivate audiences with his musical stylings, while National Geographic LIVE! Capturing the Impossible: Filmmaker Bryan Smith explores what it means to adventure with purpose.
In February, New York-based tap dance company Dorrance Dance brings ETM: Double Down to Jones Hall for a performance that beautifully combines classic tap with more contemporary styles. Alice’s Restaurant – Back By Popular Demand Tour celebrates the career of the iconic folk music singer, Arlo Guthrie, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of the feature film, “Alice’s Restaurant.”
Beijing Dance Theater presents its take on Hamlet, which explores Hamlet’s psychological landscape from a fresh perspective. Fans of the beloved 1939 MGM film, “The Wizard of Oz,”have four opportunities catch the show while on its National Broadway Tour. Then there’s Mutts Gone Nuts, a comedic performance featuring some of the world’s best trained four-legged performers that will leave you howling with laughter.
With 29 years of performing together and thousands of sold out concerts worldwide under their belt, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is sure to mesmerize and entertain audiences. Romance is in the air as Pilobolus’ Shadowland: The New Adventure, the sequel to the wildly successful Shadowland, tells a beautiful love story of two people and their quest to save a magical bird. Whether you’re a kid at heart or a parent with children, the magical production of Finding Neverland will leave you enchanted and spellbound. Award-winning pianist Yekwon Sunwoo, whose performance was also canceled due to last year’s Hurricane Harvey, returns to the SPA season lineup with his powerful and virtuosic tunes.
National Geographic LIVE! Exploring Mars: Kobie Boykins, NASA Engineer gives space enthusiasts an opportunity to learn more about the mysteries of outer space firsthand and hear about the latest chapter of the Mars exploration. Closing out SPA’s riveting season is Complexions Contemporary Ballet. From ballet to hip hop, audiences will be moving and grooving in their seats. Making this performance extra special is the Houston premiere of Stardust, a tribute to the life and music of the late, great David Bowie.
Subscriptions for the 2018-2019 season are on sale now. Renewing subscribers will be seated first; all other orders will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. For more information regarding performance dates, times and details, please call 713-227-4772 or visit spahouston.org.
2018-2019 Society for the Performing Arts Season Schedule
MOMIX Opus Cactus
Friday, September 14 at 7:30 p.m. | Jones Hall
Having thrilled fans in over 22 countries, MOMIX will delight Houston audiences through its trademark use of magical lighting and imagery. Artistic Director Moses Pendleton pushes boundaries by combining athletic dance, riveting music, outrageous costumes, inventive props and pure talent to create an entertaining multimedia experience.
Soweto Gospel Choir
Wednesday, October 24 at 8 p.m. | Jones Hall
Soweto Gospel Choir was formed to celebrate the unique and inspirational power of African Gospel music. The 43-strong choir, under the direction of Beverly Bryer, draws on the best talent from the many churches in and around Soweto. The choir is dedicated to sharing the joy of faith through music with audiences around the world.
National Geographic LIVE! When Women Ruled The World: Kara Cooney
Saturday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m. | Cullen Theater, Wortham Center
Join Dr. Kara Cooney, professor of Egyptology, for a look at a time in ancient history when women ruled the world. Often neglected in the history books, Cleopatra, Neferusobek and Nefertiti were considered exceptions to the rule, political pawns in a patriarchal society. But their power and influence is undeniable.
Saturday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m. | Jones Hall
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s turbulent journey from being the good little boy attending Catholic school to becoming a world-class athlete, world-shaking activist and world-wide best-selling author was guided by a series of well-meaning mentors. In some cases, the lessons learned were not the ones intended by the mentor, but were a reaction to what Kareem saw as a flaw in their teachings.
Friday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m. | Cullen Theater, Wortham Center
As world-renowned pianist, Roman Rabinovich has become one of the youngest global sensations in the music world due to his elite skills and creativity. Rabinovich, a top prizewinner at the 12th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in 2008, will bring a delightful evening of music to Houston.
National Geographic LIVE! Capturing the Impossible: Filmmaker Bryan Smith
Saturday, February 2 at 7:30 p.m. | Cullen Theater, Wortham Center
For extreme filmmaker Bryan Smith, the line between going for it and going too far is often blurry – especially when you’re exploring the earth’s most remote environments. In this edge-of-your-seat presentation, Bryan shows you what it means to adventure with purpose, and why he believes the best expeditions are the ones with a healthy chance of failure.
Dorrance Dance: ETM: Double Down
Saturday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m. | Jones Hall
Dorrance Dance is an award-winning tap dance company based out of New York City, combining classic tap with contemporary styles for more interesting and conceptual performances that aim to expand the audience of tap dancing. ETM: Double Down utilizes original tap “instruments” designed by 2014 Bessie Award Winner Nicholas Van Young. The score is not simply danced to, but danced BY the company.
Alice’s Restaurant – Back By Popular Demand Tour
Wednesday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m. | Jones Hall
With a distinguished and varied career spanning almost 60 years, Arlo Guthrie has become an iconic figure in folk music. When he took to the road to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of his seminal song “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre,” he was incredibly moved by the feedback from enthusiastic fans. Alice’s Restaurant – Back By Popular Demand Tour will coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the feature film “Alice’s Restaurant.”
Beijing Dance – Hamlet
Friday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. | Jones Hall
Beijing Dance Theater has collaborated with many internationally-renowned dramatists, musicians and designers, enriching the international dance stages with its world-class productions, each of which represents the highest level of Chinese contemporary dance. This special Chinese Hamlet explores Hamlet’s psychological landscape from a fresh perspective. Beijing Dance confronts his melancholy, compassion for humanity, and doubt in the face of death and destruction.
The Wizard of Oz – National Broadway Tour
February 23 – 24 | 4 Performances | Jones Hall
This production of THE WIZARD OF OZ is a spectacular celebration of the classic 1939 MGM film. It is a new, refreshed and lavish rendition of the beloved classic. Audiences young and old, seeing it for the first time or the fifth, will be dazzled by the brightly colored sets, charmed by its timeless score and enthralled with its breathtaking special effects.
Mutts Gone Nuts
Saturday, March 2 | 2 Performances | Cullen Theater, Wortham Center
Expect the unexpected, as canines and comedy collide in a smash hit performance, leaving audiences everywhere howling for more. From shelters to showbiz, these amazing mutts unleash havoc and hilarity in a breathtaking, action-packed, comedy dog spectacular, featuring some of the world’s most talented 4-legged performers. Deemed ‘A Must See’ by the Washington Post, the dogs are sure to steal your heart and then your socks!
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
Sunday, March 17 at 5:30 p.m. | Cullen Center, Wortham Center
The current ensemble has been playing together for more than 20 years and has become something of a national institution. The Orchestra has given thousands of sold-out concerts across the world, including Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Poland, France, America, Canada, New Zealand and Japan.
Shadowland: The New Adventure
Friday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. | Jones Hall
In 2009, Pilobolus created Shadowland, the first show of its kind. After the wild success of Shadowland, SPA is proud to welcome back Pilobolus for an all-new shadow adventure. Shadowland: The New Adventure uses Pilobolus’s exploration of mixed media to tell a love story about two people and their quest to save a magical bird. Employing animation, video and live shadow theater, this madcap adventure dips its toe into the genres of science fiction, film noir and romantic comedy.
April 13 – 14 | 3 Performances | Jones Hall
The winner of Broadway.com’s Audience Choice Award for Best Musical, this breathtaking smash “captures the kid-at-heart,” says TIME Magazine. Directed by visionary Tony®-winner Diane Paulus and based on the critically-acclaimed Academy Award® winning film, Finding Neverland tells the incredible story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters: Peter Pan.
Thursday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. | Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center
Gold medalist of the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, 28-year-old pianist Yekwon Sunwoo has been hailed for “his total command over the instrument and its expressiveness” (San Francisco Examiner). A powerful and virtuosic performer, he also, in his own words, “strives to reach for the truth and pure beauty in music,” and hopes to convey those fundamental emotions to audiences.
National Geographic LIVE! Exploring Mars: Kobie Boykins, NASA Engineer
Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. | Cullen Theater, Wortham Center
NASA mechanical engineer Kobie Boykins is intimately involved with the planet Mars. Join Boykins, winner of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal, as he shares his boundless enthusiasm for unraveling the mysteries of outer space and recounts the latest exciting chapter of Mars exploration.
Complexions Contemporary Ballet
Saturday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m. | Jones Hall
Combining technical precision, power and passion, Complexions Contemporary Ballet transcends tradition in a groundbreaking mix of styles ranging from ballet to hip hop. See the Houston premiere of Stardust, an “utterly transfixing” tribute to the life and music of David Bowie, full of glitter and glam.
About Society for the Performing Arts
Founded in 1966, Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) is the largest independent non-profit presenting organization in the Southwest. Since its inception, SPA has sponsored more than 1,000 performances of the world’s finest music, dance and theater events, in adherence to the belief that the arts are fundamental to the overall enrichment and quality of life within the community. In addition to presenting artists, SPA seeks to provide a variety of learning experiences for adults and children through master classes, lectures and special student performances, as well as build relationships between the performing arts and other interests within the greater Houston area and throughout the state of Texas.