Arts & Entertainment

 Katy Visual and Performing Arts Center (KVPAC) Encore Players, Katy’s award winning community theatre, is heading to the Texas state competition of the American Association of Community Theatre.  KVPAC will be competing with the one act play, Answers, by Tom Topor. KVPAC needs your support through a charitable donation!

In 2015, KVPAC Encore Players won first place at the Texas state competition and represented Texas in the Regional competition (Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico and Louisiana) winning the first place alternate position for USA competition.

Answers, a successful Off-Off-Broadway production, selected for inclusion in “Best Short Plays is a, “gripping and powerful play that probes into the helpless terror experienced by a suspect undergoing a relentless police interrogation. “…a compelling, contemporary comment on society.” —Show Business.” Mr. Topor as a dramatist writes cleanly, with flair for sharp dialogue.” —NY Post.

Gregory J. Magyar, KVPAC’s Executive Artistic Director who was in the show that won in 2015 and received an ‘All Star Cast’ award is returning this year with Trenton Stephenson and James Duncan under the direction of Joshua Schorejs, a director and teacher at KVPAC, who won the Excellence in Directing Award in 2015.

Answers is a short play about a man (James Duncan) having been detained for questioning, in a crime about which he claims to know nothing, is grilled by two persistent police officers (Gregory Magyar and Trenton Stephenson). They call him “Byron” (although he insists this is not his name) and their initially bantering attitude turns steadily more ominous as they attempt to force a confession. Ultimately, in a scene of shattering intensity, they succeed—but disturbing questions linger. Have justice and truth indeed been served? Or has another hapless victim been sacrificed to society’s inexorable need for retribution at any cost?

Community theatre is just one component of KVPAC, Magyar explained.  “We are an arts-rich community delivering visual and performing arts for all ages featuring quality programming for everyone in Katy and the surrounding areas.”

KVPAC is asking readers to consider making a tax-deductible contribution to support the Encore Players and make it possible for them to continue to represent Katy, TX at competitions.  For your convenience, online payments can be made by visiting our website at: or mail your contribution to KVPAC, 2501 South Mason Road #290, Katy, Texas 77450.


HOUSTON, TX (02/17/2017) When the touring show “In My Life – A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles” comes to the Hobby Center on March 17, be on the lookout for two quartets — not just one.

The Cinco Ranch High School (Katy) String Quartet have the privilege of joining the professional actors on stage to add an element of orchestral texture to the evening.

Here’s the rundown:  

The show: “In My Life” is the musical retelling of the Beatles story through the eyes of manager Brian Epstein and features the live music of renowned tribute band Abbey Road. The band features Chris Paul Overall (“Paul”), Nathaniel Bott (“John”), Zak Schaffer (“George”) and Axel Clarke (“Ringo”). Brian Epstein is played by Murphy Martin. The production includes multimedia, period costumes and vintage instruments. It has toured for years, with a critic for the Orange County Register at one point declaring, “If you see one tribute show, see this one –smart and loads of fun.” The show is widely considered by industry insiders to be the most unique Beatles show in decades.

The string quartet: Cinco Ranch High seniors Aidan Gettemy and Daniela Melo, junior Janet Li and sophomore Joshua Jung will join the band for the songs “Eleanor Rigby,” “Yesterday,” “A Day in the Life,” “Hello Goodbye,” and “Hey Jude.” In a special touch, “Yesterday” is played as a scene in which the Paul McCartney character plays the song for the first time for Beatles producer George Martin, with the songwriter explaining that he envisioned a string-quartet accompaniment.

In addition to performing with Cinco Ranch High’s most advanced ensemble, the Sinfonia Orchestra, quartet members play with prestigious area ensembles, including the Houston Youth Symphony and All State Honors Orchestras. The young musicians have consistently received excellent ratings at University Interscholastic League (UIL) solo and ensemble competitions, Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) festivals, Houston Young Artists’ Concerts and the Coltman Chamber Competition.

String quartet for hire: The quartet performs at weddings and other events. Those interested in hiring the quartet may contact Brett Nelson at BrettTNelsen@KATYISD.ORG or (281)222-4307.

How the “Beatles” connection was started: The producers of “In My Life” approached CRHS Orchestra Director Brett Nelson looking for a talented ensemble which could hold their own with a rock band in front of an audience. The show commonly uses a local quartet to augment the production while on tour.

The quartet’s Beatles fans: Li, Melo and Gettemy are the quartet’s Fab Four fans.

Li and Melo’s favorite Beatles tune is “Hey Jude.”

“I’m excited that we get to play “Hey Jude” in the Beatles show,” she said.

The details: In My Life – A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles is the award-winning musical biography of the Beatles through the eyes of manager Brian Epstein, featuring the live music of renowned tribute band, Abbey Road. The show is widely considered by industry insiders to be the most unique Beatles show in decades. The smash hit production performs at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts – Zilkha Hall on March 17 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $33- $64, plus applicable ticket fees, and may be purchased online at, by phone at 713.315.2525 or at the Hobby Center Box Office. The show is appropriate for all ages.

And here is some additional information about the CRHS String Quartet:

Janet Li, 16, has been playing the violin for eight years. In addition to serving as the Concert Mistress for the RCHS Sinfonia Orchestra, Li has received superior ratings at UIL competitions and TMEA festivals. She has played with All-State Honors Orchestras.

“The violin is so interesting to play that I never get tired of practicing,” said Li. “I get to play with amazing people in our orchestra.”

She belongs to Music in Motion, a charitable school club which performs at nursing homes, the RCHS Future Business Leaders of America club, the Spanish Honors Society, National Honors Society and is an officer for her school orchestra.

The junior has a 4.625 grade point average and aspires to study computer science at a four year university.

Li is a Beatles fan and her favorite Fab Four tune is “Hey Jude.”

Daniela Melo, 19, has been playing viola for more than ten years. She plays with the CGHS Sinfonia Orchestra and has performed with All-State Orchestras and the Houston Youth Symphony. She received a excellent rating as a soloist in the TMEA Solo and Ensemble Festival earlier this year.

“The viola isn’t loud like the violin or dark like the cello,” said Melo. “It’s right in the middle and it’s beautiful.”

“I love playing in orchestra because you learn how to work together to make music and make friends.”

The senior plans to attend college after graduation and study Music Performance.

Melo is a Beatles fan and her favorite Fab Four tune is “Hey Jude.”

“I’m excited that we get to play “Hey Jude” in the Beatles show,” she said.

Joshua Jung, 15, has played the violin for six years. He is a member of the CRHS Sinfonia Orchestra and performed with the Houston Youth Symphony. He has received outstanding ratings with TMEA solo and ensemble competitions and UIL festivals.

“I enjoy developing as a musician and playing with like-minded people in orchestra,” said Jung

He is a member of his school’s Science Olympiad and Science Bowl, Mu Alpha Theta, a math honors society, and the Future Business Leaders of America club.

The sophomore plans to attend college and study engineering.
When Aidan Gettemy was seven-years-old, he heard cellist Jo Jo Ma perform and immediately began taking cello lessons. He was the principal cellist with the Houston Youth Symphony and was awarded the Performance Excellence Award by TMEA at the state level.  He has received consistent superior ratings with UIL festivals and the Coltman Chamber Competition. He has performed with All-State Honors Orchestras and is a member of the RCHS Sinfonia Orchestra.

“I love the tonal sound of the cello and I’m interested in learning all aspects of the instrument,” said Gettemy, who plans to study cello in college.
The senior is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, the Spanish Honors Society and maintains a 4.7 grade point average.
Gettemy, 18, is a long-time Beatles fan.

And here is some additional information about CRHS Orchestra Director Brett Nelson:

Brett Nelsen has been the Orchestra Director at Cinco Ranch High School (CRHS) since the school’s inception during the fall of 1999. Prior to CRHS, starting his career in Katy in 1994, he served as the Orchestra Director at Beck Junior High when that facility opened in 1997. CRHS Orchestra is recognized as one of the top orchestra programs in the state. Under his leadership, CRHS Orchestras have been Honor Orchestra Finalists eight times in the past ten years in both string and full orchestras. CRHS Orchestras have consistently earned top prizes and have earned Outstanding Orchestra Awards in Festivals across Texas and the United States. Making their Carnegie Hall Debut with the National Band and Orchestra Festival in 2006, they performed to rave reviews by Craig Kirchoff, David Battisti, and H. Robert Reynolds.  From 1998-2005 Mr. Nelsen was affiliated with The Greater Houston Youth Orchestra as conductor of the String Ensemble. He is sought after as a clinician for various region orchestras across the state. He also the longest served as Orchestra Division Chair for TMEA Region 23 from 2002 -2012.

Mr. Nelsen has lived in the Houston area practically all his life and where he has also received all of his schooling. He just completed a Masters in Music Education degree under Dr. Jennifer Mishra and studied conducting with Maestro Franz Anton Krager at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. Mr. Nelsen’s undergraduate work was completed at Rice University with a focus on Music and Managerial Studies.

Cinco Ranch High School Music Department’s other achievements: The Cinco Ranch Orchestra program consists of six performance ensembles. All students in the various performance ensembles perform at regular concerts throughout the year, participate in community service projects and are encouraged to participate in the fundraising process. Members participate in the UIL Solo and Ensemble Contest in February and the UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contests in the spring semester. Additional activities include auditioning for Region, Area, and All-State Orchestras and other youth orchestras in the Houston area. All students are encouraged to participate in all social activities planned for the orchestra program and annual spring trip.

And here is some additional information about “In My Life”:

“In My Life: A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles” is the award winning, smash hit musical biography of the Beatles as seen through the eyes of their manager Brian Epstein and featuring the live music of renowned tribute band Abbey Road. This family friendly musical tale is widely considered by industry insiders to be the most unique Beatles show in decades.

“The show delivers!” said the L.A. Times. “If you see one tribute show, see this one – smart and loads of fun,” said the O.C. Register. “This is the ticket for you,” said the Idaho Statesman. “The most original of all the shows on the Beatles,” San Diego Theatre Review.

More than just a Beatles tribute concert, “In My Life” gives the audience a chance to “be there” at pivotal moments in the extraordinary career of the Beatles – from Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club, to the Ed Sullivan Show, Shea Stadium’s 50,000 + screaming fans and their final live performance on the rooftop of their Apple Corp offices. With manager Brian Epstein serving as Narrator, “In My Life” allows the audience to get a glimpse inside the world of the Beatles from their point of view, as well as hear some of the greatest songs ever written.

“In My Life” takes the audience back to February 1964, when Americans saw the Beatles for the first time on the Ed Sullivan Show, playing I Want to Hold Your Hand. Progressing through their various musical stages, the audience re-experiences the psychedelic era of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the creation of the haunting Yesterday and the raucous rock and roll of Revolution.


as HITS Theatre presents the finger-snapping, toe-tapping musical, FOOTLOOSE at Miller Outdoor Theatre

Photo of Caleb Han (Chuck), Cameron Mills (Willard), Miles Marmolejo (Ren), Mia Heckler (Ariel), Kennedy Haygood (Rusty), Payton Russell (Wendy Jo), Carolyn Cox (Urleen)
All photo captions: Courtesy of HITS Theatre

HOUSTON — HITS Theatre celebrates its 30th Anniversary with the production of Footloose, The Musical , a Tony award-winning musical at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park at 6000 Hermann Park Drive with performances scheduled for March 30, 31 and April 1, 6, 7, 8 at 8 p.m.

Photo of Miles Marmolejo (Ren) and Mia Heckler (Ariel) courtesy of HITS Theatr

One of the most explosive movie musicals in recent memory bursts onto the live stage with exhilarating results. When Ren, played by Miles Marmolejo, and his mother move from Chicago to a small farming town, Ren is prepared for the inevitable adjustment period at his new high school. What he isn’t prepared for are the rigorous local edicts, including a ban on dancing instituted by the local preacher, determined to exercise the control over the town’s youth that he cannot command in his own home. When the reverend’s rebellious daughter Ariel, played by Mia Heckler, sets her sights on Ren, her roughneck boyfriend tries to sabotage Ren’s reputation, with many of the locals eager to believe the worst about the new kid.

The heartfelt story that emerges is of a father longing for the son he lost and of a young man aching for the father who walked out on him. To the rockin’ rhythm of its Oscar and Tony-nominated top 40 score and augmented with dynamic new songs for the stage musical, FOOTLOOSE celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people, guiding them with a warm heart and an open mind.

Miles Marmolejo, from the Greater Fondren Southwest Neighborhood (77071), is excited to make his HITS debut. Marmolego is in the ninth grade at Connections Academy of Houston, an online school.

Mia Heckler, from Bellaire, Texas is 17 years old and a homeschooled 12th grader. This is her eighth Miller show.

Other cast members include:

Caroline Cox, from the Briar Grove Neighborhood area is a senior at Lamar High School

Payton Russell, 17, from Conroe attends The John Cooper School

Kennedy Haygood, lives in Pearland and attends Manvel High School

Cameron Mills, 16, lives in Bellaire and attends St. Thomas High School

Caleb Han, lives in Houston Heights and is a junior at the Post Oak High School

Since 1987, HITS Theatre has partnered with Miller Outdoor Theatre and the City of Houston to present a Broadway-style musical theatre production to Houstonians and visitors free of charge. HITS provides a talented cast of students; Miller provides invaluable support, a first-class facility and a picturesque venue. It’s a beautiful partnership that offers HITS students the unique opportunity to perform in a full-scale theatrical production in front of a large audience.

This is a ticketed event for the covered seating area. Free tickets are available (4 per person over age 16 while they last) at the Miller Outdoor Theatre box office the day of the performance between the hours of 10:30 a.m. -1 p.m. If tickets remain at 1 p.m., the box office will re-open one hour before show time to distribute the remaining tickets.

Don’t want to wait in line? As a benefit to donors, HITS provides assigned seats under the covered pavilion so you may enjoy the show and experience firsthand how your generosity makes the music happen. Interested in supporting theatre education and securing tickets? Contact 713-861-7408 or

Bring a cozy blanket or lawn chair and enjoy the show from the Miller Theatre lawn, the perfect place for a picnic and a show. Tickets are not needed for open seating on the hill. The shows go on rain or shine.

About HITS Theatre

HITS Theatre is a leading nonprofit performing arts education organization for young people in the Houston metropolitan area. It provides a performance-based curriculum for students in grades 1 through 12 through classes taught by skilled professionals in a safe, nurturing environment. Each year HITS programs serve over 1,000 students, some of whom receive partial or full needs-based scholarships. For more information about HITS, visit

Apollo Chamber Players, first U.S. chamber ensemble to record and perform in Cuba in 50 years returns to Houston

HOUSTON ─ Cuba TV reporter Maritza Rodriguez Cardenas arrived at Abdula Recording Studio in Havana, Cuba on January 16 to interview Matthew Detrick, director and violinist of Apollo Chamber Players from the United States and Leonardo Perez, director of the of the Cuarteto Amandeo Roldan National Philharmonic of Cuba. She was there to document the first collaborative U.S. and Cuba recording session on January 16 and the upcoming concert to be performed at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana in over 50 years by a chamber music ensemble on January 20.

Here is footage of the Cuba TV report

Houston’s Apollo Chamber Players, an internationally-acclaimed chamber music ensemble on the cutting edge of creative, programmatic performance and the commissioning of new music, was the first American chamber music ensemble to perform and record in Cuba since the embargo was lifted.

Detrick, a graduate of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, said, “We traveled to Cuba with the hope of using our music as a bridge to transcend political and cultural differences.”

Not only did Apollo make history as the first American chamber music ensemble to record and perform in Cuba, it was also the first to share the stage with a Cuban string quartet in a collaborative, cross-cultural concert coordinated by the Ministry of Culture and Cuban Arts Institute.

“The joint concert was an important and historic one, not just for the world of music but globally profound. Our hope is that through our music, we’ve helped pave the way for future collaboration, mutual respect and friendship,” stated Detrick.

Apollo traveled to Havana, Cuba under the auspices of Parma Recordings to record its most recent 20×2020 commission, Imágenes de Cuba by Rice University faculty composer Arthur Gottschalk. An album featuring music from the recording sessions will be released in late 2017 on the Parma Records label.

Recording sessions took place at the world-class Abdala Studios in Havana and included collaborations with Cuban musicians including Adel Gonzales, a percussionist who performs with Chucho Valdes’ band. Abdala Studios has been the recording home of numerous acclaimed Cuban musicians such as Omara, Diva of the Buena Vista Social Club and Silvio Rodriguez, Grammy-winning folk music singer.

Anabel Ramirez, Apollo Chamber Players violinist said, “The Cuban Cuartero Amandeo Roldan musicians we collaborated with were fantastic and inspiring. We learned so much from the Cuban energy and emotion they breathed into every note.”

The Cuarteto Amandeo Roldan of the National Philharmonic of Cuba was founded in 2002. The quartet was created with the mission to showcase more chamber music art in Cuba.

About Apollo Chamber PlayersApollo Chamber Players sees a unique opportunity to challenge the traditional notions of classical chamber music presentation and audience engagement by highlighting the rich cultural influences and folkloric traditions of various world cultures. Apollo achieves its mission through thematically programmed concerts; educational, community and touring initiatives; collaborations; and the creation and commissioning of new music.

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Houston, TX – Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) is proud to announce HAMILTON as a “Special Engagement” rounding out the full 2017-18 Season by Special Arrangement with BBVA Compass Broadway at the Hobby Center!

“It is truly exciting to have the opportunity to offer HAMILTON to TUTS subscribers as part of the upcoming season. Certainly it will be the centerpiece of a season that is already rich in theatrical diversity, excitement and tremendous energy. Our audiences will be lucky to enjoy American classics both old and new throughout this incredible season, and have the joy of taking a wide array of theatrical journeys that will thrill and satisfy them throughout the year,” said Sheldon Epps, Artistic Advisor for Theatre Under The Stars.

As previously announced, the full 2017-18 Season that includes HAMILTON is only available through a six-show Season Subscription. Full six-show Season Subscriptions are ONLY available through Friday, March 31, 2017.

It is important to note that Season Subscriptions sold after March 31st will NOT include HAMILTON. Beginning on Saturday, April 1st, 2017 five-show Season Subscriptions and Pick Four packages will be available.

“TUTS is beyond thrilled to be able to offer HAMILTON to some of our most loyal supporters – our subscribers – as part of an already unique and diverse mix of programming in our 2017-2018 Season. Building upon the artistic and critical success of our 2016-2017 Season, we are confident we have productions and opportunities for engagement that will appeal to the entire Houston community,” said Hillary Hart, Executive Director for Theatre Under The Stars.

As previously announced, the 2017-18 Season will kick off in October with the Theatre Under The Stars presentation of The 5th Avenue Theatre and the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of THE SECRET GARDEN as part of the show’s road to Broadway.

This season will also mark the return of noteworthy directors to the TUTS stage. Linda Goodrich, who directed MARY POPPINS during the 2015-16 Season, will be directing SLEEPING BEAUTY AND HER WINTER KNIGHT in December. Nick DeGruccio, who directed TUTS’ critically acclaimed production of IN THE HEIGHTS last September, will be putting a fresh spin on the classic musical GUYS + DOLLS.

THE 2017-18 SEASON

Theatre Under The Stars presents
The 5th Avenue Theatre / Shakespeare Theatre Company Production of
THE SECRET GARDEN – October 10 – 22, 2017

Music by Lucy Simon
Book & Lyrics by Marsha Norman
Based on the Novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Directed by David Armstrong

Theatre Under The Stars presents The 5th Avenue Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company Production of THE SECRET GARDEN, a story of great love and great loss, great sadness and great joy, and a perfect story for the whole family.

Based on the 1911 novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett, THE SECRET GARDEN tells the story of Mary Lennox, a young English girl born and raised in the British Raj. She loses both of her parents when she is 10 years old during a cholera outbreak and she is sent off to England to live with an uncle and a cousin whom she’s never met. The musical’s script and lyrics are by Marsha Norman, with music by Lucy Simon. It premiered on Broadway in 1991 and ran for 709 performances. This dark and mysterious gothic thriller brings to exuberant life a saga of deception, grief, jealousy, love and ultimately, rebirth.

TUTS has the honor of participating in this pre-Broadway co-production of the Tony-Award®-winning musical. The collaboration may include other regional theatres prior to an intended Broadway transfer. This production, which just broke box office records in Washington D.C., will include revisions to the book and score made by 5th Ave. Theatre’s Artistic Director, David Armstrong and the original creative team.

A hauntingly beautiful musical, THE SECRET GARDEN has been called “smart and sensitive” and “blessedly grownup” with “a yearning magical pulse” by the Washington Post. The fantastical tale features stunning sets and costumes, a gorgeous score and rich, lush storytelling.

“Secret Garden, The” is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

Music & Lyrics by Various Artists
Book by Kris Lythgoe
Directed by Linda Goodrich
Choreography by Spencer Liff

The familiar story of Sleeping Beauty gets mixed up with contemporary pop culture creating a holiday treat. SLEEPING BEAUTY AND HER WINTER KNIGHT is a modern twist on the classic fairy tale, set to a contemporary score featuring the music of Aloe Blacc, Blondie, Bruno Mars, Jessie J, John Legend, Katy Perry, Mariah Carey, LMFAO, Pharrell Williams and Survivor. Director Linda Goodrich is returning to TUTS after directing the production of MARY POPPINS here in 2016.

Audiences can expect many different interactive elements from this one-of-a-kind production including boo’ing the evil villain, cheering for the heroes and partying down to the pop songs everyone knows and loves! Families will be singing along and dancing in the aisles with this fun and uplifting soundtrack of hits.

Presented in collaboration with Lythgoe Family Panto, SLEEPING BEAUTY AND HER WINTER KNIGHT is visually beautiful, great fun, irreverent and will be tailored to incorporate local celebrities, Houston landmarks and Brand Integration.

Beyond the performance itself, TUTS promises a truly immersive holiday destination for the whole family. In addition to theatre tickets a wide variety of enhanced experiences will be offered ranging from complimentary to VIP add-on packages.

SLEEPING BEAUTY AND HER WINTER KNIGHT is based on the European fairy tale where a Princess named Aurora has a curse put on her by an evil fairy Carabosse. By her 18th birthday, Aurora will prick her finger on a spindle and fall asleep for 100 years. The Royal Family live under protection from Silly Billy and Nanny Tickle, but Aurora does prick her finger and falls asleep for 100 years. A handsome Prince saves the day by defeating the wicked fairy and giving Aurora a true love kiss. Broadway and TV stars perform in this interactive musical fairy tale with comedy, magic and pop music sure to delight children of all ages!

MEMPHIS – February 20 – March 4, 2018
Music & Lyrics by David Bryan
Lyrics & Book by Joe DiPietro
Based on a Concept by George W. George


From the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, comes the Tony Award® winning musical that bursts off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love.

Inspired by actual events, MEMPHIS is about a white radio DJ who wants to change the world and a black club singer who is ready for her big break. Come along on their incredible journey to the ends of the airwaves – filled with laughter, soaring emotion and roof-raising rock ‘n’ roll. Winner of four 2010 Tony Awards® including Best Musical, MEMPHIS features a Tony®-winning book by Joe DiPietro (I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE and ALL SHOOK UP) and a Tony®-winning original score with music by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan.

MEMPHIS was highly celebrated during its successful Broadway run, on National Tour, and helped pioneer the industry as one of the first shows available for streaming on While highly entertaining and evocative (with its R&B based score, evoking popular songs from the 50’s and 60’s), it also has a strong political message that comes from its era, but certainly speaks strongly to contemporary audiences in resonant and relevant ways, which give it perhaps an even greater appeal than when originally produced.

“MEMPHIS” is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW), 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036 (886)378-9758

BRIGHT STAR – March 13 – 25, 2018
Music, Book, and Story by Steve Martin
Music, Lyrics, and Story by Edie Brickell
Directed on Broadway by Walter Bobbie


“A gorgeous anthem to optimism!” – Variety

From Grammy®, Emmy® and Academy Award®-winning Steve Martin and Grammy Award®-winning Edie Brickell comes BRIGHT STAR, the five-time Tony®-nominated, new Broadway musical that The New York Times called “a shining achievement.” Directed by Tony® winner Walter Bobbie and inspired by a real event, this original musical tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ‘40s. Propelled by an ensemble of onstage musicians and dancers, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, beautiful melodies and powerfully moving performances. BRIGHT STAR – as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful – is “Broadway’s most beautiful show” (WABC).

HAMILTON – May 1-13, 2018
By Special Arrangement with BBVA Compass Broadway at the Hobby Center

HAMILTON is the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, HAMILTON is the story of America then, as told by America now.

With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, HAMILTON is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

For information on HAMILTON, visit,, and

GUYS + DOLLS – June 12 – 24, 2018
Music & Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows
Directed by Nick DeGruccio

After recently igniting Houston with IN THE HEIGHTS, director Nick DeGruccio returns to TUTS with a dynamic and modern reimagining of the beloved classic, GUYS + DOLLS!

Travel back to a time when gangsters and gamblers ruled the underworld of New York City. This classic musical with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, based on some of the short stories by Damon Runyon premiered on Broadway in 1950, and the following year won five Tony Awards® in every category in which it was nominated, including Best Musical. The show has had several Broadway and London revivals, as well as a 1955 film adaptation starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine.

Always entertaining, GUYS + DOLLS will keep you laughing with its cast of colorful characters.

“Guys and Dolls” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI


Stay connected, see behind-the-scenes, and get the latest news by following TUTS at:
Instagram @tutshouston


For additional information and to purchase 2017-18 Season Subscriptions, please visit or contact the Theatre Under The Stars Box Office by phone 713-558-TUTS (8887) or email


Theatre Under The Stars invites you to become a member of our Patron Clubs to help enhance your theatre experience! In addition to maintaining your Premium Seating each season, our club members receive a variety of benefits and unforgettable experiences at each level. Plus, your support as a member helps further the TUTS mission to positively impact the community beyond the stage.

For more information about club membership, please visit or contact the TUTS VIP Team at 713.558.8855 or


Theatre Under The Stars is commitment to providing free, accessible theatre to those who might not otherwise have the capacity to attend, and is making the pledge to donate 25,000 theatre tickets to deserving groups within the Houston community. We partner with:

  • to provide thousands of complimentary tickets to active service and veterans.
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Houston
  • The YMCA of Houston
  • And many more

To find out how you can get involved, contact Evan Camp by email:


In addition to our current Student and Senior Rush policy, we are thrilled to announce TUTS TODAY, a new Digital Lottery for the 2017-18 Season. Once launched, the program will allow users to view daily offers, enter to the rush lottery, and be notified when they’ve won.

Further details, including a launch date, will be announced soon. Email to be the first to learn new information, and for an invitation to participate in the beta test.


Visit for full details. HAMILTON is separate from other five shows and subject to special restrictions, limitations, terms and conditions as lined out below.

Due to the anticipated demand for HAMILTON, some special rules and restrictions will apply.

  • Exchanges will be available for a limited timeframe – more information to follow.
  • Your HAMILTON tickets will be mailed separately from your other show tickets, and will not arrive until approximately one month prior to performance.
  • TUTS is not able offer additional tickets outside of your subscription.

Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital is the official healthcare partner of Theatre Under The Stars, and the Season Sponsor of the 2017-18 Season. United Airlines is the official airline partner of Theatre Under The Stars. KTRK ABC-13 is the official media partner of Theatre Under The Stars.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit Theatre Under The Stars is Houston’s leading Musical Theatre since 1968, with a focus on education and community engagement. TUTS is a 501c3 Non Profit Organization that relies on the generous support of our donors to deliver first-rate theatre experiences.

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New devotional book, ‘Walking in God’s Favor,’ shares God’s word on a plethora of topics

Christina Marie Hollensbe announces publication of her new book

HOUSTON – In “Walking in God’s Favor: A Daily Devotional” (published by WestBow Press), author Christina Marie Hollensbe shares over 100 devotions for study.

Using this devotional, readers will discover how to use Scripture and apply it to their life. Topics in the devotional include faith, pride, controlling people, toxic relationships, earthly riches, sexual impurity, the Samaritan woman, spiritual parenting, and God’s grace and healing. One of the main focuses throughout the variety of topics is changing patterns to align with God’s word.

Hollensbe says, “no matter their past, I want readers to know God is a God of ‘do-overs’ everyday!”

An excerpt from “Walking in God’s Favor”:

When we truly know who we are, when we know the love of the Father, when we know that we are already loveD by HIM; we know how to effectively love others with genuine compassion, understanding, free of judgement, free of criticism, and with a heart of forgiveness.

“Walking in God’s Favor”

By Christina Marie Hollensbe

Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 268 pages | ISBN 9781512760194

Softcover | 6 x 9in | 268 pages | ISBN 9781512760187

E-Book | 268 pages | ISBN 9781512760170

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Christina Marie Hollensbe is a newspaper journalist, columnist, conference speaker, Bible teacher and author. Hollensbe is a graduate of Houston Baptist University. She speaks about how she found God to help other women do so as well. She lives in Houston with her husband, John, and their pet, Petals.

WestBow Press is a strategic supported self-publishing alliance between HarperCollins Christian Publishing and Author Solutions, LLC — the world leader in supported self-publishing. Titles published through WestBow Press are evaluated for sales potential and considered for publication through Thomas Nelson and Zondervan.  For more information, visit or call (866)-928-1240. For WestBow Press news, click “Like” at and follow @westbowpress on Twitter.

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‘The Courage to Grieve’ shares one man’s account of losing his wife

David W. Ingram announces the publication of his memoir

SPRINGTOWN, Texas – In “The Courage to Grieve: My Story of Love, Loss, Grief, and Hope” (published by Archway Publishing), author David W. Ingram narrates his journey through grief as he learns to live without his wife, Kimberly.

The memoir describes Ingram’s love and devotion during his wife’s four years with colon cancer, and the aftermath of Kimberly’s death. “The Courage to Grieve” reveals how Ingram drew on his faith in God in an attempt to keep his sorrow at bay. Written during the year after his wife died, the book offers insights into how the author slowly transitioned from despair to find hope and the glimpse of recovery while coming to terms with the loss of his wife.

“I want the reader to know that even though they feel alone they are not,” Ingram says. “I want them to know that things can get better, they can recover, and that there can be a future of hope and love… (but) recovery is not for the weak at heart. A person needs to be courageous and be willing to fight to live again.”

“The Courage to Grieve”

By David W. Ingram

Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 220 pages | ISBN 9781480841628

Softcover | 6 x 9in | 220 pages | ISBN 9781480841604

E-Book | 220 pages | ISBN 9781480841611

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

David W. Ingram is a retired, 25-year veteran of the Fort Worth Police Department. A Texas native and graduate of Midwestern State University, Ingram retired from policing to become a full-time caregiver to his wife, Kimberly, of 30 years. He now owns and manages a small ranch in Springtown, just miles from the farm where he grew up.

Simon & Schuster, a company with nearly ninety years of publishing experience, has teamed up with Author Solutions, LLC, the leading self-publishing company worldwide, to create Archway Publishing. With unique resources to support books of all kind, Archway Publishing offers a specialized approach to help every author reach his or her desired audience. For more information, visit or call 888-242-5904.

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Author Yury Vasiliev releases ‘Saga of Carus’

Book chronicles journey of Russian-born explorer to Canada at dawn of 19th century

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – As a new Canadian, Yury Vasiliev was inspired by the history and nature of Canada. Having lived in the country for 10 years, he decided to say his sincere and heartfelt thanks to his new home by writing a compelling historical fiction in “Saga of Carus” (published by Trafford Publishing).

This book follows Russian-born explorer Yeremey Vasiliev, who, at the dawn of the 19th century, traveled from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains and across Canada. He details his unforgettable journey, experiencing rough seas, boundless forests, great prairie, great lakes and great people. His story provides a deeper understanding of the people and land of Canada through the eyes of a newcomer to the country.

For the author, Canada is a great multicultural country. Friendly and hospitable to newcomers, this land also has a captivating history which he captured perfectly in this work of fiction. Vasiliev weaves in information about the 19th century life without bogging down the story. “This book aimed to help newcomers and those who interested in History of Canada to get to know the country better. As well as to say once again that the such values, as patriotism, friendship and diligence at work were as important at those times as nowadays,” he says.

Combining history, adventure and romance, “Saga of Carus” aims to help newcomers and those interested in the history of Canada to get to know the country better.  It is also the author’s tribute to Canada on its 150th anniversary – the country that welcomed him with open arms.

“Saga of Carus”

By Yury Vasiliev

Hardcover | 5.5×8.5in | 272 pages | ISBN 9781490771410

Softcover | 5.5×8.5in | 272 pages | ISBN 9781490771427

E-Book | 272 pages | ISBN 9781490771403

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Yury Vasiliev was born in Russia. He earned a PhD in History from the Moscow State Institute for International Relations. He travelled extensively for 30 years and lived in a number of countries in Africa and Asia. He speaks English, Russian, Swahili, French and Portugese. Now he is retired and lives with his wife, Marina, in Halifax, Canada. Vasiliev is also the author of “Over The Equator.”

Trafford Publishing, an Author Solutions, LLC, author services imprint, was the first publisher in the world to offer an “on-demand publishing service,” and has led the independent publishing revolution since its establishment in 1995. Trafford was also one of the earliest publishers to utilize the Internet for selling books. More than 10,000 authors from over 120 countries have utilized Trafford’s experience for self publishing their books. For more information about Trafford Publishing, or to publish your book today, call 1-888-232-4444 or visit

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Third book in ‘Extraordinary Interview’ series, ‘Interview with an Angel’ released

Inelia Benz continues to explore existence and meaning within the universal superconscious

NEAH BAY, Wash. – Inelia Benz’s new book “Interview with an Angel” (published by Lulu), shares an interview Benz conducted with a man who introduces himself as Archangel Gabriel.

The setting of the book is the Makah Native American Reservation, in Neah Bay, Washington. Within the interview with Archangel Gabriel, Benz explores questions such as: is there a God, are angels agents of religions, where do humans originate, can angels incarnate as humans, how many other species are there in the Universe and others.

“Readers will enjoy the break away from belief systems and dogmas often attached to angels,” Benz says.

An excerpt from “Interview with an Angel”:

“When I walked in for our first meeting, I found him already sitting at my usual table. I recognized him instantly as the angel who had come to me those nights in 1973 when I was just 7 years old. He stood up and walked towards me smiling. Gingery blond short hair, deep golden green eyes, dark skinned, in his 30s or 40s and fit, like someone who works at heavy manual labor.”

“Interview with an Angel”

By Inelia Benz

Softcover | 6 x 9in | 172 pages | ISBN 9781365553998

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

In January 2010, Inelia Benz went public in order to promote the message of empowerment and sovereignty. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to explore, investigate, develop and disseminate tools, including novels, books, art, meditations and exercises that are quick, mystery-free and highly effective. Mother of four children, Benz now lives in Neah Bay, Washington, in the U.S., with her fiance, two cats and two dogs. This is her eighth book and third in the ‘Extraordinary Interview’ series.

Lulu empowers people of all ages to explore and express their interests, passions and expertise through books, photography and art. Since introducing self-publishing in 2002, Lulu has empowered creators in more than 225 countries and territories to produce nearly two million publications. Lulu Jr. allows children to become published authors, encouraging creativity, strengthening literacy and building self-esteem. offers professional photography of collegiate and professional sports, memorable and historic events, fine art and home décor. For more information, please visit

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John D. Foubert, Ph.D. releases ‘How Pornography Harms’

New book provides latest research on real harms of pornography

EDMOND, Okla. – Author John D. Foubert, Ph.D. has fought to end sexual violence for 25 years and the porn industry for 10. In his book, “How Pornography Harms” (published by LifeRich Publishing), he intends to shock the conscience of readers to motivate them in fighting the porn industry. He wants readers to know why viewing pornography should be avoided, beyond many obvious reasons they may already have at the outset.

“How Pornography Harms” weaves together life stories, interviews with top scholars, and the very latest research on the ways in which sexually explicit media hurts the viewer’s relationships, sexuality, and the lives of those around them. After reading the book, people will be armed with clear and convincing data and compelling life stories that show why they, their friends, family, and loved ones should do everything possible to avoid pornography.

Foubert, who writes from a Christian perspective, reports that pornography harms the brain, a person’s relationship with God, their safety, sexual relationship, children, friends and family. There are over 100 studies showing conclusively that viewing pornography is devastatingly harmful. His book paints a complete picture to the effect of today’s pornography and how it compares to that of the previous generations. He ends with a chapter on how to recover from addictive pornography use, making it an important resource for parents, pastors, people who have or might use pornography, counselors, clinicians and the clients they see.

“Pornography harms in many more ways than they ever thought. It rewires the brain, leads to erectile dysfunction, makes people less likely to be helpful to others in dangerous situations and introduces violence in relationships,” Foubert says.

“How Pornography Harms”

By John D. Foubert, Ph.D.

Hardcover | 5.5×8.5in | 266 pages | ISBN 9781489710246

Softcover | 5.5×8.5in | 266 pages | ISBN 9781489710239

E-Book | 266 pages | ISBN 9781489710222

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

John D. Foubert, Ph.D. is an interdisciplinary scholar who has studied sexual violence since 1993 and the harms of pornography since 2006. In his 25 year career as a college administrator and professor, he has worked to end sexual violence on college campuses and in the military nationwide. A vocal opponent of the pornography industry, his straight-talking style has attracted a national following. Foubert is quoted regularly by national media. He has testified before congress and has been called upon by the White House and the Pentagon for his scholarly expertise. “How Pornography Harms” is his 10th book.

LifeRich Publishing, the strategic publishing partnership of Reader’s Digest and Author Solutions, LLC, was created to provide all writers a platform for sharing their stories, recipes, advice and more. LifeRich authors will benefit from a wealth of editorial design, marketing and education resources, specially created by Reader’s Digest editors for the enrichment of these LifeSmart individuals. Books can be published in print, ebook or audio formats, with additional distribution to up to 25 million Reader’s Digest customers through its online properties. Follow @LifeRichPub on Twitter or “Like” us at for the latest updates.