HOUSTON, Texas -- The first weekend of 2023 offers some feel-good fun in theater, music, and comedy starring some familiar names.
Fans of the rom-com classic "Pretty Woman" will delight in the red-hot musical that's in town. Fans of David Bowie and Elvis can celebrate the stars at a show honoring them both. And, fans of Elton John and Billy Joel can jam at a Houston Symphony show of the pair's greatest hits.
Plus, some funny folk stage some serious comedy this weekend. Here are your best bets for the weekend.
Thursday, January 5
Memorial Hermann Broadway at the Hobby Center: Pretty Woman
Based on one of Hollywood's most beloved romantic stories of all time, this stage-musical version of the 1990 movie that made Julia Roberts a star springs to life with a powerhouse creative team led by two-time, Tony-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell. The production features an original score by Grammy winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance & a book by Garry Marshall, the movie's late director, and screenwriter J. F. Lawton. 7:30 p.m. (8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday).
ISHIDA presents Stirs up still things
"Stirs up still things" includes world premieres by ISHIDA based on original poetic narratives and works by emerging and renowned, international choreographers. "Among dim shapes" follows an intimate relationship and the ghosts they carry, triggered by archetypal patterns. The program also includes a new creation by Swedish dancer, film director, and choreographer John Wannehag (formerly with Tanzmainz), and a new work by award-winning, British-Finnish choreographer Kristian Lever. 8 p.m. (2 p.m. Sunday).
Friday, January 6
Vitacca Vocational School for Dance presents Winter Works
This Friday and Saturday, Vitacca Vocational School for Dance presents this two-act performance, featuring Vitacca Studio Company dancers in a restaged excerpt of La Bayadere and original contemporary works. These works are created by 2022-23 guest artists Greg Dolbashian, Jess Hendricks, Sean Aaron Carmon, Garrett Smith and Kelly Ann Vitacca. 7 p.m.
Improv Houston presents Bill Bellamy
Using his experiences growing up in Newark, former MTV VJ (and creator of the phrase "booty call") Bill Bellamy started doing stand-up while he was a student at Rutgers University. Bellamy quickly discovered how much he enjoyed making people laugh, and began honing his skills at small comedy clubs around the country and was soon making waves in clubs and on shows like HBO's Def Comedy Jam. 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. (7 and 9 p.m. Saturday; 7:30 p.m. Sunday).
Houston Symphony presents The Music of Elton John and Billy Joel
From "Rocket Man" to "Piano Man," the iconic hits of two classic rock legends come alive in this special concert. Piano-and-vocal talent Michael Cavanaugh - handpicked by Billy Joel to recreate his music in the Broadway musical Movin' Out - delivers electrifying renditions of the songs you know and love, including "Tiny Dancer," "Uptown Girl," "Your Song," "New York State of Mind," "Saturday Night's Alright," and many more. 8 p.m. (2:30 p.m. Sunday).
For the full list of events, visit our partners at Culturemap.