George Bernard Shaw and Tom Stoppard, two of the master wordsmiths of modern English theatre, will be on offer at Houston's Alley Theatre in May.
Shaw's Misalliance will close the Large Stage season at the theatre, beginning previews May 14 and opening May 19 for a run through June 13. Meanwhile, Stoppard's Travesties will bring the Neuhaus Arena Stage season to a close, beginning May 21 for a May 26 opening and a run through June 13.
Shaw's Misalliance is between Hypatia Tarleton, the daughter of an underwear magnate and obsessive bibliophile John Tarleton, and Bentley Summerhays, the callow scion of a cash-poor aristocratic family. Hypatia endlessly yearns for something to happen to her, and she finally gets her wish when an airplane, carrying a rakish pilot and a Polish acrobat, crashes into the Tarleton family estate, revealing and/or generating a half a dozen other romantic misalliances.
David Wheeler directs the classic comedy, which received a recent Broadway staging with Elizabeth Marvel, Brian Murray and Joanna Going.
Travesties, perhaps Stoppard's headiest historical and theoretical soup, imagines Communist leader Lenin, novelist James Joyce and Dadaism founder Tristin Tzara intermingling in 1917 Zurich society and all colliding in the faulty memory of insignificant, self-aggrandizing diplomat Henry Carr. Gregory Boyd directs. For information on both shows, call (713) 228-8421.
--By Robert Simonson