Theatre Under The Stars

Since 2002, the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Houston has treated Houston residents to some of the most amazing shows on the planet, from “The Sound of Music” to “Wicked.” Named for former Texas lieutenant governor and well-known Houston businessman William P. Hobby Jr. and designed by Robert A. M. Stern, the striking building in the very heart of the downtown district features 60-foot high glass walls and two auditoriums, the 2,650-capacity Sarofim Hall and the 500-seat Zilkha Hall. Inside, the spectacular Grand Lobby features stunning artwork by Sol Lemit, one of two high-profile pieces commissioned by the Hobby Center. The other, the bronze sculpture “In Minds,” greets patrons in the Hines Plaza outside.
The Hobby Center has a host of events coming up this holiday season, with “The Phantom of the Opera” ending a two-week run Nov. 29, “A Christmas Story: The Musical” running from Dec. 8 to Dec. 20 in Sarofim Hall and Josh Groban and Virtusi of Houston performing on Dec. 21 and Dec. 5, respectively. The year ends with performances of Woody Allen’s “Bullets over Broadway” from Dec. 27 to Jan. 2 and a New Year’s Eve gala featuring music from Handel and Vivaldi. The 2016 season kicks off Jan. 16, when “The Bridges of Madison County” begins performances in Sarofim Hall.
Sarofim Hall is best known for its Theatre Under the Stars program. The auditorium is set up in three tiers, orchestra, mezzanine and upper gallery, and the ceiling replicates the Texas night sky with hundreds of twinkling fiber optic lights. Walls in the theatre are midnight blue, adding to the feeling of watching a show under the biggest sky in the country. The Theatre Under the Stars program takes its name one step further in the summer, with live performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre in nearby Hermann Park. While tickets to touring Broadway shows in Sarofim Hall may cost a pretty penny, the outdoor shows are completely free and have been since 1968.

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