UH’s ‘Little Shop’ to Highlight School’s Broader New Curricula, Now Including American Musical Theater

UH’s ‘Little Shop’ to Highlight School’s Broader New Curricula, Now Including American Musical Theater

Andrew Davis, dean of Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts and Moores Opera House

WHEN THE AMERICAN composer Stephen Sondheim passed away in November, among those who sang his praises, besides the big names in musical theater, were musicians from the worlds of classical, rock and jazz music. “He understood these disciplines really had no boundaries,” says Andrew Davis, dean of UH’s Kathrine G. McGovern College of Arts.


Davis and his colleagues in the art college's music, theater and dance departments understand this, as well, and beginning this fall, will integrate the American lyric-theater tradition into each of their curriculums so that aspiring singers, instrumentalists and composers can study both European classical music and American musical theater. “The program is responding to the professional landscape,” says Davis, “which demands that we not pigeonhole the students or ask the students to pigeonhole themselves.”

Kicking off this new initiative is a full-scale production of the ’50s rock-and-roll-inspired Broadway hit Little Shop of Horrors, scheduled to run May 27-29. It’s the first collaborative musical between students and faculty from Moores School of Music and The School of Theatre and Dance, with a production team that includes two UH alums: puppet designer Afsaneh Aayani, who will create Audrey II, the show’s unrepentant, bloodthirsty plant, and Broadway singer and actress Sally Mayes, who will act as collaborator and master class workshop coordinator for the production. On March 31, to help promote the show, Mayes will headline a performance at the José Quintero Theatre of classic and contemporary Broadway songs.

The college of arts’ expanded offerings aligns with UH’s belief that a liberal arts education is essential to a healthy cultural conversation. “The arts promote understanding, empathy, and critical thinking,” says Davis. “To put it bluntly, you can’t be educated in the arts and hate the person next to you.”

Art + Entertainment
Duos, Trios and Teams: ‘Next-Generation’ Mother-Daughter Leppert Duo Debuts

Clare Leppert and Clementine, the Cavachon. Leigh Leppert and Benny, the Bernedoodle.

HOW DID YOU come together as a team? This fall, we are celebrating the introduction of an exciting real estate collaboration between Clare Leppert, longtime Houston Realtor®, and daughter Leigh Leppert. Clare shared a 20+ year real estate partnership with her mother, Bette Carpenter, until Bette’s death in 2016. Having worked solo for several years, Clare in 2021 was awarded Houston Business Journal’s No. 2 Luxury Realtor® in Houston. Leigh, who has been working in marketing for the past decade, has always shared a passion for real estate and watched Clare successfully balance family and career. We are excited to re-create the next generation of a mother-daughter duo at Compass!

Keep ReadingShow less

Orleans Seafood (photo by Becca Wright)

FORGET MARCH MADNESS — mudbug madness has arrived. Fans think the little critters taste like baby lobsters, so they can’t gobble up enough. Here’s where to hit for the most badass boils in town.

Keep ReadingShow less
Food

'Alma's Rainbow'

THIS WEEKEND, FEB. 3-5, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents Through the Lens of African American Women, a mini-festival of four films and one short, all directed by Black women. The lineup was curated by UH graduate Autumn Johnson, who interned with the MFAH film department last summer and produced the short film This is Real Life, which has earned 70,000 views and counting on YouTube. As Houston is home to such talented Black female film directors as Candice D’Meza, Lisa E. Harris and Brittany Bass, and this being Black History Month, the festival is timely and will resonate with anyone interested in great, independent filmmaking.

Keep ReadingShow less
Art + Entertainment