Entrance; Photo by Amitava Sarkar

In a unique collaboration, one that’s not commonly seen in the theater community outside of New York, multiple Houston companies are joining forces to showcase all three parts of a critically acclaimed trilogy written by Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes.


This weekend, Main Street Theater and Stages Repertory Theatre present the first and second parts of Elliot Trilogy, respectively. The Elliot plays tell the tale of a Puerto Rican family living in Philadelphia; Elliot Ortiz is a 24-year-old veteran of the Iraq war, who aspires to be a model and who struggles with PTSD.

Directed by Jerry Ruiz, Stages’ Water by the Spoonful (Feb. 7-23) is only the second production in its brand-new, state-of-the-art facility, the Gordy Theater. The show was announced as part of its 2019-2020 season last year, and Main Street’s Rebecca Greene Udden promptly reached out about collaborating to give audiences the chance to see its prequel, Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue (Feb. 8-March 1).

Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company — a nearly 20-year-old performing-arts group which endeavors to showcase works by female playwrights, actors and director — agreed to present a reader of The  Happiest Song Plays Last (March 6-8), the trilogy’s final installment, at Main Street Theatre next month.

AT TOP: The entrance of Stages' new Gordy Theater

Dispatches

“I WISH I came here sooner to experience this amazing city,” says advanced sommelier Rachel Van Til of her move to Houston just one year before the pandemic lockdown. When Covid appeared in 2020, along with layoffs and closings, it led to a career swerve for Van Til, a working mom who was a sommelier at Pappas Steakhouse. She took over the wine program at The Clubs at Houston Oaks, a posh (initiation fees can range into the six figures) members-only club northwest of the city with 10 lodges, 17 lakes, 900 acres and six dining options. Speaking of lots of good food and vino, the club’s 2022 Wine and Food Classic is this February 12 — it’s a great chance to taste hundreds of wines from around the world and learn about them from winemakers and professionals. “It’s our largest event of the year and it’s open to the public.” In our Q&A, Rachel dishes on her favorite date night, best wines to try this year and her brush with the me-too movement!

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