After the Hurricane: The Show Must Go On

This week was supposed to open the 08-09 season for Opera in the Heights.

The season's first production, Madame Butterfly, is rescheduled for October 9th. That's because Lambert Hall, where they stage all performances, still doesn't have power.

Keith Chapman is the assistant artistic director for Opera in the Heights.

"One of the other major factors is our orchestra. These people were contracted for specific dates. And so trying to get 22 orchestra people who play with various arts organizations in the city and they've already committed other days to them."

Lambert Hall had some minor water damage in the basement and one or two windows were broken.

But the loss of power means loss of revenue. And pushing back the opening production will affect the rest of the season, even into the Spring.

Just a few miles away, Stages Repertory Theatre is in disarray.

The organization lost power for eleven days. One stage was severely damaged by water. The orchestra pit, music materials and a number of instruments were destroyed.

"It was an enormous hit."

Artistic Director Kenn McLaughlin.

"We had two hit shows completely sold out running. We were in the strongest financial position we've been in in eight years. And in the course of those eleven days we've lost more than $100,000 worth of business. So it has been devastating for us."

But the show will go on. Stages is temporarily borrowing Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center. They're performing two productions, Always...Patsy Cline and the appropriately named Unbeatable.

"The performance of Unbeatable, that was our re-opening at the Hobby Center, was especially powerful. It was actually the first time that — since the very beginning — that I actually wept at the end because the song Unbeatable has an entirely new resonance in the face of what we've all been through. And the finale of the show when the entire cast sings this rousing song about being unbeatable and you just feel the whole room recognizing that's in fact the experience of the show itself."

Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.
Tags: News, Weather


Share Options