When the work day’s done and it’s time to have some fun, Houston is the place to be. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, cultured or rowdy, refined or – as they say in Texas – ready to let ‘er rip, the entertainment scene in Houston has something that will appeal to you.
Anyone looking for a bit of culture in their entertainment will find a number of world class offerings in the Bayou City. The 87-piece Houston Symphony, which performs most of its concerts at Jones Hall in the Downtown section, is one of the most respected orchestras in the South. Attracting over 300,000 concert-goers to over 280 shows a year, the orchestra attracts top guest performers including Yo Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, and Yefim Bronfman. Performing at Downtown’s Wortham Theater Center, the Houston Grand Opera is an internationally recognized company with a season that runs from October through January. The company performs classic operas, as well as supporting and performing new works; since its inception in 1974, the Houston Grand Opera has presented almost 50 world premiers. Houston is also home to two other professional opera companies; Opera in the Heights, and Opera Vista, which performs in the River Oaks Section. The Houston Ballet, which also performs as the Wortham Theater Center, is the fourth largest ballet company in the U.S., and performs an average of eight programs during a season that runs from September through June. Houston is also home to literally hundreds of bars, concert halls, and larger venues that offer live music from local bands, regional artists, and international super- groups, in every style imaginable. Artists who got their start in Houston include ZZ Top, Lyle Lovett, Iggy Azalea, Clint Black, and rapper Chamillionaire.
With 14 professional theatrical companies located throughout the city, the play really is the thing in Houston. The Alley Theater, located in Downtown’s Theater District, puts on more than 500 shows on two stages in its 75,000 square-foot facility every year. The theater is one of the few in the United States that supports a full-time company of actors and produces Broadway, classic, musical, and new
works. Those interested in a quirkier theater experience will likely love the city’s Catastrophic Theater, which performs at Downtown’s DiverseWorks Artspace. The company performs an eclectic selection of provocative, intense, and darkly comedic productions, with a “pay what you can” policy regarding tickets. Other companies of note include the A.D. Players, Mildred’s Umbrella Theater Company, and the Queensbury Theater.
Sports are a big deal in Houston, and fans of just about every sport out there can see it played at the highest levels in the Bayou City. As with most of Texas, football is the big dog in Houston sports. The Houston Texans have been in the NFL since the city’s beloved Oilers moved to Tennessee; the Texans have made the playoffs three times, most recently in 2015. The team plays its home schedule at NRG Stadium. When it’s time to be taken out to the ballgame Downtown’s Minute Maid Stadium is home to the Houston Astros. While only winning one pennant in their 54 year history, the team continues to draw healthy crowds to their home games. The NBA’s Houston Rockets are housed at the 18,000 seat Toyota Center, located Downtown. Since moving to the city, the Rockets have won four conference titles and two championships. Soccer fans can head to BBVA Compass Stadium to see the Houston Dynamo take to the pitch. Other sports and organizations well represented in the city include the PGA, rodeo, and the NCAA.
There is always something fun going on in Houston, and you can be a part of it all!