The 5 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Rigoletto, Detroit and More

Two couples end up living next door to each other in an unidentified American suburb inDetroit (despite the name, the play is supposed to refer to any "first-ring suburb in America.") The country is in an economic downturn and Ben has just lost his job, resulting in a change of prospects for himself and his wife, Mary. The new neighbors, Kenny and Sharon, former drug addicts, are in the process of straightening out their lives and are looking to suburbia to provide stability. The couples meet over a backyard barbecue.


Another choice for Saturday, the 90-minute one-act Detroit, by playwright Lisa D'Amour (whose latest play, Airline Highway, it has just been announced, is going to Broadway), was a finalist for the Pulitzer and Susan Smith Blackburn prizes in 2011 and won the Obie Award for Best New American Play in 2013. Now Catastrophic Theatre is bringing it to Houston, and director Troy Schulze says his cast members have embraced the play and what it has to say about changes — not only those brought about by financial change but in the places we live.

"You see how the suburbs have changed throughout the years. There's something about it that suggests a death of some sort. Something that we'll never get back." Despite the somber notes, Schulze says there's a lot of humor throughout this work. "Usually we'll follow up Tamarie Cooper's [annual summer] show with a play that's really dark and depressing. But this one is really funny and uplifting. I think there's going to be a lot of laughter." A turntable stage enables a quick shift from one backyard to the next.