There will always be an England
The must-see play of Houston’s fall drama season is Main Street Theater’s stirring Houston premiere of Noël Coward’s “Peace in Our Time.” This neglected gem imagines life in London from 1940 to 1945 – as it would be had Germany conquered England early in World War II, leaving the proud yet defeated populace forced to live under Nazi occupation. The regulars at a London pub serve as a cross-section of English society coping with increasingly onerous restrictions – with pub owner Fred Shattock and his family at the drama’s center as they risk everything to aid the resistance. Besides Coward’s splendid writing, this production boasts sensitive direction by Rebecca Greene Udden and deeply committed performances by everyone in the large cast. “Peace in Our Time” continues at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, through Oct. 19; Main Street Theater, 2540 Times; 713-524-6706, mainstreettheater.org.
Delightful, delicious, de-lovely
The tour of “Anything Goes” that opens Tuesday at Hobby Center hasn’t been seen by anyone yet. Houston is the launch city for this second tour re-creating the recent, Tony-winning Broadway revival. Yet one thing is certain: Thanks to composer-lyricist Cole Porter, no musical playing here this fall boasts brighter music or wittier lyrics. To the evergreens that originated in this show – including “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’re the Top,” “All Through the Night” and the irrepressible title song – this revival adds several gems from other Porter scores, including “Easy to Love,” “Friendship,” “It’s De-Lovely” and the haunting “Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye.” The quintessential 1930s musical comedy, “Anything Goes” is a shipboard romp involving an evangelist-turned-chanteuse, a stowaway stockbroker, an heiress and an ineffectual gangster determined to boost his insulting FBI rating as “Public Enemy No. 13.” Opens Tuesday. 7:30 Tuesday through Oct. 16, 8 p.m. Oct. 17, 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 18, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19; Broadway at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby; $30-$95; 800-982-2787, BroadwayAtTheHobbyCenter.com.
Momix-ing it up
Earth, air, fire and water inspired “Alchemia,” the newest work by Moses Pendleton’s beloved acrobatic dance company Momix. Expect an awesome display of light and shadow, props and taut bodies in motion. The dancers leap through surrealistic flames and fly through the air in a work that promises to keep you on the edge of your seat, even with no intermission. Society for the Performing Arts presents “Alchemia” at 8 p.m. Friday at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana; $30-$85, 713-227-4772, spahouston.org.
Japanese artist Yusuke Asai, who paints with locally sourced mud, dust and soil, has transformed the walls of Rice Gallery into a fantasy of earth-colored imagery inspired by Indian folk painting. It’s his first exhibition in the U.S., and it’s a dazzler. Rice Gallery is open until 7 p.m. Thursdays, so stop by after work; it may be all the happy hour you need. 6100 Main, near Entrance 1, Rice University; 713-348-6069, ricegallery.org; free.
The spirit speaks
Bishop Fred Jones’ family ensemble is the sort of old-school gospel group that can rattle your rib cage. The Jones Family Singers have a ridiculously tight rhythm section, and Jones’ daughters are a forceful vocal group. Earlier this year they released “The Spirit Speaks,” the closest one of their records has come to capturing the jubilant experience of seeing this local act live. But they’re still better in person. And good for your soul. 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney; discoverygreen.com. free
One of the greatest keyboardists in jazz, Chick Corea stepped into Herbie Hancock’s big shoes in 1968 when he joined Miles Davis’ band. That was the beginning of a long career of musical exploration as Corea expanded his work into jazz fusion, Latin jazz, classical and other forms. One of his greatest works remains “Piano Improvisations,” which he released in 1971. As the title indicates, the recording was just Corea and a piano, a format he returns to when he comes to town this weekend. 8 p.m. Friday at the Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas; $57.50; 832-487-7000, dacamera.com
Pack it up
Brian Beattie used to play with the beloved Austin band Glass Eye before going on to become a successful producer. He’s continued to write and record music, though his latest project didn’t lend itself to a traditional album format. “Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase” turned out to be a rich narrative that required visuals, so Beattie collaborated with his wife, illustrator Valerie Fowler, to create a beautiful thing that’s part dark children’s book, part album. Beattie will present the music and Fowler her art for this performance. 7:30 p.m. Friday at Cafe Brasil, 2604 Dunlavy.