Since 1923, Miller Outdoor Theater provided Houstonians with entertainment and community. It’s Hermann Park’s signature structure, and one of its biggest offerings is its summer concert season. But throughout the year, Miller offers free and paid shows in music, theater, dance and film, all of which resumed last April after an agonizing two-year hiatus.
Miller is intimately connected to Houston because he grew up with the city. William Ward Watkin, the founder of Rice University’s Department of Architecture, designed the century-old amphitheater. In the 1940s, earth excavated from the Fannin Street building project was used to build Miller’s Hill, the landscape that now overlooks the amphitheater and provides extensive sight lines. When the park needed renovations in the 1960s and again in the 1990s, the city partnered with the Hermann Park Conservatory to upgrade the theater and add restrooms. The more the city contributes, the more the park has been able to increase its offer, by adding gardens, a railway and pedal boats.
Hermann Park is often packed with people exercising on the hill, picnicking under the trees, strolling along its many paths, or taking a break in the outdoors after visiting the nearby zoo or museums. . In the height of summer, you can catch more and more Houstonians bringing baskets, bags and coolers full of food and drink as well as blankets, umbrellas and portable chairs to set up camp on the lawn. sloping over the 1,700-seat open theatre. At some of the larger events, nearly 5,000 people surround the stage, protected by the tent-like structure of the amphitheater.
If you’re looking to get the kids out of the house, have a date in the park, or just get some fresh air, here are some events taking place at the park over the next few months.
Incredible India: a cultural kaleidoscope
Indian Performing Arts Samskriti invites local Houstonians on a cultural journey through India. The show blends classical and folk dance from different parts of India and aims to showcase the country’s vibrant mix of cultures. With colorful dance costumes, expressive narration and choreography by Anisha Rajesh, Anita Menon, Aparupa Chatterjee, Ekta Popat, Soma Dasgupta and Rathna Kumar, the performance promises to convey the beauty of Indian dance.
Miller’s Summer Mixtape
One of Miller Outdoor Theater’s newest traditions, the Miller Summer Mixtape is a three-day independent music showcase featuring local artists from all genres and produced by marketing agency Rukaz Kultura. Pop in every day for new performances in every genre; expect rock and folk on the 24th, indie pop on the 25th, and hip-hop and soul on the 26th. Mexican Shame On Me, the indie-pop trio camera worshipand alternative soul band Tony Badd.
Asia Society Texas Center Brings Pakistan’s First Grammy Award–winning singer and songwriter, Arooj Aftab, in Houston. Aftab’s music is a mix of traditional meditative vocals, jazz and indie pop, with lyrics inspired by Asian poets like Rumi and Mirza Ghalib. His concert will feature songs from his new album, Prince Vultureand audiences can expect to hear his lyrical narration and breathtaking voice live.
The Houston Jazz Festival
Jazz lovers, unite! The Houston Jazz Festival brings the best of jazz to Bayou City. The star of the festival is the critically acclaimed hard bop group The Cookers, made up of jazz icons Billy Harper, Billy Hart, David Weiss, George Cables, Eddie Henderson, Cecil McBee and Donald Harrison. The band’s opening is in New York–musician and singer based Nellie McKay, who will perform from her album Sister Orchid. Finally, keep an eye out for artwork by National Medal of Arts winner Jack Whitten, who was inspired by jazz music and musicians and will be featured on stage during performances.
The Panto Company USA, known for providing the best in children’s theater, hits the stage at the Miller Outdoor Theater this fall with a performance of treasure island. This family-friendly show, based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, is sure to entertain viewers of all ages with its timeless and adventurous story, full of pirate mutinies, perilous sea voyages and buried treasure.