After a successful run of Matt & Ben in January 2017, Houston theatre company Rogue Productions was thrilled to be on the map. Their production was lauded by local critics and the company was in shape to propel into the future. Rogue announced its second production, Joshua Salzman and Ryan Cunningham’s 2006 musical I Love You Because: A Modern Day Musical Love Story. The production was set to open in September 2017, but mother nature had other plans for the young company. On August 25, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast region, wreaking havoc on the community to the tune of $125 billion in damages. Aside from the personal struggles this meant for the Rogue community, this also nearly flatlined the company. They were forced to postpone (re: nearly cancel) their second production due to their venue, the DeLuxe Theatre, having significant water damage, not to mention the issues of fundraising immediately after the hurricane. Needless to say, that Rogue Productions is going strong in 2018 should not be taken lightly.

Rogue decided to return to I Love You Because at a later date. Their second full production, Bess Wohl’s Touch(ed) ran in February 2018. Now, as they sit on the cusp of announcing their next season, complete with three full productions, Rogue returns to I Love You Because, showing the resilience of the young company.

We are so excited about finally getting to do this show,” said Rachael Logue, director of I Love You Because, adding “We took a pretty hard hit when we had to postpone this piece thanks to Harvey, and as such a small company it took us quite a while to regain momentum.

I Love You Because plays July 6-22 at Studio 101 in Houston, Texas.

Founded by Co-Artistic Directors Rachael Logue and Chelsea Ryan McCurdy, Rogue Productions is a new Houston theatre company whose mission is to produce theatre with a social justice aim. The company aims to present theatre in conversation with Houston’s rich diversity. As such, they are committed to racial parity both on- and off-stage. Rogue also has a distinctly feminist DNA with creative teams and art-making that focuses on changing the dominant paradigm of theatre to include more women and non-binary voices. That Rogue was able to stay afloat amid Hurricane Harvey is a testament to the power of both Logue and McCurdy. Needless to say, this is a company that needs to be taken seriously.

Photo Credit: Lisa Villegas and Rachael Logue in rehearsal for Touch(ed) at Rogue Productions.

I Love You Because first premiered Off-Broadway in 2006 at the Village Theatre. While the show had a brief run, it quickly attained a cult following in part by its terrific cast recording featuring Farah Alvin, Stephanie D’Abruzzo, and Colin Hanlon. Set in contemporary New York City, the show riffs off of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice to comment on the realities of dating in today’s world. After Austin finds out that his girlfriend is cheating on him, he decided to find a new girlfriend. Enter the New York dating scene! To fix the problem, Austin’s brother Jeff makes him join him on a double date where they meet Marcy and Diana. Even though the two couples appear to be mismatched, the attraction is palpable. Rogue’s production includes Travis Kirk Coombs, Chelsea Ryan McCurdy, Marissa Castillo, Justin White, Sammi Sicinski, and Rodrick Randall under the direction and choreography of Rachael Logue. Music Direction is by Sean Ramos.

As Rogue Productions cements itself on the Houston theatre landscape with its first fully-produced musical, it remains imperative to support new and small theatre companies. When these companies aim to update the gender and racial inequalities in their regions, all the better.

Performances of I Love You Because are scheduled for July 6 through 22 at 8:00 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays; and 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays at Studio 101, 1824 Spring Street, Houston, TX. For information visit $20-$52.

This post was written by the author in their personal capacity.The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of The Theatre Times, their staff or collaborators.

This post was written by Trevor Boffone.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.