While we wish no one ill -- not even the fatuous Michael Flatley -- we're gratified to report that the Riverdance offshoot Lord of the Dance still doesn't include its creator, Flatley, who pulled a muscle in his massive ego and ceded the stage to his understudy, John Carey. World-champ dancer Carey has acquitted himself well in the title role -- especially given the production's limitations. Let's just say that the press-release assertion that "Lord of the Dance stretches the definition of Irish dance" is laughably mild, and akin to comparing a mosquito to an elephant. While Riverdance can be irritating in anything above a mild dose, at least it's true to its roots -- and tastefully done. The garish, Vegas-trashy Lord stomps all over its purported Celtic heritage on its artistically flatfooted way to the big-bucks watering hole. It's back for another snout full of cash following a sold-out February run. Opening performances are at 8 tonight and Wednesday. Lord continues through May 17. The Aerial Theater at Bayou Place, 520 Texas, 230-1600. $30 to $65 (Ticketmaster: 629-3700).
You can hear broadcasts by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra each Saturday on KUHF-FM 88.7, and you can experience the excellent ensemble live tonight. James Levine wields the baton; the special guest for this performance is Siberian violinist Maxim Vengerov. The program includes Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto and Ravel's Daphnis et Chloe, Suite no. 2. 8 p.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-3974. $15 to $55 (Houston Ticket Center: 227-ARTS; Ticketmaster: 629-3700).