Choreographer/playwright/performance artist/hoofer Mark Dendy endows his inspired creations with camp and sass. In What Becomes a Legend Most?, Dendy and partner Lawrence Keigwin stick it (lovingly) to modern-dance maven Martha Graham -- that vain queen of furrowed-brow sincerity -- and the brilliant Russian lunatic Vaslav Nijinsky. Legend, which opens the Houston Fringe Theater Festival, includes Dendy's takes on Nijinsky's "Afternoon of a Faun" and Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring." Dendy portrays Graham; Keigwin handles the lion's share of the Nijinsky role, but Dendy also dons the guise for a dueling-Nijinsky segment. The run opens at 8 tonight and continues through June 13. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway. Info: 228-0914, 868-7516. $12 to $15; $10 for students and seniors.
Fans of The Phantom of the Opera and the Galveston Island Outdoor Musicals face a tough decision tonight, as the Andrew Lloyd Webber piece and the annual Galveston series square off with head-to-head debuts. Lloyd Webber's ham-handed melodics reached their nadir with the screechy, inexplicably exalted Phantom, and drove us from the hall long before the chandelier dropped. The popularity of the Outdoor Musicals is slightly more comprehensible, if only because of the pleasant breezes wafting off the nearby Gulf. But Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella? Heck, the series opener looks cutting-edge compared to the rest of the season's lineup, which includes those rode-hard-and-put-up-wet warhorses Hello, Dolly! and Anything Goes. Phantom opens at 8 p.m. and continues through July 12. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana, 227-3974. $16 to $66 (629-3700). Cinderella bows at the same time and runs through June 27. The Mary Moody Northen Amphitheatre, FM 3005 and 13-Mile Road. Info: (800) 54-SHOWS. $20 to $30.