Frankly Funny

Joe Frank comes to life in Jerry's World

The history of picnics, teenage dance shows and pornographic film acting are all part of the same cabal in Jerry's World. Infernal Bridegroom Productions' latest delightfully absurd production takes its inspiration from radio personality Joe Frank. Frank began his career in 1977 at the Pacifica radio station in New York. Since then, the Guggenheim fellow has co-anchored National Public Radio's All Things Considered and created shows that Harry Shearer once said were like "a fist coming through the radio." Longtime IBP-er Troy Schulze has adapted Frank's unsettling screeds into an odd and irreverent new play. New IBP artistic director Anthony Barilla says Frank, who's been invited to the show's opening night, "was very enthusiastic about us doing the play" and "kind" about the royalties. All the show's music and recordings come from pre-existing Joe Frank shows. The curious can catch a few moments on KPFT/90.1 FM at 10 a.m. Friday, September 26. "It's all very dark and bizarre humor," says Barilla. "When I'm watching it I laugh, even though I'm not sure what the joke was. It's just really funny stuff." 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays from Thursday, September 25, through October 18. The Axiom, 2524 McKinney. For information and tickets, call 713-522-8443 or visit www.infernalbridegroom.com. $5.99 opening weekend, $10 Thursdays, $12 Fridays, $15 Saturdays. -- Lee Williams

Dance Sampler
If you're the kind of person who enjoys making a meal out of nothing but appetizers, then we have the dance event for you. Every year, Christina Giannelli, the producing director for A Weekend of Contemporary Dance, cooks up a prime-time dance feast, serving up performances by Houston's A-list dance companies and artists. Says Giannelli, "It's been a great joy helping independent artists mount new work and letting local artists find an audience." Highlights include two premieres, Sarah Irwin's "All the Best," performed by Andee Scott, and KineticArchitecture's "Mating Dance." The show also brings another chance to catch "Swedish Meatball" from Jane Weiner's hilarious "The Cooking Show." Also on the bill: Karen Stokes, Dancepatheater, FLY, Sandra Organ Dance Company, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company and Suchu Dance. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, September 26 and 27. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Drive in Hermann Park. For information, call 713-349-0780 or visit www.houstondance.org. Free. -- Nancy Galeota-Wozny

Leave 'Em Laughing Struggling performers take note: Serendipity is real. Last August, the Cher Farewell Tour machine plucked local comedian Tommy Drake from relative obscurity to warm up the audiences in Dallas and Austin after opening act Cyndi Lauper twisted her ankle during a performance. Although the crowds came expecting to hear Ms. Lauper's special brand of hiccupy pop before the main events, they got a kick out of the comedy substitution. Next thing you know, Cher signed him on for a 29-city tour. Right place, right time, right on. 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 26. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Drive in The Woodlands. For information and tickets, call 713-629-3700 or visit cc.com. $45.25 to $125.25. -- Lisa Simon

High Techno

The techies of the Texas Computer Musicians Network might be making electronic music, but that doesn't mean they mix thumping beats for pill-popping adolescents. They're composers who create "electro-acoustic art music," and they put on one hell of a multimedia show. 8 p.m. Friday, September 26. Duncan Recital Hall at Rice University, entrance no. 8 (off University Boulevard). For information, call 713-348-4064. Free. -- Keith Plocek

 
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