"I got in a fistfight at the Laugh Factory [in Hollywood] with the audience, literally the entire audience," he once told an interviewer. "Someone threw ice at me and I snapped. I couldn't see exactly who threw it, only from which direction. So I walked fists first into that section of the crowd." 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, January 29 and 30. 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, January 31. 7620 Katy Freeway, suite 431. For information, call 713-333-8800. $30. -- Keith Plocek
Ho Da Le Di Who?
Why, Riders in the Sky, of course
When Ranger Doug first heard his uncle yodel, he was transfixed. "When you break into a yodel, people smile," says the singing guitarist of Riders in the Sky, the cowboy quartet that's kept the music of the Old West alive for the past 25 years. The group's wry humor and fiddlin' free-for-all will be backed this week by the Houston Symphony, giving full effect to the Riders' panoramic Hollywood Western music. Ranger Doug, known as the Idol of American Youth on the group's syndicated radio show, figures that if his music career tanks, he could provide protection to astronauts heading for the Red Planet, the way Slim Whitman's yodels were used to kill interplanetary invaders in the bizarre flick Mars Attacks! "Well, have we ever been attacked by Mars?" he asks. "I've kept Earth safe with my 'strategic defense yodeling.'" 7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 29, through Saturday, January 31. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575. $21.75 to $78.75. -- Greg Barr
Catch a Cab
For one night only and for only five bucks, you too can take part in one of the coolest cabaret shows to hit Houston in quite some time. Hosted by none other than those hipsters at Infernal Bridegroom Productions, Jack Babylon's End of the World Cabaret promises to shake the Axiom out of the winter doldrums with the pre-swing jazz of Kid Ornery and a puppet show from Katie Jackson (who was the wizard behind the raging rhino heads in IBP's production of Rhinoceros). There's also promise of go-go dancers dressed in lingerie. Need we say more? 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday, January 31. 2425 McKinney. For information, call 713-522-8443 or visit www.infernalbridegroom.com. $5. -- Lee Williams
For playwright Endesha I.M. Holland, "Mississippi" is spelled H-O-M-E. Her play, From the Mississippi Delta, narrates the life of Phelia, a civil rights activist whose tribulations mirror those of the playwright and several legendary heroines from her home state. Fellow Mississippian Oprah Winfrey produced the play's original run on Broadway. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 29, through February 22. The Ensemble Theatre, 3535 Main. For information and a full schedule, call 713-520-0055. $10 to $20. -- Keith Plocek