Quite a Jolt

Pilobolus's Megawatt, Full Strength promises seriously high energy

FRI 4/29

There's something you should know about the frenetic show Megawatt, Full Strength: "This is not traditional, sleepy modern dance!" says Jonathan Wolken, artistic director of modern dance company Pilobolus. "And it's not a show to see after you've had a nice, full dinner and expect to just sit back and watch." The performance, presented by Society for the Performing Arts, is divided into 24 different continuous sections. By the end, Wolken says, not only will audience members identify with the characters -- they may be sharing a seat with them. "The audience will be a little breathless with the show, and the dancers will be upon you," he promises. "Think of driving fast down a dark road or going down a mountain -- you don't know what's coming next." What you can expect is a soundtrack that includes the cutting-edge music of Radiohead, Moby and Brian Eno. "This piece has a crispy energy that is very driving and in-your-face," says Wolken, "and the music had to reflect that." Watch your back at 8 p.m. Friday, April 29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For tickets and information, call 713-227-4772 or visit www.spahouston.org. $24 to $49. -- Bob Ruggiero

Jailhouse Rocked

Poland, parenthood and prison collide in Life Is a Dream

Call it a story of father and son, family values and jail. Celebrating its one-year anniversary this week, Theatre Collide mounts 17th-century playwright Pedro Calderón de la Barca's Life Is a Dream. It's the timeless story of a Polish king who averts a coup by imprisoning his son in a tower. Later, the king feels guilty and has the prisoner brought to him. But when his estranged, now-beastly son gets all up in his face, the king tosses him back in the slammer -- and inevitably, the prince comes to believe the brief encounter was a figment of his imagination. Things settle down -- that is, until a cast-off mistress and some horny cousins show up for a piece of the kingdom. 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, April 30; 8 p.m. Sunday, May 1; 8 p.m. Monday, May 2. Show runs through May 8. Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter Street. For tickets and more showtimes, call 713-528-5108 or visit www.theatre-collide.com. $5 to $10. -- Scott Faingold

Om, Gevalt!

FRI 4/29

From Dale Carnegie to, um, Patch Adams, there's been an awful lot of lip service paid to the old saw that "laughter is the best medicine." This week, a self-styled guru -- who calls himself Matzo the Unleavened One -- levitates up to the mat at the usually legit fitness center Nia Moves for an evening of "New Age Comedy." Aimed squarely at an audience sick-unto-death of self-help charlatans, Matzo shares his nuggets of wisdom by lip-synching over tape recordings of chanting monks and reading Ziggy comics. Will Matzo offer mystic, Kabbalah-themed enlightenment, or just sheer zaniness? Find out at 8 p.m. Friday, April 29. 3221 Houston Avenue. For tickets, call 713-864-4260 or visit www.niamoves.com. $15; no one under 18 allowed. -- Scott Faingold

Finding Neverland

WED 5/4

Once upon a time, people could actually mention Neverland and sprightly young boys in the same sentence and not shudder. But long before Jacko, Cathy Rigby was prancing on Broadway as Peter Pan. Now, she returns to Houston for a farewell reprisal of the title role. Celebrate her reign -- and the story's 100th anniversary -- when the show opens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 4. Show runs through May 22 at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. For tickets and showtimes, call 713-558-2600 or visit www.tuts.com. $32.25 to $77.25. -- Steven Devadanam

 
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