In The Art of Dance, Isadora Duncan described her vision of modern dance in terms of a single figure "standing with one foot poised on the highest point of the Rockies, her two hands stretched out from the Atlantic to the Pacific, her fine head tossed to the sky, her forehead shining with a crown of a million stars." The organizers of this year's Big Range Dance Festival seem to have had the grande dame of dance's sweeping words in mind when they designed their hugely ambitious program. Three weeks barely seems enough to contain all the pirouetting, jumping and pop-locking on the schedule. The bill features several expansive programs by groups including local troupe Hope Stone (8 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, at Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex), the prestigious Travesty Dance Group (8 p.m. Saturday, June 4, and Sunday, June 5, also at Barnevelder) and the band of ambitious neophytes performing in the New Around show (7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 7, at the Jewish Community Center). There's also a video presentation at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 8, at the Aurora Picture Show, highlighting recent collaborations between choreographers and video artists. Somewhere, the divine Miss Duncan is smiling. Opens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 1. Through June 18 at various venues. For tickets and a schedule, call 713-529-1819 or visit www.bigrange.org. $3 to $16. -- Scott Faingold
Turmoil for Two
Siblings stick together in Nicky Silver's Raised in Captivity
Walking the tightrope between black comedy and just plain darkness, Nicky Silver's plays go places where the squirm and the schadenfreude-fueled chuckle are the only sources of tension relief, placing him in the proud company of other modern Bards of Discomfort Neil LaBute and Tony Kushner. Case in point: Raised in Captivity, Silver's 1995 play about the special, unwanted bond between Sebastian and Bernadette, a pair of adult twins who lead separate, hellish lives but are forever united by their nightmarish upbringing. Unhinged Productions is offering ringside seats to the degradation, verbal violence and unavoidable pathos that unfold as the twins are forcibly reunited at the funeral of their mother, who, it seems, was one hell of an old bag. Get captivated at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays, through June 26. Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Parkway. For tickets and information, call 713-527-0123 or visit www.u-p.org. $15 to $20. -- Scott Faingold
What Happens at the Verizon...
What better way to celebrate Las Vegas's centennial than with a rock 'n' roll tour by an aging pseudo-grunge band from Stockbridge, Georgia? Okay, Collective Soul is still best known for "Shine," and Vegas might be the shiniest place on earth, but the connection still seems a mite forced. Regardless, the Road to Vegas Tour is set to roll into town like a neon-tanned, three-ring circus, boasting "beautiful people, exciting gaming activities, plenty of drinks, sexy Vegas showgirls" -- and opening act Silvertide. 8 p.m. Monday, June 6. Verizon Wireless Theater, 520 Texas. For information, call 713-230-1666 or visit www.verizonwirelesstheater.com. $22.50 -- Scott Faingold
Here's a way to shake up your stand-up career: Get animated. Patrice O'Neal, an alum of Comedy Central's Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, has a new role in the Comedy Central vehicle Shorties, in which he stars as Baby Patrice, an animated infant version of himself. The big guy -- O'Neal is six foot five, 300 pounds -- hits the Laff Stop at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 2; and 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4. 1952 West Gray. For tickets and showtimes, call 713-524-2333 or visit www.laffstop.com. $15 to $18. -- Steven Devadanam