Last August, as Prince shook his majestically purple thing at the Toyota Center during his Musicology Tour, Shawna Forney had an epiphany. "I realized how he created a whole genre of music, and how many incredible songs are on the Purple Rain album," says the DiverseWorks staffer. "We had to do something at DiverseWorks involving Prince." So Forney and co-worker Keith Gulla devised Purple Reignas part of the DiverseWorks "12 Minutes MAX!" series. At the show, six local artists and musicians will each share their interpretations of the Purple Rainsoundtrack in pieces that last no longer than -- you guessed it -- 12 minutes.
The bill includes the cutesy quartet Awesome doing renditions of tunes such as "I Would Die 4 U" and the racy "Sex Shooter." Two Star Symphony will reinterpret hallowed tracks including "Purple Rain." Popsters Matt Brownlie of Bring Back the Guns and local act the Wiggins will add their indie stylings; DJ Sun will spin a Prince-themed set; and video artist Atton Paul will unveil a psychedelic, pixilated video work using Prince images.
Come ready to nosh on popcorn, pizza, purple Popsicles and purple Kool-Aid, and be ready to belt it out Prince-style. "Prince's birthday is on June 7," says Forney, "so we'll probably sing 'Happy Birthday' to him." 8 p.m. Friday, June 10. 1117 East Freeway. For tickets and information, call 713-223-8346 or visit www.diverseworks.org. $10. -- Steven Devadanam
Main Street Theater makes fun of its anniversary
Considering how theater companies sprout up overnight in our town, it's almost hard to believe that it's been 30 years since Main Street Theater opened its doors. The group's longevity is impressive enough, but the fact that it's survived by concentrating on the classics is nothing short of a miracle. (Who would've thought that Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey or James Joyce's The Dead could make great theater?) In celebration of three decades of mixing classic literature with real theatrical tenacity, the company is throwing itself a fabulous "Cocktails and Coward" party featuring that most classic of playwrights, Noel Coward. For $50 ($25 of which is a tax-deductible donation), revelers can support Main Street's long life while sipping martinis and enjoying scenes and songs from Coward. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9. 2540 Times Boulevard. For tickets and information, call 713-524-3622 or visit www.mainstreettheater.com. -- Lee Williams
Colin Quinn is living proof that even thick-necked ex-bartenders can maintain high-profile careers in the ultracompetitive world of professional comedy. In the late '80s, Quinn debuted on MTV's Remote Control as a less profane version of the then-huge Andrew "Dice" Clay. Unlike the Diceman, Quinn never quite disappeared, instead landing choice gigs on In Living Color and Saturday Night Live and eventually getting his own crudely controversial Comedy Central gabfest, Tough Crowd. All the while he's continued to do stand-up. See his bemused-lug routine at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11. Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray. For tickets, call 713-524-2333 or visit www.laffstop.com. $25 to $29.50. -- Scott Faingold
The daughter of '60s comedian-activist-raw-food-diet-guru Dick Gregory, singer-producer Ayanna Gregory has shared the stage with Maya Angelou, Bill Cosby and Stevie Wonder. She's also following in Daddy's activist footsteps, singing and speaking about issues such as slavery and civil rights on her CD Beautiful Flower. The Flower child makes an appearance at 7 p.m. Friday, June 10, at The Breakfast Klub, 3711 Travis; and at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Drive. For information, call 281-682-9503 or visit www.amandlaproductions.org. Free. -- Steven Devadanam