Big Chicken

Comedian/pitchman Bruce Bruce wings it at the Improv

Jokes about your favorite fast-food joint may seem lame. But Bruce Bruce is laughing all the way to the bank, thanks to his riffs on wings 'n' thighs. The Atlanta-based comic, who clocks in at six feet and 390 pounds, was rewarded for the jokes he makes about Popeyes with a yearlong contract that has him cracking jokes about the chain in commercials. The deal has other benefits too, like free chicken for life at any participating Popeyes. (Suddenly, his body stats make more sense.)

This fall, Bruce will host another season of BET's comedy-competition show Coming to the Stage; he'll also star opposite Larry the Cable Guy in the upcoming movie The Health Inspector. He's currently touring the country and joking about life and, well, combo meals. Corporate sponsors, take note: Bruce Bruce is open to becoming a spokesperson for whoever gives him free stuff. "I also do jokes about Krispy Kreme and Ford trucks," he says with a chuckle, "and I'm waiting for them to call." 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, August 12 and 13; 8 p.m. Sunday, August 14. 7620 Katy Freeway, suite 431. For tickets, call 713-333-8800 or visit www.improv.com. $22 to $25. -- Craig D. Lindsey

Local scribes live up to the HYPE at the Alley Theatre

Bruce Bruce
Courtesy of Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce
Frog Prince
Courtesy of FrenetiCore
Frog Prince
Jaston Williams and Joe Sears
T.L. Boston
Jaston Williams and Joe Sears

The Alley Theatre's HYPE program is one of Houston's best-kept secrets. Short for Houston's Young Playwright's Exchange, the program offers a few talented local teen writers the chance to work with performers and professional playwrights to develop their own scripts and get a feel for what it takes to write a finished play. Six plays by the high schoolers will be performed this weekend at the Alley Theatre in a three-day showcase of staged readings. There are dramas, like Candice Darden's Out of Time, about a character named Violet who retreats to the woods to escape her abusive father. And there are comedies, like Camille Battle's Stickittodaman, in which renegade student Kosta tries to take on the public school system. (Lotsa luck there, Kosta.) Readings run Friday, August 12, through Sunday, August 14. 615 Texas Avenue. For tickets and a schedule, call 713-228-8421 or visit www.alleytheatre.org. $5. -- Lee Williams

Deviant Frog

The Grimm Brothers' tales were pretty dark to begin with, but taboo-happy poet Anne Sexton made them darker still in her interpretive book Transformations. Now FrenetiCore has created a work called Deviations based on Sexton's poems. This hybrid of contemporary dance and tailor-made video projections will include the likes of Sleeping Beauty and The Frog Prince. The show offers the following lines by Sexton: "Frog is my father's genitals / Frog is a malformed doorknob." So -- in case that excerpt doesn't make it clear -- don't bring the kids. 9 p.m. Friday, August 12. Runs through August 20. Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex, 2201 Preston. For tickets, call 713-529-1819 or visit www.barnevelder.org. $8 to $12. -- Julia Ramey

Tex in the City

WED 8/17
Playing everything from smut-chasing, gossipy old women to Klan-supporting yokels, Joe Sears and Jaston Williams have brought the kooky citizens of Tuna, Texas, to audiences nationwide since 1982. This week, the comedic duo showcases the fictional small town -- and its nutty cast of characters -- in a free performance of Greater Tuna at Miller Outdoor Theatre. 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, August 17 and 18. 100 Concert Drive. For information, call 713-284-8350 or visit www.milleroutdoortheatre.com. Free. -- Steven Devadanam

 
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