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  • Article

    People's Art - Personalities are as diverse as the art at Blaffer Gallery

    The art world has always been a rather elitist one: The critics' vocabulary is so specialized, and the collectors' checks are so large. Agents always appear to be on the hunt for the next great discovery. Well, for the 20th century, those provocateur...

    by Paul Perry on August 27, 1998
  • Article

    Party Hearty - Clever and comical T3 ends too quickly

    Infernal Bridegroom Productions calls its red-haired, voluptuous, sassy-lipped actress Tamarie Cooper the "Lucille Ball of the Houston theater set." But with her new play Tamalalia 3, currently at Stages Theatre, Cooper proves that her thoughtfully i...

    by Lee Williams on August 20, 1998
  • Article

    Arias for All - Ebony Guild excels for diverse opera fans

    Opera never truly belonged to the people until the Italians began religiously dedicating it to the masses a century ago. In Rome, it's not unusual to see almost nothing but families basking in the cool, autumn air and the melodies of Mozart's Cosi Fa...

    by Cynthia Greenwood on August 20, 1998
  • Article

    Windy City Wonder - Smart and relevant Chicago is a venerable charmer

    The much ballyhooed, award-winning revival of Chicago has finally come to Houston in all its glitzy, gorgeous, black-lace and bare-skin glory. Lowdown lawyering (is there any other kind?), cheap, tawdry women, and our oozy adoration of fame and fortu...

    by Lee Williams on August 13, 1998
  • Article

    In the Thicke of Life - Chicago star has come a long way from sitcoms

    Most of us past the age of 15 remember Alan Thicke as the tender-loving psychiatrist/father from Growing Pains. More recently, he did a convincing stint as Dennis Dupree, the bombastic talk-show host on Hope and Gloria. He's also written TV specials ...

    by Lee Williams on August 13, 1998
  • Article

    Shop Art - Sculptor Williams has a Monkey on his back

    The third and final exhibit at LAX Gallery, May I Help You?, by artist John Williams, can be viewed as a thumbnail sketch of one of the art world's stronger currents, too new even to have been tagged with a name that sticks. Glutted with colored plas...

    by Shaila Dewan on August 13, 1998
  • Article

    Masterful Moonlit Lake - Outdoor performance brings out the best in Houston Ballet

    Ballet historians agree that the first productions of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre, in 1877, were uninspiring. Leading lady Pauline Karpokova was past her prime and just not good enough to play the difficult role ...

    by Cynthia Greenwood on August 13, 1998
  • Article

    Raw and Wonderful - Menil gives meaning to outsider art

    Outsider art -- held up as a model of raw expression, passionate integrity, uncurbed innovation and psychic intensity -- is enjoying a high profile these days. Loosely covering schizophrenics, compulsive "mediums" and untutored artists, it is now a l...

    by Susie Kalil on August 6, 1998
  • Article

    Shakespeare with a Twist - Quirky Gentlemen twins with belabored Lear at Miller

    Every flaming hot summer for close to a quarter of a century, the University of Houston has been bringing Shakespeare to the public. It's a fine gift. The shows are absolutely free. And though the plays are performed outdoors, these August nights are...

    by Lee Williams on August 6, 1998
  • Article

    Bugs to Beauty - Mehretu maps out identity at Barbara Davis Gallery

    In William T. Vollman's epic 1987 novel Ye Bright and Risen Angels, the author posits a clandestine revolution by the world's population of insects, who wage war in protest of eons of being swatted, squashed and exterminated. In the course of the sto...

    by Shaila Dewan on July 30, 1998
  • Article

    Kids' Night Out - Silly Scapino best suits the childish

    Scapino, the newest offering from Actors Theatre, together with Raven Productions, is "silly, childish and adolescent." The title character, Scapino (George Brock), says so himself, straight out to the audience. Of course, he also excuses the loopy s...

    by Lee Williams on July 30, 1998
  • Article

    Dada's Little Dividend

    The late Andy Kaufman was the king of discomfiting comedy. Fearless and reckless, he pushed his muse to extremes of near- and actual violence, shaking the classic image of the "funnyman" to its core. Rightly famed for his portrayal of the gentle...

    by Clay McNear on July 30, 1998
  • Article

    Sweeney's a Sweet Success

    Phillip Duggins, Masquerade Theatre's founder and producer, has lots of chutzpah -- you have to give him that. How else can you explain the audacity this tiny, aspiring theater group had to choose Sweeney Todd as its second season-opener? Fortunately...

    by Lee Williams on July 23, 1998
  • Article

    Trunk Show

    So a guy goes into a bar and sees another guy sitting there nursing a beer, looking incredibly depressed. The two strike up a conversation, and the first guy asks the second guy why he's down. "I hate my job," the second guy says. "Where do ...

    by Mark V. Moorhead on July 16, 1998
  • Article

    Child's Plays - Cures for the summertime blues

    Traditionally, the long, droopy days of summer are when theaters go dark -- at least for adults. Children's plays, on the other hand, start happening in a big way during these free-at-last months. And if you have some antsy-pants little ones stuck at...

    by Lee Williams on July 9, 1998
  • Article

    I Was a Prep School Outcast - At Stages, Rob Nash re-creates the agonies of his freshman year

    The lights come up on a bleached-platinum blond Rob Nash, dressed in baggy jeans, a dark, faded T-shirt and worn-down, butter-soft sneakers. The black stage is practically empty; in one corner lies a long black box; in another stands a chair. That's ...

    by Lee Williams on July 2, 1998
  • Article

    Not to Be Sneezed At

    Main Street Theater's version of Hay Fever, written by the famously calculating Noel Coward, kept its Saturday-night audience laughing out loud this past weekend. In this play, Coward, famous for his oh-so-droll and erudite take on the world, pokes f...

    by Lee Williams on July 2, 1998
  • Article

    Seeing the Light

    As the Contemporary Arts Museum guard pulls back the curtain to James Turrell's installation Night Light, he instructs you to follow a handrail through a winding corridor into a pitch-dark room. Ascending a ramp, you cling blindly to the walls and ra...

    by Susie Kalil on July 2, 1998
  • Article

    Good Shepard

    Sam Shepard fans have one last weekend to check out Simpatico, currently running at Actors Theatre of Houston. The play is typical Shepard: Lights come up on two men. One lies drunk or hungover in his shorts, on a single twin-bed mattress. The other ...

    by Lee Williams on June 25, 1998
  • Article

    Flash and the Phantom

    It's true. There's about a gajillion Phantom of the Opera fans in this world. And pretty close to half of them must live right here in the Bayou City. Just hang out in the lobby of Houston's Jones Hall during the show's intermission and you'll spot '...

    by Lee Williams on June 25, 1998
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