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  • 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
  • Article

    Get Milk

    In 1995, the Houston Grand Opera debuted Harvey Milk, based on the life of the celebrated former San Francisco city supervisor, gay-rights activist and martyr. The opera was recorded during the San Francisco Opera's 1996 season. Released by the Telde...

    by Melissa Jacobs on June 25, 1998
  • Article

    Hooray for Old Hollywood

    The exhibit "Who Framed Robin Hood?" is presented by Houston's Hollywood Frame Gallery in conjunction with the Warner Bros. Festival of Classics -- a weeklong smorgasbord of the studio's finest movies that wraps today. "Robin Hood," which continues t...

    by Clay McNear on June 25, 1998
  • Article

    Women at Work

    The monthlong Summer Dance Festival includes a number of showcases, plus workshops and master classes by the likes of former Martha Graham principal dancer Steve Rooks (see Classes & Workshops in Calendar). Houston's all-woman Weave Dance Company ope...

    by Melissa Jacobs on June 18, 1998
  • Article

    Jailhouse Shock - At the Alley, Not About Nightingales reveals Tennessee Williams's youthful outrage

    In his late twenties and still struggling to find his voice, Tennessee Williams wrote Not About Nightingales, a violent, loud, over-the-top script full of 1930's movie-land melodrama and James Cagney tough-guy phrases. It's an imperfect play, full of...

    by Lee Williams on June 18, 1998
  • Article

    Magic Sidekick Mystery Tour

    One performer who's going to have a helluva time sorting out his W-2 forms at the end of the year is Craig Shoemaker. In addition to a steady stream of standup jobs and movie roles, not to mention his duties as host of the addictive VH-1 game show My...

    by Bob Ruggiero on June 18, 1998
  • Article

    Mother Load - Stages strikes gold with Nicky Silver's meditation on moms

    Writers have known for eons what it took psychologists years to figure out: that most of life's serious dramas start with dear old Mom. (Oedipus predates Freud by -- what -- a couple of millennia?) But the subject remains fresh on the stage, as shown...

    by Lee Williams on June 11, 1998
  • Article

    Art Is Dead. Let's Have a Drink. - At DiverseWorks, Dave Hickey asks what's wrong with bad taste

    A frequent visitor to Texas, Dave Hickey is one of those art critics whose essays achieve the elusive: They make art fun for the non-artist. He writes about art and cars, art and guitars, art and reruns of Perry Mason. He is a studied art-world reneg...

    by Shaila Dewan on June 11, 1998
  • Article

    Crime Fiction Pays

    Few contemporary authors are as closely associated with their literary alter egos as James Lee Burke is with his creation, Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux. Both hover around age 60, are recovering alcoholics and family men and live in atmospheric New...

    by Bob Ruggiero on June 11, 1998
  • Article

    Afterlife Follies - Happily Hereafter isn't quite heaven -- but it's certainly not hell

    The Music Hall will soon be nothing more than crumbled concrete, but its demise hardly means the death of the musical comedy in Houston. Besides the slew of traveling shows soon to hit town, plenty of local productions attempt to satisfy this sweet t...

    by Lee Williams on June 4, 1998
  • Article

    The Reformist School

    In the grand tradition of confined artists such as John Wayne Gacey and Elmer Wayne Henley, the Art League of Houston presents "The Prison Show: Art from Inside: Out" -- an exhibition the New York Times described as "outsider art at the grittiest of ...

    by Steve McVicker on June 4, 1998
  • Article

    Sardines and Skivvies - Noises Off shows why the sun never sets on British farce

    As I squeezed through the opening-night crowd of the Alley Theatre's Noises Off, I heard a man ask his companion, "This is British, right?" When his friend said yes, the man exclaimed, "Good!" and all but clapped his hands in approval. Why, I wo...

    by Lee Williams on May 28, 1998
  • Article

    The Day the Music Hall Died

    This week, Theatre Under the Stars bids farewell to the Music Hall, its longtime home, and settles in to wait for the construction of its new quarters, the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts; the latter's scheduled to open in 2001 on the sites now ...

    by Melissa Jacobs on May 28, 1998
  • Article

    Girls Will Be Boys - Victor/Victoria raises questions about gender, sexuality and the necessity of Julie Andrews

    Well, it took its sweet long time to get here. And it changed quite a bit from what TUTS first promised: Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews -- he the director, she the star -- just like on Broadway. But then he hemmed and hawed over casting. And her lov...

    on May 21, 1998
  • Article

    Figaro al Fresco

    At 6:30 on Friday evening, much of the audience for The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart's most popular opera, was arriving outside Wortham Center. They toted their fold-up aluminum lawn chairs, their Igloo coolers, their Batman blankets. They wore Bermuda...

    by Lee Williams on May 14, 1998
  • Article

    Sisterhood Is Powerful

    Main Street Theater bills its current production, The Sisters Rosensweig, by Wendy Wasserstein, as the highlight of its season -- and for once, such self-promotion is absolutely right. This thoughtful, if subdued, production brings to the stage a qui...

    by Lee Williams on May 7, 1998
  • Article

    Building Interest - "Art and Architecture" was held in the desert, but the subject was hardly dry

    The little red lapel pin that got me into the "Art and Architecture" symposium in Marfa, Texas, two weekends ago turned out to be a very hot item. The Chinati Foundation, which organized the symposium, was deluged with requests from Los Angeles and N...

    by Shaila Dewan on May 7, 1998
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