Hmmm, an administration that feeds its public lies and uses scare tactics to enforce blind conformity...Sound familiar? Well, it did -- at least a little bit -- to Robert Thoth and Rebekah French of Freneticore, who are presenting a multimedia/dance version of George Orwell's 1984 this weekend. "As a nation we essentially rationalize our wars and our actions based on a mixture of fear and bad information," says Thoth. The ten-member local troupe will interpret Orwell's bleak "negative utopia" through dance, video, spoken word and "'80s electro-pop." French's choreography has the Thought Police working it like "break-dancing Nazis" in gas masks and "storm trooper apparel," while the forbidden lovers Winston and Julia engage in more traditional ballet and ballroom movement. Thoth also created a montage of war footage to enhance the narrative.
"Overall it's pretty dark stuff," he says. Both Thoth and French are careful to note, though, that the piece is still a work of fiction. "We're not trying to be politically heavy-handed," says French. "We're trying to tell a story that will make people think and will be entertaining." Draw your own parallels at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays from Friday, March 25, through April 9. Helios, 411 Westheimer. For information, call 713-222-2164. $10. - Julia Ramey
Better Late than Never
Comedian Eddie Brill is Letterman's man
Honestly, no comedian wants to spend a lifetime as an opener. But if you're Eddie Brill, and you've managed to secure the highly coveted warm-up spot for David Letterman's Late Show, you learn to make the most of your career move. In addition to ensuring that Letterman's audience gets its pre-Dave chuckles, Brill books all the comedians you see on the show. Having appeared in more than 100 television shows in six countries, Brill promises to be a good laugh, with his funny accents and his riffs on advertising. But we think the real humor will come from watching the local wannabe-Letterman comedians who'll no doubt line up to share their material with him. 8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24, and 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26. The Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray. For tickets and information, call 713-524-2333 or visit www.laffstop.com. $15 to $19. - Steven Devadanam
Sweet and Lowdown
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The name's supposed to sound creepy: The Sweet Flesh Room is about mental illness, serial killers and chronic disease, for chrissake. The presentation of Netherlands-based, Canadian-born choreographer André Gingras and The Hague's Korzo Productions is a dark, macabre combination of dance and new media. All three performers carry video cameras with them as they dance; the video is projected over, under and behind them, performing with them. The show basically explores how television distorts reality. Finally, a chance to vent your American Idol-induced rage. 8 p.m. Thursday, March 24, through Saturday, March 26. Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex, 2201 Preston. For information, call 713-335-3445 or visit www.diverseworks.org. $15. - Julia Ramey
If the thought of piling into a church pew on Easter Sunday makes your skin crawl, join the masses at Unity Day Houston. As you lounge outside at Miller Outdoor Theatre, get your hallelujah on with the 300-person Unity Day Choir and relax to the sounds of Regina Belle, Martha Munizzi and Tiffany Evans. A kids program kicks off at 2 p.m.; concerts begin at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 27. 100 Concert Drive. For information, call 281-431-9393 or visit www.walkerentertainmentgroup.com. Free. - Steven Devadanam