A recent version of Don Quixote is 992 pages long, which means anyone with a life will take, oh, a year and a half to finish it. Save yourself the time and check out Houston Ballet's version of Cervantes's famed tale, which has all the book's romance, comedy and cultural satisfaction, minus the back strain from toting the damn thing around. Choreographer Ben Stevenson's rendition condenses the tale of the wandering knight, his loyal Sancho Panza and the love-struck Kitri and Basilio as they stumble -- in this case, gracefully -- toward happiness.
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The ballet is traditional, but the attitude's not: It's a comedy, through and through, and a festive one, complete with ruffly, intricate costumes, a transporting Spanish set and a massive fiesta to bring down the curtain. Oh, and featured soloist Sergio Torrado -- a Spaniard who just joined Houston Ballet and will be playing Quixote -- is totally hot.
June 16-17, 7:30 p.m.; June 17-18, 2 p.m.