Joel Sandel and Doris Davis
Joel Sandel and Doris Davis
Debbie Porter

Flat Fee

Its not a bad deal: In Promises, Promises, young corporate drone and nice guy Chuck Baxter (Joel Sandel) agrees to lend his pad to company executives for extramarital trysts. In exchange, hes promised a raise, a promotion and, hopefully, free laundry service. But things get messy when Chuck starts to like one of the dumped trystees (Doris Davis), who then tries to commit suicide. The play, based on the 1968 musical of the same name, which in turn is based on the 1960 film The Apartment, is actually warm holiday fare. Chuck finds out drumroll, please what really matters in life, and, of course, hilarity ensues! (What else would you expect from one-man-genre Neil Simon on the words and cheesemeisters Burt Bacharach and Hal David on the music?) If youre up for spending your New Years Eve with horny executives and the schlubs who hook them up, visit Main Street Theater on Friday, December 31, for a gala performance, which includes champagne, gourmet desserts, a live band and dancing. Show opens Thursday, December 30, and runs through January 22. 4617 Montrose. For information and showtimes, call 713-524-6706 or visit $13 preview; $20 to $30 regular; $75 New Years Eve. Bob Ruggiero

Sounds Like a Party

Super Happy Fun Land brings the New Years noise

Music is overrated. Think about it: predetermined chords, comforting mama-heartbeat rhythms. Dont even get us started on harmony so predictable, so inside-the-box. Noise is where its at, especially when it comes to partying. After all, its no coincidence that more noisemakers are sold on New Years Eve than any other time of the year. The good folks at Super Happy Fun Land know this and are doing their spiritual duty by hosting their annual New Years Noise Fest. Eardrums will bleed, seizures will be had, and all conventional wisdom about tone production will be ignored as 15 noise acts like Ohios Black Mayonnaise, Californias Rainbow Blanket and Houstons very own Organ Failure do the Auld Lang Syne deep into 2005. 8 p.m. Friday, December 31. 2610 Ashland. For information, call 713-880-2100 or visit $8. Scott Faingold

Comedy Countdown

The folks at Radio Music Theatre want you to know that they wont be here to entertain you forever. In 2009, Steve and Vicki Farrell and Rich Mills will close the door to their venerable tradition of kooky stage comedy. Things start winding down tonight at their New Years Eve festivities, which feature the groups final performance of Last Night at Orabellas. There also will be a catered meal, champagne at midnight and live rock tunes and dancing courtesy of the Radio Music Theatre band. See what kind of party these actors can stage at 8 p.m. Friday, December 31. 2623 Colquitt. For information, call 713-522-7722 or visit $59, includes meal. Steven Devadanam

Keen on Country

Amateur musicians, heres your moment. New Years Eve revelers can blow their plastic horns in accompaniment to the country rhythms of Robert Earl Keen, known for his blend of sensitive storytelling and upbeat, good-times tunes. Houston welcomes back the homegrown singer with hats, horns and a balloon drop, beginning at 9 p.m. Friday, December 31. The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. For information and tickets, call 713-629-3700 or visit Tickets start at $27.50. Julia Ramey


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