Danny Magner and Jason Brown stumble onto the stage, passing a jug of booze back and forth and sloppily strolling about in drunken rhythm. They're the Lurch brothers in FrenetiCore's Sacred Harp, and they surely live up to their surname. Billed as a Southern gothic morality play, The Sacred Harp centers on an interracial love affair between Green Girl (Lindsey McGill) and Andre Johnson (Darrell Joe). When the two first meet, they dance together in exuberant passion, only to discover the white townsfolk aren't too pleased with their burgeoning love. After all, this is a town in thrall to an evil evangelist who preaches about fire and brimstone to a soulless mass.
Yes, this is a modern dance performance with Christian overtones, but no, it's nothing like Footloose. Rebekah French's choreography and Robert Thoth's score keep the story moving along gloriously, tacitly teaching the lesson that true symbolism is only conflated by words. If you really want to make a point, all you have to do is dance. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, August 27 and 28. Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex, 2201 Preston. For information, call 713-540-7634 or visit www.barnevelder.org. $10. -- Keith Plocek
Catch the Scattered Pages at the Rhythm Room
Though the band's bassist-vocalist is named Kurt Coburn, the Houston-bred Scattered Pages have much more in common with the soft, lush sounds of the Flaming Lips or Belle & Sebastian than the grunge icon. On SP's 2003 full-length debut, Meet the Americant, Coburn and bandmates Brandon Hancock (lead vocals, guitar) and Andy McWilliams (drums) create a soft-spoken sonic landscape full of quirky characters and settings also akin to Ray Davies and Village Green-era Kinks (complete with the occasional faux British enunciation). Fans of orchestral pop will like numbers including "Americant," "Rachel," "My Negative" and "The Unthinkable." And when the band does turn up the volume on a couple of tracks -- as in "Discotheque" -- the effect is jarring. 9 p.m. Friday, August 27. 1815 Washington Avenue. For information, call 713-863-0943 or visit www.rhythmroomhouston.com. $10. -- Bob Ruggiero
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If you're the type of person who sees every action as a personal affront -- from full service at the gas pump to civil wars in Africa -- then Jimmy Shubert is your kind of comedian. He fits neatly into the comedic spectrum somewhere between Colin Quinn (who's more self-deprecating) and Michael Savage (who's more likely to burst a blood vessel). Shubert's targets include such little-used fodder as homosexuals, airport security and Muslims. And then he rounds it out with talk about flatulence and body hair -- worthy topics both. 8:30 p.m. Thursday, August 26; 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, August 27 and 28. Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray. For information, call 713-544-2333 or visit www.laffstop.com. $12.50 to $16.50. -- Julie Ramey
Don't Cry for Her
To some, Eva Peron was a savior. To others, she was a fake. Either way, the onetime first lady of Argentina makes for a good story. This weekend, the sharply dressed, enigmatic heroine takes the stage at the Crighton Players' rendition of Evita. 8 p.m. Friday, August 27. Through September 12. 234 North Main in Conroe. For information, call 936-441-7469 or visit www.crightonplayers.org. $10 to $17. -- Steven Devadanam