Infernal Bridegroom Productions has always had a knack for taking your average ne'er-do-well and making her into a star. Featuring a cast of 76 players, The Hotel Play is guaranteed to be chock-full of new faces. Written by Wallace Shawn (the "inconceivable!" guy from The Princess Bride), this cult play is set during a single day at a tropical hotel. Seen through the eyes of the omniscient hotel clerk, our crazy world is refracted with Alice in Wonderland logic and surreal buffoonery. "I really like the play a lot," says Anthony Barilla, the director of IBP's biggest project to date. "It's really funny and very beautiful. We see a lot of people for very brief moments, which makes what they're doing seem a little stranger than it actually is. There is some strangeness I could tell you about, but it would ruin the end of the play, which ends in a place you don't expect."
"Even the nonactors are fantastic," he says. "Everybody's brought something really cool to the show, so no one's just taking up space." With all those people squeezed into the bandbox that is the Axiom, that's a good thing. Opens at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 29. Through Saturday, May 22. The Axiom, 2524 McKinney. For information, call 713-522-8443 or visit www.infernalbridegroom.com. $6 to $15. -- D.L. Groover
The man brings his show to the Laff Stop
Joe Rogan is one lucky bastard. By rights he should still be driving limos, working construction or even delivering papers in Boston. But hosting two mega-successful TV shows, Fear Factor and The Man Show? Or spending five years on NBC's hit sitcom NewsRadio? We're talking Joe, whose biggest gig at one time was as an MC at a strip club, right? Right. His success could've happened to a nicer guy, but probably not a tougher one. Rogan, a U.S. tae kwon do grand champion, struts his badass-shtick on the comedy circuit, not television. So don't expect the pleasantly dumb guy from NewsRadio at his shows, but rather a ranting, potty-mouthed howler from the Lenny Bruce/Richard Pryor school. The guy who once noted that "behind every porn star is a creepy uncle" kicks it at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 29, through Sunday, May 2. The Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray. For a full schedule, call 713-524-2333 or visit www.laffstop.com. $20 to $29.50. -- Steven Devadanam
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Dance Theater Workshop, the premiere showcase for emerging dance talent, is making a pit stop in Houston with two of its recent finds, Donna Uchizono Company and Headlong Dance Theater. Uchizono's "Butterflies from My Hand" opens with a dancer suspended in air, hanging onto a red curtain. The piece dramatically unfolds as the dancer cuts the material she's clinging to. "This dance poses provocative questions about the possibilities of loss and vulnerability and the power gained through the act of letting go," says Uchizono. Headlong Dance Theater, a dance/comedy troupe notorious for irreverent performances, shares the bill. 8 p.m. Saturday, May 1. Cullen Theater in the Wortham Center, 501 Texas. For information, call 713-227-4772 or visit www.spahouston.org. $26 to $40. -- Nancy Galeota-Wozny
It took k.d. lang completely outing herself -- when she appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair being shaved by Cindy Crawford -- for focus to be rightly shifted from her lesbianism to her music, where it belongs. Her velvety, Patsy Cline-esque crooning is downright orchestral, making her gig this weekend with the Houston Symphony a perfect fit. Lang performs at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 30 and May 1. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. $35 to $90. -- Steven Devadanam