Known for his popular children's books Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic, Shel Silverstein is considered an angel by most parents. Wrong. In fact, Silverstein, who died in 1999, was first and foremost an adult-oriented writer. His artwork and poems debuted in an insert in Playboy in 1956, and the collaboration would continue throughout his career (when in Los Angeles, Silverstein crashed at Hef's place). And while the poet penned a little more than 400 children's poems, he also wrote about 800 songs for the adult market. The artist's darker, sometimes X-rated material might be one of the 20th century's best-kept secrets.Fan Factory Theater Company aims to shatter Silverstein's angelic image with An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein, ten vignettes of outrageous, dirty and thought-provoking work from the man who gave us The Giving Tree. In "Bus Stop," a man accosts a woman, spouting a litany of slang words for breasts. The woman turns the tables on the man with a hilarious list of her own. And "Buy One Get One Free" presents two hookers offering the deal of a lifetime. Better get a baby-sitter. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays from Friday, April 11, through May 3. Midtown Arts Center, 1423 Holman. For information, call 832-465-4563. $10. -- Troy Schulze
Out of Africa
"Wading in the Water: Africa and Beyond" is the first in a series of Voices Breaking Boundaries performances celebrating African and African-American culture. For the show, Kuumba House dancer Tonya Pennie choreographed historical dances that reflect Africa's diversity, from the smooth and mellow movements of South African dance to the high-energy West African yokoue. Performers will move to the music of the Project Row Houses Youth Drummers, led by master drummer Abu Bakr. The show also includes readings by poets Michelle Rainford, who recently received a grant from the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County, and Cedric Ary, a wordsmith whose fiery delivery has brought him fame in the Houston scene. 4 p.m. Sunday, April 13.DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway. For information, call 713-223-8346 or visit www.diverseworks.org. $3 to $5. -- Felicia Johnson-Leblanc
Streb/Ringside slams into Houston
Choreographer Elizabeth Streb doesn't shy away from pain. "Be willing to get hurt," she has said, "but not so hurt that you can't come back again." Her company Streb/Ringside combines dance, athletics, extreme sports and stunts into action-packed performances. In her latest production, Streb Go! Action Heroes, dancers fall from beams onto mats, slam into walls, pack themselves into boxes and whiz past each other on trampolines. As if that weren't enough stimulation, the action takes place against a backdrop of video images depicting Evel Knievel, monster trucks and Harry Houdini. 8 p.m. Friday, April 11, and Saturday, April 12. Cullen Theater, Wortham Center, 500 Texas Avenue. For information, call 713-227-4772 or visit www.spahouston.org. $29 to $45. -- Cathy Matusow
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Carrie Watts, the protagonist of Texas writer Horton Foote's Trip to Bountiful, escapes from her son and daughter-in-law's Houston apartment and goes in search of her childhood home in Bountiful, Texas. She doesn't find the house she remembers, but she does, at long last, find peace of mind. The play runs from Friday, April 11, through May 10. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas Avenue. For a full schedule, call 713-228-8421 or visit www.alleytheatre.org. $20 to $50. -- Cathy Matusow