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Behind the Pulpit

Most people remember her as Thelma, the daughter in the mid- to-late ’70s show Good Times who played off her onscreen brother J.J. (actor Jimmie Walker) and his “dy-no-mite” catchphrase. But when Bernadette Stanis comes to Houston at the end of the month, it will be to play a wife and mother in the gospel stage play Behind the Pulpit at Bayou Music Center.

“It expresses what goes on behind the pulpit. It’s this pastor who’s trying to save his church,” says Stanis (who has, over time, also spelled her first name as Bern Nadette and BernNadette and discarded and resumed her last name). Stanis says the play speaks not only to black audiences but to anyone involved in church, particularly in these difficult economic times.

Her character in this play, the pastor’s wife Deborah, has been pouring her own money into his church, Stanis says. ''Her husband is not noticing her or the family and is really breaking that whole unit down,'' she says. 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 520 Texas. For information, call 713-230-1600 or visit $30 to $40.
March 29-April 1, 2012


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