Often confused with Nashville Pussy -- and never mind that the band was formed in Virginia -- Alabama Thunderpussy knows exactly where it's going with its twist on the Kentucky-fried-rock formula. With nods to old-school metal and vintage Southern rock (and a belief that two lead guitarists are better than one), ATP exudes the kind of raw energy and musicianship that Lynyrd Skynyrd boasted at its peak in the 1970s -- before its flaccid resurrection a decade later. Still, these are anxious times for a band that is barely into the second week of a national tour, wondering if fans will take to new vocalist Johnny Weils (from Ohio, by the way), who replaces Johnny Throckmorton. The fans might be pleasantly surprised. On the latest CD, Fulton Hill, the band vacillates between hooky, melodic grooves (check out the surprisingly Neil Youngish track "Three Stars") and heavier, riff-laden crunchers like "Lunar Eclipse." If played at full volume over loud speakers, there's more than enough raunch 'n' roll here to drive a Panamanian despot from his lair. 10 p.m. Monday, June 7. The Axiom, 2524 McKinney. For information, call 713-522-8443. $10. -- Greg Barr
The Young Urban Comedians' Club encourages heckling
Great. Mystery Science Theater 3000 -- that TV show where Mike, Crow and Tom heckle B movies -- hasn't been off the air for six months, and now there's another live screening version? But wait: In "Theater of the Damned," audience participation is encouraged (as opposed to the "we're funny, you're not" comedian-hosted versions). The organizers are even offering prizes for the best zingers. Your material: KISS's 1978 KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park. Our face-painted heroes battle an evil theme-park owner. They sun themselves in full makeup and hoods. Singer Paul Stanley shoots lasers from his eyes. "Space" Ace Frehley can teleport. Drummer Peter Criss is a cat, sort of. Oh, and Simmons's nine-inch tongue can -- well, that one's just too easy. 8 p.m. Friday, June 4. Aurora Picture Show, 800 Aurora. For information, call 832-630-5828 or visit www.theaterofthedamned.com. $5. -- Steven Devadanam
From the men's understated approach, like male models strolling down a runway, to the women's delicate, pixie-like movements, the City Dance Company is just plain fun to watch. Super-hip and based in jazz, urban, classical, tap and ballet, the energetic group's upcoming Urban Mix III show is a choice sampler of crowd-pleasers: "Jitterbug" is an old-time romp (reminiscent of a certain Gap commercial), while the soul-inspired "Intrigue Suite" is more sensual and artistic than any R&B video out there. An evening with this diverse company is well worth top dollar; that this performance is free makes it a must-attend. 8 p.m. Saturday, June 5. Miller Outdoor Theatre, 100 Concert Drive. For information, call 713-529-6100 or visit www.houstoncitydance.com. Free. -- Steven Devadanam
Shakespeare for Slackers
Want to stick it to your buddy who skipped English Lit all semester? Take him to the Ensemble Theatre's The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). You'll catch all the Bard's 37 comedies, tragedies and histories in one performance -- one slapstick, three-man parody performance, that is. Here, Othello is a rapper, and Hamlet mourns a dead General Hospital star. 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 3 p.m. Sundays. Through June 27. 3535 Main. For information, call 713-520-0055. $12 to $20. -- Steven Devadanam
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