It's difficult to combine, say, curry with french fries or a sari with jeans. But it can be achieved -- tastefully and stylishly -- with a little creativity. Such is the logic behind Urban Indian Beat, a local dance troupe that seeks to reconcile Western dance with classical Indian dance and, equivalently, the disparate cultures behind them. Fallen Sindhur, the young company's first evening-length performance, explores the female Indian-American experience ("sindhur" is the vermilion powder married Hindu women wear in their hair). The show's plot is loose: "It's more of a feeling that the audience will get from it," explains artistic director and choreographer Anjaly Thakkar, who founded the company in 2000.
The concept of fusion drives the show instead. The sounds combine contemporary jazz, Indian music and recited Hindi poetry; the costumes unite modern trends with traditional styles. And then there are the movements, which seek a graceful medium between Indian dance's formed hands and arched backs and Western dance's straight lines and pointed toes. Get your pliés with a touch of spice at 8 p.m. Friday, September 9. Runs Fridays and Saturdays through September 17. Barnevelder Arts/Movement Complex, 2201 Preston. For tickets, call 281-650-1149 or visit www.urbanindianbeat.com. $12 to $16. -- Julia Ramey
Lee Harvey's Back
Catch the bang-up numbers at the revived Assassins
In an era of musical theater that saw such tripe as Cats and The Phantom of the Opera draw big box office, was there any doubt that a darkly comic and disturbing show about successful or would-be U.S. presidential assassins would flop? Add that it opened right around the time of the Iraq war (the first one how time flies), and the fate of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins would seem obvious. But sometimes the world surprises us. Recently, the singin', shootin' and soft-shoe displays of John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald and John Hinckley Jr. have seen a revival. The show even won the 2004 Tony for Best Revival. Opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 8. Continues at 8 p.m. Friday, September 9; and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, September 10. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. For tickets, call 713-315-2525 or visit www.thehobbycenter.org. $28 to $48. -- Bob Ruggiero
Russian Back to Her
A young hottie named Tatiana gets dumped by a pretentious aristocrat in the ballet Onegin, which kicks off Houston Ballet's 36th season this week. It's based on a long-form poem by Moscow's Aleksandr Pushkin, with music by his fellow 19th-century countryman Piotr "1812 Overture" Tchaikovsky. South African-born John Cranko has choreographed the steps that tell the timeless story of Onegin, the dandy who regrets kicking Tat to the curb and tries to woo her again. Will he succeed? Find out at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 8. Show runs through September 18. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. For tickets and showtimes, call 713-227-2787 or visit www.houstonballet.org. Tickets start at $17. -- Scott Faingold
Rich Vos is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, so if you're planning to heckle him, you'd better have some serious game. The single dad and Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn regular is visiting town this week to riff on parenthood and, possibly, you. Bonnie McFarlane opens. 8:30 p.m. Thursday, September 8; 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, September 9 and 10. The Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray. For tickets, call 713-524-2333 or visit www.laffstop.com. $16.50 to $20. -- Steven Devadanam
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