Half and Half

The cast of Split
Courtesy of Tangent Productions

THU 7/22

Breaking up is hard to do, but Michael Weller's Split makes it look like it might have been a little easier in the early '80s. During the course of the play, we watch the seemingly happy Paul (Scott Banks) and Carol (Alice Fulks) as their marriage of six years goes impulsively but irretrievably south in the course of a single conversation. The title refers not only to the end of the relationship but also to the structure of the play itself, actually composed of two one-acts. The first, "Abroad," explores the effects of the divorce on those around Paul and Carol; the second, "At Home," flashes pointedly back, allowing us to witness the fateful argument in its entirety. Tangent Productions has consciously brought Split to the stage as a sort of period piece about social mores. "Michael Weller totally wrote about his generation," says Tangent's Kevin Brown. "People who were in their late twenties and early thirties between 1978 and 1981 were energetic and exploratory in a way that might seem alien to us today, and they had a tremendous amount of difficulty maintaining relationships." Yeah, up-and-coming yuppies sure had it tough. 8 p.m. Thursday, July 22. Through Saturday, July 31. 1415 California. For information, call 713-385-5317. $12 to $17. -- Scott Faingold

The Emperor's New Schtick

WED 7/28

Upcoming Events

Comedian Jimmy Pardo is short -- short in stature (five foot four) and thoroughly short-tempered. If the level of audience response displeases him, Pardo has been known to suggest that audience members smash their glasses and stab the shards into their necks. Can you say Napoleon complex? Pardo's comedy draws heavily on the classic "pompous ass" formula, honed to perfection by '70s all-stars Chevy Chase and Bill Murray. He's got the killer deadpan, the superior attitude and the smug delivery down pat. But he just can't lay off the height thing. Well, more power to you, short man. 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 28. Through Saturday, July 31. Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray. For a complete schedule, call 713-524-2333 or visit www.laffstop.com. $12.50 to $16.50. -- Lisa Simon

Kill or Be Killed

THU 7/22

While the contemporary cuckold would have a high-powered divorce attorney on speed dial, the hubby in Frederick Knott's Dial "M" for Murder plots his betrothed's demise for a full year. But things go tremendously awry when the lady instead kills her killer with a large pair of scissors. In conjunction with the play, the Alley Theatre is sponsoring a screening of the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock film version at the Alamo Drafthouse. But leave your scissors at home, since alcohol and cutting instruments don't mix. Just ask John Wayne Bobbitt. Screening at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 22. 1000 West Oaks Mall, 281-556-0204. $7. Play opens at 8 p.m. Friday, July 23, and runs through August 8. 615 Texas, 713-228-8421. $17. -- Bob Ruggiero

Pastor Prime

WED 7/28

These days, there are only a handful of rockabilly artists (see John Evans) who don't make you want to slap them into 2004, and Reverend Horton Heat is slowly losing his status as one of them. The Rev mostly preaches to his choir of bloodhound-loyal fans, but his energetic antics, if not his getup, still entertain newbies. 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 28. The Engine Room, 1515 Pease. For information, call 713-654-7846 or visit www.engineroomhouston.net. $18. -- Steven Devadanam

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