It Was 20 Years Ago Today

If it weren't for Jerry Brown's failed bid at the presidency, Jason Nodler might not be celebrating 20 years of avant-garde theater in Houston. Nodler came to Houston after graduating from college to mount his musical play In the Thunderloo. That project was put on hold when he joined Jerry Brown's political campaign. Brown lost and Nodler returned to Thunderloo, getting some help from Tamarie Cooper and several other friends. That core group, now known as Catastrophic Theatre, has grown and changed over the years, but it's remained true to the idea that theater should shock, mystify, delight, bewilder and amaze audiences. Marking two decades since that first production, It Was 20 Years Ago Today is part party, part fundraising gala, part showcase and an extra part party thrown in for good measure. Company members will perform songs from past shows including last year's Fleaven (Miki Johnson's farce about rollerskating disco stars), Bluefinger (Nodler's 2010 rock opera based on the album of the same name by Black Francis) and several of the Tamarie Cooper Shows (Cooper's life translated into glitzy over-the-top song and dance spectaculars).

There will be lots to eat and drink and guests are encouraged to don their best 1990s regalia (styled after Monica Lewinski, O.J. Simpson, Billy Ray Cyrus and the Teenaged Mutant Turtles).

''We never thought it would last and here we are, 20 years later,'' laughs Nodler.

8 p.m. Last Concert Café, 1403 Nance. For information, call 713-522-2723 or visit $60 general admission.
Sat., April 27, 8 p.m., 2013

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