Joel Jams

Joel Jams
Joan Marcus

TUE 4/12

Oh, so you don't like Billy Joel? More into, like, Franz Ferdinand? Listen: A Billy Joel phase is like the chicken pox. We all had it when we were younger, and if you seriously haven't gotten it yet, you will when you're older. And then it will be really, really bad. So sure, you can sip a mojito in your ironic T-shirt while the rest of Houston sees Movin' Out, but we say fess up to your onetime obsession and go. The Twyla Tharp-choreographed musical/dance extravaganza, set to 25 of Joel's hits, is pretty damn entertaining, thanks especially to the high-energy dance moves. You may smirk as the strung-together plot finds root in "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant," but you'll soon find yourself mouthing the words to "Uptown Girl." By the time "Goodbye Saigon" plays and Eddie, long since broken up with Brenda, has come back from Vietnam a broken man -- though still able to do a flawless grande jeté -- the tears will be streaming down your face, and you'll be screaming for a "River of Dreams" encore. Show opens at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, and runs through April 24. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. For tickets and information, call 713-693-2692 or visit $20 to $69. - Julia Ramey

Naughty Republicans

Dos chicas relives the debauchery of Brechtian Berlin

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Given that World War I had just wreaked havoc on their country, and the ominous cloud of Hitler's regime loomed overhead, it's no surprise that in the years that followed, folks in Berlin were often sexed up and toked up. The existential hell of life in the Weimar Republic was assuaged by drugs, cabarets, brothels and S&M clubs, creating the perfect setting for For Those Who Live in Cities, a new play based on the poetry of playwright Bertolt Brecht, adapted for the stage by Bob Morgan of dos chicas theater commune. Brecht -- a product of pre-WWII Germany -- penned ballads, sonnets, satires and other verse on urban themes. Through song and some dance, you'll meet vamps, whores and revolutionaries who tell a tale of debauchery, lust and loss. Opens at 8 p.m. Friday, April 8. Show runs at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through April 30. Free Range Studios, 1719 Live Oak, Suite E. For tickets and information, call 832-283-0858 or visit $10. - Steven Devadanam

Cho 'Nuff

THU 4/7

Conservative nutjobs, take note: Margaret Cho is here to pick you off and kill audiences (with laughter). In town for her fourth tour in five years, Cho's on the attack, filling her "Assassin" show with biting lampoons of current events that raise her ire -- especially the religious right. Expect diatribes on things like Dubya and gay marriage -- and a spot-on impersonation of Björk -- while she lavishes love on her core audience: the GLBT community, women, people of color and anyone who feels underserved and ignored by the status quo. 8 p.m. Thursday, April 7. Hobby Center for Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. For tickets and information, call 713-315-2525 or visit $29.50 to $43.50. -- Eric A.T. Dieckman

Hey, Get a Room

FRI 4/8

Long before it was a clich, Lucy Honeychurch went to Italy and fell in love. Check out the opera version of A Room with a View this weekend, based on E.M. Forster's 1908 social comedy, and see whether Lucy decides to return home -- and to her stodgy British fianc. Show opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 8, and runs through Monday, April 11. Moores Opera House, University of Houston, entrance No. 16 (off Cullen Boulevard). For tickets, and showtimes, call 713-743-3313 or visit $10 to $15. - Julia Ramey

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