From the group that brought you Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and Sadomasochistic Xmas comes Envy the Cockroach, a pitch-black comedy about chicks in the pen. The new production from dos chicas theater commune takes its name from the liner notes of Johnny Cash's Live at Folsom Prison album, which describe a jailbird watching one little critter hightail it under the bars of his jail cell. Such is also the cold reality of the inmates at Oakdale Reformatory for Women. Set at Oakdale in the present day -- at a time when the female prisoner population is growing exponentially -- the patchwork collection of vignettes and flashbacks comes from the perspective of three inmates who live in a world more bleak and dysfunctional than the Man in Black ever imagined. There's less Caged Heat lesbo intrigue and fewer catfights than you might expect from dos chicas, but, even with the camp toned down, there's still enough sexual-sadistic innuendo and raunchiness to make you fidget in your seat.
Making audiences squirm is what dos chicas does best, only now the group is laying off the filth and focusing on environmental psychology: the cruel, cyclical pattern of violence that so many women face. Opens at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 11. Through June 26. Helios, 411 Westheimer. For a full schedule, call 832-283-0858 or visit www.geocities.com/dccommune. $5. -- Wendy Gilmartin
Theres more to Bob Saget than bad puns
First impressions can be misleading. Just because Bob Saget made his mark on Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos doesn't mean his stand-up routine is clean, cute or punny. Some audience members buy tickets in the expectation that their favorite TV entertainer will tickle their G-rated funny bone -- only to leave early in utter shock at his foul-mouthed antics. The guy is funny -- funny enough to remain in the comedy business for a long time -- which means that his comedy shtick, at least, avoids cutesy wordplay involving babies and kitty-cats. 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 10; 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 11 and 12. The Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray. For information, call 713-524-2333 or visit www.laffstop.com. $22 to $25. -- Eric A.T. Dieckman
The Simple Life THU 6/10
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While choreographers have increasingly turned to glitzy productions, rock concert lighting and sex-sex-sex to sell ballet to the masses, the arrival of La Fille Mal Gardée in Houston is a breath of fresh air. This simple French tale of farm boy in love with a farm girl (who is promised to another) made its debut in the late 1700s. The modern Fille was created by British choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton in 1960 to refine the simple message that life, when it works out the way you want, is a damn fine thing. Opens at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 10. Through June 20. Wortham Theater Center, 500 Texas. For a full schedule, call 713-227-2787 or visit www.houstonballet.org. $11.50 to $115.50. -- Greg Barr
The guys in Audible Stellar Hypnotic Situations (a.k.a. A>S>H>S) call themselves a "tribal experiment." We, however, know 'em as guys who fuse MIDI and turntable skills together with live congas and the occasional horn for raucous live shows, no two of which are alike. Check out some jazzy, hip-hop-infused grooves and tripped-out visual effects at 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 12. Numbers, 300 Westheimer. For information, call 713-526-6551 or visit www.numbersnightclub.com. $8. -- Steven Devadanam