Walking Paradox

Joan Marcus

Back in 1979, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber turned Eva Perón's up-by-the-bootstraps tale into one of Broadway's most famous musicals. Beautiful, sexy and epic in scope, Evita won seven Tony Awards the following year and turned Perón's story into a pop-culture phenomenon. Today, most everyone knows something about the gorgeous Argentine. Perón was a walking paradox: The dazzling and sinfully narcissistic wife of Argentine dictator Juan Perón was born poor. She championed the working class and became a saint in their eyes, even as her political abuses and sins became achingly clear to those in the know. This panoramic rags-to-riches political story was updated in the '90s, with Madonna doing an impressive job in the cinematic musical. But the stage version -- the touring production of which comes to the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts this week -- is the true gem. This one's headed up by the show's original director, Hal Prince, who won a Tony for Best Director for the Broadway original. There's just one drawback: "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" will be stuck in our heads for weeks. Show opens at 8 p.m. Tuesday, September 20. Runs through October 2. 800 Bagby. For tickets and showtimes, call 713-629-3700 or visit www.broadwayacrossamerica.com. $21 to $67. -- Lee Williams

Funny on the Fly

Have a Weekender of laffs with Massive Creativity

It's the kind of comedy whose performers often have side jobs as baristas at Starbucks. But if you're really good at long-form improv, you could wind up on shows like Saturday Night Live or Whose Line Is It, Anyway? This week, Massive Creativity -- Houston's own long-form improv theater company -- is celebrating its first birthday with The Weekender. The two-part show includes Friday's "The Hootenanny" (where the company acts out scenes described by a monologist) and Saturday's "The Living Room" (scenes based on audience suggestions). MC is even offering a free improv class on Sunday. "While everybody can't be on Saturday Night Live," says artistic director MacArthur Antigua, "I know these skills can be applied to anything else in life." Come to think of it, we do know some funny baristas. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, September 16 and 17; free class at 2 p.m. Sunday, September 18. Midtown Arts Center, 1423 Holman. For tickets, call 713-614-3405 or visit www.massivecreativity.com. $10. -- Bob Ruggiero

Upcoming Events

Bent on Remembrance

THU 9/15
The half-million gays and lesbians who were brutalized simply because of their lifestyle during the Holocaust are often forgotten. Their story is poignant, tragic and ultimately heroic in Theatre New West's revival of the wildly popular Bent, penned by Martin Sherman. The play follows Max, a gay drug dealer sent to a concentration camp with his lover, Rudy, whom he eventually abandons. Max finds redemption in the openly gay Horst, who proudly wears his pink triangle (a status lower than the Jewish yellow triangle) and teaches Max the real meaning of love and bravery. Opens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 15, and continues September 19, 20, 27 and 28. Holocaust Museum Houston, 5401 Caroline. For tickets and reservations, call 713-522-2204 or visit www.hmh.org. Suggested admission donation $20. -- Steven Devadanam

Boobie Trap

Comedian Doug Stanhope owes much of his career to the female breast. He spoke of it often as co-host of Comedy Central's The Man Show. He then moved on to Girls Gone Wild, where he, um, looked at a lot of breasts. See the big boob at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, September 15; and 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday, September 16, through Sunday, September 18. The Improv, 7620 Katy Freeway, suite 431. For tickets, call 713-333-8800 or visit www.improv.com. $15. -- Steven Devadanam

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