Houston jazz vocalist Marilynn Thibodaux is making the most of her sporadic Swank Lounge appearances as Luscious Caprice, her sassy, wardrobe-savvy alter ego. And so far, she's been encouraged by the results. Especially receptive: the downtown nightclub's diehard nocturnal set (that is, those urban daredevils willing to stay up way past bedtime on a work night).

"My backup group is actually [the Houston Jazz Trio]," says Thibodaux, who performs at the Swank Wednesday. "For them, this is kind of like doing standards, only they've got to lower their standards to me. We're doing Peggy Lee; I've even tried flinging slices of prewrapped cheese into the audience."

But she plans to save the tacky symbolic gestures for later in the evening, next time. "The crowd, they're too upscale; they're not hip enough. They're like, 'Why are you flinging cheese into my martini?' "

Still, Caprice's slinky, lounge-mistress getups never fail to impress. "A group of guys from Montrose are liking my costumes," she says. "I'm either a reincarnated burlesque queen, or I watch too much late-'50s


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