It used to be that come the weekend, one could spend most of his time swinging in a hammock with his headphones on listening invariably to one of several well-exhausted cassingles of "Wind Beneath My Wings." Then, one would eventually reach a point in which one would need his entertainment to be more exotic. So one could imagine the delight with which one discovered the one known as Sa-leen on the Academy Awards ceremony a few years back, when the Canadian diva teamed with Peabo Bryson for an uplifting and unforgettable rendition of the theme from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. One could have fallen instantly in love.
Such a celestial voice, teamed with a body so sleek and graceful. Who was this goddess? Well, she's a natural singer who had actually learned how to sing in English (talk about exotic!) and who now -- via a recent interview with that paragon of journalism, Barbara Walters -- actually wants to retire (talk about quixotic).
After some heavy meditation, one can feel really stupid for seeing Titanic 13 times only to hear her voice (and see Kate Winslet's boobs). But if one harbors any love for the one who brought him out of a Bette-Midler-Barbara-Hershey stupor, he will forget all of Celine's past tragedies/missteps and pay good, hard-earned cash to see her sing her heart out in front of Houston's adoring masses. He'll stand in line all night to hear what his car radio says every day. Every hour. On the hour. "All Celine, all the time."
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Celine Dion performs at the Compaq Center Sunday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. Call (713)524-3687 for ticket information.
Catherine Malfitano -- When she plays the impudent, teenage Salome, opera diva Catherine Malfitano flings herself desperately into a cistern and makes passionate, tuneful love to a severed head. As Lady Macbeth, her soprano is a conspiring deviant who drives herself into bouts of sleepwalking while prodding wickedness out of others. But in the mask of Puccini's beloved Butterfly, the veteran singer moves Sphinxes to tears. In a Houston one-nighter, Malfitano takes a welcome break from opera-house melodrama to stir up a few Gershwin rhythms and Three Penny Opera-style jazz. Flanked by Robert Tweten on piano, she'll sing Kurt Weill, William Bolcom, Erik Satie and Hanns Eisler, or maybe anybody who had the courage to flee the stuffy conservatory to dream up tunes for musical theater and cabaret. Malfitano chose the songs herself. Word has it she took so long picking them, some of her presenters thought the show would be one long all-request night. "Cabaret Evening with Catherine Malfitano" happens Friday, April 9, at 8 p.m. at the Wortham Theater Center's Cullen Theater. Tickets range from $21 to $32 at Da Camera Music Center, (713)524-5050. (Cynthia Greenwood