Big Time

THU 7/17
Infernal Bridegroom Productions' annual summer series, Tamalalia, features the zany adventures of its creator, Tamarie Cooper. The revue has garnered so much acclaim that Cooper gets besieged by fans wondering why she hasn't ditched this muggy burg for the big-time. In Tamalalia 8: Tamarie Makes It Big!, Cooper finally heeds their advice. The show follows the redheaded starlet on a quest for fame and fortune in Hollywood. Mishaps ensue as Cooper learns (once again) that things don't always turn out as planned. When our protagonist's sitcom pilot starts to fizzle, she heads down the path traveled by many a wannabe star before her, turning to drugs and setting the stage for a musical number complete with dancing joints and whiskey bottles. These excesses lead straight to the slammer, where Cooper and company conjure up a whimsical spoof of bad prison movies. She eventually cleans up her act, but not without a few dirty jokes along the way. 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Saturdays, from Thursday, July 17, to August 30. The Axiom, 2524 McKinney. For information, call 713-522-8443 or visit $10 to $17.-- Keith Plocek


FRI 7/19
Love and War
A 19th-century battle of the sexes

Feminists, beware: Gilbert and Sullivan's Princess Ida is not your kind of opera, unless you're looking for something to love to hate. Set against the original backdrop from a 1954 production of Princess Ida (the show premiered in 1884), the work recounts Prince Hilarion's efforts to woo Princess Ida away from her duties as principal of a women's university. Hilarion and his cohorts wage war on the emancipated women with weapons of love, charming "their senses with verbal fences, with ballads amatory and declamatory." With Gilbert's lyrical wit and Sullivan's delicate score at the noble suitors' disposal, the fair maidens don't stand a chance. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays, from July 18 to July 27. Cullen Theater, Wortham Center, 500 Texas. For more information, call 713-627-3570 or visit $16 to $36. -- Keith Plocek


FRI 7/18
This One Time, at Band Camp
Apparently lots of folks feel passionately about marching around playing drums and bugles, and they're converging here this weekend at the Rice Stadium for the ExSIGHTment of SOUND drum and bugle corps competition. The six high school and college teams, who've been traveling around the country all summer, will demonstrate precision marching, complex choreography and, of course, music at the event. Winners get trophies and, most likely, cereal. "That's a premium prize," says event promoter Amy Cooper. The poor kiddos must not eat very well on the road. 7 p.m. Friday, July 18. Rice University Stadium, entrance no. 8 (off University Boulevard and Stockton Drive). For information, call 281-397-8124 or visit $20. -- Cathy Matusow


A Crew to a Kill

What happens when a murder mystery party actually turns murderous? In Murder Mystery Players, Inc.'s A Party to Murder, a wealthy socialite makes a big mistake when she invites the town gossip columnist to her trendy theme soiree. Naturally, when the journalist winds up dead, there isn't one guest without a motive. 8 p.m. Saturday evenings through August 23. Dave & Buster's, 6010 Richmond. For information, call 713-952-2233. $29.95. -- Troy Schulze

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