Actions lead to other actions. Australian playwright Andrew Bovell took that concept and ran with it in his latest offering, Speaking in Tongues, opening this week at Stages Repertory Theatre. Revealing much of the work's plot would be criminal spoilage, but let's just say that it involves two married couples, flirtation, infidelity and a possible fatality. "I want audiences to just go, 'Wow,' " says director Rob Bundy about the tense and intricate play that brings characters and events together in unexpected ways. "Between the set, the actors and the action, the play interconnects like a three-dimensional chess game."Bundy promises a unique theatrical experience, and not just because the plot will keep even the most jaded audience member guessing. The play's unusual staging, nonlinear storytelling and haunting characters already have garnered it acclaim in Sydney, New York and London. In 1997, Speaking in Tongues won the Australian Writers' Guild Award.
In addition to devotees of serious theater, the play should attract indie film buffs familiar with the story, which was adapted to the screen for the 2001 film Lantana. Bovell, whose work has been presented in half a dozen countries worldwide, wrote that screenplay as well as several others, including Strictly Ballroom.
The regional premiere of Speaking in Tongues at Stages stars Connie Cooper, Timothy Eric Dickson, Alex Kilgore and Christianne Mays. The play previews at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1, and opens at 8 p.m. Friday, May 2. Regular showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 3 p.m. Sundays through May 25. 3201 Allen Parkway. For information, call 713-527-0123 or visit www.stagestheatre.com. $22 to $42. -- Melissa Nurczynski
A Heckle of a Show
Jerm Pollet likes talking over movies, but his chatter doesn't annoy, it entertains. The comedian has been mercilessly heckling really bad films in his "Mr. Sinus Theater" show in Austin movie theaters for the past couple of years. This weekend, Pollet comes to Houston, where he'll give the Britney Spears bomb Crossroads the Sinus treatment. (He likes to say that she's not a girl, not yet a woman -- and definitely not an actress.) The show's opening act is San Francisco's Captured! By Robots, a five-piece band with one human and four robot members. 10 p.m. Saturday, May 3. University of Houston Student Center, Cougar Den (entrance no. 1 off Calhoun). For information, call 713-743-5173. Free. -- Cathy Matusow
Slain by Sounds
The Japanese noise-rock quartet Mono pummels concertgoers into a trancelike state with its Sonic Youth-inspired guitar storms, sheets of white noise and thundering bass. The group's members especially like playing towns outside of Tokyo and New York, where they're not as well known. "When the aud- ience gets smaller, we get more violent," said guitarist Takaakira Goto in a 2001 interview. "We try to kill them by sounds." If there is such a thing as murder by music, let's hope Fat Cat's is packed to the gills. 10 p.m. Saturday, May 3. Fat Cat's, 4216 Washington Avenue. For information, call 713-869-5263. -- Troy Schulze
Weave Dance Company's new piece, In Pieces, is presented in three -- you guessed it -- pieces. But don't let that eye-roll-inducing title put you off. Weave has gained a reputation as one of Houston's most innovative dance companies, balancing theatrics with humor and skillful, provocative movement. Choreographed and danced by Weave co-founders Juliet Hicks, Megan Lyle and Maria Montes de Oca, and featuring company members Bonnie Boykin Busker and Janie Carothers, In Pieces aims to demonstrate humankind's need to create order out of chaos. 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Zilkha Hall, 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit www.weavedance.com. $25 to $35. -- Troy Schulze