Tough and Well Preserved

THU 8/7

Here's a truly inspired double bill: '80s ladies Joan Jett and Pat Benatar. Both could grind the current crop of female pinups and "sensitive" singer-songwriters into the dirt with their stiletto heels -- and look damn good doing it. The subjects of quite a few Gen-X masturbatory fantasies (or, um, so I'm told), the performers will play both their hits and some newer material produced long after Reagan left office and MTV stopped playing videos. Joan Jett's shoulder-length black hair is butch-blond now, but she'll still rip through "Bad Reputation," "I Hate Myself for Loving You," "Do You Wanna Touch" and, of course, "I Love Rock and Roll" with snarling punk energy and her trademark cat-scream and power chords.

Pat Benatar, with longtime guitarist-husband Neil Giraldo, was more of a cover girl, but she still showed true grit in "Shadows of the Night," "You Better Run," "Love Is a Battlefield" (Pat, we forgive you for the video) and, of course, "Hit Me with Your Best Shot." Too bad Patty Smyth isn't also on the bill. 8 p.m. Thursday, August 7. H-Town's Arena Theatre, 7326 Southwest Freeway. For tickets, call 713-988-1020. $40 to $50. -- Bob Ruggiero

Time Bandits

Revisit the days of "mellerdrammers" and "olio entertainment" with Deadwood Dick, the play about that masked man who always saves the day. Wear your participation clothes -- audiences are encouraged to hiss and throw popcorn when the dastardly villain takes the stage. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through August 23; 3 p.m. Sunday, August 10. Theatre Suburbia, 1410 West 43rd Street. For information, call 713-682-3525. $8 to $10. -- Troy Schulze

My Buddy

THU 8/7

The producers at Galveston Summer Musicals must've had one hell of a time casting The Buddy Holly Story. Not only were all the performers required to look like historical musicians, they all had to be able to play their respective instruments -- and have some acting ability. The rock and roll musical chronicles the meteoric career of the bespectacled pop icon. 8 p.m. Thursday, August 7, through Saturday, August 9; and Monday, August 11, through Saturday, August 16. Galveston Island Outdoor Musicals, 14528 Stewart Road. For tickets, call 409-737-1744. $20 to $33. -- Keith Plocek

It's showtime at Skybar

TUE 8/12

Even though Tuesday's "Showtime at the Skybar" will benefit the American Stroke Association, the crop of performers taking the stage shouldn't expect any charity from the audience. The act that inspires the loudest cheering wins, so the show promises to be wild, just like its Harlem namesake. And, of course, the crowd is free to boo contestants right off the stage. "We're not giving away any praise," says Veronica Gilmore, one of the show's coordinators. "You've got to earn everything you get." The folks at Skybar deserve praise for donating to a worthy cause, but the real heroes are the singers, dancers and comedians with the guts to take the stage. 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 12. Skybar, 3400 Montrose. For more information, call 713-748-8637 or visit $10. -- Keith Plocek

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Keith Plocek
Contact: Keith Plocek
Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero
Troy Schulze
Contact: Troy Schulze