What if we got that Adam-and-Eve-in-the-Garden thing all wrong? What if it was actually Adam and Steve who named the animals, along with some help from Jane and Mabel, who lived just down the Garden path? That's the premise behind Paul Rudnick's hysterical The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, brought to charming life last Christmas by director Joe Watts at his Theatre New West. In Rudnick's wild gay Eden, Adam falls for Steve, Jane adores Mabel, and straight people (who don't appear for centuries) are kind of, well, icky. The story is of course fabulous. But a lot of what made Watts's production so terrific was his energetic cast of beautiful people, which included a hunky Adam Clarke as the original man and Jenny Yau as Mabel, the airy earth-girl who explained her female anatomy to Adam and Steve this way: "We have vaginas. They are our friends." The show also covered political ground, touching on everything from gay parenthood to AIDS, but none of it came off as bombastic or redundant. Watts and company handled Rudnick's lacerating observations about gay life with dead-on comic timing and a truthful sweetness that made this yummy show one of the best of the season, gay or not.
What if we got that Adam-and-Eve-in-the-Garden thing all wrong? What if it was actually Adam and Steve who named the animals, along with some help from Jane and Mabel, who lived just down the Garden path? That's the premise behind Paul Rudnick's hysterical The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, brought to charming life last Christmas by director Joe Watts at his Theatre New West. In Rudnick's wild gay Eden, Adam falls for Steve, Jane adores Mabel, and straight people (who don't appear for centuries) are kind of, well, icky. The story is of course fabulous. But a lot of what made Watts's production so terrific was his energetic cast of beautiful people, which included a hunky Adam Clarke as the original man and Jenny Yau as Mabel, the airy earth-girl who explained her female anatomy to Adam and Steve this way: "We have vaginas. They are our friends." The show also covered political ground, touching on everything from gay parenthood to AIDS, but none of it came off as bombastic or redundant. Watts and company handled Rudnick's lacerating observations about gay life with dead-on comic timing and a truthful sweetness that made this yummy show one of the best of the season, gay or not.
Yep, one of the most renowned concert poster artists in the country lives right here in our own backyard. Jermaine Rogers was creating posters for the Strokes long before they were hyped to the eyeballs. And his list of clients reads as a who's who of hip and cool music: Radiohead, the Breeders and Weezer, to name a few. Just go to his Web site and you're bound to find one of your favorite artists among his collection. Each poster paints a fantastic scene that says, "If you don't get your ass to this show, you'll be sorry." With collectors all over the world, Rogers has put Houston on the concert poster map and done us proud. So the next time a brightly colored print catches your eye at a local venue, or the neighborhood head shop, be sure to give Jermaine his props. He's probably the one responsible.
Yep, one of the most renowned concert poster artists in the country lives right here in our own backyard. Jermaine Rogers was creating posters for the Strokes long before they were hyped to the eyeballs. And his list of clients reads as a who's who of hip and cool music: Radiohead, the Breeders and Weezer, to name a few. Just go to his Web site and you're bound to find one of your favorite artists among his collection. Each poster paints a fantastic scene that says, "If you don't get your ass to this show, you'll be sorry." With collectors all over the world, Rogers has put Houston on the concert poster map and done us proud. So the next time a brightly colored print catches your eye at a local venue, or the neighborhood head shop, be sure to give Jermaine his props. He's probably the one responsible.
The gimmick behind Alan Ayckbourn's House and Garden is irresistible. And no place in town was better suited to capitalize on this cleverness than the Alley Theatre. House and Garden is billed as two plays. Each focuses on a different set of characters, but all the characters from one show appear in the other. To complicate matters further, both plays run simultaneously. The actors must have gotten quite a workout running up and down the backstage stairs. On the Main Stage we got to see all the hullabaloo in Teddy Platt's drawing room. Meanwhile, downstairs in the Neuhaus Theatre, lots of lovemaking took place in Teddy's garden. Once you saw one story, you had to see the other. You just had to find out about the strange ménage à trois going on with the servants. And life wouldn't be complete if you couldn't find out why Teddy's beautiful wife wouldn't speak to him. The twin plays were like exquisitely written soap operas: The first one you saw hooked you into seeing the other.
The gimmick behind Alan Ayckbourn's House and Garden is irresistible. And no place in town was better suited to capitalize on this cleverness than the Alley Theatre. House and Garden is billed as two plays. Each focuses on a different set of characters, but all the characters from one show appear in the other. To complicate matters further, both plays run simultaneously. The actors must have gotten quite a workout running up and down the backstage stairs. On the Main Stage we got to see all the hullabaloo in Teddy Platt's drawing room. Meanwhile, downstairs in the Neuhaus Theatre, lots of lovemaking took place in Teddy's garden. Once you saw one story, you had to see the other. You just had to find out about the strange ménage à trois going on with the servants. And life wouldn't be complete if you couldn't find out why Teddy's beautiful wife wouldn't speak to him. The twin plays were like exquisitely written soap operas: The first one you saw hooked you into seeing the other.
Man, the battle for the title was a tough one. It came down to the wire between the Roxy calendar, which had its lucky den of calendar girls going full-monty this year, and the Barberdolls.com calendar, which had its ladies in exhibitionist Aguilera-esque outfits, coming up with new and inventive uses for barbershop equipment. But Life as a Sport suddenly piqued our interest. For starters, it featured not scantily clad or nekkid women but chiseled, occasionally bare-chested men. But this calendar wasn't conceived as an item for the ladies -- and a few dudes -- to stare at. Accompanied by the poetry of Joseph Washington, who came up with the calendar's concept, the photos are portraits of men using everyday sporting activities as a method of striving through life's rough terrains -- sports as therapy. Many of the stark black-and-white photos, captured by Harry Guary, are reminiscent of the pics Howard Bingham shot of Muhammad Ali. Life as a Sport may not have girls in Helmut Newton poses or flashin' booty like they're in Players Magazine, but it does give you something deeper to think about.
Man, the battle for the title was a tough one. It came down to the wire between the Roxy calendar, which had its lucky den of calendar girls going full-monty this year, and the Barberdolls.com calendar, which had its ladies in exhibitionist Aguilera-esque outfits, coming up with new and inventive uses for barbershop equipment. But Life as a Sport suddenly piqued our interest. For starters, it featured not scantily clad or nekkid women but chiseled, occasionally bare-chested men. But this calendar wasn't conceived as an item for the ladies -- and a few dudes -- to stare at. Accompanied by the poetry of Joseph Washington, who came up with the calendar's concept, the photos are portraits of men using everyday sporting activities as a method of striving through life's rough terrains -- sports as therapy. Many of the stark black-and-white photos, captured by Harry Guary, are reminiscent of the pics Howard Bingham shot of Muhammad Ali. Life as a Sport may not have girls in Helmut Newton poses or flashin' booty like they're in Players Magazine, but it does give you something deeper to think about.
Who will be the next artistic director of Houston Ballet? No one knows for sure, but choreographer Trey McIntyre certainly garnered a lot of ballet-world buzz with this year's world premiere of his Peter Pan. Unlike most story ballets, in which mime-acting propels a thin plot between big dance numbers, McIntyre's creation used the steps to tell the story and the story to inform the steps. His version of the fairy tale was much darker than Disney's, with plenty of Freudian layers for grown-ups to mull over. Mauricio Canete, in the lead role, proved himself an expressive actor as well as an energetic dancer. And in a masterful use of wire and pulleys, the performers actually appeared to fly. Need we say more?
Who will be the next artistic director of Houston Ballet? No one knows for sure, but choreographer Trey McIntyre certainly garnered a lot of ballet-world buzz with this year's world premiere of his Peter Pan. Unlike most story ballets, in which mime-acting propels a thin plot between big dance numbers, McIntyre's creation used the steps to tell the story and the story to inform the steps. His version of the fairy tale was much darker than Disney's, with plenty of Freudian layers for grown-ups to mull over. Mauricio Canete, in the lead role, proved himself an expressive actor as well as an energetic dancer. And in a masterful use of wire and pulleys, the performers actually appeared to fly. Need we say more?

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