Name Game

THU 8/28
"Peach Biscuit Entertainment Presents the Sounds of Pluto" is an odd name for a show. It's an even odder name for a person, but Peach Biscuit, who usually goes by the name Punkin' from Pluto, is no stranger to aliases. "A friend of mine said it to me as a nickname," says the poet, vocalist and show host. "I used it in a piece and it kept going from there." "The Sounds of Pluto" is the latest in a series of spoken word/music gigs the eclectic performer (and eccentric clotheshorse) has been performing around the city. Since March, she has done shows at spots including The Breakfast Klub, Reggae Hut and Ovations. For her second Bongos show, Punkin' will be joined by a backup band, charismatic spoken-worder Se7en (the black Troy Donahue) and other guests.

Of course, even sharing the bill, Punkin' will have plenty of opportunity to show off her range of talents. "I'm not just a poet, and I'm not just a singer," she says simply. "I'm an entertainer." 8 p.m. Thursday, August 28. Bongos Latin Grill, 818 Travis. For information, call 713-222-2254. $8. -- Craig D. Lindsey


WED 9/3
Digging in the Dirt
Gossip columnist Liz Smith dishes on Broadway
As if touring productions of Broadway shows weren't enough, Houstonians now get an opportunity to look behind the curtain in a new performing arts series called UP CLOSE. It's kind of like Inside the Actors Studio, but with producers and other showbiz types instead of actors. Broadway fans can learn the art of the ass-kiss with this lecture series, intended to bring audiences "face-to-face with today's movers, shakers and Broadway hitmakers," according to promotional materials. Native Texan Liz Smith, New York Post "Page Six" gossip columnist, kicks off the series. For one night only, hear the "grande dame of dish" ladle the dirt on stars both living and dead. In the works: an evening with John Waters and the creative team behind Hairspray. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 3. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Sarofim Hall, 800 Bagby. For tickets, call 713-692-3700. $25 to $75. -- Troy Schulze

FRI 8/29
About a Worker
Labor Day weekend is a particularly apropos time for Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman to open at Playhouse 1960. The American worker deserves a day of recognition for all the crap he takes, day in and day out, year after year. The play's tragic hero -- poor, deluded Willy Loman -- may have made some mistakes in his day, but he's dedicated his life to his employer. And of course, as soon as Willy quits pulling in a profit, he's unceremoniously fired. (Okay, the guy's also a basket case, but still.) 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays from Friday, August 29, through September 20. For information, call 281-587-8243 or visit $8 to $10. -- Cathy Matusow

SUN 8/31
Geezer Guffaws
If you're a heavy smoker, you might want to skip "Aging, Ungracefully," the comedy show featuring only comics who are over 50 years old. In the event's promotional materials, organizer Paul Pappas states that smoking will be outlawed because "we don't want any oxygen tanks exploding." The show features performances by Danny Martinez, Adair Gockley and Tom Webb. 8:30 p.m. Sunday, August 31. Laff Stop, 1952 West Gray. For information, call 713-524-2333 or visit $10. -- Cathy Matusow