George Hixson
Tamarie Cooper, underground theater goddess and competitive gorger

Ms. Strange Love

Tamarie Cooper is Houston’s underground theater goddess. Every year, the head of

Infernal Bridegroom Productions

puts on her ever-changing one-woman show


, which she calls “sort of a grand

MGM 1950s musical

but with a wink.” This year, however, she changed things up for

20 Love Songs

, an ensemble show presenting a collection of vignettes cabaret style. “I just was not feeling plot-driven,” she says. “[This is] more theme-driven.”

The show focuses on love in its many forms -- “the love you feel for your pet, for your dog, for your child, for your mother, for your friend,” says Cooper “And, of course, I have a deep love for food.” In one piece, Cooper and fellow IBP regular Kyle Sturdivant perform what she describes as “synchronized gorging.” “It’s very messy but it tends to stay on the stage so there won’t be a Gallagher aspect -- hopefully; I can’t promise.” she says. Another vignette shows a woman’s love for her favorite battery-powered device. “But the vibrator is not an actual vibrator,” she says. “It’s a man dressed as a giant vibrator.” – Dusti Rhodes

Cooper’s annual show isn’t the only old standard getting a new take this week. Read our Night & Day® section for a Cinco De Mayo celebration that’s getting a Crescent City makeover, an exhibit that shows how photography’s been changed by modern gadgets and an iconic ’70s kids TV special that’s getting remixed, reinterpreted and reamed by modern filmmakers.

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