Be-Spec Yourself

Shades of Elton John at TCC

Disney onstage is a beaut

We once thought we had a deep, philosophical conversation with a candlestick and a teapot, but it could've been the drugs talking. Or maybe we are just lonely, lonely people. Or, then again, maybe in a past life, we were named Belle, and lived boringly in provincial France until the day we entered an enchanted castle where the servants were furniture and the master of the house was a furry creature of undefined species. Yeah, that's probably it. Even if you aren't a reincarnated fairy tale character, the stage version of Disney's Beauty and the Beast may tickle your fancy. The familiar settings and characters are augmented by eight new songs, while favorites like "Be Our Guest" still dazzle onstage. Though if Lumiere's flameproof plastic hands, which burn two ounces of liquid butane per show, have ever ventured dangerously close to the seven yards of human hair that compose the Beast's tail, the pie and pudding wouldn't be the only items en flambé. To see what Disney can do with 318,750 watts of electricity, check out Beauty and the Beast at the Music Hall in Fair Park, 909 First Ave., June 24 through July 6. Tickets are $17.50 to $65 from Ticketmaster locations or by calling 214-631-ARTS. --Michelle Martinez

Hans Up
This show bares Claus

Beneath all of the "once upon a time," the talking animals and the thinly veiled moralistic precautions, the art of the fable perseveres through essentials: solid storytelling, with a touch of chicanery. After all, what could be more tedious for a child than to be preached to when there are video games to be beaten? A proper upbringing always requires a bit of cajoling, so wrap that life lesson in a candy shell of friendly frogs and it's a perfect donkey and carrot to get that kid to follow your lead. Or follow the breadcrumbs this Friday to the Arlington Museum of Art as Hans Christian Andersen's Little Claus and Big Claus is premiered. The play may be family friendly, but this Claus promises to be as much Kinski as Santa, with some violence from the original story being retained. The play is presented by the Texas Radio Theatre Company, which provides a radio-broadcast atmosphere live and in person, so we get more than just "aural" from ol' Hans. The Arlington Museum of Art is located at 201 W. Main St., and it would be wise to call 817-275-4600. --Matt Hursh

Hot Fun in the Summer
Off Broadway and onstage in Dallas

Our favorite episode of the high school hullabaloo My So-Called Life revolved around a school dance that Rickie, the only gay student, attended with a straight girl. Forget the potential social commentary; the highlight was the final dance sequence as the very '90s couple out-sassed the student body on the gym dance floor. That angelically spastic display of coordination inspires us to this day, and, with that in mind, we offer Saturday's Dances of Spain, featuring Broadway dance veteran Daniel de Córdoba, as a showcase of the joy of dance. Granted, Córdoba's brand of flamenco dance may have seemed odd at Liberty High, but we think Rickie would understand. It's $15 at the Dallas Museum of Art's Horchow Auditorium, 1717 N. Harwood St., at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 21. Call 214-366-9557. --Sam Machkovech

Catch This

Generally, one does not associate grandmothers with guitar-strumming, culture-bashing folk performances. Meet Lu Mitchell, grandmother of two and lead singer of the Dallas-based folk band Catch 23. In one hand she's clutching a pair of knitting needles, and in the other she's got a mike. She'll be playing at 7:30 p.m. June 25 at Pocket Sandwich Theater, and if you're good, she might even sing "The Night John Bobbitt Lost His Weenie." Call PST at 214-821-1860. --Leah Gerchario

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