Suit Up

Paula Poundstone strikes back

7/29

Perhaps you know the voice. It has a lived-in weariness to it, nasal and intelligent. Or maybe you know her performance attire: always a business suit and loosened shirt and tie. Then there's her stand-up routine: dry, skewering, extemporaneous. Surely, you've seen this act or heard of it or are in some way familiar with it. Because Poundstone, after all, is a legendary comedian. Yet she remains, well into her 40s, on comedy's fringe, as known as anyone in the industry, but not as well-known as most. She hosts no daytime talk show. Her witticisms have never landed a sitcom deal. In fact, she's rarely on TV. Unless you count the summer of 2001, when she was arrested for driving drunk and committing lewd acts and endangering the foster and adopted children under her care. Then, she was on TV a lot. Only in a tearful, apologetic, courtroom way. Poundstone's moved on. Or, at least, incorporated it into her routine, which she brings to the Addison Improv from July 29 through August 1. The Thursday and Sunday shows cost $20 and start at 8:30 p.m. Friday shows are at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and Saturday's are 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets for those shows are $22. Call 972-404-8501. --Paul Kix

Red Rocks
8/2

The moral of Little Red Riding Hood is, ostensibly, don't talk to strangers. We always thought it was beware of wolves in women's clothing. Either way, caution is key when you're traveling through the woods alone, especially if you have a basket full of tasty treats. And it is these treats that pose a problem in the Creative Arts Theatre & School production of Little Red Riding Hood being performed August 3 through August 5. In this version, which is for ages 3 and up, the wolf doesn't want to eat Little Red; he wants her cookies. Kim Howard, director of the play, says this take on the classic fairy tale, which uses interactive play between the audience and the performers, "teaches a good lesson and is done in a way that is not scary." So don't be afraid to bring the little ones: There's no flesh-eating wolf here, nor is there a bloodthirsty woodcutter. Sorry, gore fans; the most you can hope for is some filched baked goods and a strategically placed patch of poison ivy. Performances are at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. all three days, with a 7 p.m. show on Thursday. Tickets are $6. CATS, 1100 W. Randol Mill Road, Arlington. Call 817-861-CATS. --Rhonda Reinhart

Personality Crisis
7/31

Cedric the Entertainer hasn't quite been himself lately. He was Flip Wilson while hosting a short-lived variety show on Fox. Then he was Chevy Chase in Johnson Family Vacation, this year's update of National Lampoon's Vacation movies. He'll be Jackie Gleason in next year's big-screen version of The Honeymooners, and Rodney Dangerfield in 2006's second pass at Back to School. But during his K104-sponsored show at Nokia Live, he'll just be a funny dude who definitely lives up to his title. The "Entertainer" part. Not "Cedric." That's not even a real word. The show starts at 8 p.m. Call 214-373-8000 for $43.50-to-$89.50 tickets. --Zac CrainStudy A Broad
8/1

On August 1, multimedia performance group Dharma Broads II asks you to set aside your petty theater expectations for one truly "original" night. Just don't ask what it's about because we're not sure they know. Besides, what kind of pretentious yuppies need to know what they're going to see before they buy their $8 tickets? What bourgeois pig shows up at 8 p.m. and expects a well-defined theme in an evening of experimental poetry, film and music? Not any audience to which the Undermain Theatre, 3200 Main St., should lay claim. Call 214-821-9671. --Mary Monigold Rhyming Redbeards
These pirates have songs in their hearts
7/29

It was never about the bumbling policeman, the manly pirates or the delicate daughters. Nor did the comical dances or the quirky tunes capture our most humble devotion. No, Gilbert and Sullivan, the way you endeared yourselves to us was through rhyming. An amateur can rhyme "cat" and "hat" or "quince" and "pence," but only a word wizard like W.S. Gilbert can find a rhyme for "magnanimity" ("lace and dimity"), "hypotenuse" ("a lot o' news") and "paradox" ("Sir Caradoc's"). Likewise we overlook the descent into neologism to enjoy the coupling of terms like "parsonified" with "matrimonified" and "Heliogabalus" with "parabolous." If the rhymes don't tickle your fancy, perhaps the convoluted Pirates of Penzance story will. Our protagonist Frederic's problems began with a hard-of-hearing nursemaid who by mistake apprenticed him to a pirate rather than a ship's pilot. Apparently Frederic's forgiven her gross error and, as the operetta opens, the pirates are celebrating his 21st birthday and the completion of his apprenticeship. Frederic, embracing his freedom, admits his disgust for piracy and his intention to exterminate his mentors. This declaration, along with a chance meeting with "a bevy of beautiful maidens" and their guardian, a major general, leads to farcical deceptions, paradoxes and the discovery that--probably "owing to the agency of an ill-natured fairy"--Frederic's not as old as he thought. Toss in some Keystone Kops and a weird twist involving the House of Peers and you have one of the silliest but funniest operas to grace the stage of the Granville Arts Center, 300 N. Fifth St., Garland. Garland Civic Theatre performances run July 29 through August 8, Thursdays through Sundays. Tickets are $5 to $10. Call 972-205-2790. --Michelle Martinez

 
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