Fast Times

Bill Bellamy shouldn't be coming to Addison this weekend, performing six sets of stand-up at the Improv. It's not that he isn't funny. He is--somewhere between Jerry Seinfeld and Martin Lawrence if he's on, and he often is. But it's the TV-sweeps season, and if there were any justice in this world, Bellamy would be back in L.A., his Deaqon Hayes raiding the Candy Store with partner Van Ray, taking on the bad guys and taking them for all they're worth. He should be living in the Fastlane. That's where he was last year around this time, starring with the extremely attractive Tiffani Thiessen and somewhat-less-so Peter Facinelli in the McG-produced action series for Fox. But Fox, being Fox, canceled the show after one high-energy, higher-cost season. Now, the show was dumber than a sack of shoes--deep-cover cops Van and Deaq blew said cover in every single episode--but that, in part, was the genius: How will they get themselves out of this fix...again? How many buildings and Benzes and bodies have to go bye-bye before we get to the episode-ending stream of wisecracks? The plot was not the point, at any rate. You wanted hot young criminals, cars and guns going bang, lots of tricky camera work (if you did a shot every time there was an unnecessary slow-mo, you'd be three sheets before the first commercial break) and plenty of locker-room banter from Bellamy and Facinelli. Fastlane delivered all that and then some. It was the TV equivalent of disposable pop music, and it was great. Fastlane should have been Bellamy's ticket to the next level of black actors. We're not talking Denzel Washington, or even Eddie Murphy, but joining, say, Jamie Foxx and Martin Lawrence certainly wasn't out of the question. Instead, he's back on the road, waiting for his next call-up to The Show. Bellamy deserves it: He's handsome, funny and--surprise, surprise--he's got acting chops. You'll only get to see two out of the three at the Improv, but that should be enough to convince. And if it's not, you're likely the people we hold responsible for Fastlane's abrupt cancellation. Thanks a lot. Bellamy performs Friday through Sunday at 4980 Belt Line Road. Call 972-404-8501 for $22 to $25 tickets. --Zac Crain

Playing House

We liked Steve Martin's retelling of Cyrano in the movie Roxanne. We dug the Hamlet allusions in L.A. Story, Martin's cosmic soul mate chick flick, as well. Still, some plays hold up in their original versions--without jeans, airplanes, "Gogurt" or rock music. We're thinking of A Doll's House, the Henrik Ibsen classically poignant drama about a woman's struggle with who she is and what she wants. Ibsen's Nora is essentially a kept woman, protected to the point of suffocation by a well-meaning yet overbearing husband, Torvald. Achingly written and portrayed, Nora's resolution of a timeless theme of emotional turbulence is unexpected, but then so is the secret she's trying so hard to keep. A Doll's House is being presented by Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, November 13 through November 23. Homegirl Rhonda Blair, professor in the theater division, is directing, offering her strengths in performance studies and feminism and theater to the student cast. Performances will be held in the Greer Garson Theatre, 6101 Bishop Blvd. Tickets are $12 for adults, $9 for seniors and $6 for SMU students, faculty and staff. Call the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787. --Annabelle Massey Helber

Call 'Em V-Town

The year: 1498. The concept: boy band. The genius: Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian. Genius sounds a little lofty, but his six hymning boys have outlasted the Holy Roman Empire. God willing, the organization will last longer than any regurgitated testosterone media machine that supersaturates the public with radio fluff and MTV buff. Oh, the name: Vienna Choir Boys. The group hit it big in 1918 after deciding to expand its sounds past the stained-glass walls of the divine. Moving on to more worldly things, the group started mixing it up, singing secular and sacred tunes. Five hundred years and still going strong, the chorus consists of four groups of 24 vocalists ranging in age from 10 to 14, performing about 300 concerts each year. Now, that's some serious mass marketing, and it's coming to a city near you. The Eisemann Center's Hill Performance Hall Spotlight Series presents The Vienna Choir Boys on Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson. Tickets range from $15 to $45, so catch these boys before, well, they sell out. Call 972-744-4650. --Desirée Henry

Go Ahead and Stomp
TITAS sizzles again

There's a cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof desperation to flamenco, the Spanish traditional dance form characterized by an ultra-controlled upper body while the feet pound out a fierce staccato rhythm. It's the dancer's frenzied footwork that provides the percussion to simple acoustic guitar accompaniment. The sounds of the dancer are essential to the music, and the movements are seductive and poised. Taut torsos provide a counterpoint to the urgent heel-toe, toe-heel patter. The overall effect is akin to Tantric sex. You'll cross and uncross your legs with delicious discomfiture at TITAS' presentation of Maria Benitez Teatro Flamenco, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. at Southern Methodist University's McFarlin Auditorium. Benitez and her dance troupe are internationally respected, and this evening of Spanish dance and music is a great introduction to the art form. Benitez mixes the historic traditions of flamenco with giddy, contemporary twists. Get tickets at the TITAS Box Office, 3101 N. Fitzhugh Ave., Suite 301; call 214-528-5576 or log onto --Annabelle Massey Helber


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