Robert Rain as Hedwig
Robert Rain as Hedwig

Freak Show

For a story superficially concerned with a matter of inches, John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask's Hedwig and the Angry Inch has proven to have the legs of a marathon runner. To call it a "rock opera" is most succinct, but the description ultimately sells the central character and his/her/his journey short, as the transformation from a Cold War transplant into a gender-bending glam-rocker is much more than a cosmetic change. The story even has the comfy "boy meets girl" angle working for it...only personified within one character. Considering Hedwig has already conquered the off-Broadway circuit, been adapted into a stellar film, earned its own "indie darling" tribute album and enjoyed an extended theatrical run recently in Dallas, the secret's already out. Still, whether you're just catching up or getting appropriately excessive, Fort Worth's Ridglea Theater is hosting a new production beginning on Friday with Robert Rain doing the Hedwig honors. By appearances, Rain isn't as lithe as some of his powdered peers, but rock 'n' roll's essentially about what's happening south of the waistline anyway, so head to the Ridglea Theater at 6025 Camp Bowie Blvd. Call 817-608-7678. --Matt Hursh

Suddenly, Seymour

With all the brouhaha over musicals turning into Hollywood cash cows and hit films becoming fodder for Broadway, it's nice to remember that one of the most endearing stories set to music was originally a 1960 schlocky B-movie directed by the master schlock slinger himself, Roger Corman. But even with such a meager origin, Little Shop of Horrors triumphed onstage in 1982, earned a more respectable cinematic update with Rick Moranis and Steve Martin in 1986 and is now so ingrained in the pop-culture palette that high school drama troupes and community theaters toss out productions with reckless abandon. But that's not necessarily a bad thing because the right combination of lovable losers, clueless beauties, evil dentists and man-eating plants is enough to make any show-tune lover proudly bust out with, "Suddenly Seymour is standing beside you." Jackson Ross Best stars as Seymour, and Whitney Rose Cone plays the object of his affection, Audrey. The production is directed by Joel Ferrell with Leonard McCormick as musical director and pianist. Stage West presents Little Shop of Horrors on Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Scott Theatre, 1300 Gendy St., Fort Worth. $16 to $35. Call 817-STG-WEST or visit --Jay Webb

Redneck Stranger
Got to respect a guy who puts his own name in his lyrics. Well, respect or deride mercilessly, that is. David Allan Coe--called the "longhaired, redneck son of the South" by some--writes and sings lines such as, "But the only time I know/I'll hear 'David Allan Coe'/Is when Jesus has his final judgment day." And it makes for some yummy honky-tonk pretension. He plays Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza in Fort Worth, on January 3. Reserved tickets are $13, and general admission is $8. Call 817-624-7117 or visit --Mary Monigold

Every Little Movement
Want to get an appreciative taste of your father's music? Then get on down to the Meyerson Symphony Center at 8 p.m. on either January 2 or January 3 and take in the big-band tunes of the legendary Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Dorsey, "The Sentimental Gentleman of Swing," is gone now, but since the late '70s Buddy Morrow has stepped in to lead the 17-piece band that will delight you with everything from the haunting "Witchcraft" to the toe-tapping "Opus One." Tickets start at $20. Log on to --Carlton Stowers

Everybody Chi Kung
Acrobats will tumble for you

We haven't seen gravity-defying gyrations, out-of-proportion contortions or so many legs up in the air since someone sent us a copy of the Paris Hilton video. (Or so we imagine because of the lighting.) Right here at home, there's a perfectly legal and far-from-X-rated opportunity to see extraordinary acrobatics, elaborate costumes and snazzy theatrics onstage. The Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce of Dallas/Fort Worth is hosting the Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats for a one-afternoon-only performance at 2 p.m. Thursday in the auditorium of Richardson Senior High School, 1250 Belt Line Road. The 20-member Taiwanese/Chinese troupe dazzles audiences with plate-spinning, chair-stacking, high-flying fun, according to event coordinator Dr. Charles Ku, president of the Sun Ray Chinese School in Dallas. The program is a fund-raiser for the school and a celebration of its 20th anniversary. "Our school's goal is to build harmony while educating about our 1,000-year traditions of art and history," Ku says. Harmony and ancient tradition are the theme for the acrobats as well, he says. "The Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats' success is built on Chi Kung, the Asian philosophy of inner strength, a harmony between an athlete's strength and impeccable balance and timing." Show highlights include a human pyramid atop a single bicycle and an artist who balances upside down on a tower of oddly stacked chairs, supported only by bottles under the legs of the base chair. Tickets are $10 and $20, and will be available at the door. For information about Sun Ray School, a nonprofit private school focused on academics, Chinese language and culture, visit --Annabelle Massey Helber


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