Rag 'Em Up
Linda Blase

Rag 'Em Up


"When he smiles that smile, flashes those eyes and does those dimples, the house is his and he knows it." So says The Washington Post about Ken Prymus' turn in the Tony-winning musical revue Ain't Misbehavin'. Sounds like a winner, right? One problem: How did the D.C. paper review the show--a rip-roaring ragtime take on the music and life of Thomas "Fats" Waller--when Prymus and his four co-stars didn't take the Dallas Theater Center stage until April 7, the day after this paper you're reading was printed? It didn't. It reviewed the play nearly 25 years ago when Prymus was part of the original show that made Nell Carter a star and reintroduced Waller's infectious, riotous music to a new generation. Prymus takes on the musical anew with his stellar castmates as the show runs through May 2 at the Kalita Humphreys Theater (3636 Turtle Creek Blvd.; call 214-522-8499). Although no one character or performer stands out in the typical production of what DTC artistic director Richard Hamburger calls "the perfect musical revue," emphasis in this preview must be given to Prymus. Why? Three reasons: 1. He is the only cast member with an iconic big-screen moment: Not only was he in the movie M*A*S*H, but he sang "Suicide is Painless" in the film. 2. He appeared in one episode of The Sopranos, "A Hit is a Hit," from the first season. He played "Manager." 3. He holds the title of longest-running principal performer on Broadway (men's division) as Old Deuteronomy in Cats. Seven years, baby. If that doesn't convince you to see this show, I don't know what will. --Eric Celeste

Barry Funny

In preparation for his 2004 presidential campaign, Dave Barry has vowed to have the same morals, values, religious beliefs, ethnic background and number of children as you. He'll do anything to prove his point; he has the sparking Barbie doll and smoking underwear to prove it. (We don't know what he means, but we rarely understand Bush either.) Capable of finding humor in the most extreme circumstances, Barry--the Pulitzer Prize-winning Miami Herald columnist whose stories run in more than 500 newspapers--speaks at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Charles W. Eisemann Center Theatre in Richardson as part of "Depression Across the Life Cycle: The Interplay of Experience and Biology," a two-day conference sponsored by Jewish Family Service of Dallas. Tickets are $125 and $250. Call 972-437-9950 ext. 330 or visit www.eisemanncenter.com. --Danna Berger

Ordering Out

Getting a good mail-order bride is a tricky business. As with any other catalog shopping, you wonder if your order will be the superior product the ad copy touts. Maybe Sarah wanted to err on the side of caution when she responded to a farmer's request for a bride, "I will wear a yellow bonnet. I am plain and tall." Leaving much to the imagination, the title character of Sarah, Plain and Tall moves from her beloved Maine to the Midwest to marry a widower she's never met and mother his two children. Dallas Children's Theater stages this prairie pioneer love story through April 25 at El Centro College Performance Hall, 801 N. Main St. Tickets are $15 for adults or $13 for children. Call 214-740-0051. --Michelle Martinez

Main Attraction
Downtown's live music series has a starry start

There's nothing like sampling some free music--well, legally anyway--especially when it seems like nowadays you have to practically sell all your plasma to get enough money just to catch your favorite artist. Whatever happened to bands like Pearl Jam striking against the ticket industry? Ah, well. Main Street Live, a free concert series in its second year, kicks off April 14 with Grammy Award-winning folk singer Shawn Colvin of "Sunny Came Home" fame (a song that died a slow death by airwaves). Ed Kowalczyk, lead singer of Live, will also perform at the event, and both musicians will bust out all-acoustic sets. The show starts at 6 p.m. at Pegasus Plaza, on the corner of Main and Akard streets in downtown Dallas. Main Street Live runs for 12 weeks and will feature performers such as Vallejo and Jimmy Vaughan. Local acts will also join these shows each week as special guests. Visit www.downtowndallas.org/downtown_partner. --Jenice Johnson

Hook Up
Echo Theatre offersWhores d'Oeuvres


...And the award for Best Title for an Adapted Stage Play goes to Echo Theatre's Whores d'Oeuvres, premiering Tuesday evening at the Bath House Cultural Center. Now that we think about it, the Bath House Cultural Center just might be the winner of Sauciest-Sounding Place to See an Adapted Stage Play, but that's beside the point. Michelene Wandor's story tackles issues of commerce (of sorts) and the costs of the female's free will, as two prostitutes brave the Thames River after a London flood. Think of it as Huckleberry Finn with hookers, but the satire is perfect for Echo Theatre's spring series titled "Warrior Women." Admission is free, and emphasis is on expression over exclusion, so it'll be fun for all. The Bath House Cultural Center is at 521 E. Lawther Drive. Call 214-904-0500 or visit www.echotheatre.org. --Matt Hursh


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