She's Baaaaaack

We forgive our celebrities almost anything, just as long as they continue to make us laugh or cry or feel. Just look at fugitive-from-justice Roman Polanski winning an Academy Award for Best Director for The Pianist or O.J. Simpson's uncanny ability to get a tee time at any country club in South Florida or the directorial debut of Chris Rock in Head of State. Yes, we are a nation of second chances; redemption is not only biblical, it's downright dramatic. We are suckers for a good comeback story, particularly when the ending is happy and no one gets badly hurt. Comedian Paula Poundstone is currently staging a comeback from a scandal that nearly ruined her career, her family, her life. In June 2001, at the height of her comic genius, she was arrested for a felony count of child endangerment after she drove her car with her three adopted children while drunk. An additional charge, lewd conduct with a girl under 14, had the media in a feeding frenzy, but the charges were dropped. Her children were placed in foster care while she was placed in rehab as a condition of her five-year probation. She lost her home, and her million-dollars-a-year in bookings dwindled to a few dates. But she has turned things around and rebounded: She has regained custody of her kids and attends AA twice a week and counseling sessions twice a month. She has taken her act and her tragedy on the road and has woven them into the stuff of great comedy during her "Unauthorized Autobiography" National Tour. Her arrest, conviction and subsequent rehab become ripe material for her original, self-deprecating sense of humor. She jokes about being politically though not sexually active, and she shares her insights about both with her audience as she actively engages them in her act. Her show is receiving raves from critics, and her audiences show their forgiveness with nightly standing ovations. Shows are 8:30 p.m. Thursday, 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 p.m. Sunday at Improvisation, 4980 Belt Line Road. Tickets are $23 to $25. Call 972-404-8501. --Mark Donald

A Roarin' Time

If all you swell daddies and dolls out there are a little down at the mouth, bored of canoodling in the picture show and getting zozzled in the juice joints, we are here to tell you about a little show that is ab-so-lute-ly the bee's knees. Meet Millie, a rube from Kansas who longs to be thoroughly modern from her bobbed head to her long, lovely gams. In this musical interpretation of the 1967 film, the gang's all here: Dorothy, Jimmy, Trevor, Mrs. Meers and, of course, Muzzy, the hottest jazz baby this side of Chicago. We can't say how this new cast will compare to the Julie Andrews-Mary Tyler Moore-Carol Channing triad, but with six Tonys on the shelf, we have a feeling everything's copacetic. (And how!) For a paean to love and adventure in the Roaring '20s, Millie's just the ticket. So, jump in your flivver and motor to Fair Park: It's bound to be the cat's pajamas! Charleston down to the Music Hall at Fair Park from July 22 through August 3 to see Thoroughly Modern Millie. Tickets are $10 to $58 at the box office, 542 Preston Royal Shopping Center, or by calling Ticketmaster at 214-631-2787. --Michelle Martinez

Passion Play
The Bible rocks the Bass

Before Tim Rice teamed up with Elton John for Aida, he wrote lyrics to a young, as-yet-unknown Andrew Lloyd Webber's score in the early 1970s. The team created the antithetical musical Jesus Christ Superstar, about the last days of Jesus Christ. More than 30 years old, this rock opera debuted in London in 1972, unsettling the political and religious establishment, giving musical theater critics something new to chew on and garnering mixed acceptance from audiences who were called the generation of sex, love and rock and roll. When you see it now, it's hard to imagine what all the fuss was about. Fort Worth's Casa Mañana is hosting the Broadway national touring company July 22 through July 27 at Bass Performance Hall in Sundance Square. Kevin Moriarty directs this new production, featuring Lawrence Clayton as Judas and Eric Kunze as Jesus. Tickets range from $30 to $75 and are available by calling 817-212-4280. --Annabelle Massey Helber

The "Money" Shot

You can't avoid them, no matter how many times you click the remote. All the vanity and jealousy, the battle between a wide-eyed naïve townie and a merciless sophisticate, and, of course, the glory of 15 minutes of fame. But before reality television, there was the Broadway musical. Garland Summer Musicals brings us one of the most legendary ones, 42nd Street. This behind-the-scenes look at the making of a hit 1930s Broadway production gives you all the splash of those reality programs but without the cheesy confessionals. Not to mention it has a catchy song list that includes memorable tunes such as "Lullaby of Broadway" and "We're in the Money." Under the direction of Buff Shurr in his 21st season at GSM, 42nd Street runs 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through July 27. All shows will be held at the newly renovated Granville Arts Center located at Fifth and Austin streets in downtown Garland. Tickets are $19 to $22. Call 972-205-2790. --Jenice Johnson


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