The motto of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo seems to be "anything you can do, I can do better." Except, replace "you" with "girls" and "better" with "funnier." The Trocks--as the all-male, ethnically diverse troupe is wont to be called--take stuffy, classical ballet with its prima roles portrayed by pale-skinned, lithe, willowy girls in buns, and dance those parts themselves with pointe shoes, tutus, extravagant makeup and all. Each dancer has both a female and male persona and alternates depending on the shows' requirements, making the Trocks part drag show, part parody and all really good dancing. It takes talent to so well nail the genre (or any of those twirls or leaps, for that matter). It's true: Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Dallas' own TITAS brings the Trocks to wrap up its dance program for the 2002-2003 season. And this performance includes selections from Act 2 of Swan Lake with several of the "girls" in white, feathery costumes. Then, one of the feathered friends sticks around for Fokine's Dying Swan, a solo dance created for prima ballerina Anna Pavlova in the 1900s during which the Trocks present their "own distinctive interpretation of the terminal fowl." Other selections include Humpback Horse and Go for Barocco, an all-lady routine with music by Bach, original choreography by Balanchine and black and white contrasting outfits that really showcase the unshaven chests. The Trocks have been around for nearly three decades now, and have performed all over the States, Europe and have quite a following in Japan, which is the group's next stop after Dallas. Give the gents (and TITAS' season) a warm farewell when they perform at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in McFarlin Auditorium, 6400 Hillcrest on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Tickets are $10 to $55. Call the TITAS box office at 214-528-5576. --Shannon Sutlief
Apparently, Johnny Depp was right in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when he exclaimed as a drug-addled and paranoid Hunter S. Thompson clutching the side of a convertible, "This is Bat Country!" Thanks to the Weekly World News, Bat Boy mania continues to sweep the nation since the not-so-credible rag published its first installment of the bat-saga, "Bat Boy Found in W. Virginia Cave," in February 2001. Since then the public has gone mad for the half human/half bat, buying up T-shirts adorned with his photo, claims of Bat Boy capture and even a way to send the amber-eyed enigma a get-well card (or e-card, rather). Weekly World News has undoubtedly made a killing with headlines like "Bat Boy Endorses Gore" and "Escaped Bat Boy Sighted in Texas." Add to that the latest installment of the craze, Bat Boy: The Musical. Based on the "discovery" and subsequent "documentation," the musical became a hit off-Broadway and has made its way, presumably using sonar, to Theater Three, 2800 Routh St., for performances April 24 through May 31. The regular run plays Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $35. Call 214-871-3300. --Merritt Martin
Everything but the Sink
Lyric Stage launches a shanty ship
Our version of Titanic: The Musical (the one we write in our minds during long meetings) features Jane Fonda as a third-class passenger and the original songs "Look Where Your Stupid Hubris Got Us," "O Captain (Thanks a Pantload)" and the spectacular finale, "It's Gettin' Cold (and Wet) in Herre." The whole production revolves around people in 1912 costumes doing jazz hands. Unfortunately, or rather fortunately, Maury Yeston and Peter Stone's Tony award-winning Titanic, now playing at Lyric Stage, doesn't encompass any of our ideas. According to producer Steven Jones, "[Director Drew Scott Harris] focuses on the people aboard the ship rather than the spectacle of the sinking." The production depicts actual officers and passengers, such as Isidor Straus and third-class traveler Jim Farrell. Though they boast "a glorious score with thrilling choral anthems," we still know it would be better with jazz hands. Titanic runs through May 10 at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and weekend matinees at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $28. Call 972-252-2787. --Michelle Martinez
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Among the Unsung
As long as there are big churches, there will be organs. As long as there are organs, there will be organists. But, generally--and Viagra notwithstanding--these maestros of the massive pipe organ are a vanishing, if not dying, breed. Still, nothing sends the shivers up your spine like a tremulous bellow coaxed from the fingers and toes of a virtuoso, writhing back and forth along the bench in front of a 10-ton musical instrument. Getting into it? The Texas Wind Symphony will drive you wild with its upcoming wind band and organ concert at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Fort Worth. Stroking the keyboard will be Robert S. MacDonald, longtime organist and choir director for the church. Brass, woodwinds and percussion instruments will join in for a varied program of hymns, symphonic poems and David Maslanka's complex and powerful Symphony No. 4. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at 1000 Penn St. Tickets are $10 to $25 from Star Tickets at 1-888-597-STAR. Call 817-729-9075. --Annabelle Massey Helber
Opera in bite-sized portions
Learning to appreciate opera is a lot like learning to eat sushi. Start with small bites of stuff you recognize, go easy on the wasabi and more than a mouthful is wasted anyway. Student singers of the Meadows Opera Theatre are serving up tantalizing arias, soulful snippets of big, long, tedious operas, during Scenes of Love, Hate and Fantasy on campus at Southern Methodist University. They've chosen recognizable tunes--Bizet's Carmen, Verdi's Rigoletto--and thrown in some tough stuff--Massenet's Werther, Britten's Turn of the Screw and Midsummer Night's Dream. The program features duets, trios and ensembles with the university's School of the Arts performers singing in English, French, Italian and ancient Egyptian. Under the direction of Marciem Bazell, this performance highlights each student's vocal training as well as his or her acting, stagecraft, language, movement and even stage combat techniques, which are not unlike wrestling sushi with chopsticks. Two free concerts begin at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at SMU's Greer Garson Theatre, 6101 Bishop Blvd. Call 214-768-1951. --Annabelle Massey Helber
Catch Her If You Can
Quad C Theatre has a reputation for churning out quality stage shows that make audiences forget they're watching a community college production. The program attracts young actors from all across North Texas and out of state. Last year's A Clockwork Orange drew critical kudos, and the stalker drama Boy Gets Girl by Rebecca Gilman is equally promising. Theresa (Sarah Saunders) takes a chance on Tony (James Dougherty) and quickly decides that he's not the one for her. But Tony has other plans in mind for poor Theresa who must learn to protect herself before becoming another statistic. It opens Friday at 8 p.m. and runs through May 4. Black Box Theatre, 2800 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano. Tickets are $8 and $6 for students. Call 972-881-5100. --Jay Webb
Here it is: your moment of Zen. Barely a week after Easter, Garland Civic Theatre's got Jesus up onstage, alongside John the Baptist, head intact, with Judas "Spare Change" Iscariot lurking nearby. Yep, it's Godspell, the retro, 1970s, hippified musical based on the stories in the biblical book of Matthew. GCT director Andy Long stays true to the show's original concept, Paula Morelan choreographs and George Gagliardi provides music direction. David Lugo plays Jesus with Stephen Bates playing both John and Judas. The rollicking ensemble cast includes Suzanne Bonifert, Kathy French, Josh Hepola, Quincy Jones, Noelle Mason, Delynda Moravec, Fred Patchen and Raegan Payne. Godspell runs April 24 through April 26, May 1 through May 3, May 8 through May 10 with 8 p.m. curtain at the Granville Arts Center, 300 N. Fifth St., Garland. Matinees are 2 p.m. May 3, May 4, May 10 and May 11. Tickets are $14.50 to $18.50 by calling 972-205-2790. Or, for info, call 972-485-8884. --Annabelle Massey Helber