Stand-up Guy


Bill Bellamy fits into the category "People About Whom I Have Nothing to Say Whatsoever," alongside Gallagher II, Hulk Hogan, Sinbad, the father from Alf, Erika Elaniak, the bass player in Lionel Richie's band and, oh, you. He's as generic as a bar code, the kind of guy you could live with or without, since his existence as a celebrity or actor or comedian makes not a single bit of difference to me or a single person I know. Which isn't to disparage Bellamy's abilities--whatever they are--but merely to acknowledge that when he comes on my TV doing something for MTV or appearing in some direct-to-cable movie or on that canceled Fastlane series for Fox, he might as well be a test pattern. The man makes no mark; he's like a phantom that way, the poor man's Will Smith or the broke man's Chris Rock. Bellamy, whose show at the Majestic Theater's being filmed for a DVD release, may be hysterical as a stand-up comedian, but I doubt it. Bellamy performs at 8 p.m. December 4 at Majestic Theater, 1925 Elm St. Tickets are $17 to $23 from Ticketmaster, 214-373-8000. --Robert Wilonsky

Here We Come A-Caroling

In younger years, we insisted on year-round Christmas songs. Furthermore, our preference swung toward the Victorian "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" or perennial favorite "What Child Is This?" (probably because this song allowed us to say the word "ass" with impunity). Our patient mother eventually tired of hearing "O Holy Night" on trips to the beach or summer camp and suggested that July may not be the most appropriate time for Christmas carols. To which we responded--mustering our most innocent tone of voice--"But, Mommy, shouldn't we celebrate Jesus all year long?" And so the carols played on. As Christmas approaches, we allow no carol to go unsung. If you need a kick-start, University of Texas at Dallas' 28th Annual Holiday Sing might help you brush up on old favorites like "We Three Kings" and "Joy to the World." Partnered with the sing-along, this year's theme, A Child's Christmas, is highlighted by a visit from Santa Claus and readings from A Christmas Carol, A Child's Christmas in Wales and 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. The December 5 event is free, but for best seating arrive early for the 7:30 p.m. concert at the University Theatre at UTD, 2601 N. Floyd Road, Richardson. Call 972-883-2787. --Michelle Martinez

Think Again

For six weeks now, a sketch comedy and improv show put on by a young troupe of Baylor grads who call themselves the STDs (Second Thought Dramatics) has been packing in appreciative crowds at the West End Comedy Theatre. The show is called "Unprotected Comedy," and all of it is funny, but we would like to call your attention to one little segment of it in particular: "Saddam: The Musical," which attempts to imagine what would happen if George W. Bush and the former Iraqi dictator fell for each other. Performances continue Fridays and Saturdays through December 18. Call 214-880-9990 for $10 reservations. --Claiborne Smith

Best of the Best

The grimy, grungy stars of this play will make your kids look even more angelic than those bed sheet-covered cherubs onstage. Barbara Robinson's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever--and its wild, destructive Herdman siblings--has become a yuletide tradition for countless families across the metroplex. See it again, or for the first time, when the Dallas Children's Theater presents this classic play Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from December 3 through December 19 at El Centro Performance Hall, 801 N. Main St. Call 214-740-0051 or visit --Mary Monigold

Dethrone the Mouse King

Members of Dallas' Barefoot Brigade, a modern/contemporary dance company, don't wear shoes during most performances. That's because the dancers and choreographers require every spare square inch of skin on which to wear their emotions. With works called "Truce," "A Laurel for Larry," "12 Ways to Reduce Stress," "Crack the Shellac: A Tribute to the Current...Of Butterflies" and "Mistakes Ballet," the dancers leave audiences reeling, exhausted, happy and transformed when they exit the Bath House Cultural Center's small, black-box theater. Barefoot Brigade, under the direction of Kerry Kreiman, the executive/artistic director of Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth, produces an annual December program of hip and mentally healthy original works under a funny umbrella moniker: NOTcracker, poking fun at the fact that you can't swing a sack of kittens in Dallas in December without smacking Clara or a Mouse King. "Sure, the Nutcracker is fabulous," Kreiman says, "but if you've had your fill of sugar plum fairies, try a palate cleanser." Presented over two weekends, the December 3 and December 4 program features independent choreographers from Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth dance companies and Spank Dance from Austin. See them Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. The second weekend, December 10 and December 11 (with the same performance times), focuses on Barefoot Brigade member choreographers and dancers, plus a group of free-spirited guests. "When we celebrate the holidays," Kreiman says, "we deck the halls with an eclectic mix of modern dance, contemporary dance and performance art." Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students, seniors and Dallas Dance Council members. Call 214-559-3993 or see --Annabelle Massey Helber

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