this summer’s Tamarie Cooper musical can be expected by long-time followers to be just as crazy and loud as last year’s Tamarie ventures. The first thing that went through my head when I heard about the show was “Wait, so Tamarie Cooper is talking about Christmas? Tamarie Cooper? The inappropriately genius, dick-joke delivering Tamarie Cooper?
This Friday, Catastrophic Theatre premieres the newest play from Miki Johnson, Fleaven, which looks a hella lotta cray cray in the best possible way. Set in a town, that is a mall, that is a disco mall, it tells the story of disco superstar Heaven and his scarred relationship with his rival, Flame, who went on to create hip-hop after being left behind by his former friend. Rollerskates are involved and there is even a disco mall ghost. Really, what else could you ask for?!! We contacted playwright Miki Johnson to ask about her play, her inspiration, and a certain Olivia Newton-John movie.
Tamarie Cooper’s new show, the United States of Tamarie, is fantastic. From the opening number America is Awesome, which has 29-95 blogger Joe Folladori showing off some of his non Mathlete related musical chops, to the sublime self satire of Born Again Texan; Cooper and company create a musical amusement park that helps to remind Houstonians why she has endured.
There are plays that are entertaining for both the audience and the actors. There are plays that challenge the audience or actors, either through the difficulty of the script or the themes that are explored; and then there’s Catastrophic Theatre’s production of Sarah Kane’s play Crave. [...] It’s a conversation that encourages the [...] audeince member to construct his or her own story around the characters and the snippets of conversation that they seem to share. And to have a theatregoer leave with that feeling, and for that feeling to carry on for days, is an accomplishment in our easily distracted society.
Catastrophic Theatre’s years in the making production of Richard Foreman’s Paradise Hotel debuts at Diverseworks on Friday February 11. In the show’s press kit co-director Greg Dean describes the Houston interpretation of the play as "like sitting in on someone’s dream; like a hallucinogenic trip." He goes on to describe Foreman’s writing as "metaphysical vaudeville or philosophical burlesque."