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."