For the theater set, August means it’s time for Tamarie Cooper to take center stage at the Catastrophic Theatre. This year marks the 17th installment of Cooper’s musical comedy series, and this one might very well be the perfect introduction to the series for the uninitiated. A Very Tamarie Christmas is a big-hearted, fun-spirited laugh-fest that critiques the three-month marathon of food, family, and frenzied shopping that we know as the holiday season.
This year’s musical beat all retail to decorate for the holiday season because A Very Tamarie Christmas was every bit the traditional Hallmark card worthy decor – presents, bows, snowflakes, a snowman, reindeer, Santa and anything else your child-like heart could imagine!
Produced by Catastrophic Theatre, A Very Tamarie Christmas is local goddess Tamarie Cooper’s 17th flirtation with musical as drug-induced memoir, a thing that begins with a thought, maybe with a question, and then romps joyously downhill from that point forward.
"Wild and crazy" is the guiding principle for everything in Tamarie Cooper's annual summer musicals, especially the costumes.
This year's show, "A Very Tamarie Christmas," is no exception. From Gregory Dean's festively embellished duds (he's Christmas personified) to the floppy-eared rabbit suit Noel Bowers sports as a lewdly rapping Easter Bunny, the costumes are as crucial to the outlandish fun as the performers, songs and sketches.
Tamarie Cooper gives Houston Christmas in July with A VERY TAMARIE CHRISTMAS and it is definitely a treat! She is at it again with her original summer musical, and this year with a book by Patrick Reynolds, music by Miriam Daly and Joe Folladori, and lyrics by Tamarie Cooper, Miriam Daly, Joe Folladori, Miki Johnson, and Patrick Reynolds, she has conceived an effervescent spectacle full of mirth and some of that good old Christmas spirit. It is never early to get in the mood for one of the great holidays ever, right
For the 17th summer, Cooper has conceived, directed and choreographed a zany original musical in which she also stars. Appropriately enough, "A Very Tamarie Christmas" has the feeling of a rowdy holiday party. It generates lots of laughs, fun and surprises, with good company and festive accoutrements - a little out of control at times, but never dull. And no hangover.
It wouldn't be summer in Houston without a crazy-quilt vaudeville from Tamarie Cooper and those Catastrophic troopers on a sublimely goofy warpath. Superbly wrapped (thank you Ryan McGettigan and Eric Marsh for those '50s snowflakes and colorful wash), Christmas is the best present ever. You don't even have to shake it to find out what's in it, it'll shake you.
Houston comedienne Tamarie Cooper's 17th show may be billed as A Very Tamarie Christmas, but the vaudevillian romp, written in collaboration with Patrick Reynolds, is a ridiculous odyssey that thumbs its nose at the stereotypes of countless holidays. The Catastrophic Theatre production opens on Thursday and runs through Aug. 30.
Three-time Emmy Award winner Jim Parsons, the star of "The Big Bang Theory," one of the most successful situation comedies on network TV. For the past few years the actor who grew up in Spring and graduated from the University of Houston has given $300,000 to the Catastrophic Theatre, where he performed many times early in his career.
Jason Nodler, Catastrophic's artistic director, says he met Parsons at an audition in 1995, when the company was known as Infernal Bridegroom Productions.
"We knew right away we were going to cast him," Nodler says. "He was really wonderful."
After four years with Infernal Bridegroom, Parsons attended graduate school in San Diego, then moved to New York and eventually landed the part of a lifetime. It came with some cash to spare.
"Back when we were making plays together, pretty much growing up together, we would have dreamed of having an angel like Jim," Nodler said. "We didn't realize he was just on the next bar stool over. Of course we're very grateful. Jim's told me he thinks of his support as a way of remaining a part of our work."