The United States of Tamarie

Tamarie is Back!



photo: George Hixson




"The theatrical equivalent of a handmade gift"
- Everett Evans, Houston Chronicle


For 13 consecutive summers, Tamarie Cooper wowed Houston audiences with an entirely original, full-scale, musical comedy extravaganza, filled to the brim with songs and gags and hi-jinx from some of Houston's funniest theatre artists. Without question, her original plays have been among the most wildly popular summer offerings. Tamarie's shows truly are a unique, and uniquely Houstonian phenomenon. And Houston audiences have loved her for it.


"It’s not really summer in Houston without a freshly cooked-up musical from Tamarie Cooper"
- Nancy Wozny, Houston Arts Week


But last year was different. Tamarie took a time-out from this tremendous creative output to care for her newborn daughter, Rose. We can't blame her for her choices, but it was a long, hot, and sad sad summer without the respite of a new Tamarie Cooper musical.

But now she's back.


"Truly remarkable and engaging comedic writing"
- Buzz Belmont, Chron Commons


Over the years, Tamarie has taken on everything from love to camping, speakeasies, time travel, domesticity, neuroscience, and cocktail parties. This time she turns her comic attention on, well, us.

The United States of Tamarie is an unflinching look at the inherent absurdity of our modern national identity. Protest culture, patriotic machismo, education, international affairs, pop culture, religion, jazz, conspiracy theories, political deadlock, and american nostalgia are all skewered by Tamarie's signature zany wit.


"Like you're sitting at a party full of very funny people"
- Lee Williams, Houston Press


The United States of Tamarie was written by Patrick Reynolds and Tamarie Cooper with original music and lyrics by Tamarie Cooper, John Duboise, Joe Folladori, DeWitt Gravink, and Patrick Reynolds.

Conceived, directed, and choreographed by Tamarie Cooper with music and vocal direction by Miriam Daly.

Featuring Catastrophic company members Kyle Sturdivant, Walt Zipprian, Noel Bowers, Seán Patrick Judge and Karina Pal Montaño-Bowers joined by Christian Holmes, Richard Lyders, Elissa Levitt, Ivy Rush, Sara Jo Dunstan, Rebecca Randall, Dennis Draper, Abe Zapata, and Vinicia Smothers. Chris Bakos, Cathy Power, Kirk Suddreath, and Miriam Daly comprise the band.

And, of course, starring Tamarie Cooper.




photo: George Hixson



TAMARIE COOPER has been performing her entire life. She is associate director of The Catastrophic Theatre, which she co-founded in 2007 with longtime collaborator and dear friend, Jason Nodler. Originally trained in dance, she began working in theatre at HSPVA and helped to found the Infernal Bridegroom company in 1993, where she worked for fourteen years. She is a seasoned actor, director, designer, choreographer and occasional writer, best known for her original musicals, which enjoy highly successful runs and a cult-like following in Houston. Tamarie has been featured in national trade magazine Stage Directions and has received various "Best of Houston" awards from The Houston Press for her performances and original work. In addition to her original work, favorite roles/productions include: Marie and Bruce (Marie), Fleaven (choreographer), Hide Town (Miss Iva), Medea (Medea), Rhinoceros (director), A Soap Opera (Andrea), We Have Some Planes, Fucking A (Hester), Happy Days(Winnie), Guys and Dolls (Adelaide). Tamarie is married to Zach Elkins, a custom furniture designer. They are the proud parents of Rose, the most wonderful little girl in the whole wide world. 

PATRICK REYNOLDS is a graduate of The Second City Training Center Writing Program (Chicago). In Houston, he was a company member at Main Street Youth Theatre and Infernal Bridegroom Productions, as well as touring as a VIP clown with Cirque Du Soleil (Dralion) in Mexico City. Patrick wrote the book for The University of TamarieA Very Tamarie Christmas, Tamarie Cooper’s Old As Hell!, Tamarie Cooper’s Doomsday Revue, The United States of TamarieJourney to the Center of My Brain (in 3D!) and was a performer and contributing writer in multiple Tamalalia shows (2000, 6, 7, and 8). You should hire him to write for you….


DeWitt Gravink is proud and happy to once again perform with The Catastrophic Theatre.  Dewitt co-produced and appeared in the original Tamalalia!  Infernal Bridegroom Productions: In the Under ThunderlooIn the Jungle of CitiesRhinocerosMarat/Sade; Samuel’s Major ProblemsWaiting for Godot; Guys and DollsTamalalia 2Tamalalia 3Tamalalia 4Tamalalia 6, and Tamalalia 10.  For Infernal Bridegroom, he also underwrote Twenty Love Songs.  With Catastrophic he wrote lyrics for and appeared in The Tamarie Cooper Show, wrote lyrics for and appeared in TCS: Journey to the Center of My Brain, and wrote lyrics for The United States of Tamarie.

John Duboise is a composer, arranger and mulit-instrumentalist (saxophone, clarinet, guitar). He has performed with a variety of theatre companies and musical groups over the past decade. Theatres include The Catastrophic Theatre, Infernal Bridegroom Productions, Bobbindoctrin Puppet Theatre, Theatre Illuminata and the University of Houston. 

Joe Folladori has done, and will continue to do so.