If it’s summer, then it’s time for another wacky original musical from Tamarie Cooper and her merry band of creative cohorts. This year’s production, The University of Tamarie
, will bring songs, gags and shenanigans to The Catastrophic Theatre with a focus on education.
“Every year, we’ve been busting out these shows,” said Cooper. “There always comes the moment, right after I open the show, when I’m asked, ‘What’s happening next year?’” While most years the jump-off theme is obvious, this time it wasn’t. Instead, Tamarie found that she was spending a lot of time thinking about her preschooler’s next move.
“It sort of became clear I was talking obsessively about the differences now with kindergarten. It set off a lot of different runaway tangents. We have a scene that is a re-enactment of my first theater class experience. It is so bizarre. [Co-author Patrick Reynolds] was like, ‘Why are we not just doing that? It’s so weird.’
“I have some very topical numbers. For example, there’s this whole thing with the Texas State Board of Education,” said Cooper. “You certainly don’t have to have a kid in school. You don’t have to have gone to college to find hilarity in this latest installment.”
The musical includes touches on Greek life, standardized testing, bullies, hot teachers and John Hughes movies.
“I have to say, creating these shows and performing these shows will definitely be a highlight of my life. It’s a great feeling to have new people come every year as well, but also to have those people who are so excited every year, come multiple times, bring large groups of people,” said Cooper. “It’s like that feeling when I was a kid at AstroWorld.”
8 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday. Through August 29. 1119 East Freeway. For information, call 713-522-2723 or visit catastrophictheatre.com. Pay-what-you-can ($25 suggested).