A woman waltzes through Europe -- horizontally.

The Grand Tour 

A woman waltzes through Europe -- horizontally.

FRI 8/13
Paula Vogel is one of those playwrights who tackles tough issues and light fare with equal success -- she's earned a Pulitzer Prize, two Obie awards and several other accolades. One of the big winners was her early-'90s play The Baltimore Waltz, which opens this week at the Alanz Theatre at 624 East 63rd Street. At once a cutting satire and an elegy for Vogel's brother, who died of AIDS-related complications, the show tracks the European adventures of an adult sister-and-brother team. Anna is a victim of Acquired Toilet Disease, which afflicts unmarried schoolteachers, and she wants to sleep with as many men as possible. Carl, a gay bon vivant, tries to find a cure for her condition. A third actor plays ten characters at four of the duo's stops.

This production inaugurates a new theatrical venture that unifies two companies, FountainHead Arts and Push-On Productions. "The arts community seemed to be open and interested in supporting young artists," says Fountainhead cofounder Chris McCoy, who also directs the show, of the company's efforts to support emerging artists.

The Baltimore Waltz debuts at 8 p.m. Friday. Call 816-444-2288 for other dates or more information. --Steve Walker

Good Staff
Opera gets an update this weekend at the Folly.

8/13-8/14
In the entirety of the creative arts, opera probably ranks beneath speaking Klingon as a hip and popular pastime. As if in response, the Civic Opera Theater's twentieth season debut, Falstaff, delivers a message that might resonate with the youth of today: All the world is a joke. Also known as the one about that fat knight, Falstaff incorporates Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV parts I and II into a comic opera involving obvious disguises, pranks gone awry and heartbreaking vocals. But operagoers themselves might provide more pomp and majesty than the show itself, with the upper social strata stepping out in their finest for entertainment mixed with enlightenment.

Falstaff's two performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Folly Theater (301 West 11th Street). Advance tickets start at $18; $6 student tickets are available 30 minutes before the opera begins. Call 816-235-6222 for tickets or information. -- Christopher Sebela

Fly South

8/13-8/14
Krist Krueger, the one-man musical force now behind Southerly and formerly of Alaska Airlines, is your typical shaggy-haired, brooding, indie-rock god-in-training. His solo project fuses an array of guitars, piano and vocals, and he has opened for the likes of Pedro the Lion and the French Kicks. Though Southerly's Web site suggests enjoying Krueger's songs "at home with headphones on by candlelight, but with company nearby," we think that seems very rude. Instead, check him out at 10 p.m. Thursday at the Jackpot Saloon (943 Massachusetts in Lawrence) with Andi Camp, a piano-playing songstress whose name always makes us think of Van de Kamp's fish sticks. Call 785-832-1085 for more information. -- Annie Fischer

In Da Club

THU 8/12
Just how evil are Craig Webb's intentions? Kansas City native Craig "Evol1" Webb comes home for a two-night engagement at Club Amnesia (4551 Prospect) to celebrate the release of his first rap album, Evol Intentions. Evol1 performs a few selections at 9 p.m. Friday, but Saturday's concert, From Cali to KC, is hyped as the real event. Five bucks gets you in Friday, where you can buy a $10 CD that waives Saturday's admission fee. Call 816-861-3100 for more information. -- Fischer

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