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Tamarie’s back. And Bethel United Church of Christ celebrates 90 years.

TAMARIE’S BACK!

Tamarie
Tamarie

And Catastrophic’s got her. For several years, actress Tamarie Cooper regaled audiences with her popular and often zany musical adventures presented by the now-defunct Infernal Bridegroom Productions. When the epic 10-part Tamalalia series wrapped up in 2005, a chapter of Houston theater history seemed to end. Now the sparkling Cooper (“a walking Greta Garbo Lucille Ball hybrid,” as the local performing-arts critic Nancy Wozny has described her) has returned. The Tamarie Cooper Show, a new musical produced by Catastrophic Theatre — the queer-positive company formed by several Infernal veterans (Cooper is associate director) — finds the one-time party girl in a new marriage and contemplating motherhood. The world premiere production plays through July 19 at Stages Repertory Theatre. Details: www.catastrophictheatre.org.

Photographed by George Hixson

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HOLY ANNIVERSARY!

AnnEthridge
Ann Ethridge— out at Bethal UCC.

When the congregation that is now Bethel United Church of Christ was founded in 1918, its location on Shepherd (called Brunner at the time) was at the far western edge of Houston. After nine decades, Bethel now finds itself at the heart of one of the fastest developing sections of the city. Bethel, which began its life as a Lutheran church, in recent years joined the UCC, one of the few Protestant denominations that fully embraces gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, support that includes the endorsement of marriage rights for same-sex couples. On July 27, the parishioners of Bethel UCC celebrate the 90th anniversary of the congregation with a day of worship and activities, concluding with the dedication of a 23-rank pipe organ followed by a recital. Details: www.bethelhouston.org. Ruth Ann Ethridge, who has been a Bethel member for seven years, is one of many GLBT people who attend the church. Ethridge also leads the social action committee at Bethel.

Photographed by Yvonne Feece

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