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The Must List: April 7-12

April 5, 2017

All the rage: So much comedy comes from rage and outrage, which makes Nate Bargatze a special talent. The Tennessee native pulls from repeated states of being flummoxed by the world around him, either as a young drinker or an anxious father. His comedy albums are among the best of the past 10 years, full of sidesplitting humor delivered with brilliant understatement. 8 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 and 9:45 Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 Sunday at the Improv, 7620 Katy Freeway; $20; 713-333-8800, improv.com.

Andrew Dansby

UNREMEMBERABLE: Partners in comedy Steve Martin and Martin Short are promising “An Evening You’ll Forget for the Rest of Your Life,” which sounds like a career anthology for the two, including “a blend of conversation, banter, singing and banjo playing.” 8 p.m. Friday at Smart Financial Centre, 18111 Lexington, Sugar Land; $89.50-$159.50; 281-207-6278, smartfinancialcentre.com.

Andrew Dansby

WELCOME TO HIS DREAM: MC 900 Ft. Jesus materialized in Dallas the ’90s, the vision of Mark Griffin, who threw away his classical training to make a sort of electronic hip-hop that was nearly 20 years ahead of its time. With a stage name cribbed from Oral Roberts, Griffin made three brilliant records between 1990 and 1994 and then walked away from music, presumably to allow trends some time to catch up. More than 20 years later, he’s decided to return. 8 p.m. Saturday at Heights Theater, 339 W. 19th; $20; 214-272-8346.

Andrew Dansby

SHALL WE DANCE?: METdance celebrates Latin talent with its big spring show at the Wortham Theater Center. “United in Dance” features premieres by two internationally known choreographers. Mario Alberto Zambrano’s piece is inspired by the paintings of Mexican artists such as Frida Kahlo. Choreographer Rosie Herrera draws on the personalities of the company’s dancers for “Opening Number.” Also on the program: audience faves by Andrea Shelley-Hering and Paola Georgudis. 8 p.m. Friday, Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas; $15-$45, 832-487-7041, metdance.org.

Molly Glentzer

Now hear this: The Sonics stormed out of the northwest in the ’60s with a buzzsaw sound that opened the door to a half century of heavy music - from hard rock to metal to grunge. The band’s run lasted only a couple of years, but its sway over rock ‘n’ roll continues. The group reunited for an album, “This Is the Sonics,” in 2015, which picked up where they left off nearly 50 years earlier. They’re as influential as the Velvet Underground or Big Star, but unlike those two bands, you can still see the Sonics. Don’t miss this one. 8 p.m. Thursday at the Continental Club, 3700 Main; $28; 713-528-5999, continentalclub.com.

Andrew Dansby

Culture-clash alert!: Hip-hop dance goes toe to toe with international movement forms in several shows this weekend.

On the earthy side, iconic choreographer Rennie Harris collaborates with Japanese butoh innovator Michael Sakamoto in “Flash,” a show they conceived as a movement “conversation.” They have more in common than you might expect, both expressing cultural identities born from marginalized, post-war urban subcultures. See them at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday at MECA, 1900 Kane; $15-$20; 713-802-9370, meca-houston.org.

On the sparkly side, hip-hop and breakdance meet expressive, fleet-footed Indian Bharatnayam in “Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Review,” featuring 30 dancers in vibrant costumes, live music and all that happy, pop-cultural pizazz. Presented by the Indo-American Association, it breezes through the Smart Financial Centre at 8 p.m. Saturday; 18111 Lexington, Sugarland; $25-$100; 281-648-0422, ticketmaster.com.

Molly Glentzer

Anime-ted: Anime Matsuri is a Japanese Culture Convention and one of the 10 biggest anime conventions in the country. The event is celebrating its 10th anniversary, with more than 30,000 fans expected to attend for its mix of art, collectibles, cosplay, music and more. Friday through Sunday at the George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas; $75, for a three-day pass (single-day passes available only at the door); animematsuri.com.

Andrew Dansby

Highwire steampunk: Cirque du Soleil’s jaunty yellow and blue tents have risen at Sam Houston Race Park. Some of the company’s most fascinating characters in years crank up the fun in “Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities,” a show inspired by the displays in which aristocrats, merchants and scientists once kept collections of global artifacts they were still discovering. A Seeker leads this journey through the alternate reality of his makeshift, mechanical world. Think Jules Verne meets Thomas Edison, with contortionists. Opens at 8 p.m. Thursday, with performances through May 21; $35-$185; cirquedusoleil.com/kurios.

Molly Glentzer

Road Scholars: Last year the Drive-By Truckers released “American Band,” the group’s best album in nearly a decade. The guitars were revved up, as they always are, but co-singer-songwriters Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley offered up a strong set of stories that touched on all sorts of relevant issues of the age, with insight, weariness, wisdom and a little bit of hope. 7 p.m. Tuesday at White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N. Main; $25-$29; 713-237-0370, whiteoakmusichall.com.

Andrew Dansby