Broadway's 'Mr. Cellophane' materializes on Houston stage

Joey Guerra

Entertainment Editor

Mr. Cellophane is coming to town, and you'd better know his name.

That phrase may not ring familiar to those outside theater circles, but for anyone who has seen the current smash Broadway incarnation of Kander and Ebb's Chicago, all signs point undoubtedly to the multi-talented Joel Grey.

Though Grey has recently left the Broadway musical, he is still winning plenty of laughs and smiles. He brings his unique, everyman brand of entertainment to the Jones Hall stage for three shows this weekend as part of the Houston Symphony-Exxon Pops Concert series.

As the endearingly clueless Amos Hart in a revival that has featured Bebe Neuwirth, Ann Reinking and James Naughton, Grey has received universal praise and numerous critics' awards. His stellar, sympathetic and hilarious turn as the scorned husband is a highlight of the sexy and vibrant musical.

For others, Grey's shining moment was in Cabaret, where he immortalized the role of master of ceremonies on both stage (1966) and screen (1972). That performance brought Grey the Tony, Golden Globe and Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor.

Grey has found success in nearly every medium, from stage to screen to television. It's unlikely anyone will forget his name for a long time to come.

Grey will perform with the Houston Symphony at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. Tickets are $19-$59, and student and senior rush tickets are available at the Jones Hall ticket window, subject to availability, one hour prior to each performance for $11. Call (713) 227-ARTS.

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