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TUTS' Dark Side

Ax murderers and sex romps steal the show: This special package is anything but traditional

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Hands on a Hardbody TUTS Underground
Hands on a Hardbody is set in Longview, where 10 Texans compete for a slice of the American dream. Photo by Chad Batka
Murder Ballad TUTS Underground
Murder Ballad is a steamy rock musical in which love affairs kindle to rouse a complicated and fatal love triangle. Photo by Claire McAdams
Hands on a Hardbody TUTS Underground
Murder Ballad TUTS Underground

When Theatre Under the Stars announced the launch of its alter ego performance series that would program musicals about the darker side of life — think ax murderers, pleasures of the flesh and dirty romps — contemporary-minded audiences responded positively, snatching up tickets to the risqué shows.

TUTS Underground, which stages performances in the more intimate of the two Hobby Center for the Performing Arts theaters, has released a mini subscription package for the remainder of the 2013-14 season, which includes Murder Ballad (April 17-27, 2014) and Hands on a Hardbody (June 12-22, 2014). The price of the two-show bundle starts at $70 and also offers subscribers first dibs on subscriptions to TUTS Underground's following season. The offer is available from Dec. 6 to Jan. 31, 2014.

"Houstonians have embraced TUTS Underground with passion and excitement, and we want to offer our dedicated patrons the ability to lock in the most valuable seats for the remainder of the season as well as get a jumpstart on the best seats for the 2014-15 season," Bruce Lumpkin, artistic director, said in a statement.

Conceived by Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist Julia Jordan, Murder Ballad is a steamy rock musical in which love affairs kindle to rouse a complicated and fatal love triangle. Hands on a Hardbody, based on its namesake 1997 documentary, is set in Longview, where 10 Texans compete for a slice of the American dream: A pickup truck.

Subscriptions may be purchased online or by calling 713-558-8887.

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