Chronicle critics offer entertainment suggestions

March 18, 2015 2:51 PM

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'70s flashback: The Ensemble Theatre returns to the work of noted playwright and best-selling author Pearl Cleage with its Houston premiere of "What I Learned in Paris," opening Thursday. Set in 1973 Atlanta, the play depicts the romantic entanglements and personal loyalties among campaign workers involved in Maynard Jackson's race to become the first African-American mayor of a major U.S. city. Jackson is not a character in the play but represents the new spirit of empowerment among its five characters. Premiered at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre in 2012, the play is informed by Cleage's experience as Jackson's campaign secretary. Cleage's best-known works include the play "Blues for an Alabama Sky," memorably staged at the Ensemble, and the novel "What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day," which was an Oprah Book Club selection. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, through April 12; the Ensemble Theatre, 3535 Main; $23-$44; 713-520-0055,

Burning bridges: Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland were doing just fine as solo performers. But the husband/wife team - who are also part of Sarah McLachlan's touring band - decided their voices worked better together, which resulted in Whitehorse, a soulful roots band built around McClelland's pow...

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