A Very Tamarie Christmas
July 18–Aug 30
$25 (suggested)
Catastrophic Theatre
1119 East Fwy.
catastrophictheatre.comBeyoncé and Jay-Z: On the Run Tour
July 18 at 8. $50–905
Minute Maid Park
501 Crawford St.

This Friday, beloved Houston actress/writer/director Tamarie Cooper’s new musical revue, A Very Tamarie Christmas (“guaranteed to be the first Christmas special you’ll see all year”) opens at The Catastrophic Theatre, where Cooper is the associate director. Cooper’s been staging the revue, which has developed a cult following in Houston, most summers since 1996. 

That’s the same year, incidentally, that her fellow Houstonian Beyoncé Knowles helped launch Destiny’s Child. And as it happens, Queen Bey will also be in town Friday night with hubby Jay-Z for their blockbuster concert at Minute Maid Park. The coincidence got us thinking about other similarities between the two women. Weren’t they both multi-talented child performers? Didn’t they both go to HSPVA? Aren’t they both pretty awesome? (Yes, yes, and yes.) We decided to investigate the hidden connections between these two hometown divas.



Beyoncé: 32

Tamarie: 43

artistic Training

Beyoncé: Dance, singing

Tamarie: Dance, theater

Daughter Named After Plant

Beyoncé: Blue Ivy

Tamarie: Rose


Beyoncé: Jay-Z

Tamarie: Zach Elkins, a custom furniture designer

Alter Ego

Beyoncé: Sasha Fierce

Tamarie: “Tamarie Cooper”


Beyoncé: Christian, and also the inspiration for the Atlanta-based National Church of Bey

Tamarie: “Jewish, but nonpracticing.” 

Launchpad to fame

Beyoncé: Destiny’s Child, founded in 1996

Tamarie: Infernal Bridegroom Productions, founded in 1993 

Greatest dramatic role

Beyoncé: Etta James in the 2008 film Cadillac Records

Tamarie: Winnie in Samuel Beckett’s one-woman play Happy Days

Greatest comedic role

Beyoncé: Foxxy Cleopatra in Austin Powers in Goldmember

Tamarie: Herself 

Literary Collaboration

Beyoncé: O. Henry Prize–winning novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi. (“Flawless,” from Beyoncé’s most recent album, includes an excerpt from Adichi’s TED talk “We Should All Be Feminists.)

Tamarie: Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks. (Parks wrote and directed F***ing A for Infernal Bridegroom Productions.)


Beyoncé: “Artist of the Decade” (The London Observer)

Tamarie: “One of Houston’s loveliest performers” (Houston Press

Favorite movie

Beyoncé: A Star is Born

Tamarie: It’s a Wonderful Life

Favorite TV show

Beyoncé: Jersey Shore

Tamarie: Girls


Beyoncé: Bootylicious (it's in the OED!)

Tamarie: Tamalalia (the original name of her annual musical revue)


Beyoncé: Constantly videotapes herself

Tamarie: Doesn’t know how to drive

On Houston

Beyoncé: “Frenchy’s, boudin in the parking lot / Hold up, Texas trill / H-town going down, man.” (“Bow Down/I Been On”)

Tamarie: “I’m in Houston, and I have heard comments over the years like 'Why don’t you go to New York.' You don't have to go to New York or LA to be a successful performer. I’ve been lucky that Houston has been accepting of my talent. There are fewer fish in this sea. And, if you create something good and find people you want to work with, then with that 'if you build it they will come' sort of thing, people will come. I must acknowledge that with Houston I have been very fortunate."

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