Feelin' Lucky

Granbury rounds up the Guys and Dolls

Somebody should have told Adelaide the old adage: He's not going to buy the cow if he can get the milk for free. Of course, Adelaide's the kind of dame who wouldn't take kindly to being compared to a heifer. Adelaide's been engaged to gambler, hustler, good-for-nothing Nathan Detroit for 14 years, and she's blinded by her love. She works as a showgirl at night when he's off conducting business, so she honestly believes that he's given up his lifestyle. She also believes that the lack of a "little band of gold" can cause a "girl to develop a cold," blaming her respiratory ailments on her bachelorette-hood. Adelaide is just one of the dolls in Guys and Dolls, which opens July 4 at the Granbury Opera House, a venue that has as much in common with New York City's Times Square as Salvation Army volunteer Sarah Brown has with big-time swindler Sky Masterson. And that's the point of the play: You can never tell what's going to happen between guys and dolls. When Detroit bets Masterson a thousand dollars that he can't get Brown to agree to a date, a series of agreements, lies and schemes goes into motion, with the outcome being completely unrealistic but definitely Broadway-listic. There's gotta be a happy ending. But along the way there are fights, broken hearts and plenty of singing, including the show's well-known performances of "Luck Be a Lady Tonight" and "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat." The play travels from the sparse and clean Save A Soul Mission to the sewers and backrooms of New York, where Detroit hosts the "Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York." Guys and Dolls tugs at the heartstrings and relies on stereotypes. There's the gullible lovebird whose biological clock is ticking; the commitment-phobic aging bachelor; the stud used to getting everything he wants; and the goody two-shoes. But it works, which is why it's produced somewhere every theater season across the metroplex. This Guys and Dolls keeps intact the Technicolor scenery and clothing that have become a tradition. Times Square's lights and marquees are done with primary colors, and the costumes match with their splashes of color. The Granbury Opera House presents Guys and Dolls at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. July 4, plus 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Thursday through Sunday through August 3. The theater is located on the historic town square at 133 E. Pearl St. Tickets are $21 to $24. For reservations, call the box office at 817-573-9191 or 1-866-572-0881. --Shannon Sutlief

Bandera Star
Go Fourth with Robison

We're not sure where Bandera native Charlie Robison falls on the spectrum of coolness. But we're pretty sure he lost some points after his appearance as a judge on Nashville Star, the yeehaw version of American Idol. Let's just hope a nude magazine spread (à la Fame judge Carnie Wilson) isn't next. Robison will make an appearance July 4 at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie. Racing begins at 5 p.m., and the concert will start at about 11, immediately following a fireworks display. A $3 admission gets you into the track and the concert. Not a bad price to see a guy who's married to a Dixie Chick. Call 1-800-795-RACE. --Rhonda Reinhart

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

It's about time there's a musical about females falling somewhere between naïve, coquettish fairy-tale princesses and all-out, no-more-wire-hangers bitch-divas. Bad girls. Those who try to behave but realize it's just so easy not to. So for all of you Mama Roses and milkmaids who could use a lesson in the middle ground, there's Hip Pocket Theater's Bad Girls in the Big City, a musical adapted from 1940s pulp novels, which Hip Pocket Theater performs July 5 through July 27 at the Oak Acres Amphitheater in Fort Worth. Call 817-246-9775. --Leah Gerchario

Frank Shants
Bad Girls in the Big City
Bad Girls in the Big City

Country & Western

Besides fireworks and roasted wienies, the Fourth is a time to reflect on and celebrate the things that have made this a great country. To this end, the Southwest Celtic Music Association and Boston Road Records present Into the West: The Civil War in Song, Story and Image. The third of the SCMA's Into the West series, the Civil War show will feature Celtic performers Jed Marum, Heather Gilmer, Betty Blakey Waddoups and the Trinity River Whalers performing popular songs of the era from the Confederate, Yankee and African-American experiences. A variety of authentic letters, histories, journals and memoirs were carefully researched to provide an accurate and inspiring story of the American independent spirit. Into the West will be performed 8 p.m. Thursday at the Pocket Sandwich Theatre, 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane. Call 214-821-1860. --David Wilson

Family Tradition
Willie's picnic turns 30

Much like its namesake, Willie Nelson's Fourth of July Picnic has seen good times and bad. Having survived everything from floods to IRS audits, Willie and his picnic have become like old friends. They try to get together every year or so to laugh at old jokes and raise a little hell, but sometimes the timing just isn't right. And sometimes life gets in the way. But they never forget. And they never let time make them awkward. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of this July 4 tradition, Willie has lined up a two-day event featuring, among others, The Dead, Pat Green, Neil Young and Patty Griffin. In the spirit of the season and all, we'll forgive the appearance of guest star Toby Keith. While he's getting beer for his horses, we'll be getting beer for ourselves. The picnic will be July 4 and July 5 at Two River Canyon Amphitheatre overlooking the Hill Country, 11750 Highway 71 W. in Spicewood. Tickets are $49 per show or $80 for a two-day pass. Call 1-888-597-STAR or go to www.startickets.com. --Rhonda Reinhart

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