Bernice Johnson Reagon's father once told her about a "land so rich that when rocks were cracked open, honey flowed from them." It is a biblical parable that inspired the performer to name the group she founded Sweet Honey in the Rock--an African-American female a cappella quintet. The name was to be comparable to the essence of African-American women, strong as a rock and sweet as honey. Being an African-American woman myself, that sounds about right. Of course, I can't claim to be full of honey all the time. But I digress. This musical group focuses on issues such as spirituality, politics, war and love, and their Grammy Award-winning style is embedded in African-American spirituals, hymns and traditional gospel. The ensemble also has drawn influence from genres such as jazz, blues, hip-hop and R&B. Sweet Honey in the Rock will perform as part of the TITAS Music Season at 8 p.m. Friday at Southern Methodist University's McFarlin Auditorium. The performance is in conjunction with the group's 30th anniversary tour. Tickets can be purchased at the TITAS box office at 3101 N. Fitzhugh, Suite 301, by calling 214-528-5576 and online at www.titas.org. Costs range from $10 to $55 with group and student discounts available. --Jenice Johnson
We've never been to Gilead, Wisconsin. Been to Quincy, Illinois, Hays, Kansas, and Fargo, North Dakota (before the Coen brothers made it famous), but we've never hit Gilead. Still we'd like to go there for a town hall meeting, just to see what animates a Gileadite. So we're thrilled we won't have to spring for Greyhound tickets because the WaterTower Theatre is bringing Gilead to us, showcasing the area premiere of The Spitfire Grill. The Spitfire Grill is the story of Gilead, Wisconsin, and the mysterious woman who arrives there looking for a second chance at life. She inadvertently sets in motion a series of events that rouse the townies and stir the soul of Gilead itself. Based on the 1996 film, the musical production of Spitfire received the 2001 Richard Rodgers Production Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. It runs January 22 through February 15 at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, plus 2 p.m. Sundays beginning February 1 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays on February 4 and February 11. Tickets are $15 to $28 and can be purchased by calling the WaterTower box office at 972-450-6232 or on the Internet at www.watertowertheatre.org. Student rush tickets are available 15 minutes prior to curtain with valid ID for only $7. WaterTower Theatre, 15650 Addison Road, Addison. --Mark Stuertz
Not Good to be King
If you can stand having the "Knights of the Roundtable" song from Monty Python and the Holy Grail stuck in your head for a week, we recommend that you check out Casa Mañana's production of the musical Camelot. It further shows that extramarital nookie can only lead to badness by focusing on Arthur's defense of his kingdom and his marriage bed. The show runs January 27 through February 1. Ticket prices are $25 to $75. All performances are at Bass Hall, 525 Commerce Street, Fort Worth. Call 817-212-4280. --Mary Monigold
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Get back to your roots. Or your dog's roots. Or that redheaded woman at work's roots. And attend Gaelic Storm's performance on January 22 at the Palace Arts Center, 300 S. Main St. in Grapevine. The band, which was showcased in the film Titanic, plays rockin' Celtic rhythms that make us want to stand up and dance. You know, if we had coordination, rhythm or Jack Daniel's. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets range from $12 to $25. Call 817-410-3100. --Mary Monigold
Wild and Crazy
Party like it's 1920-something
You say your New Year's Eve wasn't the deliciously depraved wild time you wanted it to be. You say you want to party on--you feel compelled to actually--even if it's done vicariously and in a darkened room. Then Theatre Three may hold the answer to your emptiness with its upcoming production of The Wild Party, a jazz musical about the dark side of Broadway set during the 1920s. Two vaudevillians, also battling lovers, end their domestic quarrel by throwing a bash to end all bashes, and their parade of guests offers a glimpse of those who inhabited the seamy side of the Great White Way: a lesbian stripper and her addict lover, a former boxer and his 14-year-old sister-in-law, a nearly over-the-hill star with her own designs for the evening. What begins as good times turns brutish and dark, as "gin and sin" help the party to spin wildly out of control. The Wild Party is based on a poem by Joseph Moncure March and was first produced theatrically in New York in 2000 when it was nominated for seven Tony Awards, among them Best Musical. Locally, the production will be directed by Theatre Three's Jac Alder, who has made the musical standard seasonal fare for his loyal audience. Longtime Theatre Three resident artist Terry Dobson will serve as musical director. The play will run at the theater's main Quadrangle space from January 22 through February 28. For tickets, contact the Theatre Three box office at 214-871-3300 or via e-mail at its Web site, www.theatre3dallas.com. --Mark Donald