Rock It


Defining rock and roll's birthday is nearly impossible. But Memphis staked claim to the date July 5, 1954, the day when a very young Elvis Presley recorded "That's All Right (Mama)" at Sun Studio. Arguably, others were doing it first. And according to an article by David Hajdu from The New York Review of Books, rock and roll was "in the air" and "Elvis did not invent it." Hajdu says black and white teenagers had been dancing to records by black groups such as Jackie Brenston and the Delta Cats' "Rocket 88" (often regarded as the first rock song) since the early 1950s. Not to mention that the likes of Little Richard and Chuck Berry were doing it, too. That's already a sour note spanning decades when it comes to the Pelvis' music-swiping from black musicians, but I'm stepping down from the old soapbox. If you want to celebrate the decided birthday of rock, the band Crawfish will pay tribute under the stars at 8 p.m. June 27 and July 1 as part of the Fort Worth Symphony's Concerts in the Garden series at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Crawfish has graced the stage with such legends as The Temptations, The Drifters and Chuck Berry. But if you are a classical sort, come out at 8 p.m. June 24 for Moonlight & Mozart: Part 3 featuring conductor Robert Moody. And, for a twist, listen to your classical favorites set to synchronized lasers and fireworks featuring conductor Eduardo Browne at 8 p.m. June 25 and June 26. Visit --Jenice Johnson

Freudian Slips and Leaps

Ewert & Company's Two Nights of Dance could be called Two Nights of Psychotherapy, given founder/choreographer/dancer Anna Marie Ewert-Pittman's penchant for exploring and exposing human emotions via modern dance. She and the four dancers, widely divergent in age and body type, have worked together for four years, so their comfort with various themes, music and emotionally and physically challenging dance is as easy for audiences as free association on a comfy couch. Panic, humor, desperation, love and an identity crisis are revealed in seven works by Ewert-Pittman for Two Nights, at Richardson's Eisemann Center Theater, 2351 Performance Drive, at 8 p.m. June 25 and June 26. Tickets ($10, $15, $25) are available at and 972-744-4650. That's much cheaper than an hour of therapy. --Annabelle Massey Helber

Not Dead Yet

Put down the champagne, Roger Ebert, and don't bother with those fireworks, Philip Wuntch. Pauly Shore is still alive. We're sure a few movie critics hoped Pauly Shore Is Dead would be a documentary. But the former MTV VJ hasn't "wiezed" his last juice just yet. In fact, Dead--which Shore co-wrote, directed and produced--has gathered decent buzz at movie festivals over the past year, which means this could be Shore's funniest work since he taught us about the majesty of "fresh nugs." Before he unleashes his self-deprecating flick on the masses, though, he's making some stand-up comedy pit stops on Friday and Saturday at Hyena's in Fort Worth, 605 Houston St., to prove his vitality. Tickets are $10 and up at 817-877-5233. --Sam Machkovech

Brotherly Love
Marsalis honors Romare Bearden

His brother's more famous, but not deservedly so; give me a Branford disc over a Wynton collection any day and three times on a Sunday morning when you'd rather be sung to than preached at. His records are simply more beautiful than his older brother's--less about preserving an Ellingtonian tradition in amber than forging a new sound that resembles an old one. But enough with the comparing and contrasting, because there's no need to celebrate one by tearing down the other; there's room enough for all the Marsalises, Delfeayo and Jason included. They all show up on Branford's most recent album, Romare Bearden Revealed; so, too, does Harry Connick Jr. and Branford's stellar quartet, which still mourns the loss of pianist Kenny Kirkland (eulogized on the 1999 masterpiece Requiem) but remains the finest band since, oh, 1957 give or take a half-decade. Branford's records are timeless because they're like the man himself--funny and fierce all at once, loose enough to swing like a chandelier in an earthquake, but solid enough to hold up a skyscraper. And he's even better live, so don't miss him Friday at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., where he plays from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Funny, but it's Wynton who belongs in a museum; appropriate Branford's only visiting. All right, enough already. Call 214-922-1200. --Robert Wilonsky

Handy Sandy
Duncan tells the story of The King and I

Tyler native Sandy Duncan is best known for her titular role in Broadway's Peter Pan. Meanwhile, in preparation for her starring role as Anna in the Dallas Summer Musicals' version of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I, our research found that Duncan, back in the day, starred on not only The Love Boat but also Hollywood Squares. Now, Martin Vidnovic is playing opposite Duncan as The King of Siam in this production (premiering at the Music Hall at Fair Park on Tuesday at 8 p.m.), and he's been entwined with the story for almost three decades in various capacities. But we want some real chemistry between the lead roles. You know, someone who can identify with Duncan's past. We have two words for you and the DSM, since it may not be too late: First word's "Nipsey." Second one's "Russell." Think about it. The Music Hall at Fair Park is at 909 First Ave. Call 214-631-ARTS for tickets or 214-691-7200 for info. --Matt Hursh

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