The Impossible Dream
From floozy to Miss Firecracker
There's something about the title The Miss Firecracker Contest that makes people think about drag queens. OK, so it makes me think about drag queens. Though this play doesn't have a single drag queen in it, the movie Flawless with Robert De Niro and Philip Seymour Hoffman keeps coming to mind. Maybe it's because the plot is the perfect combination of a really good episode of The Montel Williams Show, beauty pageants and damn fine theater. It's the story of a stereotypical small town floozy looking to make a name for herself by being something other than easy. The town's annual Fourth of July pageant, she decides, is the perfect way to do that. Carnelle's dreams of becoming a beauty queen are encouraged and questioned by a number of oddball characters, including a cousin fresh out of a mental institution and an ex-flame turned carnie. Firecracker opens the Contemporary Theater of Dallas' new season on August 19. Tickets are $24. A pay-what-you-can preview takes place August 18. The theater is at 5601 Sears St. Visit www.contemporarytheaterofdallas.com. --Kelsey Guy
Think back to when In Living Color was the most popular sketch comedy show on TV. Plenty of characters come to mind--Homey the Clown, Vera De Milo, Men on Film--but in these and other popular ILC sketches, Tommy Davidson always got the short end of the stick, playing the bit character or the little kid getting made fun of by the more popular actors. What a shame, because his stand-up material showcased him as a hilarious, streetwise comedian when guys like Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans didn't steal the attention. See Davidson by himself Thursday through Sunday at the Addison Improv, 4980 Belt Line Road. Tickets are $20 to $22. Call 972-404-8501. --Sam Machkovech
The Inn Crowd
Until Lorelai Gilmore came along on the WB, Dick Loudon (played by Bob Newhart) was our favorite TV innkeeper. Tough call, we know. But the Gilmore girl's edgy yet classic fashion sense leaves Dick and his cardigans looking for the nearest thrift store. Let's just hope Newhart's updated his wardrobe for his appearance at Casa Mañana Theatre's Laugh With a Legend. The comedian performs Saturday at 8:30 p.m. as part of a fund-raising gala benefiting the theater's arts education and community programs. Following the show, attendees can dance, listen to live music and bid at a silent auction. That's quite an evening: supporting a good cause, getting a good chuckle and dancing the night away. And maybe, if we're lucky, the laugh-inducing legend will bring along Larry, Larry's brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl. Casa Mañana is at the corner of West Lancaster Avenue and University Drive in Fort Worth, and tickets to see Newhart are $75. Call 817-332-2272, ext. 3. --Rhonda Reinhart
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